Where Do They Stand? Anybody?

2016 Election Season – Just the facts, ma’am, just the facts!

The first debate (or was that two debates?) in the 2016 presidential election has passed. There were slight movers, no shakers, but there was fall-out.

Republicans have taken the stage, but we have to wait until October for the Democrats. Who knows if we will get a chance to hear from the Libertarians, Constitutionalists, Greens, Reformists or the independents.

With the summer of campaigning halfway completed, what do we know about the two major party candidates and their positions on the issues?

Donald Trump wants to build a wall between the US and Mexico and make Mexico pay for it, which is not going to happen. Trump also thinks the Mexican government is sending the dregs of society to our country since our government leaders are “stupid” and will take these troublemakers in, making them our problem.

Hillary Clinton wants to hand out a free, two-year college degree and pay for it later with more taxes from American workers. Clinton also wants us all to ride bicycles to help the environment while she boards a private jet.

Bernie Sanders wants the minimum wage to be a phased rise to $15 per hour and a “living wage”.  Sanders also wants to cut the cozy ties between Wall Street and Hillary and all the Republicans.

Jeb Bush wants education to stay in the hands of locals, but with core standards. Bush also wants to do what his father could not and beat a Clinton.

Martin O’Malley erroneously thought that each and every life matters until he was forced to apologize and recognize only certain lives matter.

Ted Cruz thinks everyone is wrong and a liar except himself.

Rand Paul thinks government should stay out of people’s personal business. Paul also thinks we should defeat terrorism, but keep our nose out of the world’s affairs.

Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum are for ending, any way possible, equality for all American couples. The tactics and statements are straight out of the mid 1960s when those tactics were so successful in putting the Supreme Court in its place for declaring bans on inter-racial marriages unconstitutional.

Marco Rubio is all for fixing our immigration problem and a pathway to legal residence. Rubio is also dead set against having re-established diplomatic relations with Cuba.

John Kasich has a similar view on immigration as Rubio. Kaisch is open to loving everybody. He is also in favor of expanding Medicaid, though he is not a fan of the Affordable Care Act.

Carly Fiorina, a former corporate executive officer, is not a fan of paternity and maternity leave – surprise, surprise. Fiorina also thinks Hillary is the wrong woman for the job. Fiorina knows how to handle men in the boardroom as she has all over the world – unlike Hillary who can’t handle one man.

Lindsey Graham is in the race only to keep the focus on national security and the threat of jihadism. Graham has no delusions about being able to get the nomination.

Jim Gilmore is the man who is telling us, “I told you so” on the threat of Al Qaeda and the Islamic State.

Dr. Ben Carson is the brain surgeon, retired, who knows where to cut and how to cut, causing the least pain – but does that translate into economics? Carson also advocates moving on from race and uniting all as Americans.

Chris Christie knows how to deal with a Democratic majority. But can he deal with a Republican majority?

Scott Walker is all for busting public unions. Walker may have maxed out his credit card, but he will have a plan to fix the economy – eventually.

George Pataki, the three-term former governor of New York, has a plan to try and make it to the next debate.

Jim Webb – is he still in the race on the Democratic side?

Rick Perry is learning that song, “If We Make It Through December” and changing the month to September. Too busy figuring out how to keep staffers on the job without pay to worry about the issues and policy.

Bobby Jindal – is he still in the race on the Republican side?

If we go to the candidates websites (a simple search will get you there), sadly we will find little to no substance. There is no meat on most of the bones, if there is even a bone.

So where do the candidates stand and what workable plans do they have on:

A. The Economy

B. Job Creation (good jobs, not just low paying jobs)

C. The National Debt and Budget

D. Energy and the Environment

E. Terrorism

F. Uniting Americans

G. Safety Nets and Sustainability

H. Down-sizing Government

I. Campaign Finance

J. Wall Street, the Markets, Banks

From the Desert with my feet planted firmly in the Cornfield, as I look through the stalks of corn and navigate through the cacti trying not to get stuck, it may be early in the political season, but we know very little on what matters from any of the candidates.


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I am Mark Ivy, a born and bred Hoosier.
I am father to two wonderful sons, Dave and Kev, of whom I am very proud;
two terrific daughters-in-law, Anna and Hailey; three beautiful granddaughters, Dylan, Alaina and Amelia.

On May 9, 2017, my lung specialist hit me with the news I had maybe six months to live if the chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), the damage caused by the histoplasmosis described below, ran its normal course. I am now on hospice at home. Content and ready to cross over the river to the other side.

On September 2, 2014, I was diagnosed with disseminated histoplasmosis, a fungal infection, discovered by a biopsy of my larynx.
The infection is fatal if left untreated. For 2 1/2 years I lived under a death sentence being misdiagnosed
with a non-specific bacterial infection which left my right lung a “dried up sponge” and non-functioning.
I was aggressively treated for the infection with antifungals.
The treatment ended October of 2015 and fortunately did not take two years.

I suffer from chronic Horton’s Syndrome. The effects vary widely causing various problems.
Statistically, Horton’s affects only 0.1% of the population. Major depression also attacks me regularly.

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