Rick Snyder says he’s thankful for his family’s health this holiday season… I wonder what the families of Flint think about that

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Somehow I got myself on the distribution list for the Governor’s video Christmas card this year. And, as I suspect some of you aren’t quite so lucky, I thought that I’d share it here. Aside from the obligatory, “We support the soldiers who are fighting to keep us free this holiday season” comment, which seemed completely inauthentic to me, I was most struck by the part where he says that he’s thankful for the health of his family this holiday season… One wonders if the parents of kids suffering from lead poisoning in Flint share his sentiment.

For what it’s worth, I also liked the amount of time he and his wife spent asking people to donate to Michigan’s poor this holiday season. I wonder if that’s something that only governors in states like ours, where they’ve cut the social safety net to sheds, have to do.

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21 Comments

  1. Anonymous
    Posted December 23, 2015 at 8:15 am | Permalink

    Reinventing Michigan indeed.

  2. Thom Elliott
    Posted December 23, 2015 at 8:53 am | Permalink

    Hopefully due to Snyder’s fully aware, grotesque malfeasance, and the malignant environmental “protection” agency that knowingly and willfully obfuscated their knowledge that Flint’s water was 3X the toxicity of industrial waste will land these unalloyed monsters in prison. 100% of the entire generation of cognitively impaired babies in Flint are this creature’s fault. When will people recognize this kind of classist policy for what it is? Genocidal class warfare. But we all know how this will turn out, the single most corrupt state in the US will just get away with this, social services will be inundated with brain damaged people who will turn to crime, and people of Flint will just continue to drink poison because it saves money for the plutocracy.

  3. Stop The Madness
    Posted December 23, 2015 at 8:55 am | Permalink

    More importantly, I thought that it was illegal for identical twins to marry.

  4. Jim Pyke
    Posted December 23, 2015 at 10:10 am | Permalink

    Gross.

    Even more gross is the fact that this *could* be a really nice message if Snyder had generated any policies whatsoever over these past years to put the words coming out of his mouth into action.

    I’m sure he thinks he’s a great guy, tho’.

  5. Lynne
    Posted December 23, 2015 at 11:11 am | Permalink

    This whole situation just sucks. What gets me though is that it isn’t unpopular. I think that if Snyder were able to run again, he would get re-elected *again* and I know that the state reps who blatantly pushed this EMF law through even though the Michigan people very clearly didn’t want it also would get reelected (or someone just like them). It disgusts me that as long as these kinds of problems happen among the poor but especially the dark skinned and poor, most of the people in this state are more or less ok with telling themselves that this was some kind of horrible accident and not the criminal negligence it so clearly is.

    Not to mention that even if you are cold heartless person who cares only about the bottom line and not about people, this was still a nightmare of a situation. There are the immediate fiduciary concerns around the settlements the State is going to have to make to children exposed to lead along with all the damage to their infrastructure. But consider that one of the known long term effects of lead poisoning is the sort of impulse control problems that often end up with criminal activity. Our state is going to have massive future costs in terms of prison, courts, law enforcement, and of course the actual costs that victims of crimes usually bear. No one is talking about that but our so called businessman of a governor made some serious bad decisions that are financially irresponsible.

  6. Lynne
    Posted December 23, 2015 at 11:13 am | Permalink

    I wonder when Snyder is moving to downtown Ann Arbor and I also wonder how much it would cost me to hire someone to sit on the sidewalk on Main Street with a sign saying “Snyder poisons kids” in order to shame him as much as possible. GRR

  7. CharlieRomeo
    Posted December 23, 2015 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

    What an utterly disgusting demonstration of depraved contempt for the people of Flint. This shameless bastard has a lot of gall to even appear in public, tarring and feathering comes to my mind.

  8. Bob Krzewinski
    Posted December 23, 2015 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

    As a veteran I get so tired of hearing politicians say “We support the soldiers who are fighting to keep us free this holiday season”. The biggest threats to our freedoms (like the right to vote or the disclosure of public records) are not taking place in Afghanistan, but right over in Lansing by some right-wing fanatics. Want to preserve our freedoms? Don’t pass the buck by saying “our brave soldiers are doing that!”. NO join the ACLU or other public interest group working their tales off to really fight for freedoms.

  9. Demetrius
    Posted December 24, 2015 at 6:57 am | Permalink

    The growing social, cultural, and economic divide in this state is stunning. I know plenty of upper-middle class folks living in comfortable suburbs who honestly have NO IDEA what all the whining is about.

    In their view, if these people (in Flint) had simply applied themselves by going to college, and working hard (like they did), then they could afford to live in a “nice” community, too … and therefore wouldn’t have to drink poisoned tap-water.

  10. idea man
    Posted December 24, 2015 at 7:52 am | Permalink

    How about a holiday television special where Snyder serves his family big glasses of water from Flint public schools? That’s something that I could get behind.

  11. Frosted Flakes
    Posted December 24, 2015 at 9:21 am | Permalink

    Really Demetrius? I know some awful people. Some of them are rich. Everyone is sad and/or angry about this.

  12. Jean Henry
    Posted December 24, 2015 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

    This from the man who regularly states that “the #1 job of government is to provide great service to its constituents.” He has improved a lot of bureaucratic and economic hurdles to starting and operating a business in Michigan– while stripping funds for basic services for everyone else. I think he sees his constituents as businesses. Period.

  13. Jean Henry
    Posted December 24, 2015 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

    Also this:
    A Special Message from Governor Rick Snyder: Health and Wellness, September 14, 2011

    To Michiganders and the Michigan Legislature:

    To build a stronger Michigan, we must build a healthier Michigan. My vision is for Michiganders to be healthy, productive individuals, living in communities that support health and wellness, with ready access to an affordable, patient-centered and community-based system of care…

  14. jcp2
    Posted December 24, 2015 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

    It’s easy to blame inequality and the 1% on why Michigan has a Republican legislature that doesn’t do much for poor urban areas, but Michigan is made of only a few wealthy districts. If it were strictly just class divisions, then Michigan should be Democratic. It has just as much to do with unmet expectations and the aging demographics of state residents. Neither party has done much for the middle class, so the younger ones support Sanders and the older ones support Trump. In the end, youth will win.

    http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2016/01/the-great-republican-revolt/419118/

    The angriest and most pessimistic people in America are the people we used to call Middle Americans. Middle-class and middle-aged; not rich and not poor; people who are irked when asked to press 1 for English, and who wonder how white male became an accusation rather than a description.

    It was these pessimistic Republicans who powered the Tea Party movement of 2009 and 2010. They were not, as a rule, libertarians looking for an ultraminimal government. The closest study we have of the beliefs of Tea Party supporters, led by Theda Skocpol, a Harvard political scientist, found that “Tea Partiers judge entitlement programs not in terms of abstract free-market orthodoxy, but according to the perceived deservingness of recipients. The distinction between ‘workers’ and ‘people who don’t work’ is fundamental to Tea Party ideology.”

    http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2015/12/obama-messaging-isis-donald-trump/421437/

    Perhaps those white, working-class voters aren’t getting what they want out of the Democratic Party.

    http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2016/01/why-america-is-moving-left/419112/

    This is even true among Republican Millennials. The press often depicts American politics as a battle pitting ever more liberal Democrats against ever more conservative Republicans. Among the young, however, that’s inaccurate. Young Democrats may be more liberal than their elders, but so are young Republicans. According to Pew, a clear majority of young Republicans say immigrants strengthen America, half say corporate profits are too high, and almost half say stricter environmental laws are worth the cost—answers that sharply distinguish them from older members of the GOP. Young Republicans are more likely to favor legalizing marijuana than the oldest Democrats, and almost as likely to support gay marriage. Asked how they categorize themselves ideologically, more than two-thirds of Republican Millennials call themselves either “liberal” or “mixed,” while fewer than one-third call themselves “conservative.” Among the oldest Republicans, that breakdown is almost exactly reversed.

  15. Posted December 24, 2015 at 9:52 pm | Permalink

    “It’s easy to blame inequality and the 1% on why Michigan has a Republican legislature that doesn’t do much for poor urban areas, but Michigan is made of only a few wealthy districts. If it were strictly just class divisions, then Michigan should be Democratic.”

    I don’t disagree entirely, but you have to consider the effects of gerrymandering as well, jcp2. Our state is solidly blue when it comes to the statewide elections, but yet our legislature is dominated by Republicans. That’s not by accident.

    And thank you for those quotes, Jean.

  16. Jean Henry
    Posted December 24, 2015 at 10:30 pm | Permalink

    Zoe Clark did a good bit on gerrymandering in MI subbing in on Stateside last week. (Can’t find link on their site though.) Redistricting is on the table right now. The Dems have a proposal to create an independent council to work it out according to set guidelines meant to make the process more equitable all around. With GOP control of both houses and the governorship secured by current districting, however, it would require a great deal of citizen push to effect any change.

  17. Jcp2
    Posted December 24, 2015 at 11:18 pm | Permalink

    If Michigan is blue statewide, then why are the statewide offices also occupied by Republicans? I get the gerrymandering bit, but my point was that gerrymandering in much of the state outside of Southeast Michigan is not moving seats based on income inequality and class. The disaffection that the working middle class has for their economic situation should logically align them more blue than red, yet they align with red out of protest because blue has done nothing for them.

  18. Peter Larson
    Posted December 25, 2015 at 2:36 am | Permalink

    Rural Michigan is heavily Republican.

  19. Peter Larson
    Posted December 25, 2015 at 2:41 am | Permalink

    Democrats in Michigan like to believe that there is some massive conspiracy to rig elections, but in reality they are simply in denial that Michigan voters would vote Republican of their own free will.

    Granholm was widely hated among Michigan voters. If anything, Democrats have only themselves to blame to Snyder’s win(s).

  20. Jean Henry
    Posted December 25, 2015 at 8:24 am | Permalink

    “2014 election cycle: Republican Congressional candidates received 47.5 percent of all votes but won nine of 14 seats. Democrats got 49 percent of all votes and won five seats.”

    Michigan votes Democratic in the majority. The Republicans win more seats– many more. The GOP coordinated redistricting in 2011 to their advantage. That’s no conspiracy; it’s just effective strategy– an perfectly legal under the current system. They now have advantage no matter how the vote swings and why would they give that up. So the system will need to change if our votes are going to be reflected in the results. I wouldn’t ever argue that Granholm was effective. She set up the EM system. She was not a great governor. None of that erodes the argument that the State is in a GOP stranglehold (Cue the Nugent). And, to some degree, the Dems are to blame. They were off their watch in 2011. The focus on gerrymandering is appropriate and necessary, not an excuse. It’s something we should be totally honed in on. If we don’t advocate hard for a change in the re-districting structure, then we will have made our bed. I hate what is happening in this state. I don’t even think Snyder would have been a terribly bad governor had he not felt obliged to the GOP base. Remember when he promised to bring transparency to Lansing. It’s a corrupt mess. But the Dem re-districting citizen committee proposal on the table is a good one. It needs tweaking, but the idea is sound and the policy proven elsewhere. We should all be talking about it more than bitching about the GOP
    http://www.mlive.com/lansing-news/index.ssf/2015/07/garrymandering_michigan_redist.html

  21. Jean Henry
    Posted December 25, 2015 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

    I just looked at Pete’s assertion that the rural parts of the state vote GOP more than Democratic on the whole. Not entirely accurate. The Southwest part of the state is fairly densely populated, including Grand Rapids, our second largest city and it’s the most intensely GOP. The thumb is also largely conservative. The Dem strongholds are Ann Arbor and Detroit Metro, excluding Macomb County– all densely populated. But the most rural parts of our state– Th UP and the North Eastern lower peninsula traditionally vote Democratic. Redistricting limited the influence of these areas on State elections, as well as making 2 Dem strongholds with incumbents one district. The overall change in 2011 was from a 9-7 Dem advantage in districts to a 9-6 GOP advantage. The wolf hunt and other ballot initiatives drew more GOP voters in the UP in 2012. As I understand it, there as many as 9 seats in play in the up-coming State House elections. Presidential elections draw more Dem voters than off years. It’s possible, though not likely, that Dems could gain control of the House again next year.

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