Your Virtual Front Page, December 30, 2014

There actually is some news today, which is fairly unusual for this week of the year:

  1. Metts pleads guilty, ends storied career in disgrace ( — The judge accepts the deal this time, since it doesn’t rule out prison time.
  2. Jet Debris and Bodies Found; Little Hope of Any Survivors (NYT) — But we sort of knew that was the case, tragically. FYI, these horrific stories are seeming less distant to me lately, since I have tickets to fly to Southeast Asia myself in a couple of months.
  3. Putin critic among ‘hundred held’ (BBC) — He dared to attend a political rally while under house arrest. Pussy Riot weighs in with a video. As an aside, if this is typical, they’re not a very good band…
  4. Here’s Why Obama Said The U.S. Is ‘Less Racially Divided’ (NPR) — He said we feel worse about race just because we’re talking about it more. I can identify with that explanation. This is from an NPR interview with POTUS. (See video below.)
  5. Boehner Stands By Scalise After Revelations (WSJ) — Revelations that he addressed a white nationalist group in 2002.
  6. Release of Bergdahl Reshaped America’s Talks With Cuba (NYT) — It made the White House hesitate to make a swap deal. I’m glad to hear the Bergdahl mess made someone in the administration rethink something

25 thoughts on “Your Virtual Front Page, December 30, 2014

  1. bud

    This is an interesting virtual front page for the fact that none of the stories are especially surprising. Take number 5. Is it still newsworthy when some major leader in the GOP turns out to be a racist jerk? Ever since David Duke became successful the modern GOP has become a bastion for racist politicians. They’ve generally been more subtle about it but the pattern is pretty well established. Simply cater to racist fears and your chances within the reactionary GOP are greatly enhanced.

    1. Bart

      If you can remove your partisan hat for a while, you might want check the latest infornmation about the supposed speech before David Duke’s excreable following. Scalise spoke before a different group on that morning, not the neo-nazi jerks. Even the black Democrat House member from his state has come to his defense. But, I really don’t expect you to believe it so why waste time?

  2. Kathryn Fenner

    2. Assuming you are flying commercial, you are safer, even flying over the Indian Ocean, in the plane than on the way to the airport–or to work….
    But what is CNN going to cover, now that they seem to have found the airliner?

    1. Kathryn Fenner

      My dad, intrepid world birder, once flew an inter-island plane in Fiji that had an in-flight mechanic.

      I only fly wide-body jets. The best pilots fly them.

  3. bud

    It’s the end of the year and the good economic news continues to pour in. 5% growth. An uptick in wages. Gas prices dropping sharply. Inflation remains low. Health insurance coverage for millions previously uninsured. What is Fox News going to say? If all else fail they can talk about Benghazi?

  4. Michael Rodgers

    “Medicaid expansion would eliminate disincentives to earn income through working”
    “In the typical (or median) state today, a working-poor parent loses eligibility for Medicaid when his or her income reaches only 63 percent of the poverty line (about $12,000 for a family of three in 2012). An unemployed parent must have income below 37 percent of the poverty line (about $7,100 in 2012) in the typical state in order to qualify for the program.
    “The irony is that Medicaid expansion would eliminate disincentives to earn income through working. As outlined here, most of the beneficiaries of a Medicaid expansion in those states that have not yet taken the offer would be working poor — between nearly 60 to 66% in Virginia, Missouri and Utah.”

      1. Doug Ross

        Want to make a bet it’s NOT on their goal list? This will be a real test of Sheheen’s character.

      2. Michael Rodgers

        I’m on Doug’s side of the bet on this one — they will do nothing. Meanwhile SC’s flag is the best in the nation, and rightfully so. Why do we need a third flag? Out front? In its own little cage with the soldier’s back turned to it? Why does the caged nylon flag of the ANV sing from the grounds of the State House of South Carolina? Fly little flag, fly home to Virginia.

        1. M.Prince

          You are aware, of course, that the design for the SC state flag was not finalized and officially adopted until AFTER the state left the Union. It is, therefore, one of the first, if not the first, symbols of the new Confederacy — or, at any rate, of the newly independent state/country of South Carolina.

          1. Michael Rodgers

            Yes. Please tell me more, perhaps about how it was used during reconstruction. Thanks in advance.

            1. M.Prince

              Not sure what you mean by how it was used during Reconstruction. By the time Congressional Reconstruction began in 1867, it had been the official state flag for roughly six years.

              I concur that its display in front of the State House is an unnecessary redundancy. The Confederate Monument serves as adequate memorial to that part of the state’s past.

          1. M.Prince

            Yes, the palmetto has Revolutionary era associations. But so, too, does the gorget — once a symbol of military rank (evoking a piece of armor meant to protect the throat). Most folks think it’s a crescent moon.

            The palmetto tree was added in 1861 when the design was finalized — as a reference to the Revolution/Ft. Moultrie, built of palmetto logs.

            My only point in raising the origins of the state flag was to point out that in contrast to what folks might (like to) think, it, too, is not entirely untainted by associations with the Confederacy.

            1. Kathryn Fenner

              Wow, I learned something…not a Carolina Moon…

              Well, exactly what, after 1861, down here isn’t permeated with the Confederacy? I was explaining to a new planner from Columbia that most anything around here could be explained by looking back to its roots in the Reconstruction….and thus the Confederacy.

  5. Karen Pearson

    Could S.C. resolve this year to seek out and promote only sane, honest politicians and high level state employees?

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