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Clearly there was a PR campaign afoot to stir the pot.  These two images were not a coincidence in their violent tone or message.  We know that they pay consultants to come up with these graphics, slogans, and marketing.  We know what audience they were "targeting," and we can be pretty sure that they knew what they were doing when they stirred this pot.

There should be an investigation into these similar campaigns to "target" and "remove" Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords to find who was behind them both.

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Sarah Palin's facebook page:

20 House Democrats from districts we carried in 2008 voted for the healthcare bill...IT'S TIME TO TAKE A STAND.  Let's take back the 20, together!

with a map showing 20 crosshairs aimed at the Democrats' locations

...the innuendo pretty obvious.

Republican opponent Jesse Kelly's webpage:

Get on Target for Victory in November. Help remove Gabrielle Giffords from office. Shoot a fully automatic M16 with Jesse Kelly."  

...leaving no doubt what was meant by this violent PR campaign.

Wendell Potter wrote the book, "Deadly Spin," in which he disclosed how the healthcare industry wanted to "push Michael Moore off a cliff."  Keith Olbermann aired a segment on how the health care industry via American Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) hired APCO, a public relations firm, to vilify Michael Moore, which in turn funded "Health Care America" for whom Sarah Berk was employed.  She spoke on CNN and wrote Op-Eds to discredit Moore's Sicko without being identified as working for the health care industry.

The so called Tea Party itself has dubious origins.  Who started this movement?  Who finances it?  Why are their piddling little protests front and center on the teevee, just like Sarah Berk, procuring valuable air time to promote their propaganda?  

Let's face it, Congresswoman Giffords was voting for healthcare reform.  The concerted effort to "target" Giffords in both Sarah Palin's facebook and Jesse Kelly's website is not an amazing coincidence, but likely another vicious PR attack campaign launched by special interests, similar to the one against Michael Moore and the vitriolic PR campaign waged against climate scientists, who also have been receiving death threats.

Special interests contribute to both Democrat and Republican candidates alike to trash the opponent who doesn't toe their line of hooey.  

There should be an investigation into why Sarah Palin posted that terrifying map pocked with crosshairs.  Who actually constructed the map?  I doubt Sarah did the graphics.  Was it her idea to post the image?  I doubt it.  If not, whose idea was it and how did they put her up to do it?  What PR firm?  What contributor?  What about the gimmick Jesse Kelly employed to "fire up" his constituency?  Was the M16 event his idea?  If not, whose idea was it?

In the documentary, "Bush's Brain," we saw the dirty tricks used to malign the opposition and how the TV news shows aided and abetted the PR schemes by airing accusations and innuendo, but not the conclusions, to destroy the opponent's chances at the polls.  When I volunteered for Ned Lamont, I witnessed this collusion between the smear machine and the MSM first hand in Connecticut, when the news media reported how Joe Lieberman's computers crashed after allegedly being hacked into by Lamont's campaign, but the results of the FBI probe that exonerated Lamont's campaign workers wasn't reported.  

In the documentary, "Who Killed the Electric Car?" we learned about how the oil and automobile industries worked in tandem to put an end to this energy efficient alternative that threatened their bottom lines.

Listen up, Congress!  Convene a Congressional hearing, please.

Gabrielle Giffords was one of your own.

For once, let's put partisanship aside and find out who is behind these dangerous PR campaigns.

Our lives and our democracy depend on it.

Listen up, talking heads!  Who is that "expert" you're interviewing?  Is he or she lying?  Is he or she manipulating public opinion?  Is he or she trying to whip up vigilantes and assassins?  Why are you putting him on your show and giving him so much air time to mislead the public?  Why aren't you giving the other side equal time?  

These PR firms couldn't stir the pot nearly so vigorously without the MSM's complicity.

Your reputations are on the line.  Do the right thing.  Search your souls and come clean.  

It's gone too far.  You are now going to have to make a choice...do you really want to continue to stir this pot or do you want to do what is best for all of us as a nation?

Think about that 9 year old girl shot in a supermarket parking lot while meeting her Congresswoman.  

No matter what they pay you to get along and go along, is this the America you want for your children?  

*******************************************************************************
In the following clip, Congresswoman Giffords answered a question about violent rhetoric and averred that Palin's language does have consequences.  The news station interviewed Giffords after her headquarters were vandalized subsequent to her vote for the health care bill.

After this interview, in which Congresswoman Giffords, publicly made the point that she was on Ms. Palin's targeted list with the crosshairs of a gun site on her district and that when people do things like that it has consequences, it was incumbent upon Palin to cease and desist posting threatening images on her facebook page targeting Giffords.  The fact that Palin didn't do anything to calm down her followers and remove the map with Giffords in her crosshairs after Giffords publicly addressed the vandalism and repeated harassment by people who were reacting to hateful and violent rhetoric speaks volumes about Ms. Palin's intent.

Originally posted to Cindy Casella on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 12:38 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I agree the rhetoric should stop but (0+ / 0-)

    I really don't think what Sarah Palin said had any impact on that nutcase who did the shooting.

    That's my opinion though.

    The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only legitimate object of good government. - Thomas Jefferson

    by ctexrep on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 12:41:10 PM PST

    •  IF not her, then plenty of other Echo Chamber (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Marie, RJDixon74135, Dirtandiron

      fuckwads could easily have influenced his thinking about targeting her.  We may never know.  But what we DO know is that the type of rhetoric used by Palin and Beck and Limbaugh, et al., ad nauseam, DOES have an influence on the radical, violent thinking of many of their listeners.  We have clear-cut examples where violence has been inspired by them, as the perpetrators themselves admitted.

      [Conservatives are] engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; ...the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness. JK Galbrai

      by Vtdblue on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 12:46:54 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Echo chamber in MSM (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Marie, drmah, CIndyCasella

        This was on the AZ Republic's website Saturday, even as the shooter's victims lay dead and wounded.  The rhetoric needs to be re-evaluated

        •  That's an AP story, first of all... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          kurt, Vtdblue

          ...not an Arizona Republic story. A simple google search reveals that the same headline appeared on many different news sources that use the AP wire.

          Second, looking at the timestamp, it was posted at midnight on January 8 - before the shooting took place.

          Third, the metaphor of "firing the first shot" at something isn't exactly uncommon in our parlance - and evokes not images of unorganized violence, but of the beginning of a battle or a war. (As this search indicates, it's a metaphor we use around here as well.) Perhaps our use of the metaphor as a whole needs to be reconsidered, but it goes far beyond the media.

          What have you done for DC statehood today? Call your Rep and Senators and demand action.

          by mistersite on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 01:07:39 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Obama: ‘If They Bring a Knife to the Fight, (0+ / 0-)

          We Bring a Gun’.

          Here's the link.

          My God, the POTUS condoning gun violence...yeah right.

          I don't think Obama need to apologize, not should Palin.

          The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only legitimate object of good government. - Thomas Jefferson

          by ctexrep on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 01:25:24 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I guess ANY reference at all to a "gun" (0+ / 0-)

            should be lumped together with the lunatic right.  Nice try!  It was taken from a movie "the untouchables" and the sentiment was if the Republicans are going to fight him on his policies, he is going to fight harder and better.

            Get it?????

            Shouldn't you be focusing on "Second Amendments Remedies" or "Don't retreat reload" or I guess the best answer you have is diversion.  "Look over there, look at what HE said".  Typical right wing.. deflect and don't take any responsibilities.  Just point at the other guy.

            Sorry.... no one is buying what you are trying to sell.

            •  Listen (0+ / 0-)

              If you want too try an link the shooter with the tea party  -  these are the things they will bring up.  Seriosly - when Palin "targets" a district - do you really thing she means to shoot and kill them?  Don't be an ass - my poin is that people, including our President have used words that can be held against them.

              If you want to set the bar like that, then don't be surprised what the Repugs dig up.

              The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only legitimate object of good government. - Thomas Jefferson

              by ctexrep on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 08:47:27 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

    •  I don't understand how anyone can make a (6+ / 0-)

      statement like that.

      Granted, there's probably no direct line from a specific statement from Palin to the shooter.  But there's absolutely no way to say the high level of rhetoric, the continuing flaming statements from Palin and her ilk, the acceptability of the idea of violence form the right wing didn't have an impact on this guy and that without that, he wouldn't have taken this act.

      I'm already tired of the "he was crazy, therefore we know Palin and her ilk didn't cause him to do this" mantra.  No, we don't know that.  

      And we should at the very least be pointing out to Palin that look, wouldn't it be much better if you'd never said things that MIGHT have caused him to do this - that there would never be a question that your rhetoric played a part in this tragedy?  Instead, everyone on teevee and everywhere is so anxious to be saying "Oh no, Sarah,  (and Rush and Beck and all the other dipshits), we know your evil rhetoric had nothing to do with this and all those mean people suggesting it might have are bad, bad people, and need to be quiet."  

      How about we instead point out to all those asshats that their rhetoric could very well have contributed and it's time they knock it the fuck off.

      "If you trust you are not critical; if you are critical you do not trust" by our own Dauphin

      by gustynpip on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 12:52:07 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's not up to me or you (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Gooserock

        we live in a country that allows us freedom of speech....and although there are someshortcomings to it, I'm not willing to give up any more of my freedoms - are you?  Think about it.  Who then determines what's inflamatory rhetoric?  Would you like it if the Bush administration did - for that matter, would you like it if the Obama administration did.  I certainly don't want a bunch of lawyers and judges doing it either.

        There are fucked up people in this world and regardless of what anyone says, they're fucked up.

        People said we should have toned down the rhetoric on Bush too.  

        It would be nice if everyone could hold hands and sing - but that's not the reality of the world we live in.

        The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only legitimate object of good government. - Thomas Jefferson

        by ctexrep on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 01:22:38 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Our System Is Breaking Down (0+ / 0-)

          The problem isn't the speech of you or I as humans, it's with the freedom of speech of vast information systems that are protected to attack the people and the nation.

          The wording of rights as they were written down doesn't permit distinguishing between the tiniest and most vast forces in civilization.

          Neither does the 2nd amendment, but we've recognized that there are levels of force and reach that we don't dare extend it to.

          We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

          by Gooserock on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 01:36:38 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Honestly, it doesn't matter a wit (0+ / 0-)

          if he ever saw Palin's map or not.  She put crosshairs on the district and the women was shot.  The connection is made and it will be, it is being, used to discredit Palin and all of the right.  tfb

          Ring the bells that still can ring. Forget your perfect offering. There is a crack in everything. That's how the light gets in...

          by tobendaro on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 01:43:52 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Who the hell is talking about freedom of speech? (0+ / 0-)

          I haven't heard even one person mention in any way, shape, or form, that speech by anyone should be curtailed by our government.  Believing that speech has consequences and that we each have a personal responsibility to consider those consequences is a far cry from suggesting that the government become involved in controlling what we're allowed to say.

          But please, go ahead and continue misrepresenting what someone says because they disagree with you, if that actually makes you feel better.  Free speech and all, you know.

          "If you trust you are not critical; if you are critical you do not trust" by our own Dauphin

          by gustynpip on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 02:48:22 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Democrats should be asking Republicans (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dirtandiron, jan4insight

      if they support more Palin type hit-lists in future campaigns.

      STOP THE SPENDING by ending tax cuts for zillionaires!

      by MartyM on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 12:59:24 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  That's not the point (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      raincrow

      What Sarah said may or may not have impacted the nutcase. That's not the point.

      The point is, this imagery is over the top. . .way over. We may NEVER know if any of this had an affect on that idiot. Nevertheless, use of these kinds of tactics are irresponsible & dangerous.

      I've thought of doing a graphic of Sarah Palins face superimposed with the very same bullseye. My bet is, she would not care for it. My bet is, her idiotic flock would scream bloody murder (pun intended). But, I can't bring myself to do it, even to make what seems to me an obvious point. It would be irresponsible, even if I do think the world would be a finer place without her. I am hoping she will simply go away.

      •  Unless I read the diary title wrong (0+ / 0-)

        Deadly Spin: Violent PR Campaign behind Giffords Shooting

        That say's to me that Palin is to blame - I don't think there is a link with this guy...and I said it was my opinion.

        That's all.

        If you want to beat up Palin on her inflamatory rhetoric, have at it - but I think to link the shooting an Palin reduces the argument and so does the public in general.....

        57 percent said "the harsh political tone had nothing to do with the shooting," compared to 32 percent who believe it did.

        CBS poll is here.

        The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only legitimate object of good government. - Thomas Jefferson

        by ctexrep on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 01:42:25 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I agree that an investigation by DOJ better (6+ / 0-)

    be forthcoming.  If not, I am shaking my head.  The Congresswoman's father, himself, said the "Teaparty did this".

    •  I don't find that reasoning compelling. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jdmorg, buddabelly, matador

      The Congresswoman's father, himself, said the "Teaparty did this".

      First, let's see a link to his saying "the Tea Party did this." The only quote I saw by him was when he said that the Tea Party were enemies of Giffords, when asked if she had any - which is a far cry from saying that they "did this." Do you have another quote you're getting this from?

      Second, Giffords's father gave the quote in question (the one I'm referring to here) on the day of the shooting, when little was known about the shooter. Certainly, he couldn't have known what we know now about him, about his incoherent political ideology, about his possible mental illness. A worried father, who at the time didn't know whether his daughter was going to live or die, isn't exactly a credible authority on the identity and motivations of the person who shot her.

      Third, I have yet to see a credible link between the Tea Party's rhetoric and Jared Lee Loughlin; in fact, everything I've seen from him indicates that his political ideology (to the extent that a coherent political ideology existed) wasn't really compatible with the Tea Party. Certainly I believe that Tea Party rhetoric can and has inspired violence, and I certainly think they need public pressure brought to bear on them to tone it down, but I don't think this incident serves as an example of this.

      Fourth, given that there isn't a direct link between Tea Party rhetoric and Loughlin's actions, and given that even if there is a link the speech still doesn't pass the Brandenburg test for unprotected speech (which is that it must be directed towards inciting imminent lawless action), I really don't want DOJ engaging in investigations of political speech that is protected under the First Amendment. I value my own First Amendment freedoms too much to want to risk sacrificing them in order to attack Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin for a shooting they're not necessarily connected to.

      What have you done for DC statehood today? Call your Rep and Senators and demand action.

      by mistersite on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 01:01:14 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  You are here (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jabney

        to convince us that beck and sarah palin had nothing to do with this. coincidence? she happen to be one of two that wone reelection after being targeted with this gun sights. Are we to think that because they did not put the gun in his hands they had nothing to do with. They have been calling for it for a long time, it finally happened and everyone is saying sarah palin had nothing to do with. she does and she should own it. I think the other member that won should watch out, second amendment remedies. Wink wink.

        •  I'm here to say we don't know yet. (0+ / 0-)

          We have no idea what was going through his head, what websites he was looking at, what TV he was watching. He could have been inspired by Palin and Beck, or he could have had almost no contact with anything they've ever written or said. There isn't enough information to say one way or the other.

          But from what we have seen, he wasn't a Tea Partier. He was too nutty and too incoherent to be a Tea Partier. Tea Partiers don't go around asking Congressmembers how they can govern when words don't have any meanings.

          What have you done for DC statehood today? Call your Rep and Senators and demand action.

          by mistersite on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 03:36:14 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Congresswoman Giffords spoke about Palin's (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jdmorg, Dvalkure

        violent rhetoric having consequences in the following interview about how her headquarters were vandalized after she voted for the health care bill.

        I think that it was incumbent upon Palin at that point to tone down her language.  The fact that Palin didn't do anything to calm down her followers and remove the map with Giffords in her crosshairs speaks volumes about her intent.

        Information is the currency of democracy. ~Thomas Jefferson

        by CIndyCasella on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 01:35:22 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I repeat (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jdmorg

        It doesn't matter what is truth or if there is any connection.  The bottom line is Palin sent a map out into the world with crosshairs on Gifford's district and then Gifford was shot.   You can't take that strong of an association away.  Palin is screwed.

        Ring the bells that still can ring. Forget your perfect offering. There is a crack in everything. That's how the light gets in...

        by tobendaro on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 01:47:30 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Politically, sure. Maybe. (0+ / 0-)

          But the above commenter was calling for a DOJ investigation - which goes past her being politically screwed into her possibly being prosecuted for constitutionally protected speech.

          What have you done for DC statehood today? Call your Rep and Senators and demand action.

          by mistersite on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 03:37:41 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  okay mister you are right he didn't say they did (0+ / 0-)

        it. He said they were her enemies:
        Report: Tea Party Giffords' enemy, father says
        By Peter Schroeder - 01/08/11 03:08 PM ET
         
        The father of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.), who was shot Saturday, told the New York Post that the "whole Tea Party" was her enemy.

        "They always get threatened," said Spencer Giffords.

        Giffords was shot at close range in the head, along with several other people at a public event outside a Tucson grocery store. She is reportedly in surgery at a local hospital.

    •  If it makes you feel better, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      CIndyCasella

      The Director of the FBI traveled to AZ to coordinate investigations the day after the shooting.

      "Pray for the dead, and fight like hell for the living." ~ Mother Jones

      by jan4insight on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 01:40:43 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  The Dems don't hire ENOUGH PR firms, imo (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    raincrow, Dirtandiron

    PR isn't responsible for every MSM story, but it does influence the MSM.

    Sometimes it is just about making enough noise to be heard over the din.  

    IMO the Dems don't do enough PR for their accomplishments.

    The nose of a mob is its imagination. By this, at any time, it can be quietly led. -- Edgar Allan Poe

    by Sarea on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 12:55:43 PM PST

    •  All they need is George Lakoff (0+ / 0-)

      Then make sure every Democrat in front of a microphone understands what to say to get the truth out in an effective manner.    

      •  With all due respect to Dr. Lakoff, (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Catte Nappe

        I've seen him spend far more time telling us what's wrong with what we on the left say, than helping craft messages we should be saying.

        I've read a several of his books and articles, and I honestly can't recall coming away from any of them with an effective message that I could use in wherever I contribute to public discourse.

        "Pray for the dead, and fight like hell for the living." ~ Mother Jones

        by jan4insight on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 01:39:45 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  The last party to take the high road will lose (0+ / 0-)

    this arguement in the next election.

    •  There should be no argument (0+ / 0-)

      It is a documented fact that the right wing has been put forth far more incendiary, provocative, threatening speech than has the left. And so what? At this moment, there is nothing constructive to be gained by pointing fingers. The sane people on the right know precisely what hate-speech from their side of the fence has done, and so do all the rest of us. Let them climb down without losing face. Let them talk quietly amongst themselves and recalibrate their message. And while they're doing so, we should do the same: examine our rhetoric and refine it to ensure it contains only with legal, political solutions to political disagreements. I can't see any other way out of this.

      •  There should be investigations to find out (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        drmah

        how both of these threats to Congresswoman Giffords came about and examine intent.

        Was there a PR firm behind both of them?  It certainly looks like Sarah Palin's gun crosshairs targeting Congresswoman Giffords on her facebook page dovetailed with Jesse Kelly's website inviting followers to shoot an M16 to remove Giffords from office.

        The irresponsible and negligent theme of targeting the Congresswoman with a gun was one and the same with both political leaders, Palin and Kelly.

        Information is the currency of democracy. ~Thomas Jefferson

        by CIndyCasella on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 02:08:16 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'm just not sure of that, if it's peace we seek (0+ / 0-)

          instead of political points.

          I would rather give the right some time to calm down and reflect -- if they will. At least GOP members of Congress seem inclined to go in that direction. I would rather see if their efforts bear fruit.

          In addition, I think it's a given that DoJ is already investigating the various angles of this assassination attempt, and I'm inclined to let them proceed without louder, brighter investigations and recriminations.

  •  posted that image on facebook (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    raincrow

    we need to pass this around

    it's not their fault the shooter killed people, but they were absolutely flirting with violent impulses to work up their supporters.

    Happy holidays to you.

    by bluefaction on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 01:46:57 PM PST

  •  Now that the Republicans control Congress, we (0+ / 0-)

    will be waiting a long time before there is a "Congressional Investigation" of the Gifford shooting.  Sad to say, but the money from the NRA is much more important to the Republican congressional campaigns than is the life of a Democratic colleague.  Wait for a month or two and the violent rhetoric will begin again full force.  They are authoritarian Republicans who deal in a world of force, violence and weapons and scoff at a former "community organizer" like the President.  They just cannot help themselves.  

    And it feels like I'm livin'in the wasteland of the free ~ Iris DeMent, 1996

    by MrJersey on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 03:06:33 PM PST

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