Did Sarah Palin Put Gabrielle Giffords At Risk?

January 9, 2011

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I like many others of both sides of the political spectrum are saddened by the events Saturday in Tucson, AZ, where thirteen people were wounded and six were killed at a political event for Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. While I do truly believe their sentiment at the results of this incident, the deaths of Gabe Zimmerman, John Roll, Dorthy Murray, Dorwin Stoddard, Phyllis Scheck and nine year old Christina Greene are clearly blood on the hands of the the political atmosphere created by the teabaggers, nurtured and encouraged by the Republican Party, publicized on its own “news” network and carried out by nutcases like 22 year old Jared Loughner.

Sarah Palin didn’t pull the trigger but she did put Giffords in her cross hairs as a target that her supporters needed to take out. (WINK)

Jesse Kelly, Giffords opponent in this past election didn’t pull the trigger. However he did have his supporters taking aim and shooting at pictures of her to help them practice taking her out. Kelly said Saturday that you can’t make any possible connection between the two things. Nope can’t find any connection at all between you wanting people to practice shooting at the Congresswoman to take her out and someone shooting her not in practice. Nah, no way at all. Give me a break. 

Is this the kind of Second Amendment remedy you were looking for Sharon Angle? The tea party candidate did lose the election to Giffords after all.

Isn’t a little revolution every now and then a good thing and we need to fight to take our country back. Michelle Bachman, that is what you wanted right?

The examples of the incitement and nurturing of the rhetoric by the politicians on the right as well as their supporters, that would lead to this are endless. Outside of her opponent literally having people practice shooting at her, the examples I give here are pretty anecdotal. They do prove a point though, hatred breeds violence and your followers will practice what you preach so you might want to tone it down a notch. This was stated by many over and over again during this past election cycle. To bad it took an event like this happening for the right to finally wake up and realize that maybe they might just be a smart idea.

Guess it seems to be working, Republicans have suspended the vote on their pointless vote on repealing that Job Killing Healthcare (that those evil, socialist, want to kill your grandma, gonna take your guns and religion Democrats brought upon you) Bill, that just the day before was too important to allow for any debate or amendments to. Guess its better late than never to decide to return sanity to the party.

Saturday Stew

July 25, 2009

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In 2006, three young men in Wisconsin attempted to dig up a recently diseased young woman so that one of them could have sex with her body.  One of the men had become infatuated with her after seeing her photo in the obituary column.  (Maybe it’s just me, but that’s not the first place I expect people to look for dates).  After a stop at a local Wal-Mart to buy condoms, the men arrived at the cemetery and proceeded to dug all the way down to the concrete vault before police, who had been notified of suspicious activity, arrived at the scene.  One of the men quickly cracked and blurted out the entire scheme.

Authorities in Wisconsin soon realized that the state did not have any necrophilia laws on the books.

The prosecutors wished to try them on sexual assault charges, but it was unclear if the state’s sexual assault laws applied to dead people.  The state supreme court decided that the laws did indeed apply, as a corpse is unable to give consent.  This logic threw me for a bit of a loop, as I had never stopped to wonder if someone had human rights after they were dead.

This week, the mastermind of the crime was found guilty of attempted sexual assault and was sentence to two years in jail.


Pittsburgh  Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was named as a defendant in civil lawsuit this week.  The lawsuit alleges that Roethlisberger raped her last July at the Tahoe resort where she worked.  The lawsuit seeks $480,000 in compensation.

Is it possible that the allegations are true?  Of course.  Is it likely?  No.  The woman has not contacted police to file any criminal charges … just the civil lawsuit.  This really seems like a ploy to squeeze money out of Big Ben.  After all, if she was traumatized to the extent of $480,000, wouldn’t she consider this to be criminal activity that should be reported to the authorities?  Show me a criminal complaint, and I’ll take notice.

Erin Andrews

ESPN reporter Erin Andrews was videotaped nude by a voyeur, apparently through a peephole in her hotel room.  The video quickly made its way onto the internet.  Interestingly, many of the links the purport to be the Andrews video are actually attempts to trick people into downloading a virus – so those of you who are trying to find this video should be aware of the distinct possibility that you may instead give your computer a nasty virus.  And if the thought crosses your mind to look for this video, stop for a minute and realize that this video was made without any knowledge by Andrews – give her some respect and stay away from the video.

The story got even worse, as some news networks used pieces of the video or photos (captured from the video) as part of their coverage of the story (with parts of Erin’s body obscured).  This crosses a line of journalistic ethics.  ESPN lashed back at one of the papers – The New York Post – by banning any of its reporters from appearing on ESPN shows.  Good call, ESPN.

Sarah Palin

Sarah Palin racked up a sizeable legal bill fending off multiple ethics complaints against her.  Most were dismissed, although she did have to pay back taxes on roughly $17,000 that the state reimbursed her for per diem expenses (on nights she spent away from the the governor’s mansion in Juneau – staying instead at her home in Wasilla) and had to reimburse the state for travel expenses for her family.

Palin created a fund so that her supporters could contribute toward her legal expenses.  Ironically, these donations may be a violation of state ethics laws.

Do yourself a favor, Republicans – find a better candidate in 2012.  If you want to have a woman on the ticket, take a look around.  Is Sarah Palin the best woman for the job?

Matt Holliday

On Friday, Matt Holliday was traded from the A’s to the Cardinals for three prospects, including 3B Brett Wallace.  The presence of Holliday will add another strong bat to join Albert Pujols in the Cardinals lineup.  There will be a cage match fight to determine who gets to keep the number 5 on their jersey.

Holliday’s numbers have slid from his numbers with the Rockies.  While many of his critics say that this shows he is a product of Coors Field, other factors are at play.  Not only did he move to a less hitter-friendly park (indeed, to a very hitter unfriendly park in Oakland), but he also changed leagues, rendering years of studying National League pitchers mostly useless, and forcing him to learn the tendencies of a hundred new pitchers.  This takes some time.  While Holliday had a dreadful April, he has a .905 OPS since May 5 (before Friday’s game).  And while Oakland is a terrible hitter’s park, Holliday’s home OPS is actually 89 points higher than his road OPS – compared to a standard MLB home/road split of +30.  Sure, it’s a small sample, but perhaps he’s the type of player who is simply more comfortable in his home surroundings, regardless of what those surroundings are.  When he was with the Rockies, his split differential far exceeded that of any other Rockies player – casting some doubt on the assertion that he was merely a production of Coors (since a rising tide should lift all boats).

How did Holliday do in his first game with the Cardinals, on Friday night?  4-5, with a double, a stolen base, a run, and an RBI.

Holliday has typically fared very well in the summer months, and the playoff race may energize him and boost his performance.  Enjoy the view, St. Louis.

Rockies update

Todd Helton of the Rockies recorded his 500th career double on Wednesday, becoming the 50th player in the history of Major League Baseball to reach that mark.  Helton’s once prodigious power numbers have been sapped by back ailments and a humidor in Coors Field, and his contract is considered by many to be a financial albatross, but Helton is universally revered by Rockies fans as the first truly great player that was drafted and developed by the Rockies.

On Monday, the Rockies took over the lead in the National League wild card race.  The Rockies had gotten off to a horrible start under former manager Clint Hurdle before rebounding with a 31-10 record from June 4 through Monday – good enough to push them past division rival San Francisco for the catbird seat in the wild card race.

On Wednesday night, Rockies top prospect Jhoulys Chacin was pulled from his start with AA Tulsa after 9 pitches.  The reason given was that the move was made in anticipation of possible future organizational move.  Speculation quickly came to a head, with fans wondering in Chacin would be traded (perhaps in a deal for Jays pitcher Roy Halladay), or would he skip AAA Colorado Springs for a promotion to the big club?  Well, it turns out that JC will be tossed into the shaky Rockies bullpen.  On Thursday, the Rockies acquired Rafael Betancourt from Cleveland to further bolster the pen.  Don’t be surprised if Garrett Atkins is traded before the deadline.

McNair, Palin

July 6, 2009

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There were a couple of articles this weekend, including a short story on Friday.  If you have been out of town, make sure to scroll down and catch up on the last few editions of The Soap Boxers.

There were two big stories that broke during the weekend.  They were were the death of former NFL player Steve McNair and Alaska governor Sarah Palin’s announcement that she will resign as governor by the end of the month.


McNair and his girlfriend were found shot to death in his girlfriend’s condo in Nashville.  McNair had been shot multiple times, including once in the head.  His girlfriend had been shot once in the head, and the gun was found near her body.  At the time I am writing this, the police would not speculate on what occurred, but they did say that they were not actively looking at suspects.  From these pieces of information, however, the likely scenario is that McNair’s girlfriend shot him before turning the gun on herself.  Certainly more information will be released in the coming days.

McNair played college football for division 1-AA Alcorn State.  1-AA (now referred to as FCS) is a rung below the “major” college programs of division 1-A (referred to as FBS).  Few 1-AA player ever get the chance to play in the NFL.  McNair was a man among boys in college, however, and proved that he belonged with the big boys.  Despite the fact that he had not played against top level competition in college, McNair was the #3 overall pick in the 1994 draft by the Houston Oilers (who later became the Tennessee Titans).

McNair fought many injuries during his career, but still ended up with more than 30,000 passing yards and 3500 rushing yards.  McNair was a 3 time Pro Bowl player, won an MVP award (shared with Peyton Manning), and got the Titans to within one yard of a Super Bowl title following the 1999 season.  In the process, he tore down many barriers that had been put in the path of African American quarterbacks.


On Friday, Sarah Palin announced that she was stepping down as governor of Alaska, saying that she did not want to be a lame duck, and once again saying that she has been the victim of a double standard regarding her treatment by the press.

Palin, of course, did not face an issue of term limits, so she was the person who labeled herself a lame duck.  The deadline for filing for the next gubernatorial election is nearly a year away, so she could have easily kept her plans close to the vest until then, and avoided lame duck status.

As for Palin saying that she was been treated unfairly by the media, and that a male would not have been treated a harshly – I do not buy this argument.  Certainly the conservative wing of the media attacked Barack Obama on several issues that were of less importance than the ethics complaints surrounding Palin.  When Palin was announced as McCain’s running mate, many in the media (and many outside the media, such as myself) were stunned at the choice.  Some felt that the choice of Palin was an attempt to draw female voters who had previously supported Hilary Clinton – a strategy that had little chance of working, considering the major ideological difference between Clinton and Palin.  Palin clearly had some baggage attached to her, and many people felt that this baggage would drag down the ticket.  However you might feel about the issues that surrounded Palin, I think that it is quite logical to suggest that she was indeed a drag on the ticket and was a major reason why McCain performed poorly on election day.

What’s next for Sarah Palin?  Your guess is as good as mine.  She may be finished with politics, or she end up as a presidential candidate in 2012.  The Republican Party probably does not want her on the ticket in 2012.  Although she might have a reasonable chance of winning the Republican nomination, her inability to garner necessary votes from the centrists would make it difficult for her to win the general election.  The fact that she is resigning as governor will likely be used against her by opponents who will portray her as a quitter who quits when the going gets tough.

A possible, albeit strange, strategy?  Palin takes on Republican senator Lisa Markowski in 2010, and then uses Washington D.C. as the base of operations for a 2012 presidential run.  This would be considerably more convenient than using Alaska as her base.  The sheer distance of Alaska from the rest of the country would force her to either miss important events or cause her to be away from her job as governor.

The only problem with this plan?  Murkowski would probably beat her in the primary.

UPDATE: Palin’s attorney is warning the media, indication that legal action will be pursued against reports who say that Palin is stepping down because she is the subject of a federal investigation.  This is the first I had heard about a possible federal investigation – and if Governor Palin’s attorneys are reading this, I am not suggesting that this is why she is stepping down 🙂

FURTHER UPDATE: The FBI confirms that they are NOT investigating Palin.