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Top aides told Michigan governor to put Flint back on Detroit’s water supply — but he refused

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Quality problems prompted two of Michigan Governor Rick Snyder’s top lawyers to urge that the city of Flint be moved back to the Detroit water system just months after a decision to draw water supply from the Flint River, according to emails released on Friday.

Several critics have urged Snyder to resign over concerns about the state’s handling of the crisis.

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Flint switched its water supply from Detroit to the Flint River in April 2014 in a bid to cut costs when the city was under a state-appointed emergency manager.

While the city switched its water source back to Detroit in October 2015, corrosive water from the river had already leached lead from city pipes, posing a serious threat to public health.

The governor’s top aides discussed Flint’s water quality problems as early as the fall of 2014, with one official calling the situation “downright scary,” about a year before the switch back to the Detroit system was finally made. The Detroit Free Press and Detroit News earlier reported about the emails.

“This crisis is the result of failures at all levels of government – city, state and federal,” Snyder said in a statement. “As the one ultimately responsible for what happens in state government, I am taking steps to help correct what happened there.”

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Snyder, scheduled to testify to Congress on March 17, has repeatedly apologized for the state’s poor handling of the crisis.

Liberal group Progress Michigan again called for Snyder to resign, citing the emails.

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“There’s no reasonable person who can believe at this point that every top advisor to Rick Snyder knew that there was an issue, but Snyder knew nothing,” Lonnie Scott, executive director of Progress Michigan, said in a statement. “He’s clearly unfit to lead our state and he should resign immediately.”

Valerie Brader, deputy legal counsel and Snyder’s senior policy adviser, addressed problems over the quality of Flint River water in an email to the governor’s Chief of Staff Dennis Muchmore and other top aides on Oct. 14, 2014.

She argued that Flint should be returned to the Detroit water system, citing bacterial contamination and reduced quality that prompted General Motors Co to switch its supply away from the river due to rusted parts.

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Michael Godola, then the governor’s legal counsel and a Flint native, echoed her concerns in a response, calling the use of Flint River as a water source “downright scary.”

Muchmore, who now works for a law firm, told the Free Press that cost was a major impediment in discussions over whether to return to the Detroit water system and those concerns were discussed with Snyder.

(Reporting by Ben Klayman; Editing by Bernadette Baum)

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

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Internet goes wild over ‘obviously drunk’ Larry Kudlow on Fox News: ‘He’s lying while slurring his words’

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Speculation was rampant on Sunday that White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow was drunk on Fox News.

"There is no economic recession in sight," Kudlow insisted to Fox News Sunday host Dana Perino.

Twitter, however, was buzzing about Kudlow's speech patterns instead of his questionable economic optimism.

"Pretty sure Larry Kudlow is drunk on my TV right now... And he is lying while slurring his words," one Twitter user noted.

"Kudlow is on fox news Sunday right now and from my 30 yrs of tending bar, I gotta say this guy appears drunk," another user observed.

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Foreign diplomats preparing for the worst — another Trump win in 2020: ‘People don’t want to be stupid twice’

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According to a report from Politico, foreign diplomats are not so sure Donald Trump will be beaten in the 2020 election and are making contingency plans for how they will deal with him should he be re-elected.

The report notes that the win by the New York businessman in 2016 caught foreign governments by surprise with former French ambassador to the United States, Gerard Araud admitting, "In 2016, nobody believed he was going to be elected. People don’t want to be stupid twice.”

According to Politico, "There’s no known scientific survey on the topic — few foreign officials would participate in one given diplomatic norms that preclude them from commenting on another country's internal politics. But none who talked to POLITICO were willing to say that Trump will lose. Instead, they pointed to three key advantages for Trump: He’s the incumbent, the U.S. economy is strong and the Democrats have no definitive front-runner to challenge him."

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Trump Twitter-rages at ‘evil propaganda machine’ New York Times

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President Donald Trump kicked off his Sunday morning by going on a multi-tweet rant about the New York Times where he blamed them for his poor poll numbers and called them "an evil propaganda machine.'

Trump began with, "The Failing New York Times, in one of the most devastating portrayals of bad journalism in history, got caught by a leaker that they are shifting from their Phony Russian Collusion Narrative (the Mueller Report & his testimony were a total disaster), to a Racism Witch Hunt....., " before adding, "'Journalism' has reached a new low in the history of our Country. It is nothing more than an evil propaganda machine for the Democrat Party. The reporting is so false, biased and evil that it has now become a very sick joke...But the public is aware! #CROOKEDJOURNALISM."

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