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March 6, 2009

Your Turn: Stimulus-Created Police


This image was taken this morning in Columbus where Obama attended a police graduation. The recruits were part of a 27 person class that was laid off in January. As noted by the President, the jobs were saved by the recently signed stimulus bill. In a vivid reference, TIME referred to the personnel as “stimulus-created police.”

All I would add is that any photo op this week had to contend with an economy falling further off the cliff.

Your thoughts?

(image: Larry Downing/Reuters. Columbus, March 6, 2009)

In a thoroughly vivid reference, TIME referred to these personnel as “stimulus-created police.”

  • Gasho

    Obama doesn’t look like he belongs in the shot at all — especially not at crotch height. They need a better PR guru to set up these things. Also, the one short tie makes these guys look uneven – not quite ready for primetime. They were laid off and then saved. That alone makes them seem dispensable somehow. They should be shown out on the streets with bad guys in cuffs doing the dirty work – not in ceremony mode.

  • nikkos

    They look like milk men.

  • Serr8d

    The newly-hatched officers look mahvelous.
    Say, who’s that arrogant bastard to the lower left?

  • Alan

    Really, these new officers don’t look very impressive. Their uniforms are straight out of the 1960’s, and the whole bunch of them look like they could work for Sherif Andy Taylor (well, maybe not the black guy…) Obama’s expression of approving pride seems out of sync with the crew lined up alongside of him. But the President is trying to sell the deal; trying to show the country that the stimulus is already working, and this is all he’s got right now. Not the best photo-op team O has ever come up with.

  • Saleema

    Obama looks relaxed and very much at ease. The new recruits look well-pleased, serious, adamant. All are so relaxed though, thier bodies aren’t really stiff, as is the case when giving salutes or while taking oaths by men in uniforms. The picture seems to be saying, relax…chill…everything’s going to be ok.
    I would argue that Obama does not look out of place. He is part of the scene, part of the people, working for the people, and admiring a job which he obvioulsy thinks is well done by all appearances.
    The guy at the very far left, upper corner, is the only one with an odd expression. He looks like ‘I can’t believe I just got my job back.’

  • yg

    think of the signal this sends to cops in other states. do they appreciate it?
    photo sorta undermines the rightwing meme that obama is a scary commie socialist radical.

  • angellight

    Charles Dow Rolls in His Grave: The Distortion of the Average He Made Famous – Friday, March 6, 2009
    Have you ever asked yourself why the Dow Jones Industrial Average contains non-industrial stocks? Why such a large weighting is given to financial companies such as American Express, Bank of America, Citigroup, JP Morgan and AIG (Before its removal)? After all, you wouldn’t expect to see General Motors included in a healthcare index or Goldman Sachs in the home builders index.
    The Wikipedia entry for the Dow Jones Industrial Average states that:
    “The average is computed from the stock prices of 30 of the largest and most widely held public companies in the United States. The “industrial” portion of the name is largely historical—many of the 30 modern components have little to do with traditional heavy industry.”
    We do not dispute the claim that the “industrial” portion is largely historical. Indeed, there are components which have little to do with industry. Financial companies, who do not produce anything, comprise a large weighting the in this average of American Industry.
    Over the last 20 years, the Dow Jones has been reshaped into a basket of 30 conglomerate corporations, with little regard for the actual business they’re in. Today’s Dow Jones would be unrecognizable to the man who created it over a century ago.
    The index was first published in 1896 by Charles Dow, Founder of the Dow Jones Company and Wall Street Journal. Mr. Dow created and monitored a list of important industrial companies. Along with the Industrial Average, he created the Railroad Index (Transportation) which he would track along with the industrial stocks to gauge the health of the economy.
    The Dow Theory was created based on the notion that both indexes should rise together in a healthy economy. The concept was a simple one. While industrial companies made the goods, the rails transported those goods to market. One couldn’t function without the other.
    The original Industrial Average contained 12 industrial (Producers of goods) stocks:
    - American Cotton Oil Company
    - American Sugar Company
    - American Tobacco Company
    - Chicago Gas Company
    - Distilling & Cattle Feeding Company
    - General Electric
    - Laclede Gas Light Company
    - National Lead Company
    - North American Company, (Edison) electric company
    - Tennessee Coal,
    - U.S. Leather Company
    - United States Rubber Company
    Notice that all of the companies in the index were producers of goods. There were no financial or bank stocks included in the average. At the time of his death in 1902, Charles Dow’s industrial average contained 12 stocks which were comprised of industrial producing companies such as US Steel, US Rubber, National Lead, American Car and Foundry, etc. Still no banks.
    The Dow Jones Begins to Change
    80 years after the death of Charles Dow, American Express was added to the Dow Jones Industrial Average. This marked the first time that a financial stock was added to the century old index.
    American can, a manufacturer of tin cans merged with Commercial credit corporation and adopted the name Primerica.
    JP Morgan was introduced to the Dow Jones in 1991 and replaced Primerica corporation.
    Travelers Group was added to the index. The company would later change its name to Citigroup.
    AIG was added.
    Bank of America was added.
    We struggle to find an explanation as to why such changes were made. Was it because America became de-industrialized over the last quarter century? Was it merely a reflection of big business today? With companies such as General Motors and General Electric playing dominant roles in non-core businesses such as finance and banking? Or were these financial stocks added to the index in hopes of propping up its value with companies such as JP Morgan and AIG, whose earning power seemed indestructible? Our hunch is that it was a combination of each. (More at the link.)

  • Michael Shaw (The BAG)

    As greater (economic) chaos ensues, are more appeals to a.) patriotism, and b.) law-and-order in store?

  • Jon M Gallagher

    re Partiotism or Law and Order:
    Both are conservative memes that I would assume our President wants to subvert. The OH trip is ammo in the L&O fight, “See? Those people who fought against the stimulus almost cause cops to get laid off”. I assume that we will see the patriotic card to be along the same lines, where on-base housing is weatherproofed for example.
    Both of those memes are potent and may resonate beyond the conservative base as people get more and more scared by the economy. Obama needs to grab these away before Conservatives pull their heads out.

  • cenoxo

    Wonder what it cost for Air Force One, Obama, and Team to show up in Columbus for this photo op?
    The $1.25 million of Stimulus money spent to retain just 25 police recruits (for less than one year) is far less than the amount needed to maintain law enforcement at existing levels. These officers — fortunate though they may be — represent only 1.3% of Columbus’ 1,900 man police force, and they’re starting at the bottom of the pay scale.
    More details in the March 6, 2009 Associated Press article Stimulus solution for Ohio city short-lived:

    COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — President Barack Obama celebrates a stimulus victory Friday in Ohio that could be short-lived at best.
    Twenty-five Columbus police recruits whose jobs were saved by $1.25 million in federal stimulus dollars will barely account for expected retirements this year.
    The problem could get worse: The department could shrink by next year because the city, citing the economy, hasn’t scheduled a new recruiting class for the first time in at least a decade.
    Meanwhile, dozens of retirements are expected by the end of 2011.
    “If anyone thinks this solves our long-term budget challenges, they’re going to be disappointed,” Dan Williamson, spokesman for Columbus Mayor Michael Coleman, said Thursday.

    Up to 150 officers may retire by 2011: replacing them would cost $7.5 million more in recruiting money that Columbus doesn’t have.
    Team Obama (nor anyone else for that matter) really doesn’t know how to halt the financial juggernaut that’s coming, other than to throw dollars under its wheels.
    Expect to see more media events like this one, but don’t forget to do the math.

  • yg

    or perhaps an expectation that along with unemployment comes an increase in crime.

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