Gabby Giffords, husband address Jared Lee Loughner in court

Good for them:

Former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) and her husband confronted the man who nearly took her life at an emotional court session on Thursday in Arizona.

Giffords’s husband, former astronaut Mark Kelly, directly addressed Jared Lee Loughner about his actions in the shooting rampage that killed six people and wounded 13 others.

“By making death and producing tragedy, you sought to extinguish the beauty of life, to diminish potential, to strain love and to cancel ideas. You tried to create a world as dark and evil as your own,” Kelly said to Loughner. “Remember this: You failed.”

“Gabby and I are done thinking about you,” he said.

Giffords was seated in the courtroom and reportedly kept a fixed stare on Loughner as her husband read their statement. Loughner waived his right to address the court at the beginning of the hearing.

Kelly spoke alongside other people affected by the January 2011 shooting, which took place outside a Safeway store in Tucson, Ariz., as Giffords was meeting with constituents.

He talked of his wife’s struggle to recover from the gunshot that Loughner delivered to her head, noting that Giffords is partially blind and remains unable to fully use her right arm.

“Gabby would trade her own life for one you took on that day,” Kelly said. “Every day is a continuous struggle to do the things she was once so very good at.”

“You may have put a bullet through her head,” Kelly said, “but you haven’t put a dent in her spirit.”

Loughner got seven life sentences and 140 years in prison.

Giffords’ rehabilitation efforts continue.  God bless her.

The 2nd Term #KardashianPresidency gets underway: Biden to star in sitcom

Priorities:

Among the truly minor questions settled by Tuesday’s presidential election was this one: Would Joe Biden get a chance to play a winner on a sitcom?

The answer is yes.

With the race won, a guest appearance by Mr. Biden on the NBC comedy “Parks and Recreation,” filmed way back in July, can finally be revealed. Everything about the scene, which the executive producer of the show, Michael Schur, labeled a “scenelet,” had been under strict secrecy. The show was warned that if any word leaked out before the election, some provision might have to be made to give the Republican vice-presidential nominee, Representative Paul Ryan, a similar cameo.

“It was all very byzantine and complicated,” Mr. Schur said. “There seem to be all kinds of specific rules, which I never fully understood. But we decided to err on the side of caution.”

The re-elected vice president will make a guest appearance on the episode scheduled for Nov. 15 on NBC. He is playing, yes, Joseph R. Biden Jr., the one who has frequently been mentioned in a running joke on the show as an object of fascination — and a little love-struck passion — by its lead character, Leslie Knope, played by Amy Poehler.

As fans of the show know, Leslie, a hard-core Democrat and populist, idolizes Mr. Biden. “Our first joke way back had Leslie telling her friend Ann that her ideal man would have the brain of George Clooney and the body of Joe Biden,” Mr. Schur said. “For whatever reason, she has an irresistible attraction to the vice president in a movie-star kind of way.”

Nauseating.

But what do you expect? Both of the clowns who were just re-elected to “lead” this country for another four years are quite possibly the most un-serious, unwise, and, frankly, unworthy people we’ve had in the White House since  the Carter administration – and maybe even before that.  This is most certainly not what we needed in 2008 and it sure as hell isn’t what we need now. It’s all about symbolism, style, and flash rather than substance with this duo and the administration that serves under them.

Which is why I’ve dubbed this the Kardashian Presidency.  The Kardashians have various “reality” shows that are anything but about “real life.” Everything is staged for the cameras, all the drama, the tears, the laughs, etc.  There is nothing “real” about most “reality”shows in general, and there is very little real about the celebrity presidency of Barack Obama and his gaffetastic sidekick Joe Biden. It’s all about surface appearances and rose-colored glasses and cocktail parties.

One thing that IS not fake, however, is the sobering and all too real reality they don’t want you to see of how deeply this country’s economy is in the tank. And will be more so once the 2nd term jobless “body count” from ObamaCare rises rapid fire … which is already happening.

The next four years is going to be hell. On us for having to endure another 48 months of media fawning and covering up scandals, and on Obama for what is about to be verbally unleashed on him by pi**ed off conservatives not just in government but outside of it who are sick of the lies, demagoguery, and superficiality, along with the deeply disturbing imperial nature of this President.

Side note: As a “post mortem” of sorts on Tuesday, even acknowledging we have work to do on the issue of appealing to minorities while not abandoning our core principles, as it turns out this election maybe was not so much about minorities showing up in epic numbers for BO but instead several million 2008 white voters who simply stayed home.  Did Obama’s class warfare strategy work in the end?  Read this as food for thought in the aftermath of what happened two days ago and let me know your thoughts.

Guest Post: a view of the election from an Austrian conservative

**Posted by Phineas

(A friend of mine in Vienna is of a rare breed: a limited-government conservative living in the heart of the EU social democracy. Several of us were writing back and forth today about the election, and someone suggested her letter was worth making into a guest-post. I agreed, and she kindly gave her consent. Take it away, Wienerblut! (1) –Phineas.)

I think, what we are seeing is Americas slight transition to a political system like the EU. You might deny it but IMO this is whats happening.

The democrats did the same thing what they are doing here in Europe: they know that they don’t get votes from the working people so they create their own voters. Voters that are dependent on the government. In Europe these are retired people, immigrants, people living from social wellfare and people directly or indirectly employed by the government or pseudo governmental institutions (universities getting tax money etc.). Then you have the media, the artists and the gay groups that usually vote left.

The rest of the people are useless as voters for the leftist politicians as they would not vote for them. They are used to be charged with taxes.

In Vienna we already have more than 20 % muslim immigrants, people who came into the country within the last 20 years. Almost 90 % of them are voting for the ruling socialist party. As more and more original citizens are not using their right to vote, exactly these votes are essential for the leftists to stay in power.

The interesting thing is that most European parties, regardless how they call themselves, are leftist. No matter what they claim to be (christian democrats, conservatives etc.) they have a socialist agenda, some more than others. The parties that do not play by this rules are usually stigmatized as extremists, fascists, nazis or similar.

And now look at the States and what’s happening: IMO Obama won because of people dependent on the government. People love to hear that things will be getting better and they don’t have to do anything for it to get better.

Both the US and the EU have nearly no producing industry anymore. The large corporations are all producing somewhere in Asia. But an economy cannot live alone from the tertiary sector (services industry). In the EU its even worse as we also have a publicly subsidized agricultural sector.

So where will this lead our countries in the future? I have no idea. But sometimes I have the impression that the western world already had its peak and is declining. What do you think.

Phineas, again: I’ll agree that the wellspring of Western Civilization, Europe, is in decline. There the sclerosis of bureaucratic authoritarianism and social democracy is well-advanced, and it’s combined with severely declining birthrates that are putting tremendous pressure on the social safety nets. While America has entered into a difficult period for various reasons, we’re not there… yet. But the danger does exist. It was my hope that voters here would look at Greece, Italy, and Spain, realize we’re on that same road, and do something about it now. They chose not to, and so I fear things will get much worse before they get any better, and the correctives, when they come, will be much more painful.

As for the leftist parties in the EU creating dependent voters, they and the Democrats think alike. May I suggest they move to Europe? I’ll be happy to agree to one last round of “quantitative easing” to pay for the tickets. “Wienerblut” is welcome here, anytime. And opposition being stigmatized as “fascist,” “racist, &c.? Yeah, I hear ya, pal.

Footnote:
(1) Obviously a pseudonym. Honesty can get you in trouble in the Old Country, worse even than here. Oh, and Mr. President? She speaks German, not “Austrian.”

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

Quote of the Day: fading exceptionalism edition

**Posted by Phineas

Roger Kimball of PJM (who, like me, has egg all over his face from predicting a big win for Romney) heard from an English friend after the election and shared this excerpt from the email:

You just don’t care about being a Great Power any longer. That’s what this is about. The world should start sucking up to China instead now, as Americans have shown they’ve no appetite for world leadership any longer. You’ve had a century in the sun, and now you’ve decided to become Sweden instead of shouldering the burden. The 47% have won and you’re going to slip into social democracy and in 4 years time no-one — Christie, Rubio, Ryan — will be able to do anything about it.

RIP American Exceptionalism

Perhaps I’ll feel better in a few days/weeks/months, but, right now, I fear this nameless Englishman is all too right.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)