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    Gabrielle Giffords Shooting – Updates

    Gabrielle Giffords Shooting – Updates

    I watched the medical team press conference at noon.  I have to say, I remain so impressed with the professionalism and determination of the medical trauma teams at the University Medical Center in Tucson, and elsewhere.  It is comforting to know that even in a mid-sized city such as Tucson, such trauma teams are available.  Of course, the reason such teams exist and are so competent at dealing with gunshot wounds is the legacy of gang and other violence in cities.

    Robert Muller, FBI Director, also just held a press conference, ending at about 1:20 p.m.  Here are some highlights, in the order they appeared in the conference (my paraphrase, not quotes)

    Formal charges expected this afternoon against Jared Loughner.  Still trying to determine if anyone else involved, still investigating.  No information at this time to suggest any specific threat remains.

    As to motive, too early to speculate.  Filing in federal court this afternoon may elaborate.  Weapon purchased in November 2010.  Photo of individual released appeared to be entering the Safeway with Loughner, but no belief that the person was a participant.  Suspicious package found did not contain any explosives, but not sure why it was left near Giffords’ office. 

    Has seen allusion to American Rennaisance group in the media, but still investigating.  Premature to say motivations of individual or to draw inferences from generalized hate speech on internet, particularly for lone wolves or lone offenders. 

    Appears Giffords was the target.  Possible future charges under domestic terrorism statute.

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    Don't let Sheriff Dupnik off the hook.
    His partisan actions have been repugnant and deserving of our derision and contempt.

    Is the Journolist alive and well? In any event they have succeeded, quite brilliantly, in spinning the blame for the Giffords tragedy onto the shoulders of Sarah Palin. I was driving around today and heard CBS News on the radio, which led with with the Giffords story each broadcast. And as part of the lede story, heard by millions, CBS claimed that Sarah Palin targeted Gabrielle Giffords.

    Ezra Klein, Washington Post, Journolister: "Sarah Palin's call to "Commonsense Conservatives and lovers of America: Don't retreat, Instead — RELOAD!" That was linked to a map in which gunsights were placed on the districts of various vulnerable Democrats. One of them was Rep. Gabrielle Giffords's. "It's time to take a stand" was written across the top of the map."

    Paul Krugman, New York Times, Journolister: "Giffords' father says that “the whole Tea Party” was her enemy. And yes, she was on Sarah Palin’s infamous “crosshairs” list."

    Felix Salmon, Reuters, Journolister: "Sarah Palin literally put a gun sight on Rep Giffords"

    Matthew Yglesias, Center for American Progress, Journolister: "Sarah Palin shouldn't politicize this by pulling down her web page showing a rifle target over Gabby Giffords." Retweeted by mattyglesias and 100+ others
    "SarahPalinUSA Commonsense Conservatives & lovers of America: "Don't Retreat, Instead – RELOAD!" Retweeted by mattyglesias and 100+ others

    Dave Weigel, Slate and MSNBC, Journolister:
    "Fox News streams video from AZ vigil, cuts when dude says "and WHY, Sarah Palin…"

    Brad DeLong, Department of Economics, U.C. Berkeley, Journolister: "Gabrielle Giffords: MSNBC talks to Rep. Gabrielle Gifford about the death threats, vandalism and harassments.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.”

    Whatever the left has done equally in this regard has disappeared down the memory hole.

    I expect the next trick will be to try and pin Jared Lee Loughner, a Kerry supporter in the 2004 election, to the right. The "leaked" Homeland Security document "connecting" Loughner to white supremacists might be the beginning of that campaign.

    "One veteran Democratic operative, who blames overheated rhetoric for the shooting, said President Barack Obama should carefully but forcefully do what his predecessor did. “They need to deftly pin this on the tea partiers,” said the Democrat. “Just like the Clinton White House deftly pinned the Oklahoma City bombing on the militia and anti-government people.”

    Another Democratic strategist said the similarity is that Tucson and Oklahoma City both “take place in a climate of bitter and virulent rhetoric against the government and Democrats.”

    "This Democrat said that the time had come to insist that Republicans stand up when, for example, a figure such as Fox News commentator Glenn Beck says something incendiary."

    "Never let a serious crisis go to waste."

    Another item that is so very sad about all of this is that I am sure Representatives will begin to change their interactions with members of the public.

    When I read about her "Congress in your Corner" meetings, which she has apparently conducted for year, I found it endearing and in keeping with the spirit of a Representative who obviously deeply cares about her constituents.

    I hope that our Members as well as Reps as lower levels have the courage to not be intimidated by this senseless act and continue on with only minor adjustments to their protective services.

    What is also remarkable is the advancements that have been made with regard to brain injury. This was said to be because of all the experience with brain injuries in Iraq. That a bullet could pass through someone's brain and the doctors even talk about a complete recovery is, well, something.

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