Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Loyal Republican seeks the meat of the coconut

There's Dubyah and Johnny Isakson chatting on Air Force One from some time back. Senator Isakson was a Staff Sergeant with the Air Force Reserve from 1966 to 1972 (The whole time at that rank Senator?) and Dubyah "served" with the Texas Air National Guard during the Vietnam War so maybe time on a plane had them reflecting on their days of sacrifice during a time of war?

Today's Senators hear of poor work conditions in poultry plants from Ames Alexander and Lisa Zagaroli of McClatchy Newspapers reported that many of those doing the hearing "called for stiffer penalties and stronger enforcement against chronic violators." The Charlotte Observer was credited with a series that prompted these hearing. Their "The Cruelest Cuts" would have done that. A tip of the tam they are surely due.

Senator Patty Murray from Washington said, ""I am very concerned because the evidence shows that in the last seven years, OSHA has been dangerously ineffective." Reckon why that might be? So what's a Republican to do? Especially a historically loyal one like Johnny Isakson of Georgia? Here's Johnny:

Sen. Johnny Isakson of Georgia, the ranking Republican on the subcommittee, said higher fines alone won't change a company's willingness to look the other way when it comes to unsafe conditions.

When OSHA finds companies with a pattern of workplace safety problems, it should assign compliance officers to follow up until all problems have been fixed, he said.

"It's those kinds of things that get to the meat of the coconut more than beating your chest that you tripled fines," he said.

At times I'm not sure whether Saxby Chambliss or Johnny Isakson is the peachiest Georgia Senator yet I find the above rather off base. Your President's basic Bu$hCo approach to gov't gets OSHA to where they can't do their job. Still, you'll not think to hit these offending companies in the pocketbook. And where these "compliance officers" will come from given how Bu$hCo has gutted this agency is beyond me. Let's hope the price of loyalty comes home to bite you in the butt come 2010. John Gunn

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