We are all shocked, saddened and angered over the attempted assassination of Arizona Representative Gabrielle Giffords, which resulted in the deaths of at least a half-dozen people, including a Federal judge and a 9-year old girl. Prior to the shooting, few people outside of her Congressional District had ever heard of Representative Giffords.
I am one of the few who have written extensively about her. What follows is my essay on Gabrielle Giffords which appears in "The Jews of Capitol Hill: A Compendium of Jewish Members of Congress" which, ironically, was published 72-hours before the shooting
Unbeknownst to all but the more fervent "Capitol Hill junkie," the official term for a caucus is "Congressional Membership Organization." In the 110th Congress there were more than 300 of them registered with the Committee on House Administration--almost twice the number of caucuses that existed at the end of President George W. Bush's first term in 2004. By the beginning of the 111th Congress in January 2009, the number had fallen back to a slightly more manageable 250. Less than a handful of these House caucus groups ever have