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Let them drink lead

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LawBeefaroni
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Let them drink lead

Post by LawBeefaroni »

Flint like Rome:
LANSING — Gov. Rick Snyder declared a state of emergency for Flint and Genesee County Tuesday as a result of the contaminated drinking water crisis, on the same day the U.S. Attorney’s Office confirmed it is investigating the contamination of Flint’s drinking water supply.
...
Flint's drinking water became contaminated with lead in 2014 after switching its supply source from Lake Huron to the more polluted and corrosive Flint River. The move — a cost-cutting measure while the city was under the control of a state-appointed emergency manager — resulted in a spike in lead levels in children, which causes permanent brain damage. A recent preliminary report from a task force appointed by Snyder placed most of the blame on the state Department of Environmental Quality and prompted the Dec. 29 resignation of DEQ Director Dan Wyant.
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Re: Let them drink lead

Post by hepcat »

Jesus, kids are suffering permanent brain damage because of that cost cutting measure? :shock:

I can't even begin to imagine.
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Re: Let them drink lead

Post by stessier »

At high enough levels, lead causes permanent brain damage. It does not necessarily mean the current elevated levels in the kids is enough to cause brain damage.

Still horrible though.
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Re: Let them drink lead

Post by Smoove_B »

As the board's designated licensed lead inspector / risk assessor, I can assure you that there's no safe level of lead exposure and your body doesn't fully metabolize and excrete it. I've been following a similar story here in NJ where our childhood lead screening program has continued to be financially gutted by Governor President and there's serious concern over how it will impact a generation of children.

The CDC lowered the recommended levels of lead they consider actionable back in 2012, but NJ hasn't changed the standard nor have I seen indications it will be changed. I'm not familiar at all with the specifics in Flint, but I applaud the actions. Lead is no joke.
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Re: Let them drink lead

Post by Grifman »

stessier wrote:At high enough levels, lead causes permanent brain damage. It does not necessarily mean the current elevated levels in the kids is enough to cause brain damage.

Still horrible though.
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Re: Let them drink lead

Post by stessier »

Smoove_B wrote:As the board's designated licensed lead inspector / risk assessor, I can assure you that there's no safe level of lead exposure and your body doesn't fully metabolize and excrete it.
Okay, but it also doesn't mean any lead in the body results in detectable brain damage.
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Re: Let them drink lead

Post by LawBeefaroni »

Hurley survey wrote:EBL = Blood lead Levels > 5 g/dL

Sample size
N= 1746 for Flint children (pre n=906, post n=840)

Flint results for children 5 years and under:
PRE-SWITCH % EBL:
2.1% (consistent with MDHHS data 2.2)

POST-SWITCH % EBL:
4.0%
p < 0.05; STATISTICALLY SIGNIFICANT CHANGE
And the Free Press analysis of state data that claimed it was a seasonal effect (after-switch is at the bottom):
Image

Note that they had been lowering lead levels successfully each year until the switch.
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Re: Let them drink lead

Post by Smoove_B »

stessier wrote:Okay, but it also doesn't mean any lead in the body results in detectable brain damage.
If only it were that easy. Lead impacts just about every organ and system in the body. Brain damage is but one of the many complications. Problems with nerves, digestion and damage to liver and kidneys. It impacts physical and mental development (for kids) and raises blood pressure (in both children and adults). It can cause fatigue and cause problems with concentration. It's really something that should be avoided. For the longest time we were told that the magic number was 10 ug/L in blood - that levels below that were of concern, but that problems were unlikely. We now know that's not the case and that's why the CDC lowered their recommendations to 5 ug/L in blood.

"Brain damage" is a misnomer. Lead is much worse than just brain damage.
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Re: Let them drink lead

Post by stessier »

Smoove_B wrote:
stessier wrote:Okay, but it also doesn't mean any lead in the body results in detectable brain damage.
If only it were that easy. Lead impacts just about every organ and system in the body. Brain damage is but one of the many complications. Problems with nerves, digestion and damage to liver and kidneys. It impacts physical and mental development (for kids) and raises blood pressure (in both children and adults). It can cause fatigue and cause problems with concentration. It's really something that should be avoided. For the longest time we were told that the magic number was 10 ug/L in blood - that levels below that were of concern, but that problems were unlikely. We now know that's not the case and that's why the CDC lowered their recommendations to 5 ug/L in blood.

"Brain damage" is a misnomer. Lead is much worse than just brain damage.
Okay, but considering I was responding to this
Jesus, kids are suffering permanent brain damage because of that cost cutting measure? :shock:
I don't think I was off base.

It's bad. They should fix it. But the quote is taking a step to a conclusion that is unsupported by the current facts.
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Re: Let them drink lead

Post by Jeff V »

stessier wrote:
Jesus, kids are suffering permanent brain damage because of that cost cutting measure? :shock:
I don't think I was off base.

It's bad. They should fix it. But the quote is taking a step to a conclusion that is unsupported by the current facts.
Maybe one of those kids grew up to be Dan Wyant. :think:
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Re: Let them drink lead

Post by Smoove_B »

stessier wrote:It's bad. They should fix it. But the quote is taking a step to a conclusion that is unsupported by the current facts.
It's one of those things that we just don't know all that much about on an individual level. Does a specific child act or behave a certain way as an adult because they were exposed to chronic low-levels of lead growing up? There was an article that came out last year about Freddie Gray that was an interesting read as I'm not aware of a similar investigation being done on another high-profile case:
Reports of Gray’s history with lead come at a time when the city and nation are still trying to understand the full ramifications of lead poisoning. Advocates and studies say it can diminish cognitive function, increase aggression and ultimately exacerbate the cycle of poverty that is already exceedingly difficult to break.

It is nonetheless hard to know whether Gray’s problems were exclusively borne of lead poisoning or were the result of other socioeconomic factors as well. From birth, his was a life of intractable poverty that would have been challenging to overcome.

Equally difficult to know is the total number of children lead has poisoned. That’s because the declared threshold for how much lead a body can safely tolerate has shifted dramatically over the years as researchers have come to better understand its dangers. Decades ago, city health officials tested for blood lead levels that were higher than 20 micrograms of lead per deciliter of blood. Now, it is believed that anything higher than 5 micrograms can cripple a child’s cognitive development.
To be clear, I'm not (and the article isn't) blaming anything on lead - as clearly stated we really don't know what impact his lead exposure had. All we do know is that it was present and likely impacting his health in some way.
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Re: Let them drink lead

Post by LawBeefaroni »

stessier wrote:
Okay, but considering I was responding to this
Jesus, kids are suffering permanent brain damage because of that cost cutting measure? :shock:
I don't think I was off base.

It's bad. They should fix it. But the quote is taking a step to a conclusion that is unsupported by the current facts.
Using the state's data, 28 kids more than the previous year, and probably ~40 more if the decreasing trend continued, were tested to have elevated (that is, dangerous) lead levels as a result of the switch. How many kids in Flint went untested?

I don't think it's crazy to assume that at least one kid had at least a 4-point IQ equivalent taken away as a result of the switch. Well, maybe it's crazy to assume that it was just one.
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Re: Let them drink lead

Post by LordMortis »

There is so much R&P blame to go around for this its unreal.

Governor, 2 Emergency Managers, the Mayor, City Council, "the DEQ"

I'm surprised it's still a problem as they switched back Detroit water in October. Though this State of Emergency might be a very very late CYA response because of this:

http://www.mlive.com/news/flint/index.s ... tigat.html

The whole thing is a huge example of how government grinds while the people it is there to protect suffer.
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Re: Let them drink lead

Post by LawBeefaroni »

LordMortis wrote: I'm surprised it's still a problem as they switched back Detroit water in October. Though this State of Emergency might be a very very late CYA response because of this:

http://www.mlive.com/news/flint/index.s ... tigat.html
That and the fact that the Flint River water is more corrosive than the Huron/Detroit water. The water delivery infrastructure suffered and is still leeching lead after the switch.
MLive wrote:Enlarge Image
Water from Lake Huron, which the city had purchased from Detroit since the 1960s, was far less corrosive than water that's being produced from the river today, according to researchers from Virginia Tech university.

The city's own testing has also shown lead levels have been rising since the city began using the Flint River as its water source. Virginia Tech testing has shown 10 percent of homes tested across the city had 25 parts per billion of lead or more -- far more than the allowable level -- 15 ppb -- set in federal guidelines.
It wasn't lead in Flint water, it was the corrosiveness of Flint water that pulled lead into the water from the pipes.
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Re: Let them drink lead

Post by Isgrimnur »

Please send money:
The fallout from the water crisis in Flint, Michigan, continues as Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder asked for increased federal help to combat lead contamination in the municipal water supply and Michigan's attorney general announced today he would launch an investigation into the matter.

Snyder is seeking a presidential emergency and major disaster declaration to help residents as the battle to rid city water of lead contamination continues.
...
Snyder asked President Barack Obama to make a declaration for Genesee County, where Flint is located. He is asking for federal aid to help protect the health and welfare of residents in the area.
...
Snyder asked for aid that could include grants for temporary housing or home repair and provide low-cost loans for uninsured property. Additionally, he is seeking assistance that could cover the cost of the damage to public facilities and infrastructure. The announcement comes 10 days after Snyder declared a state of emergency on Jan. 5. The National Guard was called in this week to help deliver bottled water and filters door to door in Flint.
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Re: Let them drink lead

Post by Sepiche »

Now a Legionnaires Disease outbreak may or may not be related to Flint switching water supplies:
http://abcnews.go.com/Health/health-off ... d=36294088
Health officials are investigating whether two Legionnaires' disease outbreaks in and around Flint, Michigan, were caused or impacted by the ongoing water-contamination crisis, authorities said today.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has launched an investigation into two outbreaks of Legionnaires' disease, in 2014 and 2015, which sickened 87 -- killing 10 of them -- in Genesee County. Those sickened ranged in age from 26 to 94, and became sick between either June 6, 2014, to March 9, 2015, or May 4, 2015, to Oct. 29, 2015, the agency said.
The timing is right, but apparently not all the people who tested positive for it had direct access to the Flint water system.
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Re: Let them drink lead

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Image
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Re: Let them drink lead

Post by Isgrimnur »

Denver Post
Oskar Blues and Ball Corp. have provided 50,000 cans of fresh water to residents of Flint, Mich., and more are on the way, Chad Melis, a spokesman for the Longmont-based brewery, said Monday.

The water will be shipped from Oskar Blues' brewery in Brevard, N.C., in cans provided by Ball, which is based in Broomfield.
...
In the past few months, Oskar Blues has, through its Can'd Aid Foundation, sent water to victims of flooding in South Carolina and tornado victims in Texas, and sent 25 employee volunteers to work with All Hands Volunteers in South Carolina.
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Re: Let them drink lead

Post by Isgrimnur »

Something something Even Flow:
This week Pearl Jam pledged a donation of $125,000 to The United Way of Genesee County to aid in the support of Flint, Michigan residents. What’s more, “a close group of the band’s friends and partners” including Glaser Progress Foundation, Live Nation, Brandi Carlile’s Looking Out Foundation, Republic Records, Ticketmaster, Universal Music Publishing Group and William Morris Endeavor Entertainment have donated an additional $175,000.

The band is also calling on fans to donate and has set up a fundraising campaign on Crowdrise. So far, fans have pledged nearly $20,000.

According to a statement posted on Pearl Jam’s website, “Monetary donations will first be used for the purchase of water filters, bottled water, emergency support services and prevention efforts in Flint, Michigan. After the short-term need of Flint residents has been met, any remaining funds will be directed to the Flint Child Health and Development Fund. This fund will provide aid to children and families with interventions that support positive health outcomes.”
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Re: Let them drink lead

Post by The Meal »

Long. Way worth it. 538.
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Re: Let them drink lead

Post by LordMortis »

The Meal wrote:Long. Way worth it. 538.
Short, we as a nation, refuse to pay for new infrastructure. We refuse at the local, state, and national level.

More than that and I can take it to R&P land where there's plenty of blame (and still no map to a solution in play) to go around.

Also, will probably read when I have time.
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Re: Let them drink lead

Post by Pyperkub »

LordMortis wrote:
The Meal wrote:Long. Way worth it. 538.
Short, we as a nation, refuse to pay for new infrastructure. We refuse at the local, state, and national level.

More than that and I can take it to R&P land where there's plenty of blame (and still no map to a solution in play) to go around.

Also, will probably read when I have time.
I don't think that article supports your "Short" claim. It is most likely true, but has nothing to do with the article (which is a fine article).
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Re: Let them drink lead

Post by LawBeefaroni »

The Meal wrote:Long.
You're not kidding. Loaded for train reading.
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Re: Let them drink lead

Post by The Meal »

Pretty amazing the way the situation turned Flint residence into citizen scientists, and how an actual scientist diverted 75% of his $180,000 budget, including his own personal funds, to appropriately retest the city. This is a scientist working from a lab at Virginia Tech who had no personal stake in the city of Flint.
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Re: Let them drink lead

Post by Smoove_B »

Not just that but the clinic pediatrician that recognized something was going on - despite water tests saying everything was terrific. Getting access to that hospital data so quickly is likely something that couldn't have happened a decade ago. I've long touted that America has some of the best, highest quality public drinking water in the world - in part because it's monitored and regulated. This story is a huge stain on that reputation and a damn shame.
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Re: Let them drink lead

Post by Bakhtosh »

I suppose I'm too dense to understand how the "free market" had anything to do with this problem. You have government officials making public safety decisions based on the impact to their budget, and then lying about the test data. You literally could edit "the hand" out of that comic, and it would be more accurate. The city manager knew there was a problem early on.
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Re: Let them drink lead

Post by LordMortis »

http://www.freep.com/story/news/politic ... /79729216/

Darnell Earley to being subpoenaed, kochise "Meh, I don't think so."

....

Contempt of Congress can get you fined $1,000 and a year in jail? Fuck, I'm in trouble. No wait, that's contempt for Congress, that I have. *whew*
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Earley’s attorney, A. Scott Bolden, confirmed to the Free Press on Tuesday night that a subpoena was issued, but he added that it was issued at 6 p.m. Tuesday and required Earley to testify at 9 a.m. Wednesday, even though Earley is not in Washington. Bolden said that time line “borders on the nonsensical” and is “completely unenforceable.”
...
Refusal to comply with a congressional subpoena can lead to a charge of contempt of Congress that, upon conviction, is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $1,000 and imprisonment for up to a year.
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Re: Let them drink lead

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Freep
Flint Mayor Karen Weaver outlined Tuesday an estimated $55-million public works project expected to begin within a month to remove Flint's lead-contaminated pipes from the water distribution system.

First priority will be given to high-risk households with pregnant women and children, Weaver said at a news conference at City Hall.
...
Flint Mayor Karen Weaver outlined Tuesday an estimated $55-million public works project expected to begin within a month to remove Flint's lead-contaminated pipes from the water distribution system.

First priority will be given to high-risk households with pregnant women and children, Weaver said at a news conference at City Hall.
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Re: Let them drink lead

Post by Default »

When they start charging the governor, maybe it will get some good done.
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Re: Let them drink lead

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U.S. judge dismisses proposed class action over tainted Flint water
A federal judge in Michigan on Tuesday dismissed one of several proposed class actions by residents of Flint against Governor Rick Snyder and other state and local officials over contamination of the city's water supply. The lawsuit's claims are addressed by federal regulations for safe drinking water, and the plaintiffs can seek relief under state law, U.S. District Judge John Corbett O'Meara ruled. O'Meara found the constitutional violations alleged in the lawsuit stem are covered by the federal Safe Drinking Water Act, which gives the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency exclusive enforcement authority. Attorney Valdemar Washington, who represents the residents in the lawsuit, said they were considering filing an appeal of O'Meara's ruling and also possibly filing similar claims in Genesee County court, the Michigan Court of Claims, or both. Flint was under the control of a state-appointed emergency manager when it switched its water source from Lake Huron to the Flint River in April 2014. The city switched back in October 2015, but not before testing confirmed high levels of lead in Flint's tap water and in the blood of some children. Lead is a toxic agent that can cause permanent damage to children. When the lawsuit was filed, the lawyers for the residents said they were seeking more than $150 million in damages in the 12-count complaint, including compensatory and punitive damages.
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Re: Let them drink lead

Post by LordMortis »

And now it's not only a health hazard, embarrassing, expensive, greedy, short sighted, a slight on the poor, and full of corrupt, it passed go and has blown straight to Vince Foster territory.

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Re: Let them drink lead

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More charged
Six Michigan employees were charged Friday with misconduct in office for their alleged roles in the lead contamination of Flint's water supply, which has exposed thousands of children to the toxin and left most city residents drinking bottled water for more than two years.

Attorney General Bill Schuette (R) filed the charges against three employees of the state's Department of Health and Human Services and three others from the state Department of Environmental Quality, including the former chief of Michigan's Office of Drinking Water and Municipal Assistance.

The filings bring the number of government workers accused in the water crisis to nine. Schuette, who is overseeing the probe, filed charges in April against two other Department of Environmental Quality workers and a Flint water quality supervisor. He also filed civil charges in June against two engineering firms that allegedly "botched" their work on the water supply system, contributing to the crisis.
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Re: Let them drink lead

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House GOP shuts down Investigation:
Congressional Republicans quietly closed a year-long investigation into Flint, Michigan’s crisis over lead in its drinking water..

...While the Republican chairman signaled the apparent conclusion of the inquiry — Congress ended its session last week for a three-week holiday break — the panel’s senior Democrat insisted the investigation continues and accused Michigan’s Republican governor of stonewalling the committee over documents related to the Flint water crisis.

Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland, senior Democrat on the oversight panel, said he wants Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder to produce key Flint-related documents within 30 days. Cummings said Snyder and his administration have obstructed the committee’s investigation into the Flint crisis for a year, refusing to provide — or even search for — key documents.

Snyder’s intransigence has thwarted committee efforts to answer critical questions about what he knew as the crisis unfolded and why he didn’t act sooner to fix Flint’s water problem, Cummings said.

“Requiring Governor Snyder to finally comply with the committee’s request will allow us to complete our investigation and offer concrete findings and recommendations to help prevent a catastrophe like this from happening again,” Cummings wrote to Chaffetz. “In contrast, allowing Governor Snyder to flout the committee’s authority will deny the people of Flint the answers they deserve.”

It’s highly unlikely Republicans who control Congress will continue the inquiry
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Re: Let them drink lead

Post by Jeff V »

Your penalty for voting for Trump, Michigan -- more poisoned water for you, nobody held accountable.
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Re: Let them drink lead

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WaPo
The Michigan attorney general’s office on Wednesday charged the director of the state’s health department and four other public officials with involuntary manslaughter for their roles in the Flint water crisis, which has stretched into its third year.

Nick Lyon, director of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, also faces a felony count of misconduct in office.

While much of the attention in Flint has focused on the lead-tainted water that exposed thousands of young children to potential long-term health risks, the crisis also has been linked to an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease that contributed to at least a dozen deaths. Those cases ultimately led to the charges Wednesday for Lyon, as well as for the state’s chief medical executive, Eden Wells, who faces charges of obstruction of justice and lying to a police officer but is not accused of manslaughter.

Attorney General Bill Schuette also charged four other state and city officials, who already were facing various criminal accusations, with involuntary manslaughter: Stephen Busch, a water supervisor for the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality; Darnell Earley, who had been a state-appointed emergency manager for Flint; Howard Croft, former director of the city’s public works department; and Liane Shekter-Smith, who served as chief of the state’s Office of Drinking Water.

Lyon was aware of the Legionnaires’ disease outbreak by early 2015 but “did not notify the public until a year later,” according to charging documents filed in court and reviewed by the Detroit Free Press. According to the documents, he “willfully disregarded the deadly nature of the Legionnaires’ disease outbreak,” later saying “[we] can’t save everyone,” and “everyone has to die of something.”

The attorney general’s office alleges that Lyon was personally briefed on the situation in Genesee County, where figures showed the number of Legionnaire’s cases was more than three times the annual average. Lyon allegedly also refused an early offer of help from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and hindered scientists from researching whether the spike in Legionnaires’ cases was linked to the city’s switch to water from the Flint River.
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In a statement, Gov. Rick Snyder also defended Lyon and Wells, saying they have his full confidence and would remain employed at the health department.
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Isgrimnur
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Re: Let them drink lead

Post by Isgrimnur »

Probably a good thing that Snyder can't run again.
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El Guapo
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Re: Let them drink lead

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Good lord. Can't believe Snyder is saying that they have his "full confidence", and isn't even regretfully accepting their resignations or something.

Now, without having reviewed the evidence, manslaughter charges against Wells is potentially troubling. Not that these gentlemen don't necessarily deserve it on some level, but lots of public officials make decisions that could plausibly cause people to die if they screw them up. There's a serious "slippery slope" of imposing criminal liability in those kinds of situations.
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Re: Let them drink lead

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Isgrimnur wrote:Probably a good thing that Snyder can't run again.
For the entire state not just Flint. He sucks ass.
“As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.” - H.L. Mencken
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Remus West
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Re: Let them drink lead

Post by Remus West »

El Guapo wrote:Good lord. Can't believe Snyder is saying that they have his "full confidence", and isn't even regretfully accepting their resignations or something.

Now, without having reviewed the evidence, manslaughter charges against Wells is potentially troubling. Not that these gentlemen don't necessarily deserve it on some level, but lots of public officials make decisions that could plausibly cause people to die if they screw them up. There's a serious "slippery slope" of imposing criminal liability in those kinds of situations.
He isn't being charged due to the decision that caused the city to be using water from the Flint river but rather for knowing about the issues it was causing and covering them up. I don't see that as a slippery slope. His decision was a mistake that anyone charged with cost cutting at that level could have made. Covering it up when he knew it was a mistake was villainous in the extreme. When people knew what was happening there is the important piece of information. He knew and not only did not act to correct the issue but did act to delay others from finding out and addressing it.
“As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.” - H.L. Mencken
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