The Chris and Bobby Show

From the Desert with feet planted firmly in the Cornfield
From the Desert with feet planted firmly in the Cornfield

Ah, yes, it was Republican debate night in America last night. For the fourth time Americans got to see presidential wannabes face each other to talk about the issues in not one, but two debates.

The first debate was among the four candidates the hosts deemed were the bottom tier. Three candidates failed to get on stage – Lindsey Graham, who has been the winner in the bottom tier during the other debates; George Pataki and Jim Gilmore, who has been shut out in all, but one debate.

Competing in the 7 o’clock hour were: Chris Christie, Bobby Jindal, Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum. For Christie and Huckabee, they had been sent down from the majors and back to the minors after being top tier in the previous three sparrings.

It quickly became evident that what we witnessed in this first debate should aptly be called, The Chris and Bobby Show.

Christie, who once was considered a main contender until a bridge washed out a clear path, clearly won the fight as Jindal came out swinging as only a no-chance to win the title fighter can. The two men dominated the show.

Both Huckabee and Santorum stayed true to their goal of being the social conservatives choice, but were more sideshows to the real tournament event which was the back and forth between the two sitting governors.

While Jindal kept touting his record in Louisiana’s outgoing chief executive and thrashing at his GOP rivals, Christie kept deflecting the punches and jabbing back at presumed Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. Jindal did get in a few good jabs at both Christie’s and Huckabee’s expense, it was Christie who kept getting most of the applause from the crowd.

Santorum each time he spokeĀ  turned every question into a defense of the family unit, which he said was the cog that kept the American engine running. Huckabee sounded knowledgeable and on point when he received the tag to step into the ring.

But each time the two made a point it was quickly forgotten as the camera was forced to turn back to the real match between Christie and Jindal. When the dust settled, though he remained standing, Jindal was TKO’d by the quicker jabbing Christie.

The win for the night went to Christie. The fighter that first attracted attention was back in form Tuesday night. Question though was it enough?

Coming in next in points would be Huckabee. Huckabee, an Iowa winner in 2008, proved he had not, as so many other politicians, evolved from where he stood seven years ago.

Santorum did not win nor lose, but stood his ground.Sticking to his family argument, Santorum surely was the featured vocalist the members in the Iowa pews were waiting to hear.

Jindal, though passionate, found himself a victim of a Jersey snow plow. Try as he did, he really did not prove his case that he is the only real conservative in the race.

From the Cornfield, we now have a 5-week respite until Republicans once more step into the ring on December 15, when CNN once more hosts the event or events. Do not expect to see any of these four to drop out.

As Santorum pointed out on CNN today when talking with Ashleigh Banfield, he was down with only 2% in the polls in Iowa when he won the state in 2012.

To Our Veterans – Salute!

From the Desert with feet planted firmly in the Cornfield
From the Desert with feet planted firmly in the Cornfield

On Wednesday, November 11, we stop and give thanks for all those who have served the nation in uniform, protecting the freedoms we hold so dear. Some gave the ultimate sacrifice of their lives in order to ensure that we have the life we so proudly proclaim.

Their sacrifice is honored with each election where not by coup, but by ordinary Americans casting a ballot and choosing those who will lead and represent them. The power and authority of those officials are transferred from one elected official to the next, from the precinct level to the highest office in the land, the Presidency, without the need for troops in the streets because of those who answered the call to duty, honor and service.

The ability to vote, the ability to choose, the ability to speak our minds, the ability to worship or not worship, the ability to write these words without fear, the ability to work, to succeed, to fail, to rise above our circumstances, all of this we owe to those men and women who fought for peace, justice and freedom.

None of our liberties came without cost and thus we owe a debt to each of our veterans and to those who still serve.

On a more personal note:

Normandy Award to Luther C. Powell

In those dark days following the sneak attack by the Imperial Japanese Navy on Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941, four brothers from Nashville, Brown County, Indiana lined up at the recruiting office and joined the US Navy. These four brothers went off to save the world for democracy both in the European Theater and in the Pacific.

Three made it back home at the close of World War II. The one who didn’t return was my Uncle Homer. My grandfather and his other two brothers, Herman and Wesley, came home, but changed, never to be the same.

First Sergeant Jack L. Hollifield

My step-father, a fresh-faced kid from Sullivan County, Indiana didn’t wait to be drafted. He went to the recruiting office and signed up to be a soldier for Uncle Sam. He survived, though wounded once, three tours in Viet Nam. He remained in the US Army to retire after 20 years as an E-8 First Sergeant.

USN veteran Allen Powell

My grandfather’s only son, my uncle, later followed in his father’s footsteps and sailed off on the ocean blue with the Navy. He served around the world, then came home.

Allen's Honorable Discharge

All of these veterans within my own family are now gone, but not forgotten.

AFC Mark after USAF Basic Training

Their service made it possible for me to join the US Air Force in 1976. My time was spent at Grissom AFB, right here in the Cornfield.

It also allowed my step-brother, John Hollifield, a few years later to join the US Army. Unfortunately, we lost him in a drunk driving incident after he did his duty and was home.

The sacrifice of my grandfather, great-uncles and step-father also allowed all of us to still be living in the land of the free and the home of the brave.

This is why I am always appreciative of those who choose to serve in our military. This is why I always have an empathy and a connection to the families left behind to keep the home fires burning to shine the light to lead our service members home.

Each November 11th, we celebrate, not just the veterans of that long ago war that was to be the war to end all wars, but the holiday has evolved to celebrate and to show appreciation for all who have served our great nation and those who continue to serve.

From the Cornfield, veterans, I salute you and thank you!