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Archive for January 12th, 2011

Obama Arizona Memorial Speech: FULL TEXT

AP/The Huffington Post

First Posted: 01/12/11 08:46 PM Updated: 01/12/11 09:10 PM

As released by the White House, below are President Obama’s prepared remarks for his speech at the Arizona memorial:

To the families of those we’ve lost; to all who called them friends; to the students of this university, the public servants gathered tonight, and the people of Tucson and Arizona: I have come here tonight as an American who, like all Americans, kneels to pray with you today, and will stand by you tomorrow.

There is nothing I can say that will fill the sudden hole torn in your hearts. But know this: the hopes of a nation are here tonight. We mourn with you for the fallen. We join you in your grief. And we add our faith to yours that Representative Gabrielle Giffords and the other living victims of this tragedy pull through. 

As Scripture tells us:

There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy place where the Most High dwells.
God is within her, she will not fall;
God will help her at break of day.

On Saturday morning, Gabby, her staff, and many of her constituents gathered outside a supermarket to exercise their right to peaceful assembly and free speech. They were fulfilling a central tenet of the democracy envisioned by our founders – representatives of the people answering to their constituents, so as to carry their concerns to our nation’s capital. Gabby called it “Congress on Your Corner” – just an updated version of government of and by and for the people.

That is the quintessentially American scene that was shattered by a gunman’s bullets. And the six people who lost their lives on Saturday – they too represented what is best in America.

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Following Sarah Palin’s videotaped statement today, let there be no doubt about her total lack of seriousness — a character trait, in fact, that’s utterly dwarfed by her chronic inability to construct prepared, teleprompter-presented remarks without virtually choking on her own tongue.

Sarah Palin could have used her time to be a leader — to take the high road and talk about the heroes and the victims of this terrorist attack. She could have used the time to discuss responsible gun ownership. She could have taken the time to address her people and mitigate the anger and political hatred that’s bubbled up around this tragedy. Instead, she diminished the tragedy by conflating it with the attacks against her and her record of inflammatory statements.

And, along the same line, arguably the biggest gaffe of today’s narcissistic word salad was her use of the phrase “blood libel.” So not only did she opt to whine about her critics on a day when real heroes and real victims will be memorialized, but she also compared the criticism and stress she’s endured throughout the last four days to thousands of years of anti-Semitic religious persecution endured by Jews.

Can you imagine how she’ll react in a crisis should everyone go insane and elevate her to the White House? “Rachel Maddow is committing a holocaust against me. Wah! Feel sorry for me! Oh, and by the way, we’re invading Mexico. God Bless America. And my life is as tragic as a German Jew in 1943, also. Good night!”

The histrionics are staggering, especially for someone who wants to be taken seriously as a potential candidate for national office. Though, in her defense, it’s very likely she didn’t write this speech. So whoever included “blood libel” in the text had to have understood the meaning — even if she didn’t. After all, it’s not a phrase that pops up in normal conversation or within the average political address.

She’s clearly been taking seriously the e-mail Glenn Beck sent to her following the shootings, in which he implied that she’s the victim in all of this, and how she ought to hire his personal security firm, because if she’s ever taken out, it could mean “the end of the republic.”

At no other point in her address were Beck’s phony-baloney, maudlin dramatics more apparent than when she accused the press of inciting violence against her: “Especially within hours of a tragedy unfolding, journalists and pundits should not manufacture a blood libel that serves only to incite the very hatred and violence they purport to condemn.”

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Sarah Palin. (Photo: sskennel)

Poor, Poor Sarah

Wednesday 12 January 2011

Truth Out
by: William Rivers Pitt, t r u t h o u t | Op-Ed

So let me get this straight.

Twenty people were gunned down at a supermarket in Arizona on Saturday. Six were killed, including a nine-year-old girl. Fourteen others were wounded, including Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who was the main target of the attack, and who was shot through the head. She is currently lying in a hospital bed with half of her skull removed because brain swelling from her bullet wound could kill her.

Twenty people shot.

Six killed.

Fourteen wounded.

And guess what?

It appears Sarah Palin is the principal victim of the shooting.

No, really.

Don’t believe me? Watch the video she posted to her Facebook page. There she sits, in front of a fireplace and beside an American flag like some cruel joke on Franklin Delano Roosevelt, wreathing herself in pity because people are coming to the conclusion that politicians like her – the ones who have spent the last two years talking about guns and civil war and reloading and such – should bear some of the blame for what happened in Arizona.

How on Earth could anyone come to such an irresponsible and reprehensible conclusion?

Hm

In a message posted on her Facebook page Sunday afternoon, Sarah Palin reiterated her call for supporters to “reload” in the battle against health care reform, a term that provoked controversy last week after critics accused her of inciting violence against members of Congress. Presenting her message as an exhortation to college basketball teams competing in March Madness, Palin stood her ground in using firearm imagery against the administration.

The crossfire is intense, so penetrate through enemy territory by bombing through the press, and use your strong weapons – your Big Guns – to drive to the hole. Shoot with accuracy; aim high and remember it takes blood, sweat and tears to win,” Palin wrote. In the headline of her update, she mockingly predicted that the message would be “subject to new politically correct language police censorship.”

(Emphasis added)

That was supposed to be about basketball, and as usual, all sorts of mean people jumped up and down on her for once again vomiting gun-violence rhetoric into the political debate. Yup, she was the victim then, and is now the victim once again.

Poor, poor Sarah.

Before you start spluttering and staggering in an attempt to comprehend the sheer galactic magnitude of this new round of idiocy – “Who the what the where the when the why the how the what?!” was my initial response – stop a second and remember that this is how people like Sarah Palin operate. This is how they get others to follow them. They make themselves out to be victims, and convince their followers that they, too, are victims.

Limbaugh, Beck, Hannity, Savage, O’Reilly and the rest of the right-wing media machine have turned professional victimhood into a license to print money, and people like Sarah Palin are all too happy to jump on that bandwagon. You’re losing your country, your rights, your guns, your family, your religion, the sanctity of your marriage, the supremacy of your heterosexuality, my God, you’re losing Christmas, for the love of God! You’re losing everything (…psssst…they’re talking to White Christians when they say this stuff, by the way, which just cracks me all the way up…), and if you don’t “take up arms” to stop it, well, it will just make the Baby Jesus weep bitter, bitter tears.

Speaking of “taking up arms,” here is Palin’s explanation for such rhetoric: “When we say ‘take up our arms,’ we are talking about our vote.”

Of course. How could we have missed such an obvious reference? Silly us.

Poor, poor Sarah.

MORE HERE

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After Giffords Shooting, Several AZ Republicans Resign Amid Fears of Tea Party Violence

By Lauren Kelley | Sourced from AlterNet

Posted at January 12, 2011, 9:26 am

What the Arizona Republic calls a “nasty little battle” has broken out among Republican members of Arizona’s Legislative District 20 in the wake of the Gabrielle Giffords shooting. Several Republicans have resigned, citing fears that local Tea Party supporters will harm them or their families for not being conservative enough.

Now-former Chairman Anthony Miller was among those to resign. A former campaign worker for Sen. John McCain, Miller sent an email to state Republican Party Chairman Randy Pullen just hours after Saturday’s shooting, saying, “Today my wife of 20 yrs ask (sic) me do I think that my PCs (Precinct Committee members) will shoot at our home? So with this being said I am stepping down from LD20GOP Chairman…I will make a full statement on Monday.”

Miller said he faced “constant verbal attacks” from the Tea Party after being elected to his second term last month. Many of those attacks centered around Miller’s involvement with McCain’s bid last year against Tea Party darling J.D. Hayworth.

 

 

The first and only African-American to hold the party’s precinct chairmanship, Miller said he has been called “McCain’s boy,” and during the campaign saw a critic form his hand in the shape of a gun and point it at him.

“I wasn’t going to resign but decided to quit after what happened Saturday,” Miller said. “I love the Republican Party but I don’t want to take a bullet for anyone.”

 

 

After Miller’s announcement, three other District 20 Republicans quit: newly-elected secretary Sophia Johnson, first vice chairman Roger Dickinson and former district spokesman Jeff Kolb, who said in an email, “This singular focus on ‘getting’ Anthony [Miller] was one of the main reasons I chose to resign.”

SOURCE

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Clyburn: Palin ‘Intellectually’ Incapable Of Understanding Arizona Shootings

Huffington Post- Sam Stein
First Posted: 01-12-11 09:47 AM   |   Updated: 01-12-11 09:53 AM

WASHINGTON — Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin’s first spoken words on the shootings in Tucson, Ariz. — a lengthy denunciation of both violence and pundits who are “manufacturing a blood libel” — was more an effort in media critique than post-tragedy reconciliation.

And in the immediate aftermath, the reaction to it was a bit of incredulity, shock or simple confusion. Assistant House Minority Leader James Clyburn (D-S.C.) became one of the first lawmakers to weigh in Wednesday morning.

“You know, Sarah Palin just can’t seem to get it, on any front. I think that she’s an attractive person, she is articulate,” Clyburn said on Bill Press’ radio show. “But I think intellectually, she seems not to be able to understand what’s going on here.”

Clyburn’s comments were tame compared to the chilly reception and head-scratching that Palin’s statement received on the Internet and cable, where the anti-Semitic roots of the term “blood libel” did not go unnoticed.

“Whether it was her intention or not today, she is feeding the beast of what has really been a pretty nasty ideological finger-pointing fight that we have been watching on Twitter and the Internet and on some forms of cable television,” NBC News’ Chuck Todd said on MSNBC.

“There was some sympathy for Palin over being tied to shooting, + she chose to go inflammatory,” The Daily Beast’s Howard Kurtz wrote via Twitter.

All of which should serve as a telling backdrop for President Barack Obama as he takes center stage during the memorial service for the shooting victims on Wednesday evening. Whereas the defining tone from Palin and others is one of self-defense and even victimization — former Nevada Senate candidate Sharron Angle accused her critics of being “dangerous and ignorant” on Tuesday — Obama is likely to stick with his default positions: projections of civility, calls for unity, pleas for depolarization.

LISTEN HERE

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Terrifying: Gun Sales Surge in Arizona After Shooting

The weapon that let Jared Loughner fire 31 shots is flying off the shelves of Arizona gun stores.

January 11, 2011  |  
 
Saturday’s horrific shooting in Tucson has predictably prompted criticism of the lax gun laws that allowed a guy with documented mental problems to buy a semiautomatic weapon. So, naturally the state’s gun lovers are frantically arming themselves to the teeth, in case stricter gun control (like not letting the mentally ill own assault weapons) is imposed.

Bloomberg reporter Michael Riley talked to an Arizona gun store owner who reported that gun sales surged after Saturday’s shooting. The most popular item? The model of Glock that allowed Jared Loughner to spray 31 bullets into the crowd before being disarmed. FBI data shows gun sales in Arizona jumped 60 percent on January 10 compared to that day last year, and 5 percent nationally.

MORE HERE
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Glock Pistol Sales Up After Arizona Shootings

Huffington Post- Jason Linkins

First Posted: 01/11/11 03:33 PM  Updated: 01/12/11 09:47 AM

Hey, everyone. Not to unnerve you, but apparently, days after a madman went on a murdery rampage with a Glock in Arizona, Arizonans are heading to gun stores in droves to purchase the very same weapon used by Jared Lee Loughner. It’s as good an example as anything to demonstrate that there really is no such thing as bad publicity, only an implacable, gnawing cynicism that permeates our existence and sends us, sobbing, into a fetal position.

Michael Riley from Bloomberg News documents how we at last have stimulated some aggregate demand in something!

After a Glock-wielding gunman killed six people at a Tucson shopping center on Jan. 8, Greg Wolff, the owner of two Arizona gun shops, told his manager to get ready for a stampede of new customers.Wolff was right. Instead of hurting sales, the massacre had the $499 semi-automatic pistols — popular with police, sport shooters and gangsters — flying out the doors of his Glockmeister stores in Mesa and Phoenix.

“We’re at double our volume over what we usually do,” Wolff said two days after the shooting spree that also left 14 wounded, including Democratic Representative Gabrielle Giffords, who remains in critical condition.

MORE HERE

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