Everyone probably remembers Kland Paul saying that it should be perfectly all right for business to discriminate against minorities if that’s what they want to do. That is probably what got him elected in Kentucky, but the ignorant racists who were thrilled with his attitude towards minorities might not be so thrilled with his attitude towards THEM.

There are still quite a few coal miners in Kentucky. Coal mining is a horribly dirty occupation, and black lung is a disease acquired from breathing in coal dust. My grandfather had it. One of my uncles had it. It isn’t pretty.

And none of that matters to Kland Paul, who thinks that company profits have to trump worker health and safety. That’s no surprise, of course. But it could be that some of the dumbasses who voted for Paul might be having a bit of Buyer’s Remorse at the moment.

 

The federal Mine Safety and Health Administration has proposed a new regulation that would cut exposure limits of coal dust in mines by half over two years. The limits would be tested and enforced by increasing dust samplings, and some miners would wear personal dust monitors. The industry, which contributed more than $135,000 to Sen. Paul’s Senate campaign last year, objects to costs and work stoppages related to reducing and measuring dust levels.

At a Senate hearing, Sen. Paul made a peculiar case. After claiming that the government had done “a pretty good job” in recent decades of reducing the incidence of black lung — he ignored federal occupational safety reports that rates are rising — he argued that there must be a balancing act between regulation and energy production. “We have to assess the cost,” he said.

The cost to whom? Is Sen. Paul seriously arguing that miners’ lives are negotiable in the pursuit of low energy prices?

None of this is really surprising. Sen. Paul knows little about mining. Indeed, he showed during his campaign last year that he doesn’t understand much about Kentucky. That’s not what he’s about anyway. The senator is in Washington to push a national agenda of eliminating and opposing most government regulation.

 

That is EXACTLY what Kland Paul is arguing, and I’m sure he means it. Paul likes to call himself a Libertarian, but the fact of the matter is that he’s a libberCON, no different in substance from any of his Bible-(t)humping, bought-off brethren.

Kentucky has really elected a slate of winners to Federal office in the last couple of decades. I wonder if Paul might be more than even they can stomach?

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