In the 1930s and '40s, George Murphy appeared in a number of movie musicals. He later became involved in politics, first as president of the Screen Actors Guild, then as chairman of the California Republican Party, and finally as a U.S. Senator. When Murphy took office, the idea of an entertainer serving in the Senate was outlandish enough that satirist Tom Lehrer wrote a song about it. "Oh gee it's great," Lehrer sang, "at last we've got a senator who can really sing and dance!" A year later, Ronald Reagan was elected governor of California, and suddenly it wasn't so funny anymore.
Bono, Fred "Gopher" Grandy, Ben "Cooter" Jones) to the gruff (Fred Thompson) to the gun-totin' (Clint Eastwood, Arnold Schwarzenegger). But for some reason there aren't any women on that list. We'll have to keep waiting, it appears, because Ashley Judd announced yesterday that after seriously considering a bid to unseat Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, she's decided not to run after all.
It's probably just as well—for Judd, at least, if not for political journalists who were itching to cover the campaign. While Judd has shown herself to be smart, well-informed, and articulate about politics, she's probably much too liberal for the Kentucky electorate despite her deep roots in the state (eight generations) and strong advocacy for UK basketball. Although she has many times portrayed a woman who finds herself in dangerous situations then calls on inner reserves of strength and gumption to triumph in the end, getting elected in a state Mitt Romney won by 23 points would have been a tall order.
SO THEY SAY
"Give me what John Kerry used to get! Or give me 'The Ted Cruz.' Or ... how do you do Kelly Ayotte's nails? ... Just make me look fabulous."
DAILY MEME: SAME-SEX MARRIAGE? MEH.
- Marriage equality has been the news story of the week, crowding out most everything else. Unless, that is, you get your news from conservative websites, where nobody seemed to want to talk about same-sex marriage and the Supreme Court—and far more important topics were given the headlines they deserve.
- For example, did you know the government spent $880,000 to research the benefits of snail sex? Talk about wasting taxpayers' hard-earned money, amirite?
- Town Hall offers a comprehensive list of all the other ways big government is wasting money: talking urinal cakes, climate-change musicals, robot squirrels, you name it.
- Jonah Goldberg takes a moment to remind us of the wisdom of Dan Quayle. Yes,that Dan Quayle.
- The Washington Free Beacon's t0p story is on a new effort in Oklahoma to push for "competitive federalism." About time!
- The Daily Caller's big get is on the self-defense campaign of Dale Peterson, the Alabama "cashew bandit," who says “I can tell you right now on a stack of Bibles, Dale Peterson is not a thief."
- Drudge is your one-stop source, per usual, for Obama grudges, also has a healthy dash of Cyprus fear-mongering.
- Newsmax recoils in horror at the evidence that Florida University has been forcing students to step on pieces of paper with the word "Jesus" written on them.
- Conservatives also devoted time to protecting their Hollywood patron saint, Charlton Heston, from evil Jim Carrey.
- Rounding out this week's Most Important Stories, The Blaze has the dish on the most popular file in the FBI's document vault. (Hint: It's about flying saucer sightings!)
WHAT WE'RE WRITING
- Sexual abuse of women by cops is rampant, and Steve Yoder writes that until we start working on tougher laws and better tracking of statistics, it's a problem we can't solve.
- A right-wing think tank ranked the states according to their level of "freedom," with such appealing spots as the Dakotas coming predictably at the top. Paul Waldman asks: If conservatives love "freedom" and these are the "freest" states, why aren't conservatives flocking to live in them?
WHAT WE'RE READING
- "Worst state for women," North Dakota, has passed a slew of new laws meant to eliminate access to safe, legal abortions, one of them signed by a governor who acknowledged its unconstitutionality. Really.
- Taking a strong stand on his anti-torture values, the President Obama has allowed the promotion of our chief torturer in Thailand to one of the highest posts in the CIA.
- Chief Justice Roberts is just like your favorite D.C. dive bar.
- U.S. health-care spending is stratospherically higher than the rest of the world's. Why? We've chosen complexity over simplicity.
- The Human Rights Campaign gave us the pink-equals-sign with red background, and The Atlantic now gives us a color-coded history of gay symbolism.
- Fracking could revolutionize our energy future (in the sense of keeping it exactly the same as now, but for longer). Small drawbacks: It poisons groundwater, pollutes the air, and literally causes earthquakes.
- They're training second-graders to fight school shooters.
- The immigration reform bill is bogged down in a classic dispute between capital and labor over guest workers. Labor wants a smaller number of guest workers to be paid like Americans; capital wants a large group of exploitable foreigners to grind into lucrative dust. Can't we all just get along?
POLL OF THE DAY
Pew has determined that a commanding majority (71 percent) of Americans thinks that illegal immigrants should be able to legally remain in the United States. Only 43 percent, however, support a path to citizenship. Forty-nine percent say that immigrants "strengthen the country with their hard work and talents," while 41 percent—largely white, conservative, and uneducated—are this guy.