By Doug Porter
Public Policy Polling is out with a survey of Americans’ holiday preferences and, much like the Thanksgiving dinner consumed by many, there’s something for every taste.
Republicans surveyed opposed President Obama’s pardoning of two turkeys last year by a 27% margin. Democrats and Independents approved of the executive order.
I wish I could say this was satire, but it’s not. From the PPP press release:
“Republicans are so opposed to everything President Obama wants to do that they even take issue with his handling of the traditional Thanksgiving turkey pardon,” said Dean Debnam, President of Public Policy Polling. “It’s pretty hard to work across party lines on real issues against that backdrop.”
The tradition of annual presidential pardons for holiday gobblers dates back to Harry Truman (although there were other official White House turkeys before that time). President George W. Bush pardoned two turkeys in virtually every year of his presidency. Today’s misinformed haters seem to think the twin turkey pardons started with the Black Guy in the White House.
The Donald won hands down as the candidate Americans think would be the most likely to say something inappropriate at the table and ruin Thanksgiving Dinner. 46% say they think Trump would be the candidate most likely to ruin Thanksgiving, as much as all the rest of the candidates combined.
Hillary Clinton, followed by Ben Carson, was the candidate most of those surveyed said they’d most like to have join them for the holiday.
There was bi-partisan agreement that it’s too early for Christmas music. Mashed potatoes beat out sweet potatoes as the side dish of choice, with a solid majority of Americans saying the marshmallows are not needed.
Now…On to the news….
Homeless for the Holidays in San Diego
At a press conference yesterday, the Mayor Faulconer, Councilman Todd Gloria, and other notables were eager to tout the successes of San Diego’s post-tent era solutions for housing the homeless population in the winter months.
From the Union-Tribune:
San Diego will temporarily increase its number of emergency shelter beds to 600 from 350 this winter during El Niño rainstorms and other inclement weather, city officials said Monday.
The announcement alleviates concerns raised by homeless advocates that the city’s switch this year to a permanent downtown shelter would limit its capacity to handle spikes in demand caused by bad weather.
The 600 emergency shelter beds under the new model are about 25 percent more than the roughly 475 that were typically available in two large tents the city used for decades as seasonal homeless shelters before switching to a year-round, indoor facility this summer.
While the new arrangements are better than the old methods of seasonal tents, San Diego is doing poorly compared to cities like Houston and Denver, which have substantially reduced the numbers of homeless people in recent years.
From a different article in the Union-Tribune:
The homeless population in San Diego city and county is now the fourth-largest in the country, according to new data from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and nearly 48 percent of them are sleeping on the streets.
San Diego’s homeless population rose to 8,742 this year from 8,506 in 2014, a 2.8 percent increase that bumped it into the top four for the first time behind the metropolitan areas of Seattle, Los Angeles and New York City.
San Diego was the 12th ranked metro area in 2007, and it has steadily made its way up to the No. 4 spot, according to the federal data.
The number of homeless is likely larger than realized. As SDFP columnist Jeeni Criscenzo pointed out recently, currently acceptable methods used to count homeless populations overlook many women and children.
…Women and children are the hidden homeless. For reasons of their own safety and their children, women will not sleep anywhere that they are visible unless they have no other option. I have seen women sleeping on the sidewalk downtown in the middle of the day. My first thought was that they are drunk or drugged, but I came to learn that women will sometimes stay awake all night because they are afraid to be completely vulnerable while asleep at night. If they sleep in public while people are walking around them on the sidewalk, they are less likely to be assaulted.
Women with children do not want to be identified by Child Protective Services (CPS) for fear their children will be taken away from them. They will stay with a friend or family member, couch surfing until they have worn out their welcome, or determined the situation is too dangerous. Sadly, they often return to abusive partners (the devil they know) or trade sex for a place to sleep.
When all of those volunteers are out counting homeless people in alleys and parks on January 29th, there will be thousands of women staying in ‘hidden’, informal and marginalized homeless accommodation situations who will never get counted.
Local activist Mark Lane, who’s been coordinating a volunteer effort to get clothing and necessities to non-sheltered homeless, went to make a delivery yesterday to the encampment on 17th Street near the entrance to I5 South.
The three dozen or so people there had been swept away; chased off by local gendarmes. Nothing remained but a dirt lot. I have to wonder if the press conference and the “cleanup” were coordinated, given that encampments are bad visuals for politicos touting success in housing the homeless…
SDSU Protest Aimed at Hate Crimes
Hundreds of people converged at San Diego State University to protest a hate crime on campus.
In addition to another assault in Mission Valley, there have been 170 reported threats against Muslims in San Diego this year, according to officials with the Council on American-Islamic Relations.
From the Union-Tribune:
Among the hundreds at the rally were students and others from different faiths who had come out to show support.
Darin Johnson, a pastor at Agape House, a Lutheran-Episcopal campus ministry, said he was there because the assault on one community was like an assault on all communities.
Carlos Perez, chairman of the Latino student group M.E.Ch.A. at SDSU, was at the rally with about 15 members of his group.
“It’s all the same hate, and we all have to fight against it,” he said.
Protesters Shot by Right Wing Terrorists in Minneapolis
There have been ongoing protests in Minneapolis in response to the shooting death of 24-year-old Jamar Clark by police on November 15th.
Witnesses say that Clark was shot as he lay face down and handcuffed. Authorities say videos of the incident are inconclusive. The city has asked the federal Department of Justice for an independent civil rights investigation.
The day after the incident, hundreds of protesters took the streets and blocked westbound traffic on I-94. Police arrested 51 people on various minor charges. Black Lives Matter supporters and others have since been camped outside the MPD’s Fourth Precinct station.
Individuals self-identified as white supremacists have been shadowing the encampment for several days.
From Think Progress:
A group of white supremacists opened fire on an encampment of Black Lives Matter protesters in Minneapolis on Monday night, according to witnesses. Five protesters were shot and sustained injuries.
The police are seeking three white male suspects. They were reportedly “wearing masks and bulletproof vests.”
“I am obviously appalled that white supremacists would open fire on nonviolent, peaceful protesters,” Nekima Levy-Pounds, president of the Minneapolis chapter of the NAACP, said from the site of the shootings.
And in Chicago…
Protests are expected today in the wake of the release of dash-cam video showing a Chicago police officer pumping 16 rounds into 17-year-old Laquan McDonald last year.
Officer Jason Van Dyke has been charged with first-degree murder, 13 months after the incident.
From the Chicago Tribune:
Van Dyke is shown on a dash-cam video jumping out of his squad car and within seconds unloading 16 rounds into McDonald, lawyers for McDonald’s family have said.
After the first few shots knocked McDonald to the ground, Van Dyke fired another volley that struck the African-American teen repeatedly as his body lay in almost a fetal position on the ground, according to the lawyers.
Police said McDonald, who had PCP in his system when he died, was behaving erratically and refusing police commands to drop a 4-inch folding knife. The police union has maintained the officer fired in fear of his life because the teen lunged at him and his partner with the knife. Van Dyke’s lawyer also has said the officer feared for his life.
On This Day: 1875 – Led by Samuel Gompers, who would later found the American Federation of Labor, Cigarmakers’ Int’l Union Local 144 was chartered in New York City. 1971 – Hijacker Dan Cooper, known as D.B. Cooper, parachuted from a Northwest Airlines 727 over Washington state with $200,000 in ransom. 1991 – Freddie Mercury of Queen died of AIDS complications at the age of 45.
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