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Boehner: Shootings won’t sway GOP agenda

House Speaker John Boehner says that the shooting of an Arizona congresswoman won’t stop representatives in Washington from their duties. In a brief statement Sunday morning, the newly sworn speaker said flags on the House side of the Capitol in Washington will be flown at half staff to honor Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’ slain aide, Gabe Zimmerman. Thirty-year-old Zimmerman was among six killed Saturday in a Tucson, Ariz., shooting rampage that left the Democratic congresswoman among 13 wounded. Boehner says normal House business this week is postponed to focus on any necessary actions in the shooting aftermath. But he says the
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A troubled young man with a troubled past

At an event roughly three years ago, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords took a question from Jared Loughner, the man accused of trying to assassinate her and killing six other people. According to two of his high school friends the question was essentially this: “What is government if words have no meaning?” Loughner was angry about her response — she read the question and didn’t have much to say. “He was like … ‘What do you think of these people who are working for the government and they can’t describe what they do?'” one friend told The Associated Press on Sunday. “He
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Social outcast recognized by many for months

A 22-year-old man described as a social outcast with wild beliefs steeped in mistrust faces a federal court hearing on charges he tried to assassinate Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and killed others in a Tucson shooting rampage. Public defenders are asking that the attorney who defended Oklahoma City bombing conspirator Timothy McVeigh and “Unabomber” Ted Kaczynski defend Jared Loughner, who makes his first court appearance Monday afternoon. The hearing in Phoenix comes just a few hours after President Barack Obama leads a shocked and saddened nation in a moment of silence for the victims and their families at 1 p.m. MST
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Intern may have saved Congresswoman’s life

A 20-year-old intern to U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords said Sunday he used his hands to apply pressure to a gunshot wound to her head while holding her in his lap. A 61-year-old Tucson woman grabbed the magazine from the gunman, and two men tackled him. All four are being hailed as heroes in the shooting that killed six and gravely injured the lawmaker during an event at a Tucson grocery store. The sheriff said the woman, Patricia Maisch, likely saved dozens of life. “We could have had 31 more people shot,” Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik said. Maisch was waiting
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American politics: Altered states

Protesters parade an altered photo of President Barack Obama sporting an Adolf Hitler-like mustache. A candidate for the Senate muses about gun “remedies” if election results don’t go the right way. Members of Congress are spat on and taunted with racial epithets before casting votes for a healthcare reform bill. Welcome to politics American-style. For the past few years, some public officeholders and pundits have warned that the political rhetoric has gotten a little too overheated in a country known for its loose gun laws and history of presidential assassinations. Now, in the aftermath of Saturday’s Arizona shooting rampage that
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America’s toxic political climate

Recriminations and soul-searching began over whether an inflamed political climate influenced a gunman to shoot a US congresswoman and 19 other people in Arizona. From the left and the right, politicians and commentators seized on the attempted assassination of Representative Gabrielle Giffords Saturday as either a reflection of the passions stirred up by rabble-rousing conservatives or the isolated act of an unhinged psychopath. Liberals highlighted a map posted online ahead of the November elections by Sarah Palin’s political action committee showing the United States with the locations of vulnerable politicians, including Giffords, designated with cross-hairs. Palin’s trademark war cry —
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Rep. Clyburn: Time to tone down the violent rhetoric

Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.), a lawmaker who faced several threats during the heated health care debate, is calling on the country to ratchet down its heated political rhetoric and calling on lawmakers to speak out forcefully and condemn such comments. Noting that the tragic shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) — which, in total, left 20 people wounded and six dead — occurred just a week before Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday, Clyburn said on “Fox News Sunday” that “good people” have a responsibility to not be silent: I think the sheriff out there in Tucson — I think he’s
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Go bankrupt, send out a Tweet

Don’t count out Eva Longoria‘s Vegas aspirations quite yet. The actress is seemingly making good on her commitment to take a more “hands-on” approach to her businesses after the “Desperate Housewives” star’s Sin City nightclub, Eve, and restaurant, Beso, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Friday. The sexy actress posted a smoldering photo of herself in a flowing, thigh-baring black lace wrap on her Twitter page (via WhoSay) on Saturday, writing, “”Hi everyone! I’m back! In Vegas at Beso doing a photo shoot!” on Saturday.
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Mark Twain: Censored and uncensored

Mark Twain was the kind of man who might tell an off-color joke, then grievously apologize, who wrote stories and essays he knew would offend and kept others private for the same reason. A century after his death, Mark Twain remains censored, and uncensored. The author and humorist worried enough about what he could say in public to withhold anti-religion essays and to forbid his autobiography from being published until 100 years after his death. The first of three planned volumes of the unexpurgated version, released in 2010 and including harsh words for American business and military actions, became a
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TLC pulls plug on Palin’s TV show

Sunday’s season finale of Sarah Palin‘s Alaska is said to be the show’s last episode, Entertainment Weekly reports. The former Alaska governor‘s TLC reality series — which premiered Nov. 14 — averaged 3.2 million viewers per week, with its first episode delivering the network’s best-ever launch ratings. Coming under fire for her wildlife exploits, including caribou hunting and fishing too close to bears, Palin’s Alaska also showcased the politician’s children and husband, Todd. The Palin family also hosted Kate Gosselin and her brood of eight for an ill-fated camping trip shown on the series. A Gosselin source tells UsMagazine.com that
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