Palin = Reagan?

Rustbelt Intellectual on Sarah Palin’s speech at the RNC:

In her speech, Palin compared herself to Harry S Truman. Bad comparison. And a bit creepy, considering how Truman ascended to the Oval Office. Others, including my fellow Rustbelt Intellectual Steve Conn, have compared her to Dan Quayle. But she was no deer in the headlights last night. 

Palin can best be described as Reaganesque. She projected a sunny optimism, romantically evoked the “values” of small-town America, conveyed some of that aw shucks faux humility that made Reagan so charming, and positioned herself as a true, authentic Washington outsider. 

But like Reagan, Palin put a cheerful face on a harsh right-wing agenda. Her mix of Christian conservatism, meddling family values politics (which ought to be softened by her own experience), anti-environmentalism, jingoism, and corporate coddling is a toxic brew which has brought us the mess that we’re in. But like Reagan, she wraps them in the mantle of reform and common sense. In our system of personality-driven politics, this is no mean feat.

Read the whole thing here

Where are the Fighting Dems?

From tristero at Hullabaloo:

Surely the Democrats have some major announcement today to remove the spotlight that’s been shining on the viscous mass of white ooze that infested St. Paul. The couldn’t be so stupid as not to have planned a major rebuttal to the lies, distortion, and stupidity on display this past week. 

We’re gonna hear about something big from Barack today. Right? RIGHT????

Plague on Both Houses

From lambert at Corrente:

One of the more frustrating things for me in this primary is the way that years of oppo that we’ve salted away on Republican sexual deviance and Republican torture and killing of animals has gone unused; and both issues speak directly to Republican abuses of power in with easy-to-understand stories that cry out for accountability.

So what do we get? Oppo on 17-year-old girls and trash talk about special needs babies.

Gad. Both houses, plague.

lol.  CNN on the Republicans dancing at the end of their convention:  “rhythmically challenged”.  I just caught it – didn’t notice who said it.

Oops, sorry, forgot the link to Corrente

Whose America Is THIS?

A report by Ari Berman from Minneapolis-St. Paul:

An estimated 50,000 antiwar protestors gathered in the morning for a big rally outside the state Capitol building. As the rally neared its conclusion, roughly 1,000 students, led by the revamped Students for a Democratic Society, led a breakaway march downtown. They were met, according to eyewitnesses, by a crew of bike cops who sprayed a number of protestors with tear gas. One such protestor, a documentary filmmaker named Marcus Washington, described his experience while lying on the ground in a serious amount of pain. I captured it on film.

More here

Amy Goodman, host of Democracy Now! was also arrested and detained:

Amy Goodman was among more than 100 people detained outside the Republican National Convention here as police clashed with demonstrators on the streets of St. Paul.

Goodman was arrested near the XCel Center, where the convention opened Monday, at approximately 5 p.m. Minnesota time.

According to a statement issued Dennis Moynihan and Mike Burke of Democracy Now!:

Goodman was arrested while attempting to free two Democracy Now! producers who were being unlawfuly detained. They are Sharif Abdel Kouddous and Nicole Salazar. Kouddous and Salazar were arrested while they carried out their journalistic duties in covering street demonstrations at the Republican National Convention. Goodman’s crime appears to have been defending her colleagues and the freedom of the press. 

Ramsey County Sherrif Bob Fletcher told Democracy Now! that Kouddous and Salazar were being arrested on suspicion of rioting. They are currently being held at the Ramsey County jail in St. Paul. 

I was with Goodman earlier this afternoon, as she was reporting on the major anti-war demonstration. She and her crew were, as always, interviewing everyone they could in the calm, assured manner that has made the daily Democracy Now! program a widely-watched and well-regarded news programs on radio and cable television stations across the country.

Moynihan and Burke, in their statement, say that:

Democracy Now! stands by Goodman, Kouddous and Salazar and condemns this action by Twin Cities law enforcement as a clear violation of the freedom of the press and the First Amendment rights of these journalists. 

They are urging journalists and concerned citizens to contact the office of St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman (651-266-8535) and the Ramsey County Jail (651-266-9350) and demand the immediate release of Goodman, Kouddous and Salazar.

The calls are important.

The American Civil Liberties Union and the National Lawyers Guild are also on the case.


I dunno, Goodman looks REALLY dangerous to me

Repression in Minnesota

Goodness.  And everyone critisized China for suppressing free speech, human rights and peaceful protest during the Olympics!

Protesters here in Minneapolis have been targeted by a series of highly intimidating, sweeping police raids across the city, involving teams of 25-30 officers in riot gear, with semi-automatic weapons drawn, entering homes of those suspected of planning protests, handcuffing and forcing them to lay on the floor, while law enforcement officers searched the homes, seizing computers, journals, and political pamphlets. Last night, members of the St. Paul police department and the Ramsey County sheriff’s department handcuffed, photographed and detained dozens of people meeting at a public venue to plan a demonstration, charging them with no crime other than “fire code violations,” and early this morning, the Sheriff’s department sent teams of officers into at least four Minneapolis area homes where suspected protesters were staying.

Jane Hamsher and I were at two of those homes this morning — one which had just been raided and one which was in the process of being raided. Each of the raided houses is known by neighbors as a “hippie house,” where 5-10 college-aged individuals live in a communal setting, and everyone we spoke with said that there had never been any problems of any kind in those houses, that they were filled with “peaceful kids” who are politically active but entirely unthreatening and friendly. Posted below is the video of the scene, including various interviews, which convey a very clear sense of what is actually going on here.

In the house that had just been raided, those inside described how a team of roughly 25 officers had barged into their homes with masks and black swat gear, holding large semi-automatic rifles, and ordered them to lie on the floor, where they were handcuffed and ordered not to move. The officers refused to state why they were there and, until the very end, refused to show whether they had a search warrant. They were forced to remain on the floor for 45 minutes while the officers took away the laptops, computers, individual journals, and political materials kept in the house. One of the individuals renting the house, an 18-year-old woman, was extremely shaken as she and others described how the officers were deliberately making intimidating statements such as “Do you have Terminator ready?” as they lay on the floor in handcuffs. The 10 or so individuals in the house all said that though they found the experience very jarring, they still intended to protest against the GOP Convention, and several said that being subjected to raids of that sort made them more emboldened than ever to do so.

To see that video and read the rest, go here