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Last night was the Democrats sixth debate.  I am sure everyone has their opinions on who won or lost.  However, I am still undecided as to whether or not I support Bernie Sanders or Hillary Clinton.  I really didn’t see anything last night that changed my mind.

I think Hillary Clinton proved she is a more “polished” politician and debater than Bernie Sanders.  Yet, the outcome for me is still in doubt.  With that in mind, I am going to change course here and not talk about the debate anymore today.

Rather, I am going to talk about a bill that passed the House Transportation Committee yesterday.  This bill called The AIRR [Aviation Innovation, Reform, and Reauthorization] Act shows exactly what Republicans want to do with our government.  Namely “privatize” it.

The bill will take away Air Traffic Control from the FAA and give it to a “private” organization instead.  The major argument is that the FAA has been slow to upgrade to new technology and the “private” organization will do it better.

The Republicans don’t say that in order to upgrade technology it takes money.  The one thing that they aren’t too good at giving the agency.  Rep. Bill Shuster (R-Pa.), chairman of the House Transportation committee said:

The AIRR [Aviation Innovation, Reform, and Reauthorization] Act provides the transformational reform necessary to bring our antiquated air traffic system into the modern era, and allow America to lead the world again in aviation.

The Committee considered approximately 75 amendments during today’s meeting, and more than half of them were approved.  Today’s open process led to many improvements to the legislation, and I look forward to moving ahead.

Democrats opposed the bill.  Rep. Rick Larsen (D-Wash.) said:

Despite the many positive reforms included in this bill that will support a strong aviation system and its workers, I remain concerned about the proposal to hand over our airspace to private control.

Running a science experiment with the most complex airspace in the world comes with a lot of risk, including the uncertain futures of thousands of workers at FAA.

You may wonder who is behind this new bill.  Why would the Republicans take control of our air space away from the FAA?  The answer is very simple.  It is the major airlines, except for Delta, that are pushing for this bill.

Under the bill, there will be a new board of directors managed by the airlines.  There will be 11 seats on the board and four of those seats go directly to major Air Lines.

The top lobby for most major U.S. airlines has said the proposal to spin-off air traffic control from the FAA would bring the nation’s aviation system in line with countries such as Canada, which have similar not-for-private flight navigation organizations set up.  Wow, that is a mouthful.  I wonder why it is okay to follow Canada to use a private air traffic control but not for health care?

Airlines for America President Nicolas Calio said:

U.S. airlines connect the world like no other industry can and this legislation marks a historic step toward making our Air Traffic Control system the best it can be.

Delivering a more efficient system with proper governance, funding and accountability will bolster our nation’s first-rate safety record and make flying better – and at no additional cost to travelers.

Critics said the proposal to spin-off air traffic control from the FAA is a “misguided policy” that would give too much power to airlines, however.  Julia Alschuler a spokesperson for Americans Against Air Traffic Privatization said:

Today we watched as over and over again Chairman Shuster refused to accept amendments to the AIRR Act that would give consumers and workers a fair seat at the table, implement protections against indiscriminate user fees on passengers and curb the power of the airlines over a private air traffic control board.

This bill is included in a funding measure that would spend $17 billion per year on the agency over the first three years.  During that time the independent air traffic control organization will be set up.  After that period, the FAA will see its budget slashed to approximately $6 billion to cover non-air traffic control functions at the FAA.

This bill is nothing more than the Republicans trying to let corporations “police” themselves.  It will harm the safety of air travelers.  It will probably also mean higher fares because the airlines will say they need more money to run the air traffic system.

Furthermore, it will place the major airlines in charge of our air space.  That means non-commercial planes will be put at the back of the line when it comes traffic control.  Groups supporting non-commercial pilots are against the bill as well as Democrats.

This bill is a perfect example of the Republican’s plans for our country.  They plan to place all major agencies under “private” control.  They plan to privatize air traffic control, they plan to privatize Social Security and Medicare, they plan to privatize our public schools, and they plan to privatize the Veterans Administration.

It is all part of their plan to take us back to the 1880s when there was no government oversight and safety laws.  Corporations were responsible to “police” themselves.  After all, they know what is best for their companies.

That is a policy that killed millions of people at work.  And, it is the same policy that gave us the Great Depression and the economic meltdown just a few years ago.

With bills like this one, can we really count on the Republicans to “move the country forward” in the 21st Century?  I think not!

 

 

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The Democrats are holding another debate tonight.  The Republicans have all gathered in South Carolina where dirty tricks are aplenty.  The Water Crisis in Flint MI continues and only the Democrats have even mentioned it.

However, Flint, Michigan is just the tip of the iceberg.  There are thousands of communities just one bad decision away from a similar disaster.  Our infrastructure is crumbling in front of us.  There are millions of miles of lead pipes in the ground being used to ship water to homes.  Even worse, there are still thousands upon thousands of older homes that are still covered in lead paint.

Lead is a very dangerous metal.  It gets into the blood stream and causes havoc in the body.  IQ can be decreased by lead.  Behavioral problems like hyperactivity in children and cardiac problems in adults can become the norm.

Scientists and doctors all agree there is “no safe level of lead” in the blood.  A pinhead full of lead is enough to kill a child.  Yet, lead is all around us.  Still, no one is really doing anything about the problem.

Let’s face some simple facts.  Our infrastructure was created around the turn of the century.  The turn of the twentieth century.  Some of our water pipes have been in the ground for over 150 years.  When those lead pipes were placed, we were told it was safe.

You all know the phrase “crazy as a mad hatter”.  That came about because hat makers used to use lead to firm up the bills of hats.  The workers were poisoned by the lead they were using.  They weren’t crazy, they were dying.

In the 1920s tetraethyl lead was added to gasoline.  A representative of Ethyl Corporation, a company formed by GM, Standard Oil, and Dupont called it a “gift from God”.  Despite warnings that this lead could pollute the entire planet, which it did, it took three-quarters of a century for it to be banned in gasoline in the U.S.

In the meantime, millions of metric tons of lead polluted our soil and water.  It entered our bodies through the simple act of breathing.  But, automakers didn’t want any “knocks” in you engine and fought hard to keep it legal to put in gasoline.

Other gasoline additives have poisoned the water supply in many communities in our country.  Yet, nothing is being done to stop the madness.  Yes, there are some “safety standards” on how to handle lead, but it is still poisoning our children and us.

What makes matters worse, is our politicians don’t seem to think that it is important to have a discussion about it.  The Republican side thinks that climate change is not happening.  They despise science in general.  And, the Democrats seem to be letting them off the hook on the subject.

Without real public discourse, we will never be able to confront and fix our problems.  The other day the Supreme Court voted along political lines to suspend the President’s new clean air regulations until it was settled in court.  Republicans hailed the decision as the “right thing to do” to stop the “President’s overreach”.

There has been a Transportation and Infrastructure Bill languishing in the House of Representatives for seven years.  That bill is designed to redo our infrastructure like the electric grid and water distribution.  But, Republicans don’t even want to talk about it, much less vote on it.

Republicans are great at talking about small government and fiscal responsibility.  They are loath to talk about moral responsibility to protect the citizens from pollution.  It is the responsibility of our governments to ensure our safety.  It is their responsibility to make sure that our drinking water, our soil, our air is free from the pollutants that will kill us.

It doesn’t matter where you live, or how rich you are.  The chances are your children and you yourself are being poisoned by lead and other toxins.  These  pollutants are in our water, the food we eat, and the air we breath.  As a country, we are just one bad decision or “mistake” from having a national crisis on our hands.

During this election, the candidates don’t want to talk about it very much.  The media doesn’t want to talk about it either.  That is why you don’t hear any questions about these problems during the debates.  Especially the Republican debates.

We often hear about “American Exceptionalism” from the conservative side.  What we don’t hear about is “American Legacy” from them.  Is that because the American Legacy is that we have allowed ourselves to be poisoned?  Have we degraded to the point where the almighty dollar is more important than our and our children’s lives?

We have had a century where we were told it wasn’t the oil companies fault, it wasn’t the chemical companies fault, it wasn’t the paint companies fault, it wasn’t the electrical companies fault, it is all our fault.

We shouldn’t let our children ingest lead paint.  We shouldn’t let our children play in the polluted dirt.  Air pollution is something we need to keep our utility bills lower.  Basically, we have been ignored and poisoned so companies can keep making money even if it kills us.

Without forcing our politicians to talk about these issues they will continue.  They will get worse.  The next Water Crisis may be in your city.  It may be your children that are being poisoned.  The thing is, they probably already are, and you don’t even know about it.

Maybe this is the real reason the Affordable Care Act is so toxic to Republicans.  By allowing corporations to poison our environment, our medical costs will sky-rocket.  By eliminating the ACA they can continue to put the blame on us.

These problems can be fixed.  We have the technology to improve our infrastructure.  We have the knowledge of what to do.  But, it will cost money.  That means taxes may have to go up, especially for the corporations who are the polluters.  That is something Republicans say cannot happen.

By doing this work, millions of good paying jobs would be created.  The government would see revenue increase due to the extra taxes the jobs would create.  This is a win-win for our nation.  Still, Republicans are not willing to “invest” in our lives and our children’s lives.  That is totally irresponsible.

It is time for America to wake up to the facts.  Republican environmental policies are killing our children.  That is their legacy to the American Century they seem to love so much.

 

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There are two incidents that conservatives don’t want you to talk about.  One is the terrorists still holding a wildlife refuge hostage, even after their “leaders” have been arrested, and the other is the Flint Water Crisis.

The Flint Water Crisis is something that needs to be talked about.  This could happen again in thousands of cities across America because of our crumbling infrastructure.  Yet, Republicans continue to say that it would cost too much to fix the problem.

The insult comes from the Congressional Oversight Committee.  They recently decided to hold “hearings” on the crisis.  They plan on opening the hearing on Wednesday,  Of course, Republicans are saying the hearing is intended to “get to the bottom” of the crisis.

However, there is one person who is not being called to testify.  The Governor of Michigan Rick Snyder who caused the crisis in the first place.  How can you get to the bottom of something if you are not calling the person who started the whole mess?

Rep. Jason Chavetz (R-UT) is the chair of the Oversight Committee.  A spokesperson for the House committee told HuffPost in an email “Our responsibility as a Committee is at the federal level. We are looking at this from an operational standpoint and our witnesses reflect that.”

But, that isn’t going over very well with Democrats on the committee.  They want Snyder to be called to testify.  “Flint deserves answers from the state on how this terrible water crisis happened and what is being done to make it right,” said Rep. Dan Kildee (D-Mich.) in a statement. “Governor Snyder and his administration’s policies led to this man-made crisis and he must testify so that the whole truth can be found.”

Rep. Brenda Lawrence (D-Mich.), who serves as the ranking member on the oversight committee’s Subcommittee on Interior, put out a statement this week calling for Snyder to testify.

Gov. Rick Snyder was at the top of my list of witnesses due to the central role that he has played in this manmade crisis; from the decision to shift from Flint’s original water source for cost-savings to the appalling delay in response to months of complaints by lead-poisoned residents and their children.  I am deeply disappointed at the Majority’s lack of commitment to a thorough and meaningful hearing. A sincere search for truth and justice requires a full review by the entire Committee of the decisions and policies of all those involved.

Why won’t the committee call Snyder to testify?  Well, the majority makes up the witness list.  If Republicans don’t want one of their own to testify, they simply don’t put him on the list.

May this have something to do with the fact that this is an election year?  May it have something to do with the idea that a “conservative” Governor just poisoned innocent people, especially children, and that won’t look too good for other Republicans?

Not calling Snyder to testify is akin to not calling Hillary Clinton to testify about her email servers and then saying that we want to “get to the bottom” of this.  When Republicans say this is on the “federal” level, they mean they are going to hit the EPA very hard over this, and probably blame that agency for the crisis.

The Regional Director already resigned.  Yes, the EPA drug its feet in the matter and is complicit in the poising.  But, the EPA did not create the crisis, Governor Snyder and his administration did.

Additionally, a full year ago, while telling citizens of Flint everything is fine with the water, the state brought in “bottled water coolers” to the state buildings in Flint so their workers didn’t have to drink the “bad” water.  Ironically, they placed these bottled water coolers right next to water fountains on every floor of their buildings.  So, it seems the “knew” the water was bad and still did nothing for the citizens of the city.

What this really boils down to is exactly what David Holtz, executive committee chair of the Michigan Sierra Club said:

It’s just amazingly inconceivable that the House Oversight Committee would hold a hearing looking into the Flint water crisis and not call the person most responsible for it happening.  It smacks of them trying to divert attention and accountability away from Gov. Snyder, and it sounds like it’s a big partisan effort to get people’s attention focused elsewhere.

Holtz also said that Chaffetz is “abetting Snyder in what some have called criminal acts” by not calling him to appear before the panel.

Here is another attempt by the Republicans in Congress to divert attention from something that they consider a distraction to their policies.  It doesn’t matter to them that children from Flint will have problems the rest of their lives.  It only matters that they distance themselves, and their beloved “conservative” Governor from blame.

Another perfect example of how the Party Of Responsibility” isn’t that at all.  I will bet you right now, when this committee completes its hearing, Governor Snyder will get a “get out of jail free card” and we will be told “there is nothing to see here, please go home”.

And the “shirts” keep marching along

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Unfortunately, for Republicans, the Flint Water Crisis just won’t go away.  The real problem is that the Flint Water Crisis is only a symptom of just how much damage Republican policies can be for everyone.

As you know, the Republican party says everything with the environment is just fine.  We don’t have huge air pollution problems, we don’t need to protect our drinking water, we don’t suffer from climate change.  Everything is just fine.

In contrast, without even noticing the hyprocisy in their story, Fox News trotted out their on-air doctor the other day to tell people not to eat the snow.  That is right, according to their own doctor, you should not eat snow, even white snow.

Here is the irony and an argument against the Republican argument that everything is okay with our environment.  You shouldn’t eat snow, according to the good doctor, because it contains benzene from car exhaust!

WOW!  I guess everything isn’t okay with the environment after all.  If it was, you would be able to eat the snow because it would not contain benzene.  You wouldn’t be poisoning yourself.

Of course, that didn’t stop Fox News from basically saying this was similar to the Flint Water Crisis.  Nor did it stop it from getting Governor Snyder from blaming others for the problem, even though he supposedly apologized to the people of Flint for his lack of action.

The Governor’s office is quick to point out that in 2013 the city’s elected officials voted 7-1 to switch the water from Detroit to Flint.  The Flint River has served as a backup for years.  But, it was never used for more than a few days.

Nor does his office say that the switch was supposed to take place in 2016 or 2017 after proper facilities and treatment were in place.  That part never seems to hit the governor’s agenda of speaking points.

On top of that, it has been reported that even the Governor’s appointed dictator, the Emergency Manager, was against the switch.  But, the Governor overruled that decision and forced the switch.

Why was a switch even necessary?  It was necessary because one of the Governor’s other appointed dictators raised the cost of drinking water from Detroit to Flint.  The move would save Flint about 1 to 2 million dollars per year.

Almost immediately, the citizens of Flint complained about the drinking water being orange, brown, yellow, and smelling foul.  Even a GM plant switched to another water source because the Flint water was causing problems at their plant.

Still, the Governor did nothing.  The Michigan government did nothing because they were going to show how Republican Business Models translated into smaller government and less taxes for corporations.

This is the type of things that happen when a government is run like a business.  Safety of the people, workers, or whatever you want to call them are all secondary to the bottom line.

Our history is full of comparisons of tragic accidents because corporations failed to take the safety of their workers into consideration instead of the bottom line.  And that lack of concern isn’t just in our past, it is still happening today.

The other problem is that an outbreak of Legionnaires Disease has sickened 87 people and killed 10 citizens of Flint because of the bad water.  Governor Snyder in his state of the state address said he would “fix” the problem.  How do you “fix” dead people?

Of course, none of this had to happen in the first place.  It happened because Governor Snyder got a huge tax cut for corporations.  He also raised taxes on pensioners and poor people.  An analysis by the Detroit Free Press in 2014 showed individuals were forking over a total of $900 million more a year. By contrast, businesses paid $1.7 billion less annually after Snyder cut their tax bills.

If the corporations had not received their huge tax breaks, which by the way has not increased employment in the state, Michigan would have an additional $8.5 billion to help struggling cities like Flint afford clean water.

In October, the Governor approved 12 million dollars to switch Flint Water back to the Detroit water.  Why couldn’t he approve that money before the crisis?  Because that would mean he would have to acknowledge that “people” counted more than money.

To show exactly why this is more than just about Michigan, you need to look at how Jeb Bush applauded the governor for his “handling” of the crisis.  He thinks it is wonderful that the Governor apologized for the problem.

Of course, he never said the problem should never have happened in the first place.  He never put any blame on the Governor for the problem either.  See in the Republican “business model” if people get sick or die because of your actions, all you have to do is apologize and everything is forgiven.

Something else that is being lost in the rhetoric is the fact that Snyder, that small government politician who hates the Federal government, wants that very same Federal Government to bail him out.

He asked the President to declare a “State of Emergency” and give him $96 million to fix the problem.  The President said that federal law limits what he can do because this is a “manmade” problem, not a natural disaster.  He did award $5 million to the state to help.

Naturally, Snyder is appealing the President’s decision.  The tragedy in Flint was a choice. This was a values decision about what was important. Giving a break to big business was the top priority for venture capitalist Snyder. Operating a shoddy government, over-taxing pensioners and poisoning Flint’s children was the result.

But, just like Wall Street “robber barons” Snyder is demanding $96 million from the Federal Government to bail out his poor decisions.  That is what faces the country if Republicans take the White House later this year.

Couple that with the Republicans trying to pass legislation that would severely limit the ability to file a “class action” law suit, it leaves you with no where to turn for help.  Which is exactly what Republicans want.  You don’t count.  Only corporations and money count.

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Civil rights problems usually start at the state level.  It is at the state level that things like Voter ID laws are passed with the intention of restricting minority, elderly, and young voters from even being able to vote.

We constantly hear Cruz, Trump, Rubio, and the rest of the Republican candidates say they “love” the constitution.  Yet, every time something comes up that goes against their “agenda” they want to change the constitution.

They want to ban Muslims from immigrating to this country.  They want to close down Mosques in the country.  They want to stop Latino, Asian, and non-white Christians from immigrating.  They want to outlaw abortion, contraception, and keep women working at lower pay for the same work men do.

These are all things that are protected under the constitution they purport to “love”.  On the other hand, if you say you want universal background checks when you purchase a gun, they tell you that you just want to “take away our guns”.

There is another bill coming before the legislature in South Carolina that should make you really wonder about their “love” for the constitution.  This bill is called The South Carolina Responsible Journalism Law.

You read that right.  Mike Pitts, a Republican lawmaker, wants to pass a law that would require the state to “establish requirements for persons before working as a journalist for a media outlet and for media outlets before hiring a journalist.”

His bill would require the South Carolina Secretary of State’s office to establish and operate a “responsible journalism registry.” The law also calls for “fines and criminal penalties” for those who violate its statutes.

This is the same guy who once introduced legislation that would have banned all Federal Paper money and replaced it with gold and silver coins.  So, why does Pitts feel that the state needs a registry of journalists?  Seems he doesn’t like the idea that newsprint and TV reporters ask tough questions about, what else, guns.

“It strikes me as ironic that the first question is constitutionality from a press that has no problem demonizing firearms,” Pitts told the Charleston paper. “With this statement I’m talking primarily about printed press and TV. The TV stations, the six o’clock news and the printed press has no qualms demonizing gun owners and gun ownership.”

Jennifer Dunham director of research for Freedom House’s annual “Freedom of the Press” study is against this piece of legislation.  She said:

“Two of the worst media freedom violators in the world, China and Iran, also have requirements for journalists to register or have government-issued press cards to be considered legitimate by the government and can be revoked at any time.  I don’t think we really want to be put in the same category as those countries.”

Of course, from what can be seen in the legislation, it is very unclear what criteria the government would use to decide who’s a journalist, or what exactly constitutes noncompliance with the law.

What we are seeing is that a crackpot Republican lawmaker in South Carolina doesn’t like the way local news media talks about guns.  His solution is to void the constitution part about “freedom of speech” and register journalists and then keep track of whether or not they are pro or anti guns.

If they are anti-guns, they must face criminal penalties and fines.  I guess if they are pro-Pitts agenda, they are perfectly okay to keep going as is.  As usual, when a conservative doesn’t like what the other side is saying, they simply want to shut them up any way possible.

If you think Pitts is a backwards thinking idiot, you are correct.  But, remember it is always those backwards thinking idiots that cause the most harm to civil rights.  This is merely another example of the conservative agenda they are trying to force on America.

And, as usual, you don’t hear anything from their “candidates” denouncing such a law.  Since they have all been to South Carolina in preparation for that state’s primary, you cannot tell me they don’t know about it.

Their silence is proof of their “pick and choose” which part of the constitution they “love” and which they “hate”.  It also shows just how much they don’t want to talk about their failed policies.  Rather, they simply want to shut down any opposition media.

We have seen that tactic used all around the world today and before.  Nothing good comes of it.  And, the “shirts” keep marching along!

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The Democrats held their fourth debate last night.  I know I haven’t had a lot to say about the Democratic debates.  The main reason is that I haven’t really made up my mind as to whom to support.

From what I have seen in the debates, Clinton seems to be holding her own, even last night when the other two attacked her.  I don’t believe there are a whole lot of differences between the Democratic candidates.  That is one of the things that is making it hard for me to choose one just yet.

They did talk about terrorism last night.  But, just like the Republicans no one mentioned the terrorists holding a wildlife refuge in Oregon hostage.

There was something last night that came up for the first time.  It wasn’t brought up by the moderators, but by the candidates themselves.  The poisoning of the citizens of Flint, MI in order to save money.

As you remember, Flint Michigan was forced to switch its drinking water from Detroit’s supply to the Flint River.  A contaminated river with large amounts of lead in it.  As a result, the Governor and his cronies basically put the health of the citizens of Flint in danger all in the name of “saving money”.

Last week, the Governor, Snyder, asked the Federal Government, mostly President Obama to declare an emergency in Flint to get federal help in the matter.  This after about a year of insisting there was nothing wrong with the Flint River water.

Bernie Sanders has called on Snyder to resign his office.  He says, and frankly quite so, that no one can hold a position like Governor after recklessly poisoning the population of a city.

Clinton also had some choice words for Snyder as well.  She brought up the issue last night by saying:

I spent a lot of time last week being outraged by what’s happening in Flint, Michigan, and I think every single American should be outraged. We’ve 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. So I sent my top campaign aide down there to talk to the mayor of Flint, to see what I could do to help, and I issued a statement about what we needed to do, and then I went on a TV show, and I said it was outrageous that the governor hadn’t acted. I want to be a president that takes care of the big problems and the problems that are affecting the people of our country every day.

The real insult to the citizen’s of Flint is that no one in the major media has brought up this issue during any debates since December 15 when it all hit the headlines.  The Republicans have not said a single word about the problem.

I understand why the Republican Debates stay away from things like voting rights and climate change.  But, poisoning an entire city just to save a few bucks is criminal.  Why has there not been any discussion on this matter?

Probably because Clinton is correct.  Flint is mostly poor people, and predominantly minority.  So, why would you expect any Republican Candidate to worry about such people?  It isn’t like they expect to get many votes from Flint.

The one thing that becomes very obvious while watching the two party’s debates is who they are looking to support.  The Republicans seem very interested in getting votes from the very rich and racists.  That may sound extreme, but unfortunately that is the reality.

The Democrats seem to be wanting to get votes from the middle-class, working poor, and the poor of America.  They also seem to want the votes of “thinking” Americans.

The very fact that it was the candidates on the stage last night that brought up the Flint water poisoning is a simple truth that the Democrats are the one party that “cares” about the American people.

You can argue about how best to help the people.  You can argue about health care.  You can argue about taxes.  But, you cannot argue the simple fact that so far, the Republicans have shown no real empathy or understanding for the American People.

All you hear is how “authority” is under attack.  About how we should be totally scared shitless about ISIS coming to kill us all before November.  How we should abandon our civil rights in the name of “security”.  How we should have a war over anything to which they take offense.

They won’t talk about climate change, even though our own military says it is a severe threat to our national security.  They won’t talk about voting rights because they know their laws are voting restriction laws.  They won’t talk about gun safety because they know 80 percent of the American people want universal background checks.

Finally, they won’t talk about a Republican governor poisoning the citizens of a city in his state because he wants to save money.  They won’t talk about how that governor created the emergency and now wants the federal government to bail him out.  The same federal government most Republicans want to dismantle.

Which once again proves beyond any reasonable doubt that the Republicans are the biggest “takers” in the country.   What’s more, they have proven they don’t care about you!  They don’t care about your families.  They are only interested in money and power.

They will use any means necessary to gain your vote.  Then, when they have your vote, they will cast you aside like garbage from the basement.  That is your choice this election year.  Do you consider yourself as having value, or are you garbage?   The Republicans hope you consider yourself as garbage.

That is why no one on the Republican side has called for Snyder’s head.  He is the embodiment of their “social” values!

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We have spoken a lot about the Republican’s lack of policy in the upcoming elections.  We have talked about their fight against the Voting Rights Bill, their battle to turn women back into second-class citizens, their utter loathing of gays, and their total hate towards all minorities.

But, if you really want to know what America will be like if they gain control of both houses and the White House, you only need look to Flint, MI.

The Republican State Legislature there passed a bill that takes control away from cities, towns, etc., if they are facing budget crises.  They took control away from Detroit, which made several headlines.  Of course, in order to close the crisis in that city, they cut pensions of city government employees.

Apparently, Flint was also in a budget crisis.  As a result, the Governor, Rick Snyder, appointed a “Manager” to run the city.  Remember, these “Managers” are not elected by anyone, they are appointed by the Governor.

On top of that, these “Managers” have total control over the city they are supposed to be managing.  This is where the problem comes in.  A non-elected person appointed politically by a governor has total control over the operations of a city.

Anyway, this Manager decided that in order to save money for Flint, he was going to stop “buying water” from Detroit and start using the water from the Flint River instead.

There was a problem with that decision.  The Flint river is contaminated with high levels of lead.  Yet, this Manager, backed by the state’s governor made the switch telling the residents everything was fine.

Only it wasn’t fine.  Since the switch in 2014, both adults and children have been poisoned with lead contamination in their blood.  Residents have complained about various health problems, including respiratory disorders and skin lesions.

The water supply was switched back to the Detroit system in October.   Even still, the lead content in Flint’s water is very high.  This is due to the old infrastructure that supplies the drinking water to the city of 99,000 people.

Last month, Flint residents filed a federal lawsuit accusing the city and state of endangering their health by switching the water source to save money after the city was placed under emergency financial management by Snyder.

Yesterday, Snyder, apologized to the people of Flint.  He accepted the resignation Dan Wynant, the head of the state Department of Environmental Quality, and was making other personnel changes at the department.

“I want the Flint community to know how very sorry I am that this has happened,” Snyder said. “And I want all Michigan citizens to know that we will learn from this experience, because Flint is not the only city that has an aging infrastructure.”

“I know many Flint citizens are angry and want more than an apology,” he added. “That’s why I’m taking the actions today to ensure a culture of openness and trust.”

He also announced $10 Million to test the water and distribute water filters.  As usual, Snyder is closing the barn doors after the horses ran away.  However, he never said what was going to happen to that “Manager” he appointed to run the city who made the decision that money was more important than people’s lives.

Besides that, what does the governor plan to do to replace that aging infrastructure in Flint and those other cities with old infrastructure?  Since he didn’t address that part of the problem, one can only think he will do nothing, again.

Why wasn’t the water tested before the switch?  Why weren’t filters provided when the switch was made?  Simple.  Snyder didn’t care about the residents of Flint, only what money could be saved.

Lead affects our central nervous system.  It affects our brains.  It leads to slow learning and other learning disabilities.  It does not leave the body quickly and this problem will linger for years.

The governor and his “manager” have poisoned the people of Flint through negligence.  Their actions border on the criminal, at least in my opinion.

When all of the negative effects of lead poisoning become reality in Flint in the coming years, what is Snyder going to do to help the people he poisoned.  Going by his track record, he will cast them aside and blame them for the problems.

Republicans always complain about “big government” interference in people’s lives.  Unfortunately, when Republicans think they “know best” they are more than willing to place big government in charge of people’s lives.  Flint is a perfect example of what that can really mean.

In the name of “saving money” thousands of people have been exposed to lead poisoning.  Only time will tell what the true effects of this poisoning will be and what problems will be faced by those affected.

But, as usual, a Republican Governor, who caused this mess apologizes, takes the resignation of a Department Head, and washes his hands of blame.  The only Republican mantra missing from the apology was his asking us for “prayers” for the victims he poisoned.

When you hear Republicans talk about their “austerity” budgets and cuts to social services, remember Flint.  It is a perfect example of what Republicans will do across the country if hey gain control.

 

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