An Onion Has Many Layers

A brief new thread for you early risers:

  • Nothing terribly new from overnight in regards to medical condition.  Latest from Arizona Republic is as follows: “As of 4:30 a.m. Sunday, Giffords remained in critical condition at University Medical Center in Tucson, according to hospital spokeswoman Darcy Slaten.”
  • The idea that Rep. Gabby Giffords may survive is tempered by the thought that the bullet that entered her head, and exited, naturally did some damage.  Permanent, irreparable damage is, I think, a safe presumption; guesses as to the extent of it (cognitive or otherwise) are not.  None of this lessens the horror at all.  On that point: total death toll still stands at 6.
  • John Boehner to speak at or around 0830 ET.  My guess is that the Sunday chatshows (Face the Nation, Meet the Press, etc.) are going to flood the zone.  Whether or not anybody wants to say anything provocative (for example: “this is what happens when you rile people up,” “how dare you,” and the cream-pie tossing that would naturally follow) is a big question.  I think that a Dem or two might hint at Going There, but not actually do it.
  • Word is that there will be no business done in the House this week, at all.  Whether or not they actually gavel in is up in the air, but I think at some point they probably will, at least in a pro forma, “the government continues to function” sort of way.  HCR repeal vote is certainly off.
  • Nothing further on the possibility of an accomplice that was raised last night.  Speculation on Loughner’s motivation and level of mental illness continues, shedding more heat than light as you would expect. [ADD: Fearless Leader posted comments by Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center, speaking to Olbermann last night.  That comes as close to “informed analysis” as we have seen thus far.

Stinque Book Club will appear at its regularly scheduled time, I am reliably informed.  Further updates as warranted.


What’s pathetic is the backtracking a lot of wingnuts have been doing in the last 24 hours.

Not a one I read has said “Maybe this wasn’t a good idea.” Many are saying
1) He’s LIBRUL! failing to recognize that most LIBRULs don’t make a big deal about currency or guns
2) They’re not gunsights, but rather surveyor marks

Of course basic human decency won’t stop most and I would be shocked if Beck sheds a tear for the victims.

And, oh, Mr. Weeper gave a public address just now, with nary a tear. Noted.

@chicago bureau: Because it’s all about him. Period.

@JNOV: Which is why he’s ruined it for crying men in general.

@Benedick: Reminds me of the Philipino busboy who tried to help RFK.

Damn. I was hoping that was just a really vivid nightmare.

@TJ/ Jamie Sommers /TJ:The Arizona Republic has a photo of the “person of interest” whom the cops are looking for. They also report that the bullet that injured Rep. Giffords went front-to-back.

Potok’s analysis is all the more important since it seems the MSM is running with the “he obviously had schizophrenia, ergo he’s a mass murderer” theme.

@TJ/ Jamie Sommers /TJ: Me too. PsychoGeezer had a strongly worded denunciation, no mealy mouthed sentiments.

@Dodgerblue: Yes.

About five minutes ago I realized that it is the congresswoman herself on the stretcher in the picture on the front page of today’s NYT. I doubt anyone else was wearing black pantyhose and a suit on a Saturday morning at a Safeway besides her.

@SanFranLefty: I read that statement. There might still be a bit of Skywalker left under the dark helmet.

Yes, the picture on the front page is Rep. Giffords and the large guy holding her hand is the intern Daniel Gonzalez credited with helping her survive at the scene.

This is no reason whatsoever for Bob Shelton to give remarks plugging UA and UMC at the hospital press conference. Fuck him for horning in on this.

Giffords is the only person left in ICU. That’s good news, I guess.

@TJ/ Jamie Sommers /TJ: And she’s responding to commands? Wow. Just wow.

The story Benedick linked to about the intern is pretty intense stuff.

Video primer: hollow point v. full metal jacket bullets. Ignore the comments by mall ninjas and gun shop commandos.

9 mm hollow point (premium grade defense ammo) fired into ballistic gel:

9mm full metal jacket bullet fired into ballistic gel. Note difference in wound channel as compared to the hollow point round.

@redmanlaw: Ugh. It’s hard to keep it in the abstract science realm when you remind yourself that it was people’s insides and brains being torn apart and traumatized and not ballistic gel.

From what I’m gleaning from the FBI/Pima Co presser, Guy No. 2 was NOT involved, but just a witness. [CHECK: Sheriff just said he is not being ruled either in or out.]

Leaked Homeland Security memo sez feds are investigating shooter’s link to an anti-Semitic group fixated on the “Zionist Occupational Government” of the U.S.

I don’t know if will like the fact that the Pima County Sheriff has no filter on his political commentary in the coming weeks, but at first blush — I LIKE THIS GUY.

Clarence has always been pretty outspoken. He’s the anti-Arpaio, god bless him. His willingness to opine on political topics must make these national reporters cream their pants.

@TJ/ Jamie Sommers /TJ: I think that everybody in D.C. is walking on eggshells, looking to not be the first person accused of “politicizing this event” (too late: an assassination attempt is political, almost by definition), or to make a prediction as to motive or blame.

@SanFranLefty: Ah, ZOG. I would have to think that the militia movement might be a further lane of inquiry. These guys were the home of nutcases long before the Tea Party ever came around.

@TJ/ Jamie Sommers /TJ: It was a NASA jet yesterday, so another strike on the reporting. They got the name of the member of Congress correct, right?

@redmanlaw: @TJ/ Jamie Sommers /TJ: In breaking news the New York Times talks to someone who has actually been to Arizona.

@chicago bureau: There’s a lot of overlap of the militia mvmt, various hate groups (Christian Identity, Aryan Nation, etc.) and the Tea Party.

NPR reports that the 9 year old who was killed was born on Sept 11, 2001, and was featured in a book about children born on that day. Her father is a scout for the L.A. Dodgers.

@TJ/ Jamie Sommers /TJ: I haven’t confirmed, but on Twitter it’s being observed that the NYT cut out the sheriff’s best lines.

@Dodgerblue: Grandfather is Dallas Green. You might be familiar with the name.

@Dodgerblue: A life bookended by terrorism. I thought it was her grandfather who worked for the Phillies.
@TJ/ Jamie Sommers /TJ: I waited tables at one of his restaurants, once upon a time.

@TJ/ Jamie Sommers /TJ: I have been to Arizona. I know, shocking. We used to do our food shopping in the Safeway in Tucson. I liked the town a lot.

@Dodgerblue: I don’t know if NPR mentioned it, but she was the only girl on her Little League team. And not my dump-him-somewhere position of right field, either. Second base.

Mike Lee blames it all on the breakdown of the family.

@nojo: I am, but didn’t know he was her grandfather.

@SanFranLefty: CNN reports: “Giffords’ grandfather, the son of a Lithuanian rabbi, had changed his name from Akiba Hornstein to Gif Giffords.”

Via the Twitters: “Person of Interest” was Loughner’s cabbie. Stand down.

BREAKING: FBI search of house yields evidence that tends to show that Loughner thought of this attack as an “assassination,” for which he “planned ahead.” This material was in safe, as if he were hiding it and protecting it from public view.

That seals it for me. The talk of him being a madman has to fade to the background. Insanity, if I have it right, requires a lack of knowledge between right and wrong. This isn’t that. He premeditated, and used a word that could only be used by somebody who knew right from wrong, and knew that “assassination” could only be classified as “wrong.” The fact that this was in a safe, for me, is equally significant.

@nojo: Don’t buy that explanation just yet. The “person of interest” was the guy on the Safeway surveillance camera. Unless of course the guy dropped off his fare, parked, and walked in for a soda or something, which is plausible. Reports are saying though that he has been cleared, in any case.

@chicago bureau: . . .unless it is for a “just” purpose. Dude could have seen himself as a resistance fighter of some sort, striking a blow against ZOG.

ADD: Creeps in various dark corners of the tubes are trying to make a case that the shooter is a radical leftist. Also, Team Palin disclaims any responsibility for the shooting.

@chicago bureau: Let’s fetch a source:

(TUCSON, Ariz.) — The person of interest sought for questioning in the shooting of Arizona congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords is a cab driver who says he drove suspect Jared Lee Loughner to the site, according to the Pima County Sheriff’s Department…

The Pima County Sheriff’s Department said the man drove Loughner to the Safeway, and then followed him inside to question him about payment.

ADD: Somebody’s finally doing attribution right this weekend.

@Benedick: Via AmericaBlog:

Joe.My.God reports, via the Dallas Voice (which is down right now), that Hernandez is openly gay.

According to his Facebook page, Hernandez serves as a Commissioner on the Tucson Commission on Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Issues (GLBT).

This can’t be right. Psychogeezer reliably informs us that heroes — including the first wounded soldier in Iraq — can’t possibly be gay.

@nojo: He did very well. Very cool and no nonsense. And modest. I can hardly wait for Bryan Fischer’s take.

@nojo: And he’s Latino to boot!

@redmanlaw: “They were surveyor symbols” has to be the most absurd and weakest justification for the Palin targets and the “the gunman is a known liberal” is absurd. I didn’t expect a mea culpa from Talibunny as Keef Oh was demanding, but I was hoping for a shred of recognition of “Gee maybe things do get heated around here.” Nope. Team Palin is in total sociopathic behavior mode. Seriously. Look it up on the DSM-IV. Fits her to a T.

@nojo: I just wonder what kind of first aid/emergency medical training dude had. He did a quick assessment of vitals on several victims, did a triage, applied direct pressure to the wound he saw on Giffords and kept her airway clear. Hernandez also bravely disregarded the first rule of first aid, which is to keep yourself safe. Instead, he ran toward the gun fire. Personally, my priorities would have been to protect my family, then protect myself.

Note: I was certified as an EMT Basic several years ago (since lapsed) and I’m currently certified in Wilderness First Aid. Going for my CPR card in a couple of months.

@SanFranLefty: Someone dredged up an old Kos graphic showing archery targets on various districts, and Barry’s campaign quote about “bringing a gun to a knife fight” is being rehashed. No Moment of Shame on the horizon.

@SanFranLefty: Not only that, but it appears the Palin spox is doubling-down. USA Today calls Mansour on it, and she doesn’t back off and in fact comes ’round on those making the point, calling it a “terrible politicization of a tragedy.”

Dude: it was an assassination attempt. Assassination attempts are political by their very nature.

@redmanlaw: Yeah, this guy was good. Went with her to this hospital, too.

In today’s political environment, how would Hinckley be handled?

@Dodgerblue: Yes, he’s good, too good. Was he the man on the grassy knoll? How else did he know it would be safe to go in? You have to watch those crafty gay Latinos. Was he Sureno 13?!?!?!

@nojo: By saying well in advance that Jodie Foster is gay and would never, ever sleep with a guy, much less Hinckley. Might have actually saved Reagan from the attempt.

The neighborhood keeps erupting in cheers. It can’t be a Saturday Met broadcast, so it must be Sport.

@redmanlaw: Ana Marie Cox is wondering when he’s revealed to be an Anchor Baby.

@nojo: I think play may be whistled in, with respect to politicians throwing elbows, sooner than anyone is guessing. I’m certainly taking the under.

More on the head injury:

Doctors said Giffords, who was shot at point-blank range, was helped by the fact the bullet did not go through both hemispheres of her brain, traveling instead the length of the left side of her brain, an area that controls speech.

Lemole told a press conference that Giffords responded Sunday to simple commands but had not yet spoken and had been put in a medically induced coma to allow her brain to rest.

“We take those commands as simple but show high functioning in the brain,” he said.

If you need a break, here’s an Ess Eff Local/Loco Politics TJ:
Mayor McDreamy, who delayed until tomorrow his swearing-in as Lite Guv so as to successfully outmaneuver the outgoing Ess Eff Board of Supes from naming his successor, today names SFPD Chief Gil Gascon to be the new DA, filing the position vacated as a result of Kamala Harris’ victory in the state AG race. Gascon was the police chief in Mesa, AZ before coming here about a year ago. I didn’t know he had a J.D.

City Administrator and former civil rights attorney at the Asian Law Caucus, Ed Lee to be The City’s first Chinese-American mayor. He was criticized by some on the old board as not being progressive enough.

Lee says he’s not going to run for Mayor this fall when we have the elections. Four people are declared. Unknown re: Gascon, but there are also four people already announced for the DA race.

@nojo: @chicago bureau: Sarah, et. al. will never, ever back down off of their high horse. Ever. We are never going to hear them say what they need to say, because they they don’t realize that the rhetoric they spew does not produce the image they have in their head (a la ‘Do you hear the people sing?’ number from Les Miz), but instead manifests itself in the horrific reality unfolding in front of them (Congresswoman, fed judge, 9/11 baby, gay anchor baby hero). They can’t go down that line of logic; it’s too much for them.

We’re going to have to deal with a lot of bullshit in the coming days and weeks. A LOT. Get ready to have Giffords’ injury, and these people’s deaths, get trampled all over in the name of what passes for discourse today.

David Frum: “Did Pot Trigger Giffords Shooting?”

I think I’m just gonna wait a week.

@nojo: I’m not gonna wait on Frum.

I don’t think suspension or expulsion is going to do it. I think it behooves us all to consider… deportation. [/principal skinner]

@nojo:David Frum: “Did Pot Call Kettle Black?” Fixed! (I haz teh mad skillz. I am so gonna name teh next puppeh Amirite.)

@SanFranLefty: “Hi. My name is Tony. I’ll be your affiant today.”

@chicago bureau: Sully and folks on the Twitters are making a valiant effort to catalog everything, but I just don’t have the Sisyphus in me to deal with it all. The Rampant Idiocy out there is just too much for me to put up resistance right now.

I’m taking in as much as I can, and something will spew out of me sooner or later, but I’m reminded of a Life Lesson I took to heart many years ago:

You can’t argue with damn fools.

@chicago bureau: I think you’re on to something.

Calls to Tone Down the Rhetoric aren’t going anywhere, because these people are Beyond Shame. That leaves only one alternative:


How this works in practice, dunno. But they don’t belong in Polite Company.

@redmanlaw: Yay! That was what I was imagining it was last night, except I had understood it was back to front. That’s great news!

Although I would find it incredibly frustrating to not be able to talk.

@nojo: Only stuff I’m reading about it is updates on status of Gifford and the others. I can’t handle salt in the wound.

Just saw a CNN interview with a woman who grabbed the Glock magazine. She said the shooter had a second magazine and was trying to reload when he got tackled.

@Dodgerblue: CBS Evening News has the 20 year old gay Latino intern who saved Giffords’ life at the scene.

@SanFranLefty: CNN had a clip of him also. No trraining except first aid in high school. Jeff Toobin says the feds have appointed the woman who represented the Unabomber to represent the shooter, who will be arraigned on the federal charges tomorrow. My guess is that her job will be to beat the death penalty.

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