- Posted June 23, 2014 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Kernels - Monday, June 23, 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 Monday, June 23rd, 2014.
1. Eyes Wide Shut? - Was President Barack Obama and the US intelligence community caught with their pants down on the sudden victory and march of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) or did the White House close its eyes to what was happening because it worked against the President's legacy for bringing the troops home from Iraq?
Read my op-ed on the subject that may open some of our eyes: Intelligence Failure or Eyes Shut?
2. Now That Didn't Hurt - Yeah, right! But that's what the Veterans Affairs Inspector General's Office is telling veterans who have been denied care for years with untenable waits. The IG even stated that a veteran with mental illness who waited for eight years for an appointment and treatment suffered no harm.
This ranks right up there with the IRS losing two years of emails because one computer's hard drive died. What is certain is the VA cannot police itself. The entire VA system is broken.
Time for the President and Congress to bring in an independent outsider to start smacking heads together and pruning off the dead wood.
Congress, for all its outrage, has been complicit in allowing what has been known for years as shortcomings with the VA to go on unchecked. Last week's near unanimous votes to allow veterans to seek civilian care does not wipe away those years of turning a blind eye.
3. Let Baghdad Fall - A CNN iReporter asked the question over the weekend if the US of A should let Baghdad fall. Overwhelmingly those who commented said to let the Persian Gulf nation splinter and burn. The only thing worth saving according to those who commented was Iraq's oil resources.
I see no upside for the US in this battle between religious factions and ethnic identity. Perhaps allowing the country to fracture into a Sunni nation, a Shiite nation and a Kurd nation may be the best thing.
But do we want ISIS to have a base of its own to threaten not only us, but the world?
Yet, Secretary of State John Kerry today told Iraqi leaders they must unite against ISIS.
Iraqi leaders unite?
Does Kerry really believe the Iraqis can unite as one people?
Is the neo-conservative position of "regime change" again part of the State Department's lexicon?
4. Taking a Stand - Unlike the Iraqi army which keeps making "strategic retreats", the Kurdish military in northern Iraq have not only seized another 260 miles of territory, the troops have kept ISIS forces at bay.
Seems the Kurds have decided, "They shall not pass."
This has Turkey with a large population of Kurds and Iran worried that the Kurds may push for full autonomy and a state of its own rather than remaining under the umbrella of Iraq.
Is Kurdistan in the near future and claiming its seat in the United Nations?
5. "I Saw the Light" - Is that the song the government of Sudan is singing today after it set free a woman who was found guilty of being a Christian?
The woman who refused to denounce her faith had been sentenced to death for holding on to Jesus' nail-scarred hands.
She has been put through the fiery furnace, but apparently the Truth and her faith has won her liberty.
6. Wings Clipped - That's what happened to the Environmental Protection Administration today when the Supreme Court handed down an unfavorbable ruling citing that the agency had exceeded its authority.
The ruling is sure to incite environmentalists.
The case involved the EPA's efforts to curb greenhouse gases and carbon emissions. The Court said the agency had broad authority to regulate power plants and factories, but went beyond the scope of its authority granted by Congress.
According to Justice Antonin Scalia, "We are not willing to stand on the dock and wave goodbye as EPA embarks on a multiyear voyage of discovery."
He went on to add, it was "patently unreasonable — not to say outrageous — for EPA to insist on seizing expansive power that it admits the statute is not designed to grant."
A further bruising came from the accusation the EPA was "laying claim to extravagant statutory power over the national economy.”
But don't think for a minute that the EPA's teeth and talons are any less sharp.
7. Puhleese! - Don't insult my intelligence.
Expected Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton over the weekend said that she and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, were not like the other one percenters because she and her husband pay taxes like everyone else.
Forget that she hasn't driven a vehicle herself since the mid 90s, but is chaffeured wherever she goes.
True, the Clintons may not have a huge investment portfolio which is taxed at a lower rate than the progressive scale used for calculating income taxes.
True, the Clintons may be paying out based on that scale like the rest of ordinary Americans do.
But don't think it means it puts you down in the trenches with us 99 percenters.
When you are paying millions of dollars in taxes, you are not ordinary people struggling to make ends meet.
8. Forget Foreign Failures - President Barack Obama in an interview with CNN New Day host, Kate Bolduan, indicated that Americans and Congress should turn their focus to domestic issues rather than paying attention to what is happening on the world stage.
While I agree we need to take care of our own, turning a blind eye to the world didn't work prior to World War I nor World War II. Out of sight and out of mind won't keep us safe.
The President told Bolduan, "Every single day, there are conversations around the kitchen table where people are trying to figure out, this child care is costing so much, I'm not sure that we're going to be able to make our mortgage at the end of the month. There are folks who are saying, 'Little Johnny is sick, but if I don't show up at my job, because I don't have paid family leave, we're not going to be able to pay the electricity bill.' "
And of course the President thinks more government is the answer.
9. Fill in the Blank - How would you complete this phrase: My American Dream is________.
I completed the sentence at FromTheCornfield.com: The American Dream to Me.
10. Bone to Sports Fanatics - The US of A soccer team proved they are a force to be reckoned with in Sunday's match-up with Portugal. Team USA played the Portuguese to a 2-2 draw and have a shot at the World Cup. Next match - Germay. Go Team USA!
That's what caught my attention for Monday, June 23rd, 2014.
Tune in tomorrow for another episode of Kernels From the Cornfield.
I am Mark Ivy.