Virtual Front Page, Monday, Feb. 14, 2011

Happy Valentine’s Day — even though y’all aren’t actually my valentine. Not that I want to hurt y’all’s feelings or anything. I mean, if we were in school, you’d probably get one of those cheap 30-to-a-box valentines (probably with Zorro, or Davy Crockett, on them), but since there’s no teacher making me do that, you’re out of luck. Just the way it is. Sorry. Y’all are still my friends and all. Some of you, that is. It’s complicated.

Anyway, here’s the news:

  1. Protesters in Tehran tear-gassed (BBC) — Here we go. We knew Iran was next. NYT says these are the biggest protests there since 2009. Not that Iran was ALONE in being next…
  2. Clashes Erupt in Bahrain as Tumult Ripples Across Mideast (NYT) — Not a big crowd, but could this be the next domino?
  3. Government Supporters Clash With Protesters in Yemen (NYT) — Are you noticing a pattern here? Meanwhile, the Palestinian Authority’s Abbas starts acting like HE cares about democracy, too, and things are still not quite perfect in the new paradise of Egypt.
  4. Obama Unveils $3.7 Trillion Budget For 2012 (NPR) — Which, to repeat one of my favorite jokes oft-repeated by a newsroom wag I used to work with, is more than I make in a year!
  5. Ecuador Court Orders Chevron to Pay $8.6 Billion (WSJ) — Wow. The Journal’s website is actually leading at the moment (see screenshot below) with a story from the country where I lived for two-and-a-half years when I was a kid. Which doesn’t happen every day, or even every decade.
  6. Nation’s top recruit signs with the Gamecocks ( — At Rotary today, everybody was going on and on about how exciting it was that “Clowney’s gonna play at USC!” They wanted me to talk about it during Health and Happiness. I was puzzled. Here’s a picture of my fellow Rotarian, Bill Clowney. He’s a great guy and all, but I think he’s a little long in the tooth to be of much use to the Gamecocks. Seems they’d want to sign someone younger. But what do I know about football? We’ll see, I suppose.

5 thoughts on “Virtual Front Page, Monday, Feb. 14, 2011

  1. bud

    Has anybody heard about this. Didn’t think GOP lawmakers could get any wackier but I have been proven wrong. From The Muckracker:

    South Carolina May Adopt Own Currency
    Josh Marshall | February 12, 2011, 1:49PM

    State Sen. Lee Bright (R-SC)Picking up on the ancestral tradition, South Carolinians have spent much of the last two years asserting various forms of independence from the federal government and attempting to block different federal laws. Now a state senator from the Palmetto State has decided it’s time for South Carolina to create its own currency.

    State Sen. Lee Bright (R-Roebuck) says that federal spending and increased monetary intervention by the Fed have placed the entire US Federal Reserve system on a path to monetary collapse. And when the crash comes, state residents will need to rely on the stable South Carolina currency to weather the storm.

    “If folks lose faith in the dollar, we need to have some kind of backup,” Bright told Stephen Largen of the Spartanburg Herald-Journal on Friday.

  2. Phillip

    Re #1: If we thought a light and subtle touch was required with the Egyptian situation, that’s nothing compared to the extreme delicacy with which the Obama Administration will need to handle any possible Iranian uprising. I don’t know what you’d call the Iranian equivalent of “Joe Six-Pack,” but whoever he is, he will NOT turn decisively against the regime if he senses an heavy American hand in the uprisings.

  3. Brad

    Bud, that’s more of the same. Lee Bright brought us that ridiculous resolution last year (or was it the year before? as someone noted when I wrote about it before, with these guys life is like the movie “Groundhog Day”) to moan about the federal gummint steppin’ on our “rats” down here in the free republic of SC.

    Also, don’t forget that last year Mike Pitts wanted to get rid of Yankee dollars and replace them with gold and silver.

    Yes, folks, these are the people making our laws.

  4. bud

    Brad, I guess I missed that about Mr. Bright earlier.

    As for Phillip’s comments he is right on. If we try to inject our two-cents worth into the unfolding events in the middle east it’s likely to backfire. This is a delicate balancing act that I hope Obama can accomplish. I’m just thankful we don’t have to rely on our previous president in this difficult time.

  5. virginia

    And 1/14/2011 US C-17 in Argentina had arms, RPG missiles, high technology(GPS, satellite phones etc.)and heroin confiscated. The diplomats are scoffing,claiming mislabeling/misunderstanding but in light of Southcom,Op Condor and Mark Sanford there last month I’m curious.Did he play a part?Just a coinkydink? Here’s links: and

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