Tuesday, June 2, 2020
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lowkell

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Arizona Shooter Was “a radical against both parties”

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I see in the wonderful world known as the blogosphere that people are desperately trying to place Jared Loughner, the young man who shot Rep. Giffords and numerous others in Arizona yesterday, into a convenient political category. As is usually the case, the facts - aka, "reality" - don't allow for such oversimplification. In fact, here's what we know about Loughner:

*He listed "Mein Kampf" (far right) AND "The Communist Manifesto" (far left) and a bunch of literary classics (e.g, "To Kill a Mockingbird," "The Old Man and the Sea") as his favorite books.

*He made videos with "seemingly unconnected thoughts about currency and dreams, and the words 'I can't trust the current government because of the ratifications: the government is implying mind control and brainwash on the people by controlling grammar.'" If anyone can make any sense of that gobbledygook, more power to you, but I can't.

*He tried to join the U.S. Army but was rejected.

*He was highly disruptive in class (at the Pima Community College in Tucson), to the extent that "campus police were called five times" to deal with him.

*He has a drug arrest on his record.

*He has no apparent link "explicitly to any mainstream political group or figures."

Video: President Obama on the Arizona Attack and Rep. Giffords

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My rough, partial transcript of President Obama's remarks:
...we don't yet know what provoked this unspeakable act. A comprehensive investigation is currently underway, and at my direction, Director Bob Mueller is en route to Arizona to help coordinate these efforts...Gabby Giffords...is not only an extraordinary public servant, but she is also somebody is warm and caring, she is well liked by her colleagues and well liked by her constituents...it is a tragedy for Arizona and a tragedy for our entire country. What Americans do at times of tragedy is to come together and support each other, so at this time I ask all Americans to join me and Michelle in keeping all the victims and their families, including Gabby, in their thoughts and prayers...Gabby is as tough as they come, and I am hopeful that she is going to pull through...our hearts go out to the family members of those who have been slain. We are going to get to the bottom of this, and we are going to get through this...

Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ), Several Others, Shot

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Absolutely horrible, there is no place for this in America.
Arizona Democratic Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was shot on Saturday morning while hosting an event outside a Tucson grocery store.

Giffords spokesperson C.J. Karamargin told The Washington Post Saturday afternoon that Giffords was in surgery at Tucson's University Medical Center.

A hospital spokesperson confirmed that Giffords had been shot in the head and was in critical condition Saturday afternoon. Eight others were brought to the hospital with Giffords, including seven adults and one child, all of whom were in either critical or serious condition. The hospital has scheduled a briefing for 1:30 p.m. local time on Saturday.

Until we have more information about who the shooter was and what his motives were, I'm not jumping to any conclusions about this (UPDATE: I completely agree with Ken Rudin of NPR on this).  For now, I'm just hoping that Rep. Giffords and the other shooting victims pull through. I'm also thinking about the terrible history of political violence we've had in this country, and what this latest incident might mean moving forward. Ugh...

UPDATE 3:26 pm: President Obama has issued a statement.

This morning, in an unspeakable tragedy, a number of Americans were shot in Tucson, Arizona, at a constituent meeting with Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. And while we are continuing to receive information, we know that some have passed away, and that Representative Giffords is gravely wounded.

We do not yet have all the answers. What we do know is that such a senseless and terrible act of violence has no place in a free society. I ask all Americans to join me and Michelle in keeping Representative Giffords, the victims of this tragedy, and their families in our prayers.


UPDATE 3:28 pm: John Boehner and Nancy Pelosi also have issued statements. See the "flip" for what they have to say.

UPDATE 3:53 pm: Eric Cantor also has weighed in, his statement is on the "flip."

UPDATE 3:57 pm: The shooter reportedly is "Jared Laughner of Arizona, born September 1988." (UPDATE: It's actually spelled "Loughner"; apparently, this is his YouTube channel)

UPDATE 4:29 pm: Rep. Jim Moran (D-8th) said, "This is a tragic situation. We're praying for Gabby to pull through and our thoughts and prayers go out to her staff, their families and the victims of this outrageous violence."

UPDATE 4:51 pm: Rep. Giffords reportedly is out of surgery and "expected to recover." Earlier today, Reuters and several other media outlets irresponsibly reported that she was dead. Major "Mainstream" Media FAIL!

Bob McDonnell Stabs Michael Steele in the Back

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Et tu, Bobby?
Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell said this week that he is not backing Michael Steele, the embattled chairman of the Republican National Committee, who is seeking re-election next week.

"I'm not backing anybody,'' McDonnell said in an interview. "I think there are some challenges within the RNC right now in terms of fundraising and grassroots organization that weren't up standards during this last election so at this point I'm not making an endorsement one way or another."

Now, let's go to the not-so-way-back machine to 2009, when Michael Steele was busy doing everything he could to make Bob McDonnell governor of Virginia. Here's McDonnell talking about BFF Steele in May 2009, for instance.
Hey, Michael Steele is a great guy. He and I have been friends for several years. I campaigned with him when he ran for lieutenant governor in Maryland -- when he ran for the senate {in 2006}.

He's a great, passionate, conservative leader for our party. Look, any time you start a new job people pick on you. That happened to me when I ran for attorney general. But he's doing a terrific job. He's unifying our party. He's bringing people together. He's travelling tirelessly around the country to promote the conservative cause and translating conservative principles into good government, practical solutions, common sense ideas.

So, I'm delighted Michael Steele is here in Southwest Virginia to campaign with me today, and he's going to be back in Virginia a lot for the next five months helping me win.

Which is exactly what Steele did, directing "an unprecedented $8 million to Republicans in Virginia in 2009 when McDonnell ran for governor." It seems that with Bob McDonnell, loyalty only goes one way: his!

Chap Petersen on Virginia’s Debt, Budget, Economy, Transportation Funding

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Sen. Chap Petersen spoke at yesterday's Business Leaders Breakfast in Tysons Corner about Virginia's debt, budget, economy, and transportation funding. Among other things, Chap said: 1) debt over 5% of general funds has been a rule of thumb, but that Sen. Saslaw will likely put in a constitutional amendment to put this standard in the Virginia constitution; 2) Virginia doesn't have a monetary policy, despite "one delegate who shall remain nameless" apparently wanting one; 3) on transportation funding, the trust fund has declined in real dollars, most revenues we do collect just pays interest on bonds we've already taken out plus maintenance, so there's almost no money left for new construction; 4) if it weren't for the federal government, there would be almost no new transportation funding in Virginia, and we can't count on that continuing; 5) taking on more debt we can't finance is not a good idea; 6) we can refinance and consolidate state debts, but we have to make sure our transportation projects are self-sufficient (e.g., not through the general fund or via gimmicks; 7) Bob McDonnell's ABC proposal is not a serious idea; 8) offshore oil drilling revenues also not a serious or sustainable idea; 9) we need to pay down the VRS loan before we talk about "surpluses" or "new spending"; 10) creating jobs should be the #1 priority in Richmond through ideas like a revolving fund for small business; 11) Virginia should do more to attract next-generation industries like biotech and nanotechnology; and 12) the key to job growth is human capital - educated, talented, hard-working people.

Whipple Clips Dozen: Saturday Morning

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Thanks to Tom Whipple for the Saturday "Clips."

1. MCDONNELL NO LONGER SUPPORTS STEELE FOR RNC CHAIRMAN
2. MCDONNELL JOINS GOVERNORS TO ASK FOR EASED HEALTH CARE REQUIREMENTS
7. MCDONNELL CAMPAIGNS FOR CANDIDATES IN TUESDAY'S SPECIAL ELECTIONS
8. MCAULIFFE ACTIVE IN TUESDAY SPECIAL ELECTIONS
9. TRANSPORTATION HIGH ON LAWMAKERS' AGENDA
10. FOUR SEEK REPUBLICAN NOMINATION FOR GEAR DISTRICT
14. INSTALLATION IN NORFOLK GETS AX BY PENTAGON
20. VA. AGRICULTURE, FORESTRY THRIVED AMID DOWNTURN
22. DISCLOSURE: 'WHOSE WIFE, DIANA'
25. HABEEB ENDORSEMENT HAS BEEN WITHDRAWN
28. FAIRFAX SCHOOL OFFICIALS YANK ERROR-RIDDLED HISTORY TEXTBOOK
35. HUGUELY FACING MORE CHARGES IN UVA SLAYING

UPDATE: Somehow I missed this the other day, "The Conservative Constitution of the United States."  It begins as follows:

We, the Real Americans, in order to form a more God-Fearing Union, establish Justice as we see it, Defeat Health-Care Reform, and Preserve and Protect our Property, our Guns and our Right Not to Pay Taxes, do ordain and establish this Conservative Constitution for the United States of Real America.

President Obama: Tax Cuts Kicking In

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"The President touts the new benefits coming from the tax cut compromise for any business large or small, tens of millions of workers and families, and the economy itself."

Jeff Schapiro on “Cantor’s Contradictions”

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"Rep. Eric Cantor has a safe seat, but a reputation as a big spender of other people's money." - Jeff Schapiro

Help Donald McEachin Pass the Virginia Fairness and Justice Act!

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Great stuff from Donald McEachin, I strongly encourage everyone to help him in this effort by becoming a "citizen sponsor" of his legislation. Thanks.

P.S. Why, oh why, can't Donald McEachin be DPVA chair instead of you-know-who?  

Roanoke Times Withdraws Endorsement of Greg Habeeb

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Of course, as we pointed out Wednesday, the liberal Roanoke Times editorial board never should have endorsed a hard-right conservative like Greg Habeeb in the first place, but I'm glad to see they've belatedly come to their senses.
Greg Habeeb, the Republican candidate in the Jan. 11 special election for the House of Delegates in Salem, western Roanoke County and Southwest Roanoke County, has signed a "no tax increase" pledge.

During our editorial board interview, Habeeb also said this: "Authenticity in a politician is very rare and very valuable." That's true. Which is why it is so disappointing to catch Habeeb telling us one thing then turning around and doing the exact opposite days before the election.

As a result of that blatant display of inauthenticity, we hereby withdraw our endorsement of Habeeb in the 8th District.

Wow, what a concept, a right-wing Republican tells a liberal editorial board whatever it takes to convince them that he's not so bad, is actually quite reasonable, blah blah blah. Amazingly, the liberal editorial board falls for it, then is shocked - SHOCKED! - that the right wingnut is not "authentic" after all. And people wonder why the legacy media is going out of business? Duhhhhh.

P.S. To find out more about the Democrat in the race, click here.

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