One of the many veterans that John keeps in touch with is someone he met while covering the first Gulf War back in 1990. Colonel Bill Smullen was a top aide to General Colin Powell back then. Now, he teaches at Syracuse University and is part of a remarkable collaboration with troops from nearby Fort Drum, New York. Working with Col. Patrick Frank, Commander of the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, Smullen brought soldiers from Ft. Drum to spend time on campus, attend football and basketball games, and share a meal with the players. And in exchange, both Syracuse teams went to Ft. Drum to experience life as a soldier for a day. CNN was there when the basketball team visited Ft. Drum.
Every day we ask influential politicos to send us their top three bullet points that are driving the day's conversation inside and outside Washington.
RedState.Com Editor Erick-Woods Erickson:
– Judging by the media reaction to Rick Perry's damage control, we may very well see every candidate start flubbing lines in the debates. According to several reporters out there, Rick Perry has just concluded one of the best days of positive media coverage garnered by any Presidential candidate. Of course, it followed the worst 53 seconds. But more people saw him yesterday on Letterman for three minutes than during the entire 90 minute debate.
– The blame game has started in earnest on Capitol Hill over the Super Committee's failures. Sen. Jim DeMint says he is not buying into the Super Committee and does not believe Congress should hold Defense spending hostage.
– For the first time since August the President outpolls the generic Republican. Is this a rebound?
Firedoglake.com Blogger/Founder Jane Hamsher:
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