Earlier today two photos of the recovering Rep. Gabrielle Giffords were posted on her Facebook page. They were taken almost four weeks ago, on 5.17 — roughly 21 weeks after she was shot point blank in the head during a Tuscon political gathering. She looks serene and mentally attuned (as far as visual impressions can convey this). She’s suffered a slight alteration in the appearance of her left eye, but otherwise it’s amazing that she looks so good.

I’d like to know how much she’s really recovered and what her actual prospects are, but that information isn’t likely to be divulged. All that’s been said so far is how remarkable and even startling her recovery has been.

How much better, I’m wondering, is she doing right now compared to former Ronald Reagan press secretary James Brady after he was shot in the head during the March 1981 attempt on Reagan’s life? What is a reasonable prognosis for her mental recovery? Where is she right now, and will she be able to regain 80% or 90% or even 95% of her former intellectual acuity? Less? To what extent are her language skills coming along and will she be able to work again in some capacity?