ThinkFast: January 11, 2011

Terrance Gainer, the Senate’s sergeant in arms said this morning on ABC’s Good Morning America that it’s not a good idea for lawmakers to carry their own firearms for personal protection in the wake of Saturday’s shootings in Tucson, AZ. “I think we should leave the law enforcement and security to those professionals,” he said.

President Obama will attend a memorial service in Arizona tomorrow night at 8 pm ET. The ceremony will “include a Native American blessing, a moment of silence, a poetry reading and the presentation of a chain featuring messages from members of the public.” White House aides are debating whether Obama will use his speech “to urge greater civility in politics.”

Two days before the shooting rampage in Tucson, a 44-year old Colorado man named John Troy Davis told staffers for Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO) that he was going tocome down there and shoot you all.” Announcing Davis’ arrest, U.S. Attorney for Colorado John Walsh said the lesson from the tragedy in Arizona is that we must “treat every threat of violence against elected officials and other federal employees and staff as a matter of utmost seriousness.”

“I’d give everybody the advice to tone down the rhetoric and to get away from the military or the armed metaphors,” MSNBC contributor Pat Buchanan said yesterday. Unfortunately, Buchanan often engages in this rhetoric. His last book is titled “State of Emergency: The Third World Invasion and Conquest of America,” and he often makes sensational claims about our immigration problems.


Fox News president Roger Ailes said that any attempts to connect his network or the Tea Party to the shooting in Tucson is “bullshit,” and that “both sides” were responsible for extreme rhetoric. “I told all of our guys, shut up, tone it down, make your argument intellectually,” Ailes told Russell Simmons in the Daily Grind. “You don’t have to do it with bombast. I hope the other side does that.”

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said yesterday that Iran’s ability to develop a nuclear weapon has been delayed by sanctions. “The sanctions are working,” she said during a discussion at a university in the United Arab Emirates. “Their program, from our best estimate, has been slowed down.”

Former Republican House Majority Leader Rep. Tom Delay (TX) was “sentenced to three years in prison on conspiracy charges” yesterday. “I can’t be remorseful for something I don’t think I did,” DeLay said after the sentence was handed down. Relegated to minority status, House Democrats say “Republicans are now the ones responsible for raising the federal debt ceiling and are hinting that they might vote against it to force the GOP’s hand.” “They can’t duck the responsibility” of getting the bill through, said Financial Service Committee ranking member Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA), adding “I reject any attempt to shift the responsibility to the minority.”

And finally: President Obama — or at least a cartoon version thereof — reprised his campaign roll of rock star for a cameo appearance on Fox’s “Family Guy.” In the episode, Meg and Chris Griffin win an essay contest on the topic of hope, and get to introduce the president, who comes out, Elvis-style, to perform ‘You Gotta Be Sincere’ from ‘Bye Bye Birdie’ to an audience of screaming fans.”

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