Mitch Perry Report 4.8.13: The Masters joins the 21st Century

Plus: R.I.P. Margaret Thatcher, gun control and more …

Good morning, everyone.

The big news this morning is the news that "the Iron Lady," former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, one of the dominant figures in 20th Century England, has passed away at the age of 87. The former Conservative Party led Great Britain from 1979-1990, and along with Ronald Reagan in the U.S., were the western leaders when communism fell in the Soviet Union. And she was extremely controversial with the political left (remember the poll tax riots?), just like Reagan was here in the U.S.

Meanwhile, the sports world will be centered on Georgia this week, with the NCAA Basketball championship on tonight from Atlanta, and the Masters taking place later this week in Augusta. Yesterday Condoleeza Rice business executive Darla Moore were on the course, the first female members of the historic club.....ever.

You might recall the protests from activists like Martha Burk a decade ago, protests that a lot of men mocked. The Masters management was truly offended by the suggestion that they were behind the times (despite the fact that they didn't have a black member until 1990). Then again, it's just golf...

Congress returns to Washington this week (actually tomorrow, because who likes Mondays?), and one of the big issues that they'll be dealing with is some type of gun-control legislation. A total of 13 Republican Senators, including Florida's Marco Rubio, say they'll filibuster any such bills that are proposed, despite the fact that nobody knows exactly what will be in this bill ultimately introduced in the Senate. Yesterday John McCain said he was totally bewildered why those legislators wouldn't want to debate the issue fully in the "world's most deliberative body," as he described it, with a bit of sarcasm dripping from his voice.

It's been years since we can remember any type of formal protest in support of gun-control legislation (perhaps going back to a "million mom march" that was held on the Gandy Bridge back in 2000). So even though they weren't large in nature, it was a news story that a couple of dozen gun-control advocates took to the streets of South Tampa over the weekend.

The Associated Press made news of their own last week when they announced that the term "illegal immigrant" is no longer appropriate to describe people who reside in the United States without legal permission. Since they remain the premiere wire service in the country, that decision will influence many if not most news organizations around the country, to the concern of some conservatives. CL contacted both local daily papers on their reaction. The Tribune says they will adhere to the AP's call, while a representative from the Times say it's been their policy since 2008 - though we did find some exceptions recently to that rule.

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