On a cold November night in Times Square, Officer Lawrence DePrimo was working a counterterrorism post when he encountered an older, barefooted homeless man. The officer disappeared for a moment, then returned with a new pair of boots, and knelt to help the man put them on.
The Daily: To keep the peace, businesses brought in extra security officers. A handful of cities even ordered their cops to work overtime to deter the unruly. In Los Angeles, for example, helicopters circled over the malls while officers on horseback patrolled the parking lots.
The precautionary measures didn’t work everywhere, though. Police in Indianapolis had to break up a brawl outside a Kmart after shoppers waiting in line started scalping vouchers for the dirt-cheap but high-end electronics.
“Everybody started going crazy about it, and then the cops got called in and it just became a madhouse,” a shopper told News 8.
And in Sacramento, Calif., again outside a Kmart, officers had to strong-arm a man threatening to stab any fellow shopper who came too close.
While some shoppers were gleeful about the Turkey Day deals, lots of salespeople didn’t like being pulled away from their families on Thanksgiving…
PHOTO: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images — A store manager hands out vouchers to the first people in line at Kmart in Griffith, Ind., as shoppers crowd the entrance.
11: 17 a.m. – Aurora Police have advised media to stand behind their vehicles. They are confident in the safety of the perimeter, but are advising this extra precaution.
11:35 a.m. – Expecting an airhorn blast in 5-10 minutes; and then a detonation.
11:40 a.m. – Peoria St. is closed.
11:44 – The controller detonation has happened.
11:47 a.m. – Detonation was successful. Peoria is now reopened.
The living room of the 800-square-foot apartment is littered with about 30 softball-sized improvised explosive devices, according to a bomb technician at the scene.
Bomb technicians used a water bottle device to disable the “9D trip device” in the apartment, according to a source at the scene. They sent the device in with a robot, the robot dropped the water device and then retreated.
Think Progress: “Ignoring a federal judge’s injunction, Scranton, Pennsylvania moved ahead with its plan to reduce the pay of city workers to the federal minimum wage starting Friday. Scranton Mayor Chris Doherty claims the city is broke and that the minimum wage payments are all it can possibly pay. [...] Many of those workers are police officers, firefighters, and other public safety workers, industries that have been slammed by contractions in state and local budgets since the Great Recession. Congressional Republicans repeatedly blocked efforts to extend aid to the states that would have helped shore up their budgets and keep these workers on payroll. In the case of Scranton, such aid may have helped the city actually pay its workers a living wage instead of a federal minimum that hasn’t been raised since 2006 and has less buying power than it had in 1968.”
Of course it’s city / state / federal workers who are killing the economy — not Wall Street and greedy corporations and over-compensated CEOs. And HEAVEN FORBID revenues get raised with slightly higher taxes. The Republican Party has completely mind f*cked this country into believing government services should be free or we’ll do without. And, oh, by the way, the wealthy need more tax cuts.
So good luck with that, Scranton — if you call 911 for help, you’ll be getting a minimum wage worker (who USED to make a living wage) responding to your terrible emergency. The new minimum wage workers might ask themselves: why should I? That emergency wasn’t terrible enough to pay a little more in taxes last week, was it? As far as I’m concerned, if I’m making minimum wage I might as well be doing something with a lot less stress — like washing the counters at McDonalds or stocking all the Chinese products over at Walmart.
Maybe they hope everyone will blame the President.
Transcript Via DailyKos: And we’re gonna take back this country and get America working again. (applause) And his answer for economic vitality, by the way, was of course pushing aside the private sector, which he said is doing fine. Instead, he wants to add more to government. He wants another stimulus, he wants to hire more government workers. He says we need more firemen, more policemen, more teachers. Did he not get the message of Wisconsin? The American people did. It’s time for us to cut back on government and help the American people. (applause)
WHAT ROMNEY / REPUBLICANS STAND FOR———————————————
“Governor Romney is a tremendous improvement. I think we could have been even more of an improvement, but that’s, you know, that’s, that, that, that, that issue was passed. Uh, Governor Romney is an important and dramatic improvement, and that’s why we’re behind him.” – Rick Santorum’s fiery, pulse-pounding, and inspirational endorsement of Mitt Romney
Fox “News” disappears Romney’s attack on Teacher, Firefighter, and Police Hiring – Fox & Friends is shielding Mitt Romney from scrutiny after the GOP presidential candidate suggested that we don’t need “more firemen, more policemen, more teachers,” selectively editing an interview with Obama campaign advisor David Axelrod to excise out his criticism of what Romney said. In doing so, Fox avoided a discussion of the merits of Romney’s comments: that we should not address or rectify the severe and unusual loss of public sector jobs or a conversation about how public sector job losses are hurting the overall economy. – MMFA
It’s absurd that Romney doesn’t know the federal government DOES, in fact, pay for teachers, firefighters and cops — “That’s a very strange accusation,” Romney said on “Fox & Friends.” “Of course, teachers and firemen and policemen are hired at the local level and also by states. The federal government doesn’t pay for teachers, firefighters or policemen. So obviously that is completely absurd.” In fact, the federal government spends huge amounts of money to support all those professions. [...] In all, the federal government pays for nearly 11 percent of the country’s public school costs. Uncle Sam also funds thousands of police jobs ever since the Community Oriented Policing Services program was created in 1994. [...] The feds have doled out less for firefighters, but the money is still substantial. – HuffPo
- NOTE TO ROMNEY: the federal government does fund teachers, firefighters and police – Romney’s comment demonstrates a disturbing lack of understanding of both federal funding and his own published plans. While it is true that teachers, firefighters, and police are hired at the local level, a significant portion of their funding, recruiting, and training comes from the federal government. Here are just some of the ways the federal government funds: continue reading – Think Progress
- Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) was happy to back up Romney’s position: “It is not the responsibility of the federal government … to send money down to state government so that state governments don’t have to make tough decisions about balancing their budgets. We all admire police officers, firefighters and teachers. The decision about how many of those folks to have rests in the hands of state and local governments.” […] A McConnell spokesman did not immediately answer a question about whether the minority leader thought it was time to stop federal spending under Title 1, IDEA, COPS and the SAFER program. – HuffPo
- Flip-flop alert! Romney doesn’t want to argue against hiring cops. Now what? — You can see Romney trying various gambits to escape the logic of his position. First he says the federal government “doesn’t” pay for the cost of hiring those workers. That’s generally true, though in a massive economic crisis, state and local governments see their revenues collapse and their costs rise. Since they have to balance their budget and the federal government doesn’t, giving them temporary aid makes sense so that state and local government cutbacks don’t worsen the economic crisis. Romney wants to essentially push the question out of bounds — borrowing money to hire back cops and teachers may sound nice, but the government can’t do it, so fuggedaboutit. But, of course, the federal government obviously can borrow money to help strapped state and local governments. – Jonathan Chait
Romney Mocks Stimulus For Saving Jobs – When Mitt Romney mocks the Obama Administration for using stimulus funds to “protect government,” who he’s really attacking is police, firefighters, and teachers. The overwhelming majority of stimulus funds distributed to the states were used to prevent layoffs of public employees. Over 3 million public employees were in danger of losing their jobs following the onset of the recession, but the stimulus afforded states the funds they needed to avoid handing out massive amounts of pink slips. Pink slips that would have gone to police, firefighters, and teachers. As far as Romney is concerned, if you are a public employee then you are a leech, and he thinks you should be out of a job. Ensuring that you lose your job as an employee of the state is now a centerpiece of his campaign. As far as he’s concerned, the money used to employ you would be put to better use by passing another tax cut for himself. That’s not conjecture or hyperbole. That is his platform. – JM Ashby
- Romney bashes stimulus, then fundraises in the home of a stimulus recipient – Romney will spend Tuesday night at a $10,000-a-head fundraiser at the house of Orrin H Ingram II, Chairman of the Ingram Barge Company — which received $130,000 in federal stimulus money. Ingram Barge Company is a private company, not a government entity. – Think Progress
Romney confirms he’ll deny insurance to millions with pre-existing conditions if Obamacare is struck down — Mitt Romney confirmed on Tuesday that he would allow insurers to deny coverage to millions of Americans with pre-existing conditions if the Supreme Court strikes down Obamacare later this month. ROMNEY: So let’s say someone has been continuously insured and they develop a serious condition. And let’s say they lose their jobs or they change jobs or they move and go to a different place, I don’t want them to be denied insurance because they have some pre-existing conditions. So we’re going to have to make sure that the law that we replace Obamacare with ensures that people who have a pre-existing condition, who have been insured in the past, are able to get insurance in the future so they don’t have to worry about that condition keeping them from getting the kind of health care they deserve. – Think Progress
WHAT THE PRESIDENT / DEMOCRATS STAND FOR ————————————
“Everybody knows that government creates jobs.” — Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), citing infrastructure programs and the hiring of private contractors.
President Obama: Debt, deficits were ‘baked into the cake’ with Bush’s tax cuts and the wars – “I love it when these guys talk about debt and deficits,” Obama told supporters in Baltimore. “I inherited a trillion dollar deficit. We signed two trillion dollars in spending cuts into law,” Obama said. “Spending under my administration has grown more slowly than under any president in 60 years.” Obama said that the country’s budget deficits and big debt were the result of the George W. Bush’s two tax cuts, as well as the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. “They baked all this stuff into the cake with those tax cuts… and the war,” Obama said. “It’s like somebody goes to a restaurant, orders a big steak dinner, a martini and all that stuff, then just as you’re sitting down they leave and accuse you of running up the tab,” Obama said – POLITICO
- George W. Bush’s Tab – When you check reality, rather than the alternate universe constantly created by Fox News and an amnesiac press, you find that Bush had a chance to pay off all our national debt before we hit the financial crisis – giving the US enormous flexibility in intervening to ameliorate the recession. Instead, we had to find money for a stimulus in a cupboard stripped bare – its contents largely given away, by an act of choice. I’m tired of being told we cannot blame Bush for our current predicament. We can and should blame him for most of it – and remind people that Romney’s policies: more tax cuts, more defense spending are identical. With one difference: Bush pledged never “to balance the budget on the backs of the poor.” — Andrew Sullivan
- The Fiscal Legacy of George W. Bush – Putting all the numbers in the C.B.O. report together, we see that continuation of tax and budget policies and economic conditions in place at the end of the Clinton administration would have led to a cumulative budget surplus of $5.6 trillion through 2011 – enough to pay off the $5.6 trillion national debt at the end of 2000. Tax cuts and slower-than-expected growth reduced revenues by $6.1 trillion and spending was $5.6 trillion higher, a turnaround of $11.7 trillion. Of this total, the C.B.O. attributes 72 percent to legislated tax cuts and spending increases, 27 percent to economic and technical factors. Of the latter, 56 percent occurred from 2009 to 2011. — Bruce Bartlett
Claims that President Obama’s policies have hurt businesses are greatly exaggerated — “Let’s start with the idea that the Obama administration sees businesses as piggybanks. Since 1950, corporate tax receipts have averaged 2.7 percent of GDP. In the Obama years, they’ve averaged 1.16 percent of GDP… Going forward, the Obama administration’s budget envisions corporate tax receipts rebounding to about 2.4 percent of GDP — again, beneath their historical average… After taxes, corporate profits amounted to 6.9 percent of GDP in 2010 — their highest level since 1966… That’s a mighty odd outcome for an administration that supposedly sees the existence of private businesses as an unpleasant side effect of the government’s need for tax revenues, don’t you think?” — Ezra Klein
How Obama’s ‘Doing Fine’ Gaffe May Help Him – Americans may hate the idea of government in the abstract, but they like it in the specific. The Republican strategy is always to keep its discussion of government programs general — with a handful of exceptions, like foreign aid and programs that help the poor — while Democrats try to make it as specific as possible. Firing police officers, firefighters, and teachers is way less popular than firing government bureaucrats. Obama has taken great care to turn the question into one of those specific job categories, and Romney has inadvertently helped him. Also, and perhaps more important, the entire controversy has fixed the attention of the news media on the very point that Obama was trying to make: There are many fewer government employees now than there were when Obama took office. Romney is trying to attack Obama for changing his mind on the merits of this fact, but in so doing he is helping to drive home the very existence of this fact. [...] What’s more, this debate fulfills a second goal of Obama’s: to place himself in opposition to the economic status quo. The broader purpose of his Friday press conference was to remind America that he has an economic plan that Republicans won’t enact. Romney’s general strategy is to force Obama to own everything that has happened to the economy, even those things that have happened over his opposition. Now Romney is endorsing the status quo, and Obama is against it. That is surely the opposite of what Romney wants. — Jonathan Chait
Jonathan Chait makes a great point about the uncomfortable glitch in Republican ideology, which has been enthusiastically embraced by Mitt Romney, regarding ‘certain’ government workers:
Police officers and firefighters are a tricky occupational category for Republicans. Culturally, they are allies — working class, mostly male, and beloved symbols of American values. Economically, though, they are government workers, which has always put their interests in tension with those of the GOP, and especially so in recent years, as Republicans have increasingly held up government workers as a kind of parasitic class.
Last night Mitt Romney was strolling across one side of this tricky line and slipped to the other. Appearing at a fund-raiser, he recounted his trip the day before to a Manhattan fire station.
[...] ROMNEY: ”I spoke with a fireman yesterday, and he has a one-bedroom apartment, and his wife is pregnant, and he can’t afford a second bedroom,” he said, referring to a visit to New York City. “I asked the firefighters I was meeting with, about 15 or them, how many had had to take another job to make ends meet, and almost every one of them had.”
Well, maybe we should pay them more! Oh, wait — Romney’s position is that these fine public servants are luxuriating in excessive pay, a fact that, unlike swelling income inequality, constitutes a major source of unfairness in American life. (“We will stop the unfairness of government workers getting better pay and benefits than the taxpayers they serve,” he said last week.) Obama’s position is that the federal government ought to provide aid to state governments to rehire some of the laid-off teachers, cops, and firefighters. Republicans oppose this. Continue reading…
Also noteworthy, many police and firefighters belong to unions, which are One of the Greatest Evils of This World according to proper conservative thought. How on earth could Fortune 500 CEOs earn 380 times more than the average worker with strong labor unions?
What I find fascinating is how there could be any government workers, at any level of government, in any job category, who would consider — even for a moment — today’s GOP as their ally on any subject that could personally affect them or their livelihoods.
At this point, it should be a no-brainer which political party is actually fighting for government workers and which party just likes to pretend they’re really, really macho with public demonstrations of homage to the manliest men of civil service, while plotting to defund their ranks (or their pay and benefits) behind closed doors.
Photos below: (pic 1) Giuliani and Romney carry pizza two feet to NY firefighters on May 1 for photo-op. (pic 2) Pizza boxes dumped on aide after photo-op.
In fact, I’ll bet Rush has his own private TSA-style security unit at the front door for any and all visitors — bins for shoes and laptops, hand wanding, the whole nine yards.
Device Sent To Rush Limbaugh ‘A Business Opportunity’ PALM BEACH, Fla. March 1, 2012 - The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office Bomb Squad was called to Limbaugh’s Palm Beach home to assist the Palm Beach Police Department after the well-known radio host received a package from Pennsylvania earlier in the day. [...] A multitude of emergency vehicles rushed to the 1400 block of N. Ocean Blvd. before 6 p.m., where the conservative Limbaugh lives and does his popular radio show… Limbaugh, who was home at the time, has a scanning device in his house, and a package that was screened appeared to show wires inside, so he called police.
Let’s connect the dots: a 1) dittohead sends 2) a “business opportunity” in a box, containing 3) wires and is 4) especially for Rush Limbaugh. It’s got to be some kind of penis enlargement apparatus.
Did you notice it’s reported “a multitude of emergency vehicles” rushed over to Limbaugh Estates when he called the police? Great! That means a multitude of tax-paid public employees who are probably unionized (or “freeloaders” and “leftist, socialist, neo-communists” as Rush likes to call them,) are the first people he called for help.
It’s not that Limbaugh would fire all public employees, he just thinks that when they rush to his house in multitudes, over boxes filled with godknowswhat, they should be earning much less pay and fewer benefits so that he and his wealthy friends can bank more state and local tax cuts.
Being friendly is also an option. I love this photo.
Police departments and police unions really need to start speaking out against the well-publicized incidents of brutal treatment of the protesters across the country by those few individual cops who’ve made the news. People see the uniform and are now associating it with the violence they’ve seen. I’m sure that’s not what you want. And I’m sure you must realize the protesters are on YOUR side since you’re part of the 99 percent.
Of course the reality is that the vast total of this “demonstration” is exactly three assholes.
…The police in their own way are symbols of the problem. All over the country, thousands of armed cops have been deployed to stand around and surveil and even assault the polite crowds of Occupy protesters. This deployment of law-enforcement resources already dwarfs the amount of money and manpower that the government “committed” to fighting crime and corruption during the financial crisis. One OWS protester steps in the wrong place, and she immediately has police roping her off like wayward cattle. But in the skyscrapers above the protests, anything goes.
This is a profound statement about who law enforcement works for in this country. What happened on Wall Street over the past decade was an unparalleled crime wave. Yet at most, maybe 1,500 federal agents were policing that beat – and that little group of financial cops barely made any cases at all. Yet when thousands of ordinary people hit the streets with the express purpose of obeying the law and demonstrating their patriotism through peaceful protest, the police response is immediate and massive. There have already been hundreds of arrests, which is hundreds more than we ever saw during the years when Wall Street bankers were stealing billions of dollars from retirees and mutual-fund holders and carpenters unions through the mass sales of fraudulent mortgage-backed securities.
It’s not that the cops outside the protests are doing wrong, per se, by patrolling the parks and sidewalks. It’s that they should be somewhere else. They should be heading up into those skyscrapers and going through the file cabinets to figure out who stole what, and from whom. They should be helping people get their money back. Instead, they’re out on the street, helping the Blankfeins of the world avoid having to answer to the people they ripped off.
Seattle activist Dorli Rainey, 84, reacts after being hit with pepper spray during an Occupy Seattle protest on Tuesday, November 15, 2011 at Westlake Park. Protesters gathered in the intersection of 5th Avenue and Pine Street after marching from their camp at Seattle Central Community College in support of Occupy Wall Street. Many refused to move from the intersection after being ordered by police. Police then began spraying pepper spray into the gathered crowd, hitting dozens of people. A pregnant woman was taken from the melee in an ambulance after being struck with spray. (Seattlepi.com)
Photo: Joshua Trujillo / seattlepi.com
occupyallstreets: State troopers helping set up a occupation tent at Occupy Portland.
Over at DailyKos, user marvinborg recounts how he was handing out flyers about moving money at a local Bank of America branch. Soon after he arrived there, the branch’s manager came out and started to suggest marvinborg worked for a credit union or that he was unemployed and should “get a job.” Before long, two police officers arrived, after being called by the Bank of America.
One of the officers asked marvinborg if he was trespassing. He responded that he has simply been handing out flyers on the sidewalk. One of the officers then turned to the bank manager and amazingly scolded him for calling the police over an act of free speech, even telling him that he should move out of the country if he objects to the first amendment:
OFFICER: He has the right to speak and the right to hand out flyers. Unless he blocks you or causes a disturbance, he has the right to be here – please don’t call the police again if he is not bothering you. If you don’t like free speech you should move to another country.
“I’m just absolutely devastated that someone who did two tours of Iraq and came home safely is now lying in a US hospital because of the domestic police force”
thepoliticalnotebook: This is truly atrocious. Scott Olsen, 23, served in Iraq twice with the Marines and is currently under sedation with a skull fracture and brain swelling after the Oakland police [shot] a tear gas canister at him. They threw a second as fellow demonstrators rushed to his aid.
WHEN YOU SHOOT ONE MARINE, YOU SHOOT AT ALL OF US. OORAH. Do It Peacefully Occupy We Stand In Solidarity