Friday, June 16, 2017

And Today’s Mass-Murdering Politico Award Goes To… Nick Lyon, Alleged Criminal Mastermind Behind Flint, Michigan’s Water Poisoning!


-by Noah

Way to go Nick Lyon! Who, you might ask, is Nick Lyon? Well, Nick isn’t a household name, at least not yet, but he is the head of Michigan’s "health” department." He has been charged by Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette with involuntary manslaughter for his part in the city of Flint’s water being poisoned with brain-damaging lead. Lyon is the highest-ranking official in his state to be charged, so far.

What amounted to willful introduction of lead into the Flint water system has resulted in untold cases of permanent brain damage among the children of Flint, along with numerous cases of the dreaded Legionnaires’ disease, a type of pneumonia caused by excessive amounts of bacteria in the Flint River water. Twelve people have died, hence the involuntary manslaughter charge.

In the case of Legionnaires’ disease, you can get it by inhaling the vapor from your building’s cooling system, which is apparently what happened. The state is disputing that and it is harder to show a connection as direct as the lead issue. To prevent the lead problem, all the government officials had to do was treat the water to reduce the leaching of lead from pipe corrosion into the water. They chose not to when they decided to switch Flint’s water supply to the polluted Flint River and the lead from the pipes in the water system was free to flow into the homes, offices, and schools of Flint.

With such notoriety has Nick Lyon now has, I won’t be surprised if President Trump choose him for a high position in the EPA, or maybe a brand new Department of Clean Water Cabinet slot that will oversee drinking water for the entire country. Senor Trumpanzee is probably looking over his resume right now. After all, Trump has already inflicted the country with another Michigan disaster named Betsy DeVos. All Nicky will have to do is kneel before the prez and tell him what beautiful hair he has.

The charges against Lyon were announced Wednesday. Predictably, Michigan’s Governor, Rick Snyder was not charged, so, it looks like Nick Lyon is at the top of the list of those taking the fall. Such is justice in these United States. Others have also been charged with involuntary manslaughter, though, including former Flint Emergency Director Darnell Earley, former Flint water manager Howard Croft, and Liane Shekter-Smith and Stephen Busch of the ironically named Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. I have to add that the word ‘involuntary’ in the charge seems misused to me.

In a separate move, Dr. Eden Wells, Michigan’s chief medical officer, has been charged with obstruction of justice and lying to a police officer. Take a few seconds to absorb the poetic meaning of the name Dr. Eden Wells, as it applies to a case where a water supply was poisoned, not just on the watch of a person named Eden Wells, but a doctor, no less. The Michigan Department of Health & Human Services website describes her position as one that “serves Michigan citizens by providing professional leadership”. Dr. Eden Wells formerly worked for the state Bureau of Epidemiology where her responsibilities included “preparedness planning for potential bioterrorism and pandemic influenza events.” Talk about irony. If what happened in Flint wasn’t some sort of bioterrorism, I don’t know what is. It certainly was preventable.

The events that lead to the Flint tragedy have their origins in republican-style governance. Yes, the Flint River has been polluted for over 100 years but that is precisely why it was not considered a viable source for human consumption until Rick Snyder and his people came along. It was they who brought in the republican version of “Emergency Management”; a legal move where by a democratically elected local government can be replaced by a hand-picked team of cronies.

The law actually has its roots in a 1990 law called the Local Government Fiscal Responsibility Act, which was passed when Democratic Governor James Blanchard was in office. Under Governor Snyder’s direction, the law was “fine-tuned” into the now infamous Emergency Manager Law. It was one of Snyder’s very first moves upon taking office. Initially, Michigan voters rejected the new version of the law when it was put before them in a referendum in 2012, only to see a further “fine-tuning” which included a stipulation that the public could not repeal it. And you thought Wisconsin’s Scott Walker was the worst fascist governor in the Midwest.

This amped up, steroid version of the original law is now championed by republicans who see it as a nifty way to subvert democracy, when, in their warped, agenda-packed view, the people of a town or city can’t govern themselves, or they think they can do things better by making dictator moves. The side perks of running things with your own team naturally enter into the concept.

The professed ideas of self-governance, self-determination, self-reliance, and whatever else you want to call it, that republicans always mouth on about is mightily contradicted by the truths and greed of their “Emergency Management” “we know best”, “we will decide for you” approach to local government. It’s one thing to label democrats in such a way, but it’s a whole other thing to say you stand for one way and do another.

That Governor Snyder hasn’t also been charged with something in this case is a joke. The same can be said for all of the statehouse republicans that voted to ram through the aforementioned Emergency Management system that enabled this criminal fiasco. Flint had financial problems but at least their water was safe. Nick Lyon reportedly directly to Snyder. Are we supposed to believe Snyder had no idea what was going on with Flint’s water?

Snyder was called to Washington to testify before Congress but it was a classic insincere dog and pony show. Little has been done, even with a democratic president and EPA head; little that is except the distribution of water bottles and the supplying of some water filters that may or may not always work, depending on the concentration of lead in the water at a given place on a given day. At least, the Flint River is no longer being used as a water source for Flint. The state has switched them back to the Detroit River for their water.

Finally, last December, Congress approved at least $120 Million to fix Flint’s water situation. In March, the Trump administration cut that down to $100 Million. Don’t be shocked if further subtractions are made. After all, Senor Trumpanzee has a wall he wants to build.

Snyder, predictably, is defending his people, and, by proxy, himself, saying:
“Nick Lyon has been a strong leader at the Department of Health and Human Services for the past several years and remains completely committed to Flint’s recovery. Director Lyon and Dr. Eden Wells, like every other person who has been charged with a crime by Bill Schuette, are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
Fair enough Rick. That is our system, even when you decided to remove the democratically elected local government of Flint. I guess you want things both ways. I especially love the part about him saying that Lyon is committed to Flint’s recovery from a disaster; a disaster that he could have prevented even after the installation of the governor’s Emergency Management team.

All in all, the Flint water catastrophe is yet another fine example of the Republican Party’s concept of healthcare and environmental protection, not to mention the protection impoverished Americans who just don’t matter to them. The attitude of Snyder and his people was: Let them drink lead. There’s no just penalty in our legal system for that.

If you want to see Governor Snyder doing his Sgt. Schultz “I know nothing. I don’t recall fest,” check this out. They don’t come much more contemptuous.

Labels: , , ,


At 3:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lyon, DeVos & Snyder --- truly, as noted, above, a worse fascist governor than even Walker (WI).

But, of course, HRC lost these two fascist-controlled states .... because Putin!

Apparently, while we think its great fun to call high ranking elected officials of "the other party" bad names, we can't seem to bring ourselves to suspect them of doing anything "our party" wouldn't do ... oh, wait, "we" DID the same thing!!!

OK: Putin, Putin, Putin & more Putin!!!


John Puma

At 4:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wonder why I keep remembering a Lewis Black riff from 15 years ago. His reference at the time was the CEOs and officers of Enron, WorldCom et al when he said: "I'm amazed that the stockholders did not rise up as one and SLAY them".

Put the motherfuckers in prison, pump them full of the same lead and legionnaires that they forced upon millions, and at the end of their sentences, let them out, take all their money and deny them health care for the rest of their miserable lives.

At some point in the near future, put the drumpfsterfire, his cabinet and everyone in congress in with them... same sentence.

Or the people of Flint could rise up as one and slay them. I don't care either way.


Post a Comment

<< Home