A Little-Known Danger That Truly Sucks

December 16, 2008

(Not trying to be funny – this is serious stuff…)

This story from the AP tells us that…

WASHINGTON — Unless new anti-drowning drain covers are installed, tens of thousands of public swimming pools and hot tubs could be forced to close Saturday under a sweeping law designed to prevent drain suction from trapping children under water.

The rules apply to pools and spas used by the public, including municipal pools and those at hotels, private clubs, apartment buildings and community centers.

The improved drain systems were outlined in legislation passed by Congress a year ago. Pool and spa operators had a year to comply; Friday is the deadline for installing the new equipment.

And even though the pic is a bit of a giveway, I should emphasize that, when it comes to matters involving product safety in the dark days of Bushco, the trail leads directly to Nancy Nord, who is STILL (and likely will be until 1/20/09) the “acting” chairman (person?) of the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

And as you can read beginning from here, the CPSC has basically been (like just about every other agency of government under this cabal) a dumping ground for cronies and members of Dubya’s true “base” that had been subject to oversight in the past from the agencies they have been entrusted to run (as close to “the fox guarding the hen house” as I hope I ever see).

The prior post from May 2007 tells us of Michael Baroody, nominated as the CSPC head prior to Nord, who withdrew himself from consideration partly because of concerns expressed by a certain former Senator from Illinois (here). The May 2007 post also tells us of Hal Stratton, who ran the CPSC before he stepped down and created the current vacancy that has never officially been filled; Stratton’s last job prior to his appointment was chairing the campaign fundraising group Lawyers For Bush in 2000. Before his confirmation hearing, Dem Senator Ron Wyden expressed concern that Stratton “had no demonstrable record on public safety,” but he was confirmed anyway.

So we go from Stratton to Baroody (before he withdrew) to Nord (who was never confirmed), who tells us in the AP story that…

…the agency will focus initially on public baby pools and wading pools, as well as in-ground spas that have flat drain grates on the bottom and just one drain system.

“We will be focusing our initial efforts on the littlest swimmers in the littlest pools,” Nord told reporters.

Nord said, however, that Congress did not give her agency the $7 million needed to enforce the law. As a result, the federal government expects states to take on much of the enforcement responsibility.

God, this is so typical for this woman; as noted here, she blew off a congressional subcommittee investigating dangerous toys for kids – as the embedded Times editorial tells us, Nord “joined industry lobbyists in opposing a Senate bill intended to strengthen her enfeebled agency.”

And despite this, she resisted calls to step down from her “acting” position, as noted here (this is a superb take down of Nord by Rick Perlstein, by the way).

I’ve looked around to determine if Obama has nominated anyone to head the CPSC, and it appears that he has not as of yet (I even read the laughable suggestion of nominating Ralph Nader). So once more, please allow me to nominate this guy, particularly given his experience representing Valerie Lakey and her family here in a manner very much having to do with the exact type of pool safety issue noted in the AP story (which, apparently, Nancy Nord has either no or very little intention of trying to help rectify in any way whatsoever).

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