The Factor Rundown
Talking Points Memo & Top Story
Unresolved Problems Segment
Guest: Brit Hume
"In one of the most shameful expositions I have ever seen, the U.S. government is allowing a private charity, the Fisher House, to fund the funerals for at least 26 military people killed in Afghanistan...President Obama could sign an executive order right this minute that would stop the madness...
"Yesterday the House voted 425-0 to allow funding. The Senate, under heavy pressure, followed this afternoon. So Fisher House will be reimbursed if any money went out...
"Now, there is some movement in Washington on the shutdown. Reports say there may be a deal on short term debt, but there is no question that both parties have taken a major hit. President Obama's approval rating is down to 37% in the latest AP poll. And today, a new Gallup poll says the Republican Party is now at a record low with just 28% of Americans approving of it...
"The Republican Party finds itself in trouble. Obama-care is not going to be defunded, and the GOP will have to make a deal with the President. And you know who's most happy about this? Hillary Clinton - that's who. Hard right Americans should understand that the Democrats will win next year's midterm elections and the presidency of 2016 if the Republican Party does not begin to solve problems."
Brit announced it's probable the House will pass a short-term extension of the debt ceiling, which will allow the government to continue to borrow money that's already been appropriated . However, the move won't re-open the government.
Expressing frustration, the Factor asserted that something has to give, with both the President and the Republican Party taking a beating in the polls. On the military family situation, he declared that Harry Reid is a real villain who has proved he's not looking out for the country, but is rather just a rank partisan.
According to Brit, the primary question is now whether the legal decision about not paying benefits to the families of fallen soldiers was made in good faith. He explained that there's a possibility the Justice Department may have gotten involved regarding the interpretation of whether or not the benefits could be paid during the shutdown.
Teed off, the Factor declared that a real leader would take the lawyers out of it. He articulated further outrage over Jay Carney saying he doesn't know when the President knew about this military fiasco.
Military Death Benefit Disgrace
Guest: James Carville
Sounding off about the military benefits scandal, James Carville said if you shut the government down, there are consequences and you can't pick and choose what you're going to fund.
The Factor disagreed, clarifying that all the President had to do was issue an executive order the moment he found out this was going to happen to military families.
However, Carville questioned whether the President can actually spend money the Congress hasn't appropriated, you'd need a lawyer to tell you that, concluding that what we're finding out from this shutdown is that the government does a lot of useful things.
Is the GOP in Trouble?
Guest: Laura Ingraham
The Republican Party is at record low approval ratings, according to Gallup.
Laura admitted the numbers don't look good for Republicans, but pointed out that Democrats are faring poorly as well. She contended that the GOP problem was that they didn't have a unified strategy going into this - the establishment wing thinks you should cut deals with Obama and take victories where you can get them, while the Ted Cruz/Rand Paul wing wants to fight Obama on every front, which is very appealing to a segment of the population.
In the Factor's estimation, you have to be strong and passionate and when you're in the middle, you're not considered passionate - this is why it's easier for hard-core ideologues to get traction in the media.
Regarding the Factor's assertion that Hillary Clinton is the big winner in all of this, Laura quibbled, saying for every poll disparaging the GOP today, she can show you others that are more tuned in to the failures of a Democratic-controlled big government.
Guest: Bob Bowdon
In Kentucky, a high school athletic association has banned post-game handshakes after games because of potential brawls. In Long Island, one middle school has banned any recreational equipment, such as footballs and baseballs, they think might hurt someone.
Mr. Bowdon called this the "wussification of American schools." The Factor concurred, recognizing a trend where everything is neutered. On the one hand, he conceded the increasing amount of violence in schools is a problem, but Bowdon believes it's all an overreaction to bullying and freak accidents, driven by the fear of lawsuits.
Shocking Crime in Texas
Guest: Megyn Kelly
An anti-abortion group has filed a negligence lawsuit against a Texas judge, who ruled that a 15-year-old girl should keep living with her legal guardian even though the teen said she was being sexually assaulted by the guardian's boyfriend, a convicted sex offender. After the outrageous ruling, the sex offender in questioned murdered the guardian and raped the teenage girl.
Megyn reported there's no question the guy committed the rape and murder because he pleaded guilty. Describing the ruling as beyond egregious, the Factor asked whether this judge could have immunity from any potential lawsuit.
Megyn stated that we give judges immunity because we don't want people coming back and suing them for bad rulings, but there are some potential exceptions and, according to her, there may be one here.
Switching topics, a Wisconsin school district is home to the first "war against Christmas" story of the year. A high school choir has a tradition of singing Christmas songs around town, but now it has been mandated that for every religious song, five secular songs must be performed. The Factor expects they'll overturn this insanity.
What Makes YOU Mad?
Guest: Heather Nauert
Mad as Hell is the new Factor segment in which viewers express things about which they feel most passionate.
The first letter came from a Tea Party supporter who is mad that she's being portrayed as an extremist. She wants to know what's so extreme about wanting to curtail government spending. The Factor thinks the Tea Party has definitely been portrayed a certain way by the media. Nauert contended that this is no fringe group, with membership and support expanding every day.
The second letter proclaimed anger over service people in India being incapable of understanding English. Nauert asserted there are now fewer American companies outsourcing call centers than in the past.
The third letter found drunken fans at football games too intimidating for what used to be a family-friendly environment. The Factor blamed tailgating, while Nauert demanded that stadiums have some culpability in the situation.
Finally, with time running out in the segment, the final letter wished dogs had the same leash-free rights as cats!
Viewers sound off
Bill Stacey, Manassas, Virginia... "As a Vietnam vet, I say that denying fallen heroes their benefits is unconscionable and beyond imagination."
Ryan Schroeter, Torrance, California... "This situation makes me sick. I just made a donation to the Fisher House."
Linda Smith, Lake Village, Arkansas... "You and Miller were totally lacking in civility last night."
Factor viewers to the rescue
Factor viewers donated $1.3 million to the Fisher House in a promotion surrounding our President Obama interview, so you have directly funded the military funerals on which our government dropped the ball. Congrats!