Thursday, January 21, 2016

The Republican "Flint Michigan" vision of America!!!

Wisconsin's Scott Walker is similar to Gov. Rick Snyder, in that he wants to "balance" clean water with the impact it might have on business.  Now we know what to expect.

Snyder made the same kind of balancing act, by deciding to save money at the risk of letting people drink toxic leaded water, a not so surprising move I guess after Snyder usurped locally elected officials with emergency managers.

This story is a horrific glimpse at our future under the party of small ineffective government. I've been compiling the coverage as a historical marker. A time when authoritarian Republican "leaders" made all the decisions. Check out the timeline here. As for me, I'd like to start with a few fairly recent clips.

Snyder's shocking attempt to politicize and use the situation to keep the "government is the enemy" myth alive is breathtaking. From his state of the state speech...:
"Government failed you, federal, state and local leaders, by breaking the trust you placed in us."  

Erin Brockovich and Michael Moore offered up their own take on this man made disaster:

Michael Moore rips GOP Michigan governor for ‘killing’ 10 Flint citizens with poisoned water: “This is not a mistake. Ten people have been killed here because of a political decision. They did this. They knew.”

According to Moore, the decision to provide citizens of the city with polluted water from the Flint River was made as a cost-cutting move. “We need to start using the proper words when we talk about this. Ten people have been killed in Flint because of Legionnaire’s disease now that has broken out here (87 cases). And I want the media to please use the word ‘kill.’ If it was ten people killed in a tornado, you’d say ‘ten people killed.'”

Snyder's application said as much as $55 million is needed in the near term to repair damaged lead service lines and as much as $41 million to pay for several months of water distribution and providing residents with testing, water filters and cartridges.

Here's Hillary Clinton's and Bernie Sanders' response:
Detroit Free Press: “I spent a lot of time last week being outraged by what’s happening in Flint, Michigan. We’ve had a city in the United States of America where the population, which is poor in many ways and majority African American, has been drinking and bathing in lead-contaminated water and the governor in that state acted as though he didn’t really care. He had a request for help that he basically stonewalled. I’ll tell you what, if the kids in a rich suburb of Detroit had been drinking contaminated water and being bathed in it, there would have been action.”

Sanders said he believes Snyder should resign. “A man who acts that irresponsibly should not stay in power.”

A local General Motors engine plant stopped using water from the Flint river because parts were becoming rusted , but officials nevertheless continued to reassure residents the water was safe to drink
Here' Rachel Maddow, who's been on this story since the beginning when Gov. Snyder wiped out representative government with emergency managers:

I'm trying to imagine how any elected official, even a Republican, is okay with the following conditions:
Flint’s water contamination crisis began in April 2014 after Darnell Earley, an unelected emergency manager appointed by Snyder, switched Flint’s water source to the long-polluted and corrosive Flint River in a bid to save money. Earley is now the emergency manager of Detroit Public Schools. This week, Detroit’s teachers have staged a series of "sickouts" to protest the vast underfunding of the public schools, which have black mold, rat infestations, crumbling buildings and inadequate staffing. We are joined by Curt Guyette, an investigative reporter for the ACLU of Michigan whose work focuses on emergency management and open government. Michigan has the most sweeping emergency management laws in the country, which allow the governor to appoint a single person to run financially troubled cities.
It's just as startling to know this:
Emergency for Democracy: Unelected Manager Who Caused Flint Water Crisis Now Runs Detroit Schools
Rachel interviewed the doctor who pushed this issue to the forefront, Pediatrician Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha :

Snyder also appointed a task force … the group released a scathing report that placed blame chiefly on the state’s environmental department – from failing to properly treat the Flint river to officials belittling responses to public outcry. From April 2014, eighteen months later, in the fall of 2015, researchers discovered that the proportion of children with above-average lead levels in their blood had doubled.

A group of Virginia Tech researchers who sampled the water in 271 Flint homes last summer found some contained lead levels high enough to meet the EPA's definition of "toxic waste." Virginia Tech's team were concerned that the city tested water in a way that was almost guaranteed to minimize lead readings: So the Virginia Tech researchers took 30 different readings at various flow levels. What they found shocked them: The lowest reading they obtained was around 200 ppb, already ridiculously high. But more than half of the readings came in at more than 1,000 ppb. Some came in above 5,000 -- the level at which EPA considers the water to be "toxic waste."

On Wednesday, it was revealed that Flint experienced a spike in Legionnaire’s disease — including 10 deaths — but couldn’t attribute the increase to the lead in the water.
Another amazing point? The state never spent any money on bottled water. Instead, it passed out donated supplies. Snyder's still saving money?

And then someone noticed this:
An online poster from the State of Michigan about bathing in lead-tainted Flint water featuring babies and a cutesy tone has been taken down from a state website.
Isn't it just like the Republican governor to ask for help from the American public, get them to help foot part of the bill for his negligence:
President Obama prepares to fix the republican mess in Flint MichiganPresident Barack Obama on Saturday declared a federal emergency in Flint, freeing  up to $5 million in federal aid to  immediately assist with the public health crisis, but he denied Gov. Rick Snyder's request for a disaster declaration ... under federal law, only natural disasters such as hurricanes and floods are eligible for disaster declarations,  the president can commit more if he goes through Congress. Snyder's application said as much as $55 million is needed in the near term to repair damaged lead service lines and as much as $41 million to pay for several months of water distribution and providing residents with testing, water filters and cartridges.
Other Links: Raw Story, Daily News.

On the other hand, Democratic Governor Mark Dayton is upgrading the water systems in Minnesota. Priorities? 

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