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The International Association of Fire Fighters' ads supporting President Barack Obama, like the one above, came out earlier in October. But Hurricane Sandy is a strong reminder of the importance of their message, and IAFF General President Harold Schaitberger drives it home:
The response to this storm is another example why government at all levels has a role to play in our lives.

Fire fighters and other public employees are routinely demonized by some who call into question the role of government and the value of public service. Let’s hope that those same critics remember and support the funding and work of fire fighters and the critical role the federal government plays in bolstering state and local disaster response in the days, weeks and months to come when budget decisions are being made.

According to the IAFF, nearly a third of its members are located along Hurricane Sandy's path. Chances are, anyone who's followed coverage of the storm even a little bit has seen an account of a fire put out or a rescue carried out by these fire fighters. But, as another IAFF ad reminds viewers, Mitt Romney wants to cut fire fighters and other public workers. The Romney campaign cannot buy enough canned goods to make up for the disaster he and the Republican Party want to inflict on disaster aid.

Please sign our petition telling House Republicans to not take Hurricane Sandy relief hostage in lame duck negotiations.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Wed Oct 31, 2012 at 11:19 AM PDT.

Also republished by In Support of Labor and Unions and Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Sweet!!!! (6+ / 0-)

    "Rick Perry talks a lot and he's not very bright. And that's a combination I like in Republicans." --- James Carville

    by LaurenMonica on Wed Oct 31, 2012 at 11:25:52 AM PDT

  •  just how extraordinary a human being BHO has (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Tinfoil Hat

    to be to win the support of those pretty conservative firefighters. And how terrible the policies of the opposition have to be to push them so far toward the D side.

    In fact, how extraordinary a human being BHO is to be winning at all in this racist nation we call home. A more standard, decent politician who also happened to be African American would be being crushed right now, IMHO, due in large part to the huge hole s/he would start in because of his/her race.

    It was truly an alignment of stars and planets that he ran against the republicans after an 8-year horror of an incompetent, war-mongering administration that left us bankrupt, torturing, and at endless war. And now he is running in difficult economic times, with a centrist record (admittedly containing many bright spots), and vicious unrelenting hate, lies, and obstructionism from the other party. Amazing that he has a lead at all, and that he appears poised to win in a few days speaks volumes to just what a rare individual he is. I never have seen anything like it in my political memory, which goes back to the Eisenhower administration.

    Fear is the mind-killer - Frank Herbert, Dune

    by p gorden lippy on Wed Oct 31, 2012 at 11:30:31 AM PDT

  •  One needs only to read (6+ / 0-)

    a few of the agonizing responses from firefighters who were unable to get to the 100 (?) cottages in Queens, the houses in Old Saybrook and Greenwich, CT and elsewhere.

    Not just fires.  The fire department shows up for other emergencies including health emergencies.  

    Two years ago I called the non-emergency line at 2 a.m. -- the year in CT we had one frigging storm after another and lots of ice damming.  The loud industrial sized alarm went off.  I jumped up and tried to find the cats (hopeless).  I then went up and down the 3 flights and smelled no smoke.

    I told the operator that I didn't think it was an emergency.  He said -- "Hey, when did you pass the fire fighter test?"  He was very funny and sweet.  They sent out a full rig and 2 emergency vehicles.  The entire lot and driveway were solid sheets of ice.  The problem was in the basement -- water in the electrical box shorted out the alarm.

    They shut off the alarm, checked my interior alarms and put me on a watch list until the box could be fixed.  Young guys, polite, professional and I'm glad I have them close by.

    " My faith in the Constitution is whole; it is complete; it is total." Barbara Jordan, 1974

    by gchaucer2 on Wed Oct 31, 2012 at 11:30:41 AM PDT

    •  During the successful effort to kill Ohio's SB-5 (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      gchaucer2, swampyankee, a2nite

      a couple years back, Big Ed often had on guys from Local 67 here in Columbus. One of them made the still valid point that cutting the number of firefighters and first responders available doesn't decrease the number actually required one little bit.

      Not that Kasich learned any lessons during that affair, but he at least got schooled pretty damned hard.

      Obviously our dipshit SoS Husted wasn't paying attention in that class :/

      Mitt Romney - Master Race Baiter.

      by here4tehbeer on Wed Oct 31, 2012 at 12:13:50 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  My husband's first night home from the hospital (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JayRaye, here4tehbeer

    Hospice was unable to get an aide til 9pm.Long before that
    he was tired and hurting.I did'nt dare do a single person transfer with him-he had just had a broken hip pinned and plated.
     I called the PD who put me through to Fire and Rescue.Ten
    minutes later a fire truck pulled up and four burly young
    men came in,picked Lou up and gently placed him in bed.
     Then one of them helped me postion him in bed.
    The small things they do,as well as the big things make them

    Conservatism is killing this country. Jayden

    by swampyankee on Wed Oct 31, 2012 at 12:02:03 PM PDT

  •  I can't think of any profession I love more. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    My husband's gone now, but I  have so many grateful memories of the times the firefighters gently put him on a stretcher and took him to the hospital. When I think of their kindness and courage, it still brings tears to my eyesl. These folks are the best of America.

    "It does not require many words to speak the truth." -- Chief Joseph, native American leader (1840-1904)

    by highfive on Wed Oct 31, 2012 at 01:25:26 PM PDT

  •  I love this quote from Edward F Croker, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dkosdan, stagemom

    Chief of the NYC Fire Department from 1899 to 1911.  Only wish some politicians felt like him:

    “I have no ambition in this world but one, and that is to be a fireman. The position may, in the eyes of some, appear to be a lowly one; but we who know the work which a fireman has to do believe that his is a noble calling.
    There is an adage which says ‘Nothing can be destroyed except by fire’. We strive to preserve from destruction the wealth of the world, which is the product of the industry of men, necessary for the comfort of both the rich and the poor. We are the defenders from fire, of the art which has beautified the world, the product of the genius of men and the means of refinement of mankind. But, above all, our proudest endeavor is to save lives of people-the work of God Himself. Under the impulse of
    such thoughts, the nobility of the occupation thrills us and stimulates us to deeds of daring, even at the supreme sacrifice. Such considerations may not strike the average mind, but they are sufficient to fill to the limit our ambition in life and to make us serve the general
    purpose of human society.”                            - Edward F. Croker

  •  Bigots make my skin crawl. nt (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    drmah, dkosdan, stagemom

    "I was a big supporter of waterboarding" - Dick Cheney 2/14/10

    by Bob Love on Thu Nov 01, 2012 at 06:49:06 PM PDT

  •  a few months ago in philly (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ccmask, OldDragon, dkosdan, stagemom

    there was a big ff convention.

    saw this at a bar across the street from the convention center


    Toleration is the greatest gift of the mind; it requires the same effort of the brain that it takes to balance oneself on a bicycle. -Helen Keller

    by ridemybike on Thu Nov 01, 2012 at 06:51:59 PM PDT

  •  All Republicans do is bullshit about what "heroes" (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    first responders are then cut their numbers and pay and benefits. Same for veterans. "We patriots support you veterans." But then they cut veterans' benefits.

    Schwarzenegger in California would show up during a fire in Southern California and always say, "I was just a movie hero.
    You're the real heroes."  All bullshit.

    We have a firefighter neighbor who used to see Schwarzenegger's photo ops and get really pissed off.

    Oh, and while we're at it, I remember Bush showing up at a carpenters' union rally on a labor day and tell them that
    "American workers are the best." Then wherever possible
    Bush and Rove and gang would go about their union-busting activities.

    All bullshit. All the time.

    If I ever get out of here /Thought of giving it all away /To a registered charity/ All I need is a pint a day /If I ever get out of here- Paul McCartney, "Band on the Run"

    by Wildthumb on Thu Nov 01, 2012 at 06:55:23 PM PDT

  •  what top republicans are saying (0+ / 0-)

    about Mitt Romney,,,this needs to go viral

    There ought to be one day - just one - when there is open season on senators. ~Will Rogers

    by lindaspy on Thu Nov 01, 2012 at 07:00:02 PM PDT

  •  when the anti union (0+ / 0-)

    thugs spew their propaganda remember america that those people will never do the things that the unions do to protect and serve america in its time of need.

    •  Non Union people help too! (0+ / 0-)

      From reading the pro-union postings, you would think that no one could serve the public unless they are public union workers.

      I guess thats true, when state laws or union rules actually TURN AWAY assistance from non-union crews.   Union workers certainly serve bravely, but the main purpose of a union is to protect their own jobs, even if it means denying the public the help it needs.

      Crews from Decatur Utilities and Joe Wheeler out of Trinity headed up there this week, but Derrick Moore, one of the Decatur workers, said they were told by crews in New Jersey that they can't do any work there since they're not union employees.

      The crews that are in Roanoke, Virginia say they are just watching and waiting even though they originally received a call asking for help from Seaside Heights, New Jersey.

      Religion gives men the strength to do what should not be done.

      by bobtmn on Fri Nov 02, 2012 at 06:30:39 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Video on non-union workers being turned back (0+ / 0-)

      This shows union workers sometimes put their own jobs above public safety and service:

      Link to video

      Public service workers, especially essential services like firefighters, police, medical and education workers should not have the power to deny service to the public.

      Religion gives men the strength to do what should not be done.

      by bobtmn on Fri Nov 02, 2012 at 06:38:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  you are a tool (0+ / 0-)

        you obviously didn't look at the video or you are a union hater, the man on the video says it was not a union non union issue but a logistical issue, he even states that there are non union crews all over the area helping with the recovery, just because you want to make unions look bad you made yourself look like a goper sympathizer at least in agenda or a fool i don't know which and don't care.

        nice try but no go on your anti union spin, your propaganda will go over very easily on some of the red sites that will believe any of the hate you and others spread to the low info voters in america, have a great election and day.

        •  The video at that link has changed (0+ / 0-)

          It is so hard to respond thoughtfully to you folks who attack and accuse just because I hold a different opinion than you.

          The video that is at the link is not the same one that was there yesterday.  

          I already voted for Obama, against voter suppression in MN , against the anti-marriage amendment.   I give very generously to democratic campaigns, including many out of state campaigns like Elizabeth Warren and Rob Zerban in wisconsin.

          As far as my union sentiments, I am firmly against public employee unions power to strike, and I say so clearly.   It is a subversion of Democracy to allow the employees of our government to go on strike against us.  It forms a very powerful special interest group who always choose their own financial interests when they conflict with the public interests.

          However, let me address this tactically, since I know you won't respect my right to have a different opinion than yours and still consider me a Democrat.

          There are 7.1 million private sector union members and 7.6
          million public sector union members.   93% of private sector workers are not in unions.    People in the private sector are getting the shaft, and there are no effective unions to protect us.    

          So, go ahead and keep crowing about how great your Unions are, and how everyone who isn't behind that should go join the GOP.   See how that works for you in the long run.

          Religion gives men the strength to do what should not be done.

          by bobtmn on Sat Nov 03, 2012 at 07:37:15 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  I'm confused by the headline (0+ / 0-)

    Does Romney back a height requirement or something?

    There is truth on all sides. The question is how much.

    by slothlax on Thu Nov 01, 2012 at 08:40:46 PM PDT

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