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Debt-ceiling stalemate, “Fear of Flying” anniversary, rethinking the death penalty, the Nobel peace prize
Today’s news and a report on the impasse over a rise in the debt ceiling and an exploration of whether such an increase is even fiscally necessary, plus: commentary from Cal Thomas on the 40th anniversary of a culturally destructive novel, WORLD News Group editor in chief Marvin Olasky on rethinking the death penalty, the story behind the Nobel peace prize, and more.
Debt ceiling: Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki said at a House hearing yesterday that not raising the debt ceiling will result in loss of income to more than 5 million veterans and their families. President Obama also says Social Security checks will not be issued. But Republicans say the administration has much more flexibility that it lets on.
Survivor benefits: Republicans claim the administration could have kept military survivor payments in place, pointing to a law passed last month to pay the military during any shutdown, but the Pentagon said the law didn’t specifically address survivors benefits. The House unanimously passed a separate bill on Wednesday to restore those payments. A private organization has offered to pay those benefits until funding is restored.
IRS scandal: Congressional investigation continues, as Republicans press an IRS official on the disclosure of confidential taxpayer information to political appointees in the White House.
Shutdown showdown: The Obama administration makes an about face on the World War II memorial. Jordan Sekulow of the American Center for Law and Justice says after seeing numerous World War II veterans turned away from their memorial in Washington DC, his organization threatened a lawsuit, and the Obama administration has re-opened the park.
Business/economy: The Dow and the S&P 500 were up modestly on Wednesday. The ongoing anxiety over the political gridlock in Washington is keeping a lid on gains. But the market generally liked the news that Janet Yellen would be nominated as the Fed’s next chief.
The new stalemate: the debt ceiling
The government shutdown debate and the debt-ceiling debate have a campaign feel to them: In the sense that they are repetitive, and that they have dates of decision attached. Oct. 1 was the date the government shut down. Oct. 17 is the date of supposed default. The president predicted again that such a default will crash the financial markets. But if you listen to other voices, you get a different sense of things. Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma yesterday: “The scare tactics of saying the earth is going to collapse if we somehow fail on time to raise the debt limit is not true.” TW&E reporter Jim Henry has the story.
Commentary: Anything goes!
TW&E commentator Cal Thomas remembers the 40th anniversary of one of America’s most destructive novels: “Fear of Flying.” He says it made a substantial contribution to the coarsening of the culture: “The fallout from the culture bombs dropped on America, beginning in the freewheeling ’60s, continues to infect the younger generation today. Their role models are not parents, or even sports figures. Their role models are rather young twits like Miley Cyrus.”
Rethinking the death penalty
WORLD News Group editor in chief Marvin Olasky joins us to talk about “Dead Seriousness,” his cover story on capital punishment in the Oct. 19, 2013, issue of WORLD Magazine.
The story behind the Nobel Peace Prize
Jay Nordlinger is the author of Peace, They Say: A History of the Nobel Peace Prize, the Most Famous and Controversial Prize in the World.(Encounter Books, 2012).