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Snyder shrugs off 'environmental racism'...

Snyder shrugs off 'environmental racism' claims

01/22/16 07:42AM

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder joins Morning Joe amid the water crisis unfolding in the town of Flint and following the resignation of a regional EPA administrator. Snyder says what happened in Flint is not a case of environmental racism. watch

A Flint River sign is seen in Flint, Mich., Dec. 16, 2015. (Photo by Rebecca Cook/Reuters)

Detroit and Flint, sister cities in misery

01/22/16 07:11AM

Black children in Flint are being poisoned in their homes by toxic drinking water. Black children in Detroit are being poisoned in their public schools by mold spores in the air and fecal matter on the floors.These sister cities, about an hour apart, have more than just catastrophic health and environmental crises in common. They share the... read more

Flint water tie eyed in Legionnaires' spike

Flint water tie eyed in outbreak of deadly Legionnaires' disease

01/21/16 09:23PM

Tony Dokoupil, MSNBC national reporter, talks with Rachel Maddow about researchers who are confident of the connection between the switch in Flint, Michigan's water source and the spike in Legionnaires' disease cases, including some fatal cases, which researchers predicted, but which the state says cannot be ascertained. watch

Dr. Susan Hedman, U.S. EPA region 5 Administrator, speaks at SC Johnson's Waxdale manufacturing, the company's largest global manufacturing facility, Dec. 18, 2012, in Mt. Pleasant, Wis. (Photo by Jeffrey Phelps/SC Johnson/AP)

EPA administrator quits amid Flint water crisis

01/21/16 07:28PM

The Environmental Protection Agency director overseeing a region that includes Flint, Michigan, is stepping down after contaminated water in that city exposed residents to lead poisoning. ... read more

Republican presidential candidate, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla. speaks during a campaign stop at a welding company in Brookline, N.H., Jan. 21, 2016. (Photo by Charles Krupa/AP)

Marco Rubio is finally briefed on Flint water crisis

01/21/16 04:55PM

Rubio is finally briefed on Flint Days after telling reporters that he hadn’t been briefed on the water crisis in Flint, Michigan, Marco Rubio was finally briefed. “There was a significant government breakdown in terms of when they switched the power, the water source to a lake that was known to be polluted and unfortunately now we have people... read more

U.S. President Barack Obama delivers remarks at the Georgetown Waterfront Park in Washington, July 1, 2014.

Obama protects Clean Water Act from GOP effort

01/21/16 04:52PM

Within weeks of the 2014 midterm elections, the new Republican-led Congress made clear one of its priorities would be trying to limit the Clean Water Act. The Obama administration's EPA expanded pollution restrictions on previously unregulated waters -- through a policy called the Waters of the United States rule -- and conservatives said this could not stand.
And for the most part, Republicans took some steps towards their goal. Using "a rarely invoked law known as the Congressional Review Act," GOP lawmakers voted in November for a measure, championed by far-right Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Okla.), to curtail the Clean Water Act. It passed both chambers.
As a practical matter, though, Republicans were just wasting their own time -- they knew President Obama would veto the effort, and this week, he did exactly that.
President Obama issued the ninth veto of his presidency Tuesday, rejecting a congressional resolution that would have overturned federal regulations on clean water. [...]
"Too many of our waters have been left vulnerable," Obama said in a veto message to Congress. "Pollution from upstream sources ends up in the rivers, lakes, reservoirs, and coastal waters near which most Americans live and on which they depend for their drinking water, recreation, and economic development."
GOP lawmakers knew they'd never have the votes necessary to override the veto, but they nevertheless moved forward on the idea today, and came up far short. A veto override would require 67 votes in the Senate, and a procedural vote today needed 60 votes. Republicans managed to get 52.
Or put another way, this priority from the GOP's wish list will have to wait until next year, when Republicans hope to control the House, the Senate, and the White House.
But what struck me as especially noteworthy about this is the timing.
Flint’s water crisis makes way into 2016 race

How Flint’s water crisis plays out on the campaign trial

01/21/16 11:30AM

Flint, Michigan’s water crisis is playing out in the presidential race with many weighing in since Democratic candidates brought it up at the last debate. Even President Obama spoke about it during his visit to Detroit this week. MSNBC Political Correspondent Steve Kornacki joins Tamron Hall with the latest. watch

Officials play the blame game in Flint

Officials call Flint water crisis ‘political football’

01/21/16 11:26AM

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder’s newly released emails show state officials believed the lead contamination in Flint’s water was not their problem. NBC’s Tony Dokoupil joins Tamron Hall on MSNBC with the latest on the investigation into the crisis. watch

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder talks to reporters during the press preview for the 2016 North American International Auto Show at Cobo Hall, Jan. 12, 2016 in Detroit, Mich. (Photo by Paul Warner/Getty)

Newly released emails cast Flint scandal in a new light

01/21/16 09:23AM

In his State of the State address this week, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R) apologized publicly for the water crisis in Flint, conceded that he let the community down, and vowed to try to put things right. And to that end, the Republican governor released 274 pages of emails yesterday, which Snyder says represents all of the Flint-related correspondence he had in 2014 and 2015.
This may not be adequate. As the governor's office has already acknowledged, the decision to switch Flint's water source away from Detroit, for example, was made in June 2013. In other words, as Rachel noted on last night's show, the key decisions were made before the time period reflected in Snyder's emails.
When The Rachel Maddow Show asked the governor's office whether the Flint-related emails from 2013 would also be publicly released, Snyder aides were non-committal.
Meanwhile, the materials that have been released are serious enough that Snyder may owe the public another apology or two. The New York Times reported this morning:
A top aide to Michigan's governor referred to people raising questions about the quality of Flint's water as an "anti-everything group." Other critics were accused of turning complaints about water into a "political football." And worrisome findings about lead by a concerned pediatrician were dismissed as "data," in quotes. [...]
[T]he documents provide a glimpse of state leaders who were at times dismissive of the concerns of residents, seemed eager to place responsibility with local government and, even as the scientific testing was hinting at a larger problem, were reluctant to acknowledge it.
In one particularly damning email from late September 2015, the governor's then-chief of staff said he couldn't "figure out why the state is responsible" for the Flint crisis.
Perhaps because Flint was under the control of an emergency manager appointed by the governor? Because state officials were responsible for policymaking decisions in the city of Flint? Because those officials did not report to the city's residents, but rather, reported only to Rick Snyder?