Your Virtual Front Page, Thursday, January 10, 2013

Here’s what’s happening:

  1. Biden Offers Glimpse of Gun Control Plan Coming in Days (NYT) — He speaks of “consensus,” but the NRA is not happy.
  2. S.C.’s top educator, cop differ on guns in schools (thestate,com) — Quick show of hands: Who is shocked, shocked, that Mick Zais has jumped on this bandwagon?
  3. Pakistan explosions kill scores (BBC) — I was debating between using this, and the story about Leon Panetta saying we’ve entered our “last chapter” in Afghanistan, which at least sounded important, but I went with the actual event rather than the rhetorical flourish.
  4. Former SC State board chairman, police chief charged in kickback schemes ( — Do things ever settle down and get normal on the SC state board? Over the years, it just seems like one upheaval after another…
  5. Despite 12 Years in Senate, Hagel Has Few Allies There (NYT) — Sounds like the guy made more enemies than I did in 12 years as editorial page editor. Did he try as hard, or was he just a natural?
  6. Crazy Or Canny? Talk Grows Of $1 Trillion Platinum Coin (NPR) — My gut says crazy, but we’ve pretty much established that my gut knows little about money.


8 thoughts on “Your Virtual Front Page, Thursday, January 10, 2013

  1. Karen McLeod

    The NRA will not be happy until we have the wild west back again, and they can lynch whomever they want. When I simply suggest accountability to my “pro-gun” friends (remember, I own a gun), they get very upset. “What will happen if mine gets stolen while I’m away and I don’t realize it?” “What if I want to give a gun to my friend/relative?” I don’t understand. If they don’t check their gun when they come in, how do they know it will be available for defense? Can there not be a way to transfer accountability to another (after a background check)? And of course there’s always the “We need our guns to defend us against our government.” That may have worked when a musket was the weapon of choice. These days I suspect they’d need ground to air missles, and their own airforce and marines, unless they have the majority of the population on their side, and from the results of the recent election, I would say that they don’t (except maybe in SC). And of course, the SLED chief doesn’t want armed educators. He knows his trained guy can get confused enough in a situation like this. He realizes just how badly things could turn out if people who do not receive continuous OJT training were armed in a school shooting situation. Most people have visions of people being able to shoot like the heroes John Wayne portrayed. It’s not like that, and the SLED chief knows it. He knows the school will be far safer if the educators follow a practiced plan to get the children and themselves safe, while notifying the police.

    1. Silence

      Karen, If we’ve learned anything from the resistance in Afghanistan, Iraq and the Arab Spring, it’s that determined groups armed with light weaponry can overthrow a government and keep a world superpower at bay.
      Also, registration is usually the first step towards confiscation.

      1. Mark Stewart

        Did the Feds take your right to vote, your social security, your property (home, business, automobiles, boats, communications devices, aircraft, etc.) because you registered with a governmental agency?

        If I look back at history, it seems like registration is an immaterial matter when a society has run off the rails. Only the Nazi’s acted like that, and they were, well, Germanic in their attention to detail.

  2. bud

    The $trillion coin is a bit bizarre but it doesn’t sound as crazy as actually going into default. Think about this a moment. What the Republicans in congress are proposing is to block the president from spending the money that congress has, by law, required the president to spend. POTUS would be in violation of the law if he doesn’t spend the money as authorized. So POTUS can work around congressional approval to raise the debt ceiling by some creative accounting techniques. Thus the $trillion coin. My bet is that in the end some new, wacky compromise will be reached. That’s how we got into the fiscal cliff mess in the first place.

    Here’s what I propose. The president stipulates spending cuts that he damn well knows the GOP will reject. For example he could suggest cutting the aircraft carrier fleet. Then once they squawk away for a while he can simply authorize the big coin with a statment to the effect that the constitution requires that he spend the money congress has authorized. The GOP must offer serious spending cuts if that’s what they want to do. This endless posturing on their behalf must stop. The election showed which side the American people are on.

    1. Steven Davis II

      What is the trillion dollar coin backed up with? Obama’s word???

      What’s to keep the government from minting a hundred of these coins, if so would the country then be in an budget surplus?

  3. Brad Warthen Post author

    It’s been awhile since I read it, but something about the trillion-dollar coin idea reminds me of the Golgafrinchans in the Hitchhiker’s Guide series. After crash-landing on prehistoric Earth, they adopt the leaf as currency, so that their money literally grows on trees. Then, after they’ve each amassed a “fortune” in leaves, they start burning down the forests to raise the value of their currency…

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