March 29, 2016

A little justice or a slap on the wrist:

Federal legal memos don't always make for the most interesting reading, but this one on the sentencing of former Massey CEO Don Blankenship is an exception:

It shocks the conscience that in the 21st century, knowing all that has been learned from decades of grief in our nation’s mines, the CEO of a major coal company would willfully conspire against the laws that protect his workers’ lives. One struggles for words to describe the inhumanity required for a mogul like Defendant to send working men and women into needless, mortal jeopardy for no purpose other than to pile up more money. The law, as it stands, offers no adequate punishment for his crime. But what the law does allow, the court should impose: a year in prison and the maximum fine. Don Blankenship owes at least that much to the men and women who worked at UBB. 

The Gazette-Mail's Ken Ward has more to say on that here.

A HOT MESS. West Virginia's state budget is in pretty much disaster mode. Programs and services have already been cut to the bone and are facing more. One perennial target of cuts is higher education, which is perverse in a state with the lowest educational attainment in the nation. A friend of mine offers some common sense solutions here. The legislative purse string, however, are held by the tax cut crew.

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