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Among those in attendance at what appears to be a cordial but significant meal together: Allen B. West, Rep. F. James Sensenbrenner Jr. of Wisconsin, Oklahoma state Speaker T.W. Shannon, RNC co-chair Sharon Day, Louisiana state Sen. Elbert Guillory and Indianapolis City Council Chairman Jose Evans.

‘STILL THE GREATEST NATION’

Oh woe is us. Alas, it was a melancholy group on NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday. There sat New York Times columnist David Brooks, MSNBC host Al Sharpton, historian Doris Kearns Goodwin and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Sheryl Wudunn; all appeared in solemn agreement that the proverbial American Dream had ebbed away.

Not so one guest, who appeared remotely from Salt Lake City.

“It saddens me actually to hear some of the things that I’m hearing here, because I think the American dream is alive,” interjected Rep. Raul R. Labrador, explaining that he was born to a single mother in Puerto Rico who “gave him life,” put him through military school, insisted he work hard and speak English.

“We’re still the greatest nation on the Earth,” the Idaho Republican told the panel, admonishing the panelists for their “message of despair,” among other things.

“If you listen to what Martin Luther King talked about, he talked about making sure that we were not bitter about what was happening in America, but that we had hope. It was a beautiful speech. And I think that the leadership, or the African-American leadership, needs to start thinking about that hope that Martin Luther King gave us instead of trying to get the community to think that everything is hopeless and without a future,” Mr. Labrador concluded.

BIG BROADCAST BUCKS

Who makes the most among the talking heads and late night hosts? TV Guide has “estimated” the annual salaries of the rich and garrulous in its latest issue, now on newsstands. At the top of the findings: Comedy Central fake newsman/host Jon Stewart ($25 million a year); NBC “Today” host Matt Lauer ($22 million); NBC “Tonight Show” host Jay Leno ($20 million); Fox News host Bill O’Reilly ($17 million a year).

And other sundry annual salaries: MSNBC host Rachel Maddow ($7 million), Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly ($6 million), CBS News anchor Scott Pelley ($5 million.) Incidentally, the biggest salary of all goes to Judge Judy Scheindlin, star of “Judge Judy,” who makes $47 million a year.

POLL DU JOUR

76 percent of Americans say technology is creating a “lazy society.”

69 percent say technology has become “too distracting.”

68 percent say it is “corrupting” their interpersonal communications.

65 percent say it encourages people to be more creative.

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