Sheriff Clarke and his cowboy hat can’t be bothered with presidential security
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Since sifting through dull newspapers, hyperbolic blogs, and overflowing RSS feeds for meaningful news can be an arduous process, News Net catches and compiles both the amusing and the significant reports that were overlooked throughout the week.
• As you may have heard, President Barack Obama was in town Wednesday afternoon. Obama spoke at Milwaukee-based Master Lock, praising the company’s practice of “in-sourcing” jobs back to the city from foreign countries. It was a stirring speech, and left many in attendance energized and feeling positive about the future of our city. But of course, with Milwaukee being Milwaukee, a simple presidential visit has turned into a morass of political posturing, finger pointing, and the antics of a certain Milwaukee County Sherriff who can’t be bothered with “insignificant” issues like protecting the president of the United States.
That sheriff, of course, is David Clarke, Milwaukee’s rootin’-tootin’est lawman who fancies himself the last straight-talkin’ conservative cowboy in America. Clarke has caught a lot of flack for cutting back on security for Obama’s visit, and for blaming his lax efforts on budget cuts implemented by penny-pinching lefties like Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele. Critics have accused Clarke of classless political posturing; the sheriff, meanwhile, has accused his detractors of the exact same thing:
“When politicians can’t solve real problems, they deflect attention to some insignificant issue. No city politician should waste time dealing with a peripheral issue such as a dignitary visit. [...] County supervisors Holloway, Biddle, and Weishan, they had a chance to restore dignitary protection funding, but in their infinite idiocy, they chose to approve County Executive Abele’s elimination of this funding.”
But hey, who can blame Clarke? If he didn’t have the proper funding and manpower, how was he supposed to do his job? It’s not like he had 15 to 25 members of the Milwaukee County SWAT team twiddling their thumbs at the Association Of SWAT Conference And Vendor Show in Oconomowoc during the president’s visit, right? Right?
• Of course, budget cuts and the “infinite idiocy” of others didn’t deter Clarke from beefing up security for a truly significant and non-peripheral event: an Occupy protest at City Hall. The Uptake reports approximately 15 police officers were on hand during the Feb. 6 demonstration.
• This Week In Bon Iver: Remember that time Bon Iver won a Grammy for Best New Artist? Of course you do. SPIN talked to frontman Justin Vernon immediately after last week’s ceremony, and his thoughts on the Grammys are pretty much what you’d expect. Here’s a pertinent quote, complete with yet another confusing Milwaukee reference:
Your speech felt like a bit of a balancing act.
I was obliged to be grateful because a bunch of people were supporting me. But it’s both, as they say in Milwaukee: It’s bad and good. I said “sorry” because I kept looking at my notes.
• Oh, and then there’s this: