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January 21, 2016

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Yup, nothing new coming from it all.

Just look at Kansas for the future.

And Arizona.

Nothing coming to the people but higher fees and less service.

Wait until DD unveils his privatization of MVD and you will pay triple for "private convenience" instead of public services.

What a rip- any decent economist can show that the profits will be a deadweight loss to the economy, yet off we will go in the name of "less government".

What a laugh- we get the government bought and paid for by lobbyists from the business community.

Ask the Chamber's Lieutenant Governor Hamer what he wants, and lo and behold it shall be delivered unto him with the sacks of cash from sacred bizness.

How efficient is the new 10x more expensive Commerce Authority?

I thought so.

Proof is in the results, and how fast we bury them- just like the studies that showed private prisons were more expensive than the publicly run prisons.

If the lies get so big we start ridiculing the liars, only then will it collapse.

Not surprisingly, confirmation bias everywhere.


Who is responsible to assure that the citizens of Flint have suitable water?

http://michigan.gov/deq/0,1607,7-135-3313---,00.html

It's right here from their website:

"The DEQ ensures Michigan's water resources remain clean and abundant by establishing water quality standards, overseeing public water supplies, regulating the discharge of industrial and municipal wastewaters, monitoring water quality and the health of aquatic communities, developing policy, and fostering stewardship."


WSJ had solid reporting here:

http://www.wsj.com/articles/through-hell-and-flint-water-1453336838

From that article:

The folks running Flint and the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) apparently had no idea how to pump water through Flint’s rickety pipes—and thus corroded metal leached into the water supply. A federal Lead and Copper Rule stipulates that sprawling public water systems must control corrosion. Flint and MDEQ weren’t handling this properly, if at all, as emails obtained through the Freedom of Information Act by Virginia Tech researcher Marc Edwards reveal. Mr. Edwards told MDEQ in August of last year that he intended to study Flint’s water and he turned up lead leaching in September. MDEQ initially dismissed his findings.

If there were ever a moment for federal action, this would seem to be it. MDEQ and the EPA were chatting about Flint’s system as early as February. MDEQ said it wanted to test the water more before deciding on corrosion controls, though it isn’t clear that federal law allows this. In a May email to the EPA, a MDEQ staffer said that requiring a corrosion study “will be of little to no value” because, hey, we’re heading to Lake Huron any day now. EPA did not intervene.

EPA Region 5 water expert Miguel Del Toral worked up an internal memo in June flagging the lack of corrosion control as “a major concern” for public health. He further noted that Flint’s testing might be producing misleading results, as the city told residents to flush toilets before collecting a sample, which can wash away lead. If contaminated water had flowed somewhere inhabited by a manatee, the feds would have sped to Michigan.

But here’s how the region’s top EPA official, political appointee Susan Hedman, responded in a July 1 email to Flint’s Mayor Dayne Walling, after Mr. Del Toral’s memo was leaked: “When the report has been revised and fully vetted by EPA management, the findings and recommendations will be shared with the City and MDEQ and MDEQ will be responsible for following up with the City.” She also noted over email that it’s “a preliminary draft” and it’d be “premature to draw any conclusions.” The EPA did not notify the public. This report rotted and wasn’t released for months while tawny, infected water ran from faucets across Flint.

I guess the EPA wasn't in much of a hurry.......

If you put Snyder in the noose, you should be demanding Rahm Emmanuel resign based on his allowing the CPD to get away with the carnage they're producing.


Already the lead water deniers are saying its all a hoax just like that climate change crap. Just as likely it was a GOP plot to kill poor black democrats.

And Rham should resign. He was one of the worst thinks to happen to Obama and Chicago. And the entire Chicago PD should be replaced.

INPHX, I'm not sure what to make of your stream-of-unconsciousness defense of Republican hostility to environmental science. If there's a narrative inside, it keeps getting lost in your Palinesque word salad about this guy said this and that guy said whatever. So.....er.....there!

If you're not a free-market zealot, on the other hand, you can easily see what happened. Governor Snyder's appointee decided to save a little bit of money and it blew up in the faces of True Believers like you and the highly ideological op-ed pages of - possibly - America's most right-wing newspaper. And what lesson does your tribe derive from all this? That government is always bad because it can't even prevent intentional fuck-ups from right-wing lackeys striving to drown government in a bathtub.

You have met the enemy. Now, go find a mirror to see what he looks like.

Go, Soleri!

What's the difference between the mayor of Chiraq and the governor of Michigan. Party affiliation. Nothing more.

Soleri:

If you have allegations that refute the WSJ editorial (or the other stuff I posted), please share them with the group. Vapid, illogical, and trivial ranting about True Believers (WTF??) is really not going to advance the discussion. People are suffering. Someone should be held responsible.

If you can justify the EPA and MDEQ responses, or insulate them from their express responsibilities, let's see some data, reports and analysis.

Own it, genius. Go ahead. Show up the WSJ. Tell us what a swell job those regulators did.

Tell me how proud you are of this EPA response:

But here’s how the region’s top EPA official, political appointee Susan Hedman, responded in a July 1 email to Flint’s Mayor Dayne Walling, after Mr. Del Toral’s memo was leaked: “When the report has been revised and fully vetted by EPA management, the findings and recommendations will be shared with the City and MDEQ and MDEQ will be responsible for following up with the City.” She also noted over email that it’s “a preliminary draft” and it’d be “premature to draw any conclusions.” The EPA did not notify the public. This report rotted and wasn’t released for months while tawny, infected water ran from faucets across Flint.

Only 7 months ago, the EPA, and the MDEQ, had reason to believe the water was not safe.

True, false, or uncertain?


Now dig in, brains. Defend that. Show us all where the WSJ messed that up. Defend that EPA bureaucratic triple speak.

Oh- and I guess it matters that Snyder is rich.

It's a perfect storm for chowderheads like you with a built in confirmation bias that would embarrass a Klansman. Regulators don't regulate, pass the buck, and never vet the report they were going to vet. But there's a rich Republican governor involved with a big fat progressive bulls eye on his back so you blindly fire away.

You're so blind to government based incompetence that you'd maybe even defend the VA.

Oh, wait.

You already have

Hot off the presses-

http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/epa-administratior-quits-amid-flint-water-crisis-n501561

From that article:

The EPA's emergency order comes nearly four months after advocacy groups petitioned the agency to step in.

In October, the National Resources Defense Council, the American Civil Liberties Union and local groups petitioned the EPA to use its emergency powers to secure safe water in Flint. In December, EPA responded that it would "defer action" until the city had the corrosiveness of its water under control.

"The failure to act on it was bizarre and unacceptable," said Henry Henderson, director of the NRDC's Midwest program. "This action today reflects different thinking."


Bizarre and unacceptable EPA behavior.

Now go ahead, Soleri. Tell us what right wing jackasses NBC and the NRDC are.

More bad news for the Snyder lynch mob:

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2016/01/19/michigan-flint-water-contamination/78996052/

From that article:

Previously, the city used Lake Huron water treated by the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department. The state Department of Environmental Quality has conceded it failed to require needed chemicals to be added to the corrosive Flint River water.

"conceded it failed to require needed chemicals...."

Swell

INPHX, the answer to your arguments are better funded state and federal environmental departments.

The Flint water problem arose from an inept effort to save money. In addition to inadequate funding, modern day Republicans appoint department heads who routinely eviscerate the prosecutorial and investigative functions of environmental agencies. It is more important to Republican administrations to facilitate business, predominantly Republican campaign donors, by maintaining sweetheart regulatory agencies that might inhibit maximization of profits by robustly protecting the environment and the health and welfare of the populace.

Your particular facts may or may not be accurate, but they are a red herring for the substantive issue of this disaster.

JMAV Good post.

It is so depressing, what's happening to these outmoded industrial areas and the to the people trapped in these places.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/22/opinion/depraved-indifference-toward-flint.html?ref=opinion

The New York Times weighs in on its editorial page. Since its writers aren't sociopaths plugging for corporates interests and Randian dystopia, I think I'll trust their version. Choose your confirmation bias, wisely. The Wall Street Journal has a vested interest in devolving government and wreaking havoc on society's most defenseless citizens.

INPHX, you've already lost this round except among your tribe where pretty much every issue is weaponized in our epic Us vs Them Battle for Reality. This one cuts straight to the marrow of your "philosophy". Where and when does government function to protect citizens if it's by definition "incompetent"? Right-wing ideology would kick them to the curb and tell them to fend for themselves. Flint reveals the naked contempt you and your fellow ideologues have for the citizens of America. There's only one reason why it can still get more than 40% of the vote in presidential elections: RACE. Now that Republicans are dog-whistling past the graveyard of demographic change, your party is on a death watch (see: Donald Trump).

Soleri:

Do you read what you link?

From the NYT:

Although state officials insisted that their data showed no serious lead problems in Flint, the released emails suggest otherwise. They reveal that the state’s Department of Environmental Quality ignored warnings from an expert from the federal Environmental Protection Agency, who said in early 2015 that the state was testing the water in a way that could profoundly understate the lead levels.

Who wears lab coats? Who uses test tubes? Who from the EPA has resigned? Whose website says expressly that it is their responsibility to make sure water is safe in Michigan? Who is suppose to be an expert in water safety?

Oh, I forgot.

RACE.


INPHX, I have no idea what you're babbling about but I do know what you're trying to accomplish: exonerate a Republican governor for the criminal malfeasance of his administration. So, you talk about this agency here and that one there, this lab coat and that expert. What emerges from your furious typing is just a cloud of rhetorical dust while the idea of responsibility itself gets buried in an avalanche of blame-shifting.

And you have the nerve to trash the VA.

No dice. There is no gray area here, no exculpatory e-mail that says "hey, maybe we should do the right thing instead of laughing at citizens". No. There's just your partisan fixation on rescuing your tribe of vandals from their own mischief. At long last, have you no pride, sir? Pride in the ineffable truths of Ayn Rand, Grover Norquist, and Ronald Reagan? Government is the problem! Always was and always will be. And when your tribe of vandals underfunds the VA or exposes children of the wrong color to a horrifying neurotoxin, it's all good. Because it helps you construct an argument that regardless what happens, government is to blame.

Man up, here. You thought the road to anarcho-capitalism would be all roses and lollipops? Please. There'll be a lot of dead bodies before you zealots are done. And I know exactly who you'll blame for them: somebody else.

Soleri:

Speaking of dead bodies, you have the nerve to defend the VA.

We can't afford new infrastructure, we need to fund more police and army training in iraq and afghanistan.

FACTS...that is what is missing here...For it is the DEMOCRATIC Mayor and City Council that in 2013 voted to stop getting their water from Detroit... It had NOTHING to do with the Governor, at that time..
When "problems" were discovered, the GOP Governor offered to give 2 MILLION dollars to Flint to "re-establish" their system to Detroit Water... Flint would NOT do it.
The FEDERAL EPA knew of the lead problem months and months before it became public, but said NOTHING (DEMOCRATIC controlled Federal EPA). The reason given was "they didn't know if they could legally intervene"? the Director (who has now RESIGNED) said they were waiting word from a Court on wether they could intervene!
These are children... children that will suffer who knows what damage down the road... And NOW, the Democrats want to blame the Governor (because he is GOP!) JUST FIX THE DAMN PROBLEM!
unfortunately, BECAUSE THE WATER SYSTEM IS NOW SO CONTAMINATED... estimates are the millions upon millions of dollars will be needed to fix the ENTIRE system. Shades of Baltimore and Detroit, and Chicago... ALL DEMOCRATIC controlled, but the problems they face are the GOP's fault?? STOP with the blame game and fix the areas... Too many Politicians are gaining wealth at the health/welfare of ALL of us..

It's the BIGGAS hypothesis - Business Is Great and Government and Academia Suck.

I read this story on how the "problem" came about..
How the Flint water crisis emerged | MLive.com

www.mlive.com/.../flint/.../how_the_flint_water_crisis_em...

Michigan Live


Check out this timeline of the problems with Flint's drinking water.

Maybe that didn't come through, the correct website I read... here it is again...BUT FIRST...
I find it interesting that most of the news MEDIA reports I find now show the "problem" beginning in 2014...in May, 2014... NOT TRUE... Yes, that is when DETROIT WATER told Flint they were being cut off, BECAUSE, in March, 2013 the Mayor and City Council, voting 7 - 1, notified Detroit Water they were going to join Lake Huron Water and not purchase from Detroit. BUT..now it's like a two - three year project to get Lake Huron water via pipeline! DETRIOT Water did NOT like that, and cut the water to Flint in 2014, before they were able to get Lake Huron Water... Flint River was the next choice, which of course, was a disaster, as we now see... BUT.. the Governor made a 2 million dollar attempt to Flint to go back to DETROIT water...which Flint said NO..

Here is the site

http://www.mlive.com/news/flint/index.ssf/2015/10/how_the_flint_water_crisis_eme.html#1

Skip, might I assume from your comment that Democrats are trying to cripple the EPA? That they're trying to privatize government infrastructure? That they're trying to harm the least powerful of American citizens? That they care first and foremost for a free-market ideology that rewards the rich and punishes the poor?

The reason I ask is simple: if Republicans can't take responsibility for their own governance but, instead, blame Democrats when anything goes wrong, why should Americans trust you with fixing problems? I mentioned above that every issue now is weaponized for maximum partisan warfare. Ergo, a global financial crash somehow becomes the fault of Democrats (Barney Frank!) or the Great Recession becomes the fault of too much spending (we're Greece, I tell you!), or necessary health-care reform becomes the road to ruin because.....death panels!

There's a pattern here. I've already discussed with INPHX the disturbing habit of underfunding government and then blaming it when it doesn't or can't work. But there's also this: Democrats are, as we know, the party of government. We want it to work. Republicans emphatically do not. We want a clean environment. Republicans tend to deny there's even such a thing or that it warrants regulation. So, here we have a situation where a Republican administration blithely exposes thousands of children to a vicious neurotoxin, and what do you complain about? That Flint's water system will now cost millions of dollars to fix while Detroit, Chicago and Baltimore are controlled by Democrats. Yeah, I scratched my head at your non sequitur, too, but I guess that's one hazard of this cold civil war.

I totally understand why you don't like the urban populations of those cities you mentioned. I sometimes think Fox News exists just to remind you and other Republicans that government spending rewards sloth and indolence (cue visuals of rust-belt cities). And when Republicans recklessly decide to imperil some black citizens in Flint, you know exactly who to blame: Democrats because they protect their interests against people like Rick Snyder.

Heads you win, tails we lose.

I make a point over and over here that this civil war we're enduring is really just a continuation of the previous one. Republicans protect the wealthy and powerful, but they need to convince their working-class base that their real enemies are welfare moms with a dozen kids. And that has worked beautifully to drive our nation to the brink of insanity. So, now we have epic income inequality, worsening mortality statistics for working whites, and a palpable sense of despair that our best days are behind us. And how do we fix this? By building a wall on the Mexican border even though migration there has dramatically slowed over the past decade? By banning Muslims? By defunding Planned Parenthood?

We have these stupid arguments because the elite that controls your party and media knows there's only one way to maintain control: by getting people like you so jazzed up that you're incoherent with rage. But that rage doesn't fix anything because it's no longer responsible to truth or reality. You simply have turned this partisan battle into a cosmic war against half of America you don't like. And it's destroying us, society, civil discourse, and any future worth having.

Skip's posts make sense to me. There's plenty of blame to go around, but you guys just cannot accept the fact that it is not only the Republicans' fault. If the governor of Michigan were a Democrat, we wouldn't be having this exchange.

Robert, Jerry brought up the name Rahm Emmanuel, who has incurred more anger on the left that he has the right for his actions - and inactions - following a police shooting of an unarmed black man.

I think if there were a governor who deliberately put the least powerful citizens of his state in harm's way, Democrats would scream very, very loudly. It's obviously less of an issue for those of you on the right even though you are sensitive to the political criticism.

Some issues by their very nature transcend their normal interest level with their symbolic import. Republicans make a big show of their contempt for the environment and the science that stands behind it. Here comes an issue that almost comically shows what happens as a result of this attitude. It was tailor-made for liberals to mock your ideology, which exalts the powerful and wealthy at the expense of the weak.

None of this will matter to most of you. You don't normally care for the victims of crimes like this but these political uproars have lives of their own. Republicans are, for some very odd reason, sensitive to the idea that they really don't care about ordinary human beings. I'm not sure why except for something I might call vestigial shame.

Robert:

No.

See, Republicans are hell bent on killing (but first maiming) all poor people, with special torture techniques for minorities. (You know it was Republicans that introduced the AIDS epidemic to poor neighborhoods, don't you??)

And there is no government incompetence. Just hard working, callously underfunded but committed folks doing there very top notch work every waking second to protect those that the Republicans would slaughter or otherwise harm.

And the Democratic Party is in lock step with those hard working civil servants, doing everything they can to try to hold off the Republican hordes before they slaughter and imprison the great unwashed.

Use those criteria and for God's sake,keep things that simple.

It makes world issues very easy to process.

FYI:

http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/who-poisoned-flint-michigan-20160122

INPHX, you can pretty much tell how civilized your society is by how well it treats the poor. Indeed, every advanced society on Earth pretty much adheres to this principle. It's really something the entire First World agrees on, with a few noisy exceptions in places like our Republican Party.

I'd be interested to learn why Randians like you think this core precept is worthy of contempt. I use the word "sociopath" a lot to describe people like you, but I could just as easily use a word like "low consciousness", or "damaged". Someone who understands themselves well gets that there are no "others" in this country, Donald Trump notwithstanding. We're all this together. It humanizes and deepens us to know this. We would sooner not hurt another person than let someone's child drink contaminated water. It's why some hearts bleed and others don't. It's such a crucial distinction that I look at politics not as merely theater or a substitute for gladiatorial combat but as a crucial basis for the ethical life itself.

It matters that we get people health care, that we have clean air and water, that we take the warnings of climate change seriously, that we create enough income equality that society itself is both strong and decent. I wish Republicans would join us in these concerns but I get the feeling you folks are not really that interested.

If a Republican weren't governor, Michigan wouldn't wouldn't have the emergency manager system. If not for that and the strict bottom line driven decisions that came of it, no widespread poisoning of citizens of an American city would have occurred.
Snyder and his people looked at this was a political rather than human problem- that's too often what politicians do. Rahm did the same thing. It will be interesting to see how the respective state political parties handle this.
But, Jesus, switching to a water system (one of the basic human needs) when it was known that GM couldn't use it for industrial purposes?
Have we heard any Republicans say that this is a problem with radical or fringe part of their party? Talk about circling the wagons.
Let them drink lead (as well as carcinogens, etc, and god knows what else.

From the Rolling Stone article:

." When an aide to Ananich complained to the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, she says she was told, "It's called the Clean Drinking Water Act, not the Tasty Drinking Water Act. We're doing our job." Acceptable water standards had become a fungible term in Flint.

All of official Michigan denied there was a problem. In February, the EPA asked the MDEQ directly if the state was practicing corrosion control. MDEQ staffer Stephen Busch wrote back: "[Flint] has an optimized Corrosion Control Program [and] conducts quarterly Water Quality Parameter monitoring at 25 sites and has not had any unusual results."

This wasn't true; there was no corrosion control. Still, the state of Michigan launched a counteroffensive essentially calling anyone with concerns about Flint water a crank. "Let me start here – anyone who is concerned about lead in the drinking water in Flint can relax," said Brad Wurfel, spokesman for MDEQ. (He later described Del Toral as a "rogue employee.")

Edwards' analysis determined that 40 percent of Flint homes had tested over acceptable levels. He joined a press conference on the lawn outside City Hall and begged Flint citizens not to drink their water. The MDEQ spokesman Wurfel uttered another gem, decrying the research and saying, "[Edwards] specializes in looking for high lead problems. They pull that rabbit out of that hat everywhere they go. Nobody should be surprised when the rabbit comes out of the hat."

The state and city did their own testing. They managed to come up with only 71 samples. Originally, the city came in above federally accepted levels, but then the MDEQ instructed Flint to eliminate two of the highest test scores on technicalities. One was LeeAnne Walters' house. The reason? She used a water filter.


We sure blew it with our rivers, didn't we? You'd think if we were really as exceptional as we believe, we'd have stopped using our rivers as sewers to pump toxic waste into the beautiful Great Lakes and the oceans. We'll be remediating the effects of the industrial age as far into the future as the eye can see, so we'd better get to it. At least the Flint still flows, unlike the mighty Salt and Gila, and it could still be conceivably restored. It looks like it might've been a killer smallmouth stream one time. I know INPHX needs to know who'll pay, since he believes all federal revenue comes from taxes and that we don't get nearly a trillion smackers per decade from sales of resources on our public lands, and we dare not hurt the economy by billing he polluters directly, so I guess we can yell about the EPA..
P.S. Warren Buffet helped destroy the once great steelhead and salmon runs on the Klamath River with his obsolete dams, so river -killing is bipartisan.

Phxsunfan. I dropped U a note back on Ducey.

Remember how it took a thirty year battle to get lead out of gasoline, and people actually bitched about it for at least another decade? That's what you face when you try to make any progress in America. There are signs at fishing spots warning pregnant women not to eat the fish because of high mercury levels in the water (upstream mining and coal-fired power plant emissions). Your favorite source of drinking water, the Colorado, flows along uranium mill tailings, unremediated and open to every gust of wind. The big spill from the Gold King Mine only equaled the total amount of mining waste that leeches into Colorado's watersheds every two days. Although this Flint catastrophe can rightly be seen as having all elements of environmental and socioeconomic racism, it's way, way bigger than that, and the wealthy who think they're outrunning it are gonna be in for a big shock when their own children start showing signs of toxic poisoning.

...plus, I confused "leeches" with "leaches" again.

This is like New Orleans. Anything that harms Snyder's political opponents is a good thing. They deserve bad water because they don't vote for Republicans.

I doubt if Flint water "puts lead in your pencil"

"but I hide from such matters, as I am a coward by nature and I do not like cities, loud sounds, guns, violence or open sewage systems."
CB from Murder City.

Particularly when it's my drinking water.

From 1950 until 1990 I drank unfiltered water from many Arizona springs including the Grand Canyon. Then in 1990 while doing a 19 mile run on an unmaintained trail in the Grand Canyon I drank from a spring and a few days later almost died from Giaradia. Seems the European domesticated cow shit from above on the rim had worked it's way into the prings. About 6 months later a man contacted me at my work and was glad to hear I survived. He was a university of Colorado professor that had been sitting at the springs from where I drank. We had chatted. But he failed to tell me he was at the springs doing a study on the quality of the water as it was believed the spring was infected with Giaradia. For future adventures I purchased a filter. Sad that we continue to recklessly contaminate the Universe with our crap.

great job explaining how the Flint water crisis was created by the Snyder administration.

And another:

http://motorcitymuckraker.com/2016/01/23/gov-snyder-lied-flint-water-switch-was-not-about-money-records-show/?utm_campaign=shareaholic&utm_medium=twitter&utm_source=socialnetwork

Nope:

It was Detroit (DWTS) that terminated with Flint:

http://www.mlive.com/news/flint/index.ssf/2013/04/detroit_gives_notice_its_termi.htm

"There should, however, be much less debate about spending on what Econ 101 calls public goods — things that benefit everyone and can’t be provided by the private sector. Yes, we can differ over exactly how big a military we need or how dense and well-maintained the road network should be, but you wouldn’t expect controversy about spending enough to provide key public goods like basic education or safe drinking water.

"Yet a funny thing has happened as hard-line conservatives have taken over many U.S. state governments. Or actually, it’s not funny at all. Not surprisingly, they have sought to cut social insurance spending on the poor. In fact, many state governments dislike spending on the poor so much that they are rejecting a Medicaid expansion that wouldn’t cost them anything, because it’s federally financed. But what we also see is extreme penny pinching on public goods."

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/25/opinion/michigans-great-stink.html?_r=0

INPHX, your link just brings up Flint News, There's nothing that jumps out to support your argument. You've gotta know that nobody is gonna read the whole newspaper to find it, right?

Pat:

Google "Ron Fonger Detroit Gives Notice"- that should take you to the April 19, 2013 article.

It's complicated and I'm not sure it tells the whole story, but I think it leads credence to a stance that it was Detroit that forced Flint's hand (although who knows what might have triggered the impasse).

The good news, is, I think one or two EPA and one or two MDEQ employees have resigned as a way of admitting the culpability that so many on this blog ignore. I don't know that they will ever have a completely clear conscience but that's a problem they'll have to work out.

Cal, thank you for your anecdote about drinking natural water. When I went canoeing in the Boundary Waters as a Boy Scout, we drank straight from the various lakes as we made our journey for a couple weeks. The troop had been doing it for decades and no one ever got sick. Seems like a small thing but it just felt different, special somehow, to be able to drink straight out of the lake as God made it and the natural mechanisms of creation maintained it, pure and clear and beautiful.

It is sad to think that so few of our waterways are potable nowadays. That said, I also enjoy the various benefits of modern civilization so I don't mean to be one-sided or irrationally wistful.

Looks like city of Flint officials either intentionally lied or made heart wrenching mistakes when they alleged their testing was within EPA guidelines in that they were suppose to test homes that were high risk (with a higher probability of lead poisoning) :

http://www.mlive.com/news/flint/index.ssf/2015/11/documents_show_city_filed_fals.html

From that article:

A spokesman for the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality said the state is aware of problems with Flint's water samples this year and is investigating why samples were certified to have come from high-risk homes when they apparently were not.

Flint City Administrator Natasha Henderson referred specific questions about testing methods to Glasgow, but said the city was thrust into the business of water treatment and new sampling requirements after the abrupt switch in water sources -- from using pre-treated Lake Huron water to the Flint River in April 2014.

"I feel comfortable where we are ... I feel comfortable we're going to deal with all the issues," Henderson said.

Department of Public Works Director Howard Croft did not address why the city claimed all of 68 water samples included in 2015 testing were marked as having come from homes with lead service lines.

"We are aware of the discrepancy and have been actively working in advance of enforcement to complete a materials evaluation of the distribution system in order to produce a pool of Tier 1 sampling sites," Croft said in an email to The Journal.

A Tier 1 sampling site is a home with lead lines, according to U.S. EPA classification.


Elections have consequences! When George W Bush staffed his administration with people like Paul Wolfowitz, Doug Feith, Scooter Libby, John Yoo, Donald Rumsfeld, and, most tellingly, Dick Cheney, the clusterfuck that became the Iraq misadventure was pretty much paved, striped, and green-lighted. No one thinks that W, the legacy Yale student, somehow devised it by himself. He hired the necessary people and they delivered.

Ditto Rick Snyder.

I understand College Republicans debate like wolverines and that sometimes they just throw a bunch of names and dates around as if that proves their point that Republicans are never to blame for anything. We scratch our heads and wonder if we might better spend our time worrying about the Kardashians. That's the strategy. For when one of their own midwives a public policy disaster so horrifying that it finally dispels the chronic mental fog of middle America, the time is nigh to circle the wagons. Look over there! Here's the real villain! A government bureaucrat! Damn him to hell!

The Republican Party is currently enduring a crisis of its own making, one that may well doom it. Cults have ways of destroying themselves by exercising ever-fiercer purification rituals and ideological tests that make them so extreme they no longer dwell in the real world. This started with Reagan and it has picked up so much energy during the Obama years that the alternative to its leading candidate for president, a carnival barker named Donald Trump, is someone so odious that virtually everyone he has ever met detests him. http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2016/01/ted-cruz-jerk-hated

INPHX does yeoman service on behalf of this cult. He's fully on board with its key precepts - devolving government in order to enrich the rich and powerful, dividing the population into in and out groups, and making the enterprise of self-government very nearly impossible with cynicism and contempt for reason, science, and complexity itself. This cult has taken the nation it purports to love hostage. We can marvel at its brazenness but we shouldn't doubt its resolve. These zealots are, at long last, thugs.


Soleri:

If you have any facts or analysis that can refute or challenge the facts and analysis I have linked, please post them.

Simply howling "Reagan" or "Trump" or "thugs" is not helpful and petty clearly not relevant in this discussion. In less polite company, most of your last post would be referred to something like "throwing shit at the wall"

Let me re-post the mission statement of the MDEQ:

The DEQ ensures Michigan's water resources remain clean and abundant by establishing water quality standards, overseeing public water supplies, regulating the discharge of industrial and municipal wastewaters, monitoring water quality and the health of aquatic communities, developing policy, and fostering stewardship. Water-related program staff provide for the protection, restoration and conservation of Michigan's Great Lakes, inland lakes and streams, wetlands, and groundwater.

Maybe you can help us-- what's the definition of "ensures"?

Thanks

Maybe I'm being too tough on the MDEQ based on their mission statement.

Maybe they're not doing so well on the whole "ensures water resources remain clean" or "monitoring water quality", but, on the other hand, maybe they're really knocking it out of the park in "fostering stewardship"

So, Michigan has that going for them.

INPHX, in case you didn't notice, I'm pretty much calling you out on this deflection thingie you're doing. It doesn't matter what the individual bureaucrats did or didn't do. You're playing this shell game with the responsibility pea in order to absolve any and all Republicans for the consequences of their own anti-government ideology. You yourself exemplify this attitude perfectly. It's why you want to abolish the VA and all other government health care programs. It's why if there was a Clean Air or Clean Water piece of legislation before Congress now instead of the early 1970s, you would be against it. You don't care about public health. Period.

Rick Snyder started this particular program rolling when he appointed a right-wing apparatchik, Ed Kurtz, czar of Flint. Mayhem ensued, and to his credit, Rick Snyder actually did apologize, although it came long after the point when he should have intervened. But give the Republican credit for recognizing, however belatedly, that political calulations sometimes make very bad policy. Now, if only YOU could be so adult.

I almost admire your ability to brazen this thing out with typing and links to right-wing op-ed pieces. But you're not going to win this battle because you obviously don't give a rat's ass about poor people, particularly those with the wrong skin color. That's not who you are, or truth be told, very many Republicans. Your ideology is as toxic as Flint's drinking water. Indeed, the two are intimately related.

I'm going to step back from these inane debates because they have simply become an aspect of our deeper national problem - politics as a vehicle for neurotic fixations and unexamined beliefs. I have enjoyed this battle too much and I'm starting to see that the battle itself is the problem. Insofar as I contest and argue here, I'm part of that problem. Apologies to any and all I may have offended in this forum. If I could recommend a substitute, it might be deep breathing and simply saying "I'm not sure". Anything, actually, would be an improvement over this current madness.


LoL, inphx stays relentlessly on message.

The ultimate irony will be when he gets sucked into a ponzi scheme by his R buddies and has to rely on our frayed social safety net- just hope he doesn't fall through the gaps.

That is the ultimate irony, business as a model has failed. Looking at the low level of demand, the growth of poverty in spite of making it nearly impossible to leave it through the bootstraps, nearly impossible to qualify for housing benefits, the cut off of food stamps for the able bodied- hey homeless dude, just starve if you can't walk down to the big charity feedbag, and are not strong enough to survive on the streets.

The dead are piling up, and the really funny part is da Donald is so damned popular because he is promising poor white folks and all deh poors that he will fix it.

Everybody else is selling a leaky bucket in comparison- especially you.

The point has been made, the way we treat our poorest is a direct level of how good a society functions- and right now I would rather be poor in socialist switzerland than here.

Soleri:

I NEVER have suggested abolishing the VA; what I have suggested is based on the swell job they've done (especially here in Phoenix), that perhaps some competition is in order where, God forbid, a veteran might have a choice because that vet that just might want medical services from an organization that didn't lie about waiting times while vets died.

Hard to imagine, isn't it??

Now, that choice might result in the abolishment of the VA if the VA can't provide the same or better service as other providers, the vets won't use the VA.

And that's bad because, well, ummm, errr, well, hold on....... uhhh... well.....-- GOT IT! TOXIC REPUBLICANS!!!

And quite honestly, that complete misrepresentation of my stance on the VA is the best part of your last post.

The most stupid part of that post is much easer to discern; we get this little gem:

"It doesn't matter what the individual bureaucrats did or didn't do."

On a reality based blog........


Very good Concern Troll.

Mark in Scottsdale. UR welcome. I must admit to be able to take a shower now and then certainly feels better than that round steel tub filled with 2 inches of warm water heated by my mom on the wood fired stove for my Saturday nite bath to prepare for church. And while I do miss the outhouse Sears Catalog , I certainly prefer today's ass wipes to those red and white corn cobs. Outside of that I'm not overly impressed with technology advacements.
I dont fly or get in boats. I seldom ever turn on a radio or TV but I am addicted to this damn computer. But only because I am a addict reader.

PS. Norm Chomsky has said that the GOP is dangerous to the human race.

And another one:

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2016/01/24/exclusive-gov-rick-snyder-s-men-originally-rejected-using-flint-s-toxic-river.html

is it really about Republicans, Democrats, Socialists, Communists or Catholics or Muslims or Buddhists or is it about greed and survival. How many billionaires really and truly care about "poor" people as human beings?

"it at once struck me that under these circumstances favourable variations would tend to be preserved, and unfavourable ones to be destroyed. "

http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/history/malthus.html

"Water use has grown rapidly in modern times. The first 80 years of the 20th century saw a 200 percent increase in the world's average per capita water use, which accounted for a remarkable 566 percent increase in withdrawals from the world's freshwater resources (ITT, 2003). In addition, a significant portion of water resources have become unusable due to industrial and agriculture pollution. Diversions or transfers of water from watersheds to other regions have led to many ecological and human health disasters. For example, the diversion of water from the Amu Darya and Syr Darya rivers in Central Asia has caused the destruction of the Aral Sea ecosystem, the extinction of the Sea’s endemic fish populations, the dramatic shrinking of the Sea itself, and widespread local health problems associated with the exposure to atmospheric salts (Gleick, 2002). Similar withdrawals of water from North American and European rivers have lead to a decline in ecosystem integrity. Worldwide, more than 20 percent of all freshwater fish species are now threatened or endangered because of dams and water withdrawals. Also, groundwater aquifers are threatened by exhaustion and saltwater intrusions from overuse worldwide in places as far apart as India, China, and the United States. These inefficient and detrimental uses of water have led to concerns that its physical value is not reflected in its cost, an economic question."

http://www.eoearth.org/view/article/157013/

"This is especially troubling when considering analysis by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), which found that 4.8 billion people – more than half the world’s population – and approximately half of global grain production will be at risk due to water stress by 2050 if status quo, business-as-usual behavior is followed."

http://growingblue.com/water-in-2050/

Rick Snyder and several other somebodies in his administration belong in the pokey, if not hauled off to The Hague for crimes against humanity.

"The Snyder administration quietly trucked in water to state buildings in January of 2015 – ten months prior to Governor Snyder publicly admitting there was reason for concern in Flint, according to a document obtained by Progress Michigan. The document is a Facility Notification sent by the Department of Technology, Management and Budget (DTMB) in response to poor water quality in Flint. The notification stated that water coolers were being installed on each occupied floor next to the drinking fountains so that state workers could choose to continue to drink Flint water or a safe alternative. "It appears the state wasn't as slow as we first thought in responding the Flint Water Crisis. Sadly, the only response was to protect the Snyder administration from future liability and not to protect the children of Flint from lead poisoning," said Lonnie Scott, executive director of Progress Michigan. "While residents were being told to relax and not worry about the water, the Snyder administration was taking steps to limit exposure in its own building."

http://www.progressmichigan.org/2016/01/document-snyder-admin-trucked-in-clean-water-for-state-building-in-january-2015/

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