Well as usual, Rochester gets its share of weather. And as of this story, we have gotten over a foot. And more coming.
Conservative and often controversial Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, 79, was found dead of apparent natural causes this morning.
Scalia, who was appointed to the high court by President Ronald Reagan in 1986, was a stalwart of the conservative bent of the Court.
Often his remarks and actions were seen as a pox by the liberal portion of the nation while endearing to the right.
Scalia was a guest at the Cibolo Bend Ranch in the Big Bend area of Texas when he was discovered dead this morning.
Many had thought a vacancy may occur on the Court earlier, but presumed it would be Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. She, however, opted not to retire.
With the vacancy caused by Scalia’s death there will be a push by Democrats for President Barack Obama to name a successor to the bench, who will turn the Court from conservative leaning to liberal leaning. However, with Republicans holding the majority in the US Senate, the vacancy most likely will not be filled until the next President takes office.
Scalia, whether loved or hated, will leave a dent in the cases considered by the Court. He was in the minority of such landmark decisions such as upholding the Affordable Care Act and the decision which made same gender marriage legal across the nation.
With this presidential election cycle already destroying the conventional wisdom, it is certain that the passing of Scalia and the vacancy on the Supreme Court will become a major campaign issue with both Democrats and Republicans.
The pressure to appoint a new justice will be intense on the White House. Equally, the vise will be twisted to the extreme on the Senate to not confirm any appointee.
Scalia was the first Italian-American appointed to the Court. He was also the longest serving justice of the current bench.
From the Cornfield, no matter your political persuasion, Antonin Scalia was a legal force and a brilliant mind impacting our judicial system from the top to the bottom.
Thoughts and condolences to the Scalia family.
May he rest in peace.
On a night when President Barack Obama planned to make a victory lap, highlighting the wins of his two-term Administration, Iran has cast a dark shadow on the State of the Union Address to a joint session of Congress.
The Persian nation, long a pariah in the international community, has seized two small US Navy boats in the Persian Gulf. Ten American sailors, including one woman, have been, according to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard been arrested after one of the boats is alleged to have had engine trouble and ran aground on an Iranian island.
This is also on the eve of the release of $150 billion to the regime for agreeing to an international deal to limit its nuclear ambitions.
Never mind that the President did not press for nor has yet to secure the release of four Americans being held illegally by Iran before reaching any deal with the Iranians or that the nation fired live rockets within 1,500 feet of Navy vessels last month, this gives the President’s foreign policy yet another black eye and proves how ineffective that policy is and has been.
When will this President realize and wake up to the fact you cannot talk your way to peace with radicals and jihadists?
The only bright spot is that this is the last year of this Administration and the last address by this President to Congress. Our long national nightmare may soon be over.
But for now 10 American sailors are being held captive by the most belligerent and bellicose segment of the Iranian military. Iran says it will release the sailors and the boats. The Administration is stressing there were no sinister motives while the Iranian press details the weapons seized and how the Americans were arrested.
Time to stop playing nice.
Time to stop the release of the money.
Time to demand not only the release of our sailors, but also the other four Americans being illegally detained.
From the Cornfield, how many more fails before the President stops his Neville Chamberlain act?
It has never worked and never will. Radicals do not play by the rules and only understand might.
Last night around 5:00 pm my husband and I headed down to the Las Vegas Strip for a Christmas party. Luckily for us we got there and were safely 37 floors up when things became deadly.
As we all went out on the balcony to watch the Bellagio fountains someone noticed the police lights. Soon we were watching the red and blue police, ambulance and fire truck lights instead of enjoying the water show.
As we watched from far above the strip many of us speculated about what was actually going on; imaginations ran wild.
Now that morning has dawned we know that a woman intentionally drove her car up on the sidewalk of the strip near the Paris. She did not just make one swipe but according to witnesses, she backed up and then drove onto the sidewalk again and again. What is even more disturbing is that she brought a 3 year old child along with her on her deadly drive.
One person lost their life and 36 more were injured. Right now the police are not suspecting terrorism and while that is a relief, incidents like this remind us that safety is an illusion.
One of my favorite quotes reminds me to live more and worry less.
“On a long enough time line, the survival rate for everyone drops to zero.” ― Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club
Welcome to another edition of Kernels From the Cornfield – No Husks, No Hulls, No Shucks!
News with a dash of commentary to spice up your fare for Thursday, December 10th, 2015.
1. Swiss Neutrality Challenged – Switzerland for hundreds of years has been the oasis in a world war rages. That peace is now being challenged.
The war on terror has come to the Alpine nation as European authorities are honing in on Geneva where there is a “precise threat” in the Swiss capitol. Law enforcement has tracked one of the Paris jihadists to the land of William Tell.
What is the world coming to when even the country that maintain its serenity even in the midst of the Nazi wave that murdered millions?
More on this story: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-35058958
2. No Shutdown – Looks as if Congress has kept the nation from going to the edge of another fiscal crisis – maybe.
The Senate passed a stop-gap measure to keep the government funded until December 16. The House of Representatives will do the same on Friday.
In the meantime the House is working on a $1.15 trillion piece of legislation to fund the government until September of 2016.
The deadline has been pushed now to Wednesday – the day after the next Republican debate.
3. State of Healthcare – Could it be that the Affordable Care Act is on life support?
The Senate did follow suit with the House and pass a bill to repeal the law that the majority of Americans still oppose. Of course President Barack Obama will veto that bill which would unravel his signature domestic legislation.
But, forgetting Congress and Republican efforts to roll back the clock, seems that the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid are revealing that the ACA is floundering and causing the exact opposite of what Democrats sold the law.
Cost of healthcare continues to spiral out of control. The number of uninsured insured is a fraction of predicted. Many are opting to pay the tax penalty than the $5,000 deductibles and hundreds of dollars in premiums for coverage they cannot use.
The full story is here: http://finance.yahoo.com/news/obamacare-condition-gone-critical-life-113000762.html
4. State of Sex Ed – For me and many of my reader, we grew up before sex education in school other than what we learned in the locker room or scurrilous talk around the neighborhood or sneaking copies of Playboy.
Then came the national uproar over introducing sex ed into the classroom in an attempt to stem the ever-growing tide of teen pregnancies and counter the 1960s free love movement.
Now comes out a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that reveals that education is still wanting – especially when it comes to educating on condoms.
5. Rumble in the Corn Stalks – Hitting close to home, the Hymera Town Council meeting Wednesday everning turned into a free-for-all with fists and flailing.
At issue was the firing of Town Marshal Darrik Cullison. He has sued to get his job back along with pay during the time since he was fired.
Cullison took out his anger on the new marshal appointed by the Board, Daryl McCullough. Cullison later sent an email apology to a WTHI reporter simply saying, “I’m sorry.”
Citizens for and against his reinstatement became so incensed that this normally peaceful hamlet became a melee requiring the Indiana State Police to be called in to restore order.
No arrests were made, but the Indiana State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation is investigating and cooperating with the Sullivan County Prosecutor’s Office.
6. ‘Did I Say That?‘ – In case you missed it, Justice Antonin Scalia opened his mouth and said something that was more controversial than normal for him in a hearing on an affirmative action case in Texas on Wednesday.
Scalia opined that perhaps that blacks would do better at less stellar colleges than the more prestigious universities. Now this is not something off the top of Scalia’s head as he is apt to do, but rather comes from a theory and study as well as an amicus brief filed with the Supreme Court.
More on the controversy: https://www.yahoo.com/politics/scalia-argues-black-students-benefit-from-slower-210637220.html
7. Next Prez? – Western Illinois University has successfully predicted the winner of the presidential election every four years since 1975.
The school has come out with its prediction for the 2016 contest. The outcome may come as a big surprise.
And the winner is:
Bernie Sanders with running mate, Martin O’Malley.
8. ‘My Cold Dead Hands‘ – Where can you carry a concealed weapon in the US of A?
Pretty much everywhere!
Check out this chart:
9. Shrinking Middle Class – The graphic tells the story:
10. ‘The King of Meteor Showers’ – Alright camera buffs and stargazers (talking to you travelbug and Ryn), this weekend is your chance to capture some fantastic images.
The Geminid Meteor Shower stands out as one of the best of the year and is sometimes referred to as “the King of Meteor Showers,” according to AccuWeather Meteorologist Dave Samuhel. As many as 100 to 150 shooting stars will streak across the night sky every hour.
This year, the Geminids will peak the night of Sunday, Dec. 13, into the morning of Monday, Dec. 14.
That’s what caught my attention this Thursday, December 10th, 2015.
Tune in tomorrow for another edition of Kernels From The Cornfield.
I am Mark Ivy
BREAKING NEWS: Arkansas State University in Jonesboro is on lockdown after a pickup truck loaded with what looks to be explosive material crashed into a building. Law enforcement has surrounded the vehicle where the man inside is reportedly armed.
The gunman has now been apprehended.
President Barack Obama for only the third time in his presidency addressed the nation in prime time from the Oval Office.
His purpose: Assure the American people his policy is correct and that the country is secure.
If you listened to his speech, do you feel safer now that you did 15 minutes before? The President spent most of his time in seemed as a defense of Muslims who reject the small minority of extremists such as the Islamic State and Al Qaeda, who have perverted the religion for their own evil designs.
The President did say he would continue with the strategy that is working (???) in the conflict. He went on to say, he would not commit US troops in large numbers on the ground.
On the issue of gun control, the President called on Congress to bar people on no-fly lists from being able to purchase guns.
Presidential candidate and Florida Senator Marco Rubio on CNN’s State of the Union this morning defended his vote against that ban, noting that some 700,000 people on the no-fly and other watch lists are on those lists simply because their names are similar to a person of interest.
The President vowed “We will overcome terrorism.”
His words were harder than normal. His tone more serious.
Prior to tonight’s speech, the most recent poll revealed that 60% of Americans believe the President is wrong in how he is directing the war on terror.
The President also asked Congress to authorize use of force to defeat the terrorists, which it has refused to do.
From the Cornfield, I come back to the main question: Do you feel more secure now than you did 15 minutes ago before the President spoke?
I am still not convinced there is a strategy and, if there is one, that it is working.
President Barack Obama is currently speaking from the Oval Office about US security, terrorism and his plan to keep us safe. Stay tuned for my analysis and take on the speech later tonight From The Cornfield.