Free Minds & Free Markets

The Flint Water Crisis Is the Result of a Stimulus Project Gone Wrong

The new water system was never a cost-cutting measure. It was an expensive jobs project.

Flint Water PollutionBert van Dijk via / CC BY-NC-SA

Liberals are wrongly blaming Flint's lead poisoning crisis on austerity measures imposed on the city by a fiscallyconservative Republican Governor Rick Snyder, as I wrote last week. (Snyder had appointed an emergency manager in 2011 to help the city balance its books and avoid bankruptcy.) However, I didn't quite realize just how wrong they were. As it turns out, the debacle is the result of Snyder's efforts to stimulate the local economy—the exact opposite of the liberal line.

The whole mess occurred because Flint decided against renewing its 30-year contract with the Detroit Water and Sewage Department (DWSD) and switched instead to Karengondi Karegnondi Water Authority (KWA). KWA was planning to build its own hugely expensive pipeline, parallel to DWSD's, to harness water from Lake Huron and service the Genesee County area where Flint is located. This left the city in the lurch for a few years when its contract with DWSD ended but the new facility had not yet gone online, prompting it to reopen a local mothballed facility that relied on the toxic Flint River as its source (more on the rank stupidity of this decision later).

The rationale for the original decision to switch Flint's water providers was that, in the long run, KWA would generate substantial savings for the cash-strapped city. Not only was this false but Snyder had very good reasons at that time to believe that this was false.

Documents that have just resurfaced show that the then DWSD Director Susan McCormick presented two alternatives to Emergency Manager Ed Kurtz that slashed rates for Flint by nearly 50 percent, something that made Detroit far more competitive compared to the KWA deal. "The cliff notes version," she said in an internal e-mail to her staff, is that the "proposal offers a today rate of water for Flint/Genesee of $10.46 as compared to $20.00 paid currently per Mcf—48% less that could be realized nearly immediately and even more when compared to the increases coming with KWA." In fact, when compared over the 30-year horizon, the DWSD proposal saves $800 million or 20% over the KWA proposal, she pointed out.

That works out to over $26 million in annual savings for a city in precarious financial shape.

So why didn't Flint jump at the offer?

If McCormick had been corrupt and untrustworthy like her predecessor, who was indicted in the scandal involving former Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick (for, among other things, illegally steering contracts to friends and cronies), it would have been one thing. But McCormick has a stellar reputation as an administrator and was brought on board after a federal court ordered a reorganization of the DWSD to clean up its operations and ensure that it was complying with federal water regulations. (Despite opposition from the city's powerful unions, she made a nearly 80 percent reduction in staff while improving operations, all of which ended 35 years of court oversight of the department!) In fact, she even offered the city representation on the board and a say in "facility operations and capital investment" in order to guard against unwarranted future rate hikes, removing an issue that has long been a bone of contention between Detroit and its municipal clients.

What's more, lest one dismiss McCormick as a biased party with a fiduciary interest in pressing DWSD's case against its competitor's, a study commissioned by Snyder's own treasurer from Tucker, Young, Jackson & Tull, a prestigious engineering consulting firm, confirmed that the KWA's plan to supply Flint didn't make any financial sense. It estimated that KWA was lowballing the project by at least $85 million. "Cost overruns and delays in completion will both negatively impact Flint's final costs," the report concluded.

The Genesee County Drain commissioner at the time went on a jihad to impugn the study, accusing it of relying on inaccurate data, but the question is, why did Snyder — aka one-tough-nerd who prides himself on his business acumen and wonkery — fall for it?

Snyder's office did not return my call, but sources close to the situation at the time tell me that it was essentially because Genesee County and Flint authorities saw the new water treatment as a public infrastructure project to create jobs in an area that has never recovered after Michigan's auto industry fled to sunnier business climes elsewhere. And neither Snyder nor his Emergency Manager Ed Kurtz nor the state treasurer Andy Dillon had the heart to say "no," especially since to hand Flint to DWSD would have made the whole project less viable.  What's more, they felt that just as Detroit was receiving an infrastructure boost post-bankruptcy (with the state-backed $650 million ice-hockey-arena-cum-entertainment center that I wrote about here) it was only fair that Flint get one too.

All of this shows two things:

One, the Flint water crisis is the result of a Keynesian stimulus project gone wrong.

Two, emergency managers are not always a panacea for fiscally mismanaged cities. The assumption behind handing them control of city finances is that they are grown-ups who, unlike politicians, are immune from special interest pressure and therefore more capable of making tough cuts. In reality, they can have their own political grand plans that don't always overlap with the city's fiscal interest.

But to add insult to Flint's injury, while the rest of the Genesee County continued to be served by DWSA before the new system became operational, Flint was switched to its old, moribund facility. That's not because Detroit threatened to cut off Flint, as the governor's office and local authorities have suggested. It's because Kurtz and the then Flint mayor, Dayne Walling, sources say, believed that this facility was an underutilized asset that ought to be put to good use to save money.

This was a penny wise and pound foolish decision given that Flint had neither the in-house scientific expertise to assess what would be required to adequately treat the water nor the economic expertise to judge whether this made any financial sense. They expected to get all their scientific guidance from the DEQ, but the agency was clearly in over its head (and is, not unfairly, taking the fall).

Snyder has called Flint his Hurricane Katrina. In reality, it is far worse because at least Katrina represented a botched response to a natural disaster. The Flint disaster, however, is wholly man-made.

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  • R C Dean||

    Oh, this is just too perfect.

  • DJF||

    It would be if the public got the facts, instead they will probably be told a story about evil Republicans not wanting to raise taxes to fund needed public services and some evil private corporation ripping everyone off.

  • dchang0||

    I just read the New Republic's take on this called "Piping in Poison," and they mention the word Republican once in their editorial (noting that they are being blamed for the catastrophe), but not a single mention of the word Democrat.

    How utterly... leftist.

  • Res ipsa loquitur||

    Just blame the republican, then move on to the next story. This one will quickly fade now me thinks.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Well obviously they'll be crawling off Snyder's ass now that there's documentation.

  • Bill Dalasio||

    Well, the story served its purpose. It's gotten a few days headlines and put a massive crimp in Snyder's career. Following up on the story no longer serves any purpose, especially not that it might risk the narrative. Its the new fashion in journalism. Roll the story out to fit the narrative give it a couple of days to get the public's attention, and throw it down the memory hole. If someone want to bother researching and getting the full story, just change the subject and tell them that's old news. You've gotten your mindshare and planted your narrative in the public consciousness.

  • Zexufang||

    Never let a crisis go to waste... especially when it's always the Republicans to blame.

    You have to admire the chutzpah of the Democrat Party; but again that part is easy when you have willing accomplices in the (old) media.

    You can keep your doctor.
    You didn't build that.
    White moms matter.

  • Hugh Akston||

    There is no such thing as a "Keynesian stimulus project gone wrong". As long as the money is spent, the animal spirits have been appeased.

  • Microaggressor||

    I was hoping for an example of a stimulus project gone right.

  • Eternal Blue Sky||

    There are none because they always go left.

  • d3x / dt3||

    Now, off to start a war!


  • Winston||

    This is the fault of insane nihilist genocidal libertarian Republicans hence why we need Bernie.

  • PapayaSF||

    Despite opposition from the city's powerful unions, she made a nearly 80 percent reduction in staff while improving operations

    Be still, my heart! Gads, I love stories like that.

  • In League with the Dark Ones||

    Time to draft Susan McCormick as a Libertarian candidate for state office!

  • d3x / dt3||

    No, no, no. That would break the streak of no libertarian women.

  • GILMORE™||

    this was never about the facts. its about the narrative.

  • In League with the Dark Ones||

    Truer words have never been spoken.

  • C. Anacreon||

    I wish I had a nickel for every time my grandfather spoke those exact words. Unfortunately he was usually referring to bullshit.

  • C. Anacreon||

    Also, after he would say "truer words have never been spoken," he'd start twiddling his thumbs and humming to himself. I guess he was rather daft.

  • GILMORE™||

    "lint decided against renewing its 30-year contract with the Detroit Water and Sewage Department (DWSD) and switched instead to Karengondi Water Authority (KWA). KWA was planning to build its own hugely expensive pipeline, parallel to DWSD's'

    Completely un-necessary, but hey... its INFRASTRUCTURE and our nation needs to spend more on that stuff.

    If there is a choice were between "Upgrading existing infrastructure and providing the greatest cost-benefit to the taxpayer", or "duplicate infrastructure because it provides the excuse to SPEND MORE and therefore hand out more jobs to cronies"? There is clearly no choice at all. From the POV of a politician, that is.

    Of course, the best reception any of this 'detail-oriented' reporting will get is something along the lines of "Anti-Union Koch-Funded Magazine Blames Civil Servants for Trying to Help Community"

  • Hunthjof||

    You win the thread.

  • Fairbanks||

    Reminds me of the story of the Reason reader who saw workers repairing a dam using shovels. He said to the city manager "Why don't you have them use backhoes instead of shovels? It'll go much faster and it'll be cheaper." The manager replied "But it would cost jobs!" The Reason reader said "If this is about jobs then you should give the workers spoons." I think the city manager was Paul Krugman.

  • BiMonSciFiCon||

    Isn't that a Milton Friedman story?

  • GamerFromJump||

    The problem is that half the guys with shovels spend half their time standing around. I work in China; I've seen it.

  • Paper Wasp||

    A Social Studies teacher told us once in high school that in India, they invented two-person shovels so they could turn a job for one into a job for two. Best government contract ever!

  • dunce||

    I once saw in germany two men with shovels filling the scoop on a tractor front loader. there are many socialists in germany dedicated to screwing everything up.

  • Migrant Log Chipper||

    Jack Nicklaus sinking a birdie on the back nine to win the 1985 Masters applause....Vern Lundquist......"YESSS".

  • BiMonSciFiCon||

    1986 Masters!

    I'll go away now.

  • SmartWino||

  • Brian||

    Oh, yeah? Well, just think about how many more people could have been poisoned, if only they had spent even more money?

  • GILMORE™||





  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    There's nothing like extremely efficient, effective incompetence.

  • Rt. Hon. Judge Woodrow Chipper||

    Flint is supposed to get income from KWA when it goes on-line by selling water to other municipalities. Seems disingenuous to leave that out of the calculations.

  • In League with the Dark Ones||

    Flint was making money selling water to Genesee, Cheboygan, and other counties and municipalities…

    They were ticked off about the price so they founded the KWA.

  • Rt. Hon. Judge Woodrow Chipper||

    That doesn't refute my point.

  • In League with the Dark Ones||

    I think it emphasizes it… Flint was doing that before and the loss of that revenue didn't help Flint any.

  • Kidwell1||

    So they were putting profits before people by creating this corporation? Nothing like a government guy trying to run a business. Could have guessed back then this would be a reason story at some point.

  • IceTrey||

    The thing is the simple solution was to just add phosphorus to the water which would have cost about $50,000 per year.

  • In League with the Dark Ones||

    Which they're doing now…

  • Chip Woodier||

    Last I read, they are back connected to Detroit's water again.

  • In League with the Dark Ones||

  • C. Anacreon||

    Excuse me, I was told there would be no chemistry in this thread.

  • In League with the Dark Ones||

    That leaves unanswered the question of why DWSD gave notice that it was cancelling the contract, not Flint.

  • UnCivilServant||

    I can easily see it going something like this:

    "Do you want to renew your contract?"


    "Do you want to renew?"


    "Fine, we're cancelling the contract."

    "Detroit Cut us off!"

  • Fun at Parties||

    That's basically what happened.

  • J Mann||

    I think it was closer to:

    "Well, if you're leaving us in three years, we're cancelling the contract as soon as we can. We're happy to renegotiate, however - how about a deal where you don't leave and we give you better rates?"

    "No, we're out. How much for the water until we're ready to leave?"


    "No thanks."

  • J Mann||

    I meant line three to say "Some price", but formatted it wrong . . .

  • In League with the Dark Ones||

    The Genesee County Drain commissioner at the time went on a jihad to impugn the study, accusing it of relying on inaccurate data, but the question is, why did Snyder fall for it?

    According to Cheboygan Drains Commissioner Dennis Lennox (R.), Genesee Drains Commissioner Wright (D.) issued an ultimatum to Flint in March 2013 — sign up within the next two weeks or Flint be left out.

    I'm suspecting the KWA would be fiscal inviable without Flint…

  • Sevo||

    Why is this a screw-up? Because it was *designed* that way!

  • Libertymike||

    That's statism. I guess you would call that a "functioning system", heh?

  • paranoid android||

    Stimulus gone wrong? Sounds to me like they succeeded--think of all the economic activity that will be generated from the increase in demand for lead poisoning treatments!

  • Fairbanks||

    Although tongue-in-cheek this is exactly the thinking behind the idea that natural disasters are good for the economy. Or wars. Or broken windows.

  • The Other Libertarian||

    +1 broken window analogy.

  • Cdr Lytton||

    OT: Oh, look. The sons of the federal judge that unconstitutionally sent the Hammonds to prison after completing their sentence, have set up an anti Malheur occupation fundraising website. And the judge's husband is a Democratic activist. What a shock.

  • GILMORE™||

    " anti Malheur occupation fundraising website."

    Uh. how is that supposed to work, exactly?

    the protesters raise money because they're trying to get support for their "demonstration",

    but.... "Anti-Occupation Fundraising"? Anti-protest-protests? they're fundraising so they can.... what? Say = "Shut Up, You!" Take out ads saying, "....we think its awesome that the Govt is jailing people for years over trivial land-management snafus"? Pay people *not* to listen to the protesters?

    "donations that would be distributed to four groups that they said are the antithesis of what occupation leaders Ammon and Ryan Bundy and their followers believe in.

    The groups include environmental, gun control and extremist-monitoring organizations, as well as the Burns Paiute tribe, the original inhabitants of the Malheur region."

    Ah, so = "Give us your money, and we'll give money to Mother Earth, Michael Bloomberg, and The Great Spirit". Liberal-Feels-Causes. COUNTERACTION!!

    why does that make any sense as a 'counter-protest', and why wouldn't people just donate to those causes directly if they think it *made a difference*?

    It seems the real point is to pretend the "Fight" is about culture-war bullshit (indians! mother earth!) rather than "Capricious Federal Sentencing Authority"

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    They have a hashtag. Don't doubt the power of the hashtag. Which reminds me (totally O.T.) NPR did a navel-gazer on Springtime for Arabs, quietly admitting that it went nowhere, and the west was kinda-sorta cheering the status-quo on. Next up, Nina Totenberg's lemon bars!

  • GILMORE™||

    Its like someone said, "OPPOSE ISIS!! GIVE YOUR MONEY TO GAY STRIPPERS!!"

    as though contributing to what you think the "cultural opposite" is... is supposed to have some real-world effect on the Guys With Guns With a Beef

    As though donating money to "friends of the earth" is supposed to have something to do with BLM prosecution of ranchers.

    I can't believe people who do this kind of shit take themselves seriously.. or that no one ever comes up to them and actually says, "WTF is that really doing, anyway?" Other than self-promotion. what may really be the point. "Look at me! I want attention too!"

  • ant1sthenes||

    For reason your comment made me think of this

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    A week ago Sunday, the Klonoski brothers established their website — — inviting people to pledge donations that would be distributed to four groups that they said are the antithesis of what [occupation leaders believe in.]

    For those keeping score at home, the four groups that get your money are, drumroll please:

    Friends of Malheur National Wildlife Refuge

    Friends of Malheur National Wildlife Refuge is an independent, non-profit committed to: (1) Conserving, enhancing, and restoring fish and wildlife habitat and cultural history in the Harney Basin in southeast Oregon;

    Americans for Responsible Solutions

    On January 8, 2011, a mentally ill man shot Congresswoman Gabby Giffords in the head, killed six others, and wounded 12. [A]merica has seen too many more mass shootings – but no response from Congress. This inaction on gun violence was thrown into even starker contrast after the massacre of 20 children and six of their teachers at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

    Burns Paiute Tribe

    The Burns Paiute Reservation is located north of Burns, Oregon in Harney County. The current tribal members are primarily the descendants of the "Wadatika" band of Paiute Indians that roamed in central and southern Oregon.

    Southern Poverty Law Center

    The SPLC is dedicated to fighting hate and bigotry and to seeking justice for the most vulnerable members of our society.

  • Jordan||

    Stimulus gone wrong? Oh no, not at all. Think of all the medical and long term care that people will need to consume as a result of this! It's not as good as a terrorist attack, World War, or alien invasion, but it'll do.

  • Nyarlarrythotep||

    "...but sources close to the situation tell me that it was essentially because..."

    Much as I love the way this story is panning out, this one sentence leads me to discount it somewhat. Shikma, can you do better?

  • Fun at Parties||

    The author is doing the right thing this time by actually writing an article based on all the facts instead of the frosty piss that was her previous liberal hit-piece full of smeared slander against the gov. Good on you hun for following up. /sarcasm

  • commodious spittoon||

    As it turns out, the debacle is the result of Snyder's efforts to stimulate the local economy—the exact opposite of the liberal line.

    So... still the Republican's fault, right?

  • Fun at Parties||

    Michael Moore's panties couldn't be wetter. The scent of Republican blood even drew him back from protesting in-front of Trump Tower.

  • UnCivilServant||

    Wait, this is a Dalmia article? And it has nothing to do with open borders?

  • In League with the Dark Ones||

  • UnCivilServant||

    I hadn't noticed the other one belonged to her.

  • AlmightyJB||

    It's only an hour from the border so it's on her beat

  • Fun at Parties||

    I laughed out loud at this. +1 interwebs for you good sir.

  • Fun at Parties||

    Yep that's the one I was referring to. Take notice of my comment there at the bottom and how I took the gloves off for that one. This time I was much kinder for her following up.

  • JeremyR||

    Or how India is so much better than the US.

  • esteve7||

    Pretty much every liberal narrative story is proven false later, but it doesn't matter. They read the salon articles about how the evil republican poisoned their water, and you think Salon is doing a follow up on this?

  • AlmightyJB||

    New York to London in 11 minutes.

  • commodious spittoon||

    He was contacted by engineer Joseph Hazeltine, who proposed using a novel aerodynamic phenomenon called 'long penetration mode (LPM).

    That's my move!

  • AlmightyJB||

    Is that why you get there so fast? lol

  • commodious spittoon||

    Best twelve minutes of her life. Also the most expensive.

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    Yep. Nope.

    That dude is the Food Babe of aerospace.

  • SusanM||

    Submitted for your approval:

    A group of vigilantes has vowed to take up arms to defend the city’s residents. During a rally in front of City Hall, an executive officer for the Genesee County Volunteer Militia announced the group is “not going to allow [the government] to step on the people of Flint any longer.”

    “We’re here to defend this community,” said Matthew Krol, who was joined by approximately 30 supporters. The Detroit Free Press reported that the group carried “Don’t Tread On Me” signs and some of its members had pistols. “We’re not going to allow (the government) to step on the people of Flint any longer.
  • Jimbo||

    Now that's Lead Poisoning I could get behind!

  • Fun at Parties||

    ba dum tssssh.

  • Fun at Parties||

    Hands up, Don't drink!

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    I've tried shooting water. It keeps coming.

  • sarcasmic||

    Wasn't intended. Couldn't possibly be the result. Besides, the narrative feels more true than these so-called "facts."

  • Akira||

    On the subject of public sector unions, I have a question:

    If the government can't be trusted to treat their own workers fairly, how in the hell can they be qualified to tell every business in the country how much their workers should be paid and what kind of workplace safety policies should be in place?

  • Jimbo||

    That's none of your business, Akira. We have privacy laws that prevent us from telling you how much we are screwing over the public.

    (Your first name isn't Asa, is it?)

  • straffinrun||

    Government created clusterfuck. BS narrative emerges about how greed caused the problem. A deeper look at the problem indicates government itself is the problem. This gets ignored or ridiculed and race gets injected to muddy the waters. More money is wasted in the same manner as before to fix the problem. Lehman shock or Flint water contamination?
    If you can't convince them, confuse them" -Harry Truman

  • Fun at Parties||

    Lead contamination in Flint is a drop in the bucket compared to the rest of the nation. It's just getting national attention because shameless liberal hacks like Michael Moore are beating their drums.

    Gee look at that, liberal democratic empires such as the upper east coast has terrible lead poisoning. No wonder they're so "special" compared to the rest of us. Then it follows along the Rust Belt all the way into the Midwest and the worst being in the "deep south" which is no big surprise to anyone.

  • sarcasmic||

    I'm glad my drinking water comes from a well.

  • Fun at Parties||

    Unless they're Fracking near by.

  • sarcasmic||

  • DenverJ||

    Fresh snow filtered through granite and ice cold :)

  • Sevo||

    Them gold mines also have lead deposits.

  • Sevo||

    "Plastic could outweigh fish in the ocean by 2050, study warns"
    "The report was released this week by the nonprofit Ellen MacArthur Foundation, which consulted 180 experts and analyzed more than 200 reports on the issue."

    And who is the Ellen MacArthur Foundation you ask?
    "Our Mission is to Accelerate the Transition to a Circular Economy"
    "Lefty imbeciles" is a good guess. Bet they are cerially invested in this: A prospectus inviting investors to become part of a cat-and-rat farm was once circulated, the basic premise of which involved skinning cats for their fur, feeding the cat carcasses to rats, then feeding the rats to the cats being raised for their fur.

  • Quincy.||

    Our Mission is to Accelerate the Transition to a Circular Economy

    Why am I reminded of toilets all of a sudden?

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    As long as it swirls in the American direction. God Bless America.

  • GILMORE™||

    I'm reading their paper

    I'm put off by their premises, which i think try and create a false-dichotomy =

    "The global economy’s evolution has been dominated by a linear model of
    production and consumption, in which goods are manufactured from raw materials,
    sold, used and then discarded as waste. While great strides have been made in
    improving resource efficiency, any system based on consumption rather than on
    the restorative use of resources entails significant losses along the value chain

    ....(lots of bunk)

    ...The notion of a circular economy has attracted increased attention in recent years.
    The concept is characterised, more than defined, as an economy that is restorative
    and regenerative by design and aims to keep products, components, and materials
    at their highest utility and value at all times, distinguishing between technical and
    biological cycles. It is conceived as a continuous positive development cycle that
    preserves and enhances natural capital, optimises resource yields, and minimises
    system risks by managing finite stocks and renewable flows. It works effectively at
    every scale."

  • GILMORE™||

    Their examples of what they think of as "circular" are really just minor variances in 'what state resources are re-used' at

    " Innovative products and contracts designed for the circular economy are already available in a variety of forms – from innovative designs of materials and products (e.g., biodegradable food packaging and easy-to-
    disassemble office printers) to pay-per-use contracts (e.g., for tyres). "

    Its basically bullshit. IKEA furniture is mostly all recaptured pulp (read: Garbage). "Oil" is just recaptured natural waste over 10,000 years. Therefore, all the landfills we're currently filling are just *really slow* Oilfields.

    The entire thing is just pretending that the 'real' economy isn't already 'circular', and that prices don't already control when 're-circulation' makes sense (e.g. IKEA, Uber) and when it doesnt' (Oil)

  • Sevo||

    " an economy that is restorative and regenerative by design and aims to keep products, components, and materials at their highest utility and value at all times,..."

    Which *requires* a perfectly static economy with no surprises like, oh, methods of replacing plastic with a new material.
    I lost the link to that NYT article where even they admitted that a zero-growth economy meant a return to massive poverty.

  • Quincy.||

    It is conceived as a continuous positive development cycle that
    preserves and enhances natural capital, optimises resource yields, and minimises
    system risks by managing finite stocks and renewable flows. It works effectively at
    every scale."

    *Cough* isn't that what free markets actually do?

    Bolding in honor of Hayek.

  • Sevo||

    "*Cough* isn't that what free markets actually do?"

    Damn good description, isn't it?
    Pretty sure the EM Foundation doesn't understand that, in fact I'm sure they have a 'plan' to make it that way. Perhaps in, oh, five years, including a great leap forward, if you know what I mean.

  • __Warren__||

    Let a hundred flours bloom!

  • Quincy.||

    Nobody needs a hundred flours, except hipster bakers.

  • __Warren__||

    Goddamned com-soc rad-red!

  • DenverJ||

    Oh, I LOLed at the pub, and people looking at me funny

  • This Machine||

    ... the basic premise of which involved skinning cats for their fur, feeding the cat carcasses to rats, then feeding the rats to the cats being raised for their fur.

    Oh man. A biological perpetual motion machine! This is genius! Why didn't anyone else think of this??

  • __Warren__||

    It's cheaper just to staple live rats to yourself.

  • AlmightyJB||

    It puts the lotion on it's fur.

  • __Warren__||

    We need to hire Flint Steel, Private Eye to find out the truth!

  • Quincy.||

    Hey, guess what? Let's get hammered.

  • This Machine||

    Cheers, Quincy!

    *raises beer*

  • Quincy.||

    *raises can, throws it at TV*

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    Still have a tube TV, eh?

  • Quincy.||

    Are you insinuating something, sir? My TV's are as flat as the day is long.

  • Vapourwear||


  • Jerryskids||

    So apparently Samuel L says Trump cheats at golf, Trump responds that he does not, plus Samuel L is boring - but the best part:

    The one celebrity who stood by The Donald was Tom Brady. When asked by GQ in November whether or not Trump cheats, “Nah,” Brady said. “He just — he doesn’t lose. He just doesn’t lose.”

    "If a tree cheats in the woods and there's nobody there to see it, wouldn't that be great?" - Tom Brady

  • Quincy.||

    Andy Warhol is agitated right now.

  • Winston||

    Saw this comment about the Oscars. Seems not thinking in terms of races denies the existence non-whites.

    There is a strange thing that happens when people say things like "I don't see black or white, I prefer to be colorblind." There is a very subconscious (or intentional) motivation to rob someone of their color in order to deny their existence. The problem is that a comment like that is most often said by liberal white people. They think it makes them sound above it all, like race is never a problem for them. And when you're white, it isn't. That's the problem. The same goes for LGBT people and the refusal by some (many) straight people to take the time to properly identify people the way the want to be identified. We are so, so, so far from being able to talk about people in non-gender, non-race and non-sexuality terms but straight, white people often think we're there and homogenize the language of identity that makes them the most comfortable.

    I don't really know where I'm extrapolating this from in this conversation specifically, it's more of a side-bar commentary since the race issue at the Oscars isn't, by any means, about the Oscars. It's about everything in the US and how race, gender and sexuality are a part of every single element of daily life - socially, financially, vocationally - everything.

  • Sevo||

    "We are so, so, so far from being able to talk about people in non-gender, non-race and non-sexuality terms but straight, white people often think we're there and homogenize the language of identity that makes them the most comfortable."

    So 'robbing someone of their color' is 'talking about them racially'; the opposite of 'talking about them in non-race terms'?
    I don't know where that came from, but that person is confused.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Confused is right. These two statements do not go together either
    "I don't see black or white, I prefer to be colorblind."

    "is most often said by liberal white people"

  • AlmightyJB||

    " the refusal by some (many) straight people to take the time to properly identify people the way the want to be identified."

    I do my part. would. would. probably. drunk. would.

  • Sevo||

    You left out the other one:

  • AlmightyJB||

    That's were the drunk comes in. maybe I should have added really, really drunk.

  • AlmightyJB||

    This should be Chris Rocks opening monologue at the Oscars. (I actually did hear that he's rewriting his whole act for that)

  • Winston||

    I don't like how the racial attitudes of the progs are going. It used to be that "We Should All Stop Thinking in Terms of Race!" but now race is what we should think about all the time and whites should accept being discriminated against. Seems the rebuttal of white racism has gone from "thinking in terms of race is bad" to "thinking in terms of race is good except when white people do it." Are we at all surprised at the rise of the alt-Right?

  • Chip the Chipper||

    "I don't like how the racial attitudes of the progs are going"
    "I don't like the racial attitudes of the progs"
    "I don't like the attitudes of the progs"
    "I don't like progs"


  • LynchPin1477||

    I actually understand what they are trying to say -- they feel like people who say "I'm colorblind" are sweeping issues of race under the rug, when this person would prefer that they were front and center.

    The thing is, for a while most people thought being colorblind was the point -- to not view and judge someone by the color of their skin, but the content of their character. What the modern social justice movement is basically saying is that the content of someone's character is inseparable from the color of their skin, or their gender identity, or their social class. At least I think that is what statements like "race, gender and sexuality are a part of every single element of daily life - socially, financially, vocationally - everything." mean.

  • Winston||

    It seems what they really want is affirmative action, quotas and redistribution to "solve" racial, gender and sexuality problems and straight white men suck so they deserve it.

  • JeremyR||

    And reparations

  • Sevo||

    We did have a troll last week who assured us that this didn't matter, since some companies had polluted waterways in the past. I don't think it was Tony, but it sounded like his running excuse for Obo, claiming Bush did the same stuff!

  • commodious spittoon||

    Perfection is the enemy of the good and apparently good enough is the enemy of just barely adequate.

  • Michael Ejercito||

    I wonder if intellectual dishonesty is more common on the Left than the Right.

  • commodious spittoon||

    So Hillary is staging an emergency town hall appearance on CNN. Anyone following that?

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    What's the emergency? She really wants to be president?

  • commodious spittoon||

    Ace of Spades has a thing about it. I dunno if they're speculating, but she may be trying to get out in front of the FBI.

  • LynchPin1477||

    If only...

  • Winston||

    She's feeling the Bern?

  • commodious spittoon||

    I wish there was a typical ointment for old socialists.

  • LynchPin1477||

    There have been incredible advances in topical creams in the last few years.

  • Hamster of Doom||

    Bathing in asses' milk and the blood of virgins is traditional.

  • __Warren__||

    Does Santorum qualify as ass milk?

  • Quincy.||

    Google says yes!

  • Sevo||

    commodious spittoon|1.25.16 @ 10:43PM|#
    "I wish there was a typical ointment for old socialists."

    Seems there's an ice cream:

    "Ben Cohen, the co-founder of ice cream company Ben & Jerry’s, gave the scoop on Monday about a new Sanders-themed ice cream flavor, called “Bernie’s Yearning.”

    From the comments:
    "It’s full of nuts, flakes, and fruits, but it’s still bland and tastes recycled, and worse, when you buy a pint you will find it's only 10% full because the other 90% has been given away for free to the people who refuse to pay for it, AND even though a pint costs only $7.00, there's a $70.00 tax added on."
    Commie kid is orgasmic...

  • GamerFromJump||

    "Firearms! Apply directly to the socialist! Firearms! Apply directly to the socialist! Firearms! Apply directly to the socialist!"

  • Rich||

    She's "glad" all her emails are being made public, even though some are "embarrassing".

  • Sevo||

    "So Hillary is staging an emergency town hall appearance on CNN. Anyone following that?"

    Nothing shows up, google or bing; got a link?

  • LynchPin1477||

    It's on the CNN front page. It doesn't seem to be anything consequential.

  • Migrant Log Chipper||

    So Snyder is an idiot, just not for the reasons progs jizz over? Hilarious.

  • Migrant Log Chipper||

    If a private water company was this incompetent people would be going to jail (rightly so)), somehow I doubt these incompetents will ever be held accountable...isn't government great!

  • Ann in L.A.||

    Part of the KWA project always meant that the Flint water treatment facility would have to go online 24/7. It was that plant that would ultimately be treating the Huron pipeline water. Flint just had to get it online more quickly than expected when the Detroit contract was cancelled and they needed an interim water source.

  • Chip the Chipper||

    This is why I only drink Mountain Dew

  • BioBehavioral_View||

    You Owe Me!

    In this age of exploding collectivism and imploding individualism, one person’s mistakes become another’s responsibility. The motto has become, “I err — you pay.”

    Some examples? Puerto Rico intentionally assumes debt that it knows that it never can repay; federal aid. Flint, Michigan changes its source of municipal water from the relatively clean Lake Michigan to the toxic Flint River, thereby, poisoning its own children — federal aid. People build on flood-plains then suffer massive damages when the rains inevitably arrive — federal aid.

    Wait! The federal government may print a currency that it continuously debases, but upon what is that currency founded? The power to tax productive citizens. When those who intentionally engage in economically injurious behavior demand “federal aid”, they are putting their hands into other people’s pockets.

    “Ah, but we should help each other,” claim the “humanitarians”.

    If robbing a prudent Peter to save an imprudent Paul is “humanitarianism”, that word has become an obscenity. Behavior should have its rightful consequences.

    See “The Biobehavioral Orientation” at ... .

  • J Mann||

    I don't think "the relatively clean Lake Michigan" is where you think it is, unless Detroit had a hella-long pipeline.

  • DarkHorseSki||

    As a Libertarian who has lived in Flint and who lives near Detroit today, I'll point out that quite a bit of the article here is, quite simply, wrong. First off, the Flint river is not particularly toxic. Secondly, given the long history of Flint and getting water from Detroit, they had a very good reason to try and source their water from closer. More than a couple times during my years in Flint, we had situations where the Detroit water supply was unusable for days due to contaminations or pipe breaks.

    Look the problem that happened in Flint is simple enough. The engineers failed to add the anti-corrosives. That is it. The engineers failed to complete a step that everybody else getting water from our area is used to doing. It was a simple, yet costly mistake that impacted the whole infrastructure. Getting the water from the Flint river was not a bad idea, nor was using that local facility. Had they added the anti-corrosive, as they should have, everybody involved would have been quite happy.

    Folks on all sides need to stop pretending that this was caused by anything other than a simple error.

  • AD-RtR/OS!||

    Corporatism run amok. Jail them all.

  • In League with the Dark Ones||

    If this were corporatism, the people of Flint would have gotten a vote.

  • ConradCA||

    Anyone going to prison for poisoning thousands of people?

  • SmartWino||

    Question: What is Sovereign Immunity?

    Stupid Government Tricks for $400, Alex.

  • JFB76||

    Nicely researched and reasoned. It appears no good deed goes unpunished is closely related to the road to Hell being paved with good intentions.
    It never would have happened had the Flint system been private.

  • A N Other||

    check your facts; the article was based entirely on information provided by the self interested Detroit Water personnel.

  • southcoast||

    The 1st sentence says it all. Liberals blaming. The liberal/progressive/socialist agenda is not about doing anything productive rather than just achieving some imagined outcome, an end. Pick a city in trouble and if you do not find a democrat, you find progressivism. I think we have reached a point where it needs to be examined the value of cities in the context of what they contribute to society. Our interconnected mobile economy does necessarily need cites as a resource where the valuable labor sources and intended markets lie beyond city limits in many cases. Cities have been relegated to being a concentration of victim groups who expect to be pandered to by certain political entities. The large populations in cities serve political processes but not economic outcomes to the point where the population at large is expected to accept being separated with their income to subsidize cities and the ongoing liberal experiments going on in these places to this day. Detroit has set the example of a failed metropolitan environment being abandoned to be a rural area with expanses of property where homes and businesses once stood. I think this is the path more cities are to follow.
    Maybe Flint will be next where people realize the best salvation is to get out.

  • Manchild||

    This article is pure speculation. Your only evidence is circumstantial (an alternative source in Detroit could have been cheaper) and your unnamed "sources."

    I would like to see some info on how many jobs were created. Weren't they using an old facility anyway? The big project was the Karengondi line, which was already being built and which Flint would switch to eventually. Sourcing the Flint River was the temporary solution and one which already had some degree of infrastructure, so I doubt much would be invested into it? They certainly didn't think it important enough to spend enough on the proper pipe protections for the corrosive river water.

    Add actual figures of benefits this brought to the Flint economy and real sources for claiming it was a surplus project and I would be better convinced. At the end of the day, proper funding was still skimped on (i.e. the pipes), so you do realize that it can both be a surplus project and a cost-saving error at the same time? And in any case the governor's office was responsible for all decisions.

  • Frankjasper1||

    What about it is pure speculation? I think you may be suffering from cognitive dissonance. They forgot to add the phosphates. The city was horribly managed throughout time prompting a manager, they sought to get water via the KWA and their contract with DWS was terminated. They needed water and forgot to include the phosphates.

    the governor's office was not responsible. Please try to be at least objective for once in your life. But i suppose that is what liberals do...narratives are more important than critical thinking.

  • SmartWino||

    I found the following explanation for Flint switching away from DWSD:

    Talked about for decades, the [new KWA] water pipeline will put Flint and Genesee County into the water supply business and end its time as a customer of the [DWSD].

    Detroit water prices have increased an average of more than 9 percent annually for the last 12 years.

    Officials in Sanilac and Lapeer counties have expressed interest in future raw water purchases from the authority. Wright said the city of Lapeer is still considering membership in the KWA.

    Flint emergency manager Ed Kurtz has said the city of Flint alone has the potential to save at least $100 million during the next 25 years by using KWA water.


    The potential for attracting new businesses with a need for raw water is certain to be one of the subjects of speeches kicking off the pipeline ceremony.


    The work is expected to take 30 months to complete and to bring an estimated 250 workers to the construction zone.

    So: 1) Flint has thought about its own waterway for decades; 2) Detroit has been significantly raising rates the last 12 years and Flint could save millions going forward; 3) A waterway could attract new businesses; and 4) 250 people get jobs for almost three years.

    I think "stimulus" is fairly close to the mark.

    Read the full article here.

  • lilliewells||

    my roomate's step-sister makes $68 an hour on the laptop . She has been out of a job for five months but last month her pay was $12476 just working on the laptop for a few hours. read this post here


  • A N Other||

    The Karagondi Water Authority was studied and created long before Snyder ran for Governor and was incorporated a year before he was elected. Hr IS a pragmatisit who would certainly back anything that smacked of business activity; he did, however back, and signed, the repeal of movies subsidies in Michigan.

    KWA would have been built with or without the City of Flint.

    A N Other
    Flint MI

  • FlintWater||

    Help raise awareness of Flint Water Crisis!


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