Come Heller high water …
- The most astounding and damning revelation of Tuesday’s Congressional hearings about the Flint water crisis was without a doubt an internal EPA email from an employee named Debbie Baltazar saying, “We’ve included information on Flint’s financial practices as we think (Susan Hedman, director of the EPA’s Midwest office) needs to be aware. Perhaps she already knows this, but I’m not so sure Flint is the community we want to go out on a limb for … at least without a better understanding of where all the money went.” I don’t know what money Baltazar is referring to but if I were her I’d lawyer up fast. If she and others at EPA aren’t charged with crimes and convicted, I’ll be amazed and outraged.
- Seriously, I can’t get over that email. I’ve read it over and over. At best, it’s the coldest, most callous thing I’ve ever read from a public official, especially one whose job is to protect the public. At worst it’s clear evidence of environmental racism, which is exactly what I and others have said all along was behind this crisis. Can you imagine Baltazar or anyone at EPA not “going out on a limb” if we were talking about Bloomfield Hills or Ann Arbor? Not a chance.
- Gov. Snyder testifies Thursday. I’ll bet he doesn’t get much sleep tonight. Would you? His defense is going to be he didn’t know until it was too late, which may or may not be true. He’s also going to point to the Baltazar email and Hedman’s testimony and say, “See, we weren’t the only ones.” If I were on the panel, I’d ask him, “So who created the culture that thinks saving a few bucks is more important than saving kids from being poisoned?” An honest Snyder answer would be, “Me.” But I’ll bet my house he doesn’t say that.
- By the way, I think political racism, for lack of a better term, may have played a role as well. Flint is a Democratic city with a strong union presence. That’s red meat for Republicans. Is it far-fetched to think a poor Republican city would have gotten better treatment? I don’t think so.
- I don’t buy for a second all the commentaries saying the GOP is falling apart. They may be headed for a defeat in the presidential election but that’s not the same thing as “falling apart.” Locally and regionally, the GOP is very strong. Michigan is a good example. Many still think of Michigan as a blue state but if we are voters have a funny way of showing it since the Legislature and governor’s office are redder than a baby’s backside. What the GOP is experiencing is a fight for its soul. Is it going to be the party of perpetually angry white guys or a party that embraces diversity both in terms of people and ideas? My money is on the adults winning this fight, and a kinder, gentler Republican Party emerging slowly. Just not in time to win the presidency.
- Someone explain to me why I can’t get into March Madness? I’m a sports fan. I love playing basketball. And I enjoy watching it. So why do I seldom watch the tourney? Only thing I can come up with is it’s hard to root for colleges I never went to featuring players I don’t know. (Now if CMU ever gets in, well then …)
- ESPN reported this week that vasectomies go up dramatically right before March Madness because guys figure they can get a few sympathy days off to watch games. These men are clearly not married to women like the lovely yet formidable Marcia. After mine, she had me moving furniture. As I recall, she said something like, “Pain? That’s not pain. I gave birth three times, now that’s pain. So get moving, buster.” Do you have any idea how hard it is to move a couch while holding a frozen bag of peas?
- Tigers DH Victor Martinez lasted a week before his first injury, so that’s something. Honesty, I think he’s done. He can hit, sure, but his body can’t hold up, so what’s the point. You ready for Bryan Holaday and/or Tyler Collins as your DH, Tigers fans? You watch. It’ll happen.
“When you reach the end of your rope, tie a knot in it and hang on.” — Franklin D. Roosevelt.