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Amy Goodman (Democracy Now!) Arrested at RNC

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Minneapolis and St Paul police are apparently on a rampage. Many houses and a theater were raided yesterday and today in advance of the Republican National Convention. Most of these appear to be places where independent journalists were housed. Many, including a lawyer representing them, handcuffed, some made to lie on the ground, their property searched, and then the police left – taking nothing, arresting no one.

One of my own heroes, Amy Goodman of DemocracyNow! was arrested today for “Conspiracy to Riot.” The arrest is documented in the video.  It is both sad and outrageous.

More on this tomorrow.

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Written by Monte

September 1, 2008 at 9:59 pm

Posted in News, Politics

London Times pokes “unreconstructed underbelly” of GOP

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photo by

photo by

Racism in “sections” of the GOP grabs international attention. Examples accumulate, highlighted here by the London Times:
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An e-mail sent by a Republican aide, entitled Historical Keepsake Photo, features portraits of the first 43 American presidents in a variety of dignified and statesmanlike poses … the final and 44th panel … displays just a pair of cartoon eyeballs set against an entirely dark background [..]

Diann Jones, a vice-chairman of the Collin County Republican Party in Texas … denounced [bogus] plans for a tax on guns as “another terrific idea from the black house and its minions” […]

Dean Grose, the mayor of Los Alamitos … sent an e-mail to a black businesswoman depicting the White House lawn planted with watermelons […]

[A] member of Florida’s state Republican committee … said. “How can 2,000,000 blacks get into Washington, DC in one day in sub zero temps when 200,000 couldn’t get out of New Orleans in 85 degree temps with four days notice?”

Chip Saltsman, the former Tennessee Republican chairman [and candidate for the RNC chair]  sent friends a Christmas gift of songs by the satirist Paul Shanklin, including the track: “Barack the Magic Negro”.

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The Times goes on to quote Michael Steele, the recently-elected RNC chairman, who sees the problem as GOP officials who “don’t give a damn”.

To them, he said, “outreach means let’s throw a cocktail party, find some black folks and Hispanics and women, wrap our arms around them — ‘See, look at us’. And then we go back to the same old, same old.”

And “same old, same old” means “these things don’t really matter:” Read the rest of this entry »

Washington Post: McCain tax ads “just plain false”

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Sens. Obama and McCain

Sens. Obama and McCain

So the Post blisters Sen. McCain’s most recent ads on tax plans, saying no one “should get to outright lie.” Coming from the Post— more conservative in editorial content than most—it’s an important indictment.

The editorial (“Continuing Deception: Mr. McCain’s ads on taxes are just plain false,” h/t True Conservative) advocates debate on tax policy, then laments: “Instead, the McCain campaign insists on completely misrepresenting Mr. Obama’s plan,” condemning “the phony, misleading and at times outright dishonest debate that the McCain campaign has been waging — most recently with a television ad.”

Perhaps you’ve seen it:

The ad opens with the Obama-as-celebrity theme — “Celebrities don’t have to worry about family budgets, but we sure do,” says the female announcer. “We’re paying more for food and gas, making it harder to save for college, retirement.” Then she sticks it to him: “Obama’s solution? Higher taxes, called ‘a recipe for economic disaster.’ He’s ready to raise your taxes…”

In fact, most of us would pay less under the Obama plan (which the Post calls “the wiser and more fiscally responsible), than with McCain’s.

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The facts? The nonpartisan Tax Policy Center found that the Obama plan would give households in the bottom fifth of the income distribution an average tax cut of 5.5 percent of income ($567) in 2009, while those in the middle fifth would get an average cut of 2.6 percent of income ($1,118).”Your taxes” would go up, yes — but not if you’re someone who is sweating higher gas prices.By contrast, Mr. McCain’s tax plan would give those in the bottom fifth of income an average tax cut of $21 in 2009. The middle fifth would get $325 — less than a third of the Obama cut. The wealthiest taxpayers make out terrifically.
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The Post concludes: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Monte

September 8, 2008 at 12:45 pm

Posted in Politics

DemocracyNow producer arrested again in St Paul!

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Demonstrator in St. Paul

Demonstrator in St. Paul

“You shouldn’t be here!” said the police to the people with cameras and press badges.

“Why not?” one wonders. More that 800 people were arrested this week during the Republican National Convention, including dozens of journalists doing nothing but filming.

Now why would riot police arrest people with television equipment and press passes, throwing them to the ground and cuffing their wrists behind them?  Is this Beijing?

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SHARIF ABDEL KOUDDOUS: [I]t really was a big show of force by the police. You saw these snow plows … a lot of horses, a lot of policemen on bicycles. And they kept blocking each bridge. And the march would move on. They’d block the bridge …
They threw a lot of concussion grenades, a lot of smoke bombs, pepper spray, some teargas …the police basically corralled everyone onto the Marion Street bridge, about 200 people. As soon as we were on the bridge, we realized that we were trapped …
[T]his was a very non-confrontational group of people who were doing this march … They never pushed the cops … They never did anything like that …
I had my Democracy Now! press pass and my RNC pass … we’re sitting amongst a group of about maybe six or eight other camera people, sound people, clearly all press. … I said, “I’m a journalist. I’m press. I’m here filming.” … He goes, “Well, you shouldn’t be here. You should have dispersed.” He arrested me … I told him, “You’ve been telling me to disperse since 5:00 … [if we had left] there would be no press for four hours of this march…
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And one can only imagine what might have happened then.

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Written by Monte

September 6, 2008 at 7:21 pm

Posted in Politics

More on the arrest of Amy Goodman in St Paul

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Goodman Arrested (photo: Democracy Now!)

I wrote of the outrageous arrest of veteran journalist Amy Goodman outside the Republican National Convention a few days ago.  Here’s her account, excerpted from the Pioneer Press’s Twin-Cities Online:

Goodman said she was on the convention floor, interviewing […], when she heard that her producers had been arrested and were bloodied. […] she immediately ran from the Xcel Energy Center to the site of the arrests, in a parking lot […]

“I went up the riot police line. […] I said, ‘I’d like to talk to a commanding officer.’ ”  She […] tried to ask why the producers were under arrest.

“They took me, handcuffed me immediately, said, ‘You’re under arrest,’ “ Goodman said. “They pushed me to the ground. I said, ‘You can clearly see I have all the proper credentials, I have my security clearance for the (convention) floor.’ ” Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Monte

September 4, 2008 at 4:30 pm