Thursday, January 21, 2016

Clinton and Sanders: Race baiting!


Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, both presidential candidates, both running for the Democrat nomination,  are race baiting and using a tragedy for political purposes.

At the end of the Democrat debate on Saturday, Hillary used her closing comments to say the following:

“I think every single American should be outraged,” Clinton said. “We 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 of that state acted as though he didn’t really care. He had requests 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.”

Sen. Bernie Sanders agreed with Clinton on the seriousness of the crisis, and going one step further. “I think it is also right is to demand the resignation of the governor. A man who acts so irresponsibly should not stay in power.”

The facts are not yet in regarding the Flint River debacle. Heads should roll but it’s not clear who’s head should roll as yet. Sanders calling for the resignation of the Michigan Governor is way too premature. He’s not a resident of Michigan and doesn’t know all of the facts yet. The people of Michigan don’t know all of the facts yet. He’s calling for Michigan’s governor to resign purely for political reasons. He’s a Democrat, the Michigan Governor, Rick Snyder is a Republican. If you want to play politics with this, the city council of Flint is made up of Democrats. In fact, two of the council members are convicted criminals. One for killing someone and another for felonious assault. Should we decide who’s right based on two of the council members history as well as their party affiliation?

Hillary’s comments are particularly egregious. When she said “If the kids in a rich suburb of Detroit had been drinking contaminated water, and being bathed in it, there would have been action.” Is she really so stupid to think that just to harm 56,000 minority residents in one city it’s worth it to harm nearly 36,000 white residents?

If that is really true, perhaps we ought to look at her situation. It’s well known she hates the military and the secret service. Should we assume that her sending Special Access Program  E-mails, which is a classification above top secret, was meant to harm our military, and  intelligence operatives around the world? After all, those E-mails that she recklessly had on her personal server kept in a bathroom closet had E-mail with the SAP classification which is so high that even Congressional Oversight Chairmen don’t have clearance to see.

Here’s pretty much what happened in Flint. Flint, Michigan is located about an hours drive north of Detroit. It’s a poor area. It never really recovered from the financial troubles of the late 1970’s. It has been in financial trouble and the financial trouble became so bad that the Governor appointed an Emergency Manager to oversee the City of Flint’s spending until it was at least back on it’s feet again. The Emergency Manager is not elected, he’s appointed and he basically takes over the running of the city, or school district (if it’s the school district in financial straits) until they are back up and running. The city council has no power over the Emergency Manager. They still do operate, but the Emergency Manager has basically the final say in decision made for the benefit of the city.

Flint’s population dropped to 99,000 citizens in recent years from it’s highs of 200,000 in the 1970’s.

The cost for water from Detroit was getting too expensive. The city council, in 2013 decided to change to a new water system coming online in three years. This new water system would pump water in from Lake Huron, which is north and east of Flint. About a two hour drive.

Detroit decided they’d quit sending water to Flint in a year, even though Flint had notified them they were staying for two and a half more years. So Flint started looking at alternatives and decided on the Flint River as a temporary solution until the Huron system was in place. Detroit then offered a contract to Flint with higher costs for the remainder until the Huron system was in place. Flint decided to stick with the Flint River.

From there it becomes a mess. Water in the Flint River was said to be treated when it wasn’t. Homes were tested because of complaints, and then retested later but found to be fine apparently without notifying that filters were on the second time, which would of course show better readings, and reading some of these things makes it appear as though test results were falsified at times.

The EPA dragged their feet through bureaucracy, until a memo was leaked and now it appears that everyone is just pointing the finger at everyone else so they don’t get blamed. However, three employees of the DEQ  which is the Department of Environmental Quality in Michigan , have been fired, and the director forced to resign. Today, an official with the EPA has resigned. That’s four state officials (workers) and one Federal official.  Likely more to follow.

Governor Snyder stood up at the State of the State speech and said he takes responsibility. The responsibility he’s taking is the incompetence of those he’s in charge of. Not that he purposely tried to harm Flint residents, but that on his watch, his employees did not stand up for the people of Flint. This does not exonerate him. It is his responsibility to see that citizens of this state are protected. The City of Flint held one of their own accountable when they elected a new mayor and defeated the one in charge at the time of these events. A judge in Flint should take responsibility for his ruling. There are likely others. We may never find out as politics will likely play a role in covering people’s backsides as time goes on.

For Hillary to try to turn this into a racial matter is inflammatory at best. It’s a pretty good bet that she’ll try to make hay out of this leading up to the Michigan primary on March 8. Could we see the Black Lives Matter group in Flint because of this race baiting? Jesse Jackson has already been to Flint over this and Al Sharpton has made some noise as well. We only see them when they want to make it a racial event.

Below is a timeline and some sources. However, they are all press reports. What is written above is based on what’s reported from many sources over the past couple of weeks. But are the press sources reliable? Not likely as some report parts, but not other parts. Some want to finger out one side or the other politically.

This is not a political event. This is a government that’s too big that does not know, nor care about their responsibilities. If they did care, once they found out that there was a serious problem, which should have been approximately June of 2014, they should have gone immediately out in public and told the people of Flint, not to drink, nor bathe in the water. That there is a problem. The person that did that would have been in violation of whichever department he/she is in for making that announcement, but when it comes down to choosing between protecting citizens lives or satisfying some bloated bureaucracy, it would be nice to see the citizens side taken for a change and to heck with the government’s policies.

You’re welcome to comment.


March 25, 2013: Flint city council votes to get water from Lake Huron. The karegnondi system will not be ready until 2016.

April 16, 2013: The Emergency Manager appointed by Governor Snyder signs off on the city council’s decision to save money by changing from the Detroit Water System to the Karegnondi Water System.

April 17, 2013: The Detroit Water System notifies Flint that they will end their contract and stop supplying Flint with water in one year, which is still a year and a half before the new water system will be ready.

June 26, 2013: The Emergency Manager hires a firm to equip Flint Water plant to a temporary water system using the Flint River until the new Karegnondi water system is ready.

March 7, 2014: The Emergency Manager turns down an offer from the Detroit Water System to continue to serve Flint saying they expect Flint to be using the Flint river for their water.

April 9, 2014: State environmental regulators approve permits for Flint  to get water from the Flint River until the Karegnondi system is up and running.

April 25, 2014: Flint begins getting water from the Flint River.

June 1, 2014: Flint residents begin to complain about the smell and taste of the water.

August 14, 2014: Flint river tests positive for E. Coli. Residents advised to boil water before use.

October 13, 2014: GM announces it will not use the Flint River water due to the corrosion on their machinery in their plant.

January 2, 2015: Department of Environmental Quality cites Flint for unsafe drinking water after attempting to treat water due to E.Coli.

January 6, 2015: Mayor Dayne Walling tells press that Flint water is safe to drink.

January 9, 2015: University of Michigan-Flint finds water is high in lead content.

January 11, 2015: Emergency Manager declines to switch back to Detroit Water citing an increase in costs  in excess of $12 million.

February 25, 2015: City of Flint tests a resident home and finds that the lead content is Nearly 7 times the limit considered safe.

February 27, 2015: The EPA asks the Michigan DEQ about Flint’s water treatment and are told it’s being treated properly.

March 23, 2015: Flint City council votes to reconnect to the Detroit Water system.

April 29, 2015: Flint’s Emergency Manager is no longer needed as Flint ‘s financial emergency Is declared over.

June 23, 2015 : Judge rules against forcing Flint to return to Detroit Water System.

June 24, 2015: Memo from EPA’s Miguel Del Toral is leaked. Memo tells of the high lead levels. EPA says that federal regulators have not had a chance to verify the tests yet.

July 10, 2015: DEQ tells radio interviewer that anyone concerned about Flint’s water quality can “relax”. That there is no broad problem.

August 20, 2015: State tests two homes and drops them because they had filters saying the content was satisfactory

September 19, 2015: Virginia Tech tests 300 homes, one of which was tested and dropped earlier due to filter tested highest. 5,000 parts per billion is considered hazardous waste. These tested at 13,200 parts per billion.

September 24, 2015 : Pediatricians are finding blood tests with lead in 4% of the children. This is up from 2.1% prior.

September 30, 2015: Governor Snyder says mistakes were made in Flint water system change.

October 2, 2015: DEQ director claims corrosion controls were used when making the change from Detroit Water to Flint water. Experts say there was no approved plan.

October 6, 2015: 20,000 filters are distributed to Flint residents.

October 8, 2015: Gov. Snyder announces that Flint will change back to Detroit water. Cost is $12 million.

October 16, 2015: Switch back to Detroit Water is finished.

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