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Divernan

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Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 11,634

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Urgent Recommendations For Tesoro Refinery Safety Were Suppressed

Source: KUOW Radio,based in Seattle,serving Puget Sound

In the months following a deadly refinery explosion in Anacortes, Washington, in April 2010, federal investigators with the U.S. Chemical Safety Board were ready to issue urgent safety recommendations. But management at the agency blocked the release of their urgent alert.

It then took the Chemical Safety Board another three and a half years to issue recommendations for making the Tesoro refinery in Anacortes safer.

Those are some of the scathing conclusions of a Congressional inquiry into mismanagement at the Chemical Safety Board.

The independent board investigates explosions and other chemical accidents and is modeled after the National Transportation Safety Board. The Chemical Safety Board issued its report in May on the Tesoro blast in Anacortes, four years after the explosion killed seven.



Read more: http://kuow.org/post/report-urgent-recommendations-tesoro-refinery-safety-were-suppressed



This explosion killed SEVEN people.

The report details that an investigation by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology found:

* A “toxic and abusive” workplace that led to an exodus of the agency’s skilled investigators.

* Retaliation against whistleblowers.

* Chemical Safety Board Chair Rafael Moure-Eraso’s use of personal email accounts for official business.

* Moure-Eraso’s refusal to release documents to an inspector general investigating agency
mismanagement.


The Congressional inquiry found that Moure-Eraso and Chemical Safety Board managing director Daniel Horowitz blocked the recommendations from release in September 2010, even though they had already been peer-reviewed.

That incident is a fascinating glimpse of how dysfunctional the Clinton family is.

Everything is seen through the lens of gaining economic or political advantage. Given the bizarre marriage of convenience between Bill & Hillary, i.e., her enabling (through constantly ignoring them or, when publicly confronted with them, ridiculing & blaming Bill's victims) her husband's serial adulteries, Hillary is unable to grasp that announcing a pregnancy can be a tender, romantic, proud moment shared between a husband and wife. Apparently, Chelsea, having grown up in this dysfunctional family, and believing that her mother always knows best, went right along with this staged announcement. And although Hillary was not then an official candidate, boy howdy, she managed to spin her impending grandparent hood to drive home how this proves how much she will now care about the future of American kids.

HRC even had the balls to claim that if the project under discussion at the Microsoft sponsored (BIG CORPORATION DOES FAVOR FOR HILLARY - WHAT IS EXPECTED IN RETURN?) event was successful enough, " so that maybe our grandchild will not have to be worried about some of the things that young women and young men worry about today.

Will some of her adoring supporters get through to HRC that a Clinton grandchild, being raised by multi-millionaire parents, and in line to inherit tens of millions of dollars, will no way in hell be "worried about some of the things that young men and women worry about today."


http://www.politico.com/story/2014/04/chelsea-clinton-pregnant-105791.html

In a joint appearance, Chelsea and Hillary Clinton announced Thursday that Chelsea is expecting her first child later this year.

Speaking at a No Ceilings event, sponsored by the Clinton Foundation and Microsoft, the Clintons addressed women’s issues with moderator and actress America Ferrera at the Lower Eastside Girls Club in New York City. At the end of the event, Chelsea Clinton expressed how inspiring she found the audience of women — for multiple reasons.

The former secretary of state beamed as her daughter announced the news of her grandchild, “which I’m really excited about,” she said.

Connecting the news to the topic of the day, Hillary Clinton said it made the efforts of No Ceilings more pressing. “It makes this work even more important,” Clinton said. “Even in the course of my life, I’ve seen a lot of progress, but I want to see us keep moving, and certainly for future generations as well, so that maybe our grandchild will not have to be worried about some of the things that young women and young men worry about today. So obviously, we are very excited about what’s happening in our family, but we’re also very excited because of what we’re doing that we hope gives confidence and support to so many of you across our country.”

Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2014/04/chelsea-clinton-pregnant-105791.html#ixzz35b2T0200



That little 6th grade girl in Arkansas never got justice, did she?

Hillary Rodham Clinton often invoked her “35 years of experience making change” on the 2008 campaign trail, recounting her work in the 1970s on behalf of battered and neglected children and impoverished legal-aid clients.

But there is a little-known episode Clinton doesn’t mention in her standard campaign speech in which those two principles collided. In 1975, a 27-year-old Hillary Rodham, acting as a court-appointed attorney, attacked the credibility of a 12-year-old girl in mounting an aggressive defense for an indigent client accused of rape in Arkansas – using her child development background to help the defendant…

(from Newsday, via http://sweetness-light.com/archive/hillary-versus-the-allegedly-raped-child#.U6C1YUB5uSq

Two years into her career of making change and having Day One-readying experience, 27 year old Hillary Rodham was appointed a public defender in a rape case, and played out deep in the gray areas of morality by attacking the 12-year old victim's credibility. Though nobody involved in the case can recall a shred of evidence that the victim had any sort of history of making false claims, Hillary argued it as a centerpiece of her case anyway. And conveniently omitted this aspect of the case from her 2003 book, "Living History."

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2008/02/24/463280/-Wow-Clinton-Attacked-12-Year-Old-Rape-Victim-s-Credibility-UPDATED

Hillary believed her 41 year old client to be guilty of luring a 12 year old girl into his automobile, plying her with alcohol and sexually assaulting her.

“I had him take a polygraph, which he passed—which forever destroyed my faith in polygraphs,” she is heard telling Reed, punctuating her comment with a laugh.

In a July 28, 1975 affidavit, "Clinton attacked the credibility of the young alleged victim, claiming that she was 'emotionally unstable' and had a 'tendency to seek out older men and engage in fantasizing.'

Isn't that pretty much how she dismissed Monica Lewinsky's allegations? We all know what happened to Monica. I wonder what happened to that poor 12 year old girl in Arkansas. She sure as hell never got justice, did she?

HRC gets a child rapist a reduced sentence (2 months for time served), laughs about it, and there are people here who, even with the ready excuse of it being a long time ago, cannot bring themselves to criticize Clinton. Amazing. Incredibly disturbing, but amazing.

The defense prevailed, Clinton told Reed, when she realized that the crime lab had woefully mishandled the girl’s bloody underwear—a key piece of evidence.

“The crime lab took the pair of underpants, neatly cut out the part that they were gonna test, tested it, came back with the result of what kind of blood it was what was mixed in with it—then sent the pants back with the hole in it to evidence…Of course the crime lab had thrown away the piece they had cut out.”

Clinton said she traveled to New York City and found a renowned forensic expert who would testify that the remaining material lacked a sufficient amount of blood to test. Clinton said she catalogued the expert’s intimidating resume and handed it to the prosecutor. “I said, ‘Well, this guy’s ready to come up from New York to prevent this miscarriage of justice.’”

At which point, on the recording, she’s heard bursting into laughter.

http://freebeacon.com/politics/the-hillary-tapes/

and from another source:

Clinton recounts how she took what remained of the (bloodied) underwear to a renowned forensics expert in New York to have him confirm that the remnants were unsuitable for confirmation testing. She tells the interviewer how she returned to Arkansas with a letter from the expert and a clip of his biography from “Who’s Who.”

“I handed it to , and I said, ‘Well this guy’s ready to come up from New York to prevent this miscarriage of justice,” Clinton says with sarcastic laughter. “So we were gonna plea bargain.”

Facing an evidentiary disaster, and the prospect of defense testimony by a celebrity witness, the prosecutor caved. Instead of a hefty prison sentence, the accused rapist got off with time served – which Clinton recalled was about two months in the county jail.

see also, http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2658801/I-never-trusted-polygraph-Hillary-Clinton-LAUGHS-recalls-helped-suspected-child-rapist-walk-free-prosecution-lost-crucial-evidence.html


Clinton’s job at the time was defending those accused of crimes who couldn’t afford to pay for their own defense; her client was a factory worker whom she believed to be guilty. I had classmates who worked for our county's public defender's office. Believe me, it was pulling teeth to get the budget to pay for a local expert witness. So how many other clients of the Arkansas public defender's office got short shrift for funding to develop evidence for their cases so HRC could fly into NY and hire an expert (we in the biz call them hired guns). Air fare, hotel, expert witness fee - that cost a pretty penny. If he was a "celebrity" expert witness, his fees would have been quite high, even back then.

When you hear her voice describing it, and the laughter, it's not hard to picture the air quotes around “miscarriage of justice”. It was never about justice if she believed her client was guilty, it was about going to extreme lengths to win.

You can still vote for her if you’d like. But don't justify her actions, either at the time she went to extraordinary lengths to get a guilty man a greatly reduced sentence, or years later in this interview when she violated the attorney's code of professional responsibility by making these comments about her client. It’s an insult to those who have been victims and it's an insult to lawyers who actually follow the rule of attorney-client confidentiality, and would never disclose to ANYONE the results of a client’s polygraph and guilt (since that is a violation of attorney-client privilege) let alone bragging to a reporter about getting rape charges dropped from a client they believed to be guilty.

"Historical revisionism" is a generous description of her many "Misspeaks"

“I actually write about Rahm in the book,” Clinton said. “I asked him not to read it before we sat and did our interview! But it was in the very first chapter, the chapter I rightly call ‘Team of Rivals’ because that’s what it was in the beginning. A senator from Illinois ran against a senator from New York just as had happened way back with a senator from Illinois named Lincoln and a senator from New York named Seward. And it turned out the same way.”

Lincoln never was a senator. He lost that election to Stephen A. Douglas after the Lincoln-Douglas debates.

http://www.wlsam.com/common/page.php?feed=11&pt=Another+Clinton+gaffe+at+Chicago+appearance&id=102033&is_corp=0

Then we have the dodging sniper fire when landing in Tusla. “I certainly do remember that trip to Bosnia,” she said, in remarks that aides described Monday as not being part of her prepared speech. “I remember landing under sniper fire. There was supposed to be some kind of a greeting ceremony at the airport, but instead we just ran with our heads down to get into the vehicles to get to our base.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/25/us/politics/25clinton.html?_r=0

Admitted "Misstatements"
• Chelsea was jogging around the Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001. (She was in bed watching it on TV.)
• Hillary was named after Sir Edmund Hillary. (She admitted she was wrong. He climbed Mt. Everest five years after her birth.)
• She was under sniper fire in Bosnia. (A little girl presented her with flowers and read her a poem at the foot of the ramp.)
• She learned in The Wall Street Journal how to make a killing in the futures market. (It didn't cover the market back then.)


"Historical Revisions" she has never admitted to or corrected

• She didn't know about the FALN pardons.
• She didn't know that her brothers were being paid to get pardons that Clinton granted.
• Taking the White House gifts was a clerical error.
• She didn't know that her staff would fire the travel office staff after she told them to do so.
• She didn't know that the Peter Paul fundraiser in Hollywood in 2000 cost $700,000 more than she reported it had.
• She opposed NAFTA at the time.
• She was instrumental in the Irish peace process.
• She urged Bill to intervene in Rwanda.
• She played a role in the '90s economic recovery.
• The billing records showed up on their own.
• She thought Bill was innocent when the Monica scandal broke.
• She was always a Yankees fan.
• She had nothing to do with the New Square Hasidic pardons (after they voted for her 1,400-12 and she attended a meeting at the White House about the pardons).
• She negotiated for the release of refugees in Macedonia (who were released the day before she got there).

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2008/03/hillarys_list_of_lies.html

Now all the HRC supporters may take umbrage at these examples, but these will all be thrown in her face and spread across the net if she is the presidential candidate. Some of her errors are mundane, but many are not, and all are self-serving. With her Harvard law degree and her training and work as a lawyer, she well knows that words matter. Or as another well-trained and experienced lawyer famously said, "It depends on what the meaning of "is" is. Add to this the to-be-expected, painstaking review of why she was fired from the House Judiciary Committee staff investigating Watergate. She could have learned from that experience. Too bad she didn't.

http://www.eohistory.info/2013/hillaryHistory.htm

Hall of Famer Chuck Noll dies at 82

Source: ESPN

- Pittsburgh Steelers icon Chuck Noll, the only coach to win four Super Bowls, died at his Pittsburgh-area home Friday night. He was 82. The Allegheny County Medical Examiner said Noll died of natural causes at 9:45 p.m. ET.

Noll went 209-156-1, including the postseason, while coaching the Steelers from 1969-91. The hiring of Noll, a one-time assistant coach to Sid Gillman and Don Shula, set the Steelers on a path to greatness.

He led the team to four Super Bowl titles from 1975-80, and he became every bit as revered in Pittsburgh as stalwarts from those teams such as "Mean" Joe Greene and Franco Harris.

"Chuck Noll is the best thing to happen to the Rooneys since they got on the boat in Ireland," Art Rooney Jr., the oldest son of Steelers founder Art Rooney Sr., said, according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

Read more: http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/11080732/legendary-pitsburgh-steelers-coach-chuck-noll-dies-82



Those were indeed Glory Years here in the Burgh and for the Steelers Nation fans around the globe.
RIP, Coach.

Company That Caused Historic Chemical Spill Leaks More Waste Into West Virginia Waters

Poor West Virginia - just CANNOT catch a break from corporate environmental polluters.
God only knows how long this overflow was happening. One doubts that state DEP inspectors checked this site on a daily or even a weekly basis. The company respsonsible has claimed bankruptcy protection so is immune from further lawsuits - and most probably has cut their expenses by neglecting maintenance of their equipment, like the failed pump! The spill wasn't "experienced" on Thursday. It was simply noticed for the first time on Thursday!

http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/06/13/3448678/freedom-industries-spills-again/

The company responsible for letting 10,000 gallons of a mysterious chemical seep into West Virginia’s water this past January experienced another spill at its site on Thursday, this time from an overflowing trench of potentially contaminated stormwater, according to state officials.

Inspectors from the state Department of Environmental Protection noticed water overflowing into the Elk River from a containment trench at Freedom Industries’ site in Kanawha County on Thursday night at 5 p.m — the same site that leaked into the river in January, poisoning the drinking water supply for approximately 300,000 people. A sump pump that was supposed to send overflow to a storage tank had stopped working, inspectors said.

As of early Friday, the overflow had stopped, and a spokesperson for West Virginia American Water assured that initial tests showed no detection of crude MCHM, the mysterious coal-cleaning chemical that spilled at the site on Jan. 9. The chemical has a distinct licorice smell, but state DEP inspectors said there were no odors reported coming from the site. , but we were there. We smelled it clearly,” she tweeted.WOWK reporter Jessie Shafer, who visited the site in the hours after the spill, said otherwise.

“No odors reported at site today by public, but we were there. We smelled it clearly,” she tweeted.


http://www.wowktv.com/story/25767984/water-testing-underway-near-wva-site-of-spill

The new spill happened on the same day that West Virginia American Water announced that all 16 carbon filters at its water treatment plant had been replaced, showing no more trace amounts of crude MCHM lingering from the initial spill. Six months after the initial spill, many West Virginia residents were still not drinking their water for fear of continued contamination.

The company responsible for the contamination, Freedom Industries, is currently going through a Chapter 11 bankruptcy spurred by the events of the January spill. The bankruptcy shielded it from lawsuits, and since then the company has been increasingly opaque — essentially only breaking its silence to revise spill numbers and admit that more than one chemical had actually spilled.

Gov. Corbett's use of outside legal counsel tops $100 million in 3 years.

Corbett is a classic example of a man who never hires people who are more intelligent or accomplished than himself, and that sets the bar pretty damn low, as witnessed by the 2 guys he's appointed as General Counsel and First Deputy Counsel of the Governor's Office of General Counsel. (These appointments are not subject to State Senate approval.)

For the past 30 years, there has been an absolute glut of law graduates from top tier law schools: lawyers who were Law Review editors, Moot Court champions and clerked for state supreme court justices or federal appellate judges. Corbett avoided this impressive and accomplished pool of candidates and chose James Schultz and Jarad Handelman to head this agency which bills itself as:

Pennsylvania's Law Firm
The Office of General Counsel is committed to providing the Governor and the Executive Branch with expert, responsive, practical and cost-effective legal services necessary to support the administration of Pennsylvania's government for the benefit of the public.


But hey - they both played undergrad football! From their photos, looks like they were fullbacks and are both still on steroids. Schultz has the chutzpah to include in his professional bio that he was a "student law clerk" for a state supreme court justice. That is not a REAL law clerk - REAL law clerks are full time employees of judges and actually write opinions. I was a student law clerk for a Third Circuit Appellate Judge. Easy peasey, boys and girls. I signed up for the opportunity at registration time, and one afternoon a week, for one semester, I got to sit in (with my mouth shut) on the judge's conferences with his REAL law clerks. Easiest 2 credits I earned in law school. I have never seen any lawyer include such a student situation in a resume. That would be a lawyer's equivalent of "I'm not a real doctor, but I played one on TV." Pathetic!

Full disclosure - (Dem.) Rendell made copious use of outside law firms as well, and (GOP)Dick Thornburgh was even investigated for this while governor. When a governor is a lawyer, they like to grease that old revolving door to their former or future employers.

Corbett is a crap lawyer who lets his ego, uninformed by legal acumen, dictate his choice of legal battles. He has employed lawyers lacking the balls and/or the brains to persuade him otherwise. This has resulted in the loss of millions of taxpayer dollars. My suggestion: Outside counsel should be hired on the basis of no win/no fee. The Edgar Snyder approach: "No charges unless we get money for YOU!"

HARRISBURG — Pennsylvania employs 498 attorneys at $46 million, but taxpayers spent $32.7 million last year on outside lawyers — and recently ponied up $2 million for private firms to handle three high-profile cases the state lost, records show.
With Corbett's failed attempt to privatize the state lottery — for which the state paid DLA Piper in Philadelphia $2.1 million — and a separate gay marriage case, the state has spent $4.5 million on outside counsel for losing causes.

Over three years, the tab for outside counsel was $100.3 million.

Gov. Tom Corbett won't appeal rulings against the voter ID law or the state's same-sex marriage ban. And last June, U.S. District Judge Yvette Kane tossed Corbett's lawsuit to end NCAA sanctions imposed on Penn State University as a result of the Jerry Sandusky sex abuse scandal, calling it a “Hail Mary pass.”

Auditor General Eugene DePasquale, a Democrat, is among critics of the Republican governor's spending on outside counsel. “The governor has a right to defend his positions, but that's money literally flushed down the toilet,” DePasquale said.


Read more: http://triblive.com/politics/politicalheadlines/6201767-74/state-outside-corbett#ixzz341YJmfXz
Follow us: @triblive on Twitter | triblive on Facebook


Protestors force Govs. Christie/Corbett to duck out the back

TWO FOR THE PRICE OF ONE! Protestin' that is! Two notoriously Republican governors were protested today at the iconic Pittsburgh restaurant, Primanti's.

Re-electing fellow Republican Gov. Tom Corbett is “a top priority” for the Republican Governors Association, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said during a campaign event at Primanti Brothers in the Strip District on Friday afternoon. Christie, chair of the RGA and a potential GOP presidential contender, said he is willing to spend “a lot of money” to see Corbett remain in office.

Corbett, a Shaler Republican, said states with Republican governors have a track record of creating jobs and strong economies. Corbett appears to be trailing his Democratic opponent, Tom Wolf, a York County businessman, by 20 percentage points, according to a Quinnipiac University Polling Institute release this week.

About 10 minutes before the governors arrived at Primantis in black SUVs with tinted windows, protesters holding signs that said “One Term Tom” gathered outside. The crowd grew, then booed and chanted as Corbett, in a white, button-down shirt and no necktie, left Primantis through the back and climbed into the SUV before it pulled away.


Read more: http://triblive.com/news/adminpage/6236412-74/corbett-republican-christie#ixzz33tRYliKO
Follow us: @triblive on Twitter | triblive on Facebook

Harvard grad. Toomey trashes EPA report which Harvard report praises.

Among the rest of the self-promoting crap in GOP Senator Toomey's most recent mass emailing was this attack on the environment:

Coal is a domestically sourced, low-cost form of energy which helps sustain jobs for Pennsylvania and beyond. Coal-fired plants have gone to impressive lengths to reduce harmful emissions. Nevertheless, the Obama administration continues to implement policies that will make energy more expensive for hard-working Pennsylvanians while destroying good, family-sustaining jobs.

As part of the president's on-going "War on Coal," the EPA this week released a new proposed regulation on existing power plants.

This new policy is more of the same old, bad ideas we have seen for the past six years. From making coal-fired electricity prohibitively expensive, to forcing taxpayers to subsidize inefficient energy, to burning more corn in our gas tanks, the President continues to advocate policies that raise prices for consumers and eliminate jobs.



However, Toomey's alma mater, Harvard takes an opposite view to this Neanderthal Senator:
http://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2014/06/breathing-easier-over-electricity/

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued its long-awaited draft regulations on carbon emissions from U.S. power plants, which would require a 30 percent reduction in carbon dioxide emissions from 2005 levels by 2030. Just days before Monday’s announcement, scientists from Harvard and Syracuse universities released a study highlighting the potential health benefits of such changes.

While the federal regulations, to be finalized next year, are aimed at reducing the emission of globe-warming carbon dioxide, since they would decrease pollutants from power plant smokestacks, there is a significant ancillary benefit for human health.

Studies have indicated that air pollutants like sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, mercury, and fine particulate matter that penetrate deeply into the lungs not only harm people with pulmonary conditions such as asthma, they also affect the cardiovascular system and can lead to thousands of premature deaths, along with thousands of days lost from work and school because of illness.


Do please take time to go to this link and you will see two striking, national maps indicating the percent of reduction in summer peak 8 hour ozone and fine particulate matter. "The maps (images 1, 2), which depict the benefits of reducing co-pollutants of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides, are a close approximation of the clean air benefits the EPA standards are likely to achieve." You will see that no state benefits as much as Pennsylvania, and within the state, Southwest Pennsylvania benefits the very most. What a miserable excuse for a public servant this man is!

Clintons have always MARKETED themselves as 2 for PRICE of 1

Going back to Bill's first presidential campaign - elect me and you get my wife as well - it's a "2 for the price of 1" (his exact words). How appropriate that he referred to their "price". That has proved to be the operative factor with the Clintons. I expect the same would hold true if Hillary were elected.

Both Clintons are making the case that theirs was a co-presidency -- an echo of Bill Clinton's controversial statement during the 1992 campaign that voters would get "two for the price of one" if they elected him. At times, the former president has seemed to cast the current race as a referendum on his administration.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/12/21/AR2007122102588.html


So let us remember Bill's attitude toward his Big Banking friends and those who dare criticize them:

Clinton's relationship with Goldman Sachs is not unique. Bill and Hillary Clinton have always nurtured cozy ties with Wall Street—in terms of policies and funds-chasing (for their campaigns and the foundation). The chief economic guru of the Clinton administration was Robert Rubin, a former Goldman Sachs chairman, and the financial deregulation and free-trade pacts of the Clinton years have long ticked off their party's populists. In his new book, former Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner recalls visiting Bill Clinton at his Harlem office and asking his advice, as Geithner puts it, on "how to navigate the populist waters" and respond to the American public's anger about bailouts and Wall Street. The former president didn't seem to have much sympathy for these popular sentiments and replied by referring to the CEO of Goldman: "You could take Lloyd Blankfein into a dark alley and slit his throat, and it would satisfy them for about two days. Then the bloodlust would rise again."

http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/06/hillary-clintons-goldman-sachs-problem
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