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Saturday, January 8, 2011

Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords

Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) and over a dozen others were shot earlier this afternoon. 

At last reports, she was in critical condition and in surgery.  The gunman is in custody but no details on his identity or motive have been released.

The left-blogosphere already is blaming the shooting on Sarah Palin and the Tea Party.  I'll have more on that later. 

For now, my prayers go out for Congresswoman Giffords and the other shooting victims.
Consider this an open thread.


Chief Judge of the U.S. District Court Arizona, John M. Roll, a George H.W. Bush appointee, is confirmed shot. (per FoxNews 4:09, confirmed dead)

The shooter is identified as Jared Laughner (sp?)(update: Loughner).  If anyone can find out something about him, please post in comments.

4 p.m. E.S.T. hospital news conference, 10 patients, 1 dead (young child, 9 years old), 5 in critical.  Congresswoman in critical condition, "very optimistic about recovery" "following commands" "shot one time in head through and through on one side of head" "about as optimistic as one can be in this situation".

It's becoming apparent that the shooter was psychotic and likely not aligned with any political movement, as witnessed by his farewell video on YouTube:

This other video the shooter posted reflects psychosis:

Remember when a deranged environmental activist  took hostages, Media Matters was quick (and correct) to point out the following:

Markos Moulitsas, who founded and runs DailyKos was one of the first to blame Sarah Palin, based on a chart of targeted districts she had on her website several months ago:

Markos must have forgotten that he wrote that Giffords district had a "bulls eye" on it based on Gifford's voting record:

Markos' website also hosted a blog post declaring that Giffords was "dead to me":

As soon as Markos was called out on it, he took down the post [update - the DailyKos blogger who posted it apparently was the one to take it down]:

Matthew Yglesias also has been at it all day, posting links suggesting a connection between the Palin chart and the shooting, but then denying he actually meant to draw a connection when people called him out on it:

It's interesting how all these left-wing bloggers are seizing on a chart from a Palin website without ANY evidence that the shooter ever saw it or acted on it.

Via Verum Serum, here's a chart of Republicans being targeted from the Democratic Leadership Committee website:

For what it's worth, as several commenters note, a women who claims to have known the shooter claims that he was fairly left-wing as of a few years ago:

The 2012 prophecy refers to a Mayan end of times prediction.

I don't blame the guy's left-wing politics, I blame his obvious mental illness, which hopefully will not give him a legal excuse like John Hinckley.

While some of the bloggers at Firedoglake are playing the Palin connection, as least Jane Hamsher seems to have it right (emphasis mine):
He encourages people to read the Constitution in order to “apprehend of the current treasonous laws.” He appears to be more paranoid than political, however, and concludes “The government is implying mind control and brainwash on the people by controlling grammar.”
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  1. I hope she pulls through!

    Funny, but unsurprising, that they're pointing fingers at the Tea Party already, especially considering that the Congresswoman was almost a DINO, going purely by her issues.

  2. The Daily KOS had a rant up until just a few moments ago when it was scrubbed (tons of people, including myself have screenshots though) from a deranged leftist called BoyBlue titled, "My CongressWOMAN voted against Nancy Pelosi! And is now DEAD to me" BoyBlue explains in his rant that he is mentally unstable and had recently shot himself in the face. The rant was posted just two days ago.

  3. Reportedly, she's responsive to commands after the ER surgery. Prayers ascending for her.

  4. Wait for it..

    Wait for it.....

    Pretty soon, the truth will come out that this nutjob shooter is directly associated with some liberal cause, ala the NYC mosque defiler.

  5. Let there be no doubt what should happen to this creep (regardless of his motivation/politics). The ONLY bright side to this is that the scum did it in a death-penalty state.

  6. Why can't the left for once just take a break and show some respect if for no other reason than to show their humanity? Except for Obama's generic all-purpose statement, all of the public calls for prayer and sympathy reported so far have come from Republicans and conservatives. Case closed.

    This is a really sad day.

  7. I am of course, praying for her and the others harmed, and for their families, but I did have the presence of mind to get a screenshot of that violent rant against her at the Daily KOS posted two days ago, before it was scrubbed from the site. I posted it to a page I run on facebook if you want to see it:

  8. @Matt: Congresswoman Giffords was strong on border control, immigration enforcement and voted against Pelosi for Speaker the other day. She is not a rabid liberal. Her campaign office was also attacked over her opposition to Obamacare. So there are lots of reasons to suspect everything from a random nut shooting to a drug-cartel related assassination.

    It would make no sense for a Tea Party soccer mom or a Muslim terrorist to be suspected in this. Let's wait and see.

  9. Palin had a gun-sight taget on Congresswoman Giffords' name.

  10. Zilla/MJ thanks for posting that sceenshot.

  11. I got one thing wrong in my previous comment: her office attacked over her SUPPORT of Obamacare, not her opposition to it. In any case, there is no justification for this. This is a terrible tragedy.

  12. There appears to be no internet trail on the (alleged) shooter. The name "Laughner" has many associated with it, but no "Jared".

  13. I am seeing comments elsewhere that the alleged shooter had a Myspace page and a YouTube video, but both are gone.

  14. Jared Lee Loughner's Youtube page:


  15. Giffords’ 2010 Congressional opponent Jesse Kelly held a June 12 gun event that was billed as follows on the Pima County Republican website:

    "Get on Target for Victory in November Help remove Gabrielle Giffords from office Shot a fully automatic M15 with Jesse Kelly"

  16. I'm pretty sure the Left is going to read "TEA Party" into that YouTube video.

  17. davemartin7777, how do I say this politely? You are too stupid to even be able to read a map. Giffords district is comprised of 10 counties ON THE BORDER.

    Or do you embarrass yourself on purpose?

  18. @DaveMartin7777 - your trolling is done. go carry DailyKos's water somewhere else. there are plenty of screenshots on the internet of DailyKos writers saying Giffords was "dead to me" and Markos posted that she and others who were targeted by the left for primaries had a "bullseye" on their back. The Kos people are no more responsible for her shooting than Sarah Palin or Tea Parties.

  19. Facebook page of person with shooter's name who live in Tuscon.


    Caution: There's no activity/friends just profile stuff. Could be legit, could be fake.

  20. Twitter went immediately after Palin's website, which had an election map with "targeted" districts in the crosshairs. While fairy tame as a common-enough visual in many a board-room, the map illustration plays incredibly into the Left's hands at this time. It is an unfortunate bit of very bad form, but has nothing to do with what happened today.

  21. Mr. Loughner appears to have been posting on something called the Democratic underground. His views seem psychotic and anarchic.

  22. Here's the nation's "newspaper of record" making sure it connects Sarah Palin to the shooting:

    "During the fall campaign, Sarah Palin, the former Republican vice-presidential candidate, posted a controversial map on her Facebook page depicting spots where Democrats were running for re-election; those Democrats were noted by crosshairs symbols like those seen through the scope of a gun. Ms. Giffords was among those on Ms. Palin’s map."

    The New York Times doesn't explain why this information is relevant to the tragic story, probably because it is not relevant. And this report wasn't from some hackish opinion "journalist" like Paul Krugman. This was in the news account of the event. I expect this kind of stupidity from the left blogs, but the country's "premiere" newspaper?

    I think we can say unequivocally that The New York Times has successfully transformed itself from a news organization into a glorified leftist blog with a grossly overpaid bloated staff.

  23. Just been at other sites where some have mentioned that in Twitter people who knew Loughner have categorically stated that he was a left-wing liberal. He listed in his favourite books Mein Kampf and the Communist Manifesto.

    On top of that it seems that he is schizophrenic. He had issues with smoking pot which could have sent him over the edge and into schizophrenia plus he had alcoholic poisoning.

    I am praying for Gabrielle Giffords, that she will pull through.

  24. The kid is a liberal per classmates. But his rantings sound more psychotic. It wouldn't shock me to hear he gets diagnosed with schizophrenia during the course of this.

  25. Check out this girl's Twitter feed. GMA just called her: http://twitter.com/#!/caitieparker

  26. I am sad that this happened, my prayer's go out to those involved in this shooting. I hope that Gabrielle Giffords and others that were wounded pull through and my condolences go out to the family of the Child.

  27. Please pray for all of the innocent victims and their families involved in the horrific shooting in Arizona earlier today. And when you are done praying for all of the innocent, please pray for the souls of the not so innocent, Paul Krugman for example...

  28. From Pinas County Sheriff:

    No motive at this time and we have not yet spoken to the suspect; yet, this shooting is a result of the vitriol and bigotry in our public discourse on certain tv and talk radio stations.

    Yes my friends, no facts to back up the assertion but throw it out there to see what sticks.

    Mr. Lawman, please keep your personal opinons out of the investigation.

  29. Since I've been following this all day too, I decided to blog about it also and in addition to my screenshot of the memory holed KOS hate piece, I've also posted video of Rep. Gifford because I saw her on TV just yesterday and really thought that she seemed like one of the few decent politicians in this country:
    I am so sad for her, her family, and all of the other innocent people who were harmed by that lunatic today. I am also saddened, but not surprised, to see the leftist machine using their tactics of projection AGAIN to try to paint the right with the negative characteristics that are endemic to the LEFT.

  30. Gifford was on Palin's target list, pictured with crosshairs over her head. The shooter's rhetoric, at least that part of it that wasn't totally incoherent (kinda like your lovely Sarah), could've been right out of a Tea Party speech.

    Sorry kids, this one's yours, just like Timmy McVeigh was yours and David Koresh was yours.

  31. Markos and Daily Kos are loons. But isn't it interesting how Mr Jacobson must dig into the barrel of irresponsible loons over at Kos in order to find a gotcha to balance out Vice Presidential candidate and former half-term Mayor Sarah Palin's placing of a target on Gifford.

    So will all admit that the placing of targets on people is irresponsible? And that Sarah Palin is a loon?

  32. @Captain - I don't think you understand that neither the Kos post nor the Palin post have anything to do with this. The use of terms such as "targeting" or similar rhetoric is pretty common in politics. The reason the Kos post is used is because Markos was first out of the gate to blame Palin, so his hypocrisy was appropriate to point out. The real question is why the entire left blogosphere has blamed Palin when there is zero evidence at this point that the shooter saw the map in question, or was motivate by anything other than his own delusions and demons.

  33. We don't know at this time that the Palin post has anything to do with this.

    There is a difference between the Kos post and the Palin rhetoric. Kos is a set of loons. Palin a Mayor, Governor, Vice Presidential contender, and possible Presidential contender.

    It would be nice if you provide us with your opinion, now that the topic has been broached: Do you believe violent rhetoric should be frowned upon? My own experience is that violent language is a stepping stone to physical violence, even if rare. And in the professional world, violent language should be unacceptable.

    If you think it should be frowned upon, why not say so.

    If you are in a legal contest or similar with another person, would you put a target on them and tell your legal team it's time to reload in the effort to win over them?

  34. I don't think the Palin or Kos postings were calls to violence, or stepping stones. "Targeting" language is very common in political talk as witnessed by the similar Democratic Committee chart with bullseyes. So the legal or other context is not the same. This whole thing is a massive stretch to demonize Palin when there is no evidence to make the connection.

  35. So you think it ok to place targets on political opponents and to tell those who follow your pronouncements to "RELOAD" (when pointing them to your chart with the scope figuratively targeting the opponent)?

    "Targeting" is often informally used. I've not run into many companies that place scopes on their opponents.

    We are not speaking about calls to violence. We are speaking about violent rhetoric.

    I don't think it ok. The democrats apparently placed targets on states. Palin placed a scope on Gifford. I think the scope on Gifford and the request to "RELOAD" is indefensible.

    But you clearly feel differently and are fine with such rhetoric. It certainly provides entertainment for the people who find their entertainment amongst the political discourse that fills the internet.

  36. @Captain, please provide link for Palin use of image of scope over Giffords photo - the only thing I've seen critics link is image of scope over various states, similar to Democratic Committee map with bullseyes.

  37. Since the left is apparently in "ZOMG! SEE WE TOLD U SO!!!!" mode blaming Palin for her rhetoric, why not look at Dear Leader Obama's own targeting rhetoric? Was it not Obama who exhorted his supporters to "get in people's faces" during the healthcare debate?

    Palin according to Captain-Mayor, Governer, Vice Presidential contender, possible Presidential contender, loon.

    Obama-Senator, leader of the Democratic party, first black president...is he also a loon for using pretty much the exact type of language Palin has used? If Palin is responsible for this tragedy because of the language she uses, is Obama not equally as responsible for using the same type of language? Is he more responsible because this psycho identified himself as a liberal?

    The answer, as Prof. Jacobson said, is no. Neither Palin nor Obama are responsible for this tragedy. The only person responsible is the psychotic coward currently sitting in a cell. Here's hoping he gets what's coming to him.

  38. look, there is only one idiot responsible for this shooting; and that is the shooter himself. No one else and their rhetoric is responsible.

    With the loons like this shooter, you could say what a nice sunny day it is and he could find that as the motivation for his actions.

    The guy is crazy and stop looking for outsiders who also bear responsibility.

  39. @Paul Hoffer-

    I hope you got a screenshot of his posts at Democratic Underground. There's a good chance they will take them down if they haven't already.

  40. And by the way, seeing as how one of his favorite books is, I think, the Communist Manifesto, I would think he is far more likely to have been influenced by Markos Moulitsos than by Sarah Palin. Especially if Moulitsos was ranting about Giffords just two days ago.

  41. Mr Jacobson: I'm referring to the photo we've all seen, of a scope on the state of Arizona and Gifford's name below in the list of targets. That's all. And Palin's tweet announcing this chart, telling her followers they should look at it and "RELOAD."

    That's all. Nothing new. Palin is not to blame for this. But my point is that the violent rhetoric should be unacceptable from left or right.

    I understand this post is about the efforts to blame Palin. Fine. But this is still an opportunity to denounce violent rhetoric from all avenues.

    BTW: Get in their face and scope/RELOAD seem different. Maybe just me.

  42. My heartfelt prayers that Rep Gifford is wholly healed. She has a tough fight ahead of her, and we are pulling for her.

    Condolences to Justice Rolls, who had had to rely on police protection due to death threats against him in 2009.

    “Judge Roll’s judicial service was terminated on January 8th, 2011, due to death”.


    According to local news reports, the little girl who died was born on Sept 11, 2001 -- and was part of her student government.


    I am shocked and dismayed at the crass attempt to politicize this, and the reflexive excoriation of the Left. Shameless and tasteless.

    It is all too reminiscent of the Beltway sniping incident, which our family had to endure. Countless hours were wasted looking for an "angry, white man driving a white contractor van" based on similar rush-to-judgments and assumptions based on convenient biases.

    We all know how that turned out.

    Sadly, if the reports are true, this individual exhibited behavior that was a warning that he was deeply disturbed -- even to the point of getting expelled from a class at Pima Community College.


    It will be a compounded tragedy if these reports of a pattern of disturbed behavior are true, and nothing was done about it.

    It is a chilling reminder of another case of an individual with a history of mental instability who was allowed to remain at large to the detriment of innocent people unaware that they had a dangerous person in their midst.


    Clearly, we need to revisit how we deal with unstable individuals -- and whether or not their right to "privacy" trumps the right of the public at large to "live".

  43. @Capt Quirk:
    What evidence do you have that "violent rhetoric" as you frame it, had ANYTHING to do with this tragedy?

    We have NO idea what is going on in the mind of the alleged shooter; what his motives were; what (if anything) inspired him. NONE.

    Anything else is conjecture, and, IMO, projection.

    (Addendum: word verify - "anger".)

  44. ANYONE using this tragedy to score political points should be ashamed.

  45. Captain Quirk
    It's you. During an election year, military and hunting as well as intelligence terminology are being used by both sides to direct their supporters where they need them to be. For Sarah Palin with that crosshair on Arizona, the target was the Congressional seat in which Gifford successfully held. The cross hair is nothing more than a way to tell supporters in Arizona the importance in winning that Congressional district for the Republicans. It does not imply or suggest harm to Rep Gifford's person.

    The same cannot be said of Obama when he utters gangster terms to his supporters and those are basically much more direct and can be implied as telling his supporters to threaten,wound or even kill his political rivals and supporters. But everybody understood( hopefully) that he wants his supporters to not only hang tough but also willing to go toe to toe against their political opponents.

    Captain Quirk, let me tell you something, do you remember that horrifying picture in which the photographer shot his very last photograph that included his killer pointing a gun at him. I grew up in that country and I know what true violent rhetoric really means. Crosshairs are for amateurs.

  46. "If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun." - Barack H. Obama

    I eagerly await liberal denunciation of this violent rhetoric.

  47. Palin rushed to her Facebook to comment on the incident, and her comment is being cited alongside official statements by the president and the speaker on sites like RedState. If she wants to make political capital from these kinds of events she can hardly complain if she cops some criticism in return.

  48. @Not,

    it seems to me luvie that you are using outdated talking points. McVeigh was a left-wing individual,and in fact McVeigh was not even a Christian because he had renounced his faith. On top of that you continue to ignore John Doe #3 who just happens to be a man of Middle Eastern appearance... oops!!

    The same is true about David Koresh, who was also a left wing individual rather than a right winger, but we need to get a few facts straight about Koresh. He was a Sovereign Citizen - one who believes in individual rights to the point of despising government. From what I have read about that whole sad saga, there was no need for the seige. They could have captured Koresh when he went for food. The blame for what took place rests with Janet Reno, not David Koresh.

    David Koresh was a leader of a cult. Whilst it had the outward appearance of being Christian, a cult is no such thing, since the leader becomes like a god to the followers. So, yes, I know about the Branch Davidian sect and its links to the SDA.

    Even so the fact that Koresh was a Sovereign Citizen, just like McVeigh was a Sovereign Citizen trumps everything. This is usually an inidcation of anarchy, which is not a right wing (or rather a middle of the road TEA movement) trait. Anarchists are clearly on the left and from what I have learned about the Sovereign Citizens they are left wing, not of the right.

  49. One point that I have made is that the perpetrator seemed to be a schizophrenic.

    In the past I have had a lot of contact with people who were mentally ill, and many of them were schizophrenic, whilst others were manic-depressives.

    Several of those who had mental illness had links to smoking pot. In a few cases the smoking of pot helped to send them over the edge and into schizophrenia.

    Whether people like to admit the truth or not, there is a link to mental illness when people do drugs, and that link exists for pot smokers.

    Some of the people spoke about their hallucinations, and their episodes prior to them being placed in a mental hospital for treatment. They had a tendency to be paranoid.

    There were others who had no such link to smoking pot, but they were paranoid for other reasons.

  50. 11. "If you push a negative hard and deep enough, it will break through into its counterside... every positive has its negative."

    12. "The price of a successful attack is a constructive alternative."

    13. Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it. In conflict tactics there are certain rules that [should be regarded] as universalities. One is that the opposition must be singled out as the target and 'frozen.'...

    "...any target can always say, 'Why do you center on me when there are others to blame as well?' When your 'freeze the target,' you disregard these [rational but distracting] arguments.... Then, as you zero in and freeze your target and carry out your attack, all the 'others' come out of the woodwork very soon. They become visible by their support of the target...'

    "One acts decisively only in the conviction that all the angels are on one side and all the devils on the other." (pps.127-134)
    Rules for Radicals

    And so the meme will be, it's all the right's fault. And a nice side benefit will be another successful character assassination of Sarah Palin.

    "Never let a serious crisis go to waste" Rahm Emanuel

  51. Where do memes and Alinskyite talking points come from?


    This is a screen grab taken just after the tragic Giffords shooting. Note the tweet from Democracy Now, the socialist radio group, and Felix Salmon, Journolister and Reuters finance blogger located about two thirds down the list.
    You can use your mouse to enlarge the image.

    "Sarah Palin literally put a gun sight on Rep Giffords"

  52. MSNBC talks to Rep. Gabrielle Gifford about the death threats, vandalism and harassments she endured. Aired 3/25/10:

    'Sarah Palin has the crosshairs of a gun sight over our district and when people do that, they’ve gotta realize there are consequences to that action.'"

  53. Moulitsas did not remove the post from Daily Kos member BoyBlue referenced above. The user took the post down himself.

    Kindly correct.