Family Divided on Election

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The election is coming up fast. November 8 will be here before we turn around and sit down.

Over this past week I surveyed my family about whom they would vote for President. I also asked them to share whom they would vote for Governor and US Senator, since the majority live in the Cornfield.

Overwhelmingly, Republican Donald Trump came out ahead on the presidential race. When it comes to the other two offices open for Indiana voters, it was a down the middle split.

Here is how it played out:

Presidential Race

Democrat Hillary Clinton 25%
Republican Donald Trump 62.5%
Libertarian Gary Johnson 12.5%
Green Party Dr. Jill Stein 0%
Independent Evan McMullin 0%

Governor’s Race

Democrat John Gregg 33%
Republican Eric Holcomb 67%

US Senate

Democrat Evan Bayh 33%
Republican Todd Young 67%

So is one family’s divisions indicative of the public as a whole?

We will know in a few more weeks.

From the Cornfield, I actually believe that the way my family is split does mirror the country at large.

Let’s see if I am right or wrong.

Don’t forget to vote.

Tune in to the next debate on October 9.

Debate Changes Little

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The most watched Presidential Debate ever is now swept into the dustbin of history.

Last night at Hofstra University, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump shook hands and came out swinging.

From my perspective at the end of the night the contest was a draw.

Yes, on points, as many analysts and pundits point out, Clinton came out on top of the heap.

Yes, Clinton got under Trump’s skin.

Yes, Trump was led down the primrose path and was stuck time and again with the thorns placed strategically by Clinton.

But, when you look at the debate as being one which will change anyone’s mind or persuade any of the undecided voters, the fight ended without a win for either Trump or Clinton.

For Clinton supporters, Clinton showed she was the queen of politics.

For Trump supporters, Trump proved he is the consummate outsider, risking all to tilt at windmills.

For the undecided, Clinton was cool – perhaps too cool – and calculating with a smile that seemed plastered rather than genuine, offering more of the status quo.

For the undecided, Trump was too thirsty, too pushy and not deep enough on substance.

In the end, the needle moved little if any at all.

Most of my family in the Cornfield are backing Trump. My mother, my brother Phil, my sister Leticia, my nephews and cousins are all advocating for change.

My oldest son Dave and daughter-in-law Anna are supporting Trump.

My youngest son Kev and daughter-in-law Hailey, who live in Austin, Texas are backing Clinton.

For Kev and Hailey, Clinton is their second choice. They would much rather have Uncle Bernie Sanders vying for the Oval Office.

The debate did not change any of their opinions. The debate re-enforced why my family members are voting for whom they are voting.

As I said, from my perspective last night’s debate ended in a draw.

I remain on the fence, looking at whether to vote for the Libertarian Gary Johnson.

From the Cornfield, I believe the next Presidential Debate on October 9 will be more productive than this first historic debate.

The format will be different – a town hall versus standing behind a lectern on a split screen arguing points.

The candidates will have to get personal with the voters, which may tell us more than the more scripted type of performance in the traditional debate.

Political Circus: September 19-25

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Between now and election day, November 8, a look back at the political circus during the prior week.

Monday, 9/19/2016:

Die is cast.

It will only be Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton who will be participating one week from today in the first Presidential Debate.

The political news has taken a backseat to the bombings in New York and New Jersey as well as the knife attack in Minnesota.

But that does not mean the race is not intensifying.

Rumor has it that Libertarian vice presidential candidate Bill Weld is considering dropping out over a fear that he and running mate Libertarian presidential nominee Gary Johnson may drawing enough support from Clinton, it could give the White House to Trump.

Clinton was in Philadelphia today trying hard to win over support from Millennials, with whom she has not garnered enthusiasm.

With the United Nations General Assembly meeting in New York City this week, both Clinton and Trump will be meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.

Clinton will also talk with Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko. Expect sparks after the meeting about Trump’s alleged ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

On the triple terror threat over the weekend, Trump said profiling may be necessary. Clinton pushed the strength of resolve.

Our local police, they know who a lot of these people are. They are afraid to do anything about it because they don’t want to be accused of, uh, profiling. And they don’t want to be accused of all sorts of things,” Trump said to Fox News.

This threat is real, but so is our resolve. Americans will not cower. We will prevail,” Clinton said. “We will defend our country, and we will defeat the evil, twisted ideology of the terrorists.

Republican wannabes thinking about a run in 2020 may want to rethink not backing Trump, said Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus.

His remarks were aimed at those who ran this time around and pledged to back the Republican nominee no matter who that would be – such as Ohio Governor John Kasich and Texas Senator Ted Cruz.

“I’m not going to lose one minute of sleep ruining this two-party monopoly that is going on,” Johnson said on CBS60 Minutes Sunday night.

I think they are dinosaurs, and I think we’re the comet in this whole equation. And I’m glad for it. I’m proud of it,” he said.

I do believe this is going to be the demise of the Republican Party.

But most pundits and pollsters agree that Johnson is pulling more votes from Clinton – not Trump.

Tuesday, 9/20/2016:

Skittles!

That’s what this election has devolved to.

Don Jr., son of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, explained the immigration and refugee issues by comparing a bowl of Skittles with three poison pieces.

This has set off an online uproar – mostly negative.

The candy manufacturer is telling Don Jr. and all politicians to keep their hands off their popular, tasty sweet treats.

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A member of the Kennedy political dynasty tweeted out that former President George H. W. Bush aka 41 will be voting for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

The Bush family is not happy.

Not denying, but not happy.

In the most recent NBC/Survey Monkey poll: Clinton 45% Trump 40% Libertarian Gary Johnson 10% Green Party Dr. Jill Stein 4%

Charity money to pay legal fees?

That’s a no-no, Mr. Trump.

Then there is that fundraiser for veterans – seems Trump’s people failed to file necessary paperwork for the charity event in a number of states.

Details matter.

Clinton continues to insist that Trump’s remarks on terrorism give “aid and comfort” to the Islamic State recruiters.

Poor Johnson, his mouth keeps engaging before his brain.

This time around in talking about the bombing over the weekend in New Jersey and New York and the knife attack in Minnesota.

I’m just grateful that nobody got hurt,” Johnson said on CNN.

Clearly he meant no one was killed, but the damage was done.

This is going to be close. We need everyone off the sidelines,” Clinton told students at Temple University in Philadelphia. “Not voting is not an option. That just plays into Trump’s hands.

Politics can be discouraging. This election in particular can be downright depressing sometimes,” Clinton said at her rally. “But it matters, it really does.

Clinton is having a rough time trying to get Millennials to support and be enthused about her candidacy.

In a turn-about, Clinton is now being more available to the general press than Trump, who is sticking to Fox News almost exclusively.

NBC‘s Lester Holt, who will moderate Monday night’s first Presidential Debate, has announced three main topics of discussion:

a. America’s Direction
b. Achieving Prosperity
c. Securing America

By the way, it is exactly seven weeks from today when Americans go to the polling stations and cast their ballots for who will sit in the Oval Office for the next four years.

Wednesday, 9/21/2016:

…our African American communities are absolutely in the worst shape they’ve ever been in before. Ever, ever, ever.

Donald, Donald, Donald – what were you thinking?

What about those 350+ years of slavery?

Was not the black community in a worse situation then than now?

The Military Times has Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump getting support from 37.6% from armed forces personnel and Libertarian presidential nominee Gary Johnson getting 36.5%.

The two were the tops in military support edging out Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and Green Party presidential nominee Dr. Jill Stein.

This morning, fight promoter Don King dropped the “N” word while introducing Trump at a Cleveland Heights, Ohio church for a meeting with African-American pastors.

Not sure which Trump will show up for the debate Monday night, Clinton is prepping for multiple Trump personalities.

Perhaps a re-read of my Person Versus Persona is in order.

OOPs!

Remember how Trump said all the debate moderators are Democrats?

Turns out the first debate moderator, NBC‘s Lester Holt, has been a registered Republican since at least 2003.

Jockeying keeps up in the battleground states.

Clinton is back ahead in Florida. Trump takes the lead in North Carolina.

By the way, Twitter will live stream Monday’s Presidential Debate.

Thursday, 9/22/2016:

Lamenting the violence and lawlessness in Charlotte, North Carolina last night, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump told supporters in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania this morning that we are living in a “wounded country.

Speaking in measured tones, Trump came across presidential and not the bombastic television personality seen so often on the campaign trail.

We all have to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes to see things through their eyes and get to work fixing our very wounded country,” Trump said.

Trump went on to say about the Charlotte riot, “Our country looks bad to the world when we are supposed to be the world’s leader. How can we lead when we can’t control our cities?

A new poll shows that Trump has edged up to a 7% support with black voters, which CNN‘s Don Lemon says will not happen Election Day.

While in another poll, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton maintains a healthy edge with Hispanic voters – 65% to Trump’s 17%.

In the most recent NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, Clinton bests Trump by 6 points going into Monday night’s first Presidential Debate.

Clinton has 43% to Trump’s 37%. Rounding out the likely voters’ choice is 9% for Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson and a mere 3% for the Green Party presidential nominee Dr. Jill Stein.

However, CNN‘s Poll of Polls today showed Clinton with 43% and Trump with 40%. This is a compilation of the most recent five national polls.

Clinton asked the Laborers’ International Union of North America members gathered in Las Vegas, Nevada via teleconference last night, “‘Why aren’t I 50 points ahead?’ you might ask? Well, the choice for working families has never been clearer. I need your help to get Donald Trump’s record out to everybody. Nobody should be fooled.

This is the same question which has pundits in a total daze of confusion.

If you do know somebody who might be voting for Trump, stage an intervention,” Clinton pleaded with her remote audience. “Try to talk some sense into them. Lay out the facts. The facts are on our side, about what I’ve done versus what he’s done. Remember, friends don’t let friends vote for Trump.

Mexican Economic Minister Ildefonso Guajardo Villarreal said on Wednesday that Mexico was prepared to “talk to the devil” should Trump win the election in November.

Trump called on Presidential Debate moderator NBC‘s Lester Holt to not be a fact-checker when he and Clinton square off on Monday night.

I mean, if you’re debating somebody and if she makes a mistake or I make a mistake … we’ll take each other on,” Trump. “But I certainly don’t think you want Candy Crowley again.

Former CNN State of the Union host Crowley was widely panned for interjecting in a debate between President Barack Obama and Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney during a 2012 Presidential Debate.

Crowley ended up being both right and wrong with her check of the facts.

A return of “stop and frisk” is need in Chicago to combat the murderous violence racking the city, Trump said. This comes even though a federal judge declared the program unconstitutional and ended the practice in New York City.

Black police officers are not falling in line with the Fraternal Order of Police endorsement of Trump.

Our Local FOP is saying that our people have to follow the national lead,” Rochelle Bilal, head of the Philadelphia Guardian Civic League, told NBC News. “We are saying you don’t have to vote for Donald Trump and the national FOP should have stayed out of this election.

Remember President Josiah Bartlet, who sat in the Oval Office during The West Wing administration?

Well, Bartlet and his team will be crisscrossing Ohio stumping for Clinton.

Friday, 9/23/2016:

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in an attempt to win over Millennials, who are cool to her campaign, appeared on the irreverent, but very popular Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis.

Will it win over the needed demographic?

Probably not, but it sure does not hurt.

A new, non-partisan analysis by the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s tax cuts would add $5.3 trillion to the national debt over the next decade.

The same analysis found Clinton’s plans would add $200 billion.

But the committee also said they were just guessing since Trump has not laid out the specifics of his proposals for tax reform.

Shockers!

A new poll out Thursday puts Trump out ahead of Clinton nationally.

Right-leaning Rasmussen found Trump with a 5-point lead, 44%-39%, over Clinton.

Dumbest Remarks of the week: There was “no racism” before President Barack Obama.

Yes, a now former volunteer coordinator for Trump in Ohio said this.

She is no longer with the campaign.

Trump added 10 more names to his list of potential Supreme Court Justices if he is elected. One of those on Trump’s new list is Utah Senator Mike Lee, who promptly removed himself for consideration.

Lee is not a Trump fan.

When hauled before a congressional committee, the Director of the Internal Revenue Service John Koskinen avoided the topic of Trump’s taxes and returns when peppered by Democratic lawmakers.

Koskinen is trying to save his own bacon from Republican legislators who want him impeached.

I came here to answer questions truthfully and straightforward,” Koskinen said, “but we don’t talk about individual cases, and if hypotheticals begin to look like individual cases I’m not at liberty to give opinion or judgments about them.

That Clinton aide who set up the private email server for Clinton while she was Secretary of State then refused to appear when subpoenaed by a congressional committee was hit with a contempt of Congress charge.

North Carolina Republican Congressman Robert Pittenger had to apologize after saying the violence in Charlotte is because of protesters who “hate white people because white people are successful and they’re not.

What is taking place in my hometown right now breaks my heart,” Pittenger said in a statement issued by his congressional office. “My anguish led me to respond to a reporter’s question in a way that I regret. The answer doesn’t reflect who I am. I was quoting statements made by angry protesters last night on national TV. My intent was to discuss the lack of economic mobility for African Americans because of failed policies. I apologize to those I offended and hope that we can bring peace and calm to Charlotte.

So much for his re-election bid.

While Trump is calling for stop-and-frisk in Chicago, Illinois, which has seen the number of murders and shootings soar this year, Mayor Rahm Emmanuel outlined his own plan to bring peace and security to the Windy City.

Gun violence in Chicago is unacceptable … It is pulling us apart at the very moment when your city needs to come together,” Emanuel said. “For all the things that make Chicago great, for all the things that make us proud to call ourselves Chicagoans, the violence that is happening corrodes our core. It is not the Chicago we know and love.

Police officers and emergency room surgeons are not the only ones whose job it is to save young lives,” Emanuel said. “To reverse the rising tide of violence, we need to provide hope instead of desperation and caring adults instead of gang affiliation.

Emmanuel’s plan is a stark contrast to Trump’s call for action to quell the violence.

A new study finds that Trump’s healthcare plan would cause about 20 million persons to lose coverage while Clinton would provide coverage for an additional 9 million people.

A new Associated Press-GfK poll finds that Clinton’s “basket of deplorables” had a more negative impact on Trump than on her.

Seems when asked which of the candidates is more disconnected and disrespectful, 60% said Trump and 48% said Clinton.

Rumor has it that former rival and presidential candidate Texas Senator Ted Cruz is starting to waffle and may soon fold and endorse the man he despises.

Maverick billionaire Mark Cuban, who came out for Clinton, will be in the front row for Monday night’s debate. Presumably Cuban will be on hand to needle his fellow billionaire.

Why worry about climate change, says Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson.

In billions of years, the sun is going to actually grow and encompass the Earth, right? So global warming is in our future,” the former New Mexico governor said during a 2011 National Press Club luncheon event.

When you look at the amount of money we are looking to spend on global warming — in the trillions — and look at the result, I just argue that the result is completely inconsequential to the money we would end up spending,” Johnson also said. “We can direct those moneys to other ways that would be much more beneficial to mankind.

Now that is an inspiring thought.

Clinton is calling for a $65 billion tax increase on billionaire estates.

Hillary Clinton has made a commitment throughout this campaign to make sure there is a plan to pay for the progressive policies we have laid out,” said Mike Shapiro, an economic adviser to Clinton.

The new Quinnipiac University poll shows Clinton behind in all, but one of four battleground states.

Clinton is holding on in Virginia, but Trump has taken the lead in Colorado, Iowa and Georgia.

Both Trump and Clinton are off the trail this Friday prepping for Monday’s first Presidential Debate, moderated by NBC‘s Lester Holt.

By the way, Monday’s debate could impact the stock market.

Stocks usually rally if the incumbent party wins. If Hillary puts Trump away at this debate, you’ll see a broad rally in the S&P 500, and my thinking on Trump is if Trump wins, you’re going to get a sell-off into the election. It’s temporary. There’s just so much uncertainty with Trump, people are just going to go to a risk-off scenario,” said Daniel Clifton, head of policy research at Strategas.

Media types are already predicting this debate may come close to Super Bowl numbers in people tuning in to watch Clinton and Trump battle it out.

Sunday, 9/25/2016:

Texas Senator and former presidential candidate Ted Cruz did the unthinkable on Friday. He endorsed Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.

If Clinton wins, we know — with 100 percent certainty — that she would deliver on her left-wing promises, with devastating results for our country. My conscience tells me I must do whatever I can to stop that,” Cruz said in his statement.

We have fought the battle,” Trump said. “I look forward to working with him for many years to come.

In FBI documents released on Friday, an IT specialist working for Clinton referred to working on the “cover-up” referring to her private email server she used while Secretary of State.

Clinton had planned to travel this morning to Charlotte, North Carolina, but the police chief asked her not to come because of all the unrest in the city following the shooting of a black man earlier this week by police.

The two major party candidates have been off the trail most of the weekend prepping for tomorrow night’s first Presidential Debate at Hofstra University. That debate, expected to have Super Bowl number of viewers, will kick-off at 9 p.m. (ET).

In a Cornfield Polls survey which ended Friday night, if the election were held today, Trump would win. Trump garnered 70% of the vote. Clinton got 20% and Libertarian presidential nominee Gary Johnson received 10% of the votes.

A Washington Post/ABC News poll released today has the race neck-and-neck with Clinton at 46% and Trump at 44%.

Both Trump and Clinton had a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, with whom President Barack Obama has had a strained relationship.

GOP vice presidential candidate Mike Pence walked back his running mate’s tweet that Gennifer Flowers, who had an affair with then Governor Bill Clinton in the 1980s, would be the guest of Trump at the debate. Flowers, however, says she will be at the debate.

A professor, who has correctly predicted the outcome of every presidential election since 1984, says come November voters will hire Trump for the seat in the Oval Office.

Tune in next week for another Political Circus.

What’s on the Minds of Voters

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Monday night the two major presidential candidates, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, will look each other in the eye for the first time this political cycle at Hofstra University for the first of three Presidential Debates.

Just in time for this event that is expected to have maybe 100 million viewers tuning in at 9 p.m. (ET), Pew Research has released a new study of what is on voters’ minds.

One thing is very clear. These two are the most disliked of any candidates for President in history.

The main topic on people’s minds is how much they dislike the other candidate over the one for whom they plan to vote.

In other words, people are not voting for anyone – not even the Libertarian Gary Johnson nor the Green Party Dr. Jill Stein. Instead, voters are voting against a candidate whom they despise more than the others.

Check out this chart:

whyvoting

Some 33% voting for Clinton are because she is not Trump. While 32% of those voting for Trump are doing so because he is not Clinton.

When it comes to what concern people voting for either Trump or Clinton, it bears out that this is more about not voting for the other candidate.

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Trump voters are worried about his temperament and unpredictability, something which Clinton has been blasting Trump for on the stump.

While Clinton voters take issue with her dishonesty and secrecy, which Trump has effectively hit her rousing doubts on the trail.

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This election, even though the vote is against and not for a candidate, it may come down to which side the voters are most enthused about defeating. But enthusiasm for with either Clinton or Trump is minimal.

American voters are beyond just not happy about the choices or the shenanigans of this election cycle:

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Finally what do voters say in their own words?

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From the Cornfield, will anything change following tomorrow night’s debate?

Personally, I doubt it.

Disabled Americans Vote Too

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For most of my life I am what one would call a political junkie. Those years I spent as print reporter for a small town daily newspaper, I was most enthused when covering an election or other political doings.

Since 2001, I have been permanently 100% disabled, according to my doctors and the Social Security Administration. But my various disabilities in no quenched my passion for body politic.

Naturally it was with great interest that I ran across this new study from Pew Research: A Political Profile of Disabled Americans. The study revealed that 22% of Americans claim some type of disability. That is nearly 1/4 of us.

As you can see from this chart, disabled Americans do pay attention to politics:

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In fact compared to the rest of the population, we tend to have a greater interest in politics.

When it comes to actual casting a ballot day, however, the gap closes between the disabled and well-bodied, firm-minded American voters.

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In fact, the disabled are less likely to turn out to the polls. Those who do vote, mostly do so by absentee ballot, rather than in person.

Fortunately for me, my polling station is right across the street.

This hectic, topsy-turvy election season, the political leanings of the disabled tend to mirror those of the well-bodied voters:

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From the Cornfield, as long as I am physically and mentally able,you can count on me to continue my love of politics and share my views.

Cornfield Standings – 44 Days Out

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As of today there are 44 days until the November 8th General Election. This election may be one of the most crucial in decades.

Not only do we have a host of local and state elections occurring, but the both the US House of Representatives and US Senate face either retaining Republican control or either or both turning over to the Democrats.

Then there is the change in guard in the nation’s two highest offices – the President and the Vice President. Who wins the election for the Oval Office will also impact the direction of the US Supreme court for generations.

Each Saturday between now and Election Day, I will show where the top state and national candidates rate as far as getting my vote.

From the President to Governor to Senator and Representative, you can see how I am leaning from week to week.

President:

  • Libertarian Gary Johnson – 1/2 Ears of Corn
  • Republican Donald Trump 3 1/2 Ears of Corn
  • Democrat Hillary Clinton 0 Ears of Corn
  • Green Party Jill Stein 0 Ears of Corn

US Senator:

  • Democrat Evan Bayh – 4 Ears of Corn
  • Republican Todd Young – 0 Ears of Corn

8th District Congressional Representative:

  • Republican Dr. Larry Buschon – 4 Ears of Corn
  • Democrat Ron Drake – 0 Ears of Corn

Indiana Governor:

  • Democrat John Gregg – 4 Ears of Corn
  • Republican Eric Holcomb – 0 Ears of Corn

This does not mean between now and November my mind can’t be changed. This is just how I am leaning at this point in time.

From the Cornfield, that’s how I view the races.

How are you leaning in your state and national elections?

Political Circus: September 12-18

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Between now and election day, November 8, a look back at the political circus during the prior week.

Monday, 9/12/2016:

Sidelined.

Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton had to be helped away from 9/11 commemoration at Ground Zero on Sunday as a result of what her doctor said is pneumonia and dehydration.

Clinton, shown in a video, stumbled and nearly fell as Secret Service agents had to hold her up and put her in her vehicle to be whisked away to daughter Chelsea’s apartment.

Clinton then made her way home to Chappaqua, New York to recuperate.

Her planned trip to California for today and tomorrow has been cancelled.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump offered his well wishes to Clinton for a speedy recovery. He then announced he had a physical this past week and will release the results when they come back.

Word is Trump will reveal his physical results when he appears on the Dr. Oz show this week.

Hillary’s 47% moment: at a fundraiser with reporters in the room, Clinton said that half of Trump’s supporters belonged in a “basket of deplorables.”

Not good.

Millions of voters were maligned.

GOP 2012 presidential wannabe Mitt Romney did the same with his 47% remark. It cost him the election.

Clinton did say she regretted using the word, “half“, but stood by her remarks.

It is a virtual dead heat in both national and battleground state polls between Clinton and Trump.

Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson is moving up in state polls getting into double digits, but not the 15% threshold in national polls to qualify for the first Presidential Debate on Monday, September 26.

Trump is calling for the moderators to be nixed during the Presidential Debates. Trump proposes that he and Clinton appear on stage alone and slug it out verbally.

OOPs!

Roger Stone, erstwhile unofficial adviser to Trump, tweeted a picture of the poster from the movie “The Dependables” altered as “The Deplorables.” Donald Trump, Jr., one of Trump’s sons, posted the same image on Instagram. The origin of the image is unclear.

Unfortunately, in the photo-shopped poster there was also included a white supremacist symbol, Pepe the Frog.

Not good.

This comes after second son, Eric Trump, posted an image he labelled the arena from Florida where Trump was speaking Friday night to a packed house which turned out to be a picture of the arena for the Dallas Mavericks.

Tuesday, 9/13/2016:

Transparency!

Fuhgeddaboudit!

Anyone hoping for openness and transparency with either Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump or Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton must not be reading the tea leaves.

The name of the game is Only What I Think You Should Know.

GOP vice presidential candidate Mike Pence, who also happens to be Governor here in the Cornfield, is getting a lot of criticism for telling Wolf Blitzer that it is not his job to call people names.

Specifically, Pence refused to say that white supremacist, Ku Klux Klan Grand Dragon and candidate for US Senate in Louisiana, David Duke “deplorable.

Pence did say neither he nor Trump wanted Duke’s endorsement or support. Pence did denounce Duke’s ideology.

But, it would not have been in Pence’s character to label Duke as “deplorable.” I say that as a citizen of Indiana who is not a fan of our Governor nor did I vote for him in 2012.

Had Pence run for re-election, I would not be voting for him again this year.

Bad optics: while Trump was denouncing hate and bringing supporters on stage to push back on Clinton saying that half of Trump backers belong in a “basket of deplorables,” a supporter in the stands lashed out and attacked protesters during a campaign event last night.

Not good.

Clinton called in to talk with Anderson Cooper on CNN last night to reassure people she is recuperating from pneumonia and becoming over-heated on Sunday while attending a Ground Zero ceremony to commemorate the victims of 9/11.

Clinton said the reason it was not disclosed that she was sick was because she did not think “this would be such a big deal.

Meanwhile, Bill Clinton told Charlie Rose this is not the first time that his wife has had an episode such as what was seen in a video which went viral showing Clinton stumbling into her car on Sunday as she left the 9/11 event.

She had said the same about her private email server and destroyed emails while she was Secretary of State.

Oh, the guy who set up that private email server defied a congressional committee today and refused to appear after being subpoenaed.

President Barack Obama is out on the campaign trail today for Clinton and will do a fundraiser later this evening. The Prez currently has a 58% approval rating, even though the majority of the nation think under his leadership the country has been traveling the wrong direction.

This bodes well for Clinton.

Questions are being raised about how much money Trump has actually donated to his own foundation and how much of money doled out by the foundation has been his and not non-related donors.

The Supreme Court turned down a request to re-instate an Ohio state law that changed voting procedures. Golden Week voting procedures, when people could register and cast ballots in the same week, is no more.

The latest poll has Clinton with 42%, Trump 40%, Libertarian Gary Johnson 11% (he needs 15% to be in the Presidential Debate) and Green Party Dr. Jill Stein 4%.

The bigger news is that Clinton continues to lose ground with independents. Clinton now gets 38% to Trump’s 36% of those non-aligned voters.

The latest outrageous statement from Trump is that the Federal Reserve is in the can for Clinton and keeping rates low to get his rival elected.

The latest outrageous statement from Clinton that she did not think her health concern would be a big deal.

A former head of the Democratic National Committee is calling for a contingency plan in light of Clinton’s health scare on Sunday.

Now is the time for all good political leaders to come to the aid of their party. I think the plan should be developed by 6 o’clock this afternoon,” Don Folwer, who was chair of the DNC during the Clinton years, told Politico.

Republican Todd Young is giving Democrat Evan Bayh a run for his money in the race to fill the US Senate seat of retiring Senator Dan Coats of Indiana. Bayh has seen his double digits drop to four points against Young.

Wednesday, 9/14/2016:

The Democratic Attorney General of New York State is investigating the Trump Foundation to “to make sure it’s complying with the laws governing charities in New York.

That was the word on Tuesday to CNN‘s Jake Tapper from AG Eric Schneiderman.

After all the talk of investigating the Clinton Foundation, it was only a matter of time.

New York is also the only state going after Trump University as well.

That was just a few hours before Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump presented his child care program, written by daughter Ivanka and Washington State Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers.

As reported by the newsletter CNN Politics Nightcap:

Child care expenses would be fully tax-deductible, capped at the average cost of child care in the taxpayer’s state. The plan also calls for guaranteeing six weeks maternity leave to working mothers whose employers do not guarantee the time off by offering six weeks of unemployment insurance benefits.

President Barack Obama was in the City of Brotherly Love on Tuesday to raise the enthusiasm level and turn out the vote for Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton. Obama stressed that he “really, really, really want to elect Hillary Clinton.”

The Prez was truly relishing being back in his element – on the campaign trail.

It will be back on the trail for Clinton come Thursday, speaking at the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Gala.

She has been getting over her bout with pneumonia since becoming noticeably ill on Sunday during commemoration ceremonies at Ground Zero.

So where do presidential wannabes go when they ride off into the sunset?

If you are former Texas Governor Rick Perry, you land on ABC‘s Dancing with the Stars.

Where is Melania?

That’s the question being raised in some circles.

Traditionally, the spouse of a candidate is an active surrogate on the campaign trail. Melania Trump, however, is rarely seen.

The campaign of Trump says Melania is at home caring for 10-year-old son Barron.

In leaked, hacked emails, former Secretary of State and former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Colin Powell took aim at both Trump and Clinton. Powell is no fan of either.

Powell called Trump a “national disgrace” and an “international pariah“. The General in another email said that Clinton was a victim of her own “hubris,” causing her own self-inflicted wounds. He also referred to “Hillary’s mafia” trying to drag him into the private email server controversy.

Not a fan of either of the two most disliked presidential candidates in history.

Do not expect medical test results to be revealed when an interview of Trump by TV’s Dr. Mehmet Oz airs tomorrow. Those test results, according to the campaign, will be released later this week.

Then again, word just in, Trump showed up after all with a copy of his test results when he sat down with Dr. Oz for the taping this morning.

OK, so it seems Trump shared some info, but not as much as was anticipated.

The Governor of Kentucky Matt Bevin warns that if Clinton is elected there will likely be “bloodshed” in the streets.

Libertarian presidential and vice presidential candidates Gary Johnson and Bill Weld penned an open letter to the Presidential Debate Commission, asking it to allow Johnson on the stage for the first Presidential Debate on Monday, September 26, since Johnson is polling in double digits though not the threshold 15%.

In the letter, the candidates say if Johnson does not improve his numbers to the 15% after the debate, the two would not seek to be on the other two Presidential Debates nor the single Vice Presidential Debate.

The Libertarians point out they are the only candidates, besides the two major party candidates, to be on all 50 state ballots. The last time a 3rd party made it onto all 50 ballots was two decades ago.

Remember Ross Perot?

If elected, what will happen with the Trump businesses?

Reportedly, the businesses will be run by the Trump children in a blind trust. But questions are being raised about whether a President Trump would act in a way that is best for his companies bottom line or what is best for the US of A.

Could Trump’s business dealings impact national security?

Some are saying unless Trump completely divests from the Trump Organization, those dealings could affect US security.

Democrats in Congress are calling for a Justice Department probe into the 2013 contribution to a PAC for Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi from the Trump Foundation.

Trump when he discovered an error reported the error to the IRS and paid a fine of $2,500 on the $25,000 donation, which was refunded and paid from the correct account.

The race between the Cornfield’s two senatorial candidates, Evan Bayh and Todd Young, continues to tighten. The race could impact whether Republicans retain control of the US Senate or whether Democrats seize back the leadership.

A New York lawmaker running for re-election killed himself, sadly. Four days later he won the Republican Primary.

Local GOP party officials will now choose who they want to run against the Democratic candidate in November.

Thursday, 9/15/2016:

Interrupted.

That is what happened at a black church in Flint, Michigan on Wednesday while Republican presidential nominee was speaking.

When Trump began to go into his rote, political, stump speech, the Pastor of the church came out to cut him off.

We didn’t invite you here to make a political speech,” the Pastor informed Trump.

The Pastor also chastised a member in the audience to stop heckling and be polite.

This morning, Trump insinuated that the Pastor had planned on asking him not to do his usual spiel from the get-go.

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton released additional medical records late afternoon Wednesday.

In the release, Clinton’s doctor indicated she is in “excellent mental condition.

She continues to remain healthy and fit to serve as President,” the doctor wrote.

Oh and her case of pneumonia?

The doc says it is non-contagious and caused by bacteria, treatable with a 10-day-regimen of antibiotic.

If you have not read it yet, this is a must read from Newsweek: http://www.newsweek.com/2016/09/23/donald-trump-foreign-business-deals-national-security-498081.html

Please, Donald, no more saying Clinton does not have any policies – that’s all she is – a policy wonk!

Republican Homeland Security Chairman Michael McCaul of Texas announced late Wednesday to Wolf Blitzer on CNN‘s Situation Room that Russian hackers also hacked into the Republican National Committee.

The RNC released a statement saying there is “no known breach.

Within the hour, McCaul sent a message to say he misspoke. It was not the RNC, but Republican operatives that had been hacked.

How will this impact the election?

We already learned that the States of Arizona and Illinois voting records were hacked.

Which state or states could be next?

During the upcoming Presidential Debate on Monday, September 26, should the moderator fact-check the candidate on the spot or should that be the job of the other candidate?

Jim Lehrer and Bob Schieffer both believe it is the job of the candidates to fact-check each other. The moderator should only pose the questions and steer to the other candidate to rebut.

You’re not a judge, you’re a moderator,” Schieffer said in remarks at Notre Dame University in the northern Cornfield last night.

Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson pulled off another coup getting the endorsement of the century-old-Republican-endorsing Manchester Union-Leader, New Hampshire’s leading newspaper.

In today’s dark times, they are a bright light of hope and reason,” the newspaper’s endorsement editorial wrote about Johnson and running mate Bill Weld.

Clinton’s lead both in national polls and battleground states continues to erode. In fact in essential Florida and Ohio, Trump now has the top position.

Neck and neck: Clinton 46% Trump 44%.

Johnson has pulled up to 14%.

Another poll has Clinton with 41% and Trump with 39%.

Any way you look at it, that 10-point advantage following the Democratic National Convention has disappeared.

Donald Trump Jr. said this morning that his father’s tax return is 12,000 pages and if released would turn every American into a tax auditor, detracting from his father’s message on the campaign trail.

Oh, here is the pertinent part of the medical results Trump showed Dr. Mehmet Oz:

trumpmedical

In a speech today to The Economic Club of New York, Trump promised economic growth of at least 3.5%, if elected. Trump also said the tax rate would drop from 35% to 15% tops.

Clinton is back on the trail after taking the first half of the week off to recover from pneumonia.

Clinton added a stop in North Carolina to her schedule for today. Tonight she will be at the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Gala in Washington DC.

Friday, 9/16/2016:

The so-called birther movement is front and center.

It is back in a big way and biting Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump in the seat of the pants.

The issue is overshadowing Trump’s roll out on Thursday of a revised economic plan where he promised creation of 25 million jobs and a hefty cut in income tax rates.

This morning, Trump was expected to finally say that President Barack Obama was born in the US of A at the opening of his new hotel in Washington DC.

At that event were a number of flag and general officers as well as Medal of Honor recipients and other veterans pledging their support for Trump.

Keeping the suspense alive, in his opening remarks before the parade of military people, Trump said nothing.

Coming back at the end of the endorsements, “Hillary Clinton and her campaign of 2008 started the birther controversy. I finished it. I finished it, you know what I mean,” Trump said. “President Barack Obama was born in the United States. Period.”

The candidate then added, “Let’s get back to the issues that are important and make America strong and great again.

Trump walked off stage without staying to answer reporters questions.

To say the media is not happy would be an understatement.

As CNN‘s Dana Bash put it, “He played us.”

Then the press pool representative was “physically constrained” from going on the tour with Trump of his new hotel.

So much for the focus on the economic plan.

Kids say the darnedest things,” the late Art Linkletter used to say.

In the case of Donald Jr., he stirred controversy stating that Republicans will be sent to the “gas chamber” if they said some of the things Democrats say. This set off people shaking their heads that he was referring to the Holocaust.

Not so, the campaign said it was about being given a death sentence much like when his father said the same about the electric chair earlier in the year.

Then there was Ivanka hanging up the phone on a reporter doing an interview for Cosmopolitan when the fluff piece she thought would be the case turned into real questions about her father’s child care policy which she helped to write.

Left behind.

The traveling press corps was left on the tarmac while Trump went to a campaign event in New Hampshire last night. Trump joked about the press not being there.

The corps did arrive, finally, to catch the last three minutes of Trump’s speech.

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, speaking to a gathering of influential black women in Washington DC today, said that Trump owed President Obama a personal apology for his attempts to deligitimize “America’s first black President.

For five years, he has led the birther movement to delegitimize our first black president,” Clinton said, demanding that Trump apologize to Obama. “His campaign was founded on this outrageous lie. There is no erasing it in history.

Clinton took umbrage at the Trump campaign saying that Trump had done the country a service in pressing for the Prez to release his birth certificate.

Clinton said that Trump was digging into the “worst side” of Americans.

President Obama joked this morning, “I never had any doubt about where I was born.

Clinton returned to the campaign trail yesterday after being off most of the week recovering from a bout of pneumonia.

Trump said that Anderson Cooper, who will moderate the second Presidential Debate, should not be allowed to moderate because of working for CNN – “Clinton News Network.

Trump claims bias.

Clinton maintains that in spite of the polls showing a tightening race that she is a strong position to win in November.

By the way, according to the latest survey:

Beliefs that Obama was born outside the United States peaked at 26 percent among Republicans and 34 percent among self-identified tea party supporters, compared with 19 percent of independents and 12 percent of Democrats.

Can Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren and Vermont Senator and former presidential candidate Bernie Sanders enthuse Millenials to get out and vote for Clinton?

That is the big question in the Clinton campaign, who have been frustrated to see Millenials gravitating toward Libertarian Gary Johnson and Green Party Dr. Jill Stein.

Sunday, 9/18/2016:

What a muddled affair! Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump cannot stay on message to the chagrin of his campaign and his surrogates.

The latest is his talk of disarming the Secret Service agents guarding Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton. Republican vice presidential candidate Mike Pence called it “nonsense” that Trump was calling for a violent act on Clinton when Trump called for her security personnel be disarmed. 

Well I think, you know, Donald Trump believes in the safety and security of every American, and any suggestion otherwise regarding Secretary Clinton is just nonsense,” Pence said. “I mean, the point that he was making is that Hillary Clinton has had private security now in her life for the last 30 years, but she would deny the right of law-abiding citizens to have a firearm in their home to protect their own families. I think what Donald Trump was saying is that if Hillary Clinton didn’t have all that security, she’d probably be a whole lot more supportive of the Second Amendment.

Trump went out ahead of New York City officials on Saturday to comment on the bomb which went off in Manhattan, calling the explosion a bomb. Clinton waited several hours and asked everyone to wait on an official police report.

Yet in the polls, it is a dead heat now between the top two wannabes.

Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson will not be on the stage when Clinton and Trump debate on Monday, September 26.

President Barack Obama forcefully called on black voters to preserve his legacy by voting for Clinton in November during an event in Washington DC last night for the Congressional Black Caucus.

The President said it would be a “personal insult” if the black community does not vote for Clinton. 

We have achieved historic turnout in 2008 and 2012, especially in the African-American community. I will consider it a personal insult and an insult to my legacy if this community lets down its guard and fails to activate itself in this election,” he said. “You want to give me a good send-off? Go vote.

A Vice News reporter was arrested at a Trump event last night when he went into the Omni Hotel in Houston, Texas to inquire about the status of his request for press credentials.

Earlier today he was still being held in the Houston Central jail.

Not good.

Cast your vote in our Cornfield Polls National Presidential poll between now and Friday.

Tune in next week for another Political Circus.

Cornfield Standings – 51 Days Out

cornfieldstandings

As of today there are 51 days until the November 8th General Election. This election may be one of the most crucial in decades.

Not only do we have a host of local and state elections occurring, but the both the US House of Representatives and US Senate face either retaining Republican control or either or both turning over to the Democrats.

Then there is the change in guard in the nation’s two highest offices – the President and the Vice President. Who wins the election for the Oval Office will also impact the direction of the US Supreme court for generations.

Each Saturday between now and Election Day, I will show where the top state and national candidates rate as far as getting my vote.

From the President to Governor to Senator and Representative, you can see how I am leaning from week to week.

President:

  • Libertarian Gary Johnson – 1 Ears of Corn
  • Republican Donald Trump 3 Ears of Corn
  • Democrat Hillary Clinton 0 Ears of Corn
  • Green Party Jill Stein 0 Ears of Corn

US Senator:

  • Democrat Evan Bayh – 4 Ears of Corn
  • Republican Todd Young – 0 Ears of Corn

8th District Congressional Representative:

  • Republican Dr. Larry Buschon – 4 Ears of Corn
  • Democrat Ron Drake – 0 Ears of Corn

Indiana Governor:

  • Democrat John Gregg – 4 Ears of Corn
  • Republican Eric Holcomb – 0 Ears of Corn

This does not mean between now and November my mind can’t be changed. This is just how I am leaning at this point in time.

From the Cornfield, that’s how I view the races.

How are you leaning in your state and national elections?

Lest We Forget – 9/11/2001

From the Desert with feet planted firmly in the Cornfield

It seemed to be a quiet, sunny day in the dwindling hours of summer. People going about their business. Children rushed off to school. Flights of pleasure, business and fancy were seemingly soaring the skies peacefully.

Tranquility and a sense of safety were shattered in an instant as a commercial jetliner plowed into the World Trade Center (WTC). What first seemed to be nothing more than a tragic accident was quickly revealed to be more diabolic in nature.

The world watched horror-struck as a second jetliner in live airtime was shown deliberately crashing into the second tower of the WTC.

The unthinkable, that which seemed to only be comprehensible in a movie script, lifted from the page of fiction into the horrifying fact of reality. Life changed forever.

9-11-2

I rolled over. Opened my eyes. With blurred vision, I looked at the clock. 10:48 a.m. I sprang out of bed, shaking my head, wondering why I had slept so late.

I grabbed my robe, moving between my loveseats to turn on the television. I made my way back around what I called, my loveseat, to make my morning coffee.

Strangely I heard the voices of Katie Couric and Matt Lauer. In disbelief, disconcerted and shocked, I listened and learned about the attack on America.

Nearly spilling the water, I finished making my coffee. I stumbled back to my loveseat to watch and listen to the unfolding events.

I yelled at the troubled young man sleeping on my other loveseat, “Wake up! We’ve been attacked!

Frightened, not knowing what to do, how to react, what to say, the young man took off on his bike. Running, trying to find comfort, peace and some sense of what was happening.

I stayed glued to the TV.

Not only had two commercial planes been used as guided missiles exploding into the WTC, but another had been fatally directed at the Pentagon.

But, this was not the end.

The news revealed a fourth jetliner, its objective still unknown, was deflected from further mass destruction by the heroics of passengers. Passengers, who followed the highest law of Love.

Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:13 (KJV)

The unthinkable had become a deliberate, thought-out scheme of murder, destruction, mayhem, pain and suffering.

What had happened to America’s tranquility and safety?

Gone in moments.

What were and are we to do?

What could and can our leaders do?

What was and is America to do?

Life changed forever.

From the Cornfield, we pause, as we do each year, and remember the lives lost, the heroes, the resolve of a nation to not back down, to rise from the ashes and press on for a better day filled with peace, liberty and justice for all.

We will never forget.

We will never crumble.

We will stand tall.

We will cross any valley, climb any mountain, ford any stream and remain forever that shining city on a hill to which the world looks to find light in the darkness of ignorance, fear, intolerance and injustice.

Cornfield Standings – 58 Days Out

cornfieldstandings

As of today there are 58 days until the November 8th General Election. This election may be one of the most crucial in decades.

Not only do we have a host of local and state elections occurring, but the both the US House of Representatives and US Senate face either retaining Republican control or either or both turning over to the Democrats.

Then there is the change in guard in the nation’s two highest offices – the President and the Vice President. Who wins the election for the Oval Office will also impact the direction of the US Supreme court for generations.

Each Saturday between now and Election Day, I will show where the top state and national candidates rate as far as getting my vote.

From the President to Governor to Senator and Representative, you can see how I am leaning from week to week.

President:

  • Libertarian Gary Johnson – 1 Ears of Corn
  • Republican Donald Trump 2 1/2 Ears of Corn
  • Democrat Hillary Clinton 1/2 Ear of Corn
  • Green Party Jill Stein 0 Ears of Corn

US Senator:

  • Democrat Evan Bayh – 4 Ears of Corn
  • Republican Todd Young – 0 Ears of Corn

8th District Congressional Representative:

  • Republican Dr. Larry Buschon – 4 Ears of Corn
  • Democrat Ron Drake – 0 Ears of Corn

Indiana Governor:

  • Democrat John Gregg – 4 Ears of Corn
  • Republican Eric Holcomb – 0 Ears of Corn

This does not mean between now and November my mind can’t be changed. This is just how I am leaning at this point in time.

From the Cornfield, that’s how I view the races.

How are you leaning in your state and national elections?