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Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

On the Next Episode of The Lead

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politics lead

September 19th, 2013
06:49 PM ET

What does 'The Big Lebowski' have to do with the debt ceiling?

It's "a very complicated case. You know, a lotta ins, lotta outs, lotta what-have-you's."

We are talking of course about the looming debt ceiling battle, and also about that sage slacker: The Big Lebowski.

"Uli doesn't care about anything. He's a nihilist," said character Bunny Lebowski.

"We are nihilists Lebowski, we believe in nothing, yeah, nothing Lebowski!" said a character called, fittingly, Nihilist.

So what is the connection between a blood-thirsty ferret into the bathtub and the debt ceiling? Writing in The Washington Post, reporters Chris Cillizza and Sean Sullivan argue that there is potentially a strand of "nihilism" running through the public right now over the possibility of a default.
FULL POST

world lead

September 19th, 2013
06:19 PM ET

Bishop: Pope Francis' views on gays, contraception are 'slight departure' from predecessors

Pope Francis gave a candid interview Thursday, where he talked about being more open to gays and lesbians, and embracing prominent roles for women in the church.

“We cannot insist only on issues related to abortion, gay marriage and the use of contraceptive methods. This is not possible. I have not spoken much about these things, and I was reprimanded for that," Pope Francis told Catholic news service "America." "It is not necessary to talk about these issues all the time."

"I think it is a slight departure," said Bishop David O'Connell of Trenton, New Jersey, and former president of Catholic University of America.

But Pope John Paul II rejected the use of condoms to control the spread of AIDs. Pope Francis' views appear to be more than just a slight departure.
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politics lead

September 19th, 2013
05:36 PM ET

Congresswoman outs GOP, saying they slash food stamps while dining out

By CNN's Chief Washington Correspondent Jake Tapper

The Republican-controlled House of Representatives on Thursday voted 217-210 to push $40 billion in cuts over 10 years to the federal food stamps program.

Republicans argue the price of the program, which cost $78 billion last year, has ballooned, and that cutting food stamps will encourage poor Americans to become more self-sufficient.

On Thursday, Democratic Rep. Jackie Speier of California lambasted those Republican colleagues who want to cut food aid for the poor, while they themselves rack up pricey meals during travel to foreign countries.
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money lead

September 19th, 2013
05:32 PM ET

Why runaway sales of 'Grand Theft Auto V' could choke creativity

Opening day sales for the fifth installment of "Grand Theft Auto" surpassed $800 million, more than the top four biggest box office opening weekends of all time combined.

"They have really built up the fan base for this game over the years, all the different installments. That's how you get up to a fifth sequel for something like this," said senior editor of CNET.com Dan Ackerman.

The sky high sales are even more impressive given the bloody, violent nature of the game.

"It's what they call an 'M' or mature rated game, kind of like an R-rated movie. It does cut your audience down. That's why so many big action movies try to get down to PG so they can sell more tickets. So far in the video game industry, they haven't felt that same pressure," said Ackerman.

The "Grand Theft Auto" wild success right out of the gate will change the game for developers moving forward.
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politics lead

September 19th, 2013
05:01 PM ET

McCain: Republicans thinking they can repeal Obamacare is 'not rational'

Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, said conservative Republican attempts to defund Obamacare will prove fruitless.

"In the United States Senate, we will not repeal or defund Obamacare. We will not. And to think we can is not rational," McCain said Thursday on “The Lead with Jake Tapper.”

Republicans Sen. Ted Cruz suggested he might filibuster if defunding Obamacare is not tied to funding the government. But McCain said the party does not have 67 Republican votes in the Senate which would be required to override a presidential veto.

"To somehow think we are going to defund it is simply not going to happen at this time, and it will, in my opinion, as it did before, harm the American people's view of the Republican party," said McCain.

For more of this interview with Sen. John McCain, including his views on Russian President Vladimir Putin, watch the video above.

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