Sunday, December 28, 2014


2014 was a year of non-stop headlines.  At every turn, practically every week America and the world was fixated on another crisis, tragedy or significant event.  

Now the hard part.  Selecting the top 10 news stories of 2014.  Whether you rank on the impact of a certain story or the level of public attention, these are the stories that made their mark on history.  So, when you look back years from now, this is what made 2014...

1.  Republican Election Victory.  The election of 2014 yielded one of the largest sweeping victories for the U.S. Senate and House by the Republican party.  Republicans gained 9 seats in the Senate, which ended Democrat Harry Reid's control of power in the Senate.  The Republicans reached historic level of seats with 247 and the Democrats with 188.  The baseline story of the November 4 election was grassroots America responded to halt the policies of Obama and to correct the path of the country.

2.  Liberalization of Immigration.  Most of 2014 was consumed with some element of immigration impact in America.  From the surge of illegal immigrants flooding the Southern border to Barack Obama issuing an Executive Order granting amnesty to 5+ Million illegals, our country's immigration policy is perhaps the most liberal since our founding.

3.  Civil Unrest in America.  Our country has experienced a year of tragedy.  Not just in the loss of life, but the civil decay of our society.  Riots and protests erupted following court rulings involving police officers not convicted with the shooting of Mike Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and the death of Eric Garner in New York City.  Major riots and destruction of property occurred in Ferguson and other related violence occurred around the country.  The year ended with the assassination of two New York City police officers and a Florida police officer, due to continued civil violence.

4.  ISIS Becomes Army of  Islamic Caliphate.  The world witnessed the emergence of another serious threat in the Middle East.  An bonafide army of Muslims quickly seized territory in Syria and large portions of Iraq.  The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) overshadowed other terrorist groups like Al Qaeda.  ISIS used brutal tactics to slaughter Christians throughout areas they controlled.  After much delay, the United States and other countries provided military air support to suppress ISIS incursions.  To date, ISIS still holds significant territory in Northern Iraq and Syria.

5.  Ebola Outbreak.  Ebola, one of the most contagious viruses know to man, had a major outbreak in Africa which spread to the United States and seven other countries.  As of December, the World Health Organization reported 7,793 deaths and 19,980 infections, globally.  Unlike most all countries, the United States continued to allow inbound flights from African countries that were the source of the contagion.  Fear grew in America as the public worried of a mass outbreak.  Fears subsided after four infected patients in the United States fully recovered.  There was one death from Ebola in America in Dallas, Texas.

6.  Awakening of the Soviet Bear.  Russia's Vladimir Putin used military might to reclaim old Soviet countries.  Putin rolled troops and heavy armament into Crimea, seizing control of the small country.  Putin used Crimea as a tactical position to also move troops into Ukraine.  Although Putin did not succeed with taking Ukraine, he did receive global scorn and economic sanctions which impacted Russia's economy.

7.  Veterans Administration Scandal.  America was sickened by the treatment of its military veterans.  Long-term practices by employees of the Veterans Administration, restrained medical treatment for hundreds of veterans.  The VA used a system of wait lists that did not prioritize the severity of medical condition.  Thus, resulting in the death and ill treatment of many veterans.  In fact, over 100 veterans died and over 120,000 never receive requested medical care.  This scandal resulted in the resignation of VA Secretary Eric Shinseki and VA Director Robert Pretzel.  Further investigations have revealed this practice in Phoenix and at least 5 other VA hospitals.

8.  Israel-Hamas Conflict.  Hamas terrorists seized civilian territory in Gaza.  Hamas used weapons funded by Iran to attack Israel.  Hamas terrorists used civilian hospitals and mosques as shields to hide their weapons.  After a barrage of rockets from Hamas, Israel countered with a military offensive to remove the terrorists and weaponry from Gaza.  The main conflict lasted for seven weeks with sporadic rocket attacks continuing by Hamas.

9.  Year of Headlines for the Commonwealth.  Virginia witnessed several high profile stories in 2014.  From the unseating of establishment Congressman Cantor by grassroots icon Dave Brat to the conviction of former Governor McDonnell and his wife for fraud.  In addition, Virginians and Republicans stood united to defeat Governor McAuliffe's attempt to expand Medicaid.

10. Malaysian Air Tragedy.  On March 8th, Malaysian Air flight 370 lost contact with air control while flying over the South China Sea.  After an aerial search was exhausted, a massive sea search could not locate the Boeing 777.   The aircraft was carrying 12 crew members and 227 passengers from 15 countries.  Neither weather, nor aggressive act could be confirmed as the reason for the disappearance.  Unrelated, another Malaysian Air flight on July 17 was shot down in Ukraine by pro-Russian separatists.  There were 298 fatalities.

Honorable Mentions:  Obamacare fallout, Supreme Court Hobby Lobby decision, $18 Trillion national debt, Bergdahl prisoner exchange, Scotland votes to stay with UK, and Secret Service trouble with White House security.

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The commentary provided on and "The American Maverick Radio Show" are the remarks on behalf of Maverick Media and personal expression of Flint Engleman. In no way, are these statements on behalf of any other organization or political entity.

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