RSS

Tag Archives: flint

“Don’t Bring That Mess Here!” Black Pastor at Flint Church Corrects Trump

“Don’t bring that mess here in our house!” The Chumph gets a lesson in black etiquette …

Pastor Chides Donald Trump For Electioneering At Her Church

“I invited you here to thank us for what we’ve done in Flint, not to give a political speech.”

The pastor of a black church interrupted Donald Trump’s remarks in Flint, Michigan, on Wednesday as the Republican presidential nominee began to attack his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton.

“Mr. Trump, I invited you here to thank us for what we’ve done in Flint, not to give a political speech,” the Rev. Faith Green Timmons told Trump as she approached the businessman.

Trump turned to the pastor and immediately changed course. “Oh, oh, oh, OK, that’s good. Then I’m going to back on Flint. OK,” he said, before addressing the community once more.

Trump spoke in front of about 50 Flint residents at Bethel United Methodist Church, which has distributed aid and water to the community during the lead crisis that started in 2014. The GOP nominee praised residents for their response to the crisis, before launching into an attack against Clinton and her support for trade agreements such as NAFTA. Earlier in the day, he toured the city’s water treatment plant.

IRS regulations bar tax-exempt churches like the one Trump spoke at from participating in electioneering. Timmons released a statement prior to Trump’s visit, clarifying that his presence at the church “in no way represents an endorsement of his candidacy.”

“What we pray is that it conveys a final example of a faithful, intelligent, historically African-American congregation at work, serving and volunteering among the people of Flint as we work through this crisis of national impact. We cannot let this story drift from national attention for any reason,” she added.

 
1 Comment

Posted by on September 15, 2016 in BlackLivesMatter, Chumph Butt Kicking

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Right Wing Harassment of Welfare Recipients a Total Failure

Bad news for the white right. Unlike their racist stereotypes, most folks on welfare (SNAP) aren’t on drugs. Yet another state fails miserably making a racist assumption and passing it into law… This one by the man responsible to murdering and maiming children in Flint with tainted water.

Guess how many welfare recipients tested positive in Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder’s drug test?

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R), who faced criticism earlier this year for his handling of the water crisis in Flint, could face more pushback after the apparent failure of his program requiring drug tests for welfare users.

The Guardian reported that none of the 303 people tested under the auspices of the Family Independence Program have tested positive for drugs as of the end of May.

The pilot program ends on Sept. 30 and received $300,000 in state funding, although a spokesperson for the state health department said only $300 had been spent thus far.

“The governor will wait until the pilot program has concluded and the report is delivered, as required by the legislation, to reach any conclusions,” said Anna Heaton, a spokesperson for Snyder’s office.

The program allows health department officials to require applicants to go through a drug test based on the results of the 50-question screening process. Refusal to do so disqualifies them from receiving financial assistance for six months. However, none of the applicants reportedly refused to go through the test.

As Think Progress reported last year, several other states with similar programs also found little evidence of high drug use among social program recipients. For instance, only 11 out of 2,783 applicants in Kansas’ program tested positive.

“As we’ve seen time and time again, these misguided policies are devoid of any scientific credibility and have proven to be a colossal waste of our time and money,” said Eric Harris, a spokesperson for Rep. Gwen Moore (D-WI), who recently proposed a measure that would make drug tests mandatory for people reporting deductions of more than $150,000 on their tax returns.

 

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

First Flint Water Criminal Charges

The Michigan State AG has filed the first charges for the Flint Water Contamination impacting thousands of Flint, Michigan residents and their children with lead poisoning.

One would hope that this is just the first round, as the stink on this one reaches all the way to the Governor’s office, although it is questionable whether a Republican AG would be that honest. This may well be just the sacrificial lambs tossed under the bus to escape real culpability.

Criminal charges today in Flint water crisis

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette will announce criminal charges today in connection with his ongoing investigation of the Flint drinking water crisis, three sources familiar with the investigation told the Free Press on Tuesday.

Officials believe the city got artificially low lead readings because they didn’t test the homes most at risk — those with lead service lines or other features putting them at high risk for lead. Among those to be charged is a City of Flint official who signed a document saying the homes Flint used to test tap water under the federal Lead and Copper Rule all had lead service lines — a statement investigators allege was false.

Schuette is to announce felony and misdemeanor charges against at least two, and possibly as many as four people, according to two other sources familiar with the investigation. The investigation is ongoing and more charges are expected, sources said.

The charges, which will be brought against individuals connected with the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality and the City of Flint, relate to the lead contamination of Flint’s drinking water and not to the possible link between Flint River water and an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease that is tied to the deaths of 12 people, one of the sources said.

Schuette, a Republican who is widely expected to run for governor in 2018, opened an investigation in January, tapping former Detroit FBI Director Andrew Arena and Royal Oak attorney Todd Flood to head the probe.

Andrea Bitely, a spokeswoman for Schuette, would neither confirm nor deny the charges.

Sources said the number of people to be charged Wednesday was still uncertain late Tuesday because of the possibility one or more of those targeted could agree to cooperate with authorities and avoid charges.

A person familiar with the matter said that other parts of state and Flint city government remain under investigation. The prosecution team is trying to uncover more about why the individuals expected to be charged Wednesday, as well as others still under investigation, may have acted the way they did and who may have instructed them to do so, according to one of the sources….More

 

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Republican Senator Puts Hold on Water Bill Designed to Combat Lead in Drinking Water

It only impacts black folks…Right.

The bill is designed around helping cities and towns with lead contamination…Not just Flint.

The portrait of yet another racist Republican asshat

Senator puts hold on lead bill, says Flint doesn’t need fed aid

A U.S. senator from Utah who put a hold on a bill to provide federal aid to Flint, Michigan, amid its water crisis said Friday he did so because the federal money is unneeded.

“The state of Michigan has an enormous budget surplus this year and a large rainy-day fund, totaling hundreds of millions of dollars,” Sen. Mike Lee, a Republican, said in a statement Friday.

“Gov. [Rick] Snyder has requested $200 million of that from the state legislature for Flint this year. Relief and repair efforts are already in the works,” Lee said. “The people and policymakers of Michigan right now have all the government resources they need to fix the problem.”

The residents of the city of nearly 100,000 were exposed to lead poisoning when the city switched water sources in a bid to save money. Lead poisoning can destroy brain tissue and cause irreversible developmental problems in children.

The $220 million bill would provide funds to help Flint and cities like it fix and replace lead pipes, as well as prevent and address lead poisoning.

Lee’s “hold” on the bill only stops the speedy consideration of a bill, and can be bypassed procedurally.

Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., a key sponsor of the bill, said she was surprised and disappointed that Lee would hold up a bipartisan measure that would “help communities across the country, including in his home state of Utah.” She said if Lee is opposed, he should vote against the bill rather than try and hold it up

Lee accused lawmakers of “political grandstanding” and of using the water crisis in Flint to send federal dollars to their home states.

As introduced, the legislation would provide $100 million in “drinking water state revolving funds” available to any state with a drinking water emergency; provide $70 million to back water infrastructure loans; and provide $50 million to prevent and address lead poisoning.

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

FBI Investigates Possible Crimes in Flint Water Crisis

Not sure what they could prosecute other than gross negligence…Unless they have a smoking gun…

The DOJ obviously feels there is something to look at.

An “Old Warrior” makes the case here

A bit of the history, and why the Governor is culpable.

FBI Joins Investigation of Flint Water Lead Contamination

The FBI is working with a multi-agency team investigating the lead contamination of Flint’s drinking water, alongside Environmental Protection Agency investigators who can tackle criminal violations of federal environmental law, officials said Tuesday.

Several local, state and federal officials have resigned since doctors revealed last year that using the Flint River for the city’s drinking water supply caused elevated levels of lead in some children’s blood. Lead contamination has been linked to learning disabilities and other problems. Michigan’s governor has apologized repeatedly for the state’s role.

FBI spokeswoman Jill Washburn told the AP in an email that the agency’s role is “investigating the matter to determine if there have been any federal violations.” She declined to say when the FBI got involved.

Officials haven’t said whether criminal or civil charges might follow the investigation.

In addition to the FBI and the EPA, the team includes the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Gina Balaya, a U.S. attorney’s spokeswoman in Detroit, told The Associated Press in an email. The Detroit Free Press first reported the FBI’s involvement Tuesday.

In November, the EPA announced it was auditing how Michigan enforces drinking water rules and said it would identify how to strengthen state oversight. The U.S. attorney’s office in Detroit said in January that it was investigating the water crisis with the EPA.

Flint switched its water source from Detroit’s water system to the Flint River in 2014 to save money while under state financial management. The river water was not treated properly and lead from pipes leached into Flint homes. The city returned to Detroit’s system in October while it awaits the completion of a separate pipeline to Lake Huron this summer.

The U.S. House Oversight and Government Reform Committee is expected to hold a hearing Wednesday on Flint’s water crisis. Detroit schools emergency manager Darnell Earley, who was state-appointed emergency manager for Flint when its water source was switched, had been asked to testify but declined the invitation, Detroit Public Schools spokeswoman Michelle Zdrodowski said in an email.

The federal investigation is one of several taking place into Flint’s water supply. Last month, Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette announced the appointment of a special counsel to help his office investigate whether laws were broken.

An independent panel appointed by Gov. Rick Snyder has determined that the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality was primarily responsible for the water contamination. The Michigan Civil Rights Commission also plans to hold hearings to explore whether the civil rights of Flint residents were violated.

 
7 Comments

Posted by on February 2, 2016 in American Genocide, Stupid Republican Tricks

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Environmental Racism…And the Flint Disaster

The fact that the City Government supplied bottled water to the government employees more than a year before the Lead issue with the water blew up, and did nothing to respond to the complaints of the majority black citizens is damning.

Black Lives Matter in Environmental Justice

British Home Secretary Theresa May called the poisoning “deeply disturbing”, and argued, “It goes without saying that this was a blatant and unacceptable breach of the fundamental tenets of… law and civilized behavior.” She referred to the Russian state’s involvement in poisoning Alexander Litvinenko. But she could have been talking about Michigan.

In his state address, Governor Synder offered apologies, prayers and ostensive outrage at a “crisis” and a “catastrophe,” that apparently emerged from unknown, agentless actions; “Mistakes were made.” By whom? The Flint water crisis was borne of state decisions that have, like most institutional policies and practices in America, jeopardized Black lives.

Decisions like that made in January 2014–a few months before Flint tried to save money by switching to river water–wherein the state allocated $2,147,000 to three new police initiatives. Everything we know about policing in this country suggests that these initiatives are likely to produce excessively aggressive surveillance, control, and physical force. Operation Fresh Start, at a cost of $250,000 for one day, was actually designed to build community trust by assisting area residents “who through various reasons, have found themselves in an untenable situation where they are included in the population of individuals who have active arrest warrants.”

Again, this language evokes a mysterious, agentless process that sucked residents into a vortex of arrest warrants. But warrants result from decisions–from purposeful police targeting of “misdemeanors, victimless crimes, or civil infractions.” It strains credulity to argue that warrants would have fallen harder on a population other than Flint’s Black residents (e.g., see Ferguson). And yet, Flint launched the program in the smallest zip code by far (48502), one encompassing a census tract that is 45% White, higher than the citywide average, 37%. Thus, a fresh start was bequeathed to an area with few residents, where beneficiaries would be disproportionately White.

Decisions like those made to cast non-potable, poisonous water as harmless, persuading residents that adults and babies alike should consume Flint’s river water (and mandating that WIC could not cover the costs of bottled water). State officials continually belittled residents’ concerns, branding them mere “aesthetics.” Decisions like those made to cast non-potable, poisonous water as harmless, persuading residents that adults and babies alike should consume Flint’s river water (and mandating that WIC could not cover the costs of bottled water). State officials continually belittled residents’ concerns, branding them mere “aesthetics.” They described total coliform and E. Coli contamination as a “hiccup”; page 58 and asserted that regarding TTHMs, “it’s not like an eminent [sic] threat to public health.” that regarding TTHMs, “it’s not like an eminent [sic] threat to public health.”

Decisions like portraying the remediation of lead contamination as an individual responsibility. Officials championed kitchen water filters to provide “added comfort,” entreated the flushing of faucets and usage of cold water, and argued that lead can leach from myriad home sources including fixtures, faucets, and lead based paint. The state marshaled answers to FAQs about replacing “leaded materials” with bold print declarations that service pipes on private property are a homeowner’s responsibility.

Public health scholars argue that although the government suggests that we wash our cutting boards thoroughly, that is only necessary when we consume meat from a food system where contamination is likely. Focusing on individual behavior is ineffective as a public health strategy, and even if it were not, racial inequalities in money, power and human capital make it more difficult for Black residents to mobilize their own personal public health infrastructures.

The Flint water crisis will produce a cascade of negative health and social consequences: illnesses caused directly by waterborne pathogens and toxic chemicals; economic losses from expenditures on bottled water, medical bills, lost wages, unemployment, and property devaluation; physiological dysregulation from stress, worry and sleeplessness; cognitive, learning, and behavioral challenges. It’s the House that Jack Built.

Snyder proclaimed that he would see to it that “Anyone with lingering health care concerns is quickly, compassionately and effectively treated. I know there will be long- term consequences. But I want you to know that we’ll be there with long-term solutions for as long as it takes to make this right.” Indeed. Black children confront an educational system that is more concerned with controlling their bodies than enriching their minds. It is unlikely in the extreme that a child with lead-induced impairments will receive the long-term assistance she needs to be successful. Much more likely is a trajectory of suspensions and other punitive measures for behavioral difficulties. And if a boy’s trajectory culminates in the school-to-prison pipeline, no one will ask whether he experienced lead poisoning. He’ll just be another morally deficient criminal black man….More

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on February 2, 2016 in American Genocide, The New Jim Crow

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Poisoning Babies in Flint

Another case where the Republican “cutting taxes” meme has destroyed a generation of black children…

The beleaguered city’s water problems can be traced back to a controversial move by Michigan governor Rick Snyder.

Children in Flint, Michigan, have such high levels of lead in their blood that Mayor Karen Weaver declared a state of emergency on Monday, calling the situation a “manmade disaster.” The origins of the escalating situation in Flint go back to 2011, when Republican Gov. Rick Snyder appointed an emergency financial manager to balance Flint’s budget—largely by cutting costs on basic public services. Here’s what you need to know:

What’s going on?

In April of 2014, Flint switched its water source from Detroit to the Flint River in an effort to save money. The decision, made by emergency manager Darnell Earley, was met with skepticism: Residents complained that the water was smelly and cloudy. Water tests have since shown high levels of lead, copper, and other bacteria, including E. coli. (GM started hauling in water to its remaining Flint plant last year after noticing that the Flint water was corroding engines.)

According to the Hurley Medical Center study below, the proportion of kids under five with elevated levels of lead in their blood has doubled since the switch to Flint River water, to roughly four percent. In some areas, that number has leapt up to more than six percent. “This damage to children is irreversible and can cause effects to a child’s IQ, which will result in learning disabilities and the need for special education and mental health services and an increase in the juvenile justice system,” wrote Weaver in the state of emergency declaration. In October, the city transitioned back to the Detroit water system, though lead levels still remain higher than the federal action level.

Why are the lead levels so high in Flint?

Flint, the birthplace of General Motors and once a prosperous city, has been in a state of decline for decades. The population has halved since its peak in the 1960’s and 70’s; by 2013, the city had lost roughly three quarters of its property tax base and suffered from a 16 percent unemployment rate. The problem has been met with austerity: Under a controversial law passed by Republican Gov. Rick Snyder, who has been criticized for close ties with the Koch-funded American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), the state can now appoint emergency managers with the ability to override local policies and make sweeping decisions in the name of “fiscal responsibility”—a policy that stripped half of the state’s black residents of their voting rights.

Flint emergency manager Darnell Earley implemented steep budget cuts, including last year’s decision to save money by changing the city’s water source. In March, Earley nixed a city council vote to “do all things necessary” to switch back to the Detroit system in March, calling the decision “incomprehensible.” He stepped down the next month. The series of events has led to litigation: In November, Flint residents filed a class-action lawsuit alleging that the contaminated water caused them to experience myriad health conditions, including skin lesions, hair loss, depression, vision loss, and memory loss. The same month, the ACLU and Natural Resources Defense Council sued the city, governor, and public officials, claiming that public officials have known for years that drinking Flint River water could result in contamination problems. Michael Steinberg, legal director for the ACLU of Michigan, said, “In their short-sighted effort to save a buck, the leaders who were supposed to be protecting Flints’s citizens instead left them exposed to dangerously high levels of lead contamination.”

How are residents getting by?

Those who can afford it are buying bottled water, but Flint is one of the poorest cities in the nation—41 percent of residents live in poverty. Many still use city water for bathing and cooking.

What are the effects of lead poisoning?

It’s easy to diagnose someone with high lead levels—it simply takes the prick of a finger and a blood test. The symptoms manifest slowly, often years later. According to the World Health Organization, “Lead affects children’s brain development resulting in reduced intelligence quotient (IQ), behavioural changes such as shortening of attention span and increased antisocial behaviour, and reduced educational attainment. Lead exposure also causes anaemia, hypertension, renal impairment, immunotoxicity and toxicity to the reproductive organs. The neurological and behavioural effects of lead are believed to be irreversible.”

What are state officials doing?

A pipeline connecting Flint and other central Michigan counties with Lake Huron is in the works and scheduled to be completed by late 2016. In the meantime, according to a recent Washington Post article, the state has offered more than $10 million to pay for the temporary switch back to the Detroit water system, in addition to covering the costs of water testing and water filters.

 

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on December 26, 2015 in American Genocide

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

 
%d bloggers like this: