September 09, 2009

Minnesota Politics with National Implications

I'm worthless for writing today, but one of the joys of a group blog is that you can let your co-bloggers take some of the pressure off. Mine have been picking up my slack for a while, but this week, they've outdone themselves.

Mike described the pandering to teabaggers that went on at a health care reform town hall--run by a Democrat.

Betty McCollum did a lot of assuring and comforting of conservatives in the crowd–that the bill would not damage them in any way, that there would be no “death panels,” that the special needs patients wouldn’t have to beg a panel for care, that they would be able to stay with their current plan, that Medicare would be fixed so that Minnesota hospitals are no longer punished for being efficient. She didn’t say anything to show those of us who had campaigned and doorknocked and phone-banked to help Democrats get elected in November that we were going to be heard this September. She didn’t say anything about fighting for a public option, let alone the one fix that would actually take care of the problems, single-payer health care, such as the type that our top competitors on the world market offer.

This post is a follow-up to his report on attending Michele Bachmann's town hall meeting.

Greg has a post up that I wish I'd written. No way I could have, of course, but there it is.

I love this video. I love the kids who made it. I love the message it gives and the way it is given.

But the Saint Paul Police Department saw it differently.

We now know, because of the release of previously secreted information and some excellent reporting at MinnPost, that this video was the primary piece of evidence used by the police to argue before judges, city officials, state officials, and federal authorities that they needed funding, warrants, and overall administrative support as well as coordination at the federal and state level to spend $300,000 invading several homes, harassing several people, confiscating truckloads of stuff that police claimed was either evidence or dangerous materials, and ultimately arresting over 800 people.

OK, have you stopped laughing? Have you stopped screaming? Have you cleared the tears from your eyes? Yes, it is true. This video scared the authorities into spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to carry out dozens of blatantly unconstitutional acts and hundreds of inappropriate activities. Thousands of law enforcement officials were involved. It was almost like a municipally organized pogrom pitting the police against the populous. The mayor of Saint Paul and the chief of police saw this video, shat in their pants, and the smell is still ripe.

Go see what he has to say.

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