Tennessee Gun Battle
“The General Assembly has essentially re-passed last year’s legislation in an even more expansive and dangerous form. For this reason, I cannot sign this measure into law.”
—Gov. Phil Bredesen vetoing a renewed effort to allow Tennessee handgun permit holders to bring their weapons into bars and restaurants that serve alcohol. The Democratic governor told Republican Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey of Blountville that he based his decision on a principle he learned more than 50 years ago in a safety course sponsored by the National Rifle Association: “Guns and alcohol don’t mix.” Bredesen vetoed a similar measure last year. Ramsey, who is running for governor, predicted the Legislature would override the veto.
Massey on Safety
“Massey does not place profits over safety. We never have and we never will.”
—Don Blankenship, the embattled head of Massey Energy Co., on the defensive as he faced angry lawmakers who claim the company’s indifference toward safety led to explosion at the Upper Big Branch mine that killed 29 workers.
Lifting Liability Limit
“We must and we will hold BP fully accountable for this tragedy. We also must consider the cumulative effect of the different levels of liability, which could be economically devastating. Thousands of jobs, particularly along the Gulf coast, could be lost, our nation’s energy security could be weakened, without providing any additional protection.”
—Senator Lisa Murkowski, the top Republican on the Senate energy committee, saying she supports raising the $75 million liability limit on oil companies “in a sensible manner.”
“Although a 2-year, intense investigation is tough for anyone, the results are wholly appropriate in light of our client’s factual innocence.”
—F. Joseph Warin and Jim Walden, lawyers Joseph Cassano, who ran AIG Financial Products, after the U.S. Justice Department announced it had dropped a probe of Cassano and other AIG executives involving the credit default swaps that sent the insurer to the brink of bankruptcy and forced a huge taxpayer bailout.