Rep. Gabrielle Giffords

More on Gabby Giffords

Think Progress


This evening, as the House of Representatives convened to vote on the debt ceiling plan, Rep. Gabby Giffords (D-AZ) made a surprise appearance to cast her first vote since the shooting earlier this year. Minority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) praised Giffords, noting the admiration the country has for her.

As the CSPAN cameras panned to the back of the room, Giffords could be seen surrounded her cheering colleagues. Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-NJ) at one point reaches out to hold Giffords’ hand as the entire House erupts in applause.

Watch the video here:

Rep. Gabrielle Giffords

Gabrielle Giffords Returns To Congress To Vote On Debt Ceiling Deal (PHOTO)

When I saw Mrs. Giffords on my television screen inside the House chambers, I was delighted!  I’m not sure how many people knew she would be there to vote, but it was a very pleasant surprise to a very unpleasant “compromise” procedure…

Huffington Post

Seven months after she was shot in the head by a gunman in Tucson, Arizona, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) made a surprise and emotional return to the House floor on Monday, casting a vote in favor of a bill to raise the nation’s debt ceiling.

Giffords entered the chamber to sustained, standing applause, shaking hands with colleagues whom she had not seen since that January day. Her vote, a sideshow to the far more important and compelling personal drama, was in favor of the bill, which passed through the chamber by a margin of 269 to 161.

“I have closely followed the debate over our debt ceiling and have been deeply disappointed at what’s going on in Washington,” Giffords said, in a statement from her office. “After weeks of failed debate in Washington, I was pleased to see a solution to this crisis emerge. I strongly believe that crossing the aisle for the good of the American people is more important than party politics. I had to be here for this vote. I could not take the chance that my absence could crash our economy.”

Giffords’ office tweeted word of her return to Washington after the vote had begun. And as she showed up on the floor — smiling and with her hair cut short — the attention of lawmakers drifted from the vote tally to her presence. Her office, in a statement, noted that in December 2009 and again in February 2010, she had objected to raising the nation’s debt limit. This vote, the statement added, “was substantially different, with the strength of the U.S. economy hanging in the balance.”

After the vote was cast, Giffords received multiple additional rounds of applause, as House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Cali.) called her “the personification of courage.”

“Her presence here in the chamber as well as her service throughout her career in Congress, brings honor to this chamber,” Pelosi said. “Thank you, Gabby.”

Below, a picture of the congresswoman on Capitol Hill from HuffPost’s Jen Bendery:

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Media Distortions

WBBM Distorts Child Interview: Chicago CBS Outlet’s Misleading Editing Of Kid’s Remarks (VIDEO)

This is not only unethical, it’s degrading and insulting in its implications…

Huffington Post

WBBM-TV, the CBS affiliate in Chicago, has come under fire in recent days for broadcasting an interview with a four-year-old boy, and deliberately taking his quote out of context to completely pervert its meaning.

The story aired on June 30, as part of a package about overnight violence around the city.

(Scroll down to watch the distorted interview.)

It first describes the shooting death of 16-year-old Juan Batista, then reports on two other teens who were shot but not killed in the city’s Park Manor neighborhood on the South Side.

“Kids on the street as young as four were there to see it all unfold, and had disturbing reactions,” then-anchor Steve Bartelstein said, leading into video of an interview with the four-year-old boy.

When asked, “What are you going to do when you get older?” the boy responds: “I’m going to have me a gun!”

“That is very scary indeed,” Bartelstein adds.

Only problem is, CBS edited out the rest of what the young child said.

According to video obtained by the Maynard Institute for Journalism Education, the full interview went like this:

Reporter: “Boy, you ain’t scared of nothing! Damn! When you get older are you going to stay away from all these guns?”Boy: “No.”

Reporter: “No? What are you going to do when you get older?”

Boy: “I’m going to have me a gun!”

Reporter” “You are! Why do you want to do that?”

Boy: “I’m going to be the police!” (emphasis added)

Continue reading here…

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GOP Hate-Mongering · Right Wing Vitriol


Ok, I’m not shocked any more at the vile, racist statements coming from the right-wing nutbags.  Here’s yet another example of the racist rhetoric being thrown around by these clowns…

Think Progress

Appearing on the Caplis and Silverman radio show last Friday, Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-CO) said, “Now I don’t even want to have to be associated with [Obama], it’s like touching a tar baby and you’re stuck, you’re part of the problem now. You can’t get away.”

The term “tar baby” is often considered a slur towards African Americans. Indeed, the term has such a derogatory history that the Oxford American dictionary revamped its definition to reflect the word’s racial undertones. If Lamborn wishes to cross-check, he should ask both then-Gov. Mitt Romney (R-MA) and Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) — both of whom caught controversy for uttering the distasteful phrase.

Listen here:

U.S. Politics

The Debt Deal: Winners and Losers

Where are the revenues?  It appears the GOP has won more than the Dems in this latest debt deal.

I had hoped that the President would go for the 14th Amendment option.

Money Watch

Washington finally came to its senses Sunday night and delivered the “framework” for a compromise debt ceiling deal. Assuming both chambers of Congress fall in line on Monday — and after the circus-like escapades of the past week, that’s not actually a given — it looks like the debt ceiling will be raised in time for the U.S. Treasury to keep paying the bills on time.

The Deal

It’s tough to see any outright winners in this process. Even though we seem to have averted defaulting on debt payments, the bald display of political dysfunction has led to a growing sense that even without a formal credit downgrade — Moody’s backed off its threat on Friday — the U.S.’s global financial reputation has been bloodied. And the plan that finally managed to get enough bipartisan support still leaves plenty up in the air.

Here are the main components of the deal and who stands to gain and lose:

The debt ceiling is raised by as much as $2.4 trillion through 2012. There will be an immediate $400 billion increase ASAP so Treasury can start cutting checks, soon followed by another $500 billion  That $900 billion hike will be offset by an agreed $900 billion in spending cuts over the next 10 years. There are no increased revenues in this first phase of deficit reduction, which means it’s all spending cuts, and not a penny of increased tax revenue. A clear win for the Republicans.


Medicare is in the trigger, but Social Security COLA is spared. There’s nothing the super committee can’t — and likely won’t — throw into the debate on how to come up with the second round of spending cuts. But if that debate does end in gridlock, Medicare (though not Medicaid) will be part of “trigger” cuts. Only Medicare providers, not recipients, would see cuts, and total Medicare cuts will be held to 3 percent or less of all discretionary cuts. The proposal to change the formula for computing Social Security’s cost of living adjustment (COLA), which would lead to smaller inflation increases,  is specifically omitted as a trigger. (Though there’s nothing that would keep it from being part of the super committee debate.)

One Manufactured Crisis Averted, One Real Crisis That Looms Larger Than Ever

Debt ceilings have been raised dozens of times over the years, with every imaginable permutation of parties in power. That’s to say, there was no need for this to be a crisis. Congress chose to make this a crisis. And in the process of tending to its own manufactured mess, it continued to ignore the real crisis that needs attention: the economy.

Continue reading here…

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Gov. Rick Scott

Florida Gov. Rick Scott Hosts Anti-Abortion Law Celebration


Gov. Rick Scott (R-FL) knows how to throw a party. The conservative governor on Saturday hosted pro-life activists and Florida lawmakers at the governor’s mansion to celebrate a handful of new anti-abortion laws, the Miami Herald reports.

But the laws actually went into effect about a month ago, so why host the ceremonial bill-signing event now?

“A lot of people put a lot of effort into these things,” Scott said, speaking to why the event was held over the weekend. “I think they want to have an event to memorialize it. For these bills, a lot of these people have worked on these bills for years and years, and it’s a way for them to celebrate the accomplishments.”

Scott’s spokesman told TPM in an email that it is “common to hold ceremonial bill signings to highlight the hard work of the legislators involved with making them a reality.”

“I am honored today to sign four bills that strengthen Florida’s pro-life laws,” Scott added. “During my campaign and since I have been governor, I have made it very clear that I am, and always have been, pro-life.”

The Miami Herald breaks down the four bill Scott and others celebrated:

One requires women to receive an ultrasound before undergoing an abortion and be offered the opportunity to have it described to her. Another tightens requirements for parental notification when a minor seeks an abortion. A third prohibits insurance policies created through the federal health care law from covering abortions, and the fourth redirects proceeds from Choose Life license plates from counties to Choose Life, Inc., which counsels pregnant women. Lawmakers also passed a bill proposing a Constitutional amendment, which doesn’t require the governor’s signature, that would prohibit using tax dollars to pay for abortions.

Read the rest here.

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Norway Terror Attack · Norwegian Terrorist · Pamela Geller

Pam Geller Justifies Breivik’s Terror: Youth Camp Had More ‘Middle Eastern or Mixed’ Races Than ‘Pure Norwegian’

I get it that this woman has a right to free speech albeit offensive to many of us on the left.  I get that!  However, that does not mean that one has to accept her far right premise of attacking any and all Muslims with vile and offensive rhetoric.

Think Progress

Popular hate blogger Pam Geller has received scrutiny in recent days as the public became aware that the right-wing terrorist in Norway, Anders Behring Breivik, had praised her blog and thoroughly cited her writing in his political manifesto. After a number of blogs made the connection, as well as the New York Times, the Atlantic, and other major outlets, Geller became incensed and began lashing out at her critics.

In a post defending herself yesterday, Geller — who has called Obama “President Jihad” and claimed that Arab language classes are a plot to subvert the United States — reached a new low. Geller justifies Breivik’s attack on the Norwegian Labour Party summer youth camp because she says the camp is part of an anti-Israel “indoctrination training center.” She says the victims would have grown up to become “future leaders of the party responsible for flooding Norway with Muslims who refuse to assimilate, who commit major violence against Norwegian natives including violent gang rapes, with impunity, and who live on the dole.”

Continue reading here…  

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Grover Norquist · Scott Brown

Wait, What? Grover Norquist Thinks Sen. Scott Brown Looks Great In A Bathing Suit?

Grover Norquist
Image via Wikipedia

Closeted gay Republicans who allegedly hate same sex relationships by publicly putting that lifestyle down, seem to be among the largest group of politicians who spew hateful, anti-gay rhetoric.  What will those same self-loathing politicians say about the most powerful man in America?

Is Grover Norquist, the “godfather of no new taxes” hiding something from the world?


President of Americans for Tax Reform, Grover Norquist may have just revealed another way to win his support that might be less politically painful than having to sign his taxpayer protection pledge. All you have to do is look great in a bathing suit! During his appearance on ABC’s This Week, Norquist suggested Republicans will take back control of the Senate in 2012 because all of the open seats will either be in Red states or because Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown and his bathing suit will be running for re-election.

After insisting President Obama realized the only way he would have a chance of winning re-election is to stop over-spending, Norquist then turned his attention to the Senate:

“Republicans are going to take the Senate in 2012, if you look at the 23 Democrat seats, half of them in reddish states. And ten Republican Senate seats up, all in reasonably Republican states, with the possible exception of Massachusetts, and [Scott Brown has] got ten million dollars in the bank and looks great in a bathing suit.”

Given Brown’s history of posing for a magazine in his birthday suit, it seems as if Norquist may have Brown’s suits confused. Regardless, during this intellectual debate between Paul Krugmanand George Will, Norquist’s mention of how great he thinks Brown looks (without even the qualification of attributing such sentiment to “the voters”) was such a random observation that no one else on the roundtable even acknowledged his mentioning of it.

Therefore let this be a lesson to all Republicans, if you’re out of shape and don’t want Norquist harassing you about taxes, then either sign his pledge or hit the gym before the next beach season!

Watch the clip from ABC below:

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Military Malfeasance

Dozens of AK-47 rifles stolen from CA Army base

Raw Story

Twenty-six AK-47 rifles and a Dragunov rifle were stolen from a supply warehouse at Fort Irwin, an Army base in California’s Mojave Desert, the LA Times reported.

Officials are offering a $10,000 reward for information about the plundering, which occurred July 15 but was only disclosed to the media late this week. An undisclosed number of arrests have been made, and one of the rifles has been recovered.

Investigators suspect that some of the stolen assault rifles could turn up in Fresno, California, according to UPI.

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U.S. Politics

Reid Endorses Debt Deal, but Partisan Reservations Remain

Time Magazine

Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid ‘s office announced late Sunday that he had signed off on a deal to raise the debt ceiling and enact $2.4 trillion in budget cuts, pending agreement from his caucus. Earlier in the day, Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said that negotiators were “very close” to reaching an agreement “that I would feel comfortable recommending to all my members.” The 11th-hour compromise could see a Senate vote as early as Sunday night, with final passage through both chambers before Tuesday, when the U.S. would otherwise be forced to take drastic action to avoid defaulting on its credit obligations.

It’s not clear that Reid has buy-in from his caucus just yet. “There is no final agreement,” cautioned Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the No. 3 Senate Democrat, Sunday afternoon. Democrats were unhappy with the deal negotiated between the White House and congressional Republicans, sources told TIME, after a proposal put forward by Majority Leader Harry Reid was defeated in a Senate procedural vote. A House GOP Leadership aide expressed cautious optimism, saying, “Discussions are moving in the right direction, but serious issues remain. And no agreement will be final until Members have a chance to weigh in.”

Read more…   

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