Archive for September 2nd, 2010

Here’s what we know: On the morning of Thursday, Sept. 2, an oil and gas rig owned by Mariner Energy, Inc., operating in about 340 feet of water on the continental shelf experienced an explosion and subsequently caught fire, resulting in all 13 workers on board to flee into the water.

This incident is different from BP’s Mancondo disaster because BP’s fiasco occurred on a floating rig operating an exploration well in ultra-deepwater a mile deep, whereas this Mariner Energy operation was in shallow water (340 ft) on a rig that is permanently fixed to the ocean floor below (and not a floating rig).

While we wait for details, here are two things to think about:

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A new video from our friends at FairElectionsNow.org features real people describing in their own words the profound impact of corporate corruption in Washington. You can see from the video that big agriculture, corporate coal and BP are all playing the money game to make government work for them and not the American public.

As long as members of Congress must rely on donations from corporations and lobbyists to fund their campaigns, these special interests will continue to have a huge advantage over real people when it comes to finding policy solutions for the people’s problems.

After you watch the video, urge your members of Congress to end the political money chase by supporting public financing of elections via the Fair Elections Now Act at http://www.citizen.org/supportfairelectionsnow.

A daily look at news from the Washington Post, New York Times and Wall Street Journal that caught our eye:

Health

Maker of Botox Settles Inquiry by Natasha Singer (NYT)

Study Sees Heart Risk in Meridia Diet Pill  (NYT)

Botox maker settles case for $600 million (WP)

Botox Allegations Settled with U.S. for $600 Million (WJS)

Financial Reform

The Real Say on Pay [NYT]

Financial Crisis Panel Lends Sympathetic Ear to Lehman’s Ex-Chief by Sewal Chan (NYT)

Stimulus Averted Depression, Romer Says (NYT)

Bernanke: Regulators fell short (WP)

Warren fuels speculation by dropping class (WP)

Departing Obama adviser urges more stimulus (WP)

U.S. auto sales hit a deep ditch (WP)

Lehman was forced into bankruptcy by regulators, former CEO testifies (WP)

SEC Probes Canceled Trades (WSJ)

Agency Targets Stoppages Due to Off-Exchange Trades (WSJ)

Clashing Testimony Over Lehman Bankruptcy (WSJ)

Toxic Debt Returns to Fashion  (WSJ)

Internet

FCC Seeks More Input on Wireless Internet Rules (NYT)

Ethics

Maryland Sen. Currie indicted on charges of bribery (WP)

The FEC answers a nagging question — sort of (WP)

Next time you are in a teaching hospital, consider this: The doctor-in-training swho are attending to you may be so exhausted that they are a danger to you and others.

Medical residents work shifts as long as 30 hours as frequently as three times a week. Extensive research shows that this leads to car crashes (they fall alseep at the wheel after leaving work), depression, needle sticks and pregnancy complications.

Enough is enough. The federal government is so concerned about the relationship between fatigue and safety that it limits the work hours of people in other industries, including long-haul truckers, pilots, barge captains and railroad engineers. Doctors should be similarly protected.

So say Public Citizen, the Committee of Interns and Residents/SEIU Healthcare, the American Medical Student Association and several experts. Together, we petitioned the Occupational Safety and Health Administration today to limit medical resident work hours.

OSHA responded quickly, issuing a statement later in the day acknowledging the link between sleep deprivation and an increased risk of needle sticks, puncture wounds, lacerations, medical errors and motor vehicle accidents.

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