FROM Chad Livengood
Passing the Blame Buck on the Flint Water Crisis Michigan's Republican Governor Rick Snyder took a beating today at a congressional hearing on lead poisoning in the City of Flint's water supply. Pennsylvania Senator Matt Cartwright challenged his claim that he took "immediate action" as soon as he learned about the lead issue, and EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy testified that "the state provided our regional office with confusing, incomplete and absolutely incorrect information. Their interactions with us were intransigent, misleading and contentious." Chad Livengood covering the hearing for the Detroit News .
Poisoned Water Poisons Public Trust Almost two years ago, the city of Flint, Michigan began drawing water from the Flint River in order to save money. Local and state officials were well aware that corrosion from lead pipes might contaminate the drinking supply — but they failed to take well-established precautionary measures. For 18 months, they ignored or dismissed reports of lead levels rising in the blood of many children. Those reports turned out to be all too true. In last night’s State of the State speech, Republican Governor Rick Snyder took responsibility. He’s refused demands for his resignation even though he admits he helped cause the problem. But local officials and the Obama Administration share the blame, pushing trust in government to an all-time low in a largely black city of 99,000 people. Is this story of cost-cutting, cover-ups and aging infrastructure a wake-up call for other American cities?
Why Don't Facts Matter? "Fake News" may have a long history, but social media and 21st Century politics have brought it front and center. One reason for its appeal and its power is the tendency of so many people to cling to their beliefs — even when confronted with contradictory evidence. Today, another look at the Emotional States of America.
GOP 'Nukes' the Senate filibuster on SCOTUS nominees Senate Democrats today blocked Judge Neil Gorsuch's appointment to the US Supreme Court… but just for the moment. The Republican majority has changed the rules to force a likely confirmation as soon as tomorrow.
"Tough on crime" rhetoric sees a revival at Sessions' DOJ The pendulum swings between treatment-focused approaches to drug abuse and tough law enforcement. Now, after years of Obama-era "reforms," President Trump’s Attorney General, Jeff Sessions wants local police freed from federal restrictions to fight another "war on drugs."