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Archive for January 10th, 2011

Forgive me my delicate sensibilities

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 10th, 2011 5:49 am by HL

Forgive me my delicate sensibilities
The Second Amendment is not the problem, it is the unhealthy fetish about guns that is.

In a middle-aged person’s lifetime we Democrats have managed to see, just to point out a few things, two Kennedy Brothers and Martin Luther King, Jr. assassinated, the murders of several physicians who performed abortions, and now this. A little fact that makes it rather understandable some of us have a problem, not with the Second Amendment as written, but rather the unhealthy obsessive love affair too many people have with it. It’s a legal document, not your mother/binky/savior/God/manhood.

Michael Moore made a trenchant point about this seeming fetish with “bullet” fashion that applies to its most notable current adherent Sarah Palin:

I think it would be safe to say we’d also immediately see irrational blog posts and tweets from many on the right with overblown responses favoring crushing every available Constitutional right and privilege…except the Second Amendment, of course.

So I guess it would be another day ending in “Y”.


Gabrielle Giffords: Tragic Prophet

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 10th, 2011 5:48 am by HL

Gabrielle Giffords: Tragic Prophet
There is one commentator whose words should enlighten us on the meaning of Saturday’s shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and the savage murders that took the lives of, among others, a federal judge and a 9-year-old girl. The person is Giffords herself.

By E.J. Dionne, Jr.

There is one commentator whose words should enlighten us on the meaning of Saturday’s shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and the savage murders that took the lives of, among others, a federal judge and a 9-year-old girl. The person is Giffords herself.


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Roger Hickey: Getting Beyond Sound-Bite Wars? Urge Daley and Sperling to Help Obama Lead — Like Clinton Did

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 10th, 2011 5:47 am by HL

Roger Hickey: Getting Beyond Sound-Bite Wars? Urge Daley and Sperling to Help Obama Lead — Like Clinton Did
The first thing Daley and Sperling need to do is rally the Obama administration to defend Social Security and Medicare. If they can’t, the Democratic Party will fracture.

Mark Potok: Who is Jared Lee Loughner?
At this early stage, I think Loughner is probably best described as a mentally ill or unstable person who was influenced by the rhetoric and demonizing propaganda around him.

Megyn Kelly Debates AZ Sheriff About His Comments On Shooting
Fox News’ Megyn Kelly debated Sheriff Clarence Dupnik, the man leading the investigation into the shooting in Arizona, about the sheriff’s recent comments about what…

HuffPost Radio: Both Sides Now w/ Huffington & Matalin: 2011 Predictions; Issa, Oprah, Vick and Facebook
This week, Mary thought that repeal of “Obamacare” drove the elections and should be the first item on the House floor, while Arianna asked of Boehner: Where are the jobs?

Mark Goulston, M.D.: Understanding The Arizona Shooter From The Inside Out
From listening to many suicidal and rageful/violent people and hearing information similar to what we are beginning to learn about Loughner, I believe that four factors may have contributed to his actions.


Obama Sends FBI Director Robert Mueller to Scene Of Gifford Shootings

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 10th, 2011 5:46 am by HL

Obama Sends FBI Director Robert Mueller to Scene Of Gifford Shootings
Federal Bureau of Investigation Director Bob Mueller is in route to the scene of the shootings in Arizona where Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D) and 17 others were injured, President Barack Obama said at a news conference on Saturday afternoon.


Judiciary Chair Passes Over Far-Right King For Immigration Subcommittee
The new chair of the House Judiciary Committee has passed over Rep. Steve King (R-IA), the super-conservative hard-line immigration foe, for chairman of the immigration subcommittee.


YOS Productions Presents…

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 10th, 2011 5:42 am by HL

YOS Productions Presents…
You will never kill, torture or imprison enough terrorists to end terrorism. But by doing so you can certainly create smarter terrorists, more determined terrorists and more terrorists than you had before. Glen Beck has met the enemy of all America. And he is him. Groups like al Qaeda create fear and a willingness to sacrifice […]


Quote of the Day

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 10th, 2011 5:41 am by HL

Quote of the Day
“The ubiquitous nature of the Internet means that not only threats but also hate speech and other inciteful speech is much more readily available to individuals than quite clearly it was 8 or 10 or 15 years ago. That absolutely presents a challenge for us, particularly when it results in what would be lone wolves or lone offenders undertaking attacks.”

— FBI Director Robert Mueller, quoted by the New York Times.

Bullseyes vs. Crosshairs
“With a long list of enemies, a taste for incendiary rhetoric and responsibility for a campaign website graphic that placed gunsight logos on a map of targeted congressional districts, it didn’t take long for Sarah Palin to get pulled into the orbit of Saturday’s massacre in Tucson,” Politico reports.

John Gruber: “Much attention is now being paid to the gunsight crosshair imagery Sarah Palin used to target 20 congresspeople last year, including Gabrielle Giffords. Some of those defending Palin are pointing to this image from the Democratic Leadership Council after the 2004 election. It uses a bull’s-eye to mark “target” states in the then-next presidential election. In a nation like ours, with its history of political assassinations by gun violence, I don’t like that imagery, either. But there are some significant differences.

Tommy Christopher: “A bullseye is commonly associated with target practice, and as such, the bullseye itself is the inert, nonliving target. Crosshairs, on the other hand, represent the mechanism by which a target is acquired and killed. It is also an image that resonates in popular culture through countless repetitions, in films and television shows, of the assassin’s POV shot. That the intent was to evoke something like a bullseye (only way tougher), and not the spectre of assassination, is an obvious, yet moot, point. Once that reasonable objection was raised, the image should have been abandoned.”


Yitzhak, Rafik, and Salman

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 10th, 2011 5:40 am by HL

Yitzhak, Rafik, and Salman
When I was a kid, there was this song by Dion, “Abraham, Martin, and John” — an elegy to Abe Lincoln, MLK, and JFK, leaders assassinated before their work was done, obviously. Readers of a certain age are sure to…

Bil’in: Deadly Political Theater
Friday afternoon in Bil’in. I have to say I left the demonstration feeling more perplexed than inspired, given the many deaths the cause has occasioned. I left, that is, wondering if I had not just participated in something so highly…

Arab Nazareth, Israeli Democracy–Bundist Dreams
A little over three weeks ago (around the time this blogger went quiet, in this season of reflection), Sidra and I took a little road trip to the Israeli Arab town of Nazareth, where we spent the weekend in a…



Flashback: Giffords Was One Of Two AZ Reps Who Protested Brewer?s Medicaid Cuts

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 10th, 2011 5:39 am by HL

Flashback: Giffords Was One Of Two AZ Reps Who Protested Brewer?s Medicaid Cuts

As ThinkProgress previously reported, at least two Arizonans have died because they were denied funding for organ transplants that they were promised following Medicaid budget cuts championed by Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R). The governor called the transplants “optional.”

Horrified by the fact that 98 Arizonans were unable to get organ transplants they desperately needed, last month Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) joined with Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ) to be the only two members of that state’s congressional delegation to write to Brewer and protest the lethal cuts to the state’s budget. Citing the case of Arizonan father David Hernandez, who will die if he doesn’t receive a lung transplant, the two reminded Brewer that she holds in her “hands the lives of these men and women“:

Various reports have quoted you and others in Arizona state government as describing transplants as “optional.” We strongly disagree with that characterization for medical procedures that determine the life or death of our fellow Arizonans.

We urge you — in the strongest possible way — not to solve the state’s budget problems on the backs of people such as David Hernandez. You hold in your hands the lives of these men and women of Arizona.

Following the letter, a spokesman for Brewer told local news station KGUN that he has yet to see a “Democrat come up a real, viable solution to help alleviate the budget and sustain the program.” Since that time, Steven Daglas — an Illinois State GOP Central Committeeman — has been writing to Brewer, presenting 26 possible funding solutions to the Medicaid problem that wouldn’t require any new revenues. He has yet to receive a response.

Alexander Refuses To Condemn Palin?s Cross-Hairs Map, Urges Media Not To Talk About It

Yesterday, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) was shot at a campaign event in Tuscon by a deranged gunman who also fired at twenty other people, killing six, including a federal judge and a nine year-old girl. Police have a suspect in custody — 22 year-old Jared Lee Loughner — who in one of his internet posting “suggested that the government was trying to trick him, or take advantage of him.”

Last year, Sarah Palin’s political action committee posted a map with gun cross-hairs over the districts of several Democrats who voted for health care reform, including that of Giffords. Last year, Giffords herself warned that such a depiction may have consequences. “For example, we’re on Sarah Palin’s targeted list, but the thing is, the way she has it depicted, we’re in the crosshairs of a gun sight over our district,” Giffords said. “When people do that, they’ve got to realize that there are consequences to that action.” The image appears to have been taken down yesterday.

Today, Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) was asked by CNN’s Candy Crowley about Palin’s ad, and responded that it was actually those referencing the ad that are being “irresponsible”:

CROWLEY: Was it over the line, sort of specifically, since it’s now being talked about everywhere, with Sarah Palin’s web ads about people that she would like to see targeted for political defeat.

ALEXANDER: Well, Candy, I think you’re responsible, by bringing this up, of doing the very thing you’re trying to condemn. You’re making and implying a direct connection between Sarah Palin and what happened. You’re picking out a particular incident. Well, I think the way to get away from it is for you not to be talking about it.

Watch it:

Palin yesterday offered her “sincere condolences” but her aides have bristled at the notion that Palin’s cross-hairs might have influenced violent actions. In fact, they now deny the image was meant to symbolize a gun-sight at all. “We never ever, ever intended it to be gun sights,” said Palin aide Rebecca Mansour, adding that there was “nothing irresponsible about our graphic.”

Alexander is not the only senator dismissive of the notion that overheated political rhetoric may have played a role in the shooting. Also on CNN, Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) blamed a “breakdown in the family structure.”

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) , meanwhile, said that “putting cross-hairs on congressional districts…invite the kinds of toxic rhetoric that lead unstable people to believe this is an acceptable response.” On Fox News Sunday, Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC) noted that Palin wasn’t the only one using gun-related rhetoric during the campaign, referencing Sharron Angle’s pronouncement that “Second Amendment remedies” may be needed to reverse the course of Congress. Last April, former President Bill Clinton recommended that both the media and politicians be responsible with their rhetoric since it falls on the “serious and the delirious alike.”


As Arctic melts, U.S. ill-positioned to tap resources

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 10th, 2011 5:38 am by HL

As Arctic melts, U.S. ill-positioned to tap resources
KODIAK, ALASKA – Flying over the Arctic Circle, the Coast Guard C130 rumbled as it alternated between 500 and 2,500 feet, its high-tech equipment quietly observing the thickness and stretch of ice along Alaska’s northern border.


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Giffords shooting prompts calls for more security
In the wake of the shooting that critically wounded Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) and killed one of her aides, a federal judge and four others, U.S. Capitol Police spent the weekend fielding calls from lawmakers with concerns over potential threats and questions about what more should be done…


U.S. sees evidence of assassination plot
TUCSON – Federal authorities filed murder charges Sunday against 22-year-old Jared Loughner, as new evidence suggested the alleged gunman in Saturday’s rampage had fixated on Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) while his mental health deteriorated.


Let Obama’s Reagan Revolution Begin

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 10th, 2011 5:31 am by HL

Let Obama’s Reagan Revolution Begin
Frank Rich, New York Times
BARACK OBAMA’S Christmas resurrection was so miraculous that even a birther or two may start believing the guy is a Christian.Nothing captured the president’s sudden reversal of fortune more vividly than the Linda Blair-like head spin of the conservative pundit Charles Krauthammer, who pronounced the Obama agenda “dead” on Fox News on Nov. 3 only to lead the bipartisan media hordes anointing him “the new comeback kid” six weeks later.

States Rattle Cups

The Unseemly Rush to Blame Palin & Tea Party
Toby Harnden, Telegraph
Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona, by all accounts an outstanding public servant and person, is battling for her life in hospital after being shot by a 22-year-old man at close range at a “Congress On Your Corner” event in her home district. Six people are dead, including a judge and a girl of nine, and a dozen others are being treated for their wounds.It is, as President Barack Obama said, an “unspeakable tragedy”. It is also, as he added, “a senseless and terrible act of violence has no place in a free society”.