Political Circus: September 26 – October 2


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

Monday, 9/26/2016:

It’s debate night in the nation.

The melee will get underway in the uncaged match at 9 p.m. (ET) at Hofstra University.

An expected viewership of the first Presidential Debate tonight may rival Super Bowl audiences as Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton looks Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump in the eye for the first time during this election cycle.

Who will come out as king or queen of the mountain and who will go rolling down the hill breaking his or her crown like Jack and Jill?

Psyche Out!

Things may get interesting at the debate with billionaire Mark Cuban on hand to stare down Trump. Clinton also invited a disabled American voter, who spoke at the Democratic National Convention to sit in plain sight of Trump.

Don King and Gennifer Flowers, with whom former President Bill and husband of Clinton had an affair, will try and rattle Hillary for The Donald.

Remember the debate will last at least 90 minutes with no breaks.

In a new poll from Bloomberg, in a 2-way race Trump and Clinton are deadlocked 46-46, but when Libertarian presidential nominee Gary Johnson and Green Party presidential candidate Dr. Jill Stein are added into the mix, Trump leads Clinton, 43-41.

A big issue even before the debate begins is whether moderator Lester Holt of NBC should fact-check the candidates in real time. The Commission on Presidential Debates, which controls the debates, says that the candidates should do it and the news agencies, but not the moderator.

Three major news media (The Los Angeles Times, Politico, The New York Times) came out with articles on Sunday highlighting the mis-truths that Trump continues to state as fact on the campaign trail.

A poll from Reuters/Ipsos reveals that 50% of likely voters say the debates will help them decide between Clinton and Trump.

USA Today has five things that both combatants need to do during tonight’s debate.

a. Play offense
b. Be more likable
c. Outline a positive vision
d. Go off script
e. Have a compelling answer about Iraq and Syria
Get the breakdown here: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/onpolitics/2016/09/26/what-hillary-clinton-needs-to-do-on-debate-night/90900222/

a. Meet the presidential threshold
b. Play good defense
c. Stay on the attack
d. Manage a one-on-one debate
e. Effectively handle the gender dynamic
Get the breakdown here: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/onpolitics/2016/09/26/what-donald-trump-needs-to-do-at-debate/90906950/

Will Clinton or Trump come out on top tonight?

Tell me what you think.

Get caught up on last week’s Political Circus!

Read what is on the Minds of Voters.

How attuned to politics are Disabled Americans?

Tuesday 9/27/2016:

Today the most watched Presidential Debate in history is over.

The number of viewers for the debate met the expectation. Early analysis shows that people stayed tuned for the full 98 minutes rather than switching the channel as is usually the case after the first half hour.

Some 80 million people tuned their television screens to view. Those tuning in online have not been calculated at this time.

Most people concede that Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton bested Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump in the first Presidential Debate at Hofstra University in New York last night.

My own take was that it was a draw.

You can read my take: Debate Changes Little.

Trump is not helping himself with female voters today as he harps on a former Miss Universe gaining weight after his comments to her were raised by Clinton during last night’s debate.

Donald, stop digging holes.

Still no apology from Trump about spearheading the drive to prove President Barack Obama was not born in the US of A, although the Prez was born in Hawaii and produced his birth certificate in 2011.

This does not bode well for making any gains in the black community.

Clinton hit Trump on not sharing his tax returns. Trump responded by saying he will release the tax returns when Clinton reveals the 33,000 emails she deleted.

Sniffing has been a major topic of discussion – wondering if Trump was sick or showing frustration.

Then there is the mic-gate issue.

It was on and off and it was much lower than hers,” Trump said about the microphone, which he said tested fine ahead of the debate. “I don’t want to believe in conspiracy theories of course, but it was much lower than hers and it was crackling.

Anybody who complains about the microphone is not having a good night,” Clinton said.

Hackers are upset that Trump implied that they are all obese and living with Mommy and Daddy.

NBC‘s Lester Holt is being praised for his lack of moderation and following pretty much the desire of the Commission on Presidential Debates and not constantly fact-checking the candidates in real time.

USA Today has this interesting trivia:

a. Trump interrupted Clinton at least 22 times in 26 minutes
b. Mexico was mentioned at least six times, and China at least 11 times
c. Number of times Clinton gave a shoutout to her husband? One
d. Trump brought up his endorsements at least three times
e. The ‘media’ was mentioned twice, but…
f. Clinton captured 54% of search interest among candidates on Google during debate

Get the breakdown: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/elections/2016/2016/09/27/debate-night-hofstra-university-by-the-numbers-trump-clinton/91150772/

Did you catch the Hillary shimmy?

Both Trump and Clinton met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu before last night’s debate. Netanyahu had this to say, “It doesn’t matter who will be elected — the American support for Israel will remain strong, this alliance will remain strong and will even get stronger in the coming years.

Clinton traveled to Raleigh, North Carolina today.

Trump is in Miami, Florida.

The Vice Presidential Debate between Democrat Tim Kaine and Republican Mike Pence will take place on Tuesday, October 4 at Longwood University  in Virginia.

Get caught up on last week’s Political Circus!

Read what is on the Minds of Voters.

How attuned to politics are Disabled Americans?

Wednesday 9/28/2016:

Even the polls and surveys are controversial in this year’s election cycle.

Online opt-in surveys gave Monday night’s first Presidential Debate a win for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.

The snap-polls, such as CNN/ORC, and most analysts and pundits, including Conservative ones, say Clinton won the debate.

It is dangerous to offer confident predictions of how the public will react to a debate immediately after it is concluded,” counseled the sages at Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball and the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics.

The instant polls you may see (or may have already seen) after the debate declaring one of the candidates the winner may or may not be meaningful, and in order to fully assess the impact we’re probably going have to wait until the end of the week, when new national and state polls will assess how the two candidates’ performances changed the race. It’s no fun to urge patience — but we think that’s better than making sweeping pronouncements in the aftermath of a widely-watched national event that voters may interpret quite differently than experts may expect.

My take on the first Presidential Debate: Debate Changes Little.

The Bridge-Gate trial could derail New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s chances of a spot in a Trump Administration, should the GOP take the White House.

The scandal already barred Christie from the Veep slot, which went to Indiana Governor Mike Pence.

Howard Dean (yes, the one of the scream fame or is that infamy) suggested in an interview yesterday that perhaps the reason Trump was sniffling through the debate was because of a possible cocaine habit.

What was that First Lady Michelle Obama said about when Republicans go low, the Democrats go high?

Like a snapping turtle waiting for the thunder clap, Trump has latched on and refuses to let go about the weight of a former Miss Universe.

The issue tripped him up even more during the final minutes of the debate when Clinton (not going high, but low) brought up Trump’s alleged comments about the former beauty queen.

And that former Miss Universe and Miss Venezuela, now a US citizen, made the rounds of the news networks to tell her story of Trump’s misogyny.

Expect to see President Barack Obama to be more hands on in the election. Soon you may see him in those campaign ads for Clinton.

Another 18 states have asked for federal help to protect polling equipment after it was revealed that Arizona and Illinois systems were hacked.

In a first time ever, another stalwart Republican-endorsing newspaper, the Arizona Republic is breaking tradition and endorsing Clinton instead of Trump.

Clinton surrogates are out in force today – Michelle Obama, Bernie Sanders, vice presidential candidate Tim Kaine are fanning out to build on Clinton’s trumping of Trump Monday night.

Undecided voters in focus groups were shocked when Trump said not paying taxes made him smart during Monday’s debate.

Colin Kaepernick, who has inspired a national anthem protest, had this to say about Clinton and Trump after a few minutes of debate watch:

It was embarrassing to watch that these are our two candidates,” Kaepernick told reporters Tuesday. “Both are proven liars and it almost seems like they’re trying to debate who’s less racist.

And at this point … you have to pick the lesser of two evils. But in the end, it’s still evil.

Trump said he was “holding back” during the debate, but the gloves will be coming off when he faces Clinton at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri for the second Presidential Debate on October 9.

The Vice Presidential Debate between Democrat Tim Kaine and Republican Mike Pence will take place on October 4 at Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia.

Thursday 9/29/2016:

The first poll is out since Monday night’s debate.

The Politico/Morning Call poll found that Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton gained 1 percentage point since the last poll before the debate.

Clinton moved up to 41% while Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is at 38%.

Poor Gary Johnson.

The Libertarian Party presidential candidate had another one of those “OOPs!” moments.

Once more he had another “brain freeze“, in his words, when asked by MSNBC‘s Chris Matthews who his favorite foreign leader was. Johnson managed to get out “the former President of Mexico,” but could not come up with his name, Vincente Fox.

I guess I’m having an Aleppo moment,” Johnson said.

Matthews turned to running mate Bill Weld to save the day, who responded Germany’s Angela Merkel.

Will it matter to those voters who cannot bring themselves to vote for Clinton or Trump?

Wonder if The Detroit News, which broke its 143-year tradition of endorsing the Republican nominee, wants to withdraw its endorsement of Johnson today?

Trump has directed his team to drudge back up the scandal of former President Bill Clinton’s affairs.

Will it work with those undecideds and Millennials?

Doubtful when many of them were not even alive or too young to recall those days when the debate was about what the meaning of the word “is” is.

Did Trump dabble in Cuba nearly 20 years ago though there was an embargo against American companies doing business with the island nation, thus breaking the law?

Since Trump seems to be obsessed with women’s weight, Missouri Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill wants The Donald to do daily weigh-ins.

A gun club in North Carolina is raffling off a picture of Clinton, which it says is popular on gun ranges, along with an AR-15.

Interesting tidbit from left-leaning Public Policy Polling.

Seems that the current President would not do much better than Clinton if he was on the ballot facing Trump in some of the battleground states:

In Pennsylvania, Obama’s running dead even with Clinton; both lead Trump 49-44. In Colorado, there’s a one-point difference: Obama leads Trump 52-43, Clinton leads the mogul 51-44. There are slightly larger differences in Virginia (Obama 53-43, Clinton 49-43), North Carolina (Obama 53-43, Clinton 49-45), and Florida (Obama 50-47, Clinton 48-45).

Chelsea Clinton said on Wednesday that attacks on her parents is a family “tradition.”

Now Google is rigged against Trump, according to the candidate. Trump is touting Google is suppressing the negative about Clinton while putting his darker side out there for all to see.

Get ready for another dump of emails. The State Department is finishing processing another 3,000 of the missives from Clinton.

The Vice Presidential Debate between Democrat Tim Kaine and Republican Mike Pence will take place on October 4 at Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia.

Trump and Clinton meet again at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri for the second Presidential Debate on October 9.

Friday 9/30/2016:

With a fervence not usually seen, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump is causing a Twitter storm in his bid to win over the coveted pitbull vote.

The Donald has latched on like one of the beloved and hated canine breed going after another dog on the controversy swirling around his interactions with a former Miss Universe as well as the marital infidelity of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s husband, former President Bill Clinton.

But pitbulls do not vote.

Libertarian presidential nominee Gary Johnson is trying to put a positive face on his inability to name a foreign leader he admires by tweeting that 24 hours have passed. Johnson still cannot think of a single, living foreign leader he looks up to.

Clinton is letting Trump self-destruct while she courts Millennial voters.

Johnson continues to attract those Millennials, keeping them away from a vote for Clinton.

Why do Millennials matter so much?

The group is now 25% of the electorate.

Since breaking tradition and endorsing Clinton, the Arizona Republic‘s staff has been subjected to threats, including death threats.

This ought not to be.

Oh and The Detroit News is standing by its endorsement of Johnson even with his “Aleppo moments.”

You can also add The Chicago Tribune to the list of Johnson backers. And this after his two OOPs! blanks.

While on the topic, USA Today has come out for the first time ever with a “disendorsement” of Trump. But, the national paper made clear it is not endorsing Clinton.

Battleground state polls are out.

Clinton has pulled ahead of Trump from 4 (Florida) to 7 (Michigan, New Hampshire) points following Monday’s debate.

Foundation woes – no, not the Clinton Foundation, but the Trump Foundation.

Did the foundation have the certification to solicit donations?

That’s the thrust of an ongoing story in The Washington Post.

Clinton is touting a new National Service Reserve she will create to facilitate young people giving back to the nation.

Uh-oh, the King of All Media says that Trump was for the Iraq War before it began.

A divide with the Prez – Clinton told donors at a February fundraiser she did not agree with President Barack Obama’s plan to upgrade the US nuclear arsenal.

The City of Phoenix, Arizona has sent a cease and desist order to the Trump campaign over use of a photo of Trump shaking hands with the city’s finest dressed in blue.

It was a battle of the blondes when Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway sat down for an interview with Fox‘s Megyn Kelly:

You know that’s not true. You know,” Kelly fired back. “You know he has repeatedly made comments about women, about their looks, about their size, their weight. Even in this campaign, talking about [former GOP presidential candidate] Carly Fiorina’s face, retweeting a negative picture about Heidi Cruz’s face, criticizing Hillary Clinton and her ‘look.’ And, Kellyanne, this is an issue for him, is it not?”

“I’m just wondering why she’s spending tens of millions of dollars in negative ads and negative mail pieces and never putting together an aspirational, positive vision,” Conway said.

“Because she’s killing him with women and she sees an advantage there and she’s trying to exploit it,” Kelly replied, turning to Trump’s most recent comments about former Miss Universe Alicia Machado. “And my question to you is whether he needs to come up with a better answer than telling ‘Fox and Friends,’ ‘Well, she gained a bunch of weight when she won Miss Universe and she was a real problem.‘”

Did you read about the 19 deceased Virginians who just registered to vote?

Seems one of those was part of The Greatest, fighting in World War II, dying in 2014, but just now registered to vote.

You got to read this for yourself: https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/virginia-politics/he-fought-in-world-war-ii-he-died-in-2014-and-he-just-registered-to-vote-in-va/2016/09/29/5e0bffee-8670-11e6-ac72-a29979381495_story.html

The Vice Presidential Debate between Democrat Tim Kaine and Republican Mike Pence will take place on Tuesday at Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia.

Trump and Clinton meet again at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri for the second Presidential Debate on Sunday, October 9.

Sunday 10/2/2016:

Yes, there really was a problem with Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s microphone at this past Monday night’s debate with Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton. That is the word from the Commission on Presidential Elections.

Naturally Trump is crowing, “I told you so.”

The New York Times is reporting that Trump lost nearly $1 billion in 1995, which would legally exempt him from paying taxes for up to 18 years.

Clinton is catching heat for talking about supporters of Bernie Sanders as “living in their parents’ basements.” Clinton also accused Sanders of making “false promises.”

They’re children of the Great Recession. And they are living in their parents’ basement,” Clinton says in the audio clip, first published by the Washington Free Beacon earlier this week.

They feel that they got their education and the jobs that are available to them are not at all what they envisioned for themselves. And they don’t see much of a future. That is a mindset that is really affecting their politics,” Clinton noted, speaking to donors at a private event in McLean, Virginia.

If you’re feeling like you’re consigned to, you know, being a barista, or you know, some other job that doesn’t pay a lot, and doesn’t have much of a ladder of opportunity attached to it, then the idea that maybe — just maybe — you could be part of a political revolution is pretty appealing.”

But she still wants that Millennial vote, which mostly went for Uncle Bernie.

Trump’s middle of the night Twitter storm about a former Miss Universe is causing a storm of its own and playing into the Clinton story line that he is not fit for the Oval Office. The feud between Trump and the Venezuelan beauty queen has been the story of the week, following Clinton bringing her up in the closing moments of Monday night’s debate.

The story has dominated rather than the actual debate.

Trump said Clinton was “nasty,” but that he could be “nastier.” He set about to prove that over the weekend, mocking Clinton’s health issue when she was sidelined with pneumonia and slamming her about her husband’s past infidelities.

Florida Senator Marco Rubio and Nevada Congressman Joe Heck, a combat surgeon, pulled off the campaign trail to give assistance when he came upon a multi-vehicle accident. The two had been stumping in West Virginia when they came upon the accident as they returned to their hotel.

Jeanette and I send our prayers and condolences to the family of the individual who tragically lost their life in Thursday night’s accident in West Virginia,” Rubio said in a statement.

I want to thank all of the first responders who arrived quickly and did their jobs with swift professionalism. Please join me in praying for all those affected.”

Lisa and I want to join the Rubios in offering prayers and condolences to those grieving and wish a speedy recovery to the injured,” Heck said in a statement.

As always, we have great respect for the first responders who handle such cases every day.”

And you thought politicians only look out for themselves. The latest from

Libertarian presidential nominee Gary Johnson, “I have to get smarter.”

You think?

Isn’t it amazing how religious politicians get during election time then govern like the devil?

Both Clinton and Trump have been making the rounds speaking at churches.

So far Johnson has picked up six major newspaper endorsement from normally Republican-backers. Trump has the support of 0.

An Associated Press/NORC poll reveals nearly half of Trump supporters believe the election results will be rigged.

Why isn’t any of the candidates talking about the Supreme Court?

Read my take: Major Election Concern – Supreme Court.

The Vice Presidential Debate between Democrat Tim Kaine and Republican Mike Pence will take place on Tuesday at Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia.

Will Pence be able to apply the right salve to heal the self-inflicted wounds Trump has caused this past week?

Trump and Clinton meet again at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri for the second Presidential Debate on Sunday, October 9.

Tune in next week for another Political Circus.

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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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