On the Take

Posted on May 30, 2010 by

The deadly accident at the Upper Big Branch Mine in West Virginia and the catastrophic Gulf of Mexico oil spill expose pervasive federal government corruption:

Government regulators on the take or on the make.

How did these agencies – the Mine Safety and Health Administration [MSHA] and the Minerals Management Service[MMS] – become such industry sellouts?

One answer is republican dominance of the executive branch.  For 26 of the past 40 years, republican presidents have filled the ranks of departments, agencies and commissions.  (And even so-called nonpolitical “career employees” tend to reflect the general philosophy of the administration that hires them).

Claiming to be “streamlining” regulations, many republican appointees actively undermined workplace and environmental health and safety rules.

For the next several months, media will be investigating the specifics of the colossal failures of MSHA and MMS, identifying government and industry culprits.  Will it become evident that those agencies were victims of republican sabotage?

The irony, of course, is that republicans will try to use these disasters to gain traction on their core conviction that government doesn’t work;  a condition they helped bring about by populating the bureaucracy with officials who covertly or overtly set out to weaken federal protections.

Republicans have already succeeded in handing Obama a huge budget deficit – inhibiting efforts to expand, or even maintain, legitimate social spending.

Now their decades-old crusade to subvert federal regulations again boxes in the democrats by discrediting activist government.

It’s another win / win situation for our pals on the other side of the aisle.

Comments (3)


  1. michael chesler says:

    How sadly true.

  2. When will the average American take a serious look at these horrendous acts perpetrated by government officials, in conjunction with industry lobbyists, and rise up? The time for substantive action is now before our way of life is totally destroyed by government and industry elites. Shame on us if we let these “culprits” get away. They should rot in prison.

  3. deborah says:

    very well put. correction: aisle

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