Indonesian Navy pilots Maj. Bambang Edi Saputro, left, and 2nd Lt. Tri Laksono check their map during a search operation for the missing Malaysian Airlines Boeing 777 over the waters bordering Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand near the Malacca straits on Monday, March 10, 2014. In an age when people assume that any bit of information is just a click away, the thought that a jetliner could simply disappear over the ocean for more than two days is staggering. (AP Photo/Binsar Bakkara) Indonesian Navy pilots check their map during a search operation for the missing Malaysian Airlines flight near the Malacca straits on March 10. (Binsar Bakkara/Associated Press)

This isn’t exactly shocking considering the red-state incumbent’s voting record. “A new poll finds that 42 percent or Arkansans would vote for Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Ark., and 51 percent would choose Rep. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., if their Senate election were held today.”

The suffering is stunning. “In a report timed to coincide with the start of the fourth year of the conflict, the group Save the Children said the effects of untreated illnesses on Syrian children were only partly reflected in the documented statistics. They show that at least 1.2 million children have fled to neighboring countries, that 4.3 million in Syria need humanitarian assistance and that more than 10,000 have died in the violence.”

What is surprising is that we didn’t do this a long time ago. The House speaker: “We can supplant Russia’s influence, but we won’t so long as we have to contend with the Energy Department’s achingly slow approval process. As we speak, the administration is sitting on 24 applications for natural gas exports; it’s approved just 6 in the last three years. This amounts to a de facto ban that only emboldens Vladimir Putin, allowing him to sell large quantities of natural gas to our allies. . . . The president should do the right thing here and end this de facto ban so we can strengthen our economy here and our security here and abroad.”

You would have thought someone on his staff would have found this alarming. “A Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated activist whose organization recently came under fire for holding an anti-Semitic rally in support of ousted Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi will head a fundraiser for Democratic Rep. Gerry Connolly (Va.).”

The blowback was unnerving, it seems. “The Obama administration is abandoning a surprise plan to alter Medicare’s drug coverage after withering criticism from Congress and K Street. Medicare chief Marilyn Tavenner alerted lawmakers Monday that her agency would not go forward with a proposal to give insurers more leeway to limit the number of drugs they cover for Medicare beneficiaries.” The administration seems to be in complete disarray.

Astonishing? Not so much for those who’ve seen the mainstream media’s reflexive impulse to defend the administration even at the cost of its own news credibility. Sharyl Attkisson reportedly quit her job at CBS because she “felt stymied by what she characterized as CBS News’ liberal bias and lack of support for investigative reporting.”

Stupefying to have a plane disappear without a trace. “Monday’s fruitless air and sea search for a vanished Malaysian Airlines flight left investigators with no concrete evidence of what happened to the plane or the people aboard. . . .  ‘We are bewildered’ with the disappearance, said Hishamuddin Hussein, Malaysia’s acting transport minister.”