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Archive for April 3rd, 2010

Republicans have a right to lie under oath

Posted by Charles II on April 3, 2010

Brad Jacobsen, Raw Story:

Caroline Hunter, a Bush-appointed Federal Election Commissioner who remains in office, provided misleading statements under oath in an effort to conceal Republican National Committee involvement in vote suppression activities during the 2004 presidential election, a Raw Story investigation has found.

Legal experts say Hunter’s submission of such statements under oath is a serious ethical and professional breach which could warrant a bar review and potential disbarment. At the time, Hunter was serving as deputy counsel to the Republican National Committee….

In 1982, the RNC agreed to settle the lawsuit by entering a consent decree that prohibited it from using “ballot security” measures, meaning any efforts to prevent allegedly unqualified voters from casting a ballot. The decree was revised in 1987 to include a provision that required the RNC to first gain prior approval from the court before engaging in such measures.

Thus, the pivotal focus for Judge Debevoise in 2004 rests on whether Republicans have violated the decree.

Basically, Hunter said that the RNC didn’t initiate, direct, control or fund voter suppression by the Ohio State Republican Party. But the party was aware of it, and probably participated and encouraged it. The judge said about her cleverly worded statement that it “is belied by the evidence developed during the brief period of discovery.”

A cleverly worded way of saying she lied.


Posted in election theft, Republicans acting badly, voting rights | 6 Comments »

US refinery capacity and workers at risk

Posted by Charles II on April 3, 2010

The following is something that I noticed two years ago, and led me to take profits in one refiner, fortuitously just before the price of oil collapsed (taking refinery margins with it). As long as safety is so problematic, I have no interest.

Aaron Clark, Jessica Resnick-Ault and Peter Robison, Bloomberg:

A blast and fire that killed five people at Tesoro Corp.’s Anacortes, Washington, refinery today may be the worst fatal accident to strike a U.S. refinery since a 2005 explosion killed 15 people at BP Plc’s plant in Texas City, Texas.

“It appears to have the most fatalities of any accident since BP Texas City,” Daniel Horowitz, a spokesman for the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board, said in a telephone interview. “The board is extremely concerned about the pattern of safety problems in the refining sector.”…

…seven [workers] suffered burns, and five died. Two others remain in critical condition, Westfall said.

US refinery capacity is over-age [Anacortes was built in 1955], run at excessive capacity during some periods [that does not seem to have been a factor in this accident, since it was at 50% capacity], sometimes operated by under-trained staff, and otherwise a high-risk venture. In the Anacortes case, the crew was “cleaning a heat exchanger in a unit handling naphtha.” A guess might be that (a) they were in a hurry and didn’t wait for fumes to dissipate, and (b) there was improper grounding or an electrical fault in elderly equipment. But no hard information is available.

The status of refining is a danger to the US economy as well as a deadly threat to workers.

Posted in Oil, Sad things | 6 Comments »

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