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Bernie Sanders calls for resignation of Michigan governor: ‘The people of Flint deserve more than an apology’

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Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) speaks during a Democratic presidential debate on Dec. 19, 2015. (ABC News)

Bernie Sanders has called for the governor of Michigan to resign over the lead poisoning crisis that has hit the water supply of the city of Flint, saying on Saturday Rick Snyder has “no excuses” for the the disaster.

 

“The governor long ago knew about the lead in Flint’s water,” the Vermont senator said in a statement issued by his campaign. “He did nothing. As a result, hundreds of children were poisoned. Thousands may have been exposed to potential brain damage from lead. Gov[ernor] Snyder should resign.”

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In April 2014, as a cost-saving measure, the city of Flint switched its main water source from Lake Huron to the Flint river. Despite reports of problems with the water from sources including General Motors, which stopped using it, residents were advised by state officials to “relax” and continue to drink it.

Sanders’ main rival for the Democratic presidential nomination, Hillary Clinton, has called such advice “unconscionable”.

Water from the Flint river has been linked to increased lead levels in children’s blood; E coli bacteria has also been found in such water. A spike in cases of Legionnaires’ disease has also been reported, though not conclusively linked to river water.

After the declaration of a public emergency in October, Snyder – who was once seen as a possible presidential contender – acknowledged mistakes had been made in the transition to the Flint River.

Nonetheless, he has defended the handling of the crisis and rejected calls to resign. This week he told Time magazine: “As soon as I became aware of elevated lead levels in blood, we took action.”

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The 100,000 people who live in Flint, a post-industrial city whose precipitous decline was made famous by the film-maker Michael Moore, remain dependent on bottled water handed out by the national guard.

Snyder, who is one of the subjects of a federal lawsuit from residents, said in December he was “very sorry” for the water crisis. After an internal investigation, two state officials resigned. In January, Snyder declared a state of emergency, and sought help from the White House.

In his statement on Saturday, Sanders said: “Because of the conduct by Gov[ernor] Snyder’s administration and his refusal to take responsibility, families will suffer from lead poisoning for the rest of their lives.

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“Children in Flint will be plagued with brain damage and other health problems. The people of Flint deserve more than an apology.”

 


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2020 Election

‘So, so cruel’: Rights advocates sound alarm about immigration agenda Stephen Miller is crafting for Trump’s 2nd term

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Immigrant rights advocates along with Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and his supporters responded with alarm to reporting this week that Stephen Miller, a senior adviser to President Donald Trump, is plotting how to "rev up Trump's restrictive immigration agenda" and is ready to "unleash executive orders deemed too extreme for a president seeking reelection" in the event of a Biden loss next week.

NBC News reported Friday that Miller, speaking as an adviser to the president's campaign, laid out four top priorities in a 30-minute call Thursday: "limiting asylum grants, punishing and outlawing 'sanctuary cities,' expanding the so-called travel ban with tougher screening for visa applicants, and slapping new limits on work visas." Implementing these policies would require a mix of legislation and executive action.

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2020 Election

REVEALED: Far-right extremists are circulating plans to lock down Arizona streets if Trump is re-elected

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On Saturday, The Arizona Republic reported that far-right paramilitary groups are circulating plans to lock down neighborhoods in the Phoenix, Arizona metropolitan area in the event that President Donald Trump is re-elected, supposedly to police left-wing protesters.

"In Arizona, the head of the Prescott-area chapter of the Oath Keepers group, which recruits military and law enforcement officers, has warned residents to be prepared to protect their neighborhoods from feared extreme left-wing protesters who would be upset should President Donald Trump be re-elected," reported Richard Ruelas. "Part of that the pro-Trump group'splan involved closing streets and assigning monitors to control access, according to a planning document shared with The Republic."

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2020 Election

America’s crimes against humanity aren’t on the ballot this year — but they should be

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The 2020 presidential election is a life-and-death decision for thousands of people vulnerable to COVID-19, for a globe under the assault from the climate crisis, and for the future of American democracy. And yet for all the urgency, the political campaign still suffers under the weight and stench of bullshit.

This article first appeared in Salon.

Philosopher Harry Frankfurt warns in his bestselling pamphlet "On Bullshit" that "bullshit" is more injurious than the blatant lie. One reason among many is that bullshit blurs the line between reality and fiction, offering a manipulative incorporation of truth to strengthen its own capacity to persuade. Absolute falsity, in contrast, is obvious to anyone with minimal awareness of the facts. When the Trump administration recently declared that one of its grand achievements was "ending the pandemic," most people laughed in disbelief. This is a lie fit for consumption only from inhabitants of a collective similar to the Rev. Jim Jones' notorious People's Temple settlement in Guyana.

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