Categories
Economics Police in America Taxation Taxes and the Economy

How Trump And The GOP Stuck It To First Responders With Their Tax Scam Bill

Donald Trump campaigned as the candidate of “law and order,” and catered shamelessly to police officers and other first responders. But a section of the tax scam bill he just signed proves that he and the Republican party truly are liars and hypocrites.

The section of the bill in question allows wealthy corporate CEOs can deduct the cost of a private jet, but a police officer can no longer deduct the cost of his or her uniform. As David Cay Johnson of DC Reports notes in an article he wrote for Salon:

“Buried in the hastily drafted tax bill’s more than 500 pages are provisions eliminating “miscellaneous” deductions taken by almost 28 million taxpayers in 2015. Those are costs you bore to support your job or an investment you own or to pay a professional to prepare your income tax return.

This year cops and other first responders can write off the costs of buying uniforms and dry cleaning them. But in 2018, cops who buy their uniforms or are required to buy their own guns and ammunition will no longer be able to deduct those costs as reasonable and necessary expenses to support their earning a paycheck, thanks to Trump and Congressional Republicans.”


And that’s not all. The bill will also punish union members:

“Cops and anyone else who belongs to a union will no longer be allowed to deduct their union dues. People who must bear travel costs without reimbursement from their employers will just have to suck it up starting in January.”

So the only question that remains is this one that every cop in America should ask him or herself: Does Donald Trump really have my back, or is he just using me as a prop? The answer is obvious.

This article was originally published by the same author at LiberalAmerica.org

Categories
Fox News Lies Police in America WTF?!

Fox Host Says Cops Need Grenade Launchers For Use On Protesters (VIDEO)

President Trump has decided to reverse a decision made during the Obama administration and will now allow restrictions to be lifted which will American police departments access to excess military equipment for use against U.S. citizens.

As you might expect, Fox News is all in favor of turning police departments into paramilitary units, and Fox & Friends co-host Jillian Mele gushed about the idea, saying it would give “major backup for our police officers on the front lines of protests.” She then added:

“He’s reinstating a program that supplies local police departments with surplus military equipment, including armored vehicles, grenade launchers, and high-caliber weapons. Attorney General Sessions will announce the change later today.”

Such equipment, Mele went on to say, would come in handy for use in upcoming protests around the country:

“Al Sharpton (is) leading the 1,000 Ministers March for Justice on the National Mall (and) a 10-day march to Washington kicks off in Charlottesville in response to the deadly clashes in Virginia earlier this month.”

Yes, how reassuring it is to know that cops in Washington and other American cities will be able to deploy grenade launchers against anyone who dares to question the authority of them or the government they represent. How glorious it would be to see armored vehicles and police officers with all sorts of military gear patrolling the streets of a town near you. Hell, I’m feeling safer already, aren’t you?

One wonders, however, if Ms. Mele and her corporate masters at Fox would be as pleased to see such weapons used against members of the alt-right, KKK, and neo-Nazis. After all, there are some “fine people” among them, as President Trump told us in the aftermath of Charlottesville.

This article was originally published by the same author at LiberalAmerica.org

Categories
Police in America WTF?!

RWNJ Pastor Proclaims Cops Are ‘Ministers Of God Sent To Punish Evildoers’ (VIDEO)

In case you were wondering what role the police play in the lives of people in this country, it turns out they’re actually ministers sent by God to punish all the bad guys. So by that logic I guess the cops who shoot innocent people are working for Satan.

Robert Jeffress, the pastor at First Baptist Church of Dallas, was on the always brainless Fox News show “Fox and Friends” today, and he said churches should teach members of their flock “to instill in their a members a respect for the police.”

Jeffress went on to add:

“The New Testament says in Romans 13:4 that law enforcement officers are ministers of God sent by God to punish evil doers. When you think about it, police officers are just as called by God to do what they do as pastors and priests are called by God. And I think we need to remind our members of that.”

It’s one hell of a giant stretch to try and pretend that the Bible verse Jeffress refers to actually appoints the police to be ministers of God. And God is perfectly capable of punishing evildoers without any help, isn’t he? Afterall, he’s God.

This so-called minister then had this to say of any minister who might agree with the Black Lives Matter movement:

“Those kinds of bogus ministers need to be exposed, and need to be called out for what they’re doing.”

Tucker Carlson, one of the moronic hosts of the show, noted that Black Lives Matter receives a great deal of support from members of the clergy. To that, Jeffress decided to blame–wait for it!–President Obama:

“I’m afraid the president, just like he did with conservative Christians after the beheading by ISIS of Christians, it seemed like he wanted to blame conservative Christians in the past, instead of putting the blame where it belongs.”

Jeffress ended his “sermon” with this:

“And you know, I have to say if we would teach our children to respect law enforcement officers, they wouldn’t have anything to worry about. The Bible says law enforcement officers are nothing to be feared if you do what is right.”

Yeah, try telling that lie to the families of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, Pastor Knownothing.

If you can stand to watch it, here’s the segment from Fox News:

This article was originally published by the same author at LiberalAmerica.org.

Categories
Abuse of Power Police in America WTF?!

Police In North Dakota Now Have Weaponized Drones, Because What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

We’re all aware that drones are used in areas such as Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria, both for surveillance and to shoot Hellfire missiles at suspected terrorists who are on the so-called “hit list” of bad guys. These drones are hard to spot, almost impossible to evade, and almost always lethal.

Back here in the United States, far away from the battlefields of the Middle East, police departments also use drones for surveillance and to assist with locating those engaged in criminal activity.

But now the North Dakota legislature has approved the use of drones which are equipped with :

“Less than lethal weapons like tasers, tear gas, sound cannons, and rubber bullets.”

North Dakotans must feel so much safer now!

As the Daily Beast reported:

“House Bill 1328 – which was first drafted to ban all weapons on police drones and require officers to obtain a search warrant before using the technology in searches – was amended at the last minute by a law enforcement lobbyist with close ties the drone industry.”

Yeah, just a tiny amendment that takes the bill and turns it a full 180 degrees in the other direction. Halt or my drone will shoot!

What I find most disturbing about this development is the fact that citizens in North Dakota didn’t know about this bill until it had become law. Also, most are probably just fine with the idea as long as it helps keep them “safe.” And it may just be in North Dakota so far, but you know it’s only a matter of time before every state passes a similar law and every police department from Podunk to Pittsburgh will want their own personal drone force.

Personally, I find this development incredibly disturbing. What’s to keep the police from one day arming these drones with machine guns, death rays, or even deadly missiles? They’ll say it’s needed in the ever-expanding War on Crime (as the U.S. government loves to say about the War on Terror), and one day you’re sitting at home watching a rerun of “Minority Report” when an explosive-tipped missile flies through your window and blows up your entire house.

Oh, but that would never ever happen, the proponents will say. Sure it wouldn’t. And we should trust you why exactly?

I’ve used this quote from Benjamin Franklin before and it certainly applies to this story:

”Those Who Sacrifice Liberty For Security Deserve Neither.”

This article was originally published by the same author at LiberalAmerica.org.

Categories
Abuse of Power Police in America WTF?!

Judge Grants Immunity To Cop Who Shot Unarmed Black Man ‘Execution Style’

After waiting two long years for justice to be done, the family of Larry Jackson, Jr. was hoping to see Detective Charles Kleinert, the Texas police officer they believe executed their loved one in cold blood, put on trial for manslaughter next week.

Instead, Kleinert has been granted total immunity from prosecution by a federal judge.

This entire nightmare began for the Jackson family began on the morning July 26 2013, when Larry Jackson, Jr., a 32-year-old married father-of-four went to his local bank in Austin, Texas. At the time, the bank was on lockdown because of a robbery. Detective Kleinert said he considered Jackson a suspect and told him to stay put. But for some reason, Jackson began running away.

Kleinert then commandeered the car of a woman who was a customer at the bank, ordering her to drive as they pursued Jackson. The woman, Regina Bethune, recalls:

“(Kleinert) was breathless and agitated and yelled, ‘Go go go’ and ‘follow him’ multiple times. He seemed very out of control and highly agitated. I was uncertain if he was really a police officer or not. I realize that either way I needed to remain calm and help him try to calm down. He did not identify himself any further once in the car. He did not tell me his name or offer any explanation as to what was going on.”

Within minutes, Kleinert caught up with the unarmed Mr. Jackson, and the Jackson family attorney, Adam Loewy, tells what the family alleges happened then:

“(Kleinert) never claims that Larry attacked him. The forensic evidence shows that Larry was on his hands and knees and the gun was at the back of his neck. Execution style.”

Jackson was pronounced dead of a single bullet wound to the back of his head. Shot execution style, as if he had been the victim of a Mafia hit.

Yet despite all of the overwhelming evidence against Detective Kleinert, he will not face any legal consequences. Why? Because a federal judge has ruled Kleinert is immune from prosecution. As the Washington Post reported:

“The ruling by U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel cites a little known 1889 case that determined federal agents can be granted immunity from state criminal charges and undoes one of a handful of indictments handed down to police officers out of the thousands of fatal police shootings that have occurred in recent years.”

Even Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg said in a statement that the judge’s ruling was ridiculous:

“I am totally dismayed by today’s federal court action. With this federal court action dismissing the case, it appears that an Austin Police Department officer can be assigned to a federal task force and avoid prosecution in state court.”

No doubt you’ve heard the expression that no one is above the law. But apparently some people now are.

This article was originally published by the same author at LiberalAmerica.org.