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The battle within

Bill Ritter's daily take on the news.
October 17, 2013 1:38:26 PM PDT
A party at war with itself. Hard to describe the GOP tonight as anything but that. How is it that the Tea Party types are so hyped over the misery caused to so many? And at what price? Political alienation from a broader base, to be sure. But their main point - to defeat Pres. Obama's health care reform law, which became law and survived a Supreme Court legal challenge and withstood dozens of attempts to overturn it legislatively - has been lost. Obamacare is still the law of the land, perhaps even stronger than before.

And so while the Tea Partiers are giving each other high fives, the rest of the country is left to scratch its collective head. And now comes word from Sen. Ted Cruz, the Texas Republican, who says (why not?) he might lead another government shutdown when these issues come up again in January.

Can't wait for that.

We'll have the latest on the re-opening of the government, tonight at 11.

Also at 11, we're in Long Island City, Queens again, as the search for Avonte Oquendo continues. The 14-year-old with autism has been missing since Oct. 4, when he walked out of his school, and no one stopped him. And here's an issue I'd love to get feedback about: Is he a 14-year-old autistic boy or a boy with autism? There's a different in language and, many feel, perception. Should the disability define the person - that's both the old-fashioned way and the way of front-line activists - or should we talk in person-first lingo? It's a fascinating conundrum, in part because we know that words and descriptions change over the years. When my mom gave birth to a son who had Down Syndrome, and who died, my parents joined the Association for Retarded Children. Nowadays, it's just called ARC, because "retarded" is viewed by people with disabilities (should we say "disabled people"?) as pejorative. In fact they call it the r-word.

Would like your feedback on this, if you'd like.

We'll also have any breaking news of the night, plus Meteorologist Lee Goldberg's AccuWeather forecast, and Rob Powers with the night's sports. I hope you can join Sade Baderinwa and me, tonight at 11.

BILL RITTER

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