Friday Open Thread | Bernie Sanders on Flint water crisis: ‘Never again’

Bernie Sanders FlintFlint — Bernie Sanders brought his Democratic presidential campaign here Thursday to give a national voice to those affected by the contaminated water crisis 12 days before Michigan’s primary.

Sanders took valuable time to campaign in Michigan instead of South Carolina, where there is a primary on Saturday.

“I hope people will look at Flint and say: Never again,” the U.S. senator from Vermont said during a campaign event at the Woodside Church. “We have seven beautiful grandchildren. And to hear what is happening in children in this community is so horrific, it is so painful, it is hard to discuss.”

Sanders held an hour-long, freewheeling discussion with nearly 350 audience members and supporters — many of whom waited hours in the cold to see him. Some sprang up from the pews to answer leading questions from Sanders, who is battling Hillary Clinton for the nomination.

The national profile that Flint has gained in the past two months has drawn attention to other communities where lead exposure and lead poisoning also are problems.

“While Flint may be the canary in the coal mine, there are a lot of other canaries,” Sanders said. “… I once again hope that out of the tragedy will come fundamental changes in cities and towns all across this country.”

Sanders called the Flint lead problem “one of the more serious public health crisis in the modern history of this country” and wondered aloud, “how could it happen?” He again called for Gov. Rick Snyder to resign.

Snyder has apologized for crisis and vowed to fix it.

Sanders and Clinton have made Flint’s water contamination ground zero for their campaigns in Michigan. They are trying to fire up their party’s liberal base who are upset with Snyder’s handling of the crisis.

About SouthernGirl2

A Native Texan who adores baby kittens, loves horses, rodeos, pomegranates, & collect Eagles. Enjoys politics, games shows, & dancing to all types of music. Loves discussing and learning about different cultures. A Phi Theta Kappa lifetime member with a passion for Social & Civil Justice.
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71 Responses to Friday Open Thread | Bernie Sanders on Flint water crisis: ‘Never again’

  1. eliihass says:

    SG, Ametia, fam..

    Please bear with me…I’m almost done…I should be done tonight – SG, I’ll be sending the draft shortly…

    It’s been like one heck of a cathartic process…often finding me discarding entire write-ups and starting all over again many times…I’ve even been tempted to give up and tell you it’s not worth writing…that if our people are dumb enough to fall for the okey dokey…so be it….I start again, and often find my writing rambling and sometimes veering off on a tangent – because there are so many competing thoughts in my head – and I’m trying to decide how to best present most of them – and keep it meaningful, relatively short and to the point …especially as this is targeted at black women specifically…and these many thoughts are not necessarily black woman- specific – but address any black person or any seeing person at all – who’s got any brain left…and any ounce of self-respect…

    I’m tying up and tidying up what I’ve managed to come up with…I don’t know that it’s a letter like we’d originally discussed, (my original stabs at that letter, ended up sounding quite condescending – and actually came off sounding rather harsh and insulting, when I tried that format at first…LOL…I’m that pissed.)….It’s more of a commentary now – and an attempt to shed light for those who haven’t been paying attention, and have been coerced into jumping on what they’ve been convinced is the inevitable bandwagon…and there are many out there…In the past day alone, I’m proud to say that I’ve very successfully eased a few people off that bandwagon …Let’s see if we can’t get more folks not just hearing our well-tracked, and long-observed truths and perspectives, but confronting the glaring truths in their own hearts that many have been forced to downplay, dismiss or poo-poo and deny entirely, by the skilled strong-armers dispatched to herd us back onto the plantation…and just in time to expediently shore-up several firewalls to aid massa’s coronation…

  2. rikyrah says:

    wonderful piece.


    Political Animal Blog

    February 23, 2016 10:00 AM
    The Life of Virginia McLaurin
    By Nancy LeTourneau

    Yesterday I posted the video of Virginia McLaurin dancing as she met President and Michelle Obama at the White House. While it was an inspiring moment, it certainly doesn’t qualify as “breaking news.” But the story Colby Itkowitz tells about the life of Ms. McLaurin captures a bit of Americana that gives us a glimpse into how far we’ve come as a country during this woman’s 106 years on the planet so far. It also provides us with some important context about our politics today.


    And yet Ms. McLaurin not only lived to see the Civil Rights Movement, she also witnessed the election of this country’s first African American president. It’s clear that she is proud – not only of his family, but of the way he has handled himself in office. That is why she told Itkowitz that, “I can die smiling now.”

    Ms. McLaurin’s story helps me understand why I’ve heard so many African Americans talk about how, in the homes of their mothers and grandmothers, a picture of the Obama family has been placed next to their family photos. His presidency represents the hopes they carried through their difficult journey in this country. In many ways, that makes him a part of the family.

    If you’ve ever wondered about the visceral reaction from Black people to any disrespect shown to President Obama by politicians, candidates and their surrogates, it is the history that Ms. McLaurin has lived that explains it. The issue is not about whether one agrees with the President. It’s about showing respect to a member of their family who realized a hope they dared not dream would actually happen in their lifetimes.

    • eliihass says:

      Forgive me Rik, but I have a very hard time with this whole ‘President and Michelle Obama’ crap…

      Mrs Obama deserves to be properly addressed …she as much as the President, deserves to be properly – and respectfully addressed …I often detect this on the sly attempt by even some of the President’s so-called ‘ardent supporters’, to resist extending Mrs Obama any respect…to put her in her place..

      Which is why the very same people who get all mad and vocal about people disrespectfully addressing the President as ‘Mr Obama’ or ‘Obama’, confuse me with their refusal to extend Mrs Obama any of the same courtesies they demand for the President – even as the rail against the improper ways people address him…

      I ask again, what is with this ‘Michelle’ nonsense…I’d understand it if they were talking informally about ‘Barack and Michelle’…but how hard is it to say Mrs Obama – or the First Lady…or FLOTUS…if there’s not a conscious effort to fight giving her respect…to diminish and dismiss her..

      It’s getting to a point where even kids as young as 2 and 3 are addressing the President correctly, while Mrs Obama is casually referred to as ‘Michelle’…

      It’s wrong and completely unacceptable…

      • Ametia says:

        100% AGREE. It appears as if that BLACK wife is an after thought.

        I still think subconsciously, some feel Michelle LaVaugn Robinson Obama had he nerve, the gall to be married to President Barack Hussein Obama, and glide through the front door of that White House as FLOTUS, instead of tthough the back door and the HIRED HELP.

        But yu didn’t hear it from me FIRST.

  3. rikyrah says:

    Friday, February 26, 2016
    Please Proceed, Majority Leader

    Only an hour after Antonin Scalia’s death had been confirmed, Sen. Majority Leader McConnell announced that there would be no vote on a nominee from President Obama to replace him. Earlier this week, Republican members of the Senate Judiciary Committee said that there would be no confirmation hearings on the nominee. Then yesterday, Republican Senators began announcing that they would not even meet with the nominee. All of this is happening before the President has even announced his choice.

    You might be tempted to ask, “what is the strategy behind the Republican’s decision to become the party of no, no and no?” Republican strategist Rory Cooper explained that the goal is to pretend that “we have already reached the conclusion of the debate.” He suggests that to argue the credentials of the nominee would be “to give up a critical piece of leverage in how this is portrayed in the media.” Republicans must keep it “a debate over a process, not a person” and the “story must be starved of oxygen.”

    • eliihass says:


      Can’t even imagine the private and many ‘bastards’ tossed around by the Clintons and their flunkies privately in response to the ‘nerve of these young black activists’…


      P.S: Whatever happened to Hillary Rosen…? Is she ill…?

    • Ametia says:

      That’s right whitey, SHOULD ON US, and then tell us you don’t have enough Charmin to clean it up.

  4. Melissa Harris Perry: I am NOT a token, mammy or little brown bobble head.

    • Ametia says:

      Melissa, where have you been? Traveling down that river in EGYPT called DE-NIAL.

      You had to have seen this coming, starting with Martin Bashir,Rev. Al, Joy Reid,

      relegated to weekends and then not even a footnote, once PBO out of office.

      Tamron Hall, you’re going too, BOO!

  5. rikyrah says:

    Latest polls set the stage for Republican barn burner
    02/26/16 08:41 AM
    facebook twitter 1 save share group 11
    By Steve Benen
    Todd Harris, a top strategist for Marco Rubio’s presidential campaign, boasted yesterday that the senator will, without a doubt, win the Florida primary on March 15. Using unfortunately familiar phrasing, Harris insisted, “We are going to win Florida. Period. Take it to the bank.”

    The fact that this is even open to question is evidence of a campaign that is not yet going the senator’s way – because if there’s even a possibility of Rubio losing his own home state, the Republican lawmaker’s candidacy is in pretty big trouble.

    But as it turns out, those are the circumstances looming over the race. A Quinnipiac poll was released yesterday showing Donald Trump ahead in the Sunshine State’s GOP primary with 44%, well ahead of Rubio’s 28%. Last night, Public Policy Polling released similar results:
    PPP’s newest Florida Republican poll (conducted Wednesday and Thursday before the debate) finds Donald Trump dominant in the state. He’s getting 45% to 25% for Marco Rubio, 10% for Ted Cruz, 8% for John Kasich, and 5% for Ben Carson.

    The most remarkable thing in this poll though is what happens when you narrow the field down to just Trump and Rubio: Trump still leads by double digits at 52/38. Rubio does win over supporters of Cruz (56/25), Kasich (47/32), and Carson (64/21) in such a scenario. But Trump has such a big lead to begin with and picks up enough of the supporters of the also rans that it gives him the overall 14-point advantage.

  6. Liza says:

    New emails show officials in Gov. Snyder’s circle discussed concerns about Flint water, did nothing

    This morning Governor Rick Snyder’s office released 2,528 pages of emails from his executive staff related to the now well-known Flint water crisis, dating back to 2011.

    Among the revelations:

    Snyder’s staff urged the state to switch Flint back to Detroit water in October 2014; knowingly leaves info out of public eye

    Two of Snyder’s top aides suggested in October 2014 to Flint’s then state-appointed emergency manager Darnell Earley that the city switch back to Detroit’s water system.

    “To anyone who grew up in Flint as I did, the notion that I would be getting my drinking water from the Flint River is downright scary,” Mike Gadola, (then the governor’s chief legal counsel) wrote. “Too bad the (emergency manager) didn’t ask me what I thought, though I’m sure he heard it from plenty of others.”

    Gadola said his mother remains a resident of Flint, adding a personal alarm to his message that was received by Snyder’s Chief of Staff Dennis Muchmore, Deputy Chief of Staff Beth Clement and then-Communications Director Jarrod Agen and Brader.

    “Nice to know she’s drinking water with elevated chlorine levels and fecal coliform,” Gadola said. “I agree with Valerie (Brader). They should try to get back on the Detroit system as a stopgap ASAP before this thing gets too far out of control.”

    Brader, who now heads the Michigan Agency for Energy, acknowledges that she’s going out of her way to send separate emails to keep that opinion out of public reach under the Freedom of Information Act, writing; “I have not copied DEQ on this message for FOIA purposes,” she said.

    Minutes after Brader sent the emails, Gadola wrote Flint “should try to get back on the Detroit system as a stopgap ASAP before this thing gets too far out of control.”

    Snyder’s communications officials knew as early as January 2015 of deadly Legionnaire’s outbreak.

    In late January 2015, about a year after Governor Snyder first publicly disclosed concerns about a spike in Legionnaire’s Disease following the switch to the Flint River, former spokesman for Michigan’s Department of Environmental Quality Brad Wurfel wrote to Snyder spokesman Dave Murray.

    He wrote that he did not want the former head of DEQ to say, publicly, that Flint’s water “is safe until we get the results of some county health department traceback work on 42 cases of Legionnaires disease in Genesee County since last May.”

    The email, which ended with an offer to provide additional explanation by phone or in person, is the earliest known date that anyone in Snyder’s office was aware of the Legionnaires’ outbreak, which would sicken 87 people and kill nine. The cases came in two waves: the first from June 2014 through March 2015, and the second from May 2015 through November 2015.

    The Detroit Free Press reports that MDEQ’s Brad Wurfel wrote Snyder’s current chief of staff Jarrod Agen in March of 2015 about the spike in Legionnaire’s.

    But Agen said he never opened that March 16 email until earlier this month.

    “I never saw it until this year,” he said Thursday.

  7. rikyrah says:

    OUR ELDERS CONTINUE to be punished by Jim Crow.

     63,756 Reasons Racism Is Still Alive in South Carolina
    That’s the number of minority registered voters who could be blocked from the polls by the state’s new voter ID law.
    By Ari Berman

    Larrie Butler, a 90-year-old African-American man, was born in Calhoun County, South Carolina, at a time when the South was segregated during Jim Crow. He moved to Maryland after serving in the military and attending college, but returned to South Carolina in 2010. He got a voter-registration card and voted in the state in 2010.

    In 2011, South Carolina passed a strict new voter-ID law requiring a government-issued photo ID to cast a ballot. When Butler went to the DMV to switch his driver’s license from Maryland to South Carolina, he was told he needed a birth certificate to confirm his identity. But Butler was born at home, when there were few black hospitals, and never received a born certificate. When he went to the state Vital Records office to get a birth certificate, they said he needed to produce his Maryland driving records and high-school records from South Carolina. After he returned with that information, he was told he needed his elementary-school records, which Butler couldn’t produce because the school was closed. So instead he found his census record, which was not accepted because his first name in the census, Larry, did not exactly match the name he’d used for his entire life, Larrie. He was told to go to court and legally change his name at 85 years old, in order to obtain the birth certificate required to get a driver’s license in South Carolina and also be able to vote.

    “It made me feel terrible,” Butler said.

  8. You know the night time, darling
    (night and day)
    Is the right time
    (night and day)
    To be
    (night and day)
    With the one you love, now


  9. Ametia says:

    Margaret and Helen

    Can someone please tell me when exactly does the Republican Party have to finally take responsibility for unleashing these lunatics on the American people?

    Margaret, they are about to vote in my state honey, and then they’re coming for you. Get ready.

    Can someone please tell me when exactly does the Republican Party have to finally take responsibility for unleashing these lunatics on the American people? I mean they gave us Sarah Palin and now this? After years of pandering to uneducated, racist, gun-loving, women hating, born again and again and again asshats, the Republican Party is finally reaping their reward – Donald Trump. And they don’t seem very happy with their harvest.

    I saw an interview with a gay, black Republican congressman from Georgia who is supporting Rubio. I think that makes him a unicorn. But anyway… The reporter pointed out that Rubio doesn’t recognize the congressman’s relationship with his same-sex partner. The congressman responded by saying that was ok because neither did his mother. Now if that ain’t the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard. Well it was, at least until I watched that debate.

    Watching the debate I actually found myself agreeing with Donald on a few things. Rubio is a fool and Cruz is a liar. The problem is… Donald Trump is an asshole. And that was the Republican debate in a nutshell – an asshole standing between a fool and a liar.

  10. Hey Chicas, my most loving boy has a birthday today. We’re all going to celebrate at Pappadeaux. Yay!

  11. Liza says:

    “When I think about this boy, I think about my own kids, and I think every parent in America should be able to understand why it is absolutely imperative that we investigate every aspect of this, and that everybody pulls together—federal, state, and local—to figure out exactly how this tragedy happened …”

    “But my main message is to the parents of Trayvon Martin. If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon. I think they are right to expect that all of us as Americans are going to take this with the seriousness it deserves, and that we’re going to get to the bottom of exactly what happened.”

    President Barack Obama, March 23, 2012

  12. rikyrah says:

    Takeaways from the GOP Debate
    NY Times Feb 26, 2016

    We haven’t hit bottom yet

    Even by the standards of 2016, this was a nasty debate. Mr. Trump has set the standard for personal vitriol in the campaign, and he lived up to it in Houston, mocking Mr. Rubio as a clumsy “choke artist” and once again calling Mr. Cruz a liar to his face.

    After Mr. Cruz referred to someone as a “crazy zealot,” Mr. Trump leveled a literal schoolyard taunt, and asked if Mr. Cruz had been talking about himself.

    But for once, Mr. Trump’s opponents reciprocated — especially Mr. Rubio. The Florida senator caricatured Mr. Trump as a dunce on policy who repeats five canned lines over and over, and said that Mr. Trump would have amounted to little without inheriting a fortune from his father.

    Should the race ever narrow to just Mr. Trump and either Mr. Rubio or Mr. Cruz, it could showcase a level of raw political violence unlike any recent presidential primary campaign.

  13. rikyrah says:

    Scandal last night…

    Child….I can’t.

  14. rikyrah says:

    Rubio, Cruz throw kitchen sink at Trump, but he’s still standing
    02/26/16 08:00 AM—UPDATED 02/26/16 08:25 AM
    By Steve Benen

    Much of the public has probably seen the headlines. Donald Trump wasn’t at the top of his game in the debate. At times, the GOP frontrunner seemed to lose his footing. The New York Republican’s inexperience as a candidate for public office came through.

    This, of course, was the consensus analysis after the previous debate, held the week before the South Carolina primary, which Trump ended up winning by double digits. The commentary was similar in response to last night’s gathering in Houston – the 10th Republican debate of the cycle – though if recent history is any guide, many of Trump’s GOP supporters don’t seem overly concerned with their candidate’s debating skills.

    Last night was, however, a very different kind of event. With the window of opportunity closing for candidates like Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz, the first-term senators not only launched tag-team attacks on Trump, they appeared eager to throw every possible criticism they could think of at the candidate standing atop the polls.

    After months of restraint, Rubio and Cruz apparently decided it was time for a kitchen-sink gambit, which included, but was not limited to, attacks on Trump’s inheritance, his “university,” his tax returns, the vagueness of his health care plan, his record on immigration, his general-election polls, and his support for official U.S. neutrality towards Israelis and Palestinians.

    It led MSNBC’s Benjy Sarlin to raise an important point.

    By dropping so many attacks at once, Rubio and Cruz also make it difficult to focus on any one issue in four days, giving Trump an opportunity to regain control of the conversation. We’ll never know what might have happened if they had doled out bits of opposition research over months and months instead and litigated each topic one at a time.

  15. rikyrah says:

    How much do you love this picture?

    First Couple with DC Youth Orchestra 2016

    On This Day: President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama listen to the DC Youth Orchestra in the Diplomatic Reception Room prior to a reception celebrating Black History Month in the East Room of the White House, Feb. 26, 2015 (Photo by Pete Souza)

  16. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone :)

  17. Ametia says:

    Former Mexican President to Trump: ‘I’m not going to pay for that fucking wall’

  18. Ametia says:

    happy FRY-day, Everyone! :))))

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