Gabby Giffords Office Releases First Photos Of Congresswoman Since Shooting

She has miraculously bounced back from that horrific shooting in Arizona almost five months ago.  Here are recent pictures of her after her incredible fight to recover from a gunman’s bullet:


The office of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ), who has been undergoing medical treatment since she was shot in the head at a district event this past January, has now released onto Facebook the first official photos of the Congresswoman since the incident.

The photos were taken on May 17, the day after the launch of the space Shuttle Endeavour commanded by her husband Mark Kelly, and the day before she underwent a cranioplasty surgery to replace part of her skull with a plastic implant. One of the photos is a solo picture of Giffords, facing the camera and smiling. The other shows the Congresswoman accompanied by her mother, Gloria Giffords, and both smiling.


The photos were accompanied by a statement from the photographer, Arizona photojournalist and Giffords friend P.K. Weis:

“Any photographer in the country would have loved the opportunity to take these pictures and I was delighted to be asked. I’ve known Gabby for more than a decade and her staff asked me to do it because she wanted someone who was not a stranger – someone she would be comfortable around. The photos were taken in her room and in an outside area of the hospital.

“In addition to the congresswoman, her mother, one of her staff members and a close friend were there. Doctors and nurses also came in and out.”

It was very inspiring to see how much she had recovered in 4½ months. I was excited to see her and to see her smile. She was glad to see me, was in a good mood, smiling and laughing and seemed to enjoy the experience. I certainly did, too.”

Gabrielle Giffords mouthing song lyrics

This is excellent news about the Arizona Representative, Gabrielle Giffords…


Rep. Gabrielle Giffords continues to progress in her miraculous recovery from a gunshot wound to the head, lip-syncing to songs and speaking by phone to her brother-in-law, who is orbiting Earth in the space shuttle.

The Arizona Democrat has been mouthing the words to songs including “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” and the jazz-era standard “I Can’t Give You Anything but Love, Baby,” The New York Times reported late Sunday.

Giffords is not speaking as she once did, but she is improving by the day.

“It’s not like she’s speaking the way she spoke, but she is vocalizing and making progress every day,” said Pia Carusone, Giffords’s chief of staff. “Don’t get the idea she’s speaking in paragraphs, but she definitely understands what we’re saying and she’s verbalizing.”

On Sunday afternoon, Giffords was given a telephone to speak with her brother-in-law Scott Kelly, who is aboard the International Space Station. “She said, ‘Hi, I’m good,’” Carusone said.      Read more…

Lawrence O’Donnell Heatedly Clashes With Trent Franks About Gun Control, Loughner (VIDEO)

Lawrence O’Donnell really hates it when a guest doesn’t give a straight answer…

Huffington Post

A furious Lawrence O’Donnell clashed with Arizona Republican Congressman Trent Franks on his Tuesday show about gun control and the Arizona shooting. O’Donnell was clearly incensed that Jared Loughner, the alleged shooter, was legally allowed to put so many bullets into the weapon he fired.

Franks gained wide attention when he said last week, “I wish there had been one more gun there that day in the hands of a responsible person.”

O’Donnell began the interview by asking Franks, “Congressman, don’t you wish Jared Loughner had a smaller capacity ammunition clip when he went to Gabby Giffords’ event in Tuscon?” Franks dodged the question, saying that “to focus on the clip is like saying…we’ll combat drunk driving by limiting the size of fuel tanks.”

O’Donnell asked Franks to imagine if the shooting had occurred in 2003, when, due to gun control laws then on the books, Loughner “would not have been allowed to get his hands on a magazine that held 30 bullets…and more citizens of Arizona would be alive today in your state.”

When Franks tried to make a different point, O’Donnell began to shout. “So, you’re not going to answer that question about the magazine?” he said. “Will you answer the question about the magazine?” Franks started to say that the individual, not the gun, should be blamed for the tragedy.

“I blame the individual for the first 10 bullets,” O’Donnell yelled. “I blame the law for the next 21 bullets that he fired.”


Congresswoman Giffords To Be Moved To Houston

The Congresswoman’s progress has been phenomenal…

Huffington Post

U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords will be moved Friday to a rehabilitation hospital in Houston to begin the next phase of her recovery from a gunshot wound, barring medical issues that would delay the transfer, her family said Wednesday.

Giffords’ husband said his wife’s care will continue at TIRR Memorial Hermann Rehabilitation Hospital in Houston, where he lives and works as an astronaut. Doctors say the exact day of the move will depend on Giffords’ health.

“I am extremely hopeful at the signs of recovery that my wife has made since the shooting,” Mark Kelly said in a statement released by Giffords’ congressional office. “The team of doctors and nurses at UMC has stabilized her to the point of being ready to move to the rehabilitation phase.”

Kelly is scheduled to command NASA’s last space shuttle flight in April, but that’s uncertain now.  He has been a constant presence at Giffords’ bedside since rushing to Tucson after first getting word of the attack.

Giffords was gravely wounded by a gunshot to the forehead on Jan. 8 as she was meeting with constituents outside a grocery store in Tucson. The gunman shot 18 other people, killing six and wounding 12 more.

Since then, Giffords has been at University Medical Center in Tucson, where her condition has improved almost daily, doctors have said.

Word of the move was met with elation from Giffords’ friends and others who have been visiting the three-term Democrat at the hospital.

“It’s good news for all of us and for all the people who have been praying for wisdom and strength for the surgeons and others who have been helping her,” said Stephanie Aaron, Giffords’ rabbi at Congregation Chaverim in Tucson. “It’s nothing short of a miracle, but it’s also Gabby’s will to fight. It’s her strength of spirit.”

Giffords’ neurosurgeon said the family considered hospitals around the country, including in Washington, D.C., New York and Chicago.   More…


HuffPo: Gabrielle Giffords Smiled In Hospital, Husband Says (LATEST UPDATES)

I am inclined to believe that Congresswoman Gabriel Giffords will be making a complete recovery, based on her remarkable progress in just one week.

ABC Promotional Clip of interview with Mike Kelly, Congresswoman Giffords’ astronaut husband:

Huffington Post

Doctors have successfully performed a surgery on Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’ eye socket to remove bone fragments as the wounded congresswoman showed more signs of improvement.

There were no complications from the surgery, and Giffords is improving so much that she was able to give her husband a back rub.

Dr. Randall Friese said Mark Kelly also told doctors he saw Giffords smile. He said sometimes people see what they want to see, but that “if he says she’s smiling, I buy it.”

Giffords still cannot speak because of a tracheotomy done so the breathing tube could be removed from her mouth.

Dr. Michael Lemole says the eye operation entailed making an incision above the eyebrow, removing bone chips to relieve pressure and reconstructing the roof of the socket.

Today 1:37 PM ET Smiling

The AP reports:

TUCSON, Ariz. — Doctors have successfully performed a surgery on Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’ eye socket to remove bone fragments as the wounded congresswoman showed more signs of improvement.

There were no complications from the surgery, and Giffords is improving so much that she was able to give her husband a back rub.

Dr. Randall Friese said Mark Kelly also told doctors he saw Giffords smile. He said sometimes people see what they want to see, but that “if he says she’s smiling, I buy it.”

Giffords still cannot speak because of a tracheotomy done so the breathing tube could be removed from her mouth.

Dr. Michael Lemole says the eye operation entailed making an incision above the eyebrow, removing bone chips to relieve pressure and reconstructing the roof of the socket.

Today 11:26 AM ET Giffords’ Husband: She Gave Me A Back Rub At Hospital

Mark Kelly, the husband of Rep. Giffords, will give his first interview on Tuesday night. ABC has released excerpts of the interview, and in one portion Kelly says that Giffords is now able to give him a back rub:

“[It is] so typical of her. She’s in the ICU. You know, gone through this traumatic injury. And she spent 10 minutes giving me a neck massage. I keep tellin’ her. I’m like, ‘Gabby, you’re in the ICU. You know, you don’t need — you know, you don’t need to be doin’ this.’ But it’s so typical of her that no matter how bad the situation might be for her, you know, she’s lookin’ out for other people.”

The astronaut also says he is “probably” willing to meet with the parents of alleged shooter Jared Loughner:

“I’d probably see them. You know, I don’t think it’s their fault. It’s not the parents fault. You know, I’d like to think I’m a person that’s, you know, somewhat forgiving. And, I mean, they’ve got to be hurting in this situation as much as much as anybody.”

9-Year-Old Shooting Victim’s Organs Save a Life

Christina keeps on giving…

CBS News

Born on the tragic day of Sept. 11, 2001 and killed during the tragic Ariz. shootings — another day that marked tragedy in the U.S. — Christina Green’s brief life made a large impact on the lives of many, including a child on the East Coast, who benefitted from the donation of Green’s organs.

Complete Coverage: Tragedy in Tucson

The Arizona Republic reports that a friend helping the Green family said the organ donation network called on Jan. 12, telling them that Green’s donation had already saved the life of a little girl in Boston.

Rev. Gerald Kicanas, Bishop of Tucson, told mourners at the 9-year-old’s funeral that her organs were donated.

On Jan. 12, President Barack Obama said that it is incumbent upon the country to live up to the vision of it held by Green, who was born on Sept. 11, 2001 and aspired to be a political leader and a Major League Baseball player.

“Imagine,” the president said. “Here was a young girl who was just becoming aware of our democracy; just beginning to understand the obligations of citizenship; just starting to glimpse the fact that someday she too might play a part in shaping her nation’s future. She had been elected to her student council; she saw public service as something exciting, something hopeful. She was off to meet her congresswoman, someone she was sure was good and important and might be a role model. She saw all this through the eyes of a child, undimmed by the cynicism or vitriol that we adults all too often just take for granted.”     More…



DEFIANT – House Members Continue Meet-And-Greets In Wake Of Arizona Shooting

It’s good to see that not all politicians are filled with fear and loathing…

Huffington Post

House Members continue to plan meet-and-greets in the wake of an alleged assassination attempt on Rep. Gabrielle Giffords that left six dead on Saturday, The Hill reports. Mike Illis writes that “a number of lawmakers in both chambers are pushing ahead defiantly with public gatherings designed to demonstrate that the attempted assassination of a colleague will be no deterrent from public interaction with voters.”

Giffords was shot on Saturday outside a grocery store near Tucson, Ariz. 13 were wounded in addition to the six fatalities.

Meanwhile, the youngest victim from Saturday’s deadly rampage, nine-year-old Christina Taylor Green, was laid to rest on Thursday in Tucson.

Some 2,000 mourners packed a Catholic church to honor her, while hundreds more lined streets outside in a show of unity and support.

Christina’s was the first of half-a-dozen funerals in the coming days, and was to be followed Friday with a service for U.S. District Judge John Roll at the same church, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton. Security was expected to be tight at the ceremony, with many federal judges among the mourners.

Roll and Christina were among six people killed Saturday when a gunman opened fire on a meet-and-greet for Democratic Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in a Tucson supermarket parking lot. Thirteen others were wounded, including Giffords, who was shot in the head and gravely injured.

Roll, who served nearly 40 years, had stopped by the event after attending Mass to say hello to the congresswoman.

On Thursday, though, the focus was on Christina as the mourners said goodbye to the joyful, patriotic and athletic girl whose life began on Sept. 11, 2001, and ended on what has become another day of national tragedy.

Eight-year-old Dante Williams had only one thing on his mind: he wanted to leave a giant teddy bear, Brownie, for his slain friend.

The third-grader who attended school with the dark-haired girl recalled chasing her at recess and having dance contests with her in the schoolyard – mostly break-dancing, he said. He bought the stuffed animal, a toy nearly as tall as himself, to leave by Christina’s casket because she loved animals, but there was no room.


Tucson Tea Party Leader Blames Gabrielle Giffords for Getting Shot

This can’t be good from any perspective…

Moral Low Ground

Tucson Tea Party co-founder Trent Humphries has disgustingly blamed US Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords for her own shooting. “It’s political gamesmanship,” he explained to Britain’s Guardian. “The real case is that she [Giffords] had no security whatsoever at this event. So if she lived under a constant fear of being targeted, if she lived under this constant fear of this rhetoric and hatred that was seething, why would she attend an event in full view of the public with no security whatsoever?”

That’s not all. In addition to the six people murdered by gunman Jared Loughner last Saturday, including a nine-year-old girl and a federal judge, Humphries says there is another victim of the massacre: the Tea Party movement, and Humphries himself. He says the tragic killings are “evolving into a conspiracy” to destroy the Tea Party and silence criticism of the government.

Unfortunately, enemies of the Tea Party have been using the same militant, threatening rhetoric against Humphries as his organization is notorious for. “Too bad it wasn’t your family that was killed,” one said. “We hate you and we’re going to stand against you and we’re going to use our First and Second Amendment rights to stop you,” vowed another. The local sheriff has warned Humphries to avoid public places; he won’t be attending tonight’s memorial service for the victims of Saturday’s slaughter.


Speaking of Tea Party reaction to the tragedy in Tuscon, AZ:

Roy Sekoff On GOP Dilemma: Tea Party Delivers Both ‘The Energy And The Crazy’


“What we’ve seen from the Tea Party and Sarah Palin is that they excel at playing the victim,” Sekoff said. “The danger there is that since they feel so victimized, they’re just going to get louder, and they’re going to ratchet it out, and they’re going to make more outrageous comments like we’ve seen right there.”

Sekoff explained that the popularity of the Tea Party movement exemplifies the divide between traditional conservative values and the radical right currently at work within the Republican party. “This really speaks to the identity crisis the GOP is facing right now,” he said.

Sekoff continued, “The energy and the dynamism is really with the Tea Party, but so is all the crazy and the outrage. And that’s where the danger lies.”

Sarah Palin’s Arizona Shooting Statement Blasts Journalists & Pundits’ ‘Blood Libel’

It’s hard for me to understand how Sarah Palin doesn’t address the cross hairs map, but accuses the media of manufacturing “blood libel“, essentially turning their criticism of her around by criticising them of the same thing.  

In the past, Palin has accused the present administration of creating death panels within the Healthcare reform bill.  

Palin has accused Obama of “palling around with terrorists”  during the Presidential campaign in 2008.  On one occasion during that campaign season, someone in her audience yelled “kill him

It’s ironic to me that Mrs. Palin has decided to speak out on the same day that President Obama will address the nation at a memorial service in Tuscon, AZ this evening.

I guess my question is, why is it ok for her to commit the same “blood libel” against the POTUS and Democrats, yet when the tables are turned, she cries “victim”?

Mrs. Palin appears robotic and disconnected from the reality of the situation.   One more thing, who has a Flag near their fireplace?   The video seems so contrived, in my opinion.  It will play well to her base, but I have no doubt that others will not be as kind.

Huffington Post

Former Alaska governor Sarah Palin broke her silence on the tragedy in Tucson Wednesday, releasing her first comments on the shooting since a brief statement following the incident Saturday.

In her extended remarks — transmitted in a nearly 8-minute address — Palin expresses sympathy for the victims and responds to a flurry of criticism that has been leveled at her and others for supposedly pushing vitriolic political discourse in a manner that may have encouraged the violent flare-up:

There are those who claim political rhetoric is to blame for the despicable act of this deranged, apparently apolitical criminal. And they claim political debate has somehow gotten more heated just recently. But when was it less heated? Back in those “calm days” when political figures literally settled their differences with dueling pistols? In an ideal world all discourse would be civil and all disagreements cordial. But our Founding Fathers knew they weren’t designing a system for perfect men and women. If men and women were angels, there would be no need for government. Our Founders’ genius was to design a system that helped settle the inevitable conflicts caused by our imperfect passions in civil ways. So, we must condemn violence if our Republic is to endure.

In her statement, she also blasts “journalists and pundits” for “manufacturing a blood libel that serves only to incite the very hatred and violence they purport to condemn.” She adds, “That is reprehensible.”

Palin has been criticized for placing Democrats — including Rep. Gabrielle Giffords — under crosshairs during the 2010 election. A Palin aide denied that the crosshairs had anything to do with violence or guns, even though the former Alaska governor referred to the “bullseye” list on at least one occasion. Scroll down for a video as well as the full text of her remarks.      More…


Fox News CEO Roger Ailes: Fox And ‘The Other Side’ Need To Tone Down Rhetoric

Too little too late?

Huffington Post

Fox News CEO Roger Ailes said that he has told his network to “tone it down” in the wake of the shooting in Arizona, and that he hopes the “other side” will do so as well.

Ailes’ comments appeared in a conversation with Russell Simmons that was published on Simmons’ website, Global Grind. He said that any attempts to connect Fox News or the Tea Party to the shooting were “bullshit,” and that “both sides” were responsible for extreme rhetoric.

But Ailes did say that he had issued a warning to Fox News staff.

“I told all of our guys, shut up, tone it down, make your argument intellectually,” Ailes said. You don’t have to do it with bombast. I hope the other side does that.”

Read the full interview here.