Saturday Night Open Thread

Questions and more conflicting reports on the Arizona shootings. Did the shooter have help? Authorities are searching for a white male in his fifties. Did Judge Roll just stop to say hello to Rep. Giffords while he was shopping at Safeway, or had he planned to be there? News organizations provide different accounts.

Jared Loughner's last message on My Space today:

"Goodbye friends. Please don't be mad at me. The literacy rate is below 5%. I haven't talked to one person who is literate. I want to make it out alive. The longest war in the history of the United States. Goodbye. I'm saddened with the current currency and job employment. I had a bully at school. Thank you. P.S. --plead the fifth!"

Here's an open thread for late-breaking news on the Arizona shootings, and all other topics.

Update: I was wondering if Saturday Night Live would mention the shootings or have a more subdued tone. No to both, so far. Jim Carrey is host. (Musical group was the Black Keys, not the Black Crowes.)

Also, Showtime is having a free weekend for Comcast subscribers. A new series starts tomorrow night you can watch now for free. It's called Shameless, and I think it's going to be a big hit. The first episode is really good.

< Jared Loughner's "Friends" on Twitter Discuss Him | Sunday Morning Open Thread >
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    Incitement to violence (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by DFLer on Sat Jan 08, 2011 at 10:31:09 PM EST
    Many sites have reminded us that Cong G was on Sarah Palin's targeted list, on the map that featured those targets in a crosshairs logo.

    This site also tells about her Tea Party opponent's campaign in the election

    Giffords' Tea Party opponent in the 2010 election, Jesse Kelly, went even further with the violent rhetoric. Kelly's campaign held an event called "Get on Target for Victory in November." Description: "Help remove Gabrielle Giffords from office. Shoot a fully automatic M16 with Jesse Kelly."

    There is something wrong with these people (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by ruffian on Sun Jan 09, 2011 at 05:45:34 AM EST
    Why the need for this kind of talk and actual shooting at a political event? I understand liking to hunt and shoot recreationally, but this barely restrained desire to take it to the next level is something else altogether. There is something very infantile about it in my view.

    Most Ironic Comment of the Day (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by Dan the Man on Sat Jan 08, 2011 at 11:48:09 PM EST
    NY Times

    Ms. Giffords is a centrist Democrat who won re-election in part by stressing her strong support for gun rights

    Maybe someone should look up whether "her strong support for gun rights" included supporting laws which let Jared Loughner get a gun.

    Giffords Supported D.C. v. Heller (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by Dan the Man on Sat Jan 08, 2011 at 11:52:30 PM EST

    Giffords was a staunch supporter of the Second Amendment, and a gun owner. She signed an amicus brief in support of the D.C. v. Heller, the case that overturned Washington, D.C.'s gun ban.

    [Giffords writes:] "This is a common sense decision that reaffirms the Constitutional right - and Arizona tradition - of owning firearms.  I commend the Court for ruling in favor of restoring our right to bear arms."

    well . . . (none / 0) (#10)
    by The Addams Family on Sun Jan 09, 2011 at 01:03:30 AM EST
    she could state this opinion w/out condoning the actions of whoever shot her

    the 2nd amendment does exist

    & whether or not we agree that it affirms the right of the citizenry to bear all manner of guns, the right to possess a gun entails no right to commit murder (or to attempt assassination, if that was the case here)

    & this is not to say that requirements for gun ownership should not be stringent


    I don't think politically inspired (none / 0) (#1)
    by observed on Sat Jan 08, 2011 at 09:44:58 PM EST
    violence politically empowers the victims; more often it cows the peaceful side. Daschle was a  lot stronger, IMO, before he got anthrax in the mail. Face it, we crossed the edge of fascism's definition in recent years.

    I agree. The gun pretty much gets the last (none / 0) (#13)
    by ruffian on Sun Jan 09, 2011 at 05:50:44 AM EST
    word. Of course there is the requisite hand wringing and a certain amount of 'won't let this stop us' talk, but people remain cowed. If the violence was not effective it would not be used. There will be fewer unprotected public forums after this, and I can't really blame people. Do you want to seriously risk your life to represent a district?

    Prediction: people attending (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by oculus on Sun Jan 09, 2011 at 12:58:20 PM EST
    meet and greets of politicians will be required to walk through a metal detector.

    I'm such a revolutionary (none / 0) (#19)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Jan 09, 2011 at 09:58:50 AM EST
    If they think they can cow me with guns, it ain't happening.  There are worse things than dying in my book, like being damned to a life defined by the damned, and my children having to do it, and my children's children having to do it.  They are going to have to come up with something better to cow me.

    Bravado (none / 0) (#21)
    by Towanda on Sun Jan 09, 2011 at 11:11:22 AM EST
    just seems so inappropriate today, a day better for introspection.

    Considering that the Taliban (none / 0) (#22)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Jan 09, 2011 at 11:12:54 AM EST
    doesn't scare this family I'm not sure you can call this Bravado.  One man's Bravado is another man's reality.

    YO! kdog! (none / 0) (#2)
    by nycstray on Sat Jan 08, 2011 at 10:09:05 PM EST
    heh ;)

    Are you referring to the Jets win,nycstray? (none / 0) (#9)
    by caseyOR on Sun Jan 09, 2011 at 12:22:41 AM EST
    Why do the Jets always take it down to the last 2 seconds of a game to seal the victory? It's unnerving watching them play.

    Nice to see them win, though. Who do they face next? The Pats?


    but of course :) (none / 0) (#11)
    by nycstray on Sun Jan 09, 2011 at 01:29:46 AM EST
    I wish they wouldn't play so close, but they did beat the Colts in the Colts' house :) And I would consider them 'unpredictable'. Little unnerving, but they pulled it off. QB wasn't so hot, but the rest of the team held on. A 10 min drive in the second half?!

    And yes, next up, the Pats, in the Pats' house.

    I'll be lookin' for Vick and the Eagles to go down next (tomorrow?)  . . . . while still dancin' for the Jets of course ;)


    Judge Roll's presence at the mall (none / 0) (#3)
    by christinep on Sat Jan 08, 2011 at 10:16:23 PM EST
    As my husband & I discussed earlier, do we need to find the reason why Judge Roll was there? Happenstance or planned? On the one hand, it may be difficult to accept the real vagaries of life (i.e., he stops by and is in the wrong place at the wrong time) because the mind cries out for something more. On the other hand--and in this particular instance--it certainly screams for further explanation (for me, anyway.) Was the Judge usually at the center (perhaps, a habit of picking up a few groceries) late Saturday morning? With his background in the immigration legal arena, the happenstance conclusion should be demonstrated just a bit more...because the wheel of fortune explanation doesn't spin right without more.

    chrsitenep (none / 0) (#4)
    by DFLer on Sat Jan 08, 2011 at 10:24:25 PM EST
    The report I heard was the Pima Co. Sheriff's press conference. He said that both the Congresswoman and the judge were friends of his. He said that the Judge, who was also a pal of Giffords, knew about her event, and just stopped by to say hi, "after Mass."

    Yes, I heard that (none / 0) (#6)
    by christinep on Sat Jan 08, 2011 at 10:45:35 PM EST
    And, I liked and appreciated the Pima County Sheriff's remarks overall.  I still wonder if the Judge was a "creature of habit" who went to the mall (usually) on later Saturday morning? (Normally, I'm not into conspiracies. And, there is no reason for me to think that here. Yet...lots of parts of me are asking for some more info in that particular area. It is either intuition or plain stupidity on my part.)

    Giffords signed a petition addressed to (none / 0) (#27)
    by oculus on Sun Jan 09, 2011 at 01:00:27 PM EST
    Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals requesting declaration of an emergency (due to immigration cases in Judge Bolls district).  According to news accounts, he had called to thank her, she mentioned the Sat. event, and he decided to stop by and thank her in person.

    And, thank you, oculus. That helps. (none / 0) (#33)
    by christinep on Sun Jan 09, 2011 at 02:57:16 PM EST
    from Alan Grayson's statement (none / 0) (#14)
    by ruffian on Sun Jan 09, 2011 at 06:05:08 AM EST
    He tells about serving on a committee with her and Shay a joyful person she is, and goes on to say:

    Everyone knew that Gabby would have a tough race in 2010. (She actually won with 49% of the vote.) But I always thought that if each of her constituents could spend that fifteen minutes with her, and see what she is really like, then she would win with 99.9% of the vote. (Same thing about Harry Teague of New Mexico, who lost, and a few others that I could name.) You would want her as your Congressman, because you would want her as your friend.

    I know nothing about the man who shot Gabby, and what was going through his mind when he did this. But I will tell you this - if he shot Gabby out of hatred, then it wasn't Gabby he was shooting, but rather some cartoon version of her, drawn by her political opposition. Because there is no way - NO WAY - that anyone who really knows Gabby could hate her or hurt her. She is a kind, gentle soul.

    I have mixed reactions because I think Grayson created cartoon versions of opponents and their views pretty effectively himself. But he does know what he is talking about.

    sorry, i must disagree with you. (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by cpinva on Sun Jan 09, 2011 at 10:44:26 AM EST
    I have mixed reactions because I think Grayson created cartoon versions of opponents and their views pretty effectively himself.

    grayson did no such thing, his opponents were caricatures of themselves by nature and design. the whole "tea partynut" wing of the republican party is, by definition, a caricature, having no more relationship to reality than a bugs bunny cartoon. grayson simply chooses to be bugs.


    He's right, though (none / 0) (#18)
    by gyrfalcon on Sun Jan 09, 2011 at 09:45:36 AM EST
    I've seen her on numerous interviews, particularly during her campaign, and I was impressed by how, well, just plain nice she is.  You could certainly disagree with her (as I do on a number of issues), but you'd really have to work very hard to be offended by anything she did.  When I first heard about the shooting, I was mystified by how anybody could possibly ever be that mad at her.

    She's VERY bright, very articulate, but doesn't seem to have a mean or even angry bone in her body.  She just explained what she thought and why she thought it calmly and rationally and never characterized people who disagreed with her in any way negatively.  I was very much struck by her at the time.


    I spent much of yesterday looking, and (none / 0) (#15)
    by Edger on Sun Jan 09, 2011 at 09:14:54 AM EST
    No matter how much I looked, no matter who I spoke to, no matter who I asked, I could find no publicly available indication that Loughner knew who Giffords was - or hat he even knew her name or that he even knew she was a congressional rep - before he walked into the parking lot.

    He may very well have been a walking time bomb primed by media, but I'm thinking now that this was a crime of opportunity by a mentally ill person - that he saw the crowd while he happened to be crazed and angry and carrying a loaded gun - but did not know who she was till he walked in to the parking lot.

    There is nothing I can find indicating that he wrote about her or said anything about her or even knew her name until a few minutes before he started shooting.

    The right is blaming the left, and the left is blaming the right, while an apparently severely mentally ill person goes untreated.

    The narrative that it was a politically motivated assassination attempt has been firmly established with no evidence to support it in less than 24 hours in blogs and in media, and people it seems have decided for the most part to stop thinking.

    "A little knowledge is a dangerous thing" -- AE

    Really? I read that he wrote (none / 0) (#16)
    by Towanda on Sun Jan 09, 2011 at 09:25:13 AM EST
    that he had met Giffords. . . .

    Ok. That's what I'm looking for. (none / 0) (#17)
    by Edger on Sun Jan 09, 2011 at 09:32:50 AM EST
    Where did you read that? You have a link?

    After reading so many stories (none / 0) (#23)
    by Towanda on Sun Jan 09, 2011 at 11:13:33 AM EST
    and blogs on this yesterday, I couldn't begin to remember where I read that.  I thought it was in one of the threads here, actually -- or I could google for it . . . or you could, since you're more interested in that aspect than I am.

    I have been searching for anything like that (none / 0) (#24)
    by Edger on Sun Jan 09, 2011 at 11:57:29 AM EST
    all day yesterday and today. I do extreme amounts of researching before I make conclusions and I have not found anything like that.

    Many people have said things similar to what you said. Like you, none of them can point me to where they read it.


    from the tweet thread (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by nycstray on Sun Jan 09, 2011 at 12:06:20 PM EST
    one of his friends tweeted that he had met her.

    Yes, I know. (none / 0) (#28)
    by Edger on Sun Jan 09, 2011 at 01:09:18 PM EST
    caitieparker's tweets are here.

    The fact, if it is a fact, that he had met Giffords once, does not in any way prove or support the theory that he knew she was in the parking lot yesterday when he walked in to it.


    Wouldn't surprise me (5.00 / 2) (#29)
    by brodie on Sun Jan 09, 2011 at 01:17:09 PM EST
    if he'd once met Giffords at some public function she had, or if by "met" we mean he was in attendance.  Just too early right now to be running too hard one way or the other with some information that comes in hearsay fashion, especially via tweets.

    But it really would be more surprising if he just happened upon Giffords gathering at the market and just happened to be armed and ready to slaughter, starting apparently with a shot to the head, point blank, on the congresswoman.  And the fact that his YT page made reference to (iirc) the "illiterate" of the 8th District suggests he might well have had some interest or obsession about the person repping that district.  I mean most people don't normally talk about people in their area in terms of the cong'l district it's in.


    Not so suprising really, when you think about it (none / 0) (#30)
    by Edger on Sun Jan 09, 2011 at 01:25:59 PM EST
    Here is a badly mentally ill person, angry, and out on the street with a loaded gun looking to "make someone pay" for something.

    He comes across a parking lot full of people, sees a great big banner, realizes there is a known political figure standing there out in the open.... and.... sprays bullets into the crowd.

    It's speculation. There is no more evidence for it that than there is publicly available evidence that he knew who she was before he walked into the parking lot.


    Again, it's early, (5.00 / 2) (#31)
    by brodie on Sun Jan 09, 2011 at 01:51:46 PM EST
    but consider his rather telling YT reference to the "illiterate" of "the 8th District."  

    Most people, I submit, simply don't refer to people in their town or city by reference to what cong'l district they're in.  Also telling is that he got the number of the district right -- many people who are generally engaged in the political system don't always know the right number of their district.

    Sorry, but I doubt the Coincidence Theory espoused is not going to pan out.  But let's wait for more info, shall we?


    Let's wait for more info, shall we? (none / 0) (#32)
    by Edger on Sun Jan 09, 2011 at 02:36:32 PM EST
    That's where we agree, but it's too late for that now, it seems. Very few others are interested in waiting for more info, it seems, and most people have apparently decided that the little knowledge they have - the dividing narrative the television and almost all blogs are feeding them - is all they need.

    As I mentioned above in my first comment today:

    The right is blaming the left, and the left is blaming the right, while an apparently severely mentally ill person goes untreated.

    The narrative that it was a politically motivated assassination attempt has been firmly established with no evidence to support it in less than 24 hours in blogs and in media, and people it seems have decided for the most part to stop thinking.

    See the federal criminal complaint (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by oculus on Sun Jan 09, 2011 at 04:53:21 PM EST
    in Jeralyn's post re suspect being charged.

    Yes, I saw it. (none / 0) (#35)
    by Edger on Sun Jan 09, 2011 at 05:42:57 PM EST
    It doesn't change the fact that all day yesterday and today, until that came out, that millions of people had already decided that it must be because any other possibility was unthinkable and without it there could be no finger pointing? It's almost laughably irrelevant now.

    You do realize that both the left and the right will continue to point the finger of blame at each other and and say "see! we told you so!" and they will both accomplish only further splitting the country in two.

    The politics of the situation and the attempts at scoring political points we've watched all weekend from both sides, has served only to probably worsen the situation to the point where it will happen again, and again and again. Somebody, everybody, on both sides of the political spectrum has to somehow "win" somthing, after all... even if they have to lose to win.

    I've just come from a 'conversation' with a person who is literally laughing and happy with this.

    Almost everyone misses that politics trumps life, as usual.