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“Clinton: I Will Fight For Flint”: The Children Of Flint Are Just As Precious As The Children Of Any Other Part Of America!

It was around the time that the Rev. Kenneth Stewart said he hoped a woman would be the next president that the faithful at Flint’s House of Prayer Missionary Baptist Church stood and cheered.

Maybe the crowd was more boisterous because the people at the church knew that a possible future president was in the building Sunday morning — Madame Secretary, Stewart called her. But it is difficult to imagine the pastor’s soulful performance as anything but normal for a Baptist church in a town failed by its leaders and virtually forgotten by the country until this recent tragedy struck.

“I don’t know what kind of crisis you are in … but be not dismayed,” he screamed.

There are few words to properly do justice to what Stewart laid down on Sunday morning. It was beyond powerful. It caused him to sweat profusely and run out of breath following a 15-minute rap in which he scoffed at the water crisis troubling this city of nearly 100,000 — what is a lack of clean drinking water compared to the power of God?

It was a tough act for Hillary Clinton to follow.

Originally billed as a “community meeting,” as Stewart’s sermon went on it became clear that Clinton would simply be addressing the congregation from the pastor’s pulpit.

Prepared to tell Flint exactly what it wanted to hear, she performed well.

“The time for action is now.”

“One child with lead poisoning is one child too many.”

“It’s not just the infrastructure, it is a problem for human beings.”

Expand Head Start, and support home nurse programs, more money for special education — “All things that address the problems that lead poisoning can cause.”

Clinton tied in her experience as a senator for New York dealing with lead poisoning there — of the paint chip variety — and she made a promise.

“I will fight for you in Flint no matter how long it takes,” she said, garnering one of the louder applause breaks of her remarks.

With her own sermon stretching on, Clinton was looked on by many in Stewart’s church as a second savior. And without stepping too far into the mannerisms and voice inflections of a black preacher, she was more than willing to play that role.

“If what had happened in Gross Pointe, or Bloomfield Hills,” she said in reference to two mostly white, wealthy communities outside of Detroit, “I think we all know we would have had a solution yesterday.”

“The children of Flint are just as precious as the children of any other part of America!”

And the crowd cheered.

Clinton may have served as Flint’s savior on Sunday, but when she leaves the people here will be on their own again, looking to themselves or the original messiah to watch over them and fix this mess.

But having no safe drinking water is the weakest of challenges for the faithful, Stewart reminded his followers. And if you were in the purple pews of his church on Sunday, damned if you didn’t believe him.

“While you tryin’ to figure it out, God already done worked it out!” he proclaimed.

“If a city’s water supply died, can it live again?” he asked.

The answer is yes, because it is always yes as long as you recognize your lord and savior Jesus Christ. Faith cures all. It absolves sin, redeems the sinner, makes pure the wicked, cures the sick, and provides answers when they are in short supply, according to Stewart. Flint’s leaders failed its people, but what the government can’t do, the church and the community can.

Clearly a committed Clinton supporter, Stewart and many in the crowd believe she can help too.

Clinton, Stewart said, is “The one that we been waitin’ on.”

 

By: Justine Glawe, The Daily Beast, February 7, 2016

February 9, 2016 Posted by | Flint Water Crisis, Hillary Clinton, Lead Poisoining | , , , , , | 1 Comment

“The Waterboy”: The Rick Snyder Vision, The Republican Vision, If You Don’t Have Money, You’re Not Really A Citizen

May I suggest the ideal Republican vice-presidential candidate for whichever wingnut secures the GOP nomination this year: Michigan Governor Rick Snyder.

Is there any doubt that America’s worst governor would be the perfect partner for the 2016 Republican nominee? Snyder’s handling of the Flint water crisis succinctly symbolizes the GOP’s vision of government: penny-pinching, cold, scornful of the weak and vulnerable, operating with reckless disregard for future generations. The Republican base wants a truly conservative ticket: a Trump-Snyder or Cruz-Snyder pairing would deliver that dream.

Ever notice that Snyder doesn’t seem to have any real remorse or sorrow for his actions towards Flint’s residents? His “apology” in his January 19 State of the State address was a pathetic joke, one that failed to convince any sentient from America. Snyder never gave a damn about the residents of Flint, and still doesn’t. The Snyder vision–the Republican vision–is that if you don’t have money, you’re not really a citizen.

Eight years ago, in an interview with Thomas Frank about President George W. Bush’s failures, MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow observed:

[T]his is a problem of conservatism. This is a problem of letting people run government when they believe that government can’t work and ought not work.

No wonder Maddow has been so outraged by Snyder’s human-rights abuses, as we all should be. Maddow understands that Snyder is conservatism. He is continuing the dark tradition Ronald Reagan gave birth to 35 years ago when he declared, “Government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.”

Yet government is not the problem per se. Government run by people who hate government is the problem. Government run by people who regard certain citizens as worthless moochers undeserving of the basic necessities of life is the problem.

We hear so much about the compassion so many Americans feel for the victimized residents of Flint. Yet we must acknowledge the sad reality that there are far too many Americans who simply don’t give a damn about the residents of Flint…who couldn’t care less that they’re drinking contaminated water…who turn a blind eye, a deaf ear and a cold heart to those whose health has been damaged for life as a result of Snyder’s deranged decision-making.

Those are the very same Americans who are embracing the hate-filled messages of Donald Trump and Ted Cruz. Those are the very same Americans who probably think Snyder is the real victim in the Flint crisis–the victim, of course, of “political correctness,” “race hustlers” and the “liberal media.”

Recall the repulsive running mates Republicans have selected over the decades. Richard Nixon in 1952. Spiro Agnew in 1968. Dan Quayle in 1988. Dick Cheney in 2000. Sarah Palin in 2008. Paul Ryan in 2012. Considering this track record, would Snyder really be that far-fetched of a choice?

Think about what animates the right today: Contempt for the mainstream media. Contempt for racial minorities. Contempt for government. Contempt for those outside of the right-wing tribe. Snyder would appeal to all of the right’s darkest impulses: selecting him as VP would be the ultimate bleep-you to progressives, the “political establishment” and the Fourth Estate. I wouldn’t put the selection of Snyder past this radicalized and reckless Republican Party. Would you?

 

By: D. R. Tucker, Political Animal Blog, The Washington Monthly, February 6, 2016

February 8, 2016 Posted by | Flint Water Crisis, Republicans, Rick Snyder | , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

“Desperate To Avoid Blame”: Michigan GOP Casts Obama Admin As Flint Villain

Ted Cruz this week reflected on the water crisis in Flint, Michigan, which the Republican presidential hopeful blamed, at least in part, on the city having been governed “with one-party government control of far-left Democrats for decades.”

The fact that the crisis was created by Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder’s (R) administration and his emergency manager in Flint – local Democratic officials had no decision-making authority – was a detail the Texas Republican appears to have missed.

But if Cruz exploiting a man-made disaster for partisan gain seemed crude, the Michigan Republican Party has him beat. The Huffington Post reported today:

The Michigan Republican Party would like you to know that Gov. Rick Snyder (R) has been busy trying to heal the city of Flint while the malevolent Obama administration has only stood in the way.

That’s the message of an infographic the state party started putting out on social media on Thursday. The light blue water droplets on the left represent actions Snyder has taken since October, when his administration admitted its own mistakes created a crisis in Flint, a city whose 100,000 residents still can’t drink the water because of high lead levels. The dark blue droplets supposedly show unhelpful actions taken by the Obama administration, such as the refusal to declare a federal disaster area in the state (it declared an emergency instead).

As of this minute, the image is still available on the Michigan Republican Party’s Facebook page. If it’s taken down, it appears that the fine folks at Eclectablog, a Michigan-based site, have published the same image.

We know, of course, what state Republicans were thinking when they created this absurd infographic. GOP officials, recognizing the severity of this catastrophe and scandal, are desperate to avoid blame. Taking responsibility for Republicans’ mistakes is hard; reflexively lashing out at the White House, even if it doesn’t make any sense, is easy.

The problem, which even the most knee-jerk partisans will find hard to overlook, is a story that is not in dispute: Michigan’s Republican governor, Rick Snyder, working with powers given to him by Michigan’s Republican-led state legislature, stripped local Flint officials of their power and decision-making authority. Snyder put an “emergency manager” in place – someone who answered to the governor, not the people of Flint – who shifted the city’s water supply, a move that carried tragic consequences.

Snyder administration officials told local residents not to worry about the water’s safety, even when the city had every reason to worry about the water’s safety.

These details were apparently omitted from the Michigan Republican Party’s infographic.

 

By: Steve Benen, The Maddow Blog, February 5, 2016

February 6, 2016 Posted by | Flint Michigan, Lead Poisoining, Rick Snyder | , , , , , | 1 Comment

   

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