There has been a lot of news out there for a weekend, particularly with the tragic Arizona shooting. First, this update on the condition of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords:
Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in critical condition Sunday as investigators attempted to understand what motivated a gunman’s shooting rampage that killed six and as investigators asked for the public’s help in finding a possible accomplice who was still at large.
University Medical Center spokeswoman Darci Slaten told The Associated Press that Giffords remained sedated after undergoing a two-hour surgery Saturday and has not been conscious since the shooting. She said more information will be released at a news conference in which one of the doctors who operated on Giffords plans to speak.
Some other new information since last night (MSNBC).
Right: Investigators said they were looking for an accomplice, believed to be in his 50s, who may have assisted in the attack.
The Pima County Sheriff’s office listed the dead as
John M. Roll, 63, a federal district court judge.
Gabriel Zimmerman, 30, Giffords’ director of community outreach.
Dorwin Stoddard, 76, a pastor at Mountain Ave. Church of Christ.
Christina-Taylor Green, 9, a student at Mesa Verde Elementary.
Dorthy Morris, 76.
Phyllis Schneck, 79.
A 9mm Glock handgun that had what police described as “an extended clip” with 30 bullets was recovered at the scene, The Washington Post reported. Officials told The Associated Press the gun used in the attack was purchased legally. The Post said it was bought Nov. 30 from the Sportsman’s Warehouse in Tucson.
…Law enforcement officials said members of Congress reported 42 cases of threats or violence in the first three months of 2010, nearly three times the 15 cases reported during the same period a year earlier. Nearly all dealt with the health care bill, and Giffords was among the targets.
While I’m glad that Twitter (via number of followers) has shattered the myth that the 140 character social networking tool cannot affect the political landscape in this case. Via SLDN release, we learn:
THIS MORNING GAGA SENT HER NEAR 7 MILLION FOLLOWERS: “@ladygaga http://twitpic.com/2ocx9i – Gay Veterans were my VMA dates. Repeal Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. CALL HARRY REID to Schedule Senate Vote”
MOMENTS AGO SEN. REID RESPONDED: Via @HarryReid – @ladygaga There is a vote on #DADT next week. Anyone qualified to serve this country should be allowed to do so http://bit.ly/9ucdIj #nvsen
This does make me wonder what it says in our culture about the celebrity vs. activist factor in effecting change. No amount of grassroots organizing trumps a committed celeb’s influence over his/her large fan base to break up a political logjam. Sheer volume alone can triumph if that base is handled correctly – even if the fans aren’t particularly knowledgable about the issue, note below). It’s not a complaint, just an observation that it is something to take note of and discuss. More…
PEOPLE TAKING ACTION: www.LadyGaga.com continues serving as an action page to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” — The message to Senators: Vote on “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal the week of Sept. 20!
YAHOO SEARCH CONFIRMS GAGA IMPACT: “After the [VMAs] aired, Web searches soared on everything from “lady gaga guests” to “what does SLDN stand for” (it stands for “Servicemembers Legal Defense Network”). The official site for SLDN has posted a message encouraging those who feel “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” should be repealed to call their representatives in Washington. Lady Gaga is an outspoken supporter of gay rights.” http://yhoo.it/bDPc4J
BREAKING LAST NIGHT: SENATOR REID ANNOUNCES HE INTENDS TO HOLD VOTE ON REPEAL: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) confirmed last night that he intends to bring the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to the senate floor next week. The NDAA contains the amendment to allow for the repeal of DADT.
STATEMENT FROM AUBREY SARVIS: “We applaud the Senate Majority Leader’s courage and his statement tonight to bring the defense bill to the floor. Now, we must deliver.”
–”Repeal proponents may well need 60 votes in the Senate to get to this important debate in September. We are now in the final stretch and we must prevail. Repeal supporters should not stop calling their senators.
–Sen. John McCain has been a strong and vocal opponent from the start and it is critical that we beat back any filibuster threat, defeat attempts to strike repeal, and defeat any crippling amendments.”