Once again, Sarah Palin digs hole deeper

Sarah Palin decided to answer what she called “irresponsible statements” that placed some of the blame for the Arizona shootings on politicians like her who put political opponents in the crosshairs of a rifle site.

Sarah Palin

“Journalists and pundits should not manufacture a blood libel,” she said.

Was she purposely using anti-Semitic imagery in the shooting of a Jewish congresswoman in her own self-defense?

Blood libel was a story manufactured to justify killing Jews. It refers to the story that Jews kill Christian babies to use their blood for the Passover seder.

The name “Passover” comes from the Biblical story that when the Jews were slaves in Egypt, God sent plagues to convince Pharaoh to “Let my people go.”

One of the 10 plagues was the death of the first-born. Jews marked their doorposts with lamb’s blood to indicate that they were not Egyptian, and the angel of death passed over Jewish homes, sparing their first-born.

The blood libel used since the Middle Ages said that Jews tortured and killed Christian babies to use their blood in baking matzo, the unleavened bread eaten during the weeklong holiday. It probably originated in the 12th century during the first Crusade.

The blood libel was used to justify the expulsion of the Jews from England in 1290, the expulsion of the Jews from Germany in 1348, the expulsion of the Jews from Spain in 1492 (also known as the Inquisition), pogroms in Russia and all sorts of anti-Semitic violence up through the Nazi extermination of 6 million Jews in concentration camps.

For Palin to use the term in her own defense is a new low for the former Alaska governor.

At best, use of the term was just a refudiation — an inappropriate and incorrect use of a term that she had no idea would be so offensive.

But I don’t give her a pass. This is a woman who could have been vice president of the United States. She crossed a line between simply offending opponents while defending herself — and blatant anti-Semitism.

In calling this a blood libel, was Palin saying that she is justified in putting the congresswoman in the crosshairs because Gabrielle Giffords kills Christian babies? Sound ridiculous? That’s what the blood libel implies.

Go here to watch the full seven-minute Palin diatribe.

—  David Taffet

Watch: CNN Interviews Daniel Hernandez, the Gay Intern Credited with Saving Congresswoman Giffords’ Life

Hernandez

Daniel Hernandez Jr., the gay intern who helped Gabreille Giffords survive in the moments after she was shot and is being credited by many with saving her life, does not take credit to doing so, instead crediting emergency personnel. In this interview, he discusses those moments and the actions he took before medical crews arrived on the scene.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP



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Congresswoman Shot at Public Event

GABRIELLE GIFFORDS X390 (WIKI) | ADVOCATE.COMArizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was among several others who
was shot at close range at a public event at a Safeway grocery
store in Tucson, Ariz., on Saturday. At last report the 40-year-old Giffords was in critical condition and recovering from surgery.
Advocate.com: Daily News

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Congresswoman Giffords Celebrated DADT Repeal With Tweet

Skyline The Dallas Voice points out that Democratic Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords tweeted the message below as well as the photo above of a sunset in Arizona in celebration of last months repeal of "don't ask, don't tell."

Gg1
Giffords has a very good history of supporting LGBT rights, having scored 81% on Human Rights Campaign’s 2008 Congressional Scorecard.


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Congresswoman Among Those Shot In Arizona

A gunman shot and injured several people, including Democratic Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, this morning at a Safeway supermarket in Tuscon. Accordng to The Tuscon Citizen, Giffords, who was holding an event at the store, was shot in the head at close range.

NPR reports:

Gg U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona was shot outside a grocery store in Tucson while holding a public event, Arizona Public Media reported Saturday. The Democrat, who was re-elected to her third term in November, was hosting a "Congress on Your Corner" event at the Safeway in northwest Tucson when a gunman ran up and started shooting, according to Peter Michaels, news director of Arizona Public Media.

At least five other people, including members of her staff, were hurt. Giffords was transported to University Medical Center in Tucson. Her condition was not immediately known. Giffords was talking to a couple when the suspect ran up firing indiscriminately and then ran off, Michaels said. According to other witnesses, he was tackled by a bystander and taken into custody.

CNN is reporting that at least 12 people have been wounded.


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Congresswoman Baldwin Introduces LGBT Health Data Collection Bill

Yesterday, Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) introduced the Health Data Collection Improvement Act, a bill that would require the Secretary of Health and Human Services to ensure that federal health surveys collect voluntary data on sexual orientation and gender identity.  Such data is critical to understanding the unique health needs of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community and ensuring that federal health programs and dollars are targeted to address them.  We already know that LGBT people experience significant health disparities – both due to health conditions that disproportionately affect our community and the widespread discrimination that continues to limit our access to quality healthcare.  The Center for American Progress detailed these disparities, and the need for health data to understand and combat them, in this 2009 report.

The bill is on the agenda for a broader hearing on public health legislation before the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health scheduled for Wednesday afternoon. HRC submitted a statement [pdf] on the Health Data Collection Improvement Act for inclusion in the record for the hearing.

Alongside Congresswoman Baldwin, the National Coalition for LGBT Health and other allies, HRC strongly supported the inclusion of LGBT data collection language in health reform legislation, but it was ultimately not included as part of the final bill signed by President Obama.  We applaud Congresswoman Baldwin for her continued leadership on this issue, working to ensure that the health needs of LGBT people are part of the federal government’s broad commitment to a healthier America.


Human Rights Campaign | HRC Back Story

—  John Wright