Unleashing the Genie

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The day before the Democratic National Convention and then today when it convened, unity is not a word you can use to describe Democrats.

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders campaigned for the past year talking about starting a political revolution. His fans took his message to heart. Those who felt  the Bern are far from ready to cede the battlefield and admit defeat.

Hundreds marched on Sunday through the streets of Philadelphia chanting, “We won’t vote for Hillary.” Those protests continued in the streets today.

This morning while speaking to supporters, Uncle Bernie was heckled and booed every time he mentioned the name of the soon-to-be-anointed Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and running mate, Virginia Senator Tim Kaine.

The ire of Sanders’ supporters was enough to push Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz out of any role at the convention and resignation effective Friday as the party chair.

We are talking a small number either. Sanders garnered the support of 43% of the vote during the primary season.

As soon as the convention was gaveled in this afternoon, the chants on the floor began with the delegation from California in support of Uncle Bernie. This even though Sanders has asked the delegates to accept that Clinton will be the nominee and to show respect and not stage floor demonstrations.

Each time anyone mentions Clinton’s or Kaine’s name the rallying cries around the Sanders campaign go from a low growl to loud howl. Uncle

Bernie let the genie out of the bottle. Now the age old question returns: How do you get the genie back in the bottle?

Although Sanders ceded and has endorsed Clinton, technically if enough SuperDelegates change positions and vote for Uncle Bernie, he could be the nominee instead of Clinton.

When Sanders and Massachusetts Senator and liberal darling Elizabeth Warren address the convention tonight, can either of them qualm the savages on the floor and soothe the beast ready to rumble?

With respected and trusted Democratic strategist Donna Brazile assuming the Chair in place of Wasserman Schultz, the DNC released an apology to Uncle Bernie within the hour of the start of the convention, hoping to quell the uproar on the floor.

But – will it silence the vocal opposition from the floor during prime time?

From the Cornfield, like it or not, want it or not, Uncle Bernie may get his revolution after all.

Once released, you can’t just put the genie back in the bottle with a twitch of the nose.

The ‘Hillary Standard’

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Return with me now to those topsy-turvy days of the 1990s. Scandal plagued the Administration of President Bill Clinton and First Lady Hillary Clinton.

The explanation was clean and clear. It was a “vast right wing conspiracy.” Hillary noted that all the rumors, the investigations into Whitewater, her husband’s infidelity could all be blamed on this conspiracy.

Fast forward now to 2016. Sitting down on a Saturday evening with Virginia Senator Tim Kaine, her newly announced running mate, Hillary, the soon-to-be-anointed Democratic presidential nominee, told CBS’s 60 Minutes that there was one standard for all other politicians and then there was a “Hillary Standard.

This happened before the news broke of a new email scandal involving the Democratic National Committee. That scandal, the Clinton campaign immediately blamed on Russia attempting to insure the election of her Republican rival Donald Trump.

Here in her own words, Hillary explains the standard that she, and she alone, is held, which is different than for others.

I often feel like there’s the Hillary standard and then there’s the standard for everybody else. And for whatever reasons — and I don’t want to try to analyze the reasons. I see it. I understand it. People are very willing to say things about me, to make accusations about me that are — I don’t get upset about them anymore, but they are very regrettable.

Many people agree there is a different standard for Hillary and everyone else. But those believe the standard is that Hillary is allowed to be above the law while everyone else must follow the law, pointing to the scandal over her private email server while Secretary of State.

Yes, there is reason to believe that Russian government hackers did break into the DNC servers. Yes, that same evidence is based on those hackers hitting across government services and many companies in the US of A.

There is no evidence, at this time, however, linking the release of scandalous emails by WikiLeaks as a means by the Russian government to get Trump elected President.

So what do you think?

Is Hillary Clinton more harshly judged than other politicians? Are all the accusations made about Hillary as she said, “unfounded, inaccurate, mean-spirited attacks with no basis in truth“?

From the Cornfield, sorry, I do not see it.

I do see basis for why 68% of Americans do not trust Hillary.

New Email Scandal

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As if soon-to-be-anointed Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton has not been plagued enough over email, she now has to contend with a new scandal involving emails of the Democratic National Committee.

You think the Republicans were in disarray and not united – what about the Democrats as they ready to convene Monday in Philadelphia for their national convention.

Wikileaks released some 20,000 emails hacked from the servers of the DNC earlier this year. Those emails prove that as has been charged from the beginning that the DNC was in the pocket of Clinton and working to prevent Democratic Socialist turned Democrat Bernie Sanders from usurping Clinton’s claim to the throne.

Sanders supporters, which were 43% of the primary vote, have taken to the streets in Philadelphia demanding the head of DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

President Barack Obama called to thank Wasserman Schultz for her term as chair, without calling on her to resign immediately.

Clinton released this statement:

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(Click on image to read easier)

What amazing to me is that in Clinton’s statement, even though she must have the support of those who “feel the Bern” and want nothing to do with Wasserman Schultz, Clinton said that Wasserman Schultz would continue as her honorary chair in her quest to win in all 50 states.

Sounds like a slap in the face to those supporters to me. Already 40% of Sanders’ supporters have said they would not vote for Hillary.

Sanders, appearing this morning with Jake Tapper on CNN’s State of the Union, expressed his displeasure with the shenanigans to defeat him by the DNC, but said he would work to defeat Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.

Just a short bit ago, Wasserman Schultz released a statement saying she would preside over the convention, banging the gavel to open and close the convention. She said she would resign at the end of the convention.

Yet earlier this morning, it was announced that Wasserman Schultz would not be speaking to the delegates. It was also announced she would not be opening and closing the convention.

Wasserman Schultz in her statement said that she wanted to speak and would speak to the delegates as she convened the national gathering.

It was announced a short bit ago that long-time political operative Donna Braszile, Co-Chair of the DNC would run operations between now and the election. Brazile has maintained her neutrality throughout the primary season. She is also well-respected for her integrity.

Like the private email server Clinton maintained and used while she was Secretary of State, this latest email scandal is not going away. The difference is the current scandal has Democrats marching in the streets. The older scandal has Republicans dancing in the streets.

Will Democrats find a way to unite? When Sanders speaks can he assuage his supporters and rally them to “Stand with Her?

The Clinton campaign is resurrecting the tried and trued “vast right wing conspiracy” with a twist on the latest email scandal. This time around it is “the Russians are coming!

You got it.

The Clinton campaign says that the Russian government hacked the DNC email server and released the incriminating emails to get Trump elected this fall.

It worked in the past, so why not this time around?

From the Cornfield, what looked to be a rather boring convention as usual from the Democrats is turning out to be a barn burner – and it has not even begun yet.

Will Wasserman Schultz open the convention?

Will Wasserman Schultz be blocked and removed rather than allow her to continue or to address delegates?

Stay tuned. The day is still young.

A Ticket Worth Voting For?

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This election cycle is not your usual Grandpa’s election.

Where once polished politicians were necessary or were sent packing, this year there is an anger in the land that’s boiling over. There is a bad taste in the mouth of voters for the same-old brown bag lunch of doing business like we have always done business.

This is why Donald Trump is the presidential nominee of Republicans, upsetting the Establishment.

This is why a Democratic Socialist Senator from Vermont, Bernie Sanders, preaches political revolution and won over 40% of the primary vote.

But one has to wonder if soon-to-be crowned Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton is hearing the people. Or is she deaf like Sergeant Carter screaming, “I can’t hear you!

Today she stood for the first time in a rally in Miami, Florida with her new vice presidential pick, Virginia Senator Tim Kaine. She touted his credentials and qualifications, labeling him a progressive, when his voting record is one of a moderate.

In any other election year, this would be an ideal ticket.

Here in the Cornfield and across the heartland, people are fed up with career politicians. There is no way they will hold their nose and vote, no matter which party, where the ticket is a status quo slate.

To be honest, if I were to choose a ticket out of the four candidates of the two major parties, I could see me, in a normal year, voting for either a Mike Pence-Tim Kaine or Tim Kaine-Mike Pence ticket.

Talk about experience, qualifications and a record of reaching across the aisle for the good of the country, that ticket would have it.

But this is an election of outrage at the same old, same old.

Compared to the top of tickets where we have the two most disliked presidential candidates ever, where both have major trust and integrity issues, the second spot slots are filled by two men (yes, not politically correct) who both have no problems with the integrity issue.

I wonder did Hillary hurt, rather than help herself, by picking Kaine, a safe choice, rather than an Elizabeth Warren or trying to drag Uncle Bernie kicking and screaming to Blair House?

From the Cornfield, hold on tight, it is going to be a bumpy ride between now and November.

And remember Pence-Kaine or Kaine-Pence. LOL 😛

‘I Can’t Hear You!’

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Summing my best inner Sergeant Carter, “I can’t hear you!

This seems to be the outlook of presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Establishment.

For the uninitiated or too young to remember, Sgt. Vince Carter was the Marine drill sergeant who when barking out an order or pronouncement to Gomer Pyle and the rest of the platoon would always bark back when they would answer, “Yes, Sergeant,” “I can’t hear you,” drawing out the hear.

Hillary and her supporters seem to have the same issue with their collective ears.

But she is not alone.

Listening to the media and chattering class, most of them continue to be deaf to what the American voters are saying.

Never mind that over 40% of Democratic voters this primary season went for Uncle Bernie Sanders’ political revolution.

Never mind that the Republican voters tonight hear from their new nominee, Donald Trump, accept the nomination to be President of the United States.

Never mind that every step along the way, the Republican Establishment was upended.

Never mind that every pronouncement from the talking heads and the media was wrong as Trump made his way to Cleveland.

Never mind that there is a real anger in the heartland toward business as usual and following conventional wisdom.

Next week Democrats gather in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the Democratic National Convention to crown Hillary as their nominee.

Already surrogates for Hillary and officials of the DNC are talking about how the Democratic Convention will show Trump how a convention should be conducted – how scripted – how the Establishment does it.

Like the journalists and pundits, the Democratic Establishment led by Hillary Clinton do not get it.

They refuse to see what happened during their own primary season when an avowed Democratic Socialist packed in larger crowds than the presumed heiress to the throne of Barack Obama and Bill Clinton.

They refuse to hear the cries rising and raising the rafters from those who feel the Bern.

Americans in both Republican and Democratic camps, sitting at home, not at the conventions, are summing their inner Paul’s asking, “Can you hear me now?

Indiana Governor and GOP vice presidential nominee Mike Pence called it right last night when referring to Clinton as the “Secretary of Status Quo.

That is exactly what the American people – no matter political affiliation or without any affiliation – do not want – the status quo.

From the Cornfield, will Clinton take the ear plugs out and hear what Americans are saying?

Or will Trump continue to upset what is supposed to be and win the Oval Office?

Could a double-punch from Libertarian Gary Johnson and Green’s Jill Stein throw the election into the House of Representatives to decide?

Is anyone listening?

Grandpa and Trump

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To understand Donald Trump, who officially becomes the Republican presidential nominee this week, you had to know my Grandpa. You have to understand the mind-set, the way of thinking of another time and era.

Trying to decode Trump, you have to discard 21st Century perceptions and changes in talk, moral codes, thinking and what is considered politically and not politically correct.

Grandpa Rev. Luther C. Powell as painted by Lyndale Ivy
Grandpa Rev. Luther C. Powell as painted by Lyndale Ivy

My Grandfather, the late Reverend Luther C. Powell, could be quite the politician and deal maker, but at the same time he could be brash and irreverent with how he spoke his mind.

Many, especially women, took offense in his final years of the way he addressed people.

Even his oldest daughter and some of his grandchildren will admit there were times he came across rather uncouth.

But his heart was a million miles from the perception people had of him.

Grandpa would refer to women with such terms as slow poke and fat mama.

Often his daughter, my Mom, prior to Grandpa’s death in his 80s, would have people come up to her or call her asking that her father not be allowed to come to this function or that. Some would make broad complaints to her about what Grandpa said.

But these people did not know him.

Grandpa put women on a pedestal. He adored women. It was his way of giving out compliments or terms of endearment or joking.

He was from another age, another time.

Few knew about how, no matter how gruff he sounded at times, he could be the most diplomatic of people.

Put him in front of a church board or hashing out issues on his denomination’s state committees or national committees and Grandpa became a politician and deal maker extraordinaire.

  Grandpa prided himself on being a horse and dog trader. Not only did he make deals on animals, but was up for a good swap on almost anything.

There were times, however, he would get the short end. Unlike Trump, Grandpa would joke and admit about how someone got the best of him.

Often when I hear Trump speak whatever pops into his head, it brings back memories of Grandpa. Grandpa was the same way.

But Grandpa, in his own way, would concede and apologize when his first reaction or what he spouted needed to be corrected.

Unlike Trump, Grandpa would back down.

While I am not sold on Trump, because of knowing Grandpa, Trump does not get under my skin the way he tends to do to most people.

I accept that Trump’s thinking is not based on how thinking and acceptance has evolved as we are well into the second decade of the 21st Century.

Trump is still stuck with a 20th Century brain.

People have always tended to judge the past through the eyes of present day thinking, present day morals, rather than judging taken into consideration the time in which those things happened, those words and thoughts were the norm.

Decoding Trump means to open one’s mind and look beyond the rhetoric. One has to take The Donald in his entirety, not just the reality show persona he has developed over the years.

From the Cornfield, if you knew my Grandpa Powell or had your own like-thinking, like-speaking Grandpa, you can decode Trump Speak. In many cases, you most likely are backing and will vote for Trump.

At the same time, if you knew my Grandpa or had those in your own life like Grandpa, you may be embarrassed and turned off by Trump.

Question is to whom do you turn?

Updated State of Our Union

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This Sunday afternoon I sit in Mark’s Den watching and listening intently to heartbreaking news coming out of Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Three police officers have been killed in an apparent ambush. Three other officers have been shot with at least one in critical condition. One suspect has been killed. Two other suspects are being sought.

It is a little over a week since five officers were killed by a mad snipe in Dallas, Texas. Now this.

It is the eve of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio. There is concern that protesters may come armed with rifles and shotguns since Ohio is an open-carry state.

Will we see a repeat of the 1968 Chicago Democratic Convention?

One year ago today, I wrote about The State of Our Union.

It bears repeating:

As President Gerald Ford told Congress and the American people in 1975, The State of our Union is not good.

The same can be said as I sit here in the Desert and look out across our land from sea to shining sea in July of 2015, 40 years, a generation, later.

The country is at its most divisive since the mid 1960s. The country is nearly as torn as it was in the mid 1860s. But so far, insurrection, taking up arms, has not occurred.

For the past few years there have been calls by some quarters to secede once more from the Union. There was a movement, including an online campaign with thousands of signatures, for Texas, which once was a republic in its own right, to pull out of the national association of states and return to the time of Sam Houston.

At times over this last year, where many of us had thought the racial divide was giving into the melting pot, we have learned that there is a segment out there where we have a white America and a black America. There is an abyss between suburban, small town and rural areas of the country and the inner cities and areas of urban concentration.

Even between suburbia and rural, small town communities there is a divide.  The more liberal occupy urban America and much of suburbia, while conservatives claim rural and small town America.

Each day we turn on the television and go online with trepidation wondering if we will be dismayed, our hearts torn, by yet another mass killing or disaster. Each day we wonder if a rogue country will launch the bomb.

Radicalism is growing and not just with those pledging allegiance to the Islamic State. Some threats are homegrown. Some threats are white supremacists, black power enthusiasts, free nationalist anarchists and so on.

Crime may be down over all, but police are backing off from serving and protecting. In many parts of the country – urban areas predominantly – police are under fire, afraid doing their job will lead to being arrested.

Politicians are playing to our baser nature, garnering large crowds. Politicians are playing on our fears to keep us in an uproar. Politicians have forgotten their duty to do best for the nation and not for their personal careers.

Then there are the millions going about life, ignoring it all. If it does not knock on their door, these millions stay in blissful ignorance, dashing toward the cliff and destruction.

These millions will wake up, but will it be too late?

While the annual budget deficit may continue to track downward, not a word about the national debt of $18 trillion plus and growing. Not a word about the generations to come already buried in red ink. We run merrily along from bubble to bubble, from crash to crash.

Yes, my friends, the State of our Union is not good.

From the Cornfield, should the national anthem be changed to “God Bless America, Again?

Or have we traveled to far down the road of perdition where even the Almighty cannot intervene?

However, in light of Dallas and now Baton Rouge, the question is being raised if some within our American family have taken up arms in insurrection targeting law enforcement?

From the Cornfield, perhaps what is needed is to heed II Chronicles 7:14,

If My people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves, and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

Surely if ever for the sake of the State of our Union, our land, the US of A, needs healing.

Making the Right Choice

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Doing the right thing and doing what you want are not always synonymous.

So was the case this week as presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump laboring over who to choose as his running mate in his quest for the White House. The field had narrowed down to three possibilities – New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich and Indiana Governor Mike Pence.

The one trait Trump values most as his history reveals is loyalty – loyalty to him. This was the major selling point for picking the outspoken, often in-your-face Christie. Christie had Trump’s heart. But it was not enough to win the Oval Office.

Trump was forced by his children and professional, political staff to face the reality that political concerns and unity of the party which had brought him to the dance must be the priority.

Then what about the man who had led the Republican revolution in the 1990s which gave the GOP control of the House of Representatives for the first time in 40 years – Gingrich?

Gingrich had proven he could take on the Bill and Hillary Clinton machine and win. He even ran a strong race for the nomination himself four years ago against Mitt Romney, though losing in the end.

Yet, even Gingrich pointed out that both he and Trump were “pirates” fighting against the more established naval forces this political season. What was needed, Gingrich argued, even as he sought to be Trump’s other half, was some calmer, more aligned with the Establishment.

As Trump acknowledged today in introducing Pence as his running mate, in the end his heart lost out. A combative spirit akin to his own soul would not win. The right choice was unifying the Republican Party with someone that both the GOP Establishment, Evangelicals and Tea Party loyalists agreed was someone with whom they could unite behind.

This meant going with the Indiana Governor.

While true Pence has his own history for presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and whomever she chooses as a running mate to lob bombs at, compared to the Christie and Gingrich, Pence will be a hard foe to fight.

It was telling that the song playing prior to Trump introducing Pence to the nation was “You Can’t Always Get What You Want.

From the Cornfield, while I am not a Pence fan and would once more vote against him as I did in 2012 if he had continued his re-election campaign for Governor of the Cornfield, I agree with the Trump children.

Mike Pence was the right choice. Earlier this week I wrote about Trump’s Choices, suggesting the right choice to make would be Pence.

Yes, my friends, Indiana’s Stars Are Shining on this monumental Saturday.

Enough about the Election Already

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Across the country you can hear people asking, “Is it over yet?

And no, I am not talking about children riding with their parents to some vacation spot for summer.

For Millenial voters especially there is election fatigue.

For over a year now this current election cycle has been filling the air waves, crowding social media and has been all the talk in the pubs and cafes. Now people are starting to say, “Enough!

With the conventions of the two major parties starting Monday, with presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump tapping Indiana Governor Mike Pence as his running mate and presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton planning to name her other half of the ticket next Friday, a majority of Americans are pulling out their hair and throwing their hands in the air.

Check out these charts from a new survey from Pew Research:

pew1 pew2 pew3And we still have four months to go!

From the Cornfield, now don’t make me stop this car. It will only make the ride that much longer.

Survey details: http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2016/07/14/most-americans-already-feel-election-coverage-fatigue/

Indiana’s Stars Are Shining

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What a year it has been for Indiana’s 200th birthday as a member of the Union!

Come December 11, the Hoosier State will celebrate the day it was welcomes into the fold of the United States of America, thus claiming #19 forever. President James Madison was in office and signed the congressional resolution which certified, the Cornfield with its capitol in Corydon in the southern part of the state near the Ohio River as another star on the Grand Ole Flag, the Star Spangled Banner.

Now 200 years later, this bicentennial year has been one which has put the state in the national spotlight.

First there was the Indiana Republican Primary in May. The late date for Hoosiers to cast votes in primary race usually means that how the state votes has no relevance to the outcome of who becomes the nominee of either major party.

This year, that vote counted.

Hoosiers are the ones who put an end to the races of Texas Senator Ted Cruz and Ohio Governor John Kasich to beat Donald Trump to become the GOP presidential nominee.

Even with an endorsement from Indiana’s sitting Governor Mike Pence, Cruz could not rally the troops. Trump walked away with the win.

Now days before the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio which will vote Trump the official instead of presumptive presidential nominee, Indiana is capturing attention from coast to coast.

Although he backed Cruz in the primary, Pence is now on the shortest of lists and expected to be named tomorrow at 11 a.m. the running mate of Trump.

The news networks have remained transfixed on Indianapolis, camped out at the Governor’s Mansion, for two days now.

Newt Gingrich flew in to talk to Trump on Wednesday. Jeff Sessions flew in to talk to Trump as well. Chris Christie called in to talk with Trump.

The Trump family flew in and joined their father and step-mother for breakfast yesterday morning with Pence and his family.

Pence’s assistant campaign manager was spotted and interviewed on a plane ride to New York today for meetings at Trump headquarters.

Unlike when another Hoosier was tagged to eventually become Vice President, Dan Quayle who served with President George H.W. Bush, Pence is receiving kudos across the board.

When Quayle was named everyone was scratching their heads and asking who he was. Quayle became fodder for late night comedians.

Pence, on the other hand, is considered to be a safe, smart pick if he is indeed chosen to be Trump’s vice presidential running mate.

From the Cornfield, as you can see the Indiana State flag is torch surrounding by stars.

Flag_of_Indiana

Tonight those stars are shining brightly.