• With: Dan Henninger, James Freeman, Kim Strassel, Joe Rago, Bret Stephens

    (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

    GIGOT: Time now for "Hits and Misses" of the week.

    Kim, first to you.

    STRASSEL: A huge hit for those World War II veterans who, for days now, have been defying the Obama administration's attempt to make this shutdown more painful by storming the barricades of the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C. Paul, this is an open-air memorial which is normally open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The idea that this administration would go out of its way to block it off to prove a point says something about the degree to which the president is playing politics rather than leading on this shutdown. So we owe a little bit of gratitude to this generation for reminding us it's the power to grant people to Washington and not the other way around.

    GIGOT: Hear, hear, Kim.

    Bret?

    STEPHENS: This is a hit to the Italian people and a miss for Silvio Berlusconi who, at the age of 77, is finally, it seems, walking off the stage of Italian politics. He was the prime minister of Italy three times. Came to office with great fanfare and expectations that he would finally be the man who would introduce a measure of competition and capitalism in a morbid Italian economy. He never did that. He became famous instead for things like bonga-bonga parties. It's a good thing he's gone and I hope the farce of Italian politics finally ends.

    GIGOT: That's an optimistic prediction.

    (LAUGHTER)

    All right, Joe?

    RAGO: Paul, Tom Clancy died this week. And a big hit to the defining novelist of the late Cold War. He started off with genre techno espionage thrillers like "The Hunt for Red October" but, over time, came to explore more complex themes like honor, patriotism and the moral clarity of the U.S. cause. Rest in peace.

    GIGOT: Thanks, Joe.

    That's it for this week's show. Thanks to my panel and to all of you watching. I'm Paul Gigot. Hope to see you all right here next week.

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