Chief Koval’s Blog And The Crackdown On Criminal Element In Madison

Thanks to David Blaska for running this item up the flag pole so to alert many of us in Madison who are interested and concerned about policing matters.   Like Blaska, I too, find Madison Police Chief Mike Koval remarkable and worthy of praise.  Koval is now putting out the day’s police log via his on-line blog.

Blaska writes that “is genius in a bottle.”

He had been sending the recap to the mayor and common council members ever since the night from hell April 27 when his troops responded to six gunshot incidents in one night. I’ve long subscribed.

Now he’s making that same police briefing available to the citizenry. Informed is fore-armed!

What also got my attention on Monday was the plucky way Koval made it clear the months-long series of murders in Madison by low-life scum (my accurate assessment and not the term used by the Chief) is going to be dealt with by new determination.

Koval said he won’t allow a small group of people who resort to gun violence to put the rest of the city in danger. Police are going to be making more stops and more arrests to get violent people off the streets.  So if people are wanted for traffic offenses or warrants etc., and also are believed to be involved with gang violence and gun play the police are going to take “the gloves off.”

Madison residents and taxpayers are supportive of the news and confident that the police can return safety to the streets.

I was simply sickened to learn about two weeks ago a grandmother with a youngster had her home hit by a bullet from an out-of-control menace to society.  We simply can not, and will not turn our city over to the lowest common denominators.

Koval is right. The alpha dogs are needing to be turned loose.  As he said it has to “be manifestly clear that we are not going to let a couple dozen people hold a quarter of a million people hostage.”

I am proud of Chief Koval, and the others in our city who wear the blue uniform.  Now get the bastards locked up!

Good News For Those Who Care About The Process Of Government

I had thought at one time–prior to the inauguration in January–that there was a chance for some type of bi-partisan action on some types of ideas such as infrastructure.  That of course did not happen as the White House never once made an overture to the Democrats.  As anyone who reads history or follows politics knows full well, making nice with the Senate Minority Leader is perhaps the wisest move a sitting president can make.

President Trump, instead, went out of his way to make Democratic Senator Schumer look small.  Trump’s action underscored his lack of knowledge and his absence of political skills.  But perhaps following the recent bruising results of Republicans on the health care reform measure there might be a real glimmer of hope for the type of legislative behavior that has often marked the best episodes in congressional history.

It is being reported that the White House is not wed to having congressional Republicans use the budget reconciliation process to advance a tax overhaul.  Excellent news for those who want a bi-partisan attempt made at crafting a bill.  By so eyeing red state Democrats up for re-election as possible partners in the effort I can say for the first time in six months those who think about the process of governing can feel good.  

It would be a grand thing if regular order once again dominated the process in Washington.

For too long, on both sides of the aisle, the political leadership often were the ones who set in motion the bills that were then basically handed off to the respective caucuses with instruction for passage.  The fruitless attempts by the ham-handed Senate Republicans over the past month with health care is proof of the folly with such an undertaking.   The old-fashioned way of governing where–as in the proposed case for tax reform–the House Ways and Means Committee is expected to mark up a bill first, with wide-ranging input.  That means there is a healthy process for ideas to be aired and a wider selection of members able to buy into the final proposal.

I understand the political game of using reconciliation for the tax bill.  The reconciliation process would allow the Senate to pass a tax bill with only 51 Republican votes.  But then it is only a Republican bill for a nation that is so divided and strained by partisanship.  Crafting a measure that has buy-in from each side is the way that the effort is met with some national acceptance.  I strongly suspect a smarter end product will be produced and the deep sniping and attacks could be restrained.   That would be a real crowd-pleasing outcome!

To achieve what would be best for the process of governing, and the resulting policy goals means the GOP needs to get the support of eight Democrats under regular order.  With an open process and the true melding of ideas I trust and hope it can happen.

Look, at this point we all need to have at least some faith that the way our civics books taught us how this republic should work can indeed again be the way it does operate.  I am truly pleased that tonight the White House for the first time has made an effort in that direction.  Lets all work to make it succeed by contacting our elected ones in Washington and urge for bi-partisanship.

John Kelly Lays Down The Law

White House Chief-Of-Staff John Kelly has demanded President Donald Trump remove Anthony Scaramucci as communications director, a little more than a week after the former financier was named to the post.

One less foul-mouthed, preening, narcissistic flack in the news.

Police Chiefs Condemn President Trump In An Era Of Distrust About Law Enforcement

Last week week was an embarrassment of riches for those who mock President Trump, and chide those who were duped into voting for him.  But among the many headline grabbing stories for our attention was the one where Trump joked and seemingly endorsed ‘‘roughing up’’ those who are arrested by police.  At a time when police shootings get national press and the PR game is all important in combating false narratives it is vital that Trump not say anything, given his lack of insight or knowledge.  

So it is not shocking in the slightest that police leaders across the country moved quickly to distance themselves from, and more importantly to outright condemn, Trump’s statements.

The swift public denunciations is a clear statement that departments which are under intense pressure to stamp out brutality and excessive force, were not pleased by Trump.  The type of language used by Trump does lead to the erosion of a needed relationship between officers and the people they serve.

For instance in Los Angeles the police force feared that Trump’s idiotic three sentences could upend nearly three decades of fence-mending since the 1991 Los Angeles Police Department beating of Rodney King.

City after city around the country pushed back on the remarks off the top of Trump’s orange head.  What everyone knows is what Trump did was to double down on what we need to remov, and that is an era of distrust of police.

There is no need to gin up–as Trump did–the idea that police officers use unnecessary force.  

Here Is The Biggest Health Care Debate The Republican Party Has Lost

This past week we saw in large font headlines the lack of political power President Donald Trump and the Republicans have when it comes to any health care bill getting through Congress.  Many might think that the series of votes and the outcome was the largest loss for the GOP.  But it was not.

The greatest defeat is one that has been growing for years.  And it comes from grassroots America.

The citizens of this nation do not see healthcare as a separate item on the long list of things which congress needs to work on, but instead view health care a right and one that the government needs a strong hand in fashioning and running.  In spite of the rhetoric and bombast Republicans have used over the years against the Affordable Care Act the public likes the program in growing numbers.  And they likes the concept of government being involved in crafting a solution.

But there is something else afoot in the land.

Americans who have been engaged on this issue–and Democrats in massive proportions–more than ever before are backing a single-payer, government-run health care system.  What started years ago as a fringe idea on the left is being embraced by the party’s mainstream and backing it could become a litmus test for Democratic presidential candidates in 2020.

I get the fact with Democrats in the minority at this juncture in Washington the debate over single payer is symbolic. But with the growing awareness and deep-felt conviction among Americans of various stripes that healthcare is a right means the whole discussion is turning in huge ways that the GOP will have to deal with.

And the GOP knows in its deepest red places this is the truth.

Wall Street Journal Opens Up On President Trump

This weekend the Wall Street Journal editorial page let loose on President Trump:

Presidents get the White House operations they want, and Mr. Trump has a chaotic mess because he seems to like it. He likes pitting faction against faction, as if his advisers are competing casino operators from his Atlantic City days. But a presidential Administration is a larger undertaking than a family business, and the infighting and competing leaks have created a dysfunctional White House.

The reason Mr. Priebus wasn’t as effective as he could have been is because Mr. Trump wouldn’t listen to him and wouldn’t let him establish a normal decision-making process. Mr. Trump has a soft spot for military men so perhaps he’ll listen more to Mr. Kelly. He’d better, because on present course his Presidency is careening toward a historic reputation where names like Jimmy Carter and Richard Nixon reside.

Anthony Scaramucci’s Wife Files For Divorce

Anthony Scaramucci’s wife demanded a divorce three weeks ago, while she was nine months pregnant, sources told the New York Post.

“Deidre Scaramucci, 38, fed up with her three-year marriage to the new White House communication director, filed divorce papers on July 6… On Monday, while Anthony was in West Virginia with President Trump for the Boy Scouts Jamboree, Deidre gave birth to the couple’s baby boy James. As of Friday evening, a full four days after delivery, her 53-year-old husband had yet to meet his newborn son.”

Vulgarity-Laced Language, Paul Harvey, And Our Sensibilities

This morning James and I listened to Frank Sinatra on the stereo as we concluded some restoration and painting inside our home from yesterday’s nine-hour visit from an electrician, who added recess lighting and a fan in our kitchen.    James refashioned the walls and a portion of the ceiling, paint was added following the mesh creation as Frank’s big orchestra sound filled the house.   Sunshine outside was waiting for us, the coffee pot was peculating.  All seemed right with the world.

Once showered and outside, as James brought me another cup of coffee, he announced what simply I could not conceive happening.  In a vulgarity-laced telephone call with a New Yorker writer newly hired communications director, Anthony Scaramucci, railed against Chief-Of-Staff Reince Priebus and presidential adviser Stephen Bannon.  After James told me what had been said in the recorded interview I simply sat stunned.

There was no way this could be possible.  There was no way that anyone willingly and purposefully acted this way as a top White House employee.  Even in the times we now are forced to live with Donald Trump in the Oval Office–even now–this could not be real.

At age 55 I am still grounded in a certain professional set of standards when it comes to the way reporters, politicians, or media personalities communicate.  I was raised on radio and newspapers until I turned a teenager.  We had no television in those years.  In my early adult years I was a radio broadcaster and news reporter.  Later I worked with a state assemblyman for a decade where part of my duties were to write press releases and work with the media.   In every aspect of my work life there was a standard to live by.

All my life I have never forgot the professional standards of those like, Paul Harvey, one of my radio heroes based on his ability to enunciate words, who wore a tie for his radio broadcasts.  He knew the way he looked and acted in a radio studio would come across over the airwaves.  And it did.

I have written many times about the lowering of standards on the radio airwaves, and with news publications like Newsweek, and just last week, The Economist.  In both of the latter cases the use of the ‘F’ word has truly angered me.  I find it unacceptable to use in a professional setting.  It is vulgar, low-brow, and shows a great deal about what a person lacks in his/her bringing up.

I am fine if some who read this think I am just not ‘contemporary’ enough to understand that this foul word is now in vogue.   To them I say, no.  Simply NO!

No one will ever find me bending to the lowest common denominator.   I did not do it with those who wanted me to smoke pot when I was young, and I surely will not sell out to those who wish to downgrade our language.  I have too many memories of the countless hours of broadcasters and public servants who knew how to use their skills and talents for lifting up people and not embarrassing themselves and their listeners.

Tonight I would hope we might rise above politics on this one.  We can–and should strongly debate health care, taxes, and climate change.  But when it comes to the type of vulgarity that came from the White House–the most important office in the world–we all need to be as one and denounce it.

We would not act that way at the family dinner table, the work place, church, or even the grocery store line.  We might want to think as Paul Harvey did.  If we show self-respect it will reflect to others.  It seems like an easy lesson, but clearly not all have learned it.