I don’t know this to be true, but I’ve heard, over the years, that the Maynard side of my family made their way to Kentucky from West Virginia. And, as there are currently a great many Maynards there, like Lee Maynard, the brilliant author of Crum, I suspect that there may be some truth to it. So, when somoene asked today if I was related to newly elected used car dealer turned West Virginia State Senator Mark Maynard, I had to respond with a… “probably.”
I bet you’re wondering, “How’d he do it?” Well, my friends, the answer is easy… Maynard power!
He just turned on the old Maynard charm! (You can see it in his eyes.)
And it probably didn’t hurt that, accord to the Associated Press, statewide exit polls showed that three out of four West Virginia voters said that they disapproved of Obama’s performance, which shouldn’t really be too much of surprise, given the recent loss of coal mining jobs in the state, and Obama’s stance against global warming.
I know he’s a Republican, and I should probably hate him, but, according to the article above, his stances on the issues were pretty much identical to those of the Democratic incumbent he was going up against. And, more importantly, I’m thinking that, if his political career takes off, the value of the MarkMaynard.com url may increase to the point where I could sell it for big bucks and retire.
Oh, speaking of West Virginia and coal mining, do you remember a few years ago, when we were discussing Don Blankenship, the mine-owning teabagger who cut corners and ignored regulations until it cost 29 men their lives? Well it looks like he finally might be going to prison for his actions at the Upper Big Branch South Mine in Whitesville, West Virginia. Here’s a clip from the New York Times.
The former chief executive of the company involved in the nation’s worst coal mine disaster in 40 years, in which 29 men died in West Virginia in 2010, was charged on Thursday with widespread violations of safety rules and deceiving federal inspectors.
Donald L. Blankenship, who formerly ran the Massey Energy Company, was indicted on four criminal counts by a federal grand jury in the Upper Big Branch disaster near Montcoal, W.Va.
Mr. Blankenship was accused of looking away from hundreds of safety violations “in order to produce more coal, avoid the costs of following safety laws, and make more money”…
The charges hold him personally responsible for the hundreds of safety violations in 28 months leading up to the explosion. They included failing to ventilate coal dust and methane, which are highly explosive, and failing to water down equipment to prevent sparks that could ignite an explosion.
According to the indictment, Mr. Blankenship’s aggressive enforcement of mining quotas left workers no time to build ventilation systems “because constructing them diverted time from coal production.” He denied a request to build an air shaft in a mine where airflow was below the legal minimum, the indictment said. He also cut the number of miners focusing on safety in order to make the operation more profitable.
Mr. Blankenship was charged with authorizing a “scheme” of warnings to miners underground when federal safety inspectors made surprise visits. By using “code words and phrases,” word was passed by telephone from a guardhouse to a mine office to supervisors deep underground, who ordered miners “to quickly cover up violations” before inspectors arrived, the indictment said…
To quote Senator Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia, “(Blankenship was) treated far fairer and with more dignity than he ever treated the miners he employed. And, frankly, it’s more than he deserves.” I’m not a proponent of the death penalty, but if anyone deserves it, it’s this Ayn Rand acolyte.