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Brad's morning edition. Check back this afternoon for more jokes from Brad.
* Today is Columbus Day. In 1492, Christopher Columbus discovered America. Had he known what the current Congress would be like, five miles from shore he would have turned the ship around and gone home.
* This is not good. Tea party members are trying to tie any vote to raise the debt ceiling to an agreement that the world is flat.
* Columbus and his men endured cramped conditions, atrocious food, abject filth and long delays. Of course, the modern day equivalent is flying coach.
* Many members of Congress left town on Friday to spend Columbus Day in their home districts. Sure, why let a little thing like potential financial Armageddon interfere with a three-day weekend?
* Halloween costumes for kids this year include the “Hooters Girl,” “Baby Pimp,” “The Terrorist” and a John Boehner mask. John Boehner? For kids? What kind of role model is that?
* The White House rejected the latest proposal by Republicans to end the government shutdown. In a sign of how bad things are going, the White House also pre-emptively rejected the next three GOP proposals.
* There's a proposal to close the congressional spa until the government reopens. See, members of Congress are willing to sacrifice, too. Furloughed federal workers have to worry about buying food, and members of Congress are potentially willing to forgo body waxes.
* Over the weekend, Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell spoke by phone. Here's what I don't get. Dennis Rodman and the leader of North Korea are able to meet in person, but only days before a possible economic collapse Reid and McConnell are chatting by phone.
* At least they're not texting.
* The U.S. Senate was scheduled to resume negotiations at 2 p.m. Eastern today. I see one problem – 72 hours before a historic debt ceiling debacle and these people don't begin the workday until 2 p.m.
* The Grand Canyon has reopened. However, during the two weeks it was closed, Americans had time to step back and realize it's just a big hole and lost interest.
* The government shutdown is beginning to affect the school lunch program. I believe this falls into the “not much to lose” category.
* Child advocates say the government shutdown should be used as a teachable moment. Yeah, that's right. And kids, I hope you learned that Congress is composed of two sides – the morons and the doofuses.
* On Thursday, the government is scheduled to default on $16.7 trillion unless the debt ceiling is raised. That's tough. One day we're the most powerful nation on earth, the next we couldn't qualify for a Sears credit card.
* What was the deal with Purdue's mascot? Purdue Pete has a huge head and carries a sledgehammer. He looks like he escaped from a Chuck E. Cheese.
* There is a new Sunday Night Football theme with Carrie Underwood replacing Faith Hill. This is sort of like when America inaugurates a new president, only more important.