Open thread: Obama's speech in Arizona

The memorial service should be underway at 8 p.m. ET, naturally airing live on all the cable news nets. I hope he does well; the victims deserve a thoughtful tribute. But I can’t say I’m cheered by the overt “branding,” replete with … souvenir t-shirts? It may not be the White House that’s behind it, but then, we no longer need facts to blame politicians for stuff they didn’t do.

Bryan Preston has the program for the service and wonders why Napolitano and Holder are speaking. She’s a former governor of Arizona and he’s technically the lead prosecutor, so I can understand if they’re there simply to express condolences. If they’re there because O decided there should be a “rhetoric” component to the evening and he wanted to stay above the fray by farming it out to underlings, well, let’s just say it’ll be a long night at the ol’ blog homestead later. (Bryan makes a good point about Napolitano, as head of DHS, possibly trying to frame this as an act of terrorism. Was Hinckley a terrorist too?) I’ve noted this before but Philip Klein puts it better than I did: Any possibility of a sincere debate on “rhetoric” became impossible when the left turned this from a national tragedy into a voodoo ritual. And if any of tonight’s speakers bring it up, inevitably that’s precisely how it’ll be seen.

I’ll leave you with this clip of Boehner and Pelosi honoring the victims with today’s House resolution. Giffords’s prognosis continues to be good, albeit obviously uncertain.