Tag Archives: Republican
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.
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…
Yeah…That is a shocking assertion. Unfortunately it is true. And while Donald Trump and the rest of the right jump around like syncopated baboons, the truth of the matter is that America’s decline started just about the moment Raygun took office, and modern conservatism gained political majority in the state and federal legislatures.
And unless there are some very fundamental changes in the sort of people who get elected in this country it is just going to get worse. And that needs to be a bipartisan change.
I mean as a recent example of the failure of conservatism, HTF do we get lead contaminated water killing and maiming the children of Flint, Michigan? I mean access to clean water is one of the measurements we use to gauge the progress of Third World countries. And we let a morally bankrupt political system based on the blathering of a neo-nazi sympathizer drive our state governments? Atlas “Shrugged” right after he took a shit all over you.
Here’s how we need to make America great again. In most every metric that counts, we are slipping against the world
As a resident of white suburban America, I grew up believing that, as Fox News host Sean Hannity once so eloquently put it, “The U.S. is the greatest, best country God has ever given man on the face of the earth.” This article of faith in the superiority of the U.S. was instilled deep within my brain as a child, right next to the belief that Jesus was born of a virgin and then visited by three Wise Men. But as I began to travel the world a few years ago — a globetrotting adventure that took me through Europe and Canada and inspired me to start a journal of international rankings of countries according to various metrics — it became increasingly clear that American exceptionalism is a baseless mythology of tribalistic self-aggrandizement perpetuated by people who (if I may generalize a bit) can’t locate Denmark on a map.
As it happens, the champions of this unique brand of nationalism are largely concentrated on the political right, where one also finds the attitude of anti-intellectualism in toxic doses. I don’t think this is a coincidence. The fact is that when one looks at infrastructure, life expectancy, family paid leave, health care, social mobility, income inequality, political corruption, government efficiency, economic stability, childhood poverty, student debt, water quality, education, prosperity, happiness and even Internet speed, one finds the U.S. absent from the top 10 “best countries” in every single instance. While the U.S. continues to have the largest economy in the world and by far the biggest military budget, in most categories relating to prosperity, security, happiness and well-being, the great American empire falls somewhere between the developed and the developing world.
But don’t take my word for it. As the ancient philosopher Plato once observed, beliefs without justification aren’t knowledge, and justification requires evidence. So, let’s take a gander at some statistics from various sources, beginning with the World Economic Forum (WEF), a Swiss not-for-profit foundation that’s “independent, impartial and not tied to any special interests.” According to the WEF, the U.S. fares as follows relative to the rest of the world: 16th in quality of overall infrastructure, 22nd with respect to competition, 33rd in terms of public institutions, 34th in terms of ethics and corruption, 35th in terms of health, 58th in terms of primary education, 67th in terms of security and 73rd in terms of wasteful government spending.
In terms of the WEF’s overall “global competitiveness index,” Switzerland comes in first with a value of 5.7 (out of 7), followed by Singapore with 5.6, and then the U.S., Finland, Germany, Japan, Hong Kong, and the Netherlands all tied with 5.5. So, not terrible overall — yet conservatives would cringe at the thought that we’re tied with multiple “socialist” countries for third place. As it happens, though, the U.S. is far behind such countries according to other international rankings. Forbes, for example, ranks the U.S. as the 22nd best place for business in the world, with countries like Denmark, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden and Finland above us. Eventhe Heritage Foundation’s 2015 Index of Economic Freedom leaves the U.S. out of the top 10, placing Hong Kong, New Zealand, Canada, Ireland and Denmark at the top.
In terms of “prosperity,” a concept that includes factors like governance, education, health, personal freedom and the economy, the London-based Legatum Instituteranks the U.S. 11th, with Norway, Switzerland, Canada and Sweden being the most prosperous. We’re also ranked 13th in the world with respect to social mobility, or the freedom for underprivileged individuals to climb the social ladder and become successful. The result is that, as Politifact confirmed in a “Mostly True” rating from 2013, it’s actually “easier to obtain the American dream in Europe” than it is in the U.S. Take a moment to let that sink in. According to the research that Politifact cites, “Of the 10 countries studied, the United States had the strongest link between parents’ education and a child’s economic, educational and socio-emotional outcomes … more pronounced than in the United Kingdom, France, Germany and Nordic countries, as well as Canada and Australia.”
Social mobility is important in part because studies show that “a lack of wealth does make poor people sadder,” and social immobility prevents those without wealth from acquiring it. Thus, it comes as no surprise that the U.S. isn’t among the top 10 happiest countries. According to the most recent data, we’re the 15th happiest country in the world, behind Switzerland, Iceland, Denmark, Norway and our gentle neighbor to the north, Canada. Another factor relevant to happiness concerns the overall empowerment of women, who constitute 50.8 percent of the U.S. population. As the Global Gender Gap Index reports, countries like Iceland, Finland, Norway, Sweden and Denmark score the best, while the U.S. ranks a shameful 20th. Yet another happiness factor relates to the prevalence of childhood poverty. Here the U.S. ranks 34th out of 35 countries considered by a recent study. Sadly, this is consistent with a 2014 report from Johns Hopkins that found that “teenagers in Baltimore face poorer health and more negative outlooks than those in urban centers of Nigeria, India and China.” Other studies have revealed that rates of PTSD among inner-city residents in America are “as high or higher than [rates among] Iraq, Afghanistan or Vietnam veterans.”
There’s also evidence to suggest that people “are happier in times when the gap between rich and poor is smaller.” In other words, if a country is rich but all its wealth is concentrated among a small class of elite billionaires, society as a whole might be miserable. So, how does the U.S. fare in this respect? To quote a Pew Research Center article on the issue, “the U.S. has one of the most unequal income distributions in the developed world … even after taxes and social-welfare policies are taken into account.” In fact, of the 10 richest people in the world, eight are American. And the situation of inequality is only getter worse globally: just six years ago, the 388 most affluent people owned the same wealth as the poorest 50 percent. Today, Oxfam reports that “The world’s 62 richest billionaires have as much wealth as the bottom half of the world’s population.” Yes, you read that correctly: 62.
The U.S. also ranks 43rd in the world for life expectancy, 37th with respect to health care, 20th in terms of political stability and 26th with respect to cleanliness, according to the Environmental Performance Index, maintained by researchers at Yale and Columbia University. And while we’re often an early adopter of new technology, we rank 22nd with respect to our Internet speed. Regarding our moral behavior in the world, the Global Peace Index, which ranks 162 counties according to their “national peacefulness,” places the U.S. in 94th place — closer to the bottom of the list than the top. (In fact, a 2014 global survey found that the world as a whole sees the U.S. asthe number one threat to world peace.) Furthermore, unlike many other countries in the developed (and developing) world, college education isn’t free for Americans, we don’t have a universal health care system, and we’re the only “major country” in the world that fails to provide family paid leave, as Bernie Sanders is fond of pointing out. Even our tap water isn’t among the safest in the developed world, nor do we have any of the best airports.
The point is that, as should be clear by now, there’s an unequivocal pattern of American inferiority when our country’s performance is juxtaposed with the rest of the developed world’s. Indeed, in many categories — such as childhood poverty, income inequality and family paid leave — we’re just barely a developed country, if even that. The result of these failures is that our collective quality of life is not nearly as high as it ought to be. Here it’s worth turning to the Mercer Quality of Life Survey, since it attempts to quantify the livability of some 221 cities around the world. And guess what it finds? The U.S. has only a single city in the top 30 — and it happens to be the ultra-progressive den of liberal debauchery called San Francisco. At the pinnacle of Mercer’s list are cities like Vienna, Zurich, Auckland, Munich and Vancouver. In fact, of all the cities in the North American continent, the top four are all in Canada. Now that’s just embarrassing, eh?…Read The Rest Here…
Whose afraid of Faux News commentator Megyn Kelly?
Nobody it seems…Except the Trump!
Megyn owns his behind!
The GOP presidential candidates will face off Thursday in their final debate before next week’s Iowa caucuses — this time, without Donald Trump.
Fox News, which is hosting the event, announced on Tuesday which candidates made the cut for the primetime debate, which will begin at 9 p.m. EST.
Trump’s campaign manager Corey Lewandowski confirmed to the Washington Post on Tuesday that the GOP front-runner is “definitely not participating in the Fox News debate.”
In a statement, the campaign announced that Trump will hold his own separate event in Iowa to raise money for wounded veterans.
“Like running for office as an extremely successful person, this takes guts and it is the kind of mentality our country needs in order to Make America Great Again,” the campaign said.
Fox News issued a statement on Tuesday night that blasted the Trump campaign for making ridiculous ultimatums and threatening the reputation of anchor and debate moderator Megyn Kelly.
So….Poor people need to be treated like dogs…
Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee argued on Thursday that the “common sense” way to improve the economy was to treat taxpayers with the same techniques used to “train dogs.”
Speaking at the Republican presidential debate on the Fox Business channel, Huckabee argued that Americans were having trouble getting ahead because “the tax system punishes them.”
“If you work really hard and you start moving up the economic ladder, you get bumped into a different tax bracket so the government thinks it deserves more of your hard work than you do,” he explained. “It’s time for something big.”
According to the former Arkansas governor, Americans would be better off with a national flat sales tax of 10 percent, which he refers to as the “Fair Tax” plan.
“It’s built on the common sense with which we raised our kids and train dogs,” he declared. “You reward behavior you want more of. And you punish behavior you want less of.”
“That’s how I raise kids, it’s how I trained our dogs. And folks, it’s not that difficult.”
However, the Tax Policy Center determined last year that Huckabee’s plan would actually punish the poorest Americans.
“The problem is that very high-income households spend only a fraction of their income, while low- and middle-income people spend all or most of what they make,” the Tax Policy Center observed. “A sales tax, by design, exempts a large share of income at the top. If it includes a prebate to protect people at the bottom and doesn’t add to the deficit, then it must raise taxes on people in the middle.”