Category Archives: News

Father’s Day!


Today is a special day folks, it’s Father’s Day!
Here’s a picture of my Dad, he was a great guy, I miss him.

In memory of…Happy Memorial Day Everyone!


To all of our fallen heroes and families, Happy Memorial Day!

Flooding in Rochester


As I’m sure many of you have heard, here in Rochester and surrounding areas, we have been having some severe flooding problems. Homes, property and peoples personal belongings have been lost.
Picture 1: A farmers field underwater.
Picture 2: A tree trunk washed up on Lake Ontairio’s shore and buried itself.

Dead Tree Designs!

Unique artistry.

I was on a run the other day near the University of Geneseo. When turning into the job site, I came across this. This is definitely unique art work.

Kernels – Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Daily recap of headlines & current events with a bit of opinion

Welcome to another 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, April 26th, 2017.

1. Political Alterverse – Tax Cuts!

President Donald Trump’s Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and Chief Economic Adviser Gary Cohn unveiled a broad tax proposal on today which includes a deep cut in the corporate tax rate from 35% to 15%.

Also proposed is a child-care tax credit and increased standard deductions for individuals.

Trump Administration officials say the tax cuts will boost the economy and employment by giving businesses and individuals more money to spend.

The plan, however, could add significantly to the deficit.

Mnuchin is calling the plan “the biggest tax cut and the largest tax reform in the history of our country.”

So what did we learn today?

a. From 7 to 3 tax brackets on personal income taxes – 10%, 25%, 35%
b. Doubling of personal standard deduction
c. Only deductions for mortgages and charities
d. End of alternative minimum tax
e. End of death tax – inheritance tax
f. 1st $24,000 earned by couples not subject to taxation
g. Increased credit for child care
h. Corporate rate reduced from 35% to 15%
i. Small businesses and entrepreneurs can file under corporate rate

No details or fleshing out as Mnuchin and Cohn said the devil was being discussed with the Republican leadership to work out.

Will fiscal, deficit hawks go for the plan when the only way expected to recap the revenue lost is expectation of economic growth?

The President owns this plan; don’t be mistaken,” said Cohn, Director of the White House National Economic Council.

President Trump is hitting back at the latest federal judge who put the thumbs down on the Administration’s plan to withhold funds from sanctuary cities, who do not cooperate with federal authorities on illegal immigrants.

The White House called the ruling an “egregious overreach by a single, unelected district judge.”

The threat of a government shutdown come midnight Friday eased somewhat when President Trump backed down from demanding that funding for The Wall be included in the spending bill that Congress must pass.

Now Democrats are saying they won’t vote for the bill unless money for Affordable Care Act subsidies is included.

The Prez hosted the entire Senate today at the White House to brief the world’s most exclusive club on the situation with North Korea.

The members of the House of Representatives are to be briefed later on this afternoon at the Capitol.

Today, the President signed an executive order calling for a review of lands set aside by previous Administrations as national monuments and whether there had been appropriate state input.

The order could lead to opening federal lands to energy exploration.

The legislation is not expected to go anywhere, but fulfilling one of his main campaign rallying points, Vermont Independent Senator Bernie Sanders and Democratic colleagues filed a bill to up the minimum wage to $15 per hour.

Signals are being sent that the House Freedom Caucus, the ultra-conservative members of the Congress, are ready to back the latest move to repeal and replace the ACA.

House Republicans appear to have included a provision that exempts Members of Congress and their staff from their latest health care plan.

A draft executive order to withdraw the United States from the North American Free Trade Agreement is under consideration, a senior Trump administration official said today, confirming an earlier report from Politico.

State Politics: The Illinois General Assembly Retirement System’s Board of Trustees are considering whether to continue to pay disgraced and convicted former Speaker of  the House Dennis Hastert’s $28,000 annual pension for the time he served in the State General Assembly.

Hastert also receives a pension as a tenured teacher and as former Speaker.

Republican Ron Estes, winner of a closer-than-usual congressional election in Kansas, has been sworn in as the newest member of the House.

Global Politics: Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau warned Tuesday that President Trump’s newly imposed tariff on Canadian lumber could result in a “thickening” of the border separating Canada and the US, hurting both of the strong longtime allies and trade partners.

There are millions of good US jobs that depend on the smooth flow of goods, services, and people back and forth across our border,” Trudeau said at a news conference, noting that an auto part can cross the border six times before rolling off an assembly line in a finished car.

You cannot thicken this border without hurting people on both sides of it,” Trudeau said.

Score one for Mexico and a goose egg for the US in a case over tuna fishing.

The US charges more for Mexican tuna, claiming fishermen use methods which kill dolphins.

The World Trade Organization disagreed with the US penalty and ruled Mexico could collect a $163 million fine from the US for lost revenue on tuna.

China launched its first domestically built aircraft carrier today amid rising tension over North Korea and worries about Beijing’s assertiveness in the South China Sea.

Mexican Foreign Secretary Luis Videgaray said The Wall is not only a “bad idea” but an “unfriendly, hostile” act.

“If the negotiation on other themes – immigration, the border, trade – isn’t satisfactory to Mexico’s interests, we will have to review our existing cooperation,” Videgaray said. “This would be especially in the security areas…and that involves the national immigration agency, the federal police and of course, the armed forces.”

France’s center-right party, seeking to rebound after the defeat of its presidential candidate, said today it could share power with Emmanuel Macron if he is elected, as pollsters predict, on May 7.

Venezuelan Chief Prosecutor Luisa Ortega Diaz on Tuesday denounced a wave of unrest that has killed 26 people, vowing to hold all those responsible accountable and calling on both sides of a heated political spectrum to “lower the tone of confrontation.”

Opposition lawmakers are ramping up pressure on Venezuelan Ombudsman Tarek William Saab, announcing Tuesday they would give him three days to take action on their demand that the Supreme Court Magistrates responsible for the retracted decision on Congress be removed from office.

Venezuelan Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez told state TV that she has been instructed by embattled President Nicolas Maduro to initiate Venezuela’s withdrawal from the Organization of American States if a Foreign Ministers meeting is called without his government’s backing.

2. Stay Back! – The US Navy had to fire a warning shot at an Iranian gunboat in the Persian Gulf.

The incident happened on Monday as the vessel attempted to draw closer to the USS Mahan despite the destroyer trying to turn away from it, said Lieutenant Ian McConnaughey, a spokesman for the Bahrain-based 5th Fleet.

The “Mahan made several attempts to contact the Iranian vessel by bridge-to-bridge radio, issuing warning messages and twice sounding the internationally recognized danger signal of five short blasts with the ship’s whistle, as well as deploying a flare to determine the Iranian vessel’s intentions,” McConnaughey said in a statement to The Associated Press.

More: https://www.yahoo.com/news/us-navy-fires-warning-flare-iran-vessel-persian-063319791.html

3. Looming Cliff – Congress moved closer to a deal to avoid a government shutdown at the stroke of midnight on Friday, as negotiators worked to clear away remaining disputes in a massive spending bill.

We’re getting really close,” House Speaker Paul Ryan said, adding that negotiators were “getting down to the last, final” areas of disagreement.

More: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-budget-idUSKBN17S146

4. Trading Partners, Hey? – As a looming trade war seems to be brewing between the US and its northern neighbor, Canada, several states are worried about their specific economies intertwining with the country’s second largest trading partner.

Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross said, “It has been a bad week for US-Canada trade relations.”

There are 17 states which send at least 25% of all exports to Canada.

Canada imported $3.2 billion worth of goods from North Dakota in 2016, or about 77.6% of the state’s total exports that year.

Read more: http://247wallst.com/special-report/2017/04/25/states-most-dependent-on-trade-with-canada/

5. Boosting Immunity – We all fall victims to those ads claiming the newest wonder supplement that can enhance about anything.

Miracle cures abound.

But are immune boosters really a good idea?

One doctor says if you want better immunity follow these tips:

a. Adopt a more balanced diet
b. Avoid the quick fix of supplements, unless prescribed by a doctor
c. Avoid the quick fix of supplements, unless prescribed by a doctor

Get details: https://www.usatoday.com/story/life/nation-now/2017/04/24/skeptical-immune-system-boosts/100871198/

6. Trump Economy – Record territory once more for the markets as hearts are encouraged by both the tax plan being rolled out by the Trump Administration and the outcome of the first round in the French presidential election.

On top of (the French election result) we have had a very decent set of corporate earnings in the U.S. and that helped push the market further along the same direction,” said Investec economist Philip Shaw.

More on the markets: https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/markets/stocks-advance-as-wall-street-awaits-trumps-tax-plan/ar-BBAoRSo

7. Faux High End? – The latest big thing is turning out to be a bust on social media.

Nordstrom now wants to help you look like “you’re not afraid to get down and dirty” by selling you a unique pair of jeans.

The store is offering jeans which come with a “caked-on muddy coating,” according to the item’s description.

This is true “Americana workwear that’s seen some hard-working action,” Nordstrom writes.

The price tag?

$425!

Read more: https://www.usatoday.com/story/life/nation-now/2017/04/26/nordstrom-selling-425-jeans-covered-fake-mud-mike-rowe-calls-them-out/100921914/

8. Best High Schools – Unhappy with the high school your child is attending?

Not only for the weather, but it seems education is another reason to move to Arizona, home to many of the nation’s top schools.

The Cornfield landed with Signature School in Evansville, Indiana scoring #33 in the rankings.

Here is a list of the Best High Schools in America: https://www.usnews.com/education/best-high-schools/national-rankings

9. Pet Friendly? – United Airline has had one PR nightmare after another.

Add one more headache.

A giant rabbit flying from England to Chicago, Illinois died in flight.

A veterinarian checked Simon, a 10-month-old, 3-foot-long continental rabbit, shortly before the animal was put on the flight.

Simon was found dead on arrival.

The safety and wellbeing of all the animals that travel with us is of the utmost importance to United Airlines and our PetSafe team,” United said in a statement.

More: http://www.newsweek.com/united-airlines-giant-rabbit-589924

10. Looking Ahead – Who is ready for summer?

Get forecast: http://www.accuweather.com/en/weather-news/2017-us-summer-forecast-early-storms-to-hold-back-heat-in-northeast-wildfires-to-rage-in-california/70001459

Tidbits: Wells Fargo shareholders expressed their unhappiness with the bank’s board Tuesday. The shareholders withheld what normally would be overwhelming support for the slate of directors in a vote at the end of the company’s annual meeting.

We recognize there is still a great deal of work to do to rebuild the trust of stockholders, customers, and employees,” Wells Fargo Board of Directors Stephen Sanger said, alluding to the scandal over fake accounts charged to customers that has rocked the company the past couple of years.

The woes at Fox News are not getting better as emergence of new allegations of racial discrimination at the company hit on Tuesday. Add this to the charges of sexual harassment and no one is breathing easy at the network.

Conservative commentator Ann Coulter plans to speak at UC Berkeley’s Sproul Plaza on Thursday, campus officials said, prompting the university and the city to scramble to prepare for what they fear could be another violent showdown between fans and opponents of President Trump.

A fiery collision Tuesday involving two big trucks and several smaller vehicles killed one person and injured 10 others while triggering a massive traffic jam on Interstate 5 in Los Angeles, California.

That’s what caught my attention this Wednesday, April 26th, 2017.

Tune in tomorrow for another edition of Kernels From The Cornfield.

I am Mark Ivy
Good day!

Kernels – Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Daily recap of headlines & current events with a bit of opinion

Welcome to another edition of Kernels From the Cornfield – No Husks, No Hulls, No Shucks!

News with a dash of commentary to spice up your fare for Tuesday, April 25th, 2017.

1. Political Alterverse – Blocked!

A federal judge in California put a halt to a threat made by Attorney General Jeff Sessions to cut funds from sanctuary cities if not assisting federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials rounding up illegal aliens.

District Judge William Orrick issued the preliminary injunction in two lawsuits – one brought by the City of San Francisco, the other by Santa Clara County – against an executive order targeting communities that protect immigrants from deportation.

Federal funding that bears no meaningful relationship to immigration enforcement cannot be threatened merely because a jurisdiction chooses an immigration enforcement strategy of which the president disapproves,” Judge Orrick ruled.

Orrick sided with San Francisco and Santa Clara, saying the order “by its plain language, attempts to reach all federal grants, not merely the three mentioned at the hearing.”

And if there was doubt about the scope of the order, the president and attorney general have erased it with their public comments,” the Judge said.

Backing down.

President Donald Trump is reportedly backing off on his insistence that money to start building The Wall be included in a spending bill by Friday to keep the government open for business.

Rather than Republicans or the President being blamed for a shutdown, the White House is saying it can wait on specific targeting of funds for The Wall if there is an increase in money for border security and in order to keep the government functioning.

15% – that’s the tax rate the White House is proposing the corporate rate be slashed to from 35%, the current rate.

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin says that the lost revenue in taxes of more than $2 trillion over the next decade would be made up by increased productivity and jobs created by the tax cut.

Not everyone agrees on Capitol Hill – and not just Democrats. Republicans are not so sure either.

Experts say such a cut would be likely to increase the national debt, but Treasury Secretary said that the tax cuts, which Trump has promised will be the biggest in US history, would not hurt the federal government’s bottom line.

A proposed tax reform plan is expected to be rolled out tomorrow.

Campaign promise fulfilled?

A tariff has been slapped on…

No, not China or Mexico, but our second largest trading partner and long-time ally, Canada.

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said a tariff of 3-24% is being levied on lumber coming in from our northern neighbor because the Canadian government is subsidizing the country’s lumber industry, which makes unfair competition for America’s lumberjacks.

Canada called the accusation “baseless and unfounded” and said it will take legal action against the “unfair and punitive duty.”

Former acting Attorney General Sally Yates and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper will be the first to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee in its investigation of Russian influence in the 2016 election and of ties between the Trump campaign and Russian officials.

The White House said “No” to a request for documents on former National Security Adviser retired Lieutenant General Michael Flynn today.

The request was from the House Oversight Committee.

Questions are swirling whether Flynn may be guilty of a felony or two by not getting permission from the Secretary of State and the Secretary of the Army before traveling to Russia.

Also were laws broken when Flynn accepted money from the Russian government?

Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz said there was “no indication” that Flynn complied with the laws on the books.

The President spoke at the annual Holocaust Remembrance Day ceremony at the Holocaust Museum today and did not disappoint.

The Prez said that Holocaust deniers are “accomplices” to the evil that was perpetrated by the Nazis during the dark days of World War II.

The President and Republicans in Congress may be refocusing on the pledge to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, but the American public at-large does not agree:

First Daughter Ivanka Trump made her world stage debut at a women’s conference in Germany today, thanks to an invite from German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Ivanka pledged to push for “incremental, positive change” for women in the US economy. She told the attendees at the conference that she’s still “rather unfamiliar” with her role as First Daughter and adviser to President Trump.

Scattered groans and hisses came from the crowd as Ivanka described her father as “a tremendous champion of supporting families.”

Rod Rosenstein was confirmed by the Senate as Deputy Attorney General, making the federal prosecutor the new face of the U.S. investigation into Russia’s meddling in last year’s presidential election and whether anyone associated with President Trump played a role.

The White House announced retired Marine Corps General Randolph D. Alles, acting Deputy Commissioner of Customs and Border Protection, will lead the Secret Service.

The proposed dinner with members of the Supreme Court at the White House set for Thursday has been postponed due to a scheduling conflict.

Does the 100-day mark on Saturday in the Trump presidency matter?

Give me your thoughts.

State Politics: The State of Arkansas conducted the first back-to-back executions since 2000 last night.

At least 18 states are considering bills that would make it harder for demonstrators to protest. Civil liberties groups are most alarmed by bills in Tennessee and Florida that would let drivers off the hook for hitting demonstrators who are blocking roads.

Global Politics: Hacking is now the latest in a series of frightening similarities between the French election and last year’s US election.

A Japanese cybersecurity firm says centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron’s campaign was targeted by hackers employing methods similar to the ones used against the Democratic National Committee. Macron’s camp hasn’t said if it was indeed hacked.

North Korea conducted a major live-fire artillery drill today to celebrate the founding of its military as tensions continued to rise over its missile and nuclear weapons program.

Iran and major powers met today in Vienna, Austria to review adherence to their 2015 nuclear deal as uncertainty grows about the landmark accord’s future under President Trump.

French far-right veteran Jean-Marie Le Pen said today his daughter Marine, who faces centrist Emmanuel Macron in a May 7 French presidential runoff, should have campaigned more aggressively for Sunday’s first round, following the example of President Trump.

The Province of Ontario, Canada has launched a pilot program to provide a guaranteed basic income to a few thousand people to test its effects on recipients and public finances, the Province announced Monday.

The US military has started moving parts of the controversial THAAD anti-missile defense system into a planned deployment site in South Korea, Yonhap News Agency reported today, amid high tensions over North Korea’s missile and nuclear programs.

This afternoon a US Navy submarine armed with nuclear weapons and guided missiles also arrived off the coast of the Korean Peninsula.

The USS Michigan, which is designed to carry ballistic missiles and cruise missiles, came as a US aircraft carrier strike group steamed towards Korean waters in an effort to deter North Korea from a sixth nuclear test or more missile launches in defiance of United Nations sanctions.

There is no limit to the strike power of the People’s Army armed with our style of cutting-edge military equipment, including various precision and miniaturized nuclear weapons and submarine-launched ballistic missiles,” the official Rodong Sinmun newspaper said in a front-page editorial.

2. Incredible Shrinking Middle Class – If you are feeling the pinch, it is not your imagination.

A new study has found that over the past two decades the Middle Class has been contracting.

Read more: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/24/business/economy/middle-class-united-states-europe-pew.html

3. Rising Tides – In the Arctic, ice is melting.

In Florida, the sea is rising.

Based on new evidence, the Arctic Council – a cooperative effort among eight nations to monitor climate change – concluded that the Arctic warmed faster between 2011 and 2015 than any time on record, with glaciers and sea ice melting faster than expected.

Read more: http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/environment/article146511584.html

4. Hep Crisis – An estimated 325 million people are living with hepatitis B or C and few are aware of their condition, with death tolls from the viruses rising, the United Nations said last Friday.

The World Health Organization’s latest hepatitis report identifies the condition as a grave public health threat that needs an “urgent response.”

More: https://medicalxpress.com/news/2017-04-cases-hepatitis-million.html

5. Come Back – Measels, once nearly eradicated, are making a come back.

But why?

Find out: http://www.popsci.com/why-are-measles-coming-back

6. Trump Economy – The week started with a rally among the markets, which is expected to continue.

Today the markets opened with a robust continuation of yesterday’s surge.

The Nasdaq jumped 0.7%, sending the index above 6,000 for this first time. The Dow rose nearly 250 points, with Caterpillar contributing the most gains. The S&P 500 advanced 0.65%, with financials and materials rising more than 1% to lead advancers.

Earnings thus far have been good,” said Peter Cardillo, Chief Market Economist at First Standard Financial. “That’s a good sign that Corporate America is on a renewed path toward growth.”

More: http://www.cnbc.com/2017/04/25/us-markets.html

7. Back to the Future – Flying cars are becoming a reality.

Google co-founder Larry Page’s aviation startup, Kitty Hawk, unveiled the prototype of its long-rumored “flying car” project, an “ultralight” multi-rotor aircraft that can lift off and land vertically.

Read all about it: http://money.cnn.com/2017/04/24/technology/larry-page-flying-car/

8. Busted! – A ring that was illegally trading in protected eagles was busted.

Federal officials in South Dakota have indicted 15 peopled for illegally trafficking eagles and other migratory birds after a two-year undercover operation potentially involving hundreds of birds.

Read more: http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/eagle-trafficking-case-busted-undercover-operation-15-indicted-n750551

9. Wasting Money – We are bombarded by emails, snail mail and ads on television and radio for this insurance product or that one.

But are they worth it?

Take a look at 14 products that are deemed a “waste of money“: https://www.moneytalksnews.com/10-dumb-insurance-buys-that-waste-your-money/

10. Cool Down Coming – After starting the week with summerlike temperatures, a cold front will be moving into the Heartland.

Midweek and the weekend promises late night severe storms as well.

Get forecast: http://www.accuweather.com/en/weather-blogs/en/central-us-violent-storms-flash-flooding-may-threaten-people-as-they-sleep-this-weekend/70001492

Tidbits: Incidents of anti-Semitism are on the rise:

Maoist rebels in India killed at least 25 security officers in an attack on a police patrol on Monday. Another seven officers, members of the Central Reserve Police Force, were wounded.

A United Airlines plane had a “terrifying” emergency landing after one of its engines overheated over the ocean, according to a reporter who was on board the plane. United Flight 1516 bound for Houston, Texas, from Liberia, Costa Rica, because of the engine problem on the Boeing 737-800.

Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia, announced plans for a crowd-funded news website offering stories by journalists and volunteers working together, an initiative he hopes will counter the spread of fake news.

The Coast Guard said in a statement that the Captain of the Tamar, a 623-foot Marshall Islands-flagged bulk carrier, reported an explosion in the forward storeroom Monday morning. Two crew members were killed and at least three others were injured in the blast.

A 4-year-old girl fell through the open back door of a moving church bus onto an Arkansas state highway, but was rescued from the road by a volunteer firefighter who happened to be driving behind.

A major earthquake of magnitude 7.1 struck off the west coast of Chile on Monday, rocking the capital Santiago and briefly causing alarm along the Pacific Coast but not producing any serious damage.

Waymo, the autonomous car company owned by Alphabet, parent company of Google, has begun offering free rides to the public in Arizona in a new fleet of self-driving minivans.

Coca-Cola plans to slash 1,200 jobs after a challenging first quarter this year.

Three Islamic State militants setting up an ambush in a bitterly contested area of northern Iraq were killed by a herd of stampeding boars, local leaders say.

A school bus crash in southeast Kentucky has injured 15 people after the driver swerved off the road to avoid hitting a deer.

That’s what caught my attention this Tuesday, April 25th, 2017.

Tune in tomorrow for another edition of Kernels From The Cornfield.

Catch up on all of last week’s shenanigans in the Alterverse with Politics Roundup!

Politics Roundup: April 17 – 23, 2017

I am Mark Ivy
Good day!

Kernels – Monday, April 24, 2017

Daily recap of headlines & current events with a bit of opinion

Welcome to another 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, April 24th, 2017.

1. Political Alterverse – The Wall?

Government shutdown?

Health care insurance reform?

Pressing questions as Congress returns to Washington DC today after being back home and getting an earful from their constituents.

The government will run out of money and face a partial shutdown if Congress does not send a bill to President Donald Trump to keep the machines running by midnight Friday.

But the President appears to be set on getting money to fund The Wall or no dice on signing any budget measure.

I can’t imagine the Democrats would shut down the government over an objection to building a down payment on a wall that can end the lawlessness,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said on ABC‘s This Week.

If the President stepped out of it, we could get a budget done by Friday,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said today in a conference call with reporters, referring to Democratic and Republican budget negotiators.

That means dropping the push for The Wall seed money, for those who do not know polispeak (speaking like a politician).

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi agreed. 

Pelosi said that while Trump had promised during his campaign to build the barrier, “He did not promise that he would take food out of the mouths of babies” and cut programs for seniors, education and the environment to pay for it.

Pelosi called The Wall an “immoral, ineffective, unwise proposal.”

The Prez is also pushing to try once more to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act by Saturday, his 100th day in office.

8:28 a.m.: “The Wall is a very important tool in stopping drugs from pouring into our country and poisoning our youth (and many others)! If,” the President tweeted.

Silence.

11:31 a.m.: “….the wall is not built, which it will be, the drug situation will NEVER be fixed the way it should be! #BuildTheWall,” the Prez concluded his thought.

What happened in between?

The President was talking to astronauts aboard the International Space Station, congratulating NASA’s Peggy Whitson for making history, not only as a woman, but as spending more time in space during a single deployment than any human in history.

The conversation was also about travel to Mars.

Tuesday, President Trump, like others before him, will deliver the keynote address at a ceremony commemorating the Holocaust.

Every President since the museum opened in 1993 has done so.

Here’s hoping that the Prez does not misspeak.

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis arrived for an unannounced visit to Afghanistan today to assess the situation in the country as President Trump considers whether to send more troops to help government forces struggling to contain the Taliban insurgency.

Former President Barack Obama is off his long vacation jet setting with the beautiful people, speaking at the University of Chicago today to urge young people to get involved with community action.

What the former Prez did not do was critique his successor.

Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said in an interview with The Associated Press that world leaders should reject President Trump’s lead on climate change.

Does the 100-day mark on Saturday in the Trump presidency matter?

Give me your thoughts.

State Politics: Two condemned Arkansas killers who admit they’re guilty but fear their poor health could lead to extreme pain during lethal injections set for tonight might become the first inmates put to death in a double execution in the US in more than 16 years.

The state conducted its first execution in over a decade last week.

New Orleans, Louisiana began removing the first of four prominent Confederate monuments early today, the latest Southern institution to sever itself from symbols viewed by many as representing racism and white supremacy.

Global Politics: French voters tossed aside the establishment in the country’s presidential election on Sunday. In the first round of voting, far-right leader Marine Le Pen and centrist Emmanuel Macron came out on top. They will face off in the runoff vote on May 7.

The vote marked the first time no mainstream party’s candidate made it to the second run-off.

Macron, a former investment banker and political newcomer, ran on a pro-European Union platform, while Le Pen, head of the anti-immigrant National Front, ran vowing to put “France first” and pull the country out of the EU, tapping into the rising nationalist tide that propelled President Trump’s campaign and Britain’s Brexit vote.

Afghanistan’s Defense Minister Abdullah Habibi and Army Chief of Staff Qadam Shah Shahim resigned in the wake of a Taliban attack on one of the country’s biggest military bases that killed at least 140 soldiers.

King Salman of Saudi Arabia over the weekend restored bonus payments for hundreds of thousands of civil servants that had been canceled in September. This came as a way to quell growing dissent in the kingdom.

The President hosted the United Nations Security Council Ambassadors for a luncheon at the White House today.

The US is the current President of the Security Council with Nikki Haley presiding. Tomorrow the Council takes up a new resolution condemning North Korea for its latest missile test.

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin announced today sanctions on a Syrian research center in response to the use of saran gas by Syrian dictator Bashar al Assad on his own people earlier this month. Altogether an additional 154 people were sanctioned.

General John Nicholson, the head of US and international forces in Afghanistan, said today “Oh no I’m not refuting that,” about reports Russia was providing support, including weapons, to the Taliban.

2. Tower Shooting – Two people were shot in a Dallas, Texas tower today.

WFAA-TV reported that sources said the gunman shot his boss and then himself.

CBS 11 reported police responded to the possible active shooter situation at a building in the 8300 block of LBJ Freeway, near Forest Lane and Central Expressway.

The building was evacuated.

This story is still developing.

3. North Korean Menace – Chinese President Xi Jinping urged President Trump to show restraint as tensions rise over North Korea.

The two leaders spoke by phone today as the Hermit Kingdom prepares to celebrate the anniversary of the founding of its military on Tuesday.

Xi said he hoped “all sides exercise restraint and avoid doing things that exacerbate tensions.”

President Trump also spoke by phone with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who called on Pyongyang to end its “dangerously provocative actions” after it marked its last major holiday a week ago with a failed missile test.

An official North Korean website warned today that Pyongyang will “wipe out” the United States if Washington starts a war on the peninsula.

In a series of editorials the Rodong Sinmun newspaper – the official mouthpiece of the ruling Workers’ Party – said the North’s forces were undeterred and called the US strike group’s imminent arrival “undisguised military blackmail.”

Such threat may startle a jellyfish, but can never work on the DPRK,” it said today, using the country’s official name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

The North’s propaganda website Uriminzokkiri today claimed that the dispatching of the USS Carl Vinson signalled a war: “It is proof that an invasion of the North is nearing day by day.”

The editorial, described as being written by an army officer, said it was a “big miscalculation” for Washington to compare the North to Syria, which did not launch an “immediate counterattack” after a US cruise missile strike earlier this month.

In the event of an attack, it said, “The world will witness how Washington’s rash nuclear aircraft carriers are turned into a huge pile of steel and buried at sea and how a country called America is wiped out from the Earth.”

Stay informed: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/afp/article-4439350/N-Korean-media-issue-threat-wipe-US.html

4. Expired? Toss It? – With the rising cost of medicines, those on a fixed income may be tempted to reach for a bottle of expired medications.

But is it safe?

If you are using something that was a few months or a year after the expiration date, and it had been stored well, for most drugs I don’t think you have a problem,” David Nierenberg, Chief of the Section of Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center, told The Huffington Post. “But the companies won’t guarantee it.”

Liquid medicine, in particular, should be avoided.

This is because the contents of the bottle are sterile until the seal is broken. But once a liquid medication is opened, it becomes very susceptible to bacterial contamination.

Learn more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/is-it-safe-to-take-expired-medicine_us_58ef9b90e4b0da2ff85ed8b1?ncid=txtlnkusaolp00000618

5. Feeding the Piggy Bank – Remember as a child how your Mama always told you when you got birthday money or your allowance to be sure and feed the piggy bank?

The idea was to teach us to save.

But why do so many of us not save for retirement or are retired and find the money never stretches from the start of the month to the last of the month?

a. They Don’t Think Saving for Retirement Is a Priority
b. They Already Spent Their Retirement Savings on an Emergency
c. They Don’t Have Access to a Workplace Retirement Plan
d. They Don’t Think They Need Retirement Savings
e. They Plan to Rely on Social Security
f. They’re Still Recovering From the 2008 Crisis
g. They Don’t Make Enough Money to Save for Retirement

Get details: https://www.gobankingrates.com/retirement/surprising-reasons-people-arent-saving-retirement/

6. Trump Economy – Global markets liked the outcome of Sunday’s first round of the French presidential election with upticks around the world.

Newcomer centrist Emmanuel Macron will face off on May 7 against right wing candidate Marine Le Pen.

While markets had deemed a Le Pen-Macron (run-off) as the most likely outcome, there was an element of uncertainty,” said Mohamed El-Erian, Chief Economic Adviser at Allianz. “Now that this has been lifted, there will be a relief rally, bolstered by how quickly the mainstream candidates … have endorsed Macron, the market’s favorite.”

A new report is predicting the closure of around 9,000 retail stores this year as brick-and-mortar attempt to compete with the likes of Amazon’s online marketplace.

More: https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/markets/dow-jumps-200-points-as-market-rallies-after-french-vote/ar-BBAgXX5

7. Amazing Find! – Imagine finding an original handwritten copy of the Declaration of Independence.

If it was me, I would definitely be having a supraventricular tachycardia moment!

Read about researchers who found just that: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/declaration-of-independence-rare-copy-found-west-essex-southern-england/

8. Amazing Find 2! – You may be in Kansas, but you are transported back in time nearly 500 years to discover a vast, thriving Native American city.

A Wichita State University professor says he has found the lost city of Etzanoa, the second-biggest settlement of Native Americans found in the United States.

Read about his discovery: http://www.kansas.com/news/state/article144968264.html

9. Acne Vaccine – We all have our experiences with one of the big horrors of the teen years – acne.

A doctor in California has developed a vaccine for the skin problem.

Read all about it: http://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/california/UCSD-Professor-Develops-Vaccine-for-Acne-420127674.html

10. In the Good Ole Summertime! – Nope, it may feel like it, but summer is two months away.

Get forecast: http://www.accuweather.com/en/weather-news/ohio-valley-mid-atlantic-to-bask-in-summerlike-warmth-later-this-week/70001476

Tidbits: The President of the Association of Professional Flight Attendants, Bob Ross, defended the American Airlines attendant accused of inadvertently hitting a woman as he snatched her baby stroller, narrowly missing the child she was holding as she boarded a flight from San Francisco to Dallas on Friday.

That flight attendant has been grounded pending an investigation.

Two people died after falling in separate incidents in California’s Sequoia National Park over the weekend, according to the National Park Service.

Five people, including a 2-year-old toddler and two other children, died on Sunday in a house fire in the New York City, New York borough of Queens, the city’s deadliest such blaze in two years, Mayor Bill de Blasio said.

A migrant boat sank overnight in the eastern Aegean Sea between Greece and Turkey, leaving at least 16 people dead, including two children, Greek authorities said today.

At least 35 people were killed over the weekend in Mexico, according to local officials, amid a widespread surge in drug gang violence that has driven murders to a level not seen since 2011.

That’s what caught my attention this Monday, April 24th, 2017.

Tune in tomorrow for another edition of Kernels From The Cornfield.

Catch up on all of last week’s shenanigans in the Alterverse with Politics Roundup!

Politics Roundup: April 17 – 23, 2017

I am Mark Ivy
Good day!

The Sunday Paper – April 23, 2017

sundaypaper

Welcome to another edition of the weekly feature of Kernels From the Cornfield The Sunday Paper!

Catching you up on what has happened and what to look forward to in the week ahead, spiced with a bit of my own take on current events and the headlines.

* Political Alterverse – No worries.

President Donald Trump told The Associated Press in an interview Friday that “Dreamers,” young immigrants who were brought to America illegally as children, should not fear deportation because they are not being targeted.

Dreamers can “rest easy,” the President said, because his Administration is “not after the Dreamers; we are after the criminals.”

We’ll be having a big announcement on Wednesday having to do with tax reform,” President Trump said Friday, claiming his plan will offer businesses and individuals “a massive tax cut” that would be “bigger, I believe, than any tax cut ever.”

We are moving forward on comprehensive tax reform that cuts tax rates for individuals, simplifies our overly-complicated system, and creates jobs by making American businesses competitive,” a White House official said.

The Trump Administration denied ExxonMobil’s request for a waiver from US sanctions to work with Russia, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin announced Friday.

President Trump on Friday fired Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, a holdover from the Administration of former President Barack Obama.

President Trump announced in February he would skip the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, which is scheduled for this coming Saturday.

Instead of attending the Nerd Prom, the Prez will hold a rally in Pennsylvania, the White House announced on Saturday.

President Trump continues to have record-low approval ratings with the general public, but he is maintaining his core base of supporters, finds a Washington Post/ABC News poll released today in advance of the 100-day mark of Trump’s presidency on April 29.

The big questions facing the coming week when Congress returns from being out among their individual constituents is whether:

1. a government shutdown is avoided come Friday night
2. a health care reform bill can be passed

Another pressing question is if a spending bill is passed and does not include money specifically for The Wall, will the Prez veto the bill and shutdown the government?

A revealing and troublesome response from the Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly:

There are so many aspects to this terrorist thing,” Kelly said on CBS NewsFace the Nation today. “Obviously you got the homegrown terrorists. I don’t know how to stop that. I don’t know how to detect that. You got other terrorist threats that come across the border.”

“It is a big problem,” Kelly said. “It is – you know, depending on where you sit is where you stand on this, It is a big threat. Is it the number one threat? I think it’s the most common threat. Unfortunately there are other similar-type terrorist threats that could come from outside the border. You know, the CIA, NSA, all the great men and women of DOD are doing a great job keeping them away from the homeland.”

The appeal I would make on the homegrown threat is if you see something, say something,” Kelly continued. “Whether you’re a parent, a sibling, an imam. And this extends frankly…to white supremacists and that kind of terrorism as well. If you see a young man or a young woman going down that path where they’re always on these kind of websites or saying things at church or in a mosque that are clearly disturbing, then tell someone about it so that we can help that kid, young man or woman, before they break the law.”

Kelly also said about the North Korea problem, “The instant they get a missile that can reach the United States and they have a weaponized atomic device, a nuclear device on it, we are at grave risk as a nation.”

The Democrats are feuding among themselves over whether you can be a Democrat and pro-life. The issue came to the forefront after a local mayoral candidate, who is pro-life and registered as a Democrat, affiliation was questioned by some fellow Democrats, who happen to be abortion-rights advocates.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has waded into the dispute.

Pelosi says that it’s absolutely possible for someone to be a member of the Democratic Party and also be against abortion.

I have served many years in Congress with members who have not shared my very positive — my family would say aggressive — position on promoting a woman’s right to choose,” told Chuck Todd on NBC‘s Meet the Press today.

DNC Chair Tom Perez and Independent Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders received backlash this week from abortion-rights groups since they scheduled a rally with a mayoral candidate in Omaha, Nebraska, who previously supported an abortion-related ultrasound bill.

Speaking of Democrats, what’s up with 2016 presidential nominee Hillary Clinton?

Hillary’s making the rounds and sounding like she is ready for another go around with the Prez, while still not admitting her own, personal shortcomings for why she did not win a majority of Electoral College votes.

Neither the Republican Party nor the Democratic Party shares average Americans’ concerns according to a new poll:

The White House announced today that President Trump will have dinner Thursday with the US Supreme Court.

State Politics: The North Carolina State Board of Elections reported 508 cases of voter fraud during the 2016 election. The vast majority were by active felons. The fraudulent votes represented a small fraction of the 4.8 million ballots cast. The report didn’t include any evidence of coordinated fraud, and many of the voters claimed to be confused about their eligibility. This was not enough to effect the outcome of any of the races.

Faced with three deaths linked to faith healing in the county over the last four months, Idaho’s Canyon County Sheriff Kieran Donahue has launched a campaign to change the law, and remove any religious exemptions for the legal obligation to seek medical care for children.

Global Politics: French citizens headed to the polls today in the first round of presidential elections.

No one candidate was expected to take an outright majority; rather, four candidates are in contention to make it to the second round: far-right nationalist Marine Le Pen, center-right François Fillon, centrist Emmanuel Macron, and far-left populist Jean-Luc Mélenchon.

The top two candidates will face each other for the prize on May 7.

Centrist Emmanuel Macron and far-right populist Marine Le Pen advanced today to the runoff in France, remaking the country’s political system and setting up a showdown over its participation in the European Union.

The euro spiked against the dollar on today as early results from the French election showed Le Pen and Macron advancing to the runoff.

The United States will proceed with an agreement with Australia to help resettle refugees, Vice President Mike Pence said Saturday.

President Trump has made it clear that we’ll honor the agreement – that doesn’t mean we admire the agreement,” Pence said.

The arrangement requires the US to accept up to 1,250 refugees, many from Iran and Syria, from their present location in offshore detention centers in Australia. In return, Australia will accept refugees from Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador.

Now that we possess mighty nuclear power to protect ourselves from US nuclear threat, we will respond without the slightest hesitation to full-out war with full-out war and to nuclear war with our style of nuclear strike, and we will emerge victor in the final battle with the United States,” the North Korean Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

The official Rodong Sinmun newspaper said on Saturday in a commentary that North Korea wouldn’t hesitate to launch a preemptive strike if provoked.

The US has now gone seriously mad. It is mulling frightening the DPRK and achieving something with nuclear strategic bombers, nuclear carriers, etc. However, the army and people of the DPRK will never be browbeaten by such bluffing,” it said, referring to the North by its official name, the Democratic Republic of Korea.

President Trump will host members of the United Nations Security Council at the White House tomorrow.

Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley is serving this month as the President of the Security Council, a role that rotates each month among the five Permanent members: the U.S., Great Britain, France, China and Russia. There are 15 members of the group, but the others, right now including Egypt, Japan, Senegal, Bolivia, Ethiopia, Italy, Kazakhstan, Sweden, Ukraine and Uruguay are non-voting members.

 

 

* Science March – Thousands of people marched Saturday in protest in Washington, D.C., and in cities around the world in March for Science events as part of Earth Day.

The rallies were to promote popular interest in science, recognize scientific achievements, and protest the Trump Administration’s proposed cuts to research funding as well as policy-making around issues like climate change which marchers argue disregards the best available evidence.

We have a great many lawmakers – not just here, but around the world – deliberately ignoring and actively suppressing science,” Bill Nye the Science Guy told a cheering crowd at the main rally in Washington DC. “Their inclination is misguided, and in no one’s best interest.”

In reaction, the President tweeted, “I am committed to keeping our air and water clean but always remember that economic growth enhances environmental protection. Jobs matter!”

More: https://www.voanews.com/a/march-for-science-international/3821175.html

 

* Taliban Attack – After the assault of 10 Taliban soldiers, at least 140 people were killed in Afghanistan on Saturday.

President Ashraf Ghani declared a national day of mourning after scores of soldiers were killed by Taliban fighters disguised as fellow soldiers, in the deadliest attack of its kind on an Afghan military base.

More: https://www.yahoo.com/news/death-toll-afghan-attack-rises-140-officials-052205812.html
* War Ready – North Korea today said it is prepared to bomb the USS Carl Vinson, a US aircraft carrier leading a Navy carrier strike group toward North Korea in a show of force.

Our revolutionary forces are combat-ready to sink a US nuclear powered aircraft carrier with a single strike,” said an editorial in a newspaper run by the Kim Jong Un regime’s Workers’ Party.

More: http://thehill.com/policy/defense/330098-n-korea-warns-it-could-sink-us-carrier-with-a-single-strike-report

 

 

* Detained! – Another American citizen has been detained by North Korea.

The North is already holding two other Americans since last year, who have been sentenced to hard labor.

The Korean-American being held is reportedly a former professor who was in North Korea working on relief aid projects.

More: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-northkorea-usa-detainee-idUSKBN17P038

 

 

* Ukraine Fatal for American – The American man was killed and a German woman was injured this morning, a spokesman for Austria’s Foreign Ministry confirmed.

Austria holds the rotating presidency of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).

The #OSCE SMM can confirm that a patrol consisting of six patrol members and two armored vehicles has been involved in a serious incident while patrolling in the vicinity of the settlement of Pryshyb, an area not controlled by the Government in #Luhansk region As a result of this incident, one patrol member has died and two members have been taken to hospital for further medical examination.”

More: http://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/american-member-security-watchdog-group-killed-ukraine-n749831

 

 

* Sign of the Times – What’s the first sign of growing old?

Hair on your knuckles.

What’s the second sign of aging?

Looking for hair on your knuckles.

But what’s the truth?

You can thank a group of tiny organs in your inner ear, called the vestibular system, for your sense of balance, motion, and spatial awareness. But you also might want to curse this system once you hit 40 – the age when vestibular function begins to deteriorate, according to a recent study published in Frontiers in Neurology.

Read about one the earliest signs of growing old: http://www.menshealth.com/health/early-signs-of-getting-old

 

 

* Environment Threatened – Scientists met to tackle four specific threats to the environment as part of Earth Day on Saturday.

Those four areas of concern are:

a. Food production
b. Threats to the ocean
c. Deforestation
d. Water pollution

Get details: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2017/04/21/these-issues-look-out-national-geographic-earth-optimism-summit-earth-day/100750898/

 

 

* We’ll Always Love Joanie – Erin Moran, the child star best known as Richie Cunningham’s little sister and the girl who loved Chachi, was found dead at age 56 in Indiana yesterday.

Such sad sad news,” Ron Howard aka Richie wrote on Twitter Saturday night. “RIP Erin. I’ll always choose to remember you on our show making scenes better, getting laughs and lighting up tv screens.”

 

 

* Rainy April End – If Sunday has been sunny for you feel blessed.

The rains are only taking a breather.

Get forecast: http://www.accuweather.com/en/weather-news/soaking-dreary-rain-to-spread-up-eastern-us-early-this-week/70001467

 

Thanks for viewing!

Catch up on all last week’s shenanigans with Political Roundup!

Sunny Sunday!

http://www.whec.com/weather/

Morning everyone! Right now it’s 36 in Rochester and we’re looking for a high of 63 degrees, 20% chance of precipitation.

History, Parole Denied!

http://www.whec.com/news/judith-clark-parole-denied-getaway-driver/4461049/?cat=565