The Factor Rundown
Talking Points Memo & Top Story
Unresolved Problems Segment
A Collapse of Leadership in America
Guests: Lieutenant Colonel Ralph Peters & Colonel David Hunt
"Yesterday we learned that the Department of Defense, headed by former Senator Chuck Hagel, has stopped payments to the families of military people killed in Afghanistan. That is an absolute disgrace...The President has the power by executive order to pay for anything he wants, despite the government shutdown. Hagel allowed this to happen - he should resign immediately...
"The whole debacle once again points out that President Obama's leadership capacity is in steep decline. We saw it in the Syrian situation. We are seeing it again in the government shutdown...
"The entire Obama-care/government shutdown thing is a catastrophe. There's no question Obama-care is not ready to be rolled out...If the President would simply admit it and delay the individual mandate for a year the impasse would be solved, but Mr. Obama is too stubborn to do that...
"In the meantime, major damage is being done to this country and to the families of our service people killed in action."
Col. Hunt placed responsibility squarely on the Commander-in-chief and articulated how ashamed he is with our government. He called it an outrage to have families suffering who now have to put up with this while trying to bury their loved ones.
Hagel should go, according to Lt. Col. Ralph Peters, who insisted that the Secretary of Defense had to have known about this "disgraceful scandal." He said Hagel should have corrected the mistake well before it got this far, a point with which the Factor agreed.
The Factor, who is very angry about this situation, mentioned that his outrage is shared by every American veteran, and declared the scandal unjustifiable regardless of political affiliation.
Lt. Col. Peters put forth that this wasn't a mere screw-up, but is rather accusing someone in the administration of wanting to embarrass Republicans over the government shutdown.
Inside the White House
Guest: Fox News White House Reporter Ed Henry
The President met with Democrats late today, followed by Republican leaders shortly thereafter. The Factor indicated that Mr. Obama is resisting compromise because he doesn't want to look weak in the wake of the Syria debacle.
Ed Henry explained that the President doesn't want to look like he's being held hostage by Republicans, but what has not been sustainable is this talking point he keeps reiterating about refusing to negotiate.
The Factor repeated his assertion that this is all about poor leadership.
Guests: Kate Obenshain & Kirsten Powers
The pro-Obama media are seemingly having a hard time defending what is currently going on in Washington, as Andrea Mitchell of NBC News got tongue-tied when a Republican Congressman challenged her on the President's health care law.
The Factor declared that the bottom line is that the President is losing control in the leadership arena. While Powers conceded that this won't be known as the era of great leadership, she inferred that Republicans are coming off worse than the President right now. She said they insist they want to negotiate, but it all involves Obama capitulating to their demands.
According to the Factor, Obama-care is now a massive program that is out of control, nobody knows how it's going to affect them, and premiums are going up and up. While he admitted there's no doubt Republicans want to sabotage the whole program, he instructed them to attempt for more micro changes to the law.
Obenshain, acting as the counter-point to Powers, reminded viewers that the people in Washington who advocate on behalf of those Americans strongly opposed to Obama-care have every right to try to change it.
Guests: Carl Cameron & James Rosen
With the ongoing political struggle in Washington, is there any compromise on the horizon?
Carl Cameron reported there may be a new extension on the debt limit. Meanwhile, he found irony in the fact that Republicans, who have long been the party of small government, are now the ones advocating re-opening the government for business. The Factor suggested it will be Republicans who are most hurt by an ongoing government shutdown because they don't get their message out as well as Democrats. Cameron concurred that polls show the GOP is taking a bigger hit on this than Democrats.
On the military botch, James Rosen found it surprising that the administration and Congress, which worked very effectively to keep military troops funded, somehow left out pay for these grieving families.
Rosen's Democratic sources believe pressure will intensify on Speaker Boehner as his allies on Wall start to see markets get rattled by the prospect of a default. The Factor concluded that this is a bad reason to work things out, as it doesn't take the folks and how they're being hurt into consideration.
Guest: Dennis Miller
A brand new poll by Public Policy Polling found that 86% of respondents disapprove of the job Congress is doing, with 43% saying they have a higher opinion of zombies than Congress.
Miller pointed out that Congress is less popular than hemorrhoids, because they are an actual pain in the butt. On a serious note, the Factor stated that while there are issues that people feel very strongly about, there comes a time when you just have to make a deal because everyone is now getting hurt.
Switching gears, there are evidently some Muslim nations that are so openly hostile to gay people (i.e., Iran and Saudi Arabia) that they will execute you if you're homosexual. When the Factor asked what that's all about, Miller hypothesized that there's a latent thing going on, with so many repressed feelings in these countries that they act out against anything deemed even remotely inappropriate.
Finally, Bill and Dennis poked some fun at Vladimir Putin and John Kerry for wearing matching colorful shirts at the Economic Cooperation Summit in Indonesia.
College Nudity Week?
Guest: Jesse Watters
Brown University in Rhode Island has sponsored a clothing-optional week for students. Factor producer Jesse Watters paid the campus a visit to ask students about the recreational activity.
The Factor expressed his view that nudity week is harmless, but he did have some concern about student activity fees being used. Jesse allayed his fears by reporting that a very miniscule amount of money funded the fun.
Watters found the students he spoke with to be articulate and respectful, reiterating that he had nothing against them and was just having a few laughs over the silly nudity week at their expense.
Viewers sound off
Mark Anderson, Merrimac, Wisconsin - "If the American people don't want Obama-care, then why is the website crashing? That doesn't make sense."
Phillipe Delmar, Rahway, New Jersey - "We are not a mean country. We are a lawsuit-happy country."
Wayne Daniel, El Paso, Texas - "The title of your newest book 'Killing Jesus' is sacrilegious."
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