Saturday, January 8, 2011

Tragedy-Rep. Giffords Shot

Truly tragic news: Rep. Gabrielle Giffords has been shot in Tucson, while hosting a "congress at your corner" event outside a Safeway store.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Representative Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona was shot in the head while holding a public event in Tucson, Fox News and National Public Radio reported on Saturday.

Fox said 11 other people were shot when an unidentified gunman ran up and began shooting indiscriminately as Giffords addressed supporters.

Giffords was shot point blank in the head, Fox said.

The network said the gunman was in custody.

Giffords, 40, a Democrat, is married to U.S. astronaut Mark Kelly. She took office in January 2007, emphasizing issues such as immigration reform, embryonic stem-cell research, alternative energy sources and a higher minimum wage.

Rep. Giffords is one of a truly rare breed, an Arizona liberal.

NPR has now reported that she has died from her wounds:

Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and six others died after a gunman opened fire at a public event on Saturday, the Pima County, Ariz., sheriff's office confirms.

The 40-year-old Democrat, who was re-elected to her third term in November, was hosting a "Congress on Your Corner" event at a Safeway in northwest Tucson when a gunman ran up and started shooting, according to Peter Michaels, news director of Arizona Public Media.

I'm not going to speculate on the motive behind the shooting, but I will point out that Arizona's "open carry" laws allow pretty much anyone to walk around with a gun. By meeting openly and publicly with her constituents, she showed herself to be a responsible representative with courage.

Incredibly tragic.

Update: There are conflicting reports as to whether she is alive in surgery. I'm hoping for the best.

Update 2: Now confirmed that she is alive and in surgery. I struck out the report of her death.

Update 3: Giffords is out of surgery, in "critical" condition. Also, federal judge John Roll was killed in the shooting.

Football and Beer

This post is further evidence that I am shallow and easily amused, but it's playoff time. For those who don't follow football, tonight's game between the reigning champion Saints and the Seattle Seahawks looks like a fluke. The Seahawks won the wretched NFC West with a losing record, which had never happened before.

But tonight, the Seahawks will be putting every ounce into the game:

"We received a copy of the YouTube video showing the quantity of liquid served in the 16 oz. beer cup is the same quantity that fits into the 20 oz. beer cup. This is the first time we have been alerted to this fact. Upon our internal investigation this afternoon, we discovered the cups that are marked 16 oz. hold 20 oz. of liquid.

"Fans who purchased a 16 oz. beer actually received 20 oz. of beer for the 16 oz. price. Fans that purchased the 20 oz. beer received the amount they purchased. We are working with Levy Restaurants to follow up with the cup vendor about the measurement and to determine how long this has been occurring at Qwest Field.

"We are determined to find a solution as quickly as possible. In the meantime, we will serve domestic beer in the 20 oz. cup at tomorrow's playoff game to ensure all fans receive the amount they purchase, and we will charge the 16 oz. price."

Here's the YouTube video exposing the difference -- or lack of difference.

Quite the oddity. As most regular bar patrons know, the standard bar "pint" holds 14 oz., not the 16 oz. of a true pint, making this is opposite of the standard practice. So Seahawks fans should have at least one reason to be happy.

Friday, January 7, 2011

2011 Boobies

Well, no. Not 2,011 of them. But I have decided to continue posting the Friday Boobie in 2011. I debated dropping them as a topic that had run its course, but then I'd have to find a new idea. And I'm not that creative. Besides, the Boobies assure at least one post a week, so people won't think this blog is dead.
Added: Come 2012, I may replace the Boobies with republican presidential candidates. There certainly appear to be plenty of them, and they all seem like boobs. Your thoughts?

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Symbolism Failure

As symbolic gestures go, reading the constitution on the house floor falls in the "mostly harmless" category. Of course, the repubs skipped over some parts they decided were "irrelevant" because they didn't quite fit the agenda. So most every representative decided to skip the reading. Heck, new speaker John Boehner held a press conference right in the middle of the reading.

I'm glad that the 112th congress is starting on such a serious note.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Spying Vultures

Of course, nobody really trusts vultures. They're very sneaky and not trustworthy.