Snyder knew about the bad Flint water almost a year before anything was done:
Two of Gov. Rick Snyder’s top lawyers privately advocated moving the city of Flint back to the Detroit water system because of quality problems only months after Flint began to draw its drinking water from the Flint River and treat it at its own plant in mid-2014, according to a review of e-mails made public Friday by the governor’s office.[…]
She [Valerie Brader] argued for returning the city to Detroit’s system drawn from Lake Huron, saying it made economic and environmental sense for an “urgent matter to fix.” She cited bacterial contamination in the treated river water and reduced quality that caused “GM to leave due to rusted parts.”[…]
Michael Gadola, then the governor’s legal counsel, echoed those concerns in an e-mail responding to Brader and sent to the governor’s top aides. He called the idea of using the Flint River as a drinking water source “downright scary.”
Flint “should try to get back on the Detroit system as a stopgap ASAP before this thing gets too far out of control,” Gadola wrote 12 minutes after Brader’s e-mail.
These emails were released voluntarily by the Governor’s office, since they are not subject to FOIA laws. One of Brader’s emails says that she wasn’t copying the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality because the DEQ was subject to FOIA. Seems awfully damning to me.
I am not as well-versed in either Michigan politics or the self-deceptive stupidity of someone like Snyder, but why the hell would he voluntarily give the press this kind of a smoking gun? And when is he and everyone else who ignored this poisoning going to jail?
He probably let them out in an attempt to “get ahead” of the revelations. It makes him look a bit better than having these same emails get shoved out into the public after they’ve been pried loose during discovery for one of the many lawsuits that are brewing.
Could he (the governor) be so self-unaware that he does not realize how bad this looks?
Maybe Snyder thinks the Three Stooges debate last night will distract from this release.
Republicans have already decided it was all the EPA’s fault. There’s nothing Snyder can do or say that will convince them he is in any way responsible.
Is he as politically insulated by leg. and courts from this as Walker *ptui* is in Wisconsin?
Probably when Rachel Maddow becomes a DA and indicts them, because she’s the only one I’ve seen really giving this issue proper coverage.
@Shortribs: This was front page on the Free Press today. At least in Michigan it’s a bfd.
I’ll say from my perch in Chicagoland that this is a pretty big deal, but we’re close…it still deserves more national attention…
Republican governance. Here you go Democrats, here’s a prime example of Republican governance with incompetence, malfeasance and general ineptitude on display.
“Do you want the party who poisoned children with lead just to save some money running your government (any level?”
Why aren’t Democratic Senators/House Reps/Presidential Candidates (HRC visited I know) screaming about this from the rooftops?
Perhaps a lawyer from among the Juicitariat can weigh in on whether Rick Snyder broke a law, rather than acting in a grossly incompetent but not technically illegal fashion.
“Grossly incompetent/unethical but not technically illegal” is how we roll in this country. It’s how banksters evade prosecution, and it’s how Snyder will evade it, too.
I think Sanders was there yesterday.
Snarki, child of Loki
Snyder might not go to jail, but he certainly should be driven from office in a hail of lead.
We already know that Snyder knew about the poisoned water way before it became a nationwide story. My only question is when will he be held responsible for what can only be described as criminal negligence. Thank goodness for Rachel Maddow’s aggressive reporting on this issue.
@singfoom: The next debate between Clinton and Sanders is in Flint IIRC. March 6, CNN. I guess they expect Sanders will stay in the race after Super Tuesday based on his convincing wins in Massachusetts and Vermont.
@srv: You are such a fucking jackass.
Steve in the ATL
Ha ha! You kids….
I doubt Snyder himself personally approved which messages to release. Whether someone working for him fucked up or decided to fuck him over remains to be seen, but Loretta Lynch isn’t going to cut him a break because he’s a Republican.
The Other Bob
They are. Bernie Sanders is running adds on this. There is a Dem Debate being broadcast from Flint on Sunday I think.
@srv: Show your work or go home.
O’Malley’s people went through those e-mails with a fine toothed comb, and it was a big old nothingburger. She’d followed the same procedure as the three previous SoS’s; Kerry’s the first one to use a server inside the Department of State.
Pro-tip: if you’re going to troll, you need to be BETTER than RtR. Honestly, you’re so fucking lame I feel sorry for you. And whoever’s basement you live in.
@srv: Hillary’s e-mails contain pictures of her tearing Vince Foster apart with her bare hands and then eating his heart to claim his power.
I think the path to Saddam’s WMDs is in there too. She’s such a trickster.
The people, inclined to pay attention and take them seriously have already locked in to vote for Democrats.
A good chunk of the country is probably thinking poisoning Flint will cut back on the crime rate, as there will be fewer blacks to commit crimes.
We’ve crossed a tipping point,, where general malfeasance of bad governors will get met with anything other than impotent rage, by those who want something done, and circling the wagons, by those in positions of power.
They only time I’ve seen this change, lately, is when Bush & Co. nearly destroyed the global economy and did destroy the Middle East, because their fuck-ups were so huge, they just could not be ignored.
Otherwise there’s an army of right-wing partisans ready and willing to polish any right-wing turd, so people will never think their shit stinks.
@Steve in the ATL: MA and VT will be his excuse.
I’m glad he’s staying in because it’s making the Democrats look like grownups, for once. Once Pmurt has 50% +1 of the GOP delegates, and Clinton has 50% +1 of the Democratic delegates, everyone else can pack up and go home. Until then, the more exposure, the better.
@p.a.: yes he is, if not more. The legislature is controlled 100% by republicans with a strong Tea Party/Christianist wing, and they are the ones who handed him the power to do this over the objections of the people in the state, who passed a referendum by a large margin to deny him the ability to a appoint dictatorial emergency managers.
Paul in KY
@singfoom: ‘Why aren’t Democratic Senators/House Reps/Presidential Candidates (HRC visited I know) screaming about this from the rooftops? ‘
I wish I fuckin knew (holds head in hands & groans).
It’s entirely possible Snyder and his team didn’t remember this kind of information was in there, or didn’t think it was that damaging. Not good signs either way.
Derelict is probably right, though: being proactive releasing this information is slightly less bad than having the plaintiffs’ attorneys turn them up in discovery.
Say what you want about China but government officials are usually shot for this type of public malfeasance.
Usually the only remedy for elected officials who don’t do their jobs is the ballot box, not criminal court, even if their dereliction really hurts people. As ugly as it looks in a case like this, when you think about it, that restraint is probably necessary.
ETA: I believe Archon’s example proves my point.
@gene108: The fuck-ups of Bush & Co. directly impacted the lives of Republican-leaning types so they could not be easily swept under the rug. Yes, most Republicans will give W high approval ratings when asked by pollsters, but that is just a tribal circling of the wagons. If they really thought Bush II was a successful president, Jeb would have the nomination by now.
the Conster, la Citoyenne
My argument with Berniebros threatening to take their balls and go home is this – your straight white male privilege may protect you from Republicans rampaging through everyone’s civil rights but yours, but Flint is coming to you too.
well… I think we all know the reason why this hasn’t garnered national attention… who was hurt? poor people of color mostly, so as far as the media was/is concerned… meh. Now if it had happened to the Kardashians or a large group of white upper middle class folks, there would be more outrage because who dictates what is newsworthy, white upper middle class folks.
What is the GOP mostly comprised of…
oh yeah, the same thing apparently.
I agree with the other sentiments here… there is a long laundry list of GOP governing malfeasance, I’m shocked that the Dems don’t exploit it better, but I also understand that with truthiness being what it is, these bastards have 20% of the country believing that Obama was president during 9/11.
Slightly OT: I usually have at best mixed feelings about Taibbi, but his analysis of the rise of Trump is the best I’ve seen: .
@piratedan: Same reason that now suddenly drug addiction is in the news and the solution mentioned is treatment: it affects white people.
Clay Bennett: Five Candidates Remain
@the Conster, la Citoyenne: Must be a one-sided argument since I don’t see anyone in this thread even talking about voting or not. Should make it easy to win though. Enjoy.
Kinda OT: The WaPo article on how Mexican politicians are reacting to Trump openly uses the f-word. And then, just to confuse the situation, goes back to being touchy about it.
@gene108: I guess that’s true, IOKIYAR to the nth degree. With non caring people who aren’t affected thinking it could never happen to them until it does.
Gin & Tonic
@Calouste: Being near the MA media market, I see Sanders TV ads all the time, and have been seeing them for weeks. As far as I can tell, HRC hasn’t spent a penny. How “convincing” will a Sanders win be if she doesn’t contest the sate?
@singfoom: The poisoning of Flint occurred under a Democratic presidential administration. The real problem we have is that large swaths of this country are wingnut controlled territory. To think that either Hillary or Bernie will change this state of affairs is just silly.
Also kinda sorta O/T, but I came across this article just a day or two ago and found it very interesting analysis of the Trump phenomenon (it’s dated September 14, 2015 but hasn’t lost anything except additional illustrative anecdotes).
@Shortribs: NPR was covering extensively for awhile.
@EconWatcher: That reminds me of a story I heard years ago, back when David Duke was running for governor of Louisiana. A friend of mine at the time had emigrated from Louisiana to the DC area– but she kept in touch with her family back home. But now, calling home had gotten difficult- her brothers would surround anyone who was talking to her on the phone and start chanting “Duke, Duke, Duke.”
@singfoom: You forgot the letters where she specifically ordered Starbucks to use red only coffee cups in order to destroy Christianity.
Snyder’s goose is cooked, he won’t win a 3rd term as Guv.
Oh, yeah, he can’t run again anyway. It’s an argument against term limits, accountability.
I know there are some issues in getting the media to report stories detrimental to the most corporately inclined party but can someone possibly point out the four alarm unmitigated disasters in governance in these states that swept the Republicans in to total control on 2010?
I mean Kansas is a smoldering crater and Louisiana and Maine and for Snyder’s sake Michigan!
@singfoom: Sanders was there yesterday at a church meeting – Bernie Sanders in Flint.
So sadly true.
@Gin & Tonic: Oddly enough, I’ve been seeing Clinton ads here in Boston for a while. And Sanders ads. I hear Sanders ads on drivetime radio (which I do not want or need; lecturing me while I’m in Boston traffic is NOT HELPING).
Clinton’s ads are being targeted; during evening newscasts and at, alas, women-centric shows. Sanders’ ads seem to be during the evening news and aimed more at the 18-35 demo (which I ain’t). So I noticed his during Grimm last week, but I saw Clinton’s while clicking through The Good Wife. If you’re like our family and mostly watch PBS, Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, Science and HBO, you’re not seeing any of these ads on a regular basis. Nobody, but nobody, is advertising during How it’s Made or Mythbusters.
@boatboy_srq: Except for the very strong link between lead poisoning and higher rates of violent crime.
Trapped in Ohio
You didn’t even respond to their comment. They (or some other poster) asked you to show your work. The burden of proof is on you. How did you respond? Oh that’s right with some shity remark about them needing to “stay on their meds” implying they’re mentally imbalanced.
Actually respond with an argument and not some sophomoric bullshit. Dumbass.
@OzarkHillbilly: Looks like I was wrong, AK 47.
@boatboy_srq: I doubt that most of the country even knows the racial makeup of Flint. Or could even find it on a map. And if asked where on a map it was, they’d point to Florida. And call it the state of Texas.
The most likely reason is also the easiest and most sad – that most Americans just don’t give a fart about anything unless if affects them directly – and even then, they are hard pressed to care. Beaten down, completely self-interested, bitter with a soupçon of hopelessness – that is your American lumpenproletariat in the 21st century. And the oligarchs want it that way.
Collective action requires collective empathy and intersectional solidarity – and unfortunately, Americans are just all out of fucks to give.
@Calouste: He is trailing in Massachusetts, don’t know about Vermont.
@Gin & Tonic: I was sarcastic.
I expect Sanders to stay in, even though he will probably win at the most one more state besides those two on Super Tuesday. He could probably even make the case to take it all the way to the convention, as Clinton might not have enough pledged delegates to get a majority. But practically, I expect the race to be over on Tuesday.
@schrodinger’s cat: I hadn’t seen the latest poll, Sanders was slightly ahead in the Pollster aggregator before that.
@raven: Yeah, I saw that too.
Looks like Nate Silver succumbing to Villagitis is entering its final stages:
@gene108: For the engaged, this sums it up.
But about nine of ten wouldn’t even know where Flint is, nevermind what’s happening there.
@OzarkHillbilly: Well then obviously the lead content in the water isn’t high enough…
ETA and of course that higher level of violent crime is to be used as yet more proof that Those People can’t function in civilized society and that giving them their freedom and franchise wasn’t such a good idea.
Snyder was the CEO of Gateway Computers in Sioux City Iowa, earlier in his career. I have friends who worked there when he was in charge and they said he was clueless there too and ran the company into the ground. Good governance is a concept that Republicans just do not grasp.
@singfoom: Unfortunately the EPA administrator of the region also screwed up. I think the Snyder people were at best obfusgating and misleading the EPA on the testing but as soon as you blame Snyder, the RW will scream about Obamas EPA. Theres an excellent piece in 538 that goes over what happened. I hears Debbie Dingell and she was so milk toasty on the issue. You can bet if roles were reversed, a Dem governor would have been lynched six months ago.
@boatboy_srq: Republicans…. Not even competent enough to do a simple mass murder. Old Jozef Stalin could teach them a thing or 2.
Christie just endorsed Trumpster.
@OzarkHillbilly: Ah. Got it. But then again, if the goal is killing, then Flint is a failure – but if the goal is setting up another round of demeaning/diminishing/exploiting Those People for failures engineered in this fiasco, then two years of elevated lead exposure will go no small distance toward that goal. That it was achieved through incompetence and indifference is merely convenient.
@Zinsky: sort of related. And its a good news bad news situation. The good news is bridgeman Christie is endorsing The Donald. The bad news is bridgeman Christie is endorsing The Donald.
@boatboy_srq: The Kansas shooting, I was of a mind that it was small caliber weapon.
@Mai.naem.mobile: Oh, I’m aware that nobody in the government at any level covered themselves in glory in this awful episode. The EPA Regional head resigned in disgrace as she should have.
The only person that seemed to care was Miguel Del Toral who published an internal memo that showed the full extent of the problem in the EPA but Hedman (the administrator referred to above) apparently didn’t circulate that memo outside the agency or use it to start making things happen.
I’d still put the majority of the blame on the Snyder administration as they’re closer to the ground.
@boatboy_srq: I think the goal was to prop up the private prison industry, but it seems to be 20 years too late.
Steve in the ATL
I haven’t been to business school and Allah willing never will, but do they case studies on what killed Gateway? They had great products and an insanely loyal customer base (including me) and threw it all away. What happened?
Steve in the ATL
@raven: Reuters says he used a .223
@Zinsky: That makes it a lot clearer to me why Fiorina thought she could run for President. She destroyed a lot more shareholder value than Snyder, so of course she would win higher office than him.
He also said that the DOJ should be investigating Flint…
Even though the DOJ has been investigating Flint since January 5.
But it’s the thought that counts, right?
@singfoom: Well, it was their policies that caused the problem to begin with.
@OzarkHillbilly: I’m bad with indefinite articles, but I’m going to assume you’re referring to the Snyder administration here.
The problem is and I think others above have noted is that the RWNJs point to the EPA and since it’s part of the hated FEDERAL GUBMINT, it’s their fault, even though others more local made the decision to switch the water and not wait for the pipeline.
I would hope that given this episode that emergency managers are a thing of the present but not of the future, but it’s a bitter hope.
@Steve in the ATL: Could be, the video of him is with an AK in the cornfield.
Pretty much. The Republicans have majorities in both houses of the state leg (and, IIRC, they even have a supermajority in the state senate). A bipartisan special committee on the Flint water crisis has been established, but it doesn’t have subpoena power, so I wouldn’t expect anything useful to come out of it.
@singfoom: You read me right.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
Christie has endorsed Trump.
Too fucking funny. “Fuck you, Marco”
Somebody posted the other day that Christie will be Trump’s running mate. It hadn’t occurred to me, but more and more it makes sense, from Chirstie’s and maybe Reince’s point of view. Christie can be Trump’s eminence grasse and run things for the Right People while Trump does…. something.
While I agree that the EPA shares some responsibility for this disaster, I’m not all that surprised that the Region 5 administrator didn’t push the Del Toral memo. I work in a field in which I have a fair amount of contact with environmental regulatory agencies and what I’ve seen in my time doing this work is that the EPA delegates a lot of responsibility to state agencies in particular, and as a result, will defer to the judgement of state agencies when it deems it appropriate to do so.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
@srv: Conservative trolling is fine and expected, but people are being hurt and killed in Flint. Unless you’re going the Trump route, rein it in.
pseudonymous in nc
Bully and Bully, NY and NJ?
I mean, clearly El Trumpador’s progress has shown that southern and midwestern conservatives like a Noo Yawk asshole, but Trump/Christie is all kinds of GOP heterodoxy other than Being Assholes. Perhaps that’s all that matters.
I don’t think anyone’s going to jail over this except for, maybe, a few low-level fall guys/gals. Certainly not Snyder himself.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist: You mean Christie will be the “Cheney” to Trump’s “W”?
John M. Burt
@Snarki, child of Loki: I love the image of Snyder getting a bucketful of Flint water in his face at a press conference (and if I were to be charged with “assault with a deadly weapon”, I’d be happy to plead guilty loud and clear).
Like the Huffington headline – JESUS H. CHRISTIE. I guess Christie figures revenge is best served cold on the GOP establishment that failed to see his brilliance.
@piratedan: Flint Michigan, Porter Ranch CA. Compare and contrast.
Paul in KY
@Steve in the ATL: Most AK-47 type weapons are 7.62 X 39. You can get them in .223, I think.
Has Porter Ranch been getting national attention? Because, frankly, it was pretty invisible here in Los Angeles until a couple of months ago, and I’m close enough that I share a congresscritter with Porter Ranch.
ETA: Plus you need to compare/contrast a state with a Dem governor and legislature with one that has a Repub governor and legislature.
Maybe I am a cockeyed optimist but sometimes things take time to “set up”. My belief is that there will be consequence to Snyder — and to others. Don’t take the relative absence of aggressive prosecution right this minute as a sign that there won’t be. This will be a big damned deal and the people who prosecute this, whether legally or politically, will have to have all their ducks in a row and have all the hairs lined up. No need to rush this. They know where he is and he aint gonna go anywhere.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist:
Somehow, I just can’t see Chris Christie as anyone’s “running” mate. (Geddit, geddit?)
Fat jokes aside, I’m not sure if Christie could pass a competent vetting. Or if Trump would want a rival alpha for a running mate. My hunch (and I admit, it’s only a hunch) is that Trump will seek out someone not from this cycle’s Klown Kar.
from wapo neocon Robert Kagan
In some of my darker moments I think Trump winning the nomination might be a good thing IF it destroys the current version of the GOP and allows a more moderate center right GOP to emerge. Something along the lines of the Eisenhower/Rockefeller party of the 1950s. Th flip side of my darker vision, however, is the GOP will consolidate around the rabid Trumpism/Rubioism and if they lose will become even more extreme. The even darker side is the democrats will tear themselves apart between HRC and Bernie. Reading some of the posts on Huffington/Salon/etc you get the feeling that the Sanders side of the party will not support HRC as a candidate thus giving the keys to the WH to Trump (or maybe Rubio). Now maybe it is just the heat of the moment and the Sanders folks will support HRC like Hillary and the pumas did in 2008.
I think the second one is far more likely. Seeing a black man elected to two terms as POTUS has scared the pants off the angry white vote. They know Obama was just the tip of the spear for the coming demographic changes. I see Trump as the harbinger of the GOP becoming a fully fascist rather than proto-fascist political party.
Steve in the ATL
@Paul in KY:
I’m just repeating what Reuters said. I don’t participate in enough insurgencies, jihads, or former Soviet bloc country police actions to keep up with all weapon calibers. Surely an ammosexual rightwing nut job, which this guy had to be, wouldn’t want to use 7.62 as that’s the standard NATO round, right?
Steve in the ATL
My money’s on Admiral Stockdale
Jim, Foolish Literalist
@Amir Khalid: yeah, Trump would definitely want a subservient running mate– but I don’t doubt Trump thinks he could make Christie dance for him, and he probably can. It’s from Christie’s POV that the ticket would make sense, I think Christie is operating under at least two, maybe three, delusions:
1) Christie is a strong national candidate
2) Christie is done with the Bridge etc stuff– as Twitter Nixon says, Waldstein and Kelly hate him as much as anybody at this point, and it sounds like that Port Authority could, not will, blow up big
3) being Trump’s Veep or even Veep candidate is a big boost to Christie’s future ambition
I hope so. If there are any prosecutions, they’ll probably have to come from the federal government. The people in state government who have the power to do anything have a vested interest in not doing anything substantial.
Paul in KY
@Amir Khalid: Christie & Trump together might be too much blowhard. I think he’ll pick a woman for his running mate.
Paul in KY
@Steve in the ATL: 7.62 X 39 is a Commie round. &.7.62 X 51 is the Murcan loving NATO round. Since most AK-47s were manufactured behind the proverbial Iron Curtain, they use the Russkie caliber (most of them).
Now-a-days you can get an AK in a lot of different calibers (I think). However, the gun has been around for over 50 years. No telling how old that one was.
@Steve in the ATL:
Minor pedantic point: the 7.62×51 mm NATO cartridge is different from the Soviet/Russian 7.62×39 mm round. They’re not interchangeable.
ETA: Paul in KY beat me to it.
@srv: Typical Republican response to their criminal behavior — “look over here at the made up bs.”
Paul in KY
@Linnaeus: Minor, minor pedantic point, in an emergency a 7.62 X 39 AK-47 can use our round (will shoot something out barrel). Their round cannot be used in our weapons.
Standard diabolical Commie thinking there.
@mr_gravity: There really is no comparison. Porter Ranch was a ruptured pipe that was very difficult to fix. The error was in the method of gas storage and blindness to the risk should the cap fail. No one ignored the problem once it started, and worked diligently to fix it. Flint was a deliberate decision to switch to inferior water. The problem was foreseeable from the start, and when evidence of the problem became evident, they refused to do anything for a year while lying that there was no problem. And the lead and other contamination was a vastly greater public health issue at Flint. There is no comparison.
@Paul in KY:
Indeed. The perfidy of the Reds can never be understated.
Not a weapons expert, myself, but when I was in the military we talked about the Russian AK-74, which was a newer rifle that looked like an AK-47 but used something close to a 5.56mm round, so a round similar to the M16. (Checking the wiki it was 5.45mm)
He will get indicted right after Chris Christie gets indicted – NEVER
It was an unfortunate oversight by underlings. Totally disconnected from the Governor. He had no idea and he would have immediately put an end to it if he had. In the spirit of cooperation, the Governor’s office has hired a law office to investigate the incident to determine exactly when it occurred without the Governor’s knowledge.
@Jerzy Russian: I do a lot of critiquing, and sometimes back and forth conversations online, with some fringe/pseudoscience people. They regularly provide scientific papers as “support” which prove, upon reading, to be the exact opposite – they shoot down their claims. They obviously just don’t see that this will happen. Google “Dunning-Kruger” for the reason.
@Paul in KY:
Nope. Cartridge-based weapons don’t work if the cartridge isn’t an exact fit in the chamber to allow the bolt behind it to close and lock before firing. The Soviet/Russian 7.62×39 round is a different shape and shorter than the NATO 7.62×51 round. Besides the 7.62mm isn’t used in any NATO rifles any more, they’re all 5.56mm now. It does hang around in some belt-fed machine guns and squad weapons though such as the M60/GPMG but even they are reserve weapons and/or vehicle mounted these days.
There’s a semi-auto civilian-market version of the AK-74 which is chambered for American/NATO 5.56mm (.223).
tony in san diego
@srv: name three.
Soonergrunt (mobile )
7.62x51mm NATO is used in the FN MAG by nearly every single NATO nation. This weapon is type -classified as the M-240 series machine guns used as both vehicle-mounted and dismounted crew-served applications. It is NOT compatible with the Russian 7.62×39 round used in the AK-47 and other Warsaw Pact weapons of that generation.
The current rifle caliber stadardized in NATO is the 5.56x45mm round, SS109. In Russia, the current stadard rifle round is 5.45x39mm and the weapon is called the AK-74.
In these notations, the first part is the caliber of the projectile, and tge second number is the length of the whole round mounted in the cartridge casing.
And now you all know more than you ever wanted to.
I don’t think ever: