Friday, April 27, 2007

I was right.

Posted below on 25/4/07 as a claim based on indirect evidence.
Reported here on 26/4/07. via Josh Marshall (of course).

Now I have to read the McClatchy story by Marisa Taylor & Margarent Talev.

Update: The leak to Taylor and Talev is from "two senior congressional aides [who] spoke only on the condition of anonymity because the document in question hasn't been made public and because the Justice Department has allowed investigators to read it but not to photocopy it." They refer to an "early" version of the list without a specific date. Thus I don't have postive proof that Heffelfinger's name was still on the list in January 2006 and is one of the 3 redacted names on the version sent to congress.

Congressional investigators probing the firings of eight U.S. attorneys saw Thomas Heffelfinger's name on a version of the list that Attorney General Alberto Gonzales' former chief of staff, Kyle Sampson, began assembling in early 2005. Heffelfinger left in February 2006, more than nine months before the Justice Department agreed on a final list of prosecutors to remove.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/27/opinion/27fri2.html

April 27, 2007

Crippling Government From Within

The Bush administration has proved indefatigable at finding industry foxes to upend the regulatory chicken coops. The result has been an undermining of restraints on everything from strip miners to long-haul truckers and corporate executives intent on consumer-unfriendly mergers.

One of the most zealous of the antiregulatory ideologues is Edwin Foulke, tapped by President Bush last year to run the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. As South Carolina's Republican Party chairman and an anti-union stalwart, Mr. Foulke worked tirelessly to weaken the agency's enforcement authority on workplace safety. Now that he is OSHA's chief, he is moving even more aggressively away from regulations in favor of corporations' pledges to police themselves.

The dangers of a do-next-to-nothing OSHA were described in searching detail by Stephen Labaton of The Times in a report focusing on a life-threatening lung disease suffered by workers at microwave popcorn factories who regularly inhale a butter-flavor additive, diacetyl. The problem first turned up seven years ago, with some workers needing lung transplants. Yet OSHA failed to mandate safety standards or step up plant inspections.

An OSHA inspector sent to a plant three years after workers began getting sick certified that it complied with regulations — and cited air sampling done four years earlier by an insurer. Another inspector was dispatched to conclude that even if there was a problem, nothing could be done. Why? Because a standard defining safe limits for diacetyl had never been written — by OSHA.

President Bush blessed the shameful retreat by OSHA early on, signing the Republican Congress's repeal of an ergonomics regulation for workers....

anne