Archive for January 12th, 2011


first lady

First lady Michelle Obama hugs Congresswoman Gabrielle Gifford’s husband Mark Kelly during President Barack Obama’s address at the “Together We Thrive: Tucson and America” event held to support and remember the victims of the mass shooting, at the University of Arizona in Tucson, Arizona, January 12




President Barack Obama hugs first lady Michelle Obama after speaking at a memorial service for the victims of Saturday’s shootings at McKale Center on the University of Arizona campus Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2011, in Tucson, Ariz


together we thrive



President Barack Obama shakes hands with Sheriff Clarence Dupnik at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base


arizona arrival

Security personnel keep vigil as President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama disembark from Air Force as they arrive at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson

· Opening music
· Native American blessing
· Welcome by UA President Robert N. Shelton
· Playing of the National Anthem
· Remarks by President Shelton
· Remarks by UA Student
· Remarks by Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer
· Remarks by Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano
· Remarks by U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder
· Remarks by President Obama
· Moment of silence.

Live on the White House website (here), starting 8.0 EST

Live on the C-Span site here

Arizona Governor Jan Brewer and Rep. Raul Grijalva await the arrival of President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama (read what Raul went through in Arizona last year: here)


they came in their thousands…..

People wait in line for a memorial service honoring Saturday’s shooting victims on the University of Arizona campus at the McKale Memorial Center



T-shirts are placed on chairs for a memorial service for victims of the January 8 shooting at the University of Arizona in Tucson, January 12


remembrance day

A layer of snow covers flowers left as part of a memorial at the US Capitol in honor of the victims of the shooting in Tucson

The US flag flies at half-mast before President Obama and First Lady Michelle arrive to board Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base

Marine One kicks up overnight snowfall on the South Lawn of the White House….

Ron Barber, District Director for Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, is visited by Daniel Hernandez in his hospital room at the University Medical Center in Tucson. Hernandez, who works with Barber as an intern for Rep Giffords, rushed to Giffords’ aid after she was shot. While holding the wounded Giffords, Hernandez asked another bystander to put pressure on Barber’s wounds. He also asked Barber for his wife’s phone number and then shouted it out to someone so that Barber’s wife, Nancy, could be informed of the shooting. Barber was extremely grateful and impressed with Hernandez’s composure under the circumstances and had been asking to see him after he had gained strength following surgery.

Native American practitioner Carol Locust uses traditional methods to provide healing for the injured at the Tucson  University Medical Center

People rest under a blanket as they wait in the line to get tickets to see President Obama speak at McKale Center in Tucson


‘blood libel’

I’m reluctant to infest this place any more with mention of that woman from Alaska, but in case you want to read commentary on her bizarre self-pitying ‘address to the nation’ today and her extraordinarily ignorant use of the term ‘blood libel’ here are a few links:

Steven Benen at Washington Monthly – The UK Guardian – Adam Clark Estes at Salon – Greg Sargent at the Washington Post – Ruth Marcus at the Washington Post – Howard Kurtz at The Daily Beast – even the right-wing Washington Examiner has its head in its hands

BBC: It’s not clear if she or her advisors understand why “blood libel” will be regarded as offensive by many American Jews. The term is overwhelmingly associated with a false accusation of despicable crimes committed by Jews against Christian children.

Conservative Jennifer Rubin:

And as Josh Marshall put it at TPM, “Today has been set aside to honor the victims of the Tucson massacre. And Sarah Palin has apparently decided she’s one of them.”

This is a seriously great article:

Peter Stanford (UK Independent): Sarah Palin was straining to look presidential. With the Stars and Stripes at her side, the former Governor of Alaska read a scripted address in an effort to rebut persistent claims that she was guilty by association over the deaths of six people and the wounding of a further 13, including the Democratic Congresswoman, Gabrielle Giffords, at an Arizona supermarket.

The charges against her – which arose because the unashamedly gun-toting Palin had placed a rifle target over Arizona during the 2010 election to designate that Giffords was a politician she wanted out of the way – were not only unjust and reprehensible, she intoned soberly, but were “a blood libel that serves only to incite the very hatred and violence they [journalists and pundits] purport to condemn”.

Her use of the two words “blood libel” made my jaw drop.

…this was not just another of Palin’s trademark foot-in-mouth broadcast moments, mixing up North and South Korea, failing to name any of the “many” papers she reads daily, or “refudiating” her opponents’ taunts. No, Palin intended to say “blood libel”. The real question is, did she have any idea what the phrase actually meant and therefore of the offence it might – and has – caused?

The generous view is that she was desperately seeking a way to make “false accusation” seem more dramatic and herself a bit more wounded by the scapegoating slurs of her opponents.

….Palin’s grasp of history isn’t any more celebrated than her geography. She once suggested Russia shared a land border with the USA and described Africa as a country. Indeed her ignorance is seen as part of her charm by her supporters. So why would she know that “blood libel” has a very specific and ugly meaning that, even in 2011, remains odious and to be avoided at all costs?

The blood libel myth, widely practised in the Middle Ages, held that Jews kidnapped Christian children, sacrificed them, and then used their blood in unleavened bread at Passover. If it sounds like the sick fantasy of an internet-only horror flick, then many in medieval Europe took it as gospel and, as a consequence, thousands of Jews were killed or driven out of their homes in pogroms.

…Palin’s use of the emotive words stands out from the usual rough-and-tumble of political posturing for other reasons, not least that the anti-Semitic overtones of the phrase she chose to use jars when 30-year-old Gabe Zimmerman, one of those killed by gunman Jared Loughner, was Jewish, as is his boss, Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, still in intensive care after a bullet wound to her brain.

…For Palin to present herself as the real victim when six people are dead and 13 in hospital is wrongheaded and self-centred, but that’s politicians for you.

For her to go on to liken her treatment to the profound injustice done to generations of Jews down the ages when in Tuscon a Jewish man is about to be buried, and a Jewish woman is fighting for her life, took my breath away.

The just-another-of-Sarah’s-inept-gaffes excuse is wearing a little thin.

…Sarah Palin is playing with fire. She has been one of the most effective practitioners of the use of words-as-weapons, damning Barack Obama’s healthcare reforms, for instance, as “death laws”. But just as such poisonous oratory can get the crowds cheering, it can also lay you low. Perhaps the real choice that faces Palin now is whether she wants to join the ranks of politicians whose gaffes and casual ignorance of history make them a joke, or step up into the responsible mainstream.

….if there was, as seems likely, even an iota of calculation in what Palin said – whether by her or her speechwriters – then right now she should be bowing her head in shame.

Read the full article here


‘hate – carefully taught’







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January 2011

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