Happy birthday, Ted Wheeler

It's Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler's 58th birthday today. I hope he gets some nice gifts. 

Including a clue. He desperately needs to get a clue.

Yesterday old Ted and his novice police chief, along with the famous rookie district attorney, held a press conference, because they had to say something after a right-wing militia guy was shot and killed on a downtown street at 8:45 the night before. It wasn't two and a half minutes into reading from his script when Wheeler started in on how it's Trump's fault. Trump this, Trump that. 

It was like he was running for Wyden's job. Maybe he is.

Ted needs a different act. The protests were out of control for a month before Trump's private army got here, and the protests have been getting progressively more dangerous and scarier for another month now that the feds have largely retreated.

Granted, the goon in the White House inflames people, but when they start beating and killing each other in the streets of your city, Ted, as the mayor who also serves as the police commissioner, you have the job of saving lives and preventing serious injury.

"Denouncing" is not going to stop the violence. Posting 19 bullet points on the internet is not going to stop the violence. Those pesky Antifa youngsters are going to keep marching, and the tighty righties are going to keep showing up looking for a fight. What are the police going to do differently to bring about a different outcome? I didn't hear an answer to that.

And before last night was over, you could see clearly that not much has changed out on the streets. If anything, it's getting worse.

The usual gang of protesters marched through Laurelhurst, back to the police precinct on Burnside, and mixed it up with the cops just as they have done dozens of times this summer. The demonstrators blocked the street for a while and threw some stuff at the cops, but I didn't see a fire or an actual threat to the police building. That didn't stop the police. I guess they really needed a big show this time. So in addition to their customary "bull rushes," they made lots of arrests, more than usual. And with less cause than usual. Some of the arrestees really did seem to be doing nothing more than standing on the sidewalk when they were hauled off.

In a couple of Twitter streams, you could see police brutality. Three or four cops would have someone on the ground, and a cop or two would give the person some punches, apparently just for the heck of it. It's pretty standard Portland police procedure to pepper spray the faces of people who are already being held down on the pavement, which is despicable enough, but last night they went with good old fists.

The contrast between the last two Saturdays on the one hand, and last night on the other, was pretty disturbing. When people were literally killing each other in the streets, the Portland cops couldn't get their job done. When some annoying lefties were hanging out on the sidewalk, chanting slogans and throwing eggs, the Portland cops came out in force, kicked their asses, and arrested them on charges that will mostly be dropped.

Meanwhile, the mayor's political rival, Governor Kate Brown, now says she's sending the state police back to Portland to keep the peace. Gee, they were just here and left in frustration because the D.A. won't prosecute people for junk offenses like "interfering with a peace officer." Maybe the geniuses in Salem should make up their minds.

Anyway, what a birthday for Ted. Maybe Nike has a gig for him.


  1. Ted Wheeler has made quite a name for himself nationally
    and it's been brutal. So how would you assess his ability to lead?
    If you ever need a system to judge men as leaders, you might
    try this: I ask myself what part would you give this person in a
    World War 2 movie? Would they be a general or not? To brag a little,
    both my parents served in France during World War 2 so they would
    tell me what the troops thought about various military leaders. My
    dad actually saw some of them with his own eyes. I know they raved
    about Omar Bradley. Eisenhower obviously had the right stuff. Ike was
    the Man. And as president he went on to warn us of the dangers of the
    military industrial complex taking over America. Wow, what a
    visionary - did he nail that. Ike was a great leader.
    So let's see how the system works on NFL coaches. The obvious
    pick here is Vince Lombardi. You could put a helmet on him with a
    bunch of stars and he could have led the Invasion of Normandy. I also
    think you could cast Bill Walsh as a general in "The Longest Day" or
    any WW2 movie. It would be totally believable. Now Chip Kelly? I'm an
    Eagles fan and I knew we had a shaky situation when they made him
    head coach. Why? Because you would never cast him as a general. What
    would Chip play? The crusty head of the supply depot?
    The system also works on politicians. Did you ever meet Mark
    Hatfield? He could have played a general. So could Victor Atiyeh for
    that matter. In a less sexist world, I could also see Barbara Roberts in charge of a division. And that brings us to Ted Wheeler. When I run him
    through my leadership rating machine he scores an absolute zero. I
    don't mean to be cruel on his birthday, but that's what I'm getting.
    What would you cast him as? He's earnest and sincere while being
    completely ineffective. Could you imagine him addressing the troops
    at Normandy? "Gentlemen, I have a 19-point plan to win this thing so
    let's get excited, okay?" I would probably cast him as the chaplain.
    There's something gentle about him like the guy in the movie who
    comforts the men after they've been shot. But there is no chance that
    he would ever work as a general in a World War 2 movie. And that is a
    problem - a big problem. It might not be that bad when things are
    going well but as you probably have noticed, things are not going well.
    One last thing I wonder about is the cost to Portland of
    his lack of leadership. Jack, you're the numbers guy but I bet if we
    knew how much we've lost here as a city, it would be staggering.
    There's all the businesses damaged and the broken windows and arson.
    Hell, even all these dumpsters that get set on fire cost upwards of
    700 bucks each and they have to be repaired if the lids burn off. But
    I'm not talking about just the property destruction or even the
    police overtime. What does it cost to go through an image makeover
    because Portland's reputation nationally has been changed forever? We
    are now used in sentences like,"We better do something quick or we'll
    end up like Portland." Let's face it: Trump played us. He set us up
    to fail here and we walked right into the trap. Hearing Wheeler tell
    Trump to "Stay the hell out of the way" is just silly. He might as
    well be saying, "Don't bother me while I fuck this up." The original
    cause - the battle against police brutality - was just. It remains
    very important and I believe all this energy will lead to
    improvements. But the way we've handled the other stuff: The riots,
    the anarchists, etc...that's been a full-on disaster. If anything
    we're in the process of getting Trump re-elected.


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