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Museum Featuring Diego Rivera Auto Industry-Themed Murals Could Fall Victim To Detroit Bankruptcy

By Agence France-Presse
Sunday, October 20, 2013 8:49 EDT

There are few places where the former majesty of the US auto industry is more keenly captured than among the Diego Rivera murals at the Detroit Institute of Arts.

Those stunning, sun-drenched walls could be lost to public view if the museum’s collection is allowed to be even partially sold to pay off Detroit’s creditors during the city’s bankruptcy proceedings.

“This is really an existential threat,” warned Annmarie Erickson, the museum’s chief operating officer.

“Selling art could close the museum.”

Founded in 1885, the museum has amassed a world-class collection through the patronage of press barons and auto industry giants.



Guardian’ Scoops Up Two Online Journalism Awards For NSA Coverage

By Agence France-Presse
Sunday, October 20, 2013 9:13 EDT

Britain’s The Guardian scooped up two awards for online journalism on Saturday for its coverage of the National Security Agency (NSA) leaks from former US intelligence contractor Edward Snowden.

The Guardian’s exposure of the electronic surveillance by the US spy agency was honored in the categories of innovative investigative journalism and watchdog journalism at the annual awards banquet here of the Online News Association (ONA).

Other online journalism award winners on Saturday included The New York Times and The Boston Globe, which both picked up multiple awards.

NYTimes.com was singled out for general excellence in online journalism, and the newspaper also picked up an award for feature reporting for a stunning multi-media presentation called Snow Fall about a deadly avalanche.



Egypt Gunmen Open Fire On Coptic Christian Wedding In Cairo

Three people, including a girl aged eight, died when gunmen on motorcycles opened fire on a wedding party outside a Coptic Christian church in Cairo.

At least nine others were wounded in the attack in Giza, officials said.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility.

Egypt's Coptic Christian community has been targeted by some Islamists who accuse the Church of backing the army's overthrow of President Mohammed Morsi in July. The Coptic Orthodox Church is one of Christianity's oldest, founded in Alexandria around 50 AD.

Christians make up at least 10% of the population in Egypt, or well over eight million people.



Republicans Look To Capitalize On Obamacare Problems Heading Into 2014 Elections

WASHINGTON (AP) — “Obamacare” escaped unharmed from the government shutdown Republicans hoped would stop it, but just as quickly they have opened a new line of attack — one handed to them by the administration itself.

While Congress was arguing, President Barack Obama’s plan to expand coverage for the uninsured suffered a self-inflicted wound. A computer system seemingly designed by gremlins gummed up the first open enrollment season. After nearly three weeks, it’s still not fixed.

Republicans hope to ride that and other defects they see in the law into the 2014 congressional elections. Four Democratic senators are facing re-election for the first time since they voted for the Affordable Care Act, and their defeat is critical to GOP aspirations for a Senate majority.

Democrats say that’s just more wishful thinking, if not obsession.

Although Obama’s law remains divisive, only 29 percent of the public favors its complete repeal, according to a recent Gallup poll. The business-oriented wing of the Republican party wants to move on to other issues. Americans may be growing weary of the health care fight.



The Right Wing’s Closed Information Loop May Set Up The Next Government Shutdown

By Joshua Holland, Moyers & Company
Sunday, October 20, 2013 9:54 EDT

It’s impossible to say whether we’ll face another crisis of governance in three months, when the stopgap budget resolution passed on Wednesday expires, but it’s clear that the 40 or 50 hardcore, tea party-backed members of Congress who precipitated the shutdown want another crack at it. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConell (R-KY) may have told The National Review that another shutdown “is off the table,” but Rep. John Fleming (R-LA), a member of the tea party caucus, told reporters to get ready for “round two” because in January, “we’re going to start this all over again.”

On its face, the desire to reprise a tactical maneuver that was politically disastrous for the Republican Party – one that’s damaged its brand so badly that there’s now a remote chance that control of the House might be up for grabs next November – appears to be completely irrational. But it’s perfectly reasonable for those on the right who mostly speak to other true believers and get their information primarily from the conservative media.

As Mitch McConnell was reporting the details of the agreement he’d struck with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (R-NV), Ted Cruz (R-TX) told reporters that the shutdown had been “a great victory” for Republicans. That kind of disconnect was common throughout the standoff. Senator Lindsay Graham (R-SC), a moderate, said on Wednesday that public opinion had played a major role in Republicans’ decision to fold their tent. But even as the GOP sank to depths of approval never before seen in either the Gallup or the NBC/Wall Street Journal polls, Breitbart published a piece titled, “Polls Show Obama, Dems Losing Public Opinion Battle Over Shutdown, Obamacare,” and The Weekly Standard offered “eight reasons the shutdown won’t hurt Republicans.” Rep. David Schweikert (R-AZ) told one reporter that the sampling in those devastating polls was skewed.

And while the economic damage caused by shutting down the government and playing chicken with the debt limit was undeniable, Fox News dismissed it as a government “slimdown,” and an estimate by a Republican Budget Committee that only 17 percent of government had shut down quickly spread through the conservative media. “Debt ceiling deniers” – people who believed that the consequences of breaching the limit were exaggerated or imaginary – were easy to find among movement politicians and their allies in the conservative media.



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.


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