Michael Moore Is Right: Rick Snyder Has To Go To Jail

Earlier today, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder and Flint Mayor Karen Weaver met in Lansing to discuss how the city and the state will manage the on-going lead contamination crisis in Flint, Michigan.

On Tuesday, Snyder declared a state of emergency for Genesee County, the county surrounding Flint.

After today's meeting, Snyder spoke generally about setting up an inter-governmental agency group to work with the State Emergency Operations Center.

He also admitted that this "should have never happened."

But what he never really addressed - is WHY this is happening to begin with.

And that's probably because the blame lies squarely on Snyder's shoulders, and because he knows that he should probably to go to jail for it.

The whole story starts back in 2011, when a new financial emergency management law in the state took effect, allowing Rick Snyder to unilaterally ignore democratically-elected mayors and city councils, and appoint little dictators called "emergency managers" in cities and districts that were in financial trouble.

In other words, it gave Rick Snyder the authority to appoint city dictators to "cut costs" and "balance budgets".

For Snyder and his appointed dictators, as good Republicans, that means doing whatever it takes to gut spending on essential services, and privatizing everything else of value off to their billionaire buddies.

In Flint, that meant that back in April of 2014 the city switched its water source from the Detroit Water system, which comes from Lake Huron, and instead started using the Flint River for its municipal water.

The problem is: Flint has been the home of General Motors since 1908, and it was one of the biggest car manufacturing towns in the country, until Bill Clinton's so-called "free trade" killed much of the American auto-industry in the 1990s and early 2000s.

Those factories used Flint River water for manufacturing, and for waste disposal.

So the Flint River has been the site of industrial processing ever since 1908, and it doesn't take much to realize that over a century later, the river is hardly suitable for drinking.

Filmmaker and Flint-native Michael Moore put it plainly in a letter addressed to the governor yesterday.

He explained that "[Gov. Rick Snyder] cut off the clean, fresh glacial lake water of Lake Huron that the citizens of Flint […] had been drinking for decades and, instead, made them drink water from the industrial cesspool we call the Flint River, a body of "water" where toxins from a dozen General Motors and DuPont factories have been dumped for over a hundred years."

And the criminal mismanagement didn't stop there.

They added chemicals to the water to "clean it up," but those chemicals really just ended up stripping the lead from the inside of the city's pipes, and sending the lead, and the chemicals, directly into people's homes.

Moore also points out that GM announced back in October of 2014 that it couldn't use water from the Flint River for manufacturing - because it corrodes car parts.

That's right. General Motors declined to use the water from the Flint River, because it was too corrosive for CAR PARTS.

And Republican Governor Rick Snyder deemed that Flint River water would still flow into people's homes for another year, until they switched the water source back to Lake Huron, last October.

Between April 2014 and October 2015, the period that Flint got its water from the Flint River, residents of Flint experienced skin lesions, hair loss, vision loss, depression, anxiety, and exposure to lead levels that far exceeded what the EPA considers "toxic waste."

And the scope of the impact is truly astonishing.

In his letter, Moore makes it clear just how astonishing the situation is: "To poison all the children in an historic American city is no small feat. Even international terrorist organizations haven't figured out yet how to do something on a magnitude like this. But [Rick Snyder] did."

He's right, and Rachel Maddow reported the other day that Rick Snyder's chief-of-staff had even sent emails - TO RICK SNYDER - concerned that the results of Flint's water tests weren't being taken seriously enough.

Another preliminary report, from a Snyder-appointed task force, placed the blame with Michigan's Department of Environmental Quality, forcing that agency's director to resign.

So, emergency managers appointed by Rick Snyder oversaw the water-switch, which then wasn't appropriately monitored or managed by Snyder's Department of Environmental Quality, and then Rick Snyder personally ignored warnings about the matter from his own chief-of-staff.

In other words, no matter which way you slice it, Rick Snyder is ultimately responsible for every single part of this catastrophe.

As Michael Moore wrote in his letter: "The children whom [Gov. Rick Snyder has] poisoned have to endure a life of pain and lower IQ's from [his] actions. [He has] destroyed a generation of children, and for that, [he] must pay. It is time for [him] to go to prison."

Michael Moore has started a petition to Attorney General Loretta Lynch, calling for the immediate resignation of Governor Snyder, and for the FBI to arrest him.

We support Moore's petition, and encourage you to go and sign your name, especially if you are a Michigan resident. You can find it at www.michaelmoore.com.

If the people of Flint are going to get any justice for what's been done to them, it means holding Rick Snyder accountable, and that means that Rick Snyder has to go to jail.


Mark J. Saulys's picture
Mark J. Saulys 7 years 11 weeks ago

Privatization is theft and the sole purpose of Republicans, both locally and nationally, is to pocket the people's resources for themselves and their cronies.
The strategy of bankrupting government is to force that outcome. When a municipality, state or the federal government has no money it has no other choice.

Willie W's picture
Willie W 7 years 11 weeks ago

So now we are electing home grown terrorists to public office. Well played, Snyder.

cccccttttt 7 years 11 weeks ago

"The whole story starts back in 2011, when a new financial emergency management law in the state took effect"

So who passed this law and why?

This tragic chain of events needs more scrutiny before 2011.


Legend 7 years 11 weeks ago

The Republican Party is the Party of no solutions.

Johnnie Dorman's picture
Johnnie Dorman 7 years 11 weeks ago

When will the people of this country realize that the Neo-cons within the Republican party are flat out criminals? They are anything from war criminals to this kind of terrible thing that has occurred in California. Neo-cons are the equivelent of Nazis in my book. They all need to all be kicked out of our government, state by state.

johnbest's picture
johnbest 7 years 11 weeks ago

In my small town in New Mexico we report to the citizens a full disclosure of water test results compared to the EPA requirements. Most municipalities are required by EPA to report to the people what the hell is in their water. The EPA needs to charge Snyder, remove him from office and send him to prison for life.

In 2001my little town was also threatened by EPA that our sewer system did not meet EPA standards and was polluting the ground water which we use for drinking. They threatened us with a $25,000 a day fine if we didn't comply immediately. The State EPA did however provide the millions needed to clean up our sewer system. They also did it for most small towns in the State. After the crash in 2008 however, federal money dried up and we have only done about 75% of the improvements required.

PFNELKAK 7 years 11 weeks ago

So what about the other residents along flint river who have been poisoned for the last 80 years? where has the epa been? big corp. wins again. the people get the sludge again.

telliottmbamsc's picture
telliottmbamsc 7 years 11 weeks ago

Scott Walker in Wisconsin did his rendition of mass poisoning of children when he ordered the air next to a grade school to be so polluted the children had to be sent home.

Republicans are the party of no tomorrows. Their focus is all on the now at every expense. No concern for the future whatsoever. Not the future environment or our future citizens.

And Obama lies, and lies and lies.

humanitys team's picture
humanitys team 7 years 11 weeks ago

If you would have taken the cultural understandings from the Indigenous peoples of your country this could never have happened . Respecting the Air and Water the things that give you life and connect you to the Earth like the trees ! But your Dominator culture claims Superiority over all things .So its about erasing anything that goes against material progress .But look what happens when you ignore the Spiritual path .

You have taken the path of materialism , greed and off no responsibility .Why not combine the best cultural myths and experiences of your Older wiser Indiginous peoples and combine them with your technology .

Before the Europeans got to America you could drink out of every stream ,look at what you have done? This is progress towards your demise as has been foretold by our brothers .


The civiilzation or what you call civilization is so uncivilized and brutal that it beggers belief,and as Ghandi has said would be a good idea .

We are all one

Ou812's picture
Ou812 7 years 11 weeks ago

Michigan rated number 1 US state. https://www.thrillist.com/travel/nation/ranking-the-united-states-of-america-from-best-to-worst

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 7 years 11 weeks ago

Since you think Michigan is in such great shape, OU812, how about moving there and drinking that water yourself?

I signed Michael Moore’s petition already, by the way, a few hours ago. While I am generally against the death penalty, no other case has tested that conviction more acutely than this one.

Here are the comments I left on the blog accompanying that petition:

What gets me is how a society this morally and spiritually bankrupt could be so into religion. We've more of that here than any other developed country. A heap of good all that religion has done us, to be living in a society where public officials could poison the children of an entire city, knowingly and deliberately... to balance a budget? Pad their bottom line?! Beam me up, Scotty...

Not only is Michigan sorely in need of a new governor; we need Bernie Sanders for president so bad it hurts. The cruelty of such a rotten, evil stunt of this and its consequences is only compounded by our “uniquely American” for-profit, pay-or-die healthcare extortion nightmare, undoubtedly condemning these families in Flint to additional suffering and pain. I can hardly wrap my head around it. Gives "Bernie or die" a whole new meaning, doesn't it!

Ou812's picture
Ou812 7 years 11 weeks ago

You know what Wonderland I could agree with you, but then we would both be wrong. A question for you Wonderland. What are you going to do if Bernie isn't elected?

dianhow 7 years 11 weeks ago

The health, wellness, fair wages, having laws to stop toxic chemicals dumped into our air & water, workplace safety regs are of NO import to GOP ...Thanks in great part to uninformed voters . US is no longer a Capitalistic system since competition is a necessary ingredient of Capitalism. US have almost NO competion due to powerful monopolies such as Comcast , Wall St banks & many others. Comcast is a massive , bought network TV stations like MSNBC. JP Morgan Chase / Citibank, Bank of America have become gigantic self serving monopolies. US laws no longer prevent that ...The Fairness Doctrine, Glass Stegal, labor unions , lack of regulations that once protected the rights of we the people have been wiped away by greedy politicians, courts, and billionaires who' own our political system & control US courts .

humanitys team's picture
humanitys team 7 years 11 weeks ago

The People have to wake up and quick .

Mark J. Saulys's picture
Mark J. Saulys 7 years 11 weeks ago

What relevance do you think that has, Ou812? Sure, it's a sportsman's paradise but I'll bet they hadn't heard about the water in Flint yet at thrillist.com. Of course, Flint isn't the likely destination.

You know, a lot of starving countries are #1 tourist spots. You just gotta stay inside the compound if you don't wanna risk getting ripped off down to your skivvies.

Mark J. Saulys's picture
Mark J. Saulys 7 years 11 weeks ago

It's getting late for bullshit, 812, if we don't get somebody like Bernie soon we're ALL gonna die. No exception there for you or yours either.

Ou812's picture
Ou812 7 years 11 weeks ago

Saulys, I bet you were an Obama supporter as well. The problem with you and your ilk is the victim mentality ruling your life. In your mind the only path to success is provided by someone else. That way if you don't succeed, (which you won't) you can point your finger at the someone else and say he or she is the reason I can't succeed...it's sad really. If I succeed it's because of me it's the same if I fail. Don't be scared Saulys try believing in yourself you'll be happier even if you don't succeed.

Ou812's picture
Ou812 7 years 11 weeks ago

Duplicate post deleted

Mark J. Saulys's picture
Mark J. Saulys 7 years 11 weeks ago

812, that argument is a straw man of your own making. Seems like a knee-jerk stock phrase you trot out whenever you don't know what else to say. Might work with some people, not with me.
Broad brushing or stereotyping is a cop out, I'm not one of those people you know or like to imagine. I wasn't an Obama supporter for very long. Everybody was after Bush in 2008 except for some real warped frauds - present company excluded, of course ;^)).
Whatever little ad hominems you wanna resort to in your desperation, the fact is, climate change may already have us good as dead and if we don't get someone serious about it soon it will be a fait accompli.

Mark J. Saulys's picture
Mark J. Saulys 7 years 11 weeks ago

As to the other cop out, 812, I hope you aren't fallen for the false dichotomy that you must either be possessed of a victim complex or a just world complex. I am of neither. There is much injustice in the world and much of it of a very grevious sort.
I agree that victim complex is a great bane of left movements. It is a carrying too far of legitimate outrage and indignation at genuine injustice.
Going too far the other way is the "just world complex". That is when someone, usually someone who's had it made like a middle or upper class, white, male, heterosexual, gentile or member of some group that for all intents and purposes owns the world, doesn't acknowledge any injustice in the world - which usually favors them anyway so then for them it isn't any too big a problem - and believes we live in a just world.
Justice and privilege are like your health, you don't notice them until you don't have them.

Ou812's picture
Ou812 7 years 11 weeks ago

Saulys, Saulys, Saulys--All I can do after reading your reply is shake my head. You pushed every washed up leftie hot button.:) Sorry you feel as good as dead. I don't worry about things I have no control over.

Mark J. Saulys's picture
Mark J. Saulys 7 years 11 weeks ago

Yeah 812, just don't think about it, LOL, that's the solution. Head in the sand strategies are never profitable.
There very much IS something we can do about it. What you've really been expressing all along, that you just don't give a shit, clearly apparent as that always was, it just isn't an argument - or an option.

Mark J. Saulys's picture
Mark J. Saulys 7 years 11 weeks ago

Nothing washed up about lefty, 812, you're living in the past. Your boy G.W. brought that about by not even bothering to be slick. He blatantly exposed the fallacies of conservative thinking and policy. Most people today, especially millenials, are somewhere to the left of center.
Try being for real once in a while. It'll scare the bejeezus out of you to find out what you've been ignoring while you've been bullshitting.

Ou812's picture
Ou812 7 years 11 weeks ago

Saulys, Where did I say G. W. was "my boy" for someone who pretends to be smart, you certainly make alot of assumptions and jump to a lot of conclusions. How do you expect to have credibility. When you make statements like "most people today, especially millenials are somewhere to the left of Center". Aren't you painting with the "broad brush" you accuse me of using. I'm very real, Saulys, and very successful without sucking at the government teat.

Mark J. Saulys's picture
Mark J. Saulys 7 years 11 weeks ago

Well 812, what a desperate bullshitter you sound like! "Broad brushing" you, am I? Well, since you and G.W. are soulmates the logical conclusion is he's your boy. Wassa matter, he wasn't fascist enough?
That most people today, especially millenials, are somewhere left of center is simply a fact borne out by research.
I doubt you attained success without any help from the government - and I don't just mean public infrastructure and other ways that most people - and I'd bet you - take for granted.
I measure success a bit differently from you, but even so, I wouldn't want any success by the means I've no doubt you employed to gain yours - from everything you say about your objections to any of people's ethical considerations.
Apparently, you just hate anybody who cares about anybody but themselves - or "lefties" - and that's sick and warped.

Ou812's picture
Ou812 7 years 11 weeks ago

Saulys, I'm tired of this conversation and your insults. You are the quintessential washed up lefty. You 'know' all the answers, but somehow solutions evade you. Sad, there is so much more to life than pretending.

Mark J. Saulys's picture
Mark J. Saulys 7 years 11 weeks ago

812, everything you say is complete made up nonsense. Don't you talk about pretending, you are nothing if not the quintessential bullshitter. We have nothing but solutions and the ONLY viable ones but you don't like them because they wouldn't allow you to take more than your share of everything.
Again, try to be for real, once in your life, and not an odious fraud.

Mark J. Saulys's picture
Mark J. Saulys 7 years 11 weeks ago

Furthermore, ate one, you have nothing but personal insults to offer yourself, you have NO business accusing ANYBODY of the same thing.
Ever hear that you have to give respect to get it? Ever wonder why everybody reacts to you in the way you talk to them? Should consider that instead of talking a bunch of stuff at people and then playing the poor, innocent victim when they call you on it.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 7 years 11 weeks ago

Right on Mark Saulys!

Ain’t it fun sparring with that wienie suckin’ twit! Ou812 calls us “washed out” while hurtling the same tired old conservative platitudes at us. She’s got nothing to offer here but knee-jerk bumper sticker sound bytes and a who-gives-a-shit attitude about everything, from global warming to economic terrorism and election fraud.. Long as SHE’s happy and has what SHE wants, there’s nothng to fix and us lefties are just a bunch of complainers. That’s the conservative mind set: ME-ME-ME-ME-ME! It’s a case of arrested development, since infants and toddlers are all about themselves. We’re supposed to grow beyond that infantile self-centeredness, but some people don’t, and those people wind up conservative bullshit artists like the wienie sucker… surprise, surprise!

Gotta admit, I kinda enjoy seeing how someone else takes on these airheads.

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