Mar 182016
 

For the first time, since he began murdering and maiming the residents of Flint, Sturmbannführer Rick Snyder (R-MI) testilied [sp. intentional] before Congress.  Even though it is well documented that Snyder’s aids knew the water was poisonous before hew switched the water supply to the Flint River, Snyder claimed ignorance until just recently.  It should come as no surprise that Congressional Republicans defended him.  I suspect that some were envious enough that he got to kill and injure blacks, that they want to help him get away with it, as there is certainly no valid justification for defending him.

SnyderHatThe good news for Flint, Mich., residents who attended the third and final House Oversight Committee hearing on their town’s water crisis was that Republican Gov. Rick Snyder and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy were both castigated on a public stage.

The bad news: The hearing was as divided as ever, with Democrats almost exclusively focusing their ire on Snyder, and Republicans going so far as to praise him. During three hearings on Flint over February and March, only three individual members of Congress have broken partisan ranks in the blame game.

At Thursday’s hearing, Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) and Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) called on McCarthy to resign, while ranking member Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), and Rep. Brendan Boyle (D-Pa.) called on Snyder to resign.

All three hearings in the committee have been partisan tugs-of-war over whether to focus on Snyder’s shortcomings (Democrats’ preference) or the EPA’s (Republicans’ preference). Chaffetz has noted multiple times that Congress has jurisdiction over EPA’s funding, not over Michigan’s state government. Hence, Republicans feel that EPA is the appropriate target.

On Thursday, three Republicans not only defended Snyder, but praised him.

“You’ve accepted far more blame for this problem than you deserve,” Rep. John Duncan (R-Tenn.) told Snyder, adding that Flint’s economic problems date back “long before you took office.”… [emphasis added]

Inserted from <Morning Consult>

Perhaps McCarthy could have done more to push the issue. such as declaring a federal emergency in Flint sooner than she did, but the truth is that Snyder’s she did inform Snyder’s aides on multiple occasions, and they hindered the EPA’s ability to stop the crisis.  Shifting blame to her, is just a smoke screen.

Rachel Maddow covered the story quite well.

An article in Mother Jones has several more video excerpts.

Herr Snyder is using a “poor me” stance, saying that he will have to live with the deaths and disabilities for the rest of his life.  I know authentic remorse, when I see it from my volunteer work with prisoners, and Snyder was just trying to evoke pity.  If his remorse was authentic, he would be spending the State’s money on his victims, not on his own civil and criminal defense.  If his remorse was authentic, he would resign.  For now he should be charged, tried, convicted, and imprisoned.  And every Republican that has praised and defended his crimes should join the ranks of the unemployed in November.

Every Republican in Office

Is One Republican Too Many!!!

Share
Mar 132016
 

Many years ago I started dealing with birthdays following the example of Jack Benny.  I’m 39.  If you don’t get it, rejoice!! You’re still comparatively young.  My birthday present to me is a Dominos pizza for supper.  Tomorrow I have a follow up appointment with Megan, my Primary Care Physician, so expect no more than a Personal Update, please.  Note:  Due to server issues with out HSP, the site was down for about two hours this morning.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:19 (average 5:26).  (Who sent them a pic of me?)  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From NY Times: Gov. Rick Snyder of Michigan hired a law firm using up to $800,000 in taxpayer money to help his administration navigate through a throng of civil and criminal investigations. Both candidates for the Democratic presidential nomination have called for him to resign.

On Thursday he faces a grilling by a congressional committee in Washington. And as voters went to the polls on the state’s Primary Day last Tuesday, a group led by a Detroit pastor began an effort to recall him in a statewide referendum, a repeat of the movement that in 2012 targeted a fellow Republican, Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin.

Using taxpayer funds for his own criminal defense is itself a crime. May the recall of Sturmbannführer Snyder be more successful than it was with the Fartfuhrer of Fitzwalkerstan.

From Raw Story: Rachel Maddow: It is ‘impossible’ to call clash at Trump’s Chicago rally an accident

Enough Hairball to necessitate Barf Bag Alert!!

 

I agree with Rachel. Hateful Hairball intentionally provoked the criminal violence his supporters are now committing.

From Addicting Info: On Friday night, Megyn Kelly decided to weigh in on the protest in Chicago that sent Donald Trump packing. She, like must conservatives, accused the protestors of denying Trump and his supporters their first amendment rights.

Bimbette Barf Bag Alert!!

 

I knew that the Republican Reichsministry of Propaganda, Faux Noise, would not withhold their support from Hateful Hairball for long. What their favorite low-cut blonde fails to recognize is that the First Amendment guarantee to freedom of speech does not extend to speech violating the rights of others by inciting violence against them.

Cartoon:

0313Cartoon\

Share
Mar 132016
 

I haven't posted since 08/03/2016 having felt overwhelmed by a number of things which I won't go into.  Physio is good and I am making good progress with my foot . . . almost healed, but don't worry, I won't be doing a marathon or the high jump again in this lifetime.  I have another student starting on Monday afternoon and will likely be listening to her young daughter read some French as well.  This is the wife of my physiotherapist so the situation is very different from my other student.  As he said, she might even cook a Persian dish for me, although I don't know if he mentioned that to her.  The rest of the week is fairly busy as well.  Hope you're having a great weekend and remember to spring forward!

Short Takes

Huffington Post — Mauril Bélanger dreamed of becoming Speaker of the House of Commons, of trying to make Canada's Parliament and politics a bit better from his perch in that big, green chair.

Those hopes were cruelly dashed last November when the veteran Liberal MP wasdiagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), better known as Lou Gehrig's disease.

mauril belanger

Liberal MP Mauril Bélanger gives a thumbs up as he sits in the Speaker's chair Wednesday. (Photo: Fred Chartrand/Canadian Press)

Awhile back, I posted about Mauril Bélanger, long time Liberal MP who was in the running for Speaker of the House of Commons.  Before the choice was made, he was diagnosed with ALS and withdrew.  A new Speaker was chosen, but Bélanger was made honourary Speaker for a day. Over the past several months, the disease has moved rather quickly.  But last Wednesday, his longtime dream came true and Bélanger was the Speaker for the day.  A triumph of his spirit and passion for his job.

Huffington Post — Adolf Hitler Hates Being Compared To Donald Trump.  Der Führer is der furious.

A short lighthearted look at Drumpf.

Raw Story —  MSNBC host Rachel Maddow argued on Friday that the unrest surrounding Donald Trump’s cancelled campaign rally in Chicago has its roots in political science.

“When you look at the way that Mr. Trump has been talking about the organic existence of both protesters against him and violence toward those protesters at his event, when you look at the way that he has encouraged it in an escalating way leading to this inevitable event tonight in Chicago, I think that it is impossible to say that this is an accident,” she said.

 

Rachel-Maddow-112712-300x168

The Rachel Maddow Segment from MSNBC.com

Unfortunately, I don't know how to bring Rachel's video's over for direct viewing, so click above (it is set to open in a new window).  I agree with Rachel in her thesis that the violence at Trump rallies, particularly in Chicago, is no accident.  I venture to say, the violence will continue.  Assuming that Drumpf is the Republican nominee, will the violence continue through into November?  I pose that question because we have seen elections in other countries where partisan factions have interrupted elections.  Is that where the US is heading?  Or will cooler heads and the rule of law prevail?

Huffington Post — Ever since Donald Trump announced his candidacy for president on Tuesday, social media has been abuzz with the story of his shaggy doppelgänger — a poisonous blonde toupee caterpillar found in the Americas.  …

The caterpillar's "hair" is actually a set of hollow, venomous spines. According to the University of Florida, the insect is one of the most poisonous caterpillars in the United States.

celeb,animals

The Flannel Moth is Drumpf's animal doppelganger!

Well it seems that the flannel moth is not the only one that is poisonous!  Drumpf's rhetoric is totally toxic if not outright poisonous!  Click through for 10 more of Drumpf's animal doppelgangers.  The third cat looks just like my Winnie but Winnie would be totally disgusted with Drumpf.  He's a social democrat like me.

NY Times  POLITICAL parties are mentioned nowhere in the Constitution, and the party nominating process offers few of the protections associated with the ideal of “one man one vote.” Voters in early states have far more influence than voters in later ones. Votes in hard-to-attend caucuses effectively count more than votes in high-turnout primaries. Some primaries are open to party loyalists; others to all comers. The rules that assign convention delegates are byzantine, the delegate selection process is various, and a few states rely on conventions and cut the voters out entirely.

As Donald Trump attempts to clamber to the Republican nomination over a still-divided opposition, there will be a lot of talk about how all these rules and quirks and complexities are just a way for insiders to steal the nomination away from him, in a kind of establishment coup against his otherwise inevitable victory.

This one is for TC . . . 

celeb,animals

Peyton Manning and his animal doppelganger!

I want to leave you with this that Dave C from Care2 shared with me.  It is the antidote to Drumpf and many more things.

Share
Mar 022016
 

Today was one of those days dealing with time consuming medical issues.  As  a result, the monthly report will be delayed one day.  Tomorrow I have physio and then it is report time.  On the home front, I have a lady bug invasion! This one bug keeps dive bombing my computer.  I have yet to be successful capturing the little beast and the furbabes so far have been totally disinterested in helping.

Short Takes

Common Dreams — A new study confirms what many activists have suspected for a long time: The private courts set up by international “trade” deals heavily favor billionaires and giant corporations, and they do so at the expense of governments and people.

A large anti-TPP demonstration took place in New Zealand in February. (Photo: Dominic Hartnett/flickr/cc)

The “investor-state dispute settlement” process, or ISDS, is built into treaties like NAFTA and the upcoming Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). It allows foreign investors to sue participating governments if they do anything that harms their investment in that nation. Corporations can sue governments through this process, but governments can’t sue corporations.  

But that doesn’t appear to be the case. Virtually all of the financial benefits of the ISDS have gone to the rich and powerful. Nearly 95 percent of all award money went to giant corporations or extremely wealthy individuals.

The ISDS industry scored big, too. The authors found that ISDS “lawyers, arbitrators, experts and other actors” had earned an estimated $1.7 billion from these hearings by the spring of 2015.

You can read a copy of the York University Osgoode Hall study.  If for some reason you have trouble with this link, please click on the link within the article.  Many of us have known that the ISDS was problematic, especially in non US countries with other agreements like NAFTA.  The TPP and similar agreements must be stopped.  In the US, the wealthy and large corporations already have so much influence in government with the large sums they can use to "buy" politicians and elections.  They don't need more.

Huffington Post — But Ryan said he had to speak out when he sees "something that runs counter to who we are as a party and as a country."

"If a person wants to be the nominee of the Republican Party, there can be no evasion and no games," he said. "They must reject any group or cause that is built on bigotry."

Ryan continued on to say that Republicans should not "prey on people's prejudices."

"We appeal to their highest ideals," he said. "This is the party of Lincoln. We believe all people are created equal in the eyes of God and our government."

Ryan said that point was fundamental. "And if someone wants to be our nominee, they must understand this," he said.

When I read this, I had to speak out!  First, I seem to recall that during the 2012 campaign, Paul Ryan was the Republican VP candidate for Romney and they courted the white supremacist vote.  The difference, they weren't as loud mouthed about it as Trump.  Second, there are a lot of Republican Congress critters who are openly bigots. Thirdly, the current Republican Party is the party of Lincoln in name only.  I am sure you can add to the points.

Common Dreams — Reigniting calls for Rick Snyder's resignation, emails released Friday reveal that advisers to the Michigan governor knew that Flint's water was toxic as far back as October 2014.

"My Mom is a City resident. Nice to know she's drinking water with elevated chlorine levels and fecal coliform," the governor's chief legal counsel said in an email sent just three weeks before the Republican governor's re-election, according to the Detroit Free Press.

After examining over 500 emails released by the governor's office, the Detroit Newsreported that "[t]wo top advisers to Gov. Rick Snyder urged switching Flint back to Detroit’s water system in October 2014, after General Motors Co. said the city’s heavily chlorinated river water was rusting engine parts."

"There's no reasonable person who can believe at this point that every top adviser to Rick Snyder knew that there was an issue, but Snyder knew nothing," said Lonnie Scott

Rachel Maddow comments on the ongoing saga.  Nothing short of Snyder's successful prosecution will be acceptable.  Snyder truly is a Republican.

My Universe — 

Share
Feb 102016
 

I’m running late, because I had several tasks to complete this morning, leaving little time to write.  I’m also waiting for a grocery order to arrive and have to put those items away.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:06 (average 5:55).  To do it click here.  How did you do?\

Short Takes:

From NY Times: By law, dating back to 1921, the president of the United States must submit an annual budget request to Congress. On Tuesday, President Obama submitted his eighth and final budget. And like all presidential budgets, it is a statement of values and priorities, a blueprint for turning ideas into policies, a map of where the president wants to lead the country.

This week, even before the president’s budget was released, the Republican chairmen of the budget committees announced they would not even hold hearings with the White House budget director to discuss the proposal.

Their decision is more than a break with tradition. It is a new low in Republican efforts to show disdain for Mr. Obama, which disrespects the presidency and, in the process, suffocates debate and impairs governing.

The dismal consequences of Republican failure to govern has to be blamed on Republicans, not Obama or Democrats.

From The New Yorker: After suffering a poor showing in the New Hampshire primary on Tuesday night, the former Hewlett-Packard C.E.O. Carly Fiorina cheered herself up by firing her entire campaign staff, fired staffers confirm.

Minutes after the returns started coming in, revealing that Fiorina had no chance of making a respectable showing, the former business executive acknowledged that she was “sad at first—but then I realized that every failure is an opportunity, and in this case I had an opportunity to give some people the axe.”

After delivering pink slips to her entire campaign staff, Fiorina said, “I started feeling better already.”

Andy has pegged her heart of stone. People I knew in HP’s research department used to call her the Bankrupt Bitch.

From Crooks and Liars: After the 2016 New Hampshire primaries called Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders the winners, Steve Schmidt came on MSNBC to lend his expert political analysis to explain how this happened. Unfortunately, the former senior John McCain campaign advisor confused Trump’s campaign beliefs with Marco Rubio’s and Rachel Maddow immediately pounced to correct his very flawed opinions.

Barf Bag Alert!!

 

Isn’t it a blessing to have a moderator, who isn’t afraid to call Republicans on their BS?

Cartoon:

0210Cartoon

Share
Feb 032016
 

Today is another relatively busy day.  I have a grocery delivery coming to put away, volunteer editing to do, meals to prepare, and my helper friend coming to help me wash and change the sheets on my hospital bed.  I did managed to get a full night’s sleep last night, and I needed it.  I still feel tired today.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:42 (average 5:11).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Upworthy: Take a minute to celebrate and discover these 25 black "firsts" from the last 25 years.

1. First African-American woman to win the Academy Award for Best Actress: Halle Berry (2002)

0203Halle

It’s Black History Month. I shared the first Black “first” listed. Click through for the other twenty-four.

From NY Times: The state-appointed emergency manager of the Detroit Public Schools, who had also managed the city of Flint and oversaw its decision to draw its water from the Flint River, resigned on Tuesday, the day before a congressional committee hearing in Washington on Flint’s water.

Michelle Zdrodowski, a spokeswoman for Detroit Public Schools, said the manager, Darnell Earley, had declined to testify before a panel investigating the widespread contamination of Flint’s tap water after the city switched its water source, which led to elevated blood lead levels throughout the city.

On Tuesday evening, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee issued a subpoena for Mr. Earley to testify on Wednesday, but his lawyer, A. Scott Bolden, said Mr. Earley would not be able to appear.

I’m glad this Republican race-traitor lost his job. Rachel Maddow explains why the Republican House hearings are just a smoke screen to protect Sturmbannführer Snyder. 

I bet a fiver against a donut that the goose-stepping, sham committee will blame it on Obama or Hillary.

From Crooks and Liars: Rand Paul, the libertarian-minded freshman senator who was once viewed as a formidable presidential contender, is suspending his White House bid on Wednesday, several sources close to Paul told CNN.

 

I was happy to see that the Clown Car had barfed Upchuck Huck. I’m equally happy to see that it puked Idiot, Son of Idiot, Named after Idiot!

Cartoon:

0203Cartoon

Share
Jan 282016
 

Nobody has given more and better coverage of the Republican water crimes of Sturmbannführer Snyder and his token lackey, Darnell Earley, City Manager of Flint, than Rachel Maddow.  I am not going to embed her Flint Town Hall videos here, but I will provide a link to them.  I want to make sure that you do not miss the the return of a native son to his home town.  Normally I never copy an entire article, but I’ll make exceptions with Open Letters, as that format means that the author cares most about spreading the information in it.  So without further ado, here is an open letter from Michael Moore.

0128michael

Many of you have contacted me wanting to know how you can help the people of Flint with the two-year long tragedy of drinking water contaminated by the radical decisions made by the Governor of Michigan. The offer is much appreciated by those who are suffering through this and who have not drank a glass of unpoisoned water since April of 2014.

Unfortunately, the honest answer to your offer of help is, sadly, you can’t.

You can’t help.

The reason you can’t help is that you cannot reverse the irreversible brain damage that has been inflicted upon every single child in Flint. The damage is permanent. There is no medicine you can send, no doctor or scientist who has any way to undo the harm done to thousands of babies, toddlers and children (not to mention their parents). They are ruined for life, and someone needs to tell you the truth about that. They will, forever, suffer from various neurological impediments, their IQs will be lowered by at least 20 points, they will not do as well in school and, by the time they reach adolescence, they will exhibit various behavioral problems that will land a number of them in trouble, and some of them in jail.

That is what we know about the history of lead poisoning when you inflict it upon a child. It is a life sentence. In Flint, they’ve already ingested it for these two years, and the toll has already been taken on their developing brains. No check you write, no truckloads of Fiji Water or Poland Spring, will bring their innocence or their health back to normal. It’s done. And it was done knowingly, enacted by a political decision from a Governor and a political party charged by the majority of Michigan’s citizens who elected them to cut taxes for the rich, take over majority-black cities by replacing the elected mayors and city councils, cut costs, cut services, cut more taxes for the rich, increase taxes on retired teachers and public employees and, ultimately, try to decimate their one line of defense against all this, this thing we used to call a union.

The amount of generosity since the national media finally started to cover this story has been tremendous. Pearl Jam sent 100,000 bottles of water. The next day the Detroit Lions showed up with a truck and 100,000 bottles of water. Yesterday, Puff Daddy and Mark Wahlberg donated 1,000,000 bottles of water! Unbelievably amazing. They acknowledged it’s a very short-term fix, and that it is. Flint has 102,000 residents, each in need of an average of 50 gallons of water a day for cooking, bathing, washing clothes, doing the dishes, and drinking (I’m not counting toilet flushes, watering plants or washing the car). But 100,000 bottles of water is enough for just one bottle per person – in other words, just enough to cover brushing one’s teeth for one day. You would have to send 200 bottles a day, per person, to cover what the average American (we are Americans in Flint) needs each day. That’s 102,000 citizens times 200 bottles of water – which equals 20.4 million 16oz. bottles of water per day, every day, for the next year or two until this problem is fixed (oh, and we’ll need to find a landfill in Flint big enough for all those hundreds of millions of plastic water bottles, thus degrading the local environment even further). Anybody want to pony up for that? Because THAT is the reality.

This is a catastrophe of unimaginable proportions. There is not a terrorist organization on Earth that has yet to figure out how to poison 100,000 people every day for two years – and get away with it. That took a Governor who subscribes to an American political ideology hell-bent on widening the income inequality gap and conducting various versions of voter and electoral suppression against people of color and the poor. It was those actions that led Michigan’s Republican Governor to try out his economic and racial experiment in Flint (and please don’t tell me this has nothing to do with race or class; he has removed the mayors of a number of black cities. This, and the water crisis in Flint, never would have been visited upon the residents of Bloomfield Hills or Grosse Pointe — and everyone here knows that). We have now seen the ultimate disastrous consequences of late-20th century, neo-conservative, trickle down public policy. That word “trickle,” a water-based metaphor, was used to justify this economic theory — well, it’s no longer a metaphor, is it? Because now we’re talking about how actual water has been used to institute these twisted economic beliefs in destroying the lives of the black and the poor in Flint, Michigan.

So, do you still want to help? Really help? Because what we need in Flint – and across the country – right now, tonight, is a nonviolent army of people who are willing to stand up for this nation, and go to bat for the forgotten of Flint.

Here’s what you and I need to do:

  1. Demand the removal and arrest of Rick Snyder, the Governor of Michigan. When the police have an "active shooter" situation in a building, they must first stop the shooter before they can bring aid to the victims. The perp who allowed the poisoning to continue once he knew something was wrong — and his minions who cooked the evidence so the public and the feds wouldn’t find out – must be removed from office ASAP. Whether it’s via resignation, recall or prosecution, this must happen now because he is still refusing to take the aggressive and immediate action needed. His office, as recently as this past Thursday, was claiming the EPA had no legal authority to tell him what to do. You know the EPA — that federal agency every Republican politician wants eliminated? Governor Snyder is not going to obey the law. He has covered up the crime, and I submit he has committed an act of voluntary or involuntary manslaughter. Last month I posted a meme of me holding a pair of handcuffs with the hashtag #ArrestGovSnyder:
    It went viral, so I posted a petition (
    link) to U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch asking her to arrest the Governor – and asking President Obama to send help to Flint immediately. As each day brought a new revelation of the Governor’s corruption or incompetence, and with Rachel Maddow on a nightly tear, the momentum built. MoveOn.org and Democracy For America joined me in circulating our petition. We are now on our way to having a half-million signatures! Then Bernie Sanders became the first candidate to call for the Governor’s removal. That same day, President Obama issued his first emergency order for Flint. The next night, Hillary Clinton fiercely called out the racist actions of the Governor.
    You want to help?
    Sign the petition
    – and get everyone you know to sign it. Now. Another half-million signatures could become the tipping point we need. All eyes are on Flint.
  2. Make the State of Michigan pay for the disaster that the State of Michigan created. The Governor wants the President to declare Flint a federal disaster zone and have him send federal money to fix the problem. Not so fast. All relief aid for Flint currently coming from the federal government to Michigan is going through the Governor’s office to disburse. That is literally paying the fox to fix the chicken coop he destroyed. As a Michigan resident and voter, I think that the people who elected Governor Snyder must show some of that personal responsibility they’re always lecturing about to the poor. The majority of my fellow Michiganders wanted this kind of government (they elected him twice), so now they should have to pay for it. This year the state treasury posted nearly a $600 million surplus. There is also another $600 million in the state’s “rainy day fund”. That’s $1.2 billion – just about what Flint’s congressman, Dan Kildee, estimates it will cost to replace the water infrastructure and care for the thousands of poisoned children throughout their growing years.
    And before there is any talk of federal tax dollars being used (and, yes, they will be needed), the state legislature must remove the billion-dollars’ worth of tax cuts the Snyder administration gave the wealthy when he took office. That will go a long way to helping not just Flint but Michigan’s other destitute cities and school districts.
  3. The Federal Government must then be placed in charge. The State government cannot be trusted to get this right. So, instead of declaring a federal disaster zone, President Obama must declare the same version of martial law that Governor Snyder declared over the cities of Flint and Detroit. He must step in and appoint a federal emergency manager in the state capitol to direct the resources of both the state and federal government in saving Flint. This means immediately sending in FEMA in full force. It means sending in the CDC to determine the true extent of not just the lead poisoning in the water, but also the latest outbreak that has been discovered in Flint – a tenfold increase in the number of Flint people who’ve contracted Legionnaires Disease. There have now been 87 cases since the switch to the Flint River water, and ten people have died. The local hospital has also noted sharp increases in a half-dozen other toxins found in people’s bodies. We need the CDC. The EPA must take over the testing of the water, and the Army Corps of Engineers must be sent in to begin replacing the underground pipes. Like the levees in New Orleans, this will be a massive undertaking. If it is turned over to for-profit businesses, it will take a decade and cost billions. This needs to happen right now and Obama must be in charge.
  4. Evacuate any and all Flint residents who want to leave now. They’ve suffered long enough and, until the water is truly safe, no one should have to stay there who doesn’t want to. The state and FEMA should move people into nearby white townships that are still hooked up to Lake Huron water.
  5. For those who choose to stay in Flint, FEMA must create a temporary water system in each home. One idea that has been suggested is to deliver two 55-gallon drums to every home in Flint. Each day water trucks will arrive to fill them with fresh clean glacial water from Lake Huron. The drums will have taps attached to them. People can’t be expected to carry jugs of water from buildings that are miles away.

In the end, we will need to create a new economy and bring new employment to this town that created the middle class, that elected the first black mayor, and that believed in and created the American Dream. They deserved more than to be poisoned by their own Governor — a Governor who thought that, because the people in the town were politically weak, he could get away with this unnoticed and without a fight. He figured wrong.

A crime against humanity has been committed against the people of Flint, making them refugees in their own homes. Tell me honestly: if you were living in Flint right now, and you learned that your children had been drinking lead-filled water for two years, and then you discovered that the Governor knew this and the state lied about it – tell me, just how fast would your head be spinning? With your children now poisoned, and with the poisoning continuing… is the word “nonviolence” dominating your thoughts right now? Are you absolutely, stunningly amazed how peaceful the people in Flint have remained? Are you curious how much longer that can last? I hope it does. If you want to help Flint, sign the petition, demand that the federal government take action, and then get involved yourself, wherever you live, so that this doesn’t happen to you – and so that the people we elect know they can no longer break the law as they rule by fiat or indifference. We deserve much better than this.

For a better world,

Michael Moore [emphasis original]

Inserted from <MichaelMoore,com>

Here’s the link to Rachel Maddow’s Flint Town Hall.

Lawrence O’Donnell interviewed Michael Moore in two segments.

Part 1:

Part 2:

Frankly, I agree with everything Michael had to say.

US taxpayers should not be bailing out Flint, while Snyder has $1.2 billion earmarked to provide welfare for billionaires.  If we do the billionaires will get the $1.2 billion and Republicans in DC will demand the federal spending be offset through cuts in earned entitlements and spending on the poor and middle classes.  Make Snyder cough up that money first and then examine the need for federal aid.

In another thread we have been discussing the need for Ammon Bundy and his followers to have the long-term use of an 8’ by 10’ patch federal real estate, with bars on the front side.  There crimes, serious as they are,  don’t even hold a candle to what Snyder has done.  Lock him up! He has given the weapons of class warfare a whole new level of brutality.

Share
Jan 222016
 

When Bernie used the word “establishment” in reference to Planned Parenthood and HRC, I understood how he meant it. by the context he used.  Since then,. Hillary Clinton and a score of Bernie bashers have ignored the context.  Several spread the word that Bernie lumps these organizations with Wall Street Banksters and Vulture Capitalists.  Nothing could be further from the truth.

USA-ELECTION/SANDERS

Tuesday over the decision by progressive groups like Planned Parenthood and the Human Rights Campaign to endorse Clinton.

In an interview on MSNBC on Tuesday night, Sanders responded to a question about Clinton’s endorsements with a broad criticism of the "establishment," explaining, "What we are doing in this campaign — and it just blows my mind every day, because I see it clearly, we’re taking on not only Wall Street and the economic establishment, we’re taking on the political establishment."

"And so I have friends and supporters in the Human Rights Fund, in Planned Parenthood," Sanders continued. "But you know what, Hillary Clinton has been around there for a very, very long time and some of these groups are, in fact, part of the establishment."… [emphasis added]

Inserted from <CNN>

Photo credit: Salon.com

When Bernie separated economic establishment and political establishment, he made it clear that he meant something else.  I understood his frustration that, despite his perfect voting record on both LGBT and women’s reproductive rights, they endorsed Hillary before the primary season even kicked off.  Bernie had thought he had a chance for those endorsements, because they endorsed the upstart, Obama, in 2008.  However, they waited until Obama had a significant lead in delegates to do so.  HRC endorsed him in June, and Planned Parenthood, in August.  For Bernie, I thought “political establishment” implied that they assumed Hillary would win, and supported the established candidate.  I think that implication was correct.  Fortunately, Rachel Maddow, clarified it with Bernie.

Frankly, I think HRC and Planned Parenthood were wrong to endorse Hillary so early in the contest.  They should have waited, like they did in 2008.  However, that does not mean that I will stop supporting their initiatives, and donating to them.  They do too much good work to hold one mistake against them.

Share
Jan 212016
 

Yesterday stayed busy.  After my shower-aide left, Safeway.com delivered groceries, which I put away.  Then my helper friend came.  We did laundry, and I tried on everything in my closet to determine what to keep and what to throw away.  The goal is to make the clothes I wear more accessible.  This morning I spent a couple hours doing volunteer work, researching two potential appointees to the Parole Board.  We want thee board to diversify.  A Board consisting only of Prosecutors, Parole Officers, and Victims’ Rights Advocates insures bias against prisoners, rather than a fair hearing.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:00 (average 4:44).  To do it, click here.  How did you do.

Short Takes:

From Upworthy: In a clip from her upcoming special "Marriage Material," Esposito tackles gun culture.

 

This is a big take-down of Republican Ammosexuals.

From Daily Kos: Rachel Maddow points out the inconvenient truths about Ronald Reagan as GOP candidates attempt to live vicariously through a misremembered idol. It has been the modus operandi of Republican candidates as they wrap themselves in their parties icon. It is no different than Hillary Clinton wrapping herself in President Obama during the 4th Democratic Debate.

Recently GOP candidates have been attacking President Obama on the deal he made to bring the hostages home from Iran. Marco Rubio told Chuck Todd he would be like Ronald Reagan in dealing with Iran. Unfortunately Rubio is severely misremembering a Ronald Reagan who traded arms for hostages in Iran. He admitted it on national TV. Many of his National Security team were indicted. It was known as the Iran Contra scandal.

 

This is Rachel’s original video, as the clip included with the article did not embed. Today’s Republicans prefer not to remember either the crimes or the “librul” tax increases perpetrated by Saint Ronnie Ray Gun.

From NY Times: Scientists reported Wednesday that 2015 was the hottest year in the historical record by far, breaking a mark set only the year before — a burst of heat that has continued into the new year and is roiling weather patterns all over the world.

In the contiguous United States, the year was the second-warmest on record, punctuated by a December that was both the hottest and the wettest since record-keeping began. One result has been a wave of unusual winter floods coursing down the Mississippi River watershed.

Scientists started predicting a global temperature record months ago, in part because an El Niño weather pattern, one of the largest in a century, is releasing an immense amount of heat from the Pacific Ocean into the atmosphere. But the bulk of the record-setting heat, they say, is a consequence of the long-term planetary warming caused by human emissions of greenhouse gases.

“The whole system is warming up, relentlessly,” said Gerald A. Meehl, a scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colo.

The faster we convert top green energy, the less catastrophic the effects will be.

The faster we convert top green energy, the less catastrophic the effects will be.

Cartoon:

0121Cartoon

Share
Jan 102016
 

How many times each day do we go to the water tap, run cold water, fill a glass, and then quench our thirst?  I drink about 4 litres of water every day, about 16 cups.  Do I even think about whether the water is fit to drink?  Not usually. But what happens when the water becomes unfit to drink , , , like in Flint, Michigan?

Flintwater

Democracy Now — In Flint, Michigan, a growing number of residents are demanding the arrest of Governor Rick Snyder over the ongoing water contamination crisis. Snyder declared a state of emergency for Flint Wednesday, after learning federal prosecutors had opened an investigation into lead contamination in the drinking water. The poisoning began after an unelected emergency manager appointed by Governor Snyder switched the city’s water source to the long-polluted Flint River in a bid to save money. Lead can cause permanent health impacts including memory loss and developmental impairment. Researchers at Virginia Tech who have been testing Flint water say the city could have corrected the problem by better treating the water at a cost of as little as $100 a day. On Thursday, the mayor of Flint revealed it could now cost as much as $1.5 billion to fix the city’s water infrastructure. We speak to Curt Guyette, investigative reporter for the ACLU of Michigan, who has closely covered the story.

YouTube

Common Dreams — The Republican governor appointed Flint emergency manager Darnell Earley who enforced the April 2014 decision to switch from the Detroit system to the Flint River to source water. In an angry letter to Snyder, filmmaker and Flint native Michael Moore wrote:

Your staff and others knew that the water in the Flint River was poison — but you decided that taking over the city and "cutting costs" to "balance the budget" was more important than the people's health (not to mention their democratic rights to elect their own leaders.) So you cut off the clean, fresh glacial lake water of Lake Huron that the citizens of Flint (including myself) had been drinking for decades and, instead, made them drink water from the industrial cesspool we call the Flint River — a body of "water" where toxins from a dozen General Motors and DuPont factories have been dumped for over a hundred years. And then you decided to put a chemical in this water to "clean" it — which only ended up stripping the lead off of Flint's aging water pipes, placing that lead in the water and sending it straight into people's taps.

Moore, in fact, is circulating a petition calling on U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch to arrest Snyder for "corruption and assault."

Michael Moore's Arrest Governor Snyder Petition

Al Jazeera — This emergency goes beyond simply a public health problem. (Lead is a potent neurotoxin, which can cause irreversible brain damage in children.) It is something much worse: a human rights abuse in an American city. In 2010, the United Nations declared that “ … clean drinking water … [is] essential to the realization of all human rights.” Flint’s contaminated water will prevent children from realizing their human right to health, enumerated in Article 25 of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Public reaction is understandably very heated.  This crisis is totally man made — Republican man made — and the result of Republican ineptitude, greed, and bigotry.  In Flint, 40% of the people live in poverty.  Many of the people are African American.  The old lead city water distribution pipes were corroded by the Flint River toxic water, so much so that a return to getting water from Lake Huron through Detroit is not working.  The pipes were corroded and continue to leach lead into the water.  The only solution is the replacement of the city water pipes at a cost of $1.5 – $2 BILLION.  On top of that, I would expect a class action lawsuit against the state, Snyder and a whole spate of other administrative persons who failed in their fiduciary responsibility to the people.

Share