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Wed Sep 18, 2013, 10:32 AM

1000%! Protections/regulations are worth shit when:

(1) they have no BITE to them, i.e., truly severe and punitive financial and operational penalties (cause then the corporations just factor in occasional small fines as part of the cost of doing business);
(2) they are not mandatory, regardless of how many presidents, governors, federal or state legislators have been beneficiaries of a corporate violator's bribes/gifts/campaign donations/post elected office job offers;
(3) protections/regulations are self-enforced/self-regulated by corporations, like Obama's USDA plans to fire 1/2 their inspectors and turn inspection over to meat-processing industry;
(4) government inspection agencies are not sufficiently funded to hire, train & field the necessary number of inspectors;
(5) political appointees at the top levels of federal or state inspection agencies block, stall, delay and usurp authority from the agencies' field inspectors to report violations.

The latter 2 examples are outrageously the case in Pennsylvania re GOP Governer Corbett and the state Department of Environmental Protection re inspecting fracking drilling operations. First he had his politically appointed Secretary/cabinet member slash the number of inspectors from what it was BEFORE the fracking had started; then the department's regulations were changed such that all field reports had to be approved by the top (political appointees) level of the dept. Pennsylvania is Frackers' Paradise.

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