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    Posted July 16, 2014 by
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    Kernels - Wednesday, July 16, 2014


    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 Wednesday, July 16th, 2014.

    1. Not Jobs, Not the Economy, Not Healthcare - Immigration is now the  top focus of Americans according to a new poll from Gallup.

    While only 17% believe that immigration is the top concern facing the nation, it was ahead of other issues and concerns.

    The poll found that dissatisfaction with the government was the second  worry with 16%. The economy was next with 15%. Jobs was an issue for  14%. Healthcare lagged behind with only a nod from 8%.

    Where do you stand on the issues and concerns?

    What is your chief worry?

    2. Cold War Redux? - Russia is reportedly going to re-open a listening  station or a spy base in Cuba. The former base was closed by the  Russians in 2001 for economic reasons and because there had been a thaw  in US-Russo relations.

    With the Russian invasion and annexation  of Crimea, along with threats to the rest of Ukraine, the frost is once  more on the pumpkin. The chill has led to tense conditions between the  White House and the Kremlin.

    It is said that the agreement to  re-open the listening post took place during Russian President Vladimir  Putin's visit last week to Havana. The base was originally opened in  1964 following the Cuban missile crisis teetered the world on the head  of a nuclear war.

    3. CDC Perils - Sounds more like the "Perils  of Pauline" in details coming out at a congressional hearing today in  which Centers for Disease and Infections Director Dr. Tom Frieden  testified about shortcomings in the nation's, nay world's, top health  protection facility.

    Some are calling it hubris. Some are saying the CDC doctors and scientists became complacent.

    For such a trusted organization to shine the spotlight on its own shortcomings is both miraculous and scary.

    What if one of those Ziploc bags ripped?

    What if that deadly bird flu was released into the atmosphere?

    4. Say It Ain't So - Archie, the classic American comic book star, was  shot and killed by a would-be assassin in the latest issue of "Life With  Archie".

    Archie died as he lived ever true to his friends. Archie took a bullet meant for his friend, openly gay Senator Kevin Keller.

    For those of us born in the 1950s and raised in the 1960s, Archie was  us. We all could relate to the teen's trials navigating high school. We  all had a friend like Jughead. We all had our own double trouble of  Betty and Veronica. We all had a Reggie who rubbed us the wrong way and  always tried to best us at everything.

    But this was the adult  version of Archie, years after high school. This was an alternate Archie  than the one we grew up with. The Archie we all loved will go on still  trapped in high school at Riverdale.

    For more insights into why  the writers decided to kill off Archie and what it means for the future  of everybody's favorite teenager, catch the article on CNN.com by iReport Team member Henry Hanks.

    5. Successful Publicity Stunt? - I reported in yesterday's Kernels  about undocumented immigrant Jose Antonio Vargas being detained by the  Border Patrol in McAllen, Texas. Vargas was released last night after  Kernels went to print.

    I had asked what Vargas had expected  after being so out about being illegal. Apparently Vargas got what he  asked for in being detained. Rather than keep Vargas behind bars and  made more of a "martyr", the US government decided to release Vargas.

    But will Vargas help or hurt the immigration debate?

    Vargas claims the incident and detention was not a stunt.

    6. Death Penalty Unconstitutional - A federal judge ruled today that  California's death penalty is unconstitutional even though there has  been a moratorium on executions since 2006.

    The judge said the  uncertainty of not knowing if or when executions would be restarted  amounted to "cruel and unusual punishment" in violation of the  Constitution.

    An appeal by the state is expected.

    7.  Another Cease-Fire? - The United Nations has called for a cessation of  hostile activity between Israel and Hamas in Gaza on humanitarian  grounds.

    The Israelis have agreed to pause for five hours  before any more airstrikes, but Hamas has yet to acknowledge the call  for a cease-fire.

    If true to form, Hamas will answer by either  continued lobbing of rockets into Israel or putting the brakes on the  launches for a period of time.

    Hamas is claiming the Israelis committed a war crime when five children were killed on the beach during an airstrike.

    Meanwhile the American teen who was beaten by Israeli police during a  skirmish in the West Bank will be returning home to Florida later today.

    8. Sanction This - The US has hit Russia today with more sanctions over  the continued threats to Ukraine. President Barack Obama is expected at  any time to address the new sanctions against Russia.

    The  Pentagon is reporting contrary to Russian claims a couple of weeks ago  of withdrawing troops from the Ukrainian border, the Russians are  re-enforcing those troops.

    9. Stock Market Fantasia? - The  stock market continues to live in the clouds and soar above the reality  in most of the US of A. Today once more the Dow Industrial Average set a  new record.

    Stocks keep climbing while according to Gallup and  Pew around 68% of Americans do not feel an uptick in the economy, but a  downward or no-change in the economic climate.

    10. Fox  News-CNN Merger? - Even if the Time-Warner board had agreed to a buyout  offer from News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch there would not be an  integration of Fox News and CNN.

    CNN would have been put on the auction block.

    Although the board refused the deal, Murdoch is not known to give up  and go home. It is expected he may attempt a hostile take-over.

    In the meantime, Comcast continues its attempts to buy-out one of its main rivals, Time-Warner.

    That's what caught my attention for Wednesday, July 16th, 2014.

    Tune in tomorrow for another episode of Kernels From the Cornfield.

    I am Mark Ivy.

    Good evening!

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