Al Franken learns ‘comedy’ ain’t always pretty

The white lab coats here at the Policy Werkes are examining the photograph of Al Franken giving a sleeping young lady’s boobs a good working over while grinning at the camera like a college freshman at a wapatoolie party. Or did he even make contact? Hard to tell from the photo. We need video evidence for the upcoming U.S. Senate hearings into the matter and tax reform be damned!

This career-threatening incident occurred in 2006 “when Franken was a comedian,” the New York Times helpfully reminds. Comedians! Steve Martin warned us in 1979: Comedy Isn’t Pretty.

Look, the Squire is as partisan as the next right-wing Republican and admits to a certain amount of schadenfreude but a U.S. Senate ethics investigation? Doesn’t that sound like overkill? Will it be televised? Investigate what? Is there Zapruder video? Film canisters in a pumpkin? The guy admits he done it and expresses contrition: “It was clearly intended to be funny but wasn’t. I shouldn’t have done it.”

No, whatever fallout will be political, not legislative or judicial. Because Franken’s escapade Trumps (so to speak) our current president’s bragging (before HE was President) about grabbing you-know-what, which is when Your Squire jumped off the Trump train. (Not that he is a blue nose, by any means.) Trump’s boasting well may have been only boys-on-the-bus braggadocio. Moreover, his claim purports consent. “They let you do it” when you are rich and famous.

Al Franken, by contrast, felt up an unconscious, sleeping woman. That’s what Losers do. And there are pictures — unlike in Trump’s case — to prove it. Even so, the Policy Werkes is not certain Al Franken’s offense rises to the level of, say, Roy Moore in Alabama. Even accounting for tongue in the mouth. Nor does it seem that his conduct was more piggish than Harvey Weinstein in Hollywood. Or more ruinous than Bill O’Reilly. Or, more constant than Ted Kennedy. For that matter, all the Kennedy men.

And no one dehumanized women quite as thoroughly as Hugh Hefner, who some feminists continue to admire — although nothing has surfaced to contradict the probability that his countless “conquests” (as they were known) “let him.” He was rich and famous.

Where are we now? The female backup singers for Ray Charles explained that their designation as “The Raylets” meant “we let Ray.” In The Best Years of Our Lives, what did Dana Andrews do to Teresa Wright in the parking lot? He grabbed and kissed her, unbidden. (We don’t know about any tongue.) Who put more fingers on the ladies than Harpo Marx? On film!


Bubba was in a league of his own

But for the level of predation, entitlement, and mendacity, has anyone topped Bill Clinton or his enabler, Hillary? Yet, icons of feminism like Gloria Steinem hemmed and hawed for special consideration. Bubba may be a hound dog, but he’s a liberal hound dog.

“The Democratic Party needs to make its own reckoning of the way it protected Bill Clinton,” the always readable Caitlin Flanagan writes in The Atlantic.

Flanagan scores “The notorious 1998 New York Times op-ed by Gloria Steinem” that “slut-shamed” and blamed the victims. The Steinem piece “urged compassion for and gratitude to the man the women accused.” Think of that! Flanagan continues:

Let us not forget the sex crimes of which the younger, stronger Bill Clinton was very credibly accused in the 1990s. Juanita Broaddrick … said that she fought against Clinton throughout a rape that left her bloodied. … Paula Jones … Kathleen Willey …

The [Democrat(ic)] party was on the wrong side of history and there are consequences for that. Yet expedience is not the only reason to make this public accounting. … If Weinstein and Mark Halperin and Louis C.K. and all the rest can be held accountable, so can our former president and so can his party.

In a way, Al Franken is paying the penance for offenses for which Bill Clinton and the Kennedys were granted liberal indulgence. If comedy ain’t pretty, politics ain’t always fair. Politics is also timing and perception. If Franken committed a crime, it would be (in Wisconsin) fourth-degree sexual assault, a misdemeanor. His jury, however, is the public’s perception. He is a non-person in Washington, a late-night TV punch line, persona non grata at party fundraisers, another crushing disappointment to the Never Trumpers.

“Oh no, not Al Franken, too!” Michelle Goldberg laments in the New York Times today.

Before Thursday, I’d hoped Franken would run for president in 2020. A hugely gifted communicator with entertainment chops, he seemed well suited to take on Donald Trump … [Now] I think he should go, and the governor should appoint a woman to fill his seat.

We hear Hillary is looking for work.

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Madison’s $400,000 police study proposes violating state law

Augmented Reality for the Progressively afflicted

Shouldn’t there, at least, be a tee shirt?

I paid $400,000 for a study of the Madison Police Department and all I got was this lousy tee shirt and a paperweight of a report. (Dust, do your thing!)

Lousy T-shirtThe Berkeley California boutique hired by the City of Madison to search for latent signs of subliminal racism came up empty except for finding “some gaps” in the comfort level of female and nonwhite recruits.

“That is not a condemnation of Chief Koval, but a statement on our society,” Ald. Paul Skidmore told the Policy Werkes.

“I did not see any major revelations, and I did not see anything that warrants a major change or action. It looks like OIR spent a lot of time and money confirming that we have a solid, well run department. We spent $400K on this?”

Ald. Skidmore quoted from the report:

There’s no question that the department does a lot of things remarkably well and unusually well in terms of the personnel it is able to attract.

“I consider these comments to be a strong endorsements of MPD,” Ald. Skidmore said.

“It was very gratifying to hear OIR recognize MPD as a professional, dedicated and progressive Department,” added Chief Koval.

Independent of whom?

Our liberal-progressive-socialist acquaintances will hang their hats on one of OIR’s recommendations and it is a biggie.

The consultants propose an independent police auditor that would report to a community review board.

“The auditor could provide an outlet to receive and evaluate police complaints, review internal investigations and use-of-force incidents,” the WI State Journal reports. That is huge.

“Independent”? Of whom? Certainly, independent of the police department. But independent of the Common Council? Whether yes or no, does anyone doubt that Progressive Dane will try to get its meat hooks on the review board so that it can hire the auditor of its choice? Can you see the Royko Maurers, M. Adams of Freedom Inc., Brandi Grayson and Matt Braunginn of Young & Foolish on that board?

It is surprising that the OIR Group purports to understand recent legislation governing on-body police cameras. (Its verdict: More trouble than they’re worth, given the restrictions placed on it by the state. That, alone, should assure the WI State Journal’s enmity.) Surprising in contrast to OIR’s ignorance of state law governing municipal police.

Their proposed auditor reporting to an independent “community review board” clearly violates state statute UNLESS that review board is the duly constituted police and fire commission. (You just read the money quote.) At best, this so-called community review board would be merely advisory.

Typical government report: Layer on more government. More bureaucracy, more finger twisting and hair pulling, more second guessing, more time wasting.

State statute 62.13 prescribes police governance. It is clear that only Police and Fire Commissions are authorized to oversee municipal police departments. (Of interest: of the five PFC commissioners authorized by law, the mayor may not appoint “more than three members of the board belonging to the same political party.” Memo to self: Check out Madison’s PFC in that regard.)

In any event, if such an auditor is permitted, the auditor would have to report to the PFC — THAT is the only “review board” permitted by statute. (Another money quote for you.)

The statute does allow PFCs to take a more active role in the administration of police and fire departments, above and beyond its current role of hiring, firing, and disciplining. A PFC may “organize and supervise … and … prescribe rules and regulations for their control and management.” That’s a pretty broad mandate. But PFCs may do so only after a citywide referendum.

Standards for police governance are statewide

Madison’s $400,000 consultants don’t seem to understand that the State of Wisconsin mandates uniform management of municipal police departments. Again, in the Laws of the State of Wisconsin:

Legislative intent. [The various statutory chapters] shall be construed as an enactment of statewide concern for the purpose of providing a uniform regulation of police, fire, and combined protective services departments.

Koval study city

Artwork by the late, great Col. Tim Donovan

The intent, of course, is to depoliticize police departments which, once upon a time, enforced the spoils system of big-city political machines.

The out-of-state OIR recommendation does the opposite. It politicizes policing.

We’ll give former Madison alder Dorothy Borchardt the last word:

I would support spending $400,000 for a report on the City Council and the changes needed so they represent their districts and not Progressive Dane. PD has never supported the Madison Police.

See the OIR consultants report here. (Warning: there’s not a lot of meat on the bone.)

Posted in Crime, Madison city government, Progressives | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Nazis in the quad. Can we have a little muscle at UW-Stevens Point?

Stately Blaska Manor is a mobile free speech zone

The difference between a democracy and a republic has been explained thusly: A democracy is when two wolves and a lamb vote on what to eat for dinner. A republic, by contrast, protects the rights of the minority.

If our Founders, particularly the authors of the Federalist Papers, feared anything it was rule by the mob, rather than the individual rights guaranteed by the Constitution.

The hungry wolves gathered for an exercise in majority rule recently at the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point. UW-Point apparently adheres to a curious practice: students get to decide which among them are allowed congregate for the purpose of political speech.


‘Can we have a little muscle over here?’

Students wishing to peaceably assemble under the banner of an organization called “Turning Point USA” appealed to the student government for official recognition, which would allow them access to university facilities, like a room for their meetings, for instance.

Like the Coliseum mob responding to Commodus, the student senate turned thumbs down. Release the ravenous wolves!

TV station WAOW reports the student government’s reasoning:

“The [student senators] listened to their constituents feedback that they received from students in their colleges and they took it to the floor and voted appropriately,” said communications director Tegan Griffith.

And when asked for the reasoning for denying recognition to Turning Point USA, Griffith said, “Well they listened to their constituents feedback and they listened to what other students had to say and that was their reasoning.”

James Madison, bow down your head and cry.

Earning a B.S. in Intolerance

Suffer not the grown children. “Unfortunately, the students in the Stevens Point student government are behaving just the way the adults are teaching them to behave,” observes Jim Wigderson at RightWisconsin.

When the campus administration sends out letters to students about “micro-aggressions” like “America is a melting pot,” and when members of the legislature oppose allowing free speech on college campuses [every single Democrat], should we be shocked when the students do their part to shut down speech the political left doesn’t like?

Would it surprise you that the by-any-means-necessary Socialist Workers Party is on their side? Or that the state’s major news media will observe editorial silence?

We checked out Turning Point USA. Not even Morris Dees’ Southern Poverty Law Center claims the operation is a hate group and that is saying something, since its list has ballooned to include anyone who holds a traditional view of marriage. Turning Point claims a presence on hundreds of campuses. It’s mission is “to identify, educate, train, and organize students to promote the principles of fiscal responsibility, free markets, and limited government.”

Egad! No wonder the student leaders at UW Point turned them down!

Closer to home, Democrats are in a dither that UW-Madison the nascent Tommy Thompson Center might be skewed toward conservative speakers.

The party’s designated attack dog One Scot Ross howled: “Our worst fears that this operation was nothing more than a University of Wisconsin factory for Republican junk science and propaganda have been confirmed.”

R-i-g-h-t. Gender and Race Studies, anyone? (Tommy Thompson, that hate monger!)

The science is settled and you’re a Nazi!

Back when Tailgunner Joe McCarthy was conjuring communists under every bed, liberals defended free speech. Today’s college campuses are monocultures of neo-Marxism. Disagree, you’re a Nazi. The tenured professors are apostles of identity politics and grievance mongering. Studying the party registrations of faculty at 40 of America’s top universities, three researchers for the scholarly Econ Journal Watch found that liberal-progressive professors outnumbered moderate-conservatives by 10 to 1.

You're Hitler“Even these figures understate the matter. The overall campus figures include professional schools and science, technology, business and mathematics departments. Political imbalance causes intellectual degradation. Riots against free speech are only a symptom.” — “Higher Education’s Deeper Sickness” in the Wall Street Journal.

The sifting and winnowing concept is proving more elusive than Higgins Boson. One in five college undergrads believe it’s O.K.  to use physical force to silence a speaker who makes “offensive and hurtful statements.” (“A chilling study shows how hostile college students are toward free speech.”)

When everyone with whom you disagree is a Nazi, there’s no need for debate.

“Shouting down a neo-Nazi … should be your patriotic duty,” writes Madison liberal Emily (“Block his ass”) Mills in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Her example of someone who needed blocking was Ben Shapiro. A Jewish neo-Nazi!

The vice chairman of the College Democrats of Wisconsin, a student at UW-La Crosse, boasted last month: “My new bit is tearing down all the pro-life Christian pregnancy resource center fliers that they put up around campus to try & trick people.”

People be too stupid to decide for themselves.

Posted in Free speech, Progressives | Tagged , , , , | 16 Comments

Has Madison stopped the cop bashing?

Did the worm just turn? Is November 14, 2017 the watershed? After 2½ years, is this the day Madison city government switched from race-baiting and cop-bashing to judging the person by his actions rather than by the color of their skin?

Yes it is. The Madison Common Council voted 14-6 very early this morning in favor of adding $400,000 to the $350,000 allocated in the mayor’s proposed budget in order to fund, at the very least, seven additional police officers and two squad cars even if the city is not awarded a federal grant; 15 if the city is awarded the federal COPS grant.

The Council beat back a motion (recounted here) that would have zeroed out any money for more police and another that would have delayed action. The roll call approving Ald. Skidmore’s Amendment #9 for more police was:

Eskrich, Harrington, King, Martin, Palm, Phair, Skidmore, Verveer, Wood, Zellers, Ahrens, Bidar-Sielaff, Cheeks, Clear — 14

NO: Hall, DeMarb, Kemble, Rummel, Baldeh, Carter — 6

There are at least five heroes in this endeavor: Paula and Steve Fitzsimmons have promoted the police against fierce opposition, particular with Paula’s Support The Police website, which generated an avalanche of e-mails to city officials. Ald. Paul Skidmore has stood like the Dutch boy with his finger in the dike against the flood. It was his marshaling of facts and hard work that got key signatories onto his Budget Amendment #9 for more police. Police Chief Mike Koval demonstrated the need, especially by making available his daily police blotter report. And Our Miss (strike that, Mrs.) Vicki McKenna for opening the air waves to those of us speaking for a civil society.

You should catch Steve and Paula’s testimony, check out the podcast here. Your intrepid blogger gives What For at 1:15:43.

‘Police were literally Nazis’

But for chills and thrills, check out a young lady named Allison at 30:54. Her little child is endearing but her testimony is chilling for its educated ignorance. Has Allison no sympathy for the parents digging bullets out of the wall above their baby’s crib? This is no hyperbole. It is Madison reality. We excerpt her remarks thusly:

Madison … is a Progressive haven … When BLM started, … I wish more white people had paid attention. … It’s not a coincidence we have the worst racial disparities in the entire country, it is because of what we are doing.… Who makes these [police] standards? Is it people locked in jail? Probably not. Is it wealthy white men? Probably. …

Police came from slave patrols and police came from strike breakers and that is what they were created to do. … The police literally were the Nazis. … They’ve been reformed? But on what planet would you want to reform the Nazis? … The last speaker [Paula Fitzsimmons] told us how dangerous being a police officer is but being a black man is more dangerous. … If you choose to put yourself on the line, then that is the choice you have made. … Yeah, there’s been some unfortunate incidents lately but …

What is surprising is that the cop-bashing Royko-Maurers did not speak; they only registered in opposition to the police. Nor did Dr. Gobbledygook. No did anyone from Young and Foolish or Freedom Inc. No “Power to the People” rally in front of the City County Building. Did they know they were beaten?

Ald. Kemble tried to use as a delaying tactic the $400,000 police practices study being conducted by a Berkeley, California boutique. “This report will answer tough questions … those answers may recommend a completely different model for our police department.”

Vote of confidence for the police

But Ald. Mark Clear, whom this blogge has criticized before, countered: “I can’t imagine anything in the OIR report that is going to say you should turn down the COPS grant.”

Another alder heavily criticized at this venue, Dave Ahrens, referenced the tsunami of citizen clamor for more police prompted by Paula’s website: “The case for additional officers has been made clearly by the department and by the people I represent.”

A special shout-out to Ald. Steve King. Here is an abbreviated transcript of his remarks during the marathon meeting:

Steve King

Ald. Steve King

This is the hill I am dying on, it is budget amendment #9. There is no way in hell I could write in my [constituent] message that I did not support a fully funded COPS grant after the feedback, flak, commentary, discussions with the police themselves — there’s no way I’m doing that. …  I don’t even want to go to my house if I didn’t support Amendment #9. There’s a demonstrated need. … Regardless of what the OIR report says, we are going to need more police officers.

The Madison Common Council’s budget meeting concluded at 2:30 a.m. 11-14-2017. Paula Fitzsimmons [CORRECTION] Ald. Skidmore tells the Policy Werkes:

Chief Koval looked both exhausted and exhilarated as he left the chambers. There were huge smiles on both his face and that of Chief Williams as well. He thanked a number of alders as he left, and he shook my hand as I left. He called me twice — once on the way home, once when I was getting into bed. He told me how much this means to his officers and command staff. This group effort has lit a spark of hope and joy in the Department. He said that this was received as a vote of confidence in the Department, and that the mood at the office today was very positive. This also sent a powerful message to the Mayor — a message that he heeded.

Now we wait to see if we get a grant, and plan our next effort.

Posted in Crime, Madison city government, Progressives | Tagged , , | 5 Comments

Madison police supporters: tonight’s the night!


UPDATE: Folks, we did it! Early this morning (11-14-17) Ald. Skidmore’s Amendment for 15 more police officers succeeded. The Kemble Krew’s attempt to zero out police failed. Body camera pilot defeated. We’ll get you the roll calls soon.

The Madison Common Council likely will vote tonight on next year’s budget. Of specific concern here at the Stately Manor is Ald. Skidmore’s amendment to add $400,000 to the $350,000 proposed by Mayor Soglin as the city’s match of a federal grant to add more police. Co-signers are Alders Verveer, McKinney, King, Ahrens, Clear, and Phair.

That amendment is countered by Alders Kemble, Rummel, Baldeh, Hall, and Carter to zero out any match whatsoever, thereby scuttling any chance for more police. Continue reading

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Moderate Democrat defeats Bush family surrogate in Virginia

“Don’t get mad, get even.” — Animal House.

UPDATE: Following Tuesday’s good night for Democrats, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee released a new memo Thursday adding 11 additional Republican-held districts they now deem to be battlegrounds for 2018’s midterm elections. That includes Wisconsin’s First District. 

Our Democrat(ic) acquaintances are doing a victory lap after Tuesday’s off-year elections. Good for them. Celebrate your victories, we say at the Policy Werkes. Avenge your defeats.

That Democrats won elections on the coasts — for mayor of New York City, governor of New Jersey, and various Washington State contests — should be no surprise. Virginia is the prize — it is purple at best — and it was fairly won. But let’s not get carried away, either side.

pol spectrum

Many would say the political continuum ought to be a circle, with fascism and communism meeting.

CNN solidifies its reputation as the Clinton network, braying: “Key wins by Democrats may portend an ominous future for President Trump and his party.”

Continue reading

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