FROM Mona Hanna-Attisha
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?
Mixed Messages from US diplomats on the new hard line on Syria Since President Trump's surprise retaliation against Syria's use of chemical weapons, Bashar al-Assad has used the same airport to launch conventional attacks on his own people. It's not clear what the US, its allies — or Vladimir Putin's Russia -- plan to do now.
Trump's ethical conflicts pile up as transparency diminishes President Trump's refusal to reveal his income tax returns is just one example of a lack of transparency that could be hiding conflicts of interest. Other conflicts are already obvious from his appointments. And he's being sued for using his job to increase his profits.
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.
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.