Lots of dribs and drabs to talk about today.
First of all there this kerfuffle about someone taping a political staff meeting with Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell in which they discussed the mental/medical problems that Ashley Judd (at that time a potential opponent for the Senate seat) has been through.
Someone - apparently a Left Wing political group out of Kentucky (who knew?) - was responsible for the taping, but the popular press has made it sound as if this was the McConnell equivalent of the Watergate crew rifling through the office of Daniel Ellsberg's psychiatrist; that McConnell's team had used untowardly methods to find this out.
Let me show you how secret Ms. Judd's mental issues are. This from Wikipedia: "In February 2006, Judd entered a program at Shades of Hope Treatment Center in Buffalo Gap, Texas and stayed for 47 days. She was there because of personal issues, including depression, insomnia and codependency."
Here's how hard it was to find it: I typed "Ashley Judd bio" in the Google search box.
Oh, the horror.
That Wikipedia bio also quotes Ms. Judd, explaining to the British newspaper the Sunday Mail why she and her husband had no children, that "It's unconscionable to breed, with the number of children who are starving to death in impoverished countries".
Oh, yeah. That kind of mainstream thinking would have played really well with the good people of the Bluegrass State.
Now to the Congress.
I am horrified to report that there has been a compromise on a gun control bill in the U.S. Senate. We'll see what comes out of the Senate and then what comes out of the House once it gets over there, but there was enough agreement that a "cloture vote" to allow a bill to come to the floor passed easily 68 - 31.
According to the Washington Post, the big deal in the bill was an agreement between Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Pat Toomey (R-PA) - both 2nd Amendment guys - that background checks would be expanded to gun shows and weapons that are advertised in print or on-line, but not between private individuals.
I know. I know none of this would have prevented the Newtown tragedy, but the fact that President Obama ran as fast as his legs could carry him to get to the front of this parade tells us this is may be close to what gets to his desk.
I am not horrified because of the enhanced background checks. I think the 2nd Amendment can stand that. I am horrified because I have to write three days a week and the last thing I need is a latter day "Era of Good Feeling" between Rs and Ds.
What I need is a good caning - verbal or otherwise - now and again to, as William Hurt's character said in The Big Chill , "keep the conversation lively."
Yesterday afternoon we are got word that a deal may have been reached on an immigration bill and it may be introduced in the Senate next week.
I. Mean. Really.
According to the Associated Press, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) a member of the "gang of eight" that has been working on this issues, said: "All issues that rise to the Member level have been dealt with. All that remains is the drafting."
Well, we've still got Syria, Iran, and North Korea to deal with.
I will be travelling to southern Africa next month with the ONE campaign (if only to help feed children so Ashley Judd feels better about breeding). I have traveled with them before and, in all seriousness, applaud their - and Bono's - dedication to helping improve the lives of millions of African women and children.
If you are so moved, please take a look at the ONE Store especially the Mother's Day scarf since Mother's Day is coming up on May 12 (but … you knew that, right?)
On the Secret Decoder Ring page today: Links to the Double Secret Ashley Judd Wikipedia entry, Daniel Ellsberg, the gun vote in the Senate, the "Era of Good Feeling" line, to the "Big Chill," and to the status of the immigration bill.