Random thoughts

Regardless of which political party you claim to be a member of, the issue of nominating a Supreme Court justice to fill the vacancy left by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia is yet another example of obstruction by doing nothing. And it has everything to do with politics.

I think it is unconscionable that the Republican party refuses to hold nomination hearings until a new President is elected. The refusal means that the Court will be short a ninth, and perhaps a deciding, vote for a year. The next president will not be sworn into office until the middle of January 2017, and many of the issues which need a decision will not have one – or, at least, one decided by a full court. There is no ninth Justice to decide a deadlocked issue and the result will be to let the decision of the lower court stand.

The Conservatives are the villains here. The right wing stands to lose a nominal majority and decisions favorable to their beliefs on such major issues as the power of public employee labor unions, abortion, contraception and immigration, according to an article in USA Today.

Having always been a fan of Sen. Charles Grassley, it pains me to see that he acceded to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s do-nothing plan. What hope does the Republican Party of having a conservative Justice appointed when the country is going to be stuck with Hillary Clinton for the next eight years (unless she is indicted over her e-mail scandal).

Frankly, by accepting President Obama’s choice of Appeals Court Justice Meldrick Garland, an apparent moderate, we can see what we have. I don’t trust the future of the court left in the hands of Hillary Clinton.

In any case, to let the political process overpower the judicial process is just plain wrong, regardless of one’s leanings.

By the way, if the Donald Trump rallies are any indication of how the country would be should he be elected President, we won’t just have cracks in our national unity, we will have crevasses.

I can’t think of a more disappointing loss than that of the University of Northern Iowa against Texas A & M Sunday. To lose an 12-point lead with 44 seconds left in the game is a crushing loss.

Darn, everyone was amazed that Arkansas-Little Rock came back from a 13-point deficit with 3 minutes remaining to defeat Purdue but 11 points in a minute?

The off-court commentators, Charles Barkley et al, had barely finished declaring that the Aggies didn’t have the team to overcome a 10-point lead at any time in the game.

Playing to protect a lead rather than playing the same way the got you the lead doesn’t seem like a winning philosophy, although it works often enough that teams keep trying it.

On the other hand, Villanova made Iowa look like a high school team. Jared Uthoff on the cover of Sports Illustrated twice in a month and the Hawkeyes’ season ending like it did give renewed vigor to the purported SI cover jinx although the Hawks were caught in a downdraft before the first cover appeared in February.

Rick Deines resides in Marshalltown.

Random thoughts

Psychological lesson for the day: Stressed is Desserts spelled backwards. I know you can make something good out of that.

C’mon! Do we really want the Chicago Cubs to win the World Series? Do we really want the most compelling story in the sport to end.

It would mean the end of season-long glee and angst, the rollercoaster emotions of Cub fans everywhere rising and falling with each win and loss.

What would we Cub fans have to talk about each Winter? Or every time the trade deadline rolls around? Who will the Cubbies sign or trade? Which Cub star will leave in free agency?

The end of this century-long tale would reduce the excitement of spring training every year.

Are Red Sox fans as excited after the Bosox won the World Series as they were when they held the record as the second-longest stretch without a Series win? For awhile probably but following seasons have never had the same romance.

Good luck to the Cubs and my favorite manager in baseball, Joe Maddon, but I hope the Cubbies eek out a near loss when it counts.

Keep the story alive!

I don’t think I want to be driving on a highway when driverless cars are rolling down the road.

What is the point, anyway? Do we just send a car somewhere without anyone in it? Or, could you program a trip to Tucson, say, and sleep all the way? You wouldn’t have to spend a night or two in a $100-a-night hotel.

On other hand, it couldn’t be much more dangerous than driving yourself with the way drunk drivers are routinely turned loose.

We in the rural areas like Marshalltown frequently whine about Des Moines, particularly when the capital city bigfoots smaller cities to capture some sporting event. The state high school soccer and baseball tournaments come to mind and probably when the boys basketball tourney moved from Iowa City to Des Moines years ago.

You have to admit, though, that DM has become pretty big business, attracting major advancements in commerce, concerts and sports.

We should probably be proud that companies like Facebook and Microsoft; concerts like Fleetwood Mac, the Eagles and Garth Brooks; and events like the NCAA basketball tournament pick Des Moines.

It is great for the whole state.


Rick Deines resides in Marshalltown.


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