- Posted June 20, 2014 by
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Kernels - Friday, June 20, 2014
Good evening, I am Mark Ivy.
Welcome to the latest edition of Kernels From the Cornfield - No Husks, No Hulls, No Shucks!
News with a dash of commentary to spice up your fare for Friday, June 20th, 2014.
1. What WMD? - A former chemical weapons plant, which contains some sealed containers of biologicals, is now in the hands of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). The former facility for the production of weapons of mass destruction has been reported to the United Nations and inspected by the US military back in 2005.
We are told that even though there are still sealed chemicals, ISIS cannot easily and does not have the ability to weaponize what is in storage to turn against the Iraqi troops and people. Military experts say the reason for ISIS taking over the facility is its strategic location being ideal for launching attacks on west Baghdad.
2. 10,000 - That's the number of children picked up by the US Border Patrol and being housed in detention centers along the US-Mexican border. This is a human tragedy.
Securing the border and putting pressure on countries, such as Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador, to stop the hemorrhaging of these children being encouraged to flee their homes for the US of A, should be a top priority of the President and Congress.
We can't wait.
For the sake of the children, action is needed yesterday.
Republicans and Democrats put the ideology aside.
This is a humantarian crisis.
By the Way, the Administration has decided to spend up to $100 million to help send these Central American children back home.
3. Trouble Already? - What is Nuri al-Maliki thinking?
The US is ready to put "advisers" into Iraq to help stave off the assault of ISIS and Maliki is dawdling on providing a Status of Forces agreement to protect US troops from a possible over-zealous Iraqi judiciary. Maliki wants our planes to drop bombs, but he won't provide written assurance that US service members will be safe from Iraqi prosecution.
Ready to tell Maliki where to go and where to stuff it.
This just in: Seems Iraq's top Shia religious leader has, reportedly, sent a veiled message that it is time for Maliki to go.
4. Boots on the Ground - Don't be fooled by the terminology being used. When President Barack Obama announced Thursday that he is sending up to 300 members of special forces into Iraq as advisers and not in a combat role, he went back on his vow to put "no boots on the ground" last week. Those "advisers" are expected to arrive in Iraq over the weekend.
Read my full take: It IS 'Boots on the Ground'.
5. Turn About's Fair Play - Yesterday I reported on how former Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer had some unflattering remarks for Southern men and Congressman Eric Cantor. Schweitzer also likened California Democratic Senator Diane Feinstein as a cross between a nun and a hooker.
He has since apologized for opening his mouth and sticking his foot in it.
The same can't be said for Texas Governor Rick Perry.
Last week Perry said homosexuality is a disease like alcoholism is a disease. Earlier this week when pressed on whether Perry truly thought being gay was a disease on CNN, Perry waffled and said he would leave that up to the doctors to decided.
Uh - Hello!
Governor, it is 2014.
Over 40 years ago the doctors determined that homosexuality is NOT a disease and normal for a small percentage of the population.
Most of us were willing to accept the excuse from Perry that his infamous 1-minute of silence during the 2012 Republican Presidential Primary Debates was a result of muscle relaxers following back surgery. But maybe we were too quick to give Perry a pass with his ignorance showing that doctors decided four decades ago that being gay is not a disease of which to be cured.
When pointed out that the doctors had made a decision decades ago, Perry wouldn't budge.
Now the best he can do is say, "I stepped in it."
And to think Perry, like Schweitzer, wants to be President.
6. Under the Radar - The White House is getting worried now about the build-up of Russian troops on its border with Ukraine. Ukraine and Russia exchanged mortar fire today in which Russia says one of its custom agents was killed.
At the same time, Russian President Vladimir Putin voiced his support for his country's ally, Iran, and for the government of Nuri al-Maliki in Iraq against the forces of ISIS.
Is Putin trying to once more out-manuever President Obama as he did with the Syria situation which produced only lip service in getting rid of chemical weapons by Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad?
7. Incredulous - That's the only word to describe Internal Revenue Service officials testifying before a congressional committee today about two years of emails lossed when a single computer on a network crashed. Anyone listening to the exchange between IRS officials and Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan had to be shaking their heads in disbelief.
When Ryan said what all of us at home have been thinking, the officials didn't have an answer. Ryan stated he found incredulous that the IRS requires taxpayers to keep seven years of documents and the IRS can't even keep two years of email on one computer.
Something stinks here and it ain't the baby's diaper.
8. Show Me the Money - Massachusetts is poised to increase the minimum wage to $11 per hour by 2017. This will make it the best paying, statewide minimum wage in the nation. Currently the minimum in the Bay State is $8 per hour.
A CNNMoney poll revealed earlier this month that 71% of the public favors a raise in minimum wage, but only 36% agree $10.10 per hour proposed by the President is the right base. Another 16% do not think that is even enough for minimum wage workers.
9. Hands in the Cookie Jar? - I reported yesterday how prosecutors (turns out to be Democratic state prosecutors) were investigating and trying to charge Wisconsin Republican Governor Scott Walker with violating campaign finance laws. Turns out one state and one federal judge put a quash to the investigation some time back.
The prosecutors are appealing now to the US Circuit Court of Appeals.
Looking more and more like sour grapes.
Both judges put an end to the investigation saying there was no basis and no probable cause.
10. Bone to Sports Fanatics - The chances improved for the US soccer team in its match-up Sunday against Portugal in pursuit of the World Cup in Brazil. Injuries of Portuguese players and the penalty of one of Portugal's star players are buoying the US team pulling off an upset. Go Team USA!
That's what caught my attention for Friday, June 20th, 2014.
Tune in Monday for another episode of Kernels From the Cornfield. If any earth-shaking news occurs over the weekennd, be sure there will a Kernels Special Report.
I am Mark Ivy.