Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Was it immigration policy that got Rep. Giffords shot?

Based on zero evidence, there have been many attempts to link the Giffords shooting to Arizona's policies towards illegal immigration. Some such attempts are reported in the excerpts below

The final paragraph is true in a way that its speaker probably did not intend. He is right that America is currently "practicing the politics of division and subtraction, not multiplication and addition", but who is to blame for that?

It wouldn't be a Democratic party that pushed through a vast healthcare bill that was clearly unwanted by the majority of Americans (something confirmed on Nov. 2 last year) and a party that has not shown one sign of that "reaching across the aisle" which Obama promised in his election campaign, would it? It took the defeats of last November to wring the first compromise out of them.

And which party tried its damnedest to push through the DREAM act when at least two thirds of Americans are opposed to any form of amnesty for illegals?

Another blogger makes similar points but at greater length. And, as noted here Giffords was in fact closer to the GOP policy on illegal immigration than she was to mainstream Democrats. It was a "secure the borders" politician who was shot -- JR

Even before the shooting of a U.S. congresswoman Saturday, the state of Arizona was in the throes of a convulsive political year that had come to symbolize a bitter partisan divide across much of America.

The motives of the alleged shooter, who wounded Democratic Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and killed six people in Tucson, are not known and they may not be political.

But after an acrimonious election in November that followed months of bitter exchanges, politics looms large in the wake of the shooting and a local sheriff pointedly blamed hateful political rhetoric for inciting violence.

"When you look at unbalanced people, how they respond to the vitriol that comes out of certain mouths about tearing down the government," Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik told a news conference.

"The anger, the hatred, the bigotry that goes on in this country is getting to be outrageous. And, unfortunately, Arizona I think has become sort of the capital. We have become the Mecca for prejudice and bigotry."

The spark in Arizona's political firestorm was the border state's move to crack down on illegal immigration last summer, a bill proposed by conservative lawmakers and signed by Republican Gov. Jan Brewer.

The law known as SB 1070 "superheated the political divide more than I've ever seen it in Arizona," said Bruce Merrill, a longtime political analyst and pollster at Arizona State University.

A majority of Arizonans supported it, but opponents and many in the large Hispanic population felt it was unconstitutional and would lead to discrimination.

As the law went into effect, U.S. Congressman Raul Grijalva, an Arizona Democrat and opponent of SB 1070, closed a district office in Yuma after staff found a shattered window and a bullet inside.

Giffords favored a softer approach to illegal immigrants and was expected to push for comprehensive immigration reform in the Congress that was sworn in this week in Washington....

Art Hamilton, who served 26 years in the state House and 18 years as its Democratic leader, said there is "no question" that Arizona is at a low point in its governance. "I do believe we see a point in the history of this state that we're practicing the politics of division and subtraction, not multiplication and addition," Hamilton said.



The Left Hypocritically Exploits Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords' Shooting

The fact that the shooter is an atheist will burn them up, though. If Christians were as dishonest as the Left, they would be blaming the shooting on the white-anting of community morality by the anti-religious Left -- JR

Just hours after Saturday’s tragic shooting incident in Tucson, Arizona, numerous news sources on the left from CNN to the Huffington Post were casting blame upon Sarah Palin, Tea Parties, and Second Amendment supporters. Hoping the shooter had right-leaning views, the Left immediately started portraying Jared Lee Loughner as a right wing nut. Even as information trickled in revealing Loughner had some left-leaning political views, the left ignored it and ran with their own spin, labeling him a product of the right.

Loughner is far from a right winger. A former high school classmate of Loughner’s described him as “…left wing, quite liberal...a pot head and into rock, like Hendrix, The Doors, Anti-Flag.” Loughner’s list of favorite books on his MySpace page include The Communist Manifesto, Hitler’s Mein Kampf, and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. Two YouTube videos he posted include numerous rants about the government and mind control, and reveal he does not believe in God. In one video he states, “No! I won’t trust in God!” Another of his 'favorite' videos shows a masked man burning the American flag.

Ignoring these facts about his political persuasions, the Left instead has tried to turn the focus of the shooting to blaming the right and Sarah Palin, trotting out a map Palin created last year “targeting” incumbent Congressional candidates. This is outrageous. There is no comparison whatsoever between “targeting” members of Congress for defeat in elections and attempting to murder them. Right-leaning politicians and activists do not approve of murder. There is also no indication Loughner was inspired by Palin’s map, considering his political leanings come from the anarcho-left.

In order to justify that desperate stretch, the left ignores the fact that one of their own, defeated Arizona Democrat Congressman Harry Mitchell, ran a campaign ad against JD Hayworth in 2006 featuring Hayworth in the crosshairs of a rifle.

The Democrat Sheriff of Pima County, Clarence Dupnik, a partisan who has long fought with conservatives over enforcing illegal immigration laws, implied Saturday that the actions of Loughner were akin to Arizona’s stance on SB 1070 and illegal immigration. "We have become the capital, the mecca for prejudice and bigotry," Dupnik told reporters. He also said some of the anti-government sentiments in the media may have influenced Loughner.

The Left embraced Dupnik’s politically motivated smear of right-leaning viewpoints, using it to associate Loughner’s shootings with Tea Party activism. The liberal blog Blue Wave News posted an article entitled, “Tea Party Rhetoric: Nothing better than a dead liberal,” using one lone woman’s inappropriate remarks on video to justify lumping the entire Tea Party movement in with Loughner’s shootings. In actuality, Loughner has little in common with the Tea Party. His dislike of the American flag, his choice of The Communist Manifesto as a favorite book and his anarchist ramblings all point to someone on the other side of the political spectrum. The Tea Party’s biggest issues have been government spending and Obamacare, and Giffords was regularly protested by Tea Parties for her support of Obamacare. There is zero evidence that Loughner had any concern about those issues.

The left is using the shootings to call for stricter gun control laws, placing blame on Arizona’s strong pro-Second Amendment laws for the shootings. At this point, it is not fully confirmed whether Loughner broke any gun laws, so it is premature to assume that stricter gun laws would have stopped him. He has a history of arrests and convictions for various criminal activities, and was removed from community college for disruptions. There is no reason to believe he would have respected gun laws.

Most likely the real story is that Loughner is a seriously disturbed individual who fits the profile of a psychopath and was motivated by a number of factors, none of them being conservative ideology. Did the values pushed by the left of moral relativism, self-indulgence promoting acceptance of his imbibing of illicit drugs, and “tolerance” of hate-filled totalitarian books like The Communist Manifesto and Mein Kampf while dismissing the teachings of the Bible contribute to Loughner’s delusions? Perhaps.

Loughner is behind bars, so we may find out someday. Meanwhile, as more evidence comes out revealing Loughner has ties to the left, not the right, expect the left to suddenly blame his actions on mental illness.



Left-Wing Blame Game Won't Work With Arizona Tragedy

Carol Platt Liebau

As the nation reeled from news that a gunman had shot a group of Arizona citizens including Congresswoman Gabrielle Gifford, an all-too-predictable response emanated from some on the left. Despite news reports suggesting that the shooter, Jared Lee Loughner, was simply insane – a devotee of Karl Marx and Adolf Hitler, who believed in mind control and “conscience dreaming,” and who was convinced he would become the treasurer of a new currency – many left-wingers sought to attribute his despicable acts to a conservative political agenda.

New York Times columnist Paul Krugman wrote, “We don’t have proof yet that this was political, but the odds are that it was.” Democrat Congressman Bill Pascrell of New Jersey denounced “an aura of hate” fed “by certain people on Fox News.” The National Democratic Jewish Council insisted that “building levels of vitriol in our discourse . . . have surely contributed to the atmosphere in which this event transpired.” ....

Those playing the blame game against all facts and logic are following a well-worn precedent. Anyone who remembers the Clinton years will recall that the then-President used the bombing of the Oklahoma City federal courthouse in April of 1995 as a way to discredit conservative talk radio – the voices that had just played a central role in helping Republicans retake the House of Representatives for the first time in forty years.

In the wake of the Oklahoma City bombing, President Clinton condemned “loud and angry voices” in talk radio for “spreading hate and leaving the impression by their very words that violence is acceptable.” Thereafter, the Detroit Free Press published an interview with the President urging talk radio how hosts to reject all rhetoric “fostering hate and division and encouraging violence.”.....

This time, however, the Left is destined to fail. Here’s why:

First, now there is Fox News and the conservative blogosphere, neither of which existed in April of 1995. They enable the widespread dissemination of information rebutting efforts to equate Loughner with garden-variety conservatives or Tea Partiers – or blame his acts on the statements of public figures. For example, when left-wing bloggers invoked a bulls-eye graphic that had appeared on a year-old campaign map from Sarah Palin as a reason for the violence, right-learning bloggers like VerumSerum were quick to point out that similar graphics have been used by the Democratic Leadership Council. Liberals no longer have the media playing field all to themselves.

Second, at least some respected media figures have wearied of the ongoing efforts to use national tragedies for partisan political gain. Howard Fineman and Howard Kurtz – neither of them conservatives – have called a halt to “opening rhetorical fire,” as Kurtz put it, in the wake of such attacks.

Third, almost 16 years after Oklahoma City – and after seeing similar gamesmanship in the wake of crimes like the Holocaust Museum shooting -- Americans have become skeptical of cynical efforts to stigmatize entire ideologies based only on the actions of lone, clearly deranged criminals. That’s especially true where, as here, there’s no real evidence that the suspect actually subscribed to any coherent political creed.

Finally, the political climate has changed, drastically, since 1995. Many (if not most) Americans have just endured two years in which a liberal majority has governed against their own expressed wishes. By doing so, liberal politicians – from the President on down -- have aroused widespread, deep-seated opposition among the electorate to an unprecedented degree. In such a climate, people will find it easier to distinguish between insane criminals and law-abiding dissenters from government policy, because they are likelier than ever to be dissenters themselves.

Given all of this, those on the left would be best advised to avoid cheap blame-seeking for political gain. If they persist in the dishonorable effort to discredit the beliefs of millions of Americans based on the criminal actions of just one, ironically, they may hurt their own cause most, further convincing Americans of what so many already know: That the left is simply out of touch.




AZ: Shooting suspect charged: "The United States on Sunday charged Jared Lee Loughner, the man suspected of killing six people and wounding a congresswoman in Arizona, with five criminal counts, including attempted assassination. Loughner, 22, faces one count of attempted assassination of a member of Congress; two counts of killing an officer of the United States; and two counts of attempted killing of an officer of the United States." [Apparently the nine-year-old girl who died, not being a member of the political class, wasn't important enough to bother with charging him over]

NJ: Christie targets Medicaid, benefits as deficit looms: "New Jersey Governor Chris Christie may propose cutting Medicaid spending and employee benefits to help close a $10.5 billion budget deficit, even as he considers contributing $512 million to the state’s underfunded pension. ... New Jersey has run consecutive annual deficits for a decade. The governor told reporters last month that balancing the next budget will be even tougher than with the current plan."

CA: Brown to unveil “painful” budget: "Gov. Jerry Brown has told Californians to sit down, fasten their seat belts and brace themselves for the budget proposal he will unveil Monday to address a deficit that could top $28 billion. ... Brown has offered no specifics on his budget proposal and would not confirm that he would seek an extension of tax increases when asked by reporters. Budget insiders and many others at the Capitol said they expect him to do so, and they also expect him to propose many of the same deep cuts to services like health care and welfare that were backed by Schwarzenegger the past few years."

Limited government? Keep an eye on Florida: "With both the federal and state governments in the United States seemingly headed the way of Greece, Florida appears to have the best prospects among the states for limited government. Florida already is among the lowest in per capita state government spending, and in state government employees per capita, and is one of the few states without a personal income tax."

Nixin’ Kennedys: "Ted Kennedy is gone, but the late senator’s family’s political power is alive and well. The History Channel has cancelled an eight-part miniseries, starring Katie Holmes as Jackie Kennedy, after lobbying by the Kennedy clan, upset with their portrayal, the L.A. Times reported."

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The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)


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