Take Two®

News and culture through the lens of Southern California. Hosted by A Martínez

Friday Flashback: Boeing, Olympics in Sochi and more

by Take Two®

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Russia's President Vladimir Putin skis in the mountain Laura Cross Country and Biathlon Centre near the Black Sea resort of Sochi, on January 3, 2014. Sochi will host the 2014 Winter Olympics that start on February 7, 2014. AFP/AFP/Getty Images

Today we've made it to the end of the first working week of 2014! In this week's Friday Flashback, we're actually going to Flash Forward, to the biggest stories of this coming year.

To help us gaze into the crystal ball, we're joined in studio by James Rainey of the LA Times, and in Washington D.C., by Nancy Cook of National Journal.

But before we look to the year ahead, let's pick up with a story we just talked about before the break: today's vote for Boeing's machinist union on whether or not they'll accept an updated proposal on workers' benefits.

If they vote "no," Boeing would then consider moving production of its new 777x aircraft to more than 20 other states, many states of which have been ramping up competition for these contracts. Should states in fact stop courting Boeing?

Let's start with the story that's likely to dominate this year as it did for much of 2013 and that's healthcare.gov. At last count, about 2 million people had signed up for healthcare through the Affordable Care Act. They need about 7 million people to sign up by the end of March to declare it a success. 

In a few weeks, the members of the White House Review Panel on Data Surveillance will appear before the Senate Judiciary Committee to answer questions about the activities of the NSA. Do we have any sense yet of what impact these hearings could have? 

Let's move on to Russia, where this year all eyes will be on the Olympics in Sochi. There was some controversy about the U.S. attending after Russia passed some anti-gay legislation. But instead of boycotting the event, President Obama is sending two openly gay athletes -- tennis legend Billie Jean King, figure skater Brian Boitano, and ice hockey player Caitlin Cahow -- in his place.

Both with the Snowden incident and then Sochi, there seems to be these grating tête-à-têtes between President Putin and President Obama. What does this bode for diplomatic relations between the our two countries? And for the Olympics?

Since we spoke last Friday, the New York Times released its own report on the raid in Benghazi. It found that these attacks were in fact not carried out by al-Qaida. Remind us of what the controversy was here and does this report change anything? 

According to a poll conducted by CNN last week, Congress ended 2013 with two-thirds of Americans saying it is the worst Congress they can remember in their lifetime. What can we expect from Congress this year?

And this is the time we usually pause to ask you about your favorite under-the-radar story of the week, but today, let's hear your what the story is that you're anticipating will be most under-covered in 2014. Jim? Nancy? 

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