Sunday, March 20, 2016

Eclipsed substance

Gov. Rick Snyder of Michigan faced the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland, the ranking Democrat on the committee, went after Snyder for the Gov's handling of the water crisis in Flint. Some of Cummings' points:
* If he was CEO rather than governor there would be criminal charges.
* Either Snyder's staff told him and he did nothing, or the staff was silent, showing Snyder is an inept governor.
* Snyder wasn't in a year-long coma.
* That line about "failures at all levels" doesn't excuse the guy at the top.
* Those kids will still be suffering long after Snyder is dead and gone.
* "People who put dollars over the fundamental safety of people do not belong in government, and you need to resign, too, Mr. Governor."

We in Michigan have been listening to stories of lead in Flint's drinking for several months now. The big story recently has been lead in the water of Jackson, Mississippi to go along with their breaks in water mains. Reports of lead have also been popping up in Cleveland, New Orleans, DC, and Newark (where water fountains have been closed). USA Today now reports up to 2000 water systems in all 50 states have unsafe levels of lead. Disturbingly, USA Today came up with that number by using data from the EPA.

And the House budget process is stuck. Even if it wasn't we shouldn't look for help for lead contaminated water systems.

A cartoon by Brian McFadden of Daily Kos shows the fascination with the Trump campaign has eclipsed issues of substance in the news.

A couple of Tweets about the Supreme nominee confirmation process from people I think are regular citizens:

"Obama to GOP: Accept my moderate, 63-year-old pick or get Hillary's 40-year-old liberal instead."
– Justin Miller

"The Republican plan to let Clinton choose the next Supreme Court Justice with a Democratic Senate is going better than they ever hoped."
– Nate Cohn

Tony Perkins is the president of the Family Research Council, an organization that spouts fierce anti-gay lies. The FRC is so bad the Southern Poverty Law Center has declared them to be an extremist group. He has been elected again to the Platform Committee of the Republican National Convention. In that position in 2012 he played a key role in writing the official GOP position on marriage, a summary of which is: Marriage is for us, not you. Yeah, the 2016 GOP platform will have more of this garbage.

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