Political Circus: October 3 – 9

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

Monday, 10/3/2016:

Did Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump legally not pay any federal income taxes for nearly two decades after reporting a nearly $1 billion loss in 1995?

Does it matter?

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.

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

You think?

Can Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton be able to attract the must-get Millennial vote after her disparaging remarks behind closed doors about supporters of former rival Bernie Sanders?

Did Trump suggest Clinton played around on her husband, former President Bill?

Reportedly, Wikileaks is set to release damaging information which was hacked in the past year from the Democratic National Committee and other Democratic entities, which will spell trouble for the Clinton campaign.

If the numbers who turned out for a Trump rally in Manheim, Pennsylvania on Saturday night are any indication, Trump has the Amish vote.

Johnson is polling over 20% in both Colorado and New Mexico – the Clinton camp is worried.

The National Educators Association (NEA) is putting the onus square on Trump for a rise in bullying in schools. The union does back Clinton.

Worried about keeping control of the US House of Representatives and the US Senate, House Speaker Paul Ryan is out on the trail stumping for endangered Republicans.

Ryan plans a swing through 17 states and 42 cities from several corners of the nation, from Texas to Florida to New York.

A recent Associated Press-GfK poll found that nearly 7 in 10 third-party supporters say they could still change their minds.

Saturday Night Live made its season debut Saturday night ripe with fodder from last Monday’s debate making hay out of both Trump and Clinton.

The jokes hit both candidates, but much more so Trump, which was expected with the writers and actors decidedly with a liberal bent and with ultra-liberal Alex Baldwin doing the impression of Trump.

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 this Sunday.

Will the candidates talk about the Supreme Court?

Tuesday 10/4/2016:

The Vice Presidential Debate between Democrat Tim Kaine and Republican Mike Pence will takes place on tonight at Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia at 9 p.m. (ET)

Moderating tonight’s debate will be CBSN anchor Elaine Quijano, the first ever digital reporter to sit in that seat. She is also the first Asian-American moderator.

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

Question is: Will anyone bother to watch the #2s face-off?

Following a terrible week for Trump, new polls have Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton up by 5 points, 47% to 42%.

Cease and desist.

Late yesterday, the Trump Foundation was served a cease and desist order on soliciting donations in the State of New York from the State Attorney General’s office.

Speaking before veterans on Monday, Trump talked about the suicide epidemic among returning military members, those with PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder). Trump said they were not strong.

This has led to rebuke from some, including Vice President Joe Biden. However, the veteran who posed the question to Trump, did not see things the way others did.

Putting on the pressure, Clinton suggested a new law to force presidential candidates to reveal their tax returns in order to run for the nation’s highest office.

Some 20 states have been victims of attempted hacks of their election systems, it was revealed on Monday.

While Julian Assange of Wikileaks notoriety said more documents will be released soon, it will not be today or tomorrow it looks like.

There has been a misquoting of me and Wikileaks publications … (suggesting) we intend to harm Hillary Clinton or I intend to harm Hillary Clinton or that I don’t like Hillary Clinton. All those are false,” Assange said.

The material that WikiLeaks is going to publish before the end of the year is of … a very significant moment in different directions, affecting three powerful organizations in three different states as well as … the U.S election process,” he said via a video link at an event marking the group’s 10th anniversary.

Forbes has downgraded Trump’s net worth to $3.7 billion and placed in 156th of the top 400 wealthiest Americans.

A new analysis from The Washington Post says these five states are key to the GOP holding on to the US Senate: Indiana, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina and Pennsylvania.

The Cornfield will very likely go for Evan Bayh, the Democratic candidate, to replace retiring Republican Senator Dan Coats. Tea Party darling Todd Young is pulling closer, but still expected to lose.

The Hill provides us five things to watch for during tonight’s Vice Presidential Debate:

a. Can Pence change the narrative?
b. Will tax returns dominate the debate?
c. Can Kaine give strong defense of Clinton?
d. Do voters care?
e. Will there be a memorable moment?

The breakdown: http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/presidential-races/299047-five-things-to-watch-for-in-the-vice-presidential-debate

Did Trump use his charitable foundation to fund his launch for the White House?

A new story from Real Clear Politics is suggesting that the business mogul did just that: http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2016/10/04/trump_used_foundation_funds_for_2016_run_filings_suggest.html

Incumbent New Hampshire Senator Kelly Ayotte stumbled over whether Trump is a good role model for her children during a debate with Democratic rival Governor Maggie Hassan last night.

Ayotte and Hassan are in a battle royale, which could determine control of the Senate.

The Clinton Foundation plans to lay off 74 employees due to the discontinuation of the Clinton Global Initiative.

Wednesday 10/5/2016:

Republican vice presidential candidate Mike Pence squared off with Democratic vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine in what turned out to be anything, but a boring debate last night.

Pence came out on top as Kaine seemed pushy and rude.

But the big question is did Pence stop the bleeding from self-inflicted wounds his running mate, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, opened over the past week?

What does seem apparent is that American voters were introduced to the front runner in the 2020 or 2024 presidential race on the GOP side of the aisle.

Sorry, other Republican wannabes (Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio), Pence has claimed and owns the mantle of Ronald Reagan.

My take on last night: Pence Takes the Night.

Prior to last night’s Vice Presidential Debate, the Republican National Committee went Willy Horton on Kaine with a new web ad.

For the first time this election cycle, social politics entered the conversation when at the end of the debate there was a discussion about abortion.

Both sounded reasonable, but for Trump, Pence’s remarks will not engender him to needed female voters.

Former President and husband of the Democratic presidential nominee called the Affordable Care Act aka Obamacare, “the craziest thing in the world.”

Ouch!

A 15-year-old, sophomore girl asked Clinton about what she would do to counter Trump’s body shaming women, which is having an impact on her and other girls at her school.

Ouch!

Does not help Trump with women voters.

Does this make sense?

Clinton has out on the trail with her: Kaine, Vice President Joe Biden, First Lady Michelle Obama, President Barack Obama, Senator Uncle Bernie Sanders, Senator Elizabeth Warren.

Trump has himself and Pence.

So why as Clinton asks isn’t she 50 points ahead instead of being locked in such a close campaign?

Word is former Vice President Al Gore will soon be out stumping for Clinton as well.

Nearly half as many people tuned into the debate.

Kaine interrupted Pence over 70 times during their face-off.

Son #2, Eric Trump, told CNN‘s Dana Bash last night that Trump has paid federal income taxes over the past 20 years.

Scuttlebutt has it that Trump is a bit peeved that Pence upstaged him during his performance at last night’s debate.

Gucifer 2.0, the hacker believed to be an agent or agents of the Russian government, released some documents purported to be from a hack of the Clinton Foundation, but the veracity of the documents is in question.

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

The format will be a town hall, which will have voters asking most of the questions. The candidates will have to relate one-on-one with those voters.

My choice for US Senator from Indiana: Why Bayh.

Thursday 10/6/2016:

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump took credit for his running mate Mike Pence winning the debate of the vice presidential candidates on Tuesday night because he picked Pence to fill the #2 spot on the ticket.

The latest in the apparent ill-informed world of Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson: when asked to name the leader of North Korea, Johnson blanked again.

Johnson’s excuse?

It’s because we elect people who can dot the I’s and cross the T’s on these names and geographic locations as opposed to the underlying philosophy, which is, let’s stop getting involved in these regime changes.

OK…

I guess ignorance must truly be bliss.

Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton may be off the campaign trail prepping for Sunday night’s debate, but she is moving ahead in all the battleground state polls.

Some 30 former Republican legislators signed a letter in opposition to Trump.

With Hurricane Matthew threatening the Atlantic Seaboard, both Trump and Clinton offered words of warning.

Hurricane #Matthew is a major storm. I urge everyone to follow emergency instructions and evacuate if you’re told to. Stay safe Florida,” Clinton tweeted on Thursday.

Praying for everyone in Florida. Hoping the hurricane dissipates, but in any event, please be careful,” Trump tweeted.

The Atlantic is stingy with its endorsements. In fact only twice before has the magazine endorsed – Abraham Lincoln in 1860 and Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964.

That is in the last 160 years or so.

For only the third time, citing a lack of qualification to lead the nation, The Atlantic came out for Clinton.

…we are mainly concerned with the Republican Party’s nominee, Donald J. Trump, who might be the most ostentatiously unqualified major-party candidate in the 227-year history of the American presidency.”

Friday 10/7/2016:

Matthew or no Matthew, Florida Governor Rick Scott will not extend the deadline to register to vote in November’s General Election.

A new batch of some 200 emails released by the State Department from Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton indicate that State and the Clinton Foundation did work together on ensuring donors to the foundation landed on guest lists of State functions.

The documents also reveal the White House coordinated with the Clinton campaign on the email scandal. (http://www.wsj.com/articles/white-house-coordinated-on-clinton-email-issues-new-documents-show-1475798310)

That town hall Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump had in New Hampshire last night turned out not to be debate prep, according to Trump. Judging the way it went, Trump was right saying so.

#NeverTrump independent presidential candidate Evan McMullin has picked Mindy Finn, a political and digital strategist as his running mate in his long-shot bid.

Clinton and Trump are off the trail today. However, Clinton big gun surrogates are out and stumping hard.

Reportedly, cases of election stress disorder are popping up all over the nation.

Could Hurricane Matthew affect the presidential election?

According to this article it could: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2016/10/07/3-ways-big-storms-like-hurricane-matthew-can-impact-an-election/

It is an interesting read.

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At a meeting with his National Border Patrol Council, Trump accepted the suggestion from one council member that the Administration is speeding up the immigration process to allow the new immigrants to vote for Clinton.

To me, that’s huge,” Trump said. “They’re letting people pour into the country so they can go and vote.”

Honey, who was that on the phone?

Oh, it was Ted Cruz asking me to cast a vote of conscience for Donald Trump.

A Republican Party website selling campaign stickers and other political gear is among thousands of websites infected with a credit-card stealing virus that sent data to a server in Russia, according to a Dutch security researcher.

Sunday 10/9/2016:

  • Can Donald Trump, the Republican presidential nominee, survive until Election Day, November 8?

Tonight is debate night in America as Trump faces not only Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, but voters in a town hall who will be asking the questions at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri.

Will the revelations of lewd and lascivious audio and video of Trump disparaging women, laughing about sexual assault, sink his floundering campaign?

Will Clinton skate on revelations of colluding with the White House about her private email server, telling Goldman-Sachs and Deutsche Bank not to worry about what she says to voters?

What about Clinton saying to the bankers her dream is open borders and a hemisphere free trade zone?

Yet, fact checkers and the Clinton campaign said she never said any of this. The hacked emails of Clinton campaign manager John Podesta say otherwise.

Clinton admitted in the speeches to the money people that she is “out of touch” with the average American.

Does any of this matter?

What are voters to do?

Voters Face Dilemma – my take.

Republican elected officials are distancing themselves from Trump in droves.

The Clinton campaign is staying silent, but behind closed doors dancing in the streets.

Will there be a repeat of the 1912 revolt by Teddy Roosevelt and his Bullmoose supporters when the GOP split into two camps?

While Trump has issued to statements including the word, “apologize,” the remorse is not playing in Peoria.

Trump’s wife, Melania, put out a tweet saying that she was abhorred by her husband’s comments and jumped him over the remarks. She went on to say she had forgiven her husband and hoped that American voters would do the same.

melaniastatement

After being disinvited to a rally in Wisconsin by House Speaker Paul Ryan, Trump asked running mate Mike Pence to speak in his stead. Pence declined, saying he could not support or defend Trump’s words.

Pence was suppose to appear on CNN’s State of the Union with Jake Tapper today, but instead Rudy Giuliani showed up.

Is there a pattern emerging?

Could Pence end up President if neither Clinton nor Trump getting a majority in the Electoral College?

Something top think about: No Electoral Majority – Then What?

Where is Trump’s female campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway?

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus has reportedly ordered the staff to redirect resources away from Trump.

People are calling and saying, ‘Don’t even think about doing anything else but running,” Trump tweeted. “The media and establishment want me out of the race so badly – I WILL NEVER DROP OUT OF THE RACE, WILL NEVER LET MY SUPPORTERS DOWN!

A poll from Politico following the release of the video and audio revealed that more than 7 in 10 Republican voters want Trump to stay in the race.

Another traditionally Republican newspaper, The Columbus Dispatch, broke a 100-year tradition and endorsed Clinton.

An ABC poll reveals 43% of Americans think Trump should withdraw from the race in light of the revealed video.

Can Trump survive?

Transgender people in the Cornfield may have a rough time voting come November. At issue is that some transgender individuals may not want to be “outed” to poll workers.

It’s that forced outing that keeps a lot of people from doing things that require them to show an ID,” said Kit Malone, a transgender educator with Freedom Indiana, an advocacy group for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. “Any time I have to do that, I become nervous that someone is going to make a big deal about it.”

There have not been any complaints or concerns raised, however, in past election cycles in the Cornfield by transgender individuals.

The New York Times offers us four things to watch for in tonight’s debate:

a. Does Trump show up?
b. Does Trump go nuclear?
c. Who will wow the crowd?
d. Will Clinton control the debate again?

Will the number of viewers top the last time Clinton and Trump faced off when 84 million people tuned in?

Tune in next week for another Political Circus.

Published by

Mark

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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