Welcome back for another installment of the Watercooler! We've got a couple of real head-shakers for you today, so strap in...
Conservative Justices Skip Lame Duck SOTU - Who Cares?
Seems some of the press aren't happy that Justices Scalia, Alito and Thomas had better things to do with their time than be lectured by our Wannabe Boy King. Real news here is the response in the comments... the frightening thing is that these people vote. (Me, trimming my toenails and plucking the odd wild hair from my eyebrows takes priority over the latest Imperial Bloviation, but "problems with authority" in my family go back to a cousin at the Alamo.)
From the "Whiskey Tango Fox?!" File
It could only happen from 9th Circus here in Left Coast Hell... a specially-convened 11-judge panel has decided that wearing unearned military decorations is protected as "free speech." Also, a Marine's letter from Iraq finally reaches his parents in Roanoke... eleven years after being sent. (I mean, I've had them lose packages for *months*, but... this crap is getting out of hand.)
This Week in History
Julius Caesar crossing the Rubicon on January 10, 49 BC kicked off the Roman Civil War, Thomas Paine published Common Sense in 1776, Rockefeller incorporated Standard Oil in 1870, and the Treaty of Versailles officially ended WWI in 1920. January 11 highlights include the creation of Grand Canyon Nat'l Monument (1908), the 1863 Battle of Arkansas Post, and the adoption of the Designated Hitter in '73. January 12 saw the death of Hugh Mercer from Battle of Princeton wounds in 1777, the first election of a woman to the US Senate (Ophelia Wyatt Caraway, 1932) and the launch of comedy radio show Amos 'n' Andy (originally "Sam 'n' Henry") in 1926. Today in 1128 Pope Honorius II granted sanction to the Knights Templar, in 1942 the Allies announced the intent to prosecute WWII war criminals, in 1953 Pravda kicked of Stalin's pogrom against Soviet Jews and in 1968 Johnny Cash had his Folsom Prison concert. January 14 marks the official end of the American Revolution in 1784 with ratification of the Treaty of Paris, WWII had the Casablanca Conference between FDR and Churchill in 1943 (first US President to fly while in office, aboard one of Pan Am's Boeing 314 "Clipper" flying-boats; Churchill requisitioned one of BOAC's three 314s as his ride), and in 2004 the "five-cross flag" officially flies over Georgia for the first time in half a millennium. January 15 marked the coronation of Queen Elizabeth I in 1559, the capture of USS President in 1815, the chartering of Notre Dame in 1844, the last major Confederate seaport's fall (Ft. Fisher, NC) in 1865, the first use of a jackass as Democrat symbol by cartoonist Thomas Nast (not donkey, title is "A Live Jackass Kicking a Dead Lion") in 1870, James Naismith's creation of basketball in 1892, dedication of the Pentagon in 1943, 1991 saw the kickoff of Operation Desert Storm and just six years ago Chesley Sullenberger's near-miracle safe ditching of USAir Flight 1549 in the Hudson River.
Today's birthdays: SCOTUS Chief Justice Salmon P. Chase (1808), author Frank Peretti (1951), singer Trace Adkins (1962), actor and racer Patrick Dempsey (1966), actor Liam Hemsworth (1990)
"This Week In History" is prepared with assistance from History.com and Wikipedia.
Quote of the Day
Today's QOTD is a little different... in honor of the GoPee backstab attempt by encouraging Birfertardism on Sen. Cruz, I'm going with one of the famous Rules promulgated by a certain SSA Leroy Jethro Gibbs that we would all be well advised to keep in mind:
Rule #42 - Never accept an apology from someone who just sucker-punched you.
As always, the Watercooler is an open thread. Have a burning issue nobody else seems to be talking about, or just need a break? Sound Off here!