Sunday, October 21, 2007

Yes, More Cornyn Watch: The Senator Votes Against Mining Safety

It may seem as though I'm picking on John Cornyn. If I really were, I would have used his nickname (in certain circles) -- Senator Cornhole -- in the title, not just the lead. I don't want to obsess over this right-wing twit, but he cast a vote last week that was very telling, and really ought to cost him his Senate seat. He was one of four wingnut Senate Republicans who essentially voted against better mining safety.

The other three who kept him company on the tinfoil-hat right were Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla.; Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C.; and Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz. I'm not sure if we have a genuine division line of true crazies on the far right here, given the history of some of the other GOP senators. But in this case, even Inhofe's rather kooky Oklahoma colleague, Sen. Tom Coburn, didn't join him on this one. By the way, Inhofe, in case you didn't know or have forgotten, is the guy who has called the threat of global warming the "greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people." He means, like, greater than the Gulf of Tonkin incident, Saddam's WMDs, or Reaganomics?


The vote was 89 for, 4 against. The measure was to increase the budget of the Mine Safety and Health Administration by $10 million -- from $330 million to $340 million -- to reduce its backlog of coal mine inspections. This was part of the voting on amendments to an appropriations bill (HR 3043) for the Department of Labor and other agencies.

Given the catastrophies that have stricken miners for several years now, this would seem like a no-brainer vote. But when you have no brain, apparently even the no-brainers are too challenging.

I have run onto a

number of links showing the record of the Bush administration on mining safety, and it isn't pretty. I think there would have been more opposing right-wing Republican votes than this if the recent lethal disasters hadn't been as much on the public mind. Only four of these people dared this.

But, this is one more thing to remember about Senator Cornhole: He's not concerned about anybody outside his own socio-economic circle, certainly not grimy miners. And then, there are those ailing kids who can't get health insurance. Senator, I can see that you have neither conscience, nor shame. But are you even worried about being re-elected?

Crossposted at Manifesto Joe.