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Roy Blunt goes the distance for the NRA

The Huffington Post has a few words about Missouri Senator Roy Blunt’s big switcheroo on mental health now that the GOP needs to divert Congress from dealing with our epidemic gun violence by enacting laws that might upset the NRA. He’s among a bipartisan group that produced the Mental Health First Aid Act of 2013. As far as it goes, good for Blunt. It seems like good legislation. However, it represents a major change of attitude for Blunt:

… Blunt, Ayotte and Rubio haven’t always been the strongest champions of mental health care. In fact, they have voted or spoken out against key pieces of legislation designed to help those with mental illnesses, along with over a dozen of their Republican colleagues.

In 2008, for example, Blunt voted against the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act which insured that health insurance companies cover mental health services in a equitable fashion with physical services. When asked about his about-face, Blunt had nothing to say. Standardized talking points evidently don’t cover these types of situations.

Claire McCaskill slaps Jim Inhofe’s knuckles

According to Talking Point Memo, Claire McCaskill took it upon herself to school Oklahoma GOP Senator Jim Inhofe about inappropriate behavior during today’s confirmation hearing for Secretary of Defense nominee, Chuck Hagel. When Inhofe’s conjectures about Hagel’s associations wandered too far into the realm of the fanciful, she forcefully, if politely, pointed out that there’s a difference between speculation and hard evidence and that sliming a qualified candidate on the basis of the former is low. Way to go Claire!