Capitol Shooting: Police Shoot, Kill Female Suspect After Car Chase

Police inspect a car on the median of Constitution Ave in front of the Hart Senate Office Building following reports of a shooting on October 3, 2013 in Washington, DC (AFP, Mandel Ngan)

The Huffington Post

A woman driving a black Infiniti with a young child inside tried to ram through a White House barricade Thursday, then led police on a chase toward the Capitol, where police shot and killed her, witnesses and officials said.

Tourists watched the shooting unfold on Constitution Avenue outside the Capitol as lawmakers inside debated how to end a government shutdown. Police quickly locked down the entire complex temporarily, and both houses of Congress went into recess.

Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Tex., who said he was briefed by the Homeland Security Department, said the woman was killed. Asked if she was armed, he replied: “I don’t think she was. There was no return fire.”

Capitol Police later confirmed that all of the shots during the incident had been fired by law enforcement officers.

Police described it as an isolated event and saw no indications of terrorism.

The pursuit began when a car with Connecticut plates sped onto the driveway leading to the White House, over a set of lowered barricades. When she couldn’t get through a second barrier, she spun the car in the opposite direction, flipping a Secret Service officer over the hood of the car as she sped away, said B.J. Campbell, a visiting tourist from Portland, Ore.

A fleet of police and Secret Service cars chased the Infiniti toward Capitol Hill.

“The car was trying to get away. But it was going over the median and over the curb,” said Matthew Coursen, who was on his way to a legislative office building when the Infiniti sped by him. “The car got boxed in and that’s when I saw an officer of some kind draw his weapon and fire shots into the car.”

Coursen watched the shooting from his cab window.

“I thought to myself, ‘The car is getting blocked in. The car is going to surrender,'” he said. “Now the cop has his weapon out. The car kept trying to get away. Then he fired shots.”

Senate Sergeant at Arms Terrance Gainer said a child was taken from the car to a hospital but said he knew of no harm to the youngster. Tourist Edmund Ofori-Attah said the child appeared to be about 2 to 3 years old.

A police officer was injured in the traffic accident but Gainer said the injuries were not life threatening.

“We heard three, four, five pops,” said Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., who was walking from the Capitol to an office building across the street. Police ordered Casey and nearby tourists to crouch behind a car for protection, then hustled everyone into the Capitol.

“There were multiple shots fired and the air was filled with gunpowder,” said Berin Szoka, whose office at a technology think tank overlooks the shooting scene.

The shooting comes two weeks after a mentally disturbed employee terrorized the Navy Yard with a shotgun, leaving 13 people dead including the gunman.

Before the disruption, lawmakers had been trying to find common ground to end a government shutdown. The House had just finished approving legislation aimed at partly lifting the government shutdown by paying National Guard and Reserve members.

U.S. Capitol Police on the plaza around the Capitol said they were working without pay as the result of the shutdown.

Beltway Media Slain By Satire

The Onion, Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart are masters of satire.

This time it was The Onion’s turn at getting a massive amount of publicity for one of their articles…but wait!  Everyone knows The Onion is a satirical website, don’t they?

The Huffington Post

The Onion Unleashes Deadly Satirical Attack On Washington Via Twitter 

Washington, D.C., was the scene of a devastating satirical attack this morning, as a tweet from The Onion, the well-known fake-news site, intersected with the most humorless residents of the most self-absorbed city in the world, touching off a tsunami of ultra-seriousness. Now, the Beltway media are left to grapple with the essential question: How could this happen here?

It all began at 10:33 a.m., when The Onion’s Twitter feed posted a tweet that read, “BREAKING: Witnesses reporting screams and gunfire heard inside Capitol building.” Now, normally, when The Onion tweets things like “Small-Town Sheriff Has Actually Killed Surprising Amount Of People” or “Pediatricians Announce 2011 Newborns Are Ugliest Babies In 30 Years,” people in English-speaking nations all around the world demonstrate, with a high degree of skill, the ability to understand that the things The Onion tweets are not, strictly speaking, true. On those rare occasions when there is a notable failure to come to grips with this reality, the media enjoy having a laugh at the expense of the ignorant.

Today, their ability to remain aware that they were, as they say, “in on the joke” failed them. Instead, everyone decided it was absolutely plausible that a satiric website in New York City had managed to scoop the entire Beltway press corps on a story that involved gunfire at the Capitol. No, the tweet, in and of itself was not what I would call “hilarious.” Yes, we live in an age of frayed nerves. But most people know enough to stop themselves at the seventh word when they find themselves saying, “Oh, my God, The Onion is reporting that the Capitol is under attack!”

I can understand and respect that people have different points at which the laughter stops. And I’ll allow that for many, this tweet probably crossed a line. I’ll only point out that finding where the line is and crossing it basically describes The Onion’s entire mission. But there’s a distinction to be made between decent people being offended and officials actually taking this stuff seriously:

US Capitol Police on Thursday flatly denied a joke claim on the popular satire website The Onion’s Twitter feed of “screams and gunfire” in the Congress and said they were investigating the comment.”Conditions at the US Capitol are currently normal. There is no credibility to these stories or the Twitter feeds,” said a spokeswoman for US Capitol Police, Sergeant Kimberly Schneider.

“The US Capitol Police are currently investigating the reporting,” she said in a statement issued roughly half an hour after The Onion’s first tweet about a supposed violent standoff in the US Congress.

Oh, the Capitol Police are “investigating the reporting”? I sure hope they manage to close that case! (Keep reading Twitter, maybe? That’s just an amateur crime-solving tip I have.)

Continue reading here… 

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Walker Guy Stabs Protester’s Balloon and Bloodies Himself

All I have to say is that Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker is nuts and his supporters are nuttier!

The Progressive

Monday afternoon, as Governor Scott Walker was signing into law a bill that turns the legislative and Congressional redistricting process and any appeals to it upside-down, and as Department of Administration Secretary Mike Huebsch was reassuring the public that Wisconsin has enough cash on hand to survive for three months in the event of a federal government default, Capitol Facilities Manager Ron Blair was tackling a more pressing problem: heart-shaped balloons.

Outside the doors of the Wisconsin Supreme Court, Leslie Peterson was reaching down into her shopping bag to remove a heart-shaped balloon so that her friend could take a photo of her with it. As soon as she pulled it out, someone came up behind her and repeatedly stabbed the balloon with a blade. “I’m sick of fishing these off the ceiling,” said the man with the round glasses and handlebar moustache as he walked away.

Shaken up by the sneak attack on her property, Leslie asked the man for his name and identification. He did not respond to her so she asked him again, saying that she was going to file an incident report with the Capitol Police. At that point, he allegedly grabbed her and slammed her up against the door of a women’s bathroom. “I saw blood all over him and me. I didn’t know if he still had the knife, or whether or not I had been stabbed,” said Leslie.

The man, who was later identified as Ron Blair, assistant director in the Wisconsin Department of Administration in charge of facilities management at the Capitol, then ran out of the Capitol and into a building across the street. He later told reporters that the blood all over the stairs and floor in front of the Supreme Court was from an earlier fall he had taken on the stairs. However, Leslie reports seeing blood only after he slashed the balloon.

Meanwhile, Leslie’s screams alerted others who were at the daily Solidarity Sing Along in the Rotunda to call for the police. She and those who witnessed the events were taken to the basement of the Capitol to give their statements. Leslie’s friend, Jenna Pope, had taken several photos of the events, and the camera was taken as evidence, as was the blood-splattered shopping bag containing the slashed balloon.

Continue reading here… 

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Haunting New Giffords Photo

The Daily Beast Cheat Sheet

49 Charges in Giffords Case

Staffers of wounded Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords released a never-before-seen photo on Giffords’ Facebook page today depicting her just moments before being shot in the head. The photo shows Giffords doing what “she loves to do; talk to her constituents,” her staff said. In the picture, the Representative—who has lately shown rapid signs of a rapid recovery, including walking and talking, but still has a long way to go, doctors say—is talking to Jim and Doris Tucker outside the Tucson Safeway where she was attacked. On the same day, her alleged shooter Jared Loughner was indicted on 49 new counts by a federal grand jury.

Gaddafi’s Most Brutal Attack Yet

Is Libya locked in a bloody stalemate? Leader Muammar Gaddafi launched one of his most brutal attacks yet on Friday, attempting to maintain his grip on Tripoli and surrounding areas in what some rebels called a “bloodbath.” Meanwhile, the country’s Internet was completely shut down yesterday, new reports show. In the U.S., President Obama is receiving three briefings per day on the situation, the White House said, and is “appalled” at what he hears.   At least 37 people died on Friday night’s fighting alone and rebels say the number is closer to 50.

Read it at The Washington Post 

Wisconsin Democrat Tackled While Trying To Enter Capitol

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker upped the ante in his state’s tense union standoff on Friday night, issuing layoff warning notices to 13 unions. The notices “may be able to be rescinded,” Walker said, if the state’s Senate Democrats, who fled Wisconsin in protest, return. Meanwhile, a Democratic Assembly member was tackled by Capitol police Thursday night when he tried to enter the building, which had been closed to the public after weeks of protests. The Assembly member, Nick Milroy, called the situation at the Capitol an “armed-palace environment,” and said the guard knocked him to the ground before he was able to produce his identification card. Police closed the building Thursday night after a judge banned protesters from staying past business hours. 



Wisconsin Protesters Resist Police Order To Leave Capitol

At the risk of sounding a bit melodramatic, I don’t know how far this will go before police do in fact clear the Wisconsin Capitol Building or if the clear it at all.  However, thus far this is quite reminiscent of the people of Egypt and their rapport with the Egyptian army during the revolution to oust Mubarak.

Huffington Post

Union leaders and other protesters say they plan to make a peaceful stand when police begin clearing out the state Capitol nearly two weeks after demonstrators first occupied the building.

Police have said they will arrest anyone who refuses to clear out at 4 p.m. Sunday.

Protesters have been camping out in the building since Feb. 15 to speak out against a sweeping anti-union bill put forth by Republican Gov. Scott Walker.

Capitol police have allowed the protesters to remain, but the Department of Administration says the building needs to be cleaned.

It’s unclear how many protesters plan to be arrested rather than disperse, but the number could be in the hundreds. Protest leaders say they plan to cooperate fully and are urging everyone to remain calm.

Today 6:09 PM Protesters To Police: ‘Thank You’

HuffPost’s Amanda Terkel reports:

A couple of minutes after 5:00 pm CT, protesters began chanting “Thank you cops!” — most likely gratitude for the fact that police officers have reportedly not yet arrested anyone or made any significant moves to clear the Capitol.

Today 5:59 PM Hundreds Defy Order To Leave Capitol, Risk Arrest

HuffPost’s Amanda Terkel reports:

Police officers were supposed to begin clearing out protesters in the Wisconsin statehouse at 4:00 pm CT Sunday, but more than 30 minutes later, hundreds of people remained inside. An announcement was made that people were supposed to leave, and while some did go, chanting “We’ll be back,” many remained — even though they risked being arrested. Many more people who wanted to support the protesters but didn’t want to risk spending the night in jail amassed outside the Capitol.

Approximately 10,000 people were viewing a livestream of the action on the floor on USTREAM, but that feed went down shortly after 4:30, prompting panic from viewers on Twitter wondering where else they can view what’s happening. ( has a livestream at the top of its site.)

Police officers are currently in the Capitol but have taken no action to arrest or forcibly remove anyone. @MelissaRyan, who is on the ground, tweeted that the mood is not even in the slightest bit tense. Just a short while ago, protesters began singing the national anthem.

@News3David wrote that Jim Palmer, the executive director of the Wisconsin Professional Police Association — which has strongly supported the protest — believes people will not be made to leave and the Capitol will remain open. One Madison police officer not in uniform also told him that he plans to stay in the Capitol, even if asked to leave.

Continue reading updates here…

‘Birther’ disrupts House reading of Constitution

It didn’t take long for the crazies to come out of the woodwork…

MSNBC – Capitol Hill

WASHINGTON — House Republicans’ reading of the Constitution was interrupted Thursday by a woman who shouted “except Obama, except Obama” to the venerable document’s words on a U.S. citizen’s eligibility to be president.

Boehner addresses birthers

Just as Rep. Frank Pallone, D-N.J., was reading “no person, except a natural-born citizen, or a citizen of the United States” is eligible for the presidency, a woman in the visitor’s gallery yelled out that it did not apply to President Barack Obama.

Rep. Mike Simpson, R-Idaho, who was presiding over the House, banged the gavel and halted the proceedings, warning that such action from members of the public was a violation of House rules. The woman was quickly removed by Capitol police.

Lawmakers took turns reciting each verse and article of the document. Republicans in charge of the chamber rattled it off with missionary zeal, as if in a school civics class. Democrats pitched in, but with seemingly less ardor.

Historians said it was the first time the 222-year-old governing document had been read in its entirety on the House floor.

‘Birthers’ question Obama’s eligibility
So-called “birthers” claim Obama is ineligible to be president because they say there’s no proof he was born in the United States, with many of the skeptics questioning whether he was actually born in Kenya — his father’s home country.

The Obama campaign issued a certificate of live birth in 2008, an official document from Hawaii showing the president’s birth date, city and name, along with his parents’ names and races. The certificate doesn’t list the name of the hospital where he was born or the physician who delivered him, information collected by the state as part of its vital records. Hawaii’s health director said last year and in 2008 that she had seen and verified Obama’s original vital records.    More…

Watch here…

McCain Threatens To Call The Cops On Former Supporter

A few days ago John McCain told a 9/11 First responder that he “couldn’t help him“.  Today, McCain turned his back on a former supporter who wanted to ask him about his views on the Dream Act

Huffington Post

When Gaby Pacheco met with Sen. John McCain in 2007 to plead for help stopping the deportation of her family, she says she found a man who was sympathetic both personally and politically. McCain (R-Ariz.) was at the time a supporter of comprehensive immigration reform and the DREAM Act, which would allow some illegal immigrants who came to the United States as children to remain in the country legally.

McCain gave her a hug and promised to continue pushing for immigration reform in the face of stiff conservative opposition.

“He said ‘Don’t worry, everything is going to be OK. I’m going to fight for this.’ ” she recalled.

Pacheco had met McCain about six months earlier when she introduced him at an event in Miami, where he discussed his support for immigration reform. She later supported his presidential campaign, placing signs for his candidacy on her lawn and bumper stickers on her car, and encouraged others to vote for him.

“The general sentiment was that he was a hero in the community,” she said. “I talked about the legacy that he was always had, which was to fight for justice, and that he was fighting for justice then as well.”

That was a different McCain.

A few days before the Senate left for the Thanksgiving break, Pacheco met the new McCain when she tried to lobby him on the DREAM Act, the bill he’d once championed.

When Pacheco approached McCain, she said, he dismissed her and threatened to call the Capitol Police on her if she continued to follow him.

As he entered an elevator, the DREAM Act supporters told the senator that all they want is to serve their country.

“Go serve them then,” McCain told them, according to Pacheco.

Continue reading here…

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