By on February 1, 2016

Roger and Me, Michael Moore

I’ve always been a fan of Michael Moore — the “Me” in “Roger and Me” and creator of many other documentaries over the years — for tackling controversial topics. However, many of his points have to be put in better context. To wit: his latest Top 10 article at EcoWatch regarding the water crisis in Flint, Michigan.

Let’s see what Mikey has to say.

Before the list even begins, Moore opens with this line, just in case you didn’t know his political leanings:

The basics are now known: the Republican governor, Rick Snyder, nullified the free elections in Flint, deposed the mayor and city council, then appointed his own man to run the city.

Politics aside, however, he does have some very valid points: Some 9,000 children under the age of six in Flint have ingested water laced with lead and other toxins, because that’s the total number of children under the age of six living in Flint. It would have cost $100/day to treat the Flint River water properly, but the powers-that-be decided it wasn’t necessary, which is the key reason the water is a problem now. Also true is the fact that GM did get a special hookup to the previous water supply via Flint Township… but more on that in a moment.

The aricle unravels when Moore tries to turn it into a massive conspiracy: Governor Snyder’s wife is a spokesperson for Nestle, which sells bottled water. Snyder himself is trying to control the water supply. Snyder is bowing to GM to get a special water hookup so its precious engines won’t rust, while completely ignoring the fact GM was able to get that hookup thanks to the plant’s proximity to a Flint Township water pipe.

Jumping to Moore’s conclusions, I think, would be giving Snyder and the rest of those in power too much credit. To say they’re all part of a plot to turn Flint into a deserted wasteland implies that they are acting against their own interest. It takes property tax revenue out of state coffers due to that property now being worthless. It makes Michigan less marketable to those looking to do business — as Moore himself touched on. And if Snyder and the Republicans are pro-business, why would they make the state and the city of Flint less attractive to corporate investment?

There is one undeniable truth in all of this: Flint’s residents will pay the price again for something well outside of their own control, and its youngest residents will likely feel the effects of those horrible decisions for many, many years to come.

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253 Comments on “Michael Moore Thinks Flint’s Water Crisis is a Massive Conspiracy...”


  • avatar
    bball40dtw

    Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.

    • 0 avatar
      CJinSD

      Just because Michael Moore is stupid, it doesn’t mean that he isn’t malicious.

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        I was referring to Rick Snyder and the state of Michigan. I believe that many things that Michael Moore does can be attributed to malice.

        And Moore isn’t stupid. He knows exactly what he’s doing. He’s smart enough to get people to listen to him and watch his movies.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        Personally, I think Moore is Rush Limbaugh’s liberal doppelganger, minus the pill addiction.

        Same M.O. for both: say stupid stuff to an audience that is inclined to believe it, and watch the Benjamins roll in.

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          They are both really Fred Savage in a fat suit.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fox-y_Lady

        • 0 avatar
          RideHeight

          “Personally, I think Moore is Rush Limbaugh’s liberal doppelganger”

          Oh, so true! Personally, being the same age and from a similar background, I hugely admire the entertainment niche Moore’s carved for himself. But I can’t take his politics or reportage any more seriously than, say, Whoopi Goldberg’s.

        • 0 avatar
          ClutchCarGo

          Even as someone populating the left side of the liberal/conservative spectrum (tho I find those labels pretty useless), I find Moore’s rabble-rousing act to be getting stale. However, I am very impressed with his resume, which includes some pretty impressive work prior to his media presence, something I can’t say for Rush.

          • 0 avatar
            Piston Slap Yo Mama

            Michael Moore – were he lying – would wind up charged with libel. So far that hasn’t happened, and likely won’t as he’s good at vetting sources and providing a mountain of contextual data. I also wouldn’t call what happened in Flint ‘conspiracy’, it’s more criminal than that, and is a catastrophe that shouldn’t happen in the United States. Russia perhaps, certainly Mexico, but not here.

    • 0 avatar

      I think this article is dangerous clickbait on the part of Mr. Stevenson, whose tenure I respected until this point. Click the link, and search Mr. Moore’s article for the word “conspiracy” or “conspire” or even “massive” – simply not found. Nowhere did Mr. Moore suggest that GM was behind the poisoning of the people of Flint, though it is *very interesting* the state of MI paid to have GM’s water re-attached to pure Lake Huron water when they wouldn’t pay $9,000 to keep from poisoning the people of Flint. It’s also *very interesting* that Gov. Snyder’s wife is a paid spokesperson for Nestlé, the world’s largest foodstuff conglomerate. Neslé just lost a 9 year lawsuit for excessive water pumping in Mecosta county, harming river and stream wildlife. You can draw whatever conclusions you want – at the very least, it’s a massive failure in government and Gov. Snyder should be held responsible.

      • 0 avatar
        VoGo

        I’ve read criticisms of Mark/TTAC all day today. Some say he’s too far right, others that he’s too far left. Personally, I don’t see any politics in what he wrote – just some news.

        Maybe because today is caucus day in Iowa we are all seeing a more politicized article than exists?

      • 0 avatar

        And if you really want to be disgusted, the state of Michigan has deemed Nestlé worthy of 17 tax subsidies over the past decade, totaling $10,092,345. That seems like a lot, and then you search for General Motors and find that they’ve been the recipient of $3,323,582,174 in MI tax subsidies. Really puts that $100 per day into perspective – no wonder Michigan can’t afford clean water for its residents when it’s spending all this money on corporate welfare queens like GM and Nestlé!

        • 0 avatar
          JimZ

          have you even set foot in the state of Michigan, Mr. Los Angeles?

          • 0 avatar

            Yes, I was born in Southfield, MI, was a golf caddie as a young boy at Oakland Hills Country Club (worst job I ever had), graduated from Royal Oak Dondero High School and the University of Michigan. My mom’s family still lives there. I got out in 2007 and it seems the sate has continued down its path of dysfunction. I feel sorry for those who still have to live there.

          • 0 avatar
            RideHeight

            JimZ… you’re usually a great commenter. WTF?

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            “JimZ… you’re usually a great commenter. WTF?”

            because I am- honest to God- fed up with self-absorbed /children/ who think you aren’t worth anything unless you live in SoCal, NYC, or DC. Especially when they ignore all of the nasty stuff happening in their Chosen Land. I mean, yeah, Detroit is messed up and so is Flint. but we don’t have the LAPD firing hundreds of bullets into random cars. We don’t have the NYPD stopping and frisking anybody.

          • 0 avatar

            Jim, your prejudice is showing. “Get offa my lawn/internet forum/car blog ya filthy hipsters!”

            I don’t need to pay taxes to the state of Michigan to know taxpayers there are getting a raw deal. I’m sorry that you’re sick and tired of hearing from people in NYC or LA, but the fact is that there are a lot more of them than there are Detroiters. Another cold fact: my time, effort, skills, and energy are literally valued higher here in LA than they would be in Detroit. No wonder so many people move here!

            Bottom line, you are not in debt to geography — if a place isn’t supporting you, you can always leave!

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            @forestcasey: That’s the point: people in low-income areas don’t have the money to just up and leave.

          • 0 avatar

            @Drzhivago138 You know what, you’re exactly right. I apologize for my insensitivity. Like I said earlier, I truly do feel sorry for those who have no choice but to live in Michigan. What’s happening in Flint is a catastrophe of epic proportions.

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            No worries; everyone in everywhere has their own breed of problems to deal with. I’m thankful mine aren’t “as bad” as other’s, though other people may think my problems are worse than theirs.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            forestcasey-

            Some of us like living in Michigan. I grew up here, went into the Army, came back for school, left again for the west coast, worked in Arizona, California, Nevada, Washington, Oregon, etc for a number of years, and then came back to the Mitten.

            I may be paid a little less by my employer in Michigan than I was in California. However, I pay less money for two houses in Michigan than I did for one in California. Plus, I live in a better neighborhood with better schools, amenities, and sense of community in Michigan. Also, my second house is on a fantastic 1800 acre lake.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            The Church is still waiting for you to sign off on our construction plans.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            I gotta go look at some property. Then I will build a Temple (that also will have a garage, storage, and a fridge full of beer).

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            May you be blessed by the holy torque of our lord and savior 3800, my son.

        • 0 avatar
          JimZ

          “I truly do feel sorry for those who have no choice but to live in Michigan.”

          oh believe me, we’re more than happy to be thousands of miles away from people like you.

  • avatar
    dwford

    No it’s not a conspiracy. It’s just an unfortunate confluence of government mismanagement, corporate mismanagement, white flight. The net result is wealth fleeing Flint, leaving no tax base to maintain the infrastructure.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    So the conspiracy is Nestle wants to control Michigan fresh water so they can bottle it and sell it? This I could see, but you have to dismiss the Flint lead in water thing, doing business in MI, tax revenues, etc as part of said conspiracy and just call it collateral damage. I see no business case where doing all of those things is intentional and I see no “big gov conspiracy” case to do those things unless it was being done on a massive scale outside of Flint.

    http://www.mintpressnews.com/nestle-continues-stealing-worlds-water-during-drought/203544/

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      Nestle owns a bunch of water in Michigan already. They aren’t going to be pulling water out of an aquifer in Genesee County. There are so many other places in Michigan for them to do that.

    • 0 avatar
      05lgt

      Not believing the link, but Nestle will sell WAY more bottled tap water all over the world because of this short sighted cost cutting. I hate thier business model, but I can’t believe that they would intentionally poison a town to get press favorable to thier sales.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        The allegations are unsubstantiated since CA will not release the actual figures (what a surprise!) but the fact a company tries to profit during drought conditions is not a complete work of fiction, nor is it unbelievable.

        ““The coalition is protesting Nestlé’s virtually unlimited use of water – up to 80 million gallons a year drawn from local aquifers – while Sacramentans (like other Californians) who use a mere 7 to 10 percent of total water used in the State of California, have had severe restrictions and limitations forced upon them,” according to the coalition.

        “Nestlé pays only 65 cents for each 470 gallons it pumps out of the ground – the same rate as an average residential water user. But the company can turn the area’s water around, and sell it back to Sacramento at mammoth profits,” the coalition said.

        Activists say that Sacramento officials have refused attempts to obtain details of Nestlé’s water used. Coalition members have addressed the Sacramento City Council and requested that Nestle’ either pay a commercial rate under a two tier level, or pay a tax on their profit. ”

        If Moore were somehow correct about Nestlé, I do not believe the Flint situation would have been intentional because it makes no business sense.

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          I don’t like Nestle either, but they don’t need control of the Flint water system in order to suck the water out of Michigan. There are plenty of other places all over Michigan that they’d go first.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            They might already be there. I wouldn’t know without a lot of research I’m not willing to do.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            Their big facility is near Big Rapids, MI. It’s in about the middle of the lower peninsula. They are mainlining the aquifer there.

  • avatar
    Crosley

    Michael Moore is an idiot that also thinks George Bush was the mastermind behind 9/11

    And shame on Vertical Scope that owns The Truth About Cars for allowing Mark Stevenson as Editor of a car blog to trumpet his left-wing politics here and on TTAC’s official twitter account. This has NOTHING to do with cars, he is abusing his position to push his hobby horse political issues. Go work for a political blog instead.

    For the record, Flint is one of the most liberal cities in the US, run by a Democrat city-council for generations and run by a Democrat emergency city manager Darnell Earley, with an EPA also fun by Democrats.

    But somehow Michigan’s Governor put lead in the water because his wife works for Nestle that makes bottled water? That has to be about the most stupid theory I’ve ever heard.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      Mark doesn’t believe that conspiracy theory. And Flint may have been under democratic control for decades, but Earley was appointed by Snyder and the State made the decisions that put Flint in this predicament. They were put in place to make Flint better and fix things, but they messed it all up.

    • 0 avatar

      If you note, Mark mocks Moore’s notion that there’s a conspiracy. He said he admired the filmmaker’s penchant for taking on controversial topics. He didn’t say that he shared Moore’s politics.

      Either way, since the left wingers among TTAC’s commenters frequently give me grief for even the mildest expression of conservative or libertarian attitude in my contributions here, you can’t accuse TTAC or VS or political bias.

      • 0 avatar
        Xeranar

        Nobody TTAC’s writing staff has ever been outspoken liberal to my knowledge (Murliee I suspect may lean to the left but that’s possibly just wishful thinking and Cameron I’m pretty sure does to some extent). But outspoken? No.

        This place used to be so vehemently anti-union that it was practically nothing but hard-right posters except for myself and a few others.

        Moore’s theory doesn’t have much credence, this is a case of cheapness, anti-government mentality, and poor leadership. The trademarks of the modern Republican party it seems.

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          The worst part is that their plan wasn’t going to save any money. Detroit Water & Sewer offered to cut their rate and save them $800 million over 30 years, as compared to the current KWA project.

          They were just dumb. It was enough savings that they should have just shut down the whole KWA thing.

      • 0 avatar
        eamiller

        Ronnie, I prefer to give you grief when your posts and comments lack anything in the way of facts to backup your claims.

      • 0 avatar
        TrailerTrash

        OK. So Mark is not left, but certainly not right…what ever this means.
        But I gotta say once you type out you admire this fat fool… a guy willing to say anything for the money…you lose all credibility.
        End of story.
        Between this pig and Al Gore, I can’t decide which is the bigger prostitute.

        And this whole Flint water thing was covered in an earlier story and it showed what knuckleheads can love cars but be intellectually brain dead. The testing isn’t solid. The amount of tainted water is not true and the gravity of the situation is all exaggerated…are you surprised?

        This city has a long history of being at the tit of government. And the people living there have long watched…no actually VOTED FOR…this poor leadership for many years.
        They need to own the situation. They need to accept THEY put this government in through the years.

        You get the government you vote for. So quit blaming everybody except the person in the mirror.

        • 0 avatar

          I don’t think my political leanings have any bearing on reporting facts.

          • 0 avatar
            TrailerTrash

            I agree.
            And hopefully reporters do not allow for personal beliefs to interfere with reporting facts.
            But do you think most do?
            I am thinking hardly.
            Especially if they know their boss or company rag have a leaning.
            Nobody would truly go against their boss log term.

            This is really strange.
            I am the hippie.
            I am the guy in favor of legalizing drugs.
            I am the libertarian.
            And listening to these so called libbers who riotously demand the head of a republican governor just because its what the knee jerking left does is just so boring.
            The reactionaries from the left and right is soooooo easy to call.

          • 0 avatar
            TrailerTrash

            IF you read every day in and day out the CNN, the USAToday, the Reason mag, Slate, Fox News, Rueters, AP News and Drudge…you can almost bet all your money on what news and what headlines each will write.
            You just know what stories they will do and those that will get buried.

            NOBODY just reports the news. They report the news THEY want and how they want to write it.

            It is what they do.
            It is in their corp DNA.

    • 0 avatar

      It is a stupid theory, which is why I call it out. Now please re-read the article and tell me how this is a left-leaning piece. It’s incredibly even handed. And if you can’t see that, well, that’s not my fault.

      As far as pushing politics on Twitter, I’m guessing you mean my retweet of President Obama where he was talking about visiting NAIAS. RTs are not endorsements. However, his visit to the Detroit show is significant and worth a mention.

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        You have a Justin Trudeau poster in your bedroom, don’t you? Right between Che and Mao?

        (I kid, this piece is very moderate. I also liked it. Thank you for writing it.)

        • 0 avatar
          VolandoBajo

          A true poster story…much of Latin America is filled with Che posters and decals, on buses, cars, bicycles, motorcyles…everywhere.

          But I made some friends when I was down there when I was younger. Was invited to one of their houses. On the wall were TWO posters: Che and Einstein.

          Interesting combo.

          Though I never understood why Che, who was somewhat racist, garnered so much favor with the indigenous people there, when Emilio Zapata would have been a far better role model.

          But then again, I can’t understand why so many people still think Hillary’s history is explained away entirely by the comment “what difference does it make now?”

          If that’s the best the Dems can do, a Socialist and Hillary, and the Republicans are wall to wall professional politicians, no wonder Trump pulls poll numbers.

          Personally, I’d like to see both the abolition of the electoral college system and a multiparty system similar to many European countries. It would go a long way towards ending the stranglehold that the two extremes hold over the entire process.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          @bball40dtw – your comment about having a Justin Trudeau poster reminded me of this spoof conservative attack ad.
          www youtube com/watch?v=Mb-1XiHGjtM

          if the link gets killed just google Justin Trudeau spoof attack ad.

      • 0 avatar
        VoGo

        The good news, Crosley, is that you have a great hat. The bad news is that you have issues with reading comprehension. Mark/TTAC/VS treated this nuttiness appropriately.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        Crosley ain’t exactly the sharpest knife in the drawer. Unless you make very plain and simple statements such as “Michael Moore is the spawn of Satan”, he won’t quite grasp what you’re saying.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          Pch101,
          So Crossley is next to the wooden spoon tray in the drawer? Where you live.

        • 0 avatar
          jacob_coulter

          You’ve made that same exact personal attack before, don’t you have any new material?

          Everyone that disagrees with you is less intelligent.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            Someone who would rely upon an OPINION website for NEWS is not very bright, no.

          • 0 avatar
            jacob_coulter

            I guess all those newspapers with editorials are also supposed to be dismissed because they contain opinion pieces along with the news?

            Every publication has a slant, just some are more honest about it than others. The idea that because a political journal doesn’t have your same views on an issue means its 100% false shows your ignorance.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            If you can’t figure out the difference between a NEWS story and an OPINION piece, then there isn’t much hope for you.

            And if you can’t figure out that the National Review is not a news source, then you’re even more hopeless.

          • 0 avatar
            30-mile fetch

            “Everyone that disagrees with you is less intelligent.”

            I dunno, I think Crosley’s post is pretty clear evidence of PCH’s claim. Mark’s article clearly leans critical towards Moore’s claims, but Crosley let the red mist descend before even attempting to comprehend what Mark was writing.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            Dumb people often fail to recognize their own dumbness. That lack of self-awareness is one of the attributes that distinguishes them from smarter people.

      • 0 avatar
        tonycd

        Mark, in my opinion this is an excellent example of the “political clickbait” I alluded to the other day, as the kind that cheapens TTAC and undermines the other very good work you were discussing.

        And with that, I will make no further comment about this thread. Thank you for having the open mind to consider this one.

      • 0 avatar
        Crosley

        TTAC Twitter feed was covered in pro-Trudeau nonsense and Canadian politics. And now his liberal politics are bleeding into TTAC’s main page.

        Mark Stevenson needs to separate his political blogging from his work here. It’s not supposed to be his personal Twitter feed or to get TTAC followers to vote the way he wants to in an upcoming election. The TTAC Twitter feed should be about cars. Period.

        I left the TTAC Twitter following because it had more to do with the Canadian election than automobiles. It was just all about Mark Stevenson and his politics.

        And the whole “I’m not supporting Michael Moore (besides airing his absurd charges) you write
        “Politics aside, however, he (Michael Moore) does have some very valid points”

        No, not really

        • 0 avatar

          “TTAC Twitter feed was covered in pro-Trudeau nonsense and Canadian politics. And now his liberal politics are bleeding into TTAC’s main page.”

          I’ve never once tweeted about Trudeau on the TTAC Twitter, positively or negatively. I have no idea where you got that idea. My own, personal account (MarkTTAC) is a whole other story.

          Your accusations aren’t just unfounded. They are flat out false. Go back to the AutoBlog comments where you belong.

        • 0 avatar

          Or, more specifically: http://www.quickmeme.com/img/26/2604c8c350d537bb08322a3ea7a94a0fcf8606b56e39ba1f62301224aa417e84.jpg

    • 0 avatar
      RideHeight

      “Michael Moore is an idiot..”

      Once again, someone beginning a post shouting “Idiot!” goes on to prove that he speaks from experience.

  • avatar

    There’s some irony (or hypocrisy) in the people pointing the finger at Gov. Snyder (who is indeed ultimately responsible for the actions of state employees as well as being responsible for fixing the problem) being the same folks who support more and bigger government when the Flint water problem represents the failure of government at the local, state and federal levels.

    The failure of Michigan’s Dept. of Environmental Quality and the U.S. EPA to provide proper oversight compounded the problem of the state emergency manager implementing a cost saving plan already approved by Flint city government.

    When the GM ignition switch story broke, much of the investigation was focused on who was ultimately responsible, focusing on one particular engineer, who approved a part change to fix a problem without changing the part number.

    Nolan Finley of the Detroit News asks an important question: who was responsible for not putting a routine anti-corrosive additive at Flint’s water treatment plant?:

    “That mistake, as has been well reported, was to not add anti-corrosive chemicals to the water before it entered Flint’s ancient system of pipes.

    I spent some time this week with several people in the water treatment field, and not one could figure out how such a basic additive was left out. It’s standard practice to put anti-corrosives in water, particularly in older systems.

    And had it been done in Flint, as Marc Edwards, the Virginia Tech professor who uncovered the high levels of lead in Flint water, told The Detroit News, “nearly all of the problems … would not have occurred.”

    With the right treatment, the Flint River water should have been safe to drink. And it mostly was — until it left the plant and began interacting with the pipes. That’s how the lead leached into the system.

    We still haven’t heard a good answer to why a protective and routine chemical that cost just $150 a day was left out. Was it intentional? An oversight? Was the Flint Water Department advised that it wasn’t needed? If so, by whom? Those questions are more important than the who, how and why of the decisions to leave DWSD.”

    http://www.detroitnews.com/story/opinion/columnists/nolan-finley/2016/01/30/finley-trace-flint-blame-water-plant/79586078/

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      The issue isn’t switching to the Flint River. That should have been fine. Like you said, it’s the fact that they didn’t treat the water properly. The other issue is it took the State FOREVER to address the problem. The lack of action is what made this awful.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      Ronnie, I suppose you’ll remember your own argument when it comes time to debate the role and funding of the EPA and state environmental agencies. Demand more money and regulatory authority for these agencies, and they’ll do their jobs a lot better. But we’ve had decades of unrelenting conservative war on these kinds of agencies, and what you’re seeing here is one of the net results of that.

      So, yes, these agencies failed, but did they have all the tools they needed to succeed? I’d say they didn’t. There’s plenty of blame to go around here, but that piece of the blame has to fall on conservatives – you can’t treat environmental protection with the same disdain you’d pour all over Mao’s last five year plan and expect the agencies charged with said protection to be effective. We can’t have it both ways.

      • 0 avatar

        Why not demand that they do their jobs better before giving them more money?

        Do government agencies ever perform any kind of measurements to see if they’re succeeding or not (heaven forbid that the problem they’re tasked with solving might be solved and then they’d be out of a job – the purpose of most government agencies is to employ the people working for those agencies)? The solution from those on the left is always to give the agencies that failed more money.

        The additive needed only costs between $100 and $150 a day and according to the guy from Virginia Tech who discovered the problem in the first place is standard procedure for water treatment facilities, so the problem isn’t that the EPA and Michigan DEQ need bigger budgets.

        • 0 avatar
          HotPotato

          “Do government agencies ever perform any kind of measurements to see if they’re succeeding or not?” Of course they do. I’ve had both public and private sector jobs in my life, and there was way more performance measurement in the public sector. No surprise, since government can’t look at profits as a proxy for performance.

          The problem isn’t line staff, who I have found to be serious and professional. The problem is political appointees managing the agency. Think about it: When a pro-business / anti-regulation governor is elected, he isn’t going to appoint a Sierra Club president to manage the department of environmental quality. He’s going to appoint an ideologue who doesn’t believe the government should be regulating things or protecting people. That’s what the campaign contributors paid for, and that’s what they’ll get.

          And the reverse is also possible: an liberal / activist governor can appoint an agency director who overreaches and interferes unduly with business. Point is, when politics dictates policy, we have a problem.

          Read the internal DEQ emails. Note how management resisted action. Observe how they misrepresented their own staff’s work by disqualifying any inconvenient data. Marvel at how they lied outright to the public. See how they shut down members of the public who complained. Notice how they defamed agency employees who tried to do their damned job and protect the public. It’s shocking, but not surprising.

          To my way of thinking, this illustrates the foolishness of electing anti-government candidates to run the government. It’s like hiring Vladmir Lenin to run Pepsico. Your mileage may vary.

    • 0 avatar
      Xeranar

      Ronnie, always long-winded, low on info though.

      I respect your speech, it would be great rhetoric to the right crowd but I’m calling shenanigans. Mainly because in many cases these multiple oversights only kick in after an incident has occurred because most groups, public or private are expected to do the right thing in the first place. So calling government the problem here is pretty weak sauce when it seems like a badly planned cost-saving move that was setup on ideological principles rather than pragmatic outcomes.

      This is institutional problems that were compounded by an ideological failure.

      • 0 avatar

        The cost saving move was approved by Flint’s insolvent city government long before the governor appointed an emergency manager to handle the city’s affairs. You can’t blame it on conservative ideology. Flint’s been controlled by Democrats since before I was born.

        • 0 avatar
          TrailerTrash

          Ronnie…give it up.
          They are jot even trying.

          And we wonder why we have war. The ability to listen and reason is a pretty exaggerated human skill.

        • 0 avatar
          Pch101

          The decision to use river water was made by the emergency manager, who was appointed by the state.

          The city council voted to join a new water district and to rely upon river water as a backup during the transition. Probably a bad decision and one that indicates that it is not free of blame; on the other hand, the city council had no real authority, given the city is governed by the state, so the city’s largest contribution to the problem was its failure to object. However, it would have happened, anyway, given that the state was running the show.

          This is a state failure. It could have just kept buying Detroit city water, which had caused no problems, but it opted not to.

  • avatar
    JimC2

    I was a fan of Moore for “Roger and Me” but not much else after that. That film was a pretty good docu-dark-comedy. Although his bias and my bias are not the same, Roger and Me did a decent job airing the opposing viewpoint when the exec, near the end of the film, says something about people expecting “cradle to grave” care.

    Moore still makes some valid points from time to time, but generally speaking I think his films since Roger have, ahem, “lost the plot.”

  • avatar
    JimZ

    Michael Moore could probably do so much more for the world by being less of a sideshow buffoon. He starts out with things which are (or are close to) the truth, then carries the narrative off into la-la land.

    • 0 avatar

      Agreed. The piece he wrote about Flint’s water crisis probably does more harm than good by shifting the focus away from the parts of the issue that matter and toward a conspiracy theory that nobody can do anything about because it likely doesn’t exist.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        Moore’s a great rabble rouser, and some of the things he’s rabble rousing for deserve an audience, but he has a bad habit of undercutting himself with conspiracy theory nonsense. His legitimate lambasting of Bush in “Fahrenheit 911” was undone by the “Bin Laden bought the Bush family” garbage.

  • avatar
    JimC2

    On the “glass is half full” side of things, I just realized this means that Pensacola now has the second-worst city water in the country!

  • avatar
    jacob_coulter

    This was a festering problem long before the current Governor. The city has known about its lead pipe problem for how many generations, yet never put money towards fixing it? And who ran that city for the last 100 years?

    But now that it’s bankrupt along with Detroit, so let’s look for someone else to blame.

    BTW, all the regulations the EPA tries to create, and they can’t even do something as basic as figure out Flint’s lead water problem after how many decades? What are they good for?

    This article is a good run down as long as we’re airing Michael Moore’s take on it

    http://www.nationalreview.com/article/430072/flint-lead-water-scandal

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      If you get your “news” from National Review, then don’t try to expect to understand the story.

      • 0 avatar
        jacob_coulter

        If it’s National Review vs Michael Moore, I have more trust in my source.

        • 0 avatar
          Pch101

          Your trust is misplaced. Then again, it almost always is.

          • 0 avatar
            jacob_coulter

            Do you ever get tired of following me around PCH101? Are you that obsessed with me?

            Tell me what is factually incorrect about the National Review article I posted?

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            I responded to your comment. I can’t recall the last time that I did, but I’m sure that your previous comment was equally lame, as you are endlessly attempting to politicize this website.

            I don’t need to read your link to know that the source is bad. National Review produces varying degrees of bilge that is just as bad as the water in Flint.

            What’s amusing is you think that it’s a two-choice universe between right-wing claptrap and agitprop ala Michael Moore, when there are legitimate news sources that would provide you with hard facts instead of slant. But guys like you are only interested in the slant, because you aren’t bright enough to think for yourselves. Too baaaaaaaaaaaaaaad.

          • 0 avatar
            CJinSD

            You aren’t having a good day Pch101. Michael Moore lies about what he wants in his coffee. National Review is fallible. Michael Moore just said that ‘they won’t tell you’ GM was taken off Flint River water, fifteen months after GM told everyone exactly that. He’s a lying propagandist of morbid proportions, but you believe him. That’s on you.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            CJ just isn’t very bright.

            When I described Michael Moore as a producer of agitprop, did you think that it was a compliment?

          • 0 avatar
            jacob_coulter

            So you automatically dismiss the piece without reading it because it’s editors are conservative?

            I guess I get to dismiss every piece of mainstream media out of hand without even looking at it because their editors are liberal?

            Sounds like you’re the close minded one that doesn’t want your precious worldview in your “safe space” disturbed.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            That’s right, Jacob,
            There is a vast left wing conspiracy, chaired by the Clintons, Anita Hill and the ghost of Ted Kennedy. Their sole purpose in life is to get you to use more balanced new sources. So they hired PCH101 to make fun of you on TTAC.

            It’s been 20 years now that Scully and Mulder have been trying to figure this out. You got it in just 10 minutes. Pure genius!

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            Only a simpleton would rely on a political OPINION website for NEWS content.

            Go read an actual news source, instead. Don’t rely upon either the National Review or Michael Moore to learn about the world. Michael Moore makes entertaining movies, but they are not to be taken seriously.

          • 0 avatar
            Crosley

            PCH thinks only liberal, mainstream media publications are allowed to discuss the news. Never mind all the scandals like Dan Rather, Brian Williams, Jayson Blair, or Stephen Glass that actually make up the news out of thin air by “respected” news outlets.

            That is the standard Liberals want to enforce. Only THEIR news outlets get to be what is considered FACT.

            The Flint story is another example of Democrat failure, that’s what the MSM doesn’t want to tell you. They ran the town into bankruptcy for decades along with Detroit and never spent the money to fix their infrastructure. The danger of lead pipes is not exactly a new development.

          • 0 avatar
            RideHeight

            Crosley, stop calling my favoritest commenter a Liberal!

            He’s a Vulcan. You don’t want to get one mad.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            Jesus, you really aren’t bright.

            National Review can talk about whatever it likes. But only a buffoon would put his trust in and rely upon it for NEWS, since it is a producer of OPINION that always tilts the same way.

            The issue isn’t with National Review, which is doing what it always has done, but with you.

      • 0 avatar
        Master Baiter

        “If you get your “news” from National Review, then don’t try to expect to understand the story.”

        Yea, why bother getting both sides of the story when you can simply listen to the Daily Kos, Huffpo and Michael Moore, all completely unbiased sources.
        .
        .

        • 0 avatar
          Pch101

          You aren’t very bright, either.

          I’ll have to type this very slowly: Don’t use or rely upon political OPINION from either left or right for your NEWS content.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            PCH,
            Let me see if I can help explain this. I think what you are saying is that turning to an opinion site like the National Review for your actual news is analogous to looking for reason from a guy named MasterBaiter.

            Does that help?

          • 0 avatar
            Crosley

            PCH is always there ready to tell everyone else how much smarter he is if someone dares to not tow the liberal line.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            Being smarter than you is the default position for most of the planet, not an accomplishment.

            Again, only a simpleton would try to get NEWS from an OPINION website. OPINION websites preach to the converted and to the non-thinkers such as yourself who want to be told what they want to hear.

          • 0 avatar
            VolandoBajo

            Yes, PCH101, we get your point of view. But why did you ignore the request to point out what was factually incorrect in that NR article?

            Was it because there aren’t any factual mistakes, or is it because the only way you know how to deal with opinions contrary to yours is to call their authors idiots who are beneath being worthy of an actual reply?

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            VolandoBajo,
            The point is that if you want to read the news, you go to a reputable source for news. Why does PCH need to go through a piece on an opinion site and parse it for errors?

            Even if it is factually correct, it may focus on only those facts that support a certain conclusion, which reinforces the perspective of its core readers. That doesn’t make the piece worth the time of anyone looking to understand the situation in Flint.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            At least VoGo gets it.

        • 0 avatar
          JimZ

          and this is exactly why the news/media in this country is so screwed up. all it does is tell me what the left is screeching and the right is bellowing. nobody’s doing the work of actually finding out what’s going on!

          • 0 avatar
            ClutchCarGo

            While I’m sure this will be dismissed by the hard-right posters here, but you would do well to look to NPR for news if you want an effort to get to what’s actually going on. Yes, there’s some opinion, but it’s clearly labelled as such, and provided from both sides.

          • 0 avatar
            shaker

            “…what the left is screeching and the right is bellowing.”

            The problem is that these days, you would have to read poorly-researched, biased dreck from both sides in order to get a “balanced” view, which is a lot of work, and you still might not know the truth.

            I try to check in with PBS, and NPR (which seem to *try*), but we all know that (cough, cough) they’re “liberal bastions” as well.

            Seems like this whole mess was caused by a “perfect storm” of screw-ups by politicians and regulators, but the real reason it happened is because the infrastructure is buried underground, therefore, out of sight, and no one wants to spend money on unseen things. MONEY FOR INFRASTRUCTURE: WHERE DOES IT COME FROM?

          • 0 avatar
            RideHeight

            I love and respect PBS and NPR. Civility and thoroughness of coverage are two big reasons why.

            But I’m hardened enough on my prejudicial foundations to not let their implicit slant affect me. And there’s not much of that.

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            “The problem is that these days, you would have to read poorly-researched, biased dreck from both sides in order to get a “balanced” view, which is a lot of work, and you still might not know the truth.”

            yes, that’s the problem. the media tells me Donald Trump is bellowing “it’s 0° and snowing!” and Hillary Clinton is screeching “It’s a bright warm sunny day!” and those useless sacks of s**t just go “there you are, fair and balanced!” rather than looking out the window to tell me “actually, it’s midnight, it’s dark, and there isn’t a cloud in the sky.”

            I refuse to vote in this election. I’m tired. I’m tired of being told I need to choose between a dick up the ass or a kick in the balls. Screw it.

            and don’t start with that “if you don’t vote, you can’t complain” BS. I’ll complain all I want about how I’m forced into choosing between two completely unpalatable platforms.

        • 0 avatar
          Master Baiter

          The article is about tub of $hit Michael Moore stating his OPINION about a NEWS story.

          National Review is stating a contrary OPINION about a NEWS story, so it’s perfectly within reason to cite it.
          .
          .

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            Except that in introducing it, Jacob calls it an “article that is a good run down.”

            If the purpose was to provide a counterpoint to Moore, then using an actual news source would have been a better choice.

            Besides, who has actually read the National Review since the whole Pat Buchanan fiasco?

        • 0 avatar
          Xeranar

          I love the ‘two sides’ meme….Seriously, you know you don’t read liberal sites if you read NRO. Don’t lie to yourself because we aren’t buying it either. I don’t bother with NRO because I don’t need an ideological spin on facts. I tend to stick with NY Times and a few other trusted sources for basic facts then research after that.

          Calling out the NRO as your source it pretty silly. They’re all but the Republican Party’s official media apparatus and to think they won’t defend their badly battered Republican governor is silly.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            “I don’t bother with NRO because I don’t need an ideological spin on facts. I tend to stick with NY Times”

            …for another ideological spin on facts?

          • 0 avatar
            jacob_coulter

            Where is your outrage for Michael Moore as a reliable source on this situation? Somehow I missed that part

            When compared to Michael Moore, NRO looks a lot more solid on the facts.

            At the end of the day, the piece is pointing out that Flint Michigan is a Democrat scandal, just like all the other failed cities in America.

          • 0 avatar
            Xeranar

            If you read the NY Times and think they’re an aggressive spin machine you’re a lost cause.

            28, You want to read a bad paper? Trib-review in Pittsburgh is a right-wing dumpster fire. The PPG is left leaning like the NYT but both will run right-wing op-eds and do a great deal of fairly unbiased news pieces. But yes, the NYT is pretty much non-ideological in their news stories.

            But that’s also why I do further research if I need to understand something better, white papers and such usually.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I agree wholeheartedly with the need for further research into any subject.

            I don’t read NYT but have skimmed and cited their pieces in the past. I couldn’t say its all lies but I do take it with a grain of salt (as WSJ, WaPo, etc) and a slant is apparent in some pieces. I also don’t read the Trib or PPG with any regularity, but am well aware of the shenanigans which have gone on with PPG. When I have seen the Trib, it tends to feature news from around the area which I seldom care about so m’eh on those grounds alone.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            Here’s a secret about Huffington Post: A lot of its news content is just AP wire copy that is spun with an opinionated headline. The news story itself is otherwise the same one that you’d find in a gazillion newspapers.

          • 0 avatar
            shaker

            … Trib-review in Pittsburgh is a right-wing dumpster fire. The PPG is left leaning…”

            When the Pittsburgh Press (evening) was in the same building, I think the Post-Gazette (morning) was a more right-leaning paper.

            I used my classic stereotyping method to determine this:

            The PG was read in the morning before work by businessmen over breakfast, the Press was read by blue-collars after work while waiting for the wife to prepare dinner.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            @shaker

            That’s some interesting history I wasn’t aware of, however the Press has been gone since 1992 and the Post Gazette has become somewhat of a dumpster itself. I wouldn’t say its all bad, but many of the stories centered around downtown itself have a slant and occasionally leave out key facts (Sometimes I have personally known the people involved and according to them key facts are left out).

          • 0 avatar
            shaker

            28: I seem to remember that the Press was favored by steelworkers (union) and the PG by their bosses.
            (Speculation:)
            When the Press closed down, there was a consolidation and downsizing of the staff that my have made the PG more centrist (and city-oriented).

            The Trib is sort of an antibody reaction to the PG – the paper of the ‘burbs. They’re not even in the same county.

          • 0 avatar
            Xeranar

            When the Gazette & Press consolidated mainly the Press staff survived but the Gazette owners/admins stayed. In the past 20 years though the PPG has generally been one of the better non-major city papers (Chicago/LA/NY). Course it slants a bit to the left but it was more a perception of the paper that drove the Scaifes to buy the Westmoreland Tribune-Review and move it to Pittsburgh and run their other smaller papers at a loss to keep pumping out aggressively right-wing articles.

            It’s the difference between a center-left spin vs. right.

            That being said, Newspapers do what they can do for their audience. Not everything is perfect but again, National Review is so far to the right that anything they write is little more than editorials. It’s why journal writing needs to be evaluated carefully and really, the NRO is pretty much one of the worst for practical truths involving politics. It’s a classic Neo-con journal.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            @shaker

            Interesting speculation. I was in the 5th grade when this occurred so I don’t remember much of either paper of the time.

            @Xer & shaker

            You both might be right on the consolidation as far as staffing changes but this was twenty four years ago, those staff are probably 90% gone. I don’t frequently read it but personally I’d rather see no spin on news pieces, and I’d like all facts and truth not some gerrymandered account. Op/Ed’s another story of course.

    • 0 avatar
      Mr.Radar

      The EPA hadn’t detected any problems with Flint’s water because there were none (at least not at the current scale of pollution). The lead piping in Flint had built up a protective coating of scale on the inside of the piping over the decades it had been in service which prevented dangerous amounts of lead from leaching into the water supply.

      When, under the direction of an unelected “emergency manager,” the city switched to the Flint River as their source of water they failed to treat it properly and it was so corrosive it stripped away that coating. Now even if they switch back the less-corrosive Detroit water system the damage has been done and the only short-term solution is to replace the pipes (unless they want to wait more decades for the protective coating to build back up).

      • 0 avatar
        jacob_coulter

        Yea, great idea EPA to rely on the scale in lead pipes to protect people’s drinking water. I guess that problem is solved, no need to investigate any further or warn people.

        Meanwhile, the EPA makes dishwasher detergent manufacturers change their formula in all 50 states because it makes algae grow too fast in certain runoff areas.

        The EPA really needs to reorganize its priorities.

        • 0 avatar
          VoGo

          Right wingers need to decide whether they hate the EPA because it protects them too much, or hate the EPA because it doesn’t protect them enough. Then they need to find out which president signed the EPA into law. (Hint: “Tricky”)

          It’s starting to sound like their ‘support’ for immigration reform.

          • 0 avatar
            jacob_coulter

            I hate them because the few things they are supposed to do right, they don’t.

          • 0 avatar
            CJinSD

            I hate the EPA because they’re worried about Agenda 21 property-rights stripping instead of the prevention of poisoning water supplies, which seems to be something they’re completely willing to do to achieve their previously mentioned objective. Nixon was a progressive piece of Obama, as were and are many other Republicans. Some people are so stupid they still think they can appeal to the government for salvation like some substitute for a higher being. That is all.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            “Nixon was a progressive piece of Obama, as were and are many other Republicans.”

            What does this even mean? Obama was 10 years old when Nixon left office.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            PA: Company charged with violating Clean Water Act by Federal Prosecutor

            http://www.justice.gov/usao-edpa/pr/
            montgomery-county-company-charged-clean-water-act-violations-0

            MT: Company charged with violating Clean Water Act
            http://yosemite.epa.gov/opa/admpress.nsf
            /b1ab9f485b098972852562e7004dc686
            /e2c6be490cd03cba85256a1b00770475!OpenDocument

            MI: No charges yet filed, EPA monitoring progress of Flint situation.

            “EPA is also closely monitoring progress by the state of Michigan, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality and the city of Flint to meet their obligations required by the Safe Drinking Water Act emergency order that EPA issued on January 21, 2016.”

            “EPA will continue to work with the city of Flint to monitor drinking water quality and to ensure the public is receiving up to date information”

            “NSF-International certified lead-removal filters are being distributed in Flint by the state of Michigan to remove lead from household water and make it safe for people to drink. EPA began sampling drinking water in households with known lead levels of 100 parts per billion or higher, in order to test the effectiveness of these filters at removing lead at high concentrations.”

            Funny how the agency with some teeth is all soft and fuzzy with State/Local gov’t and the water authority who all clearly f*cked up. Where is the Justice Dept since EPA refuses to act?

            A deeper look at how EPA and Army Corp of Engineers has operated in a Clean Water Act case:

            http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/case-studies-in-regulation-john-pozsgai/article/144015

          • 0 avatar
            shaker

            The EPA was probably underfunded at its creation, and will probably remain underfunded.
            Just like the FDA, USDA, etc.

            And their jobs are just going to get bigger, because weasels know that they can get away with it.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            EPA budget FY2015: $7.89 billion

            http://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2014-03/documents/fy15_bib.pdf

            “U.S. Environmental Protection Agency pays its employees $87K per year on average.”

            http://www.payscale.com/research/US
            /Employer=U.S._Environmental_Protection_Agency/Salary

            Shouldn’t employees making nearly 90K nationwide be exceptional? How many resources have to be tied down sparring with Volkswagen?

            EPA is apparently already in Michigan. I’m sure by now they have enough evidence for charges. Start arresting some guilty parties and send them on over to the Federal prosecutor.

            I suspect they do nothing because gov’t officials -no matter their stripe- seem to be immune to the laws put down on the rest of us. If that’s really the case the Justice Dept needs to investigate the EPA leadership.

          • 0 avatar
            CJinSD

            The EPA has always had enough funding to stop wage growth dead in its tracks since its inception. That’s what government control of natural resources and private property has done for us.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            CJ,
            Were you one of those “patriots” who holed up in that wildlife refuge in Oregon?

      • 0 avatar
        05lgt

        Just an ex steam plant mechanic, but wouldn’t running something through the pipes to intentionally and quickly build a tighter scale layer be more efficient than replacing all the pipes? It will require monitoring snd adjusting the water forever, but “all the pipes” is tricky stuff.

        • 0 avatar
          JimC2

          “wouldn’t running something through the pipes to intentionally and quickly build a tighter scale layer”

          Surely there must be something for precisely this kind of thing from either Billy Mays or Ron Popeil.

  • avatar
    myheadhertz

    “Tagged as Flint, michael moore, michigan, water supply”

    ????????? Why is this article even here? ????????

  • avatar
    KevinB

    I have been working for the federal government for over 30 years. Whenever someone talks to me about a government conspiracies I tell them they are giving way too much credit to the brain power of our leadership. I can’t imagine it being any better at the state or local level.

    • 0 avatar
      bunkie

      I would argue that you are right about the notion that governments don’t, generally, conceive of conspiracies and then proceed to execute them. When the crap looks as if it’s going to hit the fan, *that’s* where the real conspiracies arise: in the cover-up phase.

      • 0 avatar
        RideHeight

        COTD!

        American government as I’ve seen it is usually about personal aggrandizement in a milieu of rather dim cohorts.

        No big picture, Dr. Evil stuff, only desperate backing & filling when their egregious incompetence in the pursuit of personal advancement inadvertently causes a disaster.

    • 0 avatar
      KevinB

      Bunkie and Rideheight, what you are describing is the “assignment of blame” phase of a plan gone wrong. This happens all of the time and more time is spent on this than the actual solving of the problem. The finger-pointing often reminds me of children on a playground, it’s that bad! Flint is a perfect example of this.

      As far as “self aggrandizement” goes: nothing infuriates me more than a government employee with an ego. Especially those who are not as smart as they think they are.

  • avatar
    JimZ

    but what we really need is to know more about what those idiots who write for Gawker think about this.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    Crunch, crunch, crunch, crunch…

    General Motors and special treatment, Republican officials, Michael Moore, minorities, crumbling Democratic controlled strongholds…

    Crunch, crunch, crunch, crunch…

    This popcorn is orgasmic.

    Crunch, crunch, crunch, crunch…

    Oh my God, fabulous click bait.

    Crunch, crunch, crunch, crunch…

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      The best part is that Michael Moore says that GM switching off the Flint water at their engine plant is something “They Won’t Tell You”.

      However, GM told everyone this in 2014.

      http://www.mlive.com/news/flint/index.ssf/2014/10/general_motors_wont_use_flint.html

      • 0 avatar
        JimZ

        that’s why Moore sucks so bad. he uses half-truths to convince people everything he says is true.

        • 0 avatar
          shaker

          “…that’s why Moore sucks so bad. he uses half-truths to convince people everything he says is true.”

          As such, he fits right in with a lot of Presidential candidates as well.

          So, nothing to see here… :-)

          • 0 avatar
            RideHeight

            And even Moore is more articulate and possesses a larger vocabulary than der Donald.

            Hell, Donald Duck is more articulate than Donald Trump.

  • avatar

    The better question is: how have people managed to stay in Flint so many years if it was really that bad…and Detroit for that matter?

    • 0 avatar
      VoGo

      I used to work at one of the large accounting/consulting firms. We moved a ton of jobs to Detroit because real estate was so cheap, and the labor pool travels most of the time, so as long as they are near a decent airport, you can base people anywhere.

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        Those people don’t live in “Detroit” though (unless they are single and live in lofts or something). They live in Birmingham, Royal Oak, Bloomfield Hills, Rochester, Northville, Plymouth, Huntington Woods, or Pleasant Ridge.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        I’d be curious to see some data on the subject, say companies which move to Texas or Florida vs Michigan what is the retention rate?

        • 0 avatar
          VoGo

          I’ve never seen worker retention rate data by geography. My hunch is that it would depend to a large degree on competition from other attractive workplaces. If you already work at the only good employer in town, you are unlikely to leave, unless your spouse gets an amazing job elsewhere (or you can’t drink the water).

          I have heard whispers of entrepreneurial activity in Detroit (similar whispers came from New Orleans a few years after Katrina). Hopefully, the combination of infrastructure, cheap rent and low cost/high quality workers will spur more job growth in Detroit and Flint.

          My concern is that to be sustainable, job growth is typically fed by world class universities. Boston has certainly been fortunate to have so many great schools here, which have fed development of the IT, money management, internet and now life sciences industries.

          Perhaps Ann Arbor is just too far away to drive Detroit growth?

          • 0 avatar
            Master Baiter

            “…high quality workers…”

            LMAO.
            .
            .

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Well speaking as someone who lives in Western PA, getting me to move a few more degrees north in latitude is going to be a near impossible proposition for climate reasons alone. I doubt I’m the only one who feels this way.

            “If you already work at the only good employer in town, you are unlikely to leave, unless your spouse gets an amazing job elsewhere.”

            I see what you’re saying, but if my company is located in an area where I am the only game, or the only good game, in town I feel as if my employees wouldn’t have the financial resources to facilitate a long distance move regardless if my company’s relocation (I’m thinking rural here).

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      Everyone that could rub two nickels together is gone. Both cities have less than half of peak population.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      just like Detroit, it’s mostly people who can’t afford to move anywhere else.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      Easy to answer that question, BTSR – as with any dying area, the ones that could get out did so a long time ago. The ones left are the folks who can still make a living there, or have no other alternatives.

    • 0 avatar
      shaker

      Because the water has that oh-so-sweet taste that the Romans loved so much.

  • avatar
    Dirk Stigler

    The Flint story is turning into “evil Republican emergency manager appointed by evil Republican governor snuck down to the manhole every night to pour lead in the water because evil Republicans”, which isn’t going to help anyone solve the problem.

    There were two emergency managers in a row. The first was a Democrat who was in agreement with the Democratic city council on switch to Flint River water to save a few bucks. The second was a Republican who for some reason vetoed corrective action when the problem was discovered. Gov. Snyder is the captain of the ship and is responsible in that sense, but no other that I can see.

    But none of that is especially relevant, because as others have pointed out, the key problem is that the water was not treated in a routine way that would have forestalled lead leaching out of the pipes. The only question anyone should care about at this point is why that happened. But instead, a lot of people are just finding ways to use it to ride their usual political hobby horses.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      The EM law is supposedly a “Republican Conspiracy” yet Jennifer Granholm had no problem appointing any (Ecorse, Detroit Public Schools.)

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        In total, she appointed seven EMs.

      • 0 avatar
        VoGo

        Republican conspiracy? More like Canadian conspiracy! First Granholm, and now Cruz.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        Right, but I don’t recall any of Granholm’s appointees getting thousands of kids lead-poisoned. I’d say that’s a key distinction we have to make here.

        When you’re the head of state you take the failures, even if they weren’t necessarily your fault. And the failures can reflect on the leader’s party. That’s the way it goes. Ask Jimmy Carter – was it his fault the Iranian people despised the Shah enough to revolt, and depose him with a bunch of America-hating religious nutjobs? Of course not. But that’s what happened, and it destroyed Carter politically, and was a huge blow to his party.

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          You are right. She did have one EM appointee that stole from the city they were managing though.

          http://www.mlive.com/news/detroit/index.ssf/2013/04/former_highland_park_efm_arthu.html

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          Freedmike:
          “was it his fault the Iranian people despised the Shah enough to revolt, and depose him with a bunch of America-hating religious nutjobs?”

          No……. but it was the USA Government’s fault for choosing to overthrow democratically elected Mosaddegh which lead to the Shah of Iran.

          Democracy does not matter to big business. What matters is the unfettered ability to exploit for profit.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            Thanks for the reminder, Lou,
            We Americans have a remarkable ability to somehow forget those parts of history which are inconsistent with our internal monologue about being the defender of democracy globally.

            It seems that every time we surrender our principles for corporate greed, it bites us in the end.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @VoGo – can I say it’s “An Inconvenient Truth” without getting branded a liberal?

    • 0 avatar
      jkross22

      Dirk, this is the internet where facts play second fiddle to mouth breathing and politics is much more important than data.

      How dare you bring cogent thought to this discussion.

      HOW DARE YOU SIR!

    • 0 avatar
      Xeranar

      Nobody on the left with any supported gravitas is spinning this as a conspiracy, more like a clear and standing sign of what Republicans do when in office (basically make things worse). His support for vetoing corrective action and then the complete ‘laying down on the job’ approach isn’t helping his position.

      The problem is two-fold: Flint isn’t his constituency, so he had no reason to really help them beyond the minimum. Now that that agenda failed because of an off-chance lead poisoning he didn’t institute corrective action immediately and that’s looking partisan and ideological which is the bigger issue of the two.

      This is looking like political hackery at it’s worst.

      • 0 avatar
        RideHeight

        “Nobody on the left with any supported gravitas”

        You mean all of Moore’s bulging gravitas is unsupported?! China Syndrome!

        • 0 avatar
          Xeranar

          For all of the attention Moore gets nearly every left-wing news site and think tank thinks he’s a loon. That’s kind of his schtick though, he’s a blowhard that promotes some good ideas but isn’t particularly intelligent and tends to lose the greater argument in order to do showmanship.

          Moore is 2 parts moviemaker, 1 part intellectual and his movies show it.

          • 0 avatar
            RideHeight

            He’s made a lot of money and so far as I know doesn’t kill people or molest kids so I’m OK with him. Just wish he’d see to his health issues.

            I’m not real demanding of public figures who’ve dragged themselves out of industrial waste heaps.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            Xeranar – at first glance, I thought you were describing Trump……….

            but hey……

            HERO or ZERO

            “Better than the alternative” is a poor filter for a candidate.

          • 0 avatar
            Xeranar

            That’s what the American people want though….2 parts Showman/Movie Maker and 1 part Policy Wonk/Intellectual. It’s kind of depressing though I have to say if Bernie shows up big in Iowa and gets the Nomination I’ll have renewed faith in humanity….or atleast in Americans.

          • 0 avatar
            jkross22

            Xeranar, It’s tough to envision Dem party bosses signing off on a Bernie nomination. Too much of a threat to entrenched interests. I’d love to eat my words but don’t see it happening.

            I’m not convinced that Americans want anything other than ‘a guy to invite to a bbq’. Americans still mostly care about the sizzle instead of the steak.

          • 0 avatar
            Xeranar

            .2% difference right now in Iowa, only a marginal increase in overall normal turnout. That’s a pretty good showing. It looks like a good chance for Bernie to pull it out.

            My educated guess, Xer’s Handicapping the race:

            Democrats
            Clinton: 2-1
            Bernie: 3-1
            O’Malley: 1000-1

            Republicans
            Trump: 2-1
            Cruz: 3-1
            Rubio: 3-1
            Remainder of the Field: 15-1

            Pretty much, the minor 3% victory for Cruz was expected in a highly evangelical setup. Rubio over-performed but so did Trump. If Cruz or Rubio wins NH and SC (splitting it with Trump second isn’t good enough) then I would move either of them up to 2-1 and Trump down to 3-1. There is nobody in the field that was relevant or even threatening on the outside. This is a 5 man (or 4 man and a woman) race now. This was more or less what it was last week or even two weeks ago, NH is going to be a real test for Trump & Co. Bernie is expected to crush there, so basically there shouldn’t be any shift at all. SC is the next Dem challenge.

          • 0 avatar
            jkross22

            Bernie may win Iowa and NH, but it’s my understanding that HRC has the delegates locked up for the nomination.

            If this email scandal blows up on her (however far fetched that is) and the FBI moves to charge her, the Dems would likely need to get Kerry or Uncle Joe in the mix.

            The Reps nomination still seems up for grabs and if Trump leads the polls going into their convention, I can’t envision the Reps making Trump their nominee either (he’s their Sanders). Difference is that they’ve got their retreads ready to go.

            I’ll warm up the popcorn.

          • 0 avatar
            Xeranar

            HRC wins with non-whites and wealthier whites. It’s not a done deal but she has a good chance of winning the whole she-bang. It’s why the odds are 2-1 in her favor but 3-1 in Bernie’s. If he can survive SC and the SEC primaries with atleast a few state wins or ties then he has relevancy going forward.

            If Clinton wasn’t running the DNC would be backing him or atleast staying out of it. This is the practical reality of an organization with long-ties to an individual more so than ideological divide.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            Hillary is good at coin tosses.

  • avatar
    paxman356

    It’s hard to say whether this was stupidity or malice. Part of me feels they were doing what they could to privatize the water supply and screwed it up. Just like almost all the Managers Snyder has appointed. Which is the stupidest law ever, to allow the Governor to nullify local elections and install his own cronies. Let’s hope those that are culpable are put on the chopping black for this.

    • 0 avatar
      CJinSD

      The stupidest law ever would be a description of the rules that these ignorant voting populations created to bring their locales to ruin.

      • 0 avatar
        VoGo

        CJ,
        Are you referring to the Republican assault on democracy known as ‘gerrymandering’? Or the Republican assault on democracy known as voter fraud acts or Motor Voter acts? Or simply to Citizens United?

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        Right, and Buick pulling out of Flint, and the city subsequently losing about 50% of its’ population over 50 years, was the voters’ fault. GM deciding to make cars that people didn’t want to buy had nothing to do with it – it was the voters who made them do that.

        Now I understand clearly. Clearly the voters WANTED this to happen. That way they could end up in the horrid situation they’re in now, because…all voters want to live in a blighted city in abject poverty.

        God bless you, CJ, you always make things so clear for me!

  • avatar
    Master Baiter

    This is the same nut bag who thinks Cuba has a better health care system than the U.S.
    .
    .

    • 0 avatar
      bunkie

      Depends upon what you mean by “better”.

      Having the latest, state-of-the-art beeping machines (nothing against beeping machines, but they do tend to be *very* expensive despite the resale and leaseback tax advantages) and billing systems?

      or

      Covering everyone (even at a generally lower level of care that some in America can afford)?

      It’s all a matter of perspective.

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        Like the perspective of the people being held at gunpoint to keep them there?

      • 0 avatar
        chuckrs

        Moore was shown a Potemkin village version of Cuban healthcare. Try babalublog.com for an entirely different take on the gap between the people’s healthcare and that for foreigners (hard currency payers) and the Cuban nomenklatura.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        Laissez-faire works in a system where people can chose to move on or chose to refuse the services but in health care you have a captive market. You can find another source of health care if you can afford it but what if you can’t?
        There will always be those that can’t.

        Do you let them suffer and/or die?

        A study was done comparing the USA system to Canada’s system. The USA system excelled at “assembly line” type care. I’m referring to high turn over care like orthopedic surgeries especially hip and knee replacements, diagnostics, and plastic surgery.
        They did poorly with chronic long term disease management.

        Why is that?

        High turnover surgery and diagnostics generate large sums of money for heath care systems but chronic illness is rather costly over a long period of time.

  • avatar
    RideHeight

    Michael’s greatest crime will be making the poor, overworked minorities who perform hospitals’ grunt work transport him between wards and procedure tables.

    None of them will be old enough to have seen What’s Eating Gilbert Grape.

  • avatar
    fincar1

    No one cares what Michael Moore has to say about anything.

  • avatar
    50merc

    Analysis: False: “something well outside of their own control”.
    Ah, but the key failure point–not adding a non-corrosive chemical–was indeed within Flint’s control. And some yet unidentified individual was, and should be held, responsible for that. Even small water systems are required to have one or more operators assigned to monitoring water quality and regulating what’s in or added to it.

    The Exxon Valdez had a drunk Captain, and the Flint water system had an incompetent or uncaring quality boss.

    I concede that the people of Flint aren’t to blame for the fact that Buick is no longer the third best selling brand in the industry.

    • 0 avatar

      It was outside the control of RESIDENTS of Flint.

      • 0 avatar
        jkross22

        They elected representatives to manage the city. “Well outside of their control” is a stretch, as they voted for who would represent their interests in matters like these.

        • 0 avatar
          jnik

          The elected representatives of Flint were replaced by an appointed representative of the Governor to straighten out Flint’s economic problems. I believe Michigan may be the only state to allow this. This was also done in Detroit.
          But that doesn’t answer why the State authorities ignored the Flint residents’ complaints about the water for two years, That is answered by the fact that the people of Flint live in the “False” America” that doesn’t count, as opposed to the “Real America” of Grosse Pointe and Ann Arbor that the GOP coddles and caters to. That is exemplified be the behavior of GWBush, who in 2005 called on the “Real Americans” of Mississippi who suffered from Hurricane Katrina, then flew over New Orleans, looking down on the “False Americans” of that city who didn’t vote for him. He had to be reminded that he was the President of the ENTIRE NATION, not just the part that voted for him. This is also exemplified by Ted Cruz, who donated bottled water to Flint – but only to anti – abortion protesters. The others weren’t “Real Americans ” like him.

        • 0 avatar
          Pch101

          “They elected representatives to manage the city.”

          Er, the city’s elected officials weren’t in charge. The state was running Flint and made the decision to change the water.

          You obviously haven’t followed the story at all.

          • 0 avatar
            jkross22

            The Flint voters elected local representatives that ran the city into $30mm in debt, necessitating an EM to step in in the early 2000’s. The city ran into living beyond it’s means again in 2011, leading to another series of EM’s since then.

            Imagine that. Voters electing people to represent them and failing to do their jobs.

            See, we have a representative form of government where we elect people to do this type of work on our behalf. Didn’t mean to confuse you.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            The city officials were not running the city when the water was switched. That is just a fact.

            This is not that complicated, which would explain why you struggle with it.

          • 0 avatar
            TrailerTrash

            PC…again and slowwwwly for you.

            Why did anybody have to take over the Flint water system. Ever?
            Why was the EPA dist manager fired (ooops, transferred/resign because nobody in gov gets fired)

            Why were the city water pipes horrible?

            Should we have given them money years ago for their system, their healthcare. their infrastructure, their police, their mass transit system?

            How much responsibility should the city take if anything in your socialist/communist opinion?

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            There wasn’t a problem until the switch was made to river water.

            The authority to switch to river water was in the hands of the state government.

            In effect, Flint had no city government at the time that these decisions were made and implemented, even though they had been elected and showed up to vote on things over which they had no authority due to the fact that the state was in charge. Whether the city officials were brilliant, stupid or something in between, the power was in the hands of the state.

            This isn’t that complicated.

          • 0 avatar
            TrailerTrash

            PC..
            Ya, its simple. But you have to see through the madness.
            I don’t have a horse in this race. I could give a damn about the city or the state.
            I just hate runaway goverment, be it fat cat republicans or democrats. They all gerrymander their lives into office for life.
            And again you are trying to over simplify this to fit your political right hating leaning.
            The city had temporarily switched to this system after deciding against renewing a 30-year contract with its existing supplier, the Detroit Water and Sewage Department

            AND the fact that this city refused to anti up for repairs even if NOT higher water fees AND that the inept EPA (YOUR LIBERAL AGENCY) sat on known poor test AND poor DEQ testing cannot be glanced over just to meet your position.

            Hell…even the democratic mayor insisted the water was fine. Really????
            These are all facts.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            “The city had temporarily switched to this system after deciding against renewing a 30-year contract with its existing supplier…”

            No, the STATE made the switch.

            This is not complicated.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            TT,
            How is the EPA PCH’s liberal agency? Richard Nixon signed the EPA into being – are you saying that PCH is actually the ghost of Tricky Dick? Are you claiming that Nixon was actually a liberal? Please explain.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            These poor conservative buggers are scrambling to avoid blame, like cockroaches caught in the light.

            The notion that a Republican governor was in charge of the people who implemented this fiasco is not something that they can tolerate. They are doing what conservatives usually do — talking a lot about “accountability” when they have no desire to have any accountability of their own.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            The city had permanently switched to the KWA but used the Flint River as a source until the pipeline was complete. Which was a decision made by the State/EM.

            The Emergency Manager and the State made the decision to switch to the KWA in March/April of 2013. None of that is problematic. Fine, they made the switch. The problem was that the water wasn’t treated properly, and when the state did know there was a problem, they sat on it for over a year.

            The problem is the state making a decision and then sitting on their butts when it became obvious that it was the wrong decision.

            The pipes were fine because they had been coated with calcium over decades. Now they aren’t because of corrosive water.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            Republicans should be calling for Rick Snyder to step down. He wanted to be CEO of Michigan. CEOs lose their jobs over stuff like this.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            If the governor was a Democrat, then the usual suspects around here would want his head on a platter as they complained about an overreaching state government.

            But hey, he’s a Republican, so their mood is completely different.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            I voted for Snyder and want him gone.

  • avatar
    Big Al From 'Murica

    Good God…can we just bring Bertel back. If I’m going to read a bunch of not car related content it may as well be interesting. Not that the Flint story isn’t a bonafied and valid news story, but it isn’t why I come to this page.

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      Flint is a company town of sorts for GM.

      And not mentioned in this particular blog post, but it is GM that helped to bring this story to everyone’s attention when the water made its engines rust.

      • 0 avatar
        Drzhivago138

        Interesting. I was going to ask this same question (“What does the Flint water debacle even have to do with cars anyway?”) a few hours ago but had to go do chores and run errands.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          Drzhivago138 – but this is way more fun than debating the poor cargo ratings of the Titan XD!

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            Apparently, since it got 100+ comments in two hours. Meanwhile, I loaded hay, then got beef jerky from a local meat locker, then got drunk on hefeweizen at supper. And then I had a lay down and now I’m aaaalll better!

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            Drzhivago138 – that sounds like a relaxing evening.
            I find USA politics fascinating.

            It makes Canadian politics look like a gossip huddle of Catholic school girls. LOL

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      Flint’s rise and fall is tied directly to the auto industry. Sorry you can’t handle that.

  • avatar
    Chets Jalopy

    First day at the newsbot console and Mark’s hit the wrong lever to spectacular results! Or maybe it was nefariously on purpose. “Excellent…let the anger flow through you, B&B,” he chortles.

  • avatar
    NJAudidriver

    Moore is a race-baiting hate monger. His comments about 9-11 blaming “the passengers, who were scardy cats, because they were mostly White,” and later saying that the attacks would have been justified if more Republicans were killed, shows the depth of his hate. Being a “fan,” of his is equivalent of being a fan of David Duke. Shame on the owners of this site for giving this vile hatred another form.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    Now Mexico is not the only North American country where you are warned to not drink the water. The Flint water situation sounds more like pinching pennies without looking at all the possible consequences. This appears to be gross incompetency and the blame should be shared by the state, county, and local officials. The Governor and other officials should be forced to resign.

  • avatar
    irieite

    Michael Moore is a big fat stinking liberal.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    Yes they should be prosecuted. This has little to do with Michael Moore, but more to do with incompetent politicians and bureaucrats that are entrusted to serve the voters and protect the public from risks to life and health. At the very least they should be forced to drink and bath in the contaminated water.


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