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E. J. Dionne Derails Gregory’s Segment On Obama ‘Leadership’: You Mean ‘Adopt Republican Positions’

Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne threw cold water on NBC host David Gregory segment’s calling for more “leadership” from President Barack Obama on Sunday when he explained that people were mistaking the “leadership” for capitulating to Republicans’ demands.

During an NBC’s Meet the Press segment titled “Presidential Leadership,” Gregory wanted to know when Obama was going to “demonstrate he can bring along converts to his side and actually get something meaningful accomplished.”

MSNBC host Andrea Mitchell agreed that leadership was the “real test” for the president.

“The question he’s never answered in all these years is, ‘How do I build a government majority in this circumstance?’” New York Times columnist David Brooks opined. “He’s got 40 House Republicans who are never going to be with him. How does his siphon them off and get the other Republicans on his side to get a majority coalition? You have to anger the left a little to build that bipartisan coalition.”

Dionne, however, concluded the segment by disputing its entire premise.

“A lot of times, though, when people say the president should lead, what they want him to do is adopt Republican positions and then push for those,” Dionne explained. “That’s not leadership, that’s capitulation.”



Tennessee Couple Accused Of Selling Daughters As Young As 6 Years Old To Pornagraphers

A couple from eastern Tennessee was arrested on Saturday and charged with crimes relating to having rented out their daughters, aged 5 to 16, to pornographers.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Ronnie Lee McCall and his wife, Connie Sue, forced their daughters to perform sex acts on film in and around Johnson City, Tennessee. The case came to the office’s attention after it learned that one of the children had been driven to South Carolina in order to make a pornographic film.

“When you have parents allegedly making money off their kids through pornography and exploitation, even after 20 years, it’s one of the worst cases I’ve ever seen,” said First Judicial District Attorney General Tony Clark.

The couple is also being charged with numerous counts of child endangerment, as the children were deemed to be living in extremely unsanitary conditions and were in poor health.

The 6-year-old was covered in head and body lice, had flea bites and evidence of ring worm infection. All the children also suffered from severe dental problems.



That is some sick fucking shit, indeed!

Graham Opposes Obamacare Because His ‘Friend’ Owns 52 Wendy’s And Has To Insure Employees

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said on Sunday that he opposed President Barack Obama’s health care law because a “friend” would have to pay more to insure the employees at his 52 Wendy’s restaurants — but the South Carolina Republican did not offer another solution to provide heath care for the 60 percent of those workers that did not currently have insurance.

Speaking to CBS host Bob Schieffer, Graham admitted that Sen. Ted Cruz (R-SC) had hurt the Republican Party by pushing the government shutdown as a tactic to defund the Affordable Care Act.

“But Ted Cruz can’t shut the government down,” he added. “What shuts the government down is when the House and the Senate can’t agree on a funding number. And our president has been virtually AWOL. This idea, ‘I won’t negotiate.’ The president of the United States needs to get involved with Boehner and Reid to try to bring us together.”

Graham continued: “After this debacle called the shutdown, our party’s been hurt, our brand name is at the lowest ever, Obamacare actually got a bump in polling and we got in the way of a disastrous roll-out. So from my point of view, this was a tactical choice that hurt us. But the good news is for the Republican Party is the debacle is over — if we don’t do it again — and Obamacare is a continuing debacle.”

To make his point, the South Carolina Republican told a story of a “friend” who had been personally impacted by the health care law.



Senator Cruz Returns To Texas Welcome After Shutdown Battle

SAN ANTONIO | Sun Oct 20, 2013 12:34am EDT

(Reuters) - Republican U.S. Senator Ted Cruz, a favorite of the conservative Tea Party movement, returned home to a rousing welcome in Texas on Saturday after his attempt to derail Obamacare with a shutdown of the federal government led to sharp criticism of his tactics as reckless and futile.

"After two months in Washington, it's great to be back in America," Cruz joked in speaking to a crowd of about 750 people in a packed downtown San Antonio hotel ballroom.

Cruz was greeted with an eight-minute standing ovation in an appearance organized by the Texas Federation of Republican Women. People in attendance, many of them wearing red to show their support for keeping Texas a conservative-leaning state, lined up to greet him.

The speech and another talk earlier in the day at a panel in Austin marked Cruz's first public appearance in his home state of Texas since his part in the showdown in Washington over the rollout of Obamacare that resulted in a 16-day shutdown of the federal government that ended on Thursday.



Tigers' Season Ends As Bullpen Fails Again In ALCS

BOSTON (AP) -- Jose Veras walked ever so slowly off the mound.

Another grand slam for the Boston Red Sox against a Detroit reliever. Another season without a World Series title for Max Scherzer, Justin Verlander and the starter-rich Tigers.

Veras served up Shane Victorino's go-ahead slam that cleared the Green Monster in the seventh inning, and the Red Sox beat Detroit 5-2 to take the AL championship series in six games Saturday night.

Six days earlier, David Ortiz's grand slam off closer Joaquin Benoit tied Game 2 in the eighth inning, and Jarrod Saltalamacchia's single in the ninth won it 6-5.

Detroit is loaded with starting pitching: Scherzer is this year's AL Cy Young Award favorite, Verlander was the 2011 AL MVP and Cy Young Award winner, and Anibal Sanchez led the league in ERA this season.



500,000 Died In Iraq War, Says Study

A recent study reveals that half a million people have died from war-related causes in Iraq since 2003, the time the US-led invasion began, Agence France-Presse reported.

Nearly half a million people have died from war-related causes in Iraq since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003, according to a recent academic study.

That toll is far higher than the nearly 115,000 violent civilian deaths reported by the British-based group Iraq Body Count, which bases its tally on media reports, hospital and morgue records, and official and non-governmental accounts.

The latest estimate by university researchers in the United States, Canada and Baghdad in cooperation with the Iraqi Ministry of Health covers not only violent deaths but other avoidable deaths linked to the invasion, insurgencies and subsequent social breakdown. It also differs from some previous counts by spanning a longer period of time and by using randomized surveys of households across Iraq to project a nationwide death toll from 2003 to mid-2011.

Violence caused most of the deaths, but about a third were indirectly linked to the war, and these deaths have been left out of previous counts, said lead author Amy Hagopian, a public health researcher at the University of Washington.



Iraq Set To Ink New Deal On Importing Iranian Gas

Iraq's deputy prime minister for energy says his country plans to finalize a new contract with Iran on the import of natural gas, Press TV reported.

Hussain al-Shahristani made the remarks on the sidelines of the World Energy Congress in the South Korean city of Daegu on Wednesday, the Iranian Oil Ministry's official news agency, SHANA, reported on Friday.

"In Iraq, we have signed contracts with Iran to import gas for our power generation stations in the central part of the country. We are about to sign another contract to import Iranian gas to the south of the country," Shahristani stated.

"These are short-term contracts just to give us time to run new power stations on gas," the senior Iraqi official added.

"The pipeline that we have already signed for is under construction... it will be ready next month," Shahristani said.



Cruz Says Infighting Cost GOP During Gov't Shutdown Fight, But It Won't Happen Again Next Time

By WILL WEISSERT | ASSOCIATED PRESS | 11 minutes ago in Politics

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz said Saturday that the GOP lost the government shutdown budget battle because some congressional Republicans turned on others, but that he doesn't think they will make the same mistake during the next political impasse.

"I am hopeful that in the future the Senate will listen," Cruz, the tea party favorite and freshman senator from Texas, told a convention in Austin of the Texas Medical Association.

Cruz staged a more than 21-hour quasi-filibuster in the Senate late last month, helping spark a budget fight in the Republican-led House that partially shuttered the government in an attempt to sever funding for the nation's new health care law.

Then, with the country facing a debt default, leaders in the Democratic-led Senate brokered a deal to end the standoff _ which Cruz dismissed as "selling the American people down the river."

"You don't win a fight when your own team is firing cannons at the people who are standing up and leading, which are the House Republicans," he said.



Level 3 Outage Disrupts East Coast Internet Traffic

Source: WSJ

Internet users from New York to Philadelphia reported Internet service ranging from spotty to nonexistent Saturday after a connection run by Level 3 Communications Inc. LVLT +0.25% broke down.

A spokesman for the Internet service provider said technicians were still working to figure out the cause of the outage, which cascaded down to customers using Cablevision Systems Corp.'s CVC -0.45% Optimum service and Time Warner Cable Inc., TWC -0.36% among others.


It wasn't immediately clear Saturday why traffic from cable subscribers in New York and New Jersey wasn't rerouted around Level 3. Customers reported some sites like Facebook and Twitter were unavailable, while other Web addresses reached subscribers smoothly.

Read more: http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304864504579145813698584246

Obama Hits Bloggers, Radio 'Talking Heads' Who 'Profit From Conflict'

Demanding a change to the way business is done in Washington, President Barack Obama on Thursday urged lawmakers to ignore lobbyists, bloggers, "talking heads on radio" and "the professional activists who profit from conflict."

"How business is done in this town has to change," Obama said during a press conference.

"Now that the government is reopened and this threat to our economy is removed, all of us need to stop focusing on the lobbyists and the bloggers and the talking heads on radio and the professional activists who profit from conflict, and focus on what the majority of Americans sent us here to do — and that's grow this economy."

"There's a lot of noise out there, and the pressure from the extremes affect how a lot of members of Congress see the day-to-day work that's supposed to be done here," he said.

That last line reflects an argument, made by several pundits in recent weeks, that far-right pundits like Rush Limbaugh have pressured Republicans into backing down from the extremist wing of their own party.


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