We didn’t have a First Day show on WSGW yesterday because of the Christmas Day holiday. However, I still recorded a “Pat Political Point Podcast.” Listen below, and please, send me your comments…firstname.lastname@example.org
The transcript is below the podcast.
Michigan Republican Attorney General Bill Schuette shocked the world by charging Republican Governor Rick Snyder’s two emergency managers responsible for the Flint Water Crisis.
It’s a crisis that was man-made and didn’t have to happen.
Despite Michiganders voting to eliminate the emergency manager position in 2012, Snyder and his rubber stamp state legislature re-implemented the position, and fixed the language so Michiganders couldn’t repeal the position all over again.
That’s the party of the people for ya!
These two emergency managers were granted full authority over the city of Flint. I mean, total authority. At a time when some Americans freaked-out over President Obama’s so-called “Tsars,” Michigan Republicans had no problems with emergency managers having full authority over their subjects–like kings.
These emergency managers answered to one person: Governor Rick Snyder.
So when the Governor and his people proclaim ignorance about when the Flint Water Crisis began, smart Michiganders know better.
It’s Snyder’s emergency managers who okay’d the decision to switch from the Detroit water system to the Flint River while the city waited for construction of a new pipeline getting water from Lake Huron to be completed. The move was made to save Flint a few millions of dollars.
But instead of negotiating a new contract with the Detroit water authority until this new pipeline was completed, the state rushed to use the Flint River in 2014.
Health problems began immediately with city officials ordering boiling requirements, but the citizens still were forced to drink the water.
A General Motors plant made a deal to get its water from another source so their parts wouldn’t corrode. GM got a pass, but the citizens were still forced to drink the water.
Despite reports of cancer-causing agents and lead in the water, the citizens were still forced to drink the water.
In January of 2015, Emergency Manager Darnell Earley single-handedly refused the Detroit water authority’s offer to reconnect its service to the people of Flint. Earley cited high costs for his decision.
In the spring of 2015–some 11 months after the switch–the Flint City Council voted to switch back to the cleaner water from the Detroit water authority. But because Flint wasn’t a democracy thanks to Governor Snyder, Emergency Manager Gerald Ambrose overruled them over cost concerns. Ambrose–who answered to Rick Snyder–refused to provide clean drinking water to Flint over…cost concerns.
GM got to leave the water due to rusty parts. But the people were left drinking water containing lots of lead, cancer byproducts, and other contaminates that may or may not have caused a number of Legionnaire’s Disease deaths.
Emails show that while all of this is happening, the Governor’s own chief of staff is emailing concerns over Flint’s water quality.
Somehow, someway, Governor Snyder didn’t know that his citizens were drinking poison.
And lest we forget, the state provided Flint with a $7 million loan to forgive its debt and no longer be under an emergency manager. Ah, but the loan had one condition: It couldn’t be used to get the city back on the Detroit water source.
Again, conservatives valued money over the well-being of the people.
Governor Snyder eventually got Flint back on the Detroit water line in the Fall of 2015 only after a pediatrician reported high levels of lead in her patient’s blood streams.
It took that long for something to be done.
But still today, thanks to the lead leeching into the pipes after the Flint River switch (due to the fact that additives weren’t included at the time), the citizens of Flint still can’t drink the water without filters.
And when a federal judge ordered Michigan to provide Flint with bottle deliveries, Governor Snyder actually decides to fight the order!
The reason? Cost concerns.
It’s strange how much the conservative leadership in this state has been wringing its hands over money surrounding the Flint Water Crisis.
Yet these same people had no problem taking money from the citizens so corporations could enjoy huge tax breaks. These same people had no problem of shelling-out one-billion dollars to a failed charter school system that has very little oversight!
Who is a staunch proponent of Michigan’s charter school system?
None other than billionaire heiress Betsy DeVos. She’s Trump’s pick to become the next education secretary.
Which leads me to conclude that what we’ve seen in Michigan is exactly what we’ll see on the federal level under Trump’s so-called guidance.
Like Snyder, Trump has been hailed for his so-called business acumen, his several bankrupt failures notwithstanding. Like Snyder, Trump advocates bringing a business-type atmosphere to government. Like Snyder, Trump is pushing for massive tax breaks for rich people like himself at the expense of the 99%. Like Snyder, Trump thinks deregulation works. Like Snyder, Trump is filling governmental roles with people who don’t believe in government. And like Snyder, Trump will direct spending on wasteful projects like additional nuclear weapons instead of health care for all Americans.
We also need a massive World War II mindset to revamp our crumbling infrastructure. Trump is supposedly calling for a huge infrastructure upgrade, but only if the entire project can be awarded to corporations for privatization efforts. So, get ready for toll roads. Don’t like taxes? Fine. Hope you enjoy paying for fee after fee for services that aren’t under governmental oversight.
The Flint Water Crisis serves as a harbinger of what to expect these next four years. Money over people. Ideology over common sense.
Ladies and gentlemen, in less than a month, we must prepare for impact. A select few won’t feel the impact, but the rest of us will.