Political Circus: October 17 – 23


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

Monday, 10/17/2016:

No let up in the charge that the presidential election is being rigged to keep Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump from winning, according to the man himself.

But even his running mate, Mike Pence, is pushing back.

There is no proof of electoral rigging.

I do agree that some in the media – not all – are letting their bias show.

There are those reporters holding to journalistic ethics.

The national press corps is coming under fire for what Trump claims is overt bias by reporters against him.

In the latest CNN Poll of Polls, which averaged four major polls, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton has a an eight point lead over Trump, 47% to 39%.

In new battleground state polls from Nevada, Ohio and North Carolina – a dead heat in Nevada and North Carolina with Clinton having a one-point advantage. In Ohio, Trump is up four over Clinton.

This is all a week after the election was declared over following the release of a video and audio of lewd and lascivious talk by Trump.

In a first, Democratic vice presidential candidate Tim Kaine delivered an entire campaign speech in Spanish over the weekend.

Speaking to a Spanish congregation Sunday, Kaine said, while encouraging the people in the pews to vote, “When I lived in Honduras it was during a military government — a dictatorship — and no one could vote during that time. I’m thankful that this church is working to get people registered.”

The staff of the Arizona Republic continue to receive death threats after the paper’s endorsement of Clinton over Trump.

This ought not to be.

Quid pro quo – Not so, says the State Department and FBI about a back-and-forth revealed in a Freedom of Information request.

In that exchange between then Under Secretary Patrick Kennedy and the FBI, there appears to be a request for changing the classification of emails on the Clinton email server from Top Secret and downgraded. The FBI asked for more posts for agents around the world.

You decide.

Ohio’s Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted, who oversees elections, calls Trump’s claims of the election system being rigged as “irresponsible.” Citing appointments to the Supreme Court by the next President, Husted will, however, vote for Trump on November 8.

Will there be a Trump TV after the election?

Trump son-in-law, husband of Ivanka, Jared Kushner, has reportedly approached LionTree Advisors about doing just that, according to The Financial Times.

By the way noticed this from The Washington Post:

According to the Republican nominee for president, his opponents were “on the verge of maybe perpetrating one of the greatest frauds in voter history.” In an ad, his campaign warned of “nationwide voter fraud” that could swing the election. His running mate worried, in a fundraising letter, that “leftist groups” were trying to “steal the election.”

The candidate was not Donald Trump. It was Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), who in the final weeks of the 2008 presidential election embraced the theory that ACORN, a community organizing group previously embraced by Democrats and Republicans, was helping to rig the election for Barack Obama by filing fake voter registration forms.


Clinton is desperately courting the Millennial vote to make sure she wins the White House.

Problem is the young folk most likely will sit out the race since Uncle Bernie is not available.

That’s too bad considering that a new poll reveals Millennials prefer Clinton 3 to 1 over Trump.

The third and final Presidential Debate is Wednesday at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Nevada.

Not happy with the choices for President?

Maybe this is a solution: Voters Only Hope

Tuesday 10/18/2016:

Melania, wife of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, sat down with CNN‘s Anderson Cooper to defend her husband.

Though condemning Trump’s comments on the video, Melania brushed off the conversation as “boy talk.”

The maybe First Lady said that her husband was “egged on” to make his lewd and lascivious comments about women and sexual assault by former NBC personality Billy Bush, an Access Hollywood host at the time, in that 2005 video.

No, Melania, Bush is not to blame – the buck stops with The Donald.

Mrs. Trump was doing her Tammy Wynette or was it a Hillary Clinton version of “Stand By Your Man” in sitting down with Cooper.

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton continues to stay out-of-sight, off the campaign trail, except to do fundraisers and meet with celebrities.

Of course, this means no pesky questions being posed to Clinton about the eyebrow raising information coming out of the hacked emails of her campaign chairman John Podesta and Freedom of Information access to documents less than favorable to her.

Utah Republican Congressman Jason Chaffetz is calling for a congressional investigation into the “quid pro quo” revelation from a Freedom of Information request which found the FBI and State Department apparently bargaining over reclassifying a document on Clinton’s private email server in exchange for more FBI posts around the world.

Neither request ended up being honored by State nor the FBI.

The Scholastic Children’s Book poll has correctly selected the winner of the presidential race since 1964. This time around, the students said that Clinton will be President.

Arizona Senator and 2008 GOP presidential nominee John McCain is locked in a real race this time around.

Yesterday McCain said that if Clinton becomes President he will block any of her nominees to the Supreme Court.

What do Chelsea Clinton, Bernie Sanders and Michelle Obama along with $2 million have in common?

All are spending time in reliably red state Arizona trying to turn it to Hillary blue.

Drain the Washington swamp” is how Trump is labeling his call for term limits on members of Congress.

Trump also said he will ban Executive Branch officials from lobbying for five years after leaving the White House if he is elected.

Out of one billion votes between 2000 and 2014, only 31 cases of voter fraud were uncovered.

Think about it.

Of course even one case is unacceptable.


USA Today is reporting that at least 12 companies used Clinton fundraisers as opportunities to lobby the State Department (http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/elections/2016/10/17/hillary-clinton-foundation-donors-lobbyists-state-department/92285652/)

For what it is worth, an interesting read about journalists and campaign contributions: https://www.publicintegrity.org/2016/10/17/20330/journalists-shower-hillary-clinton-campaign-cash

GOP vice presidential nominee Mike Pence today visited the burned-out facility that was a North Carolina GOP office, but firebombed on Sunday. Pence called the incident “political terrorism.”

Stinky situation – a Democratic National Committee campaign bus was caught dumping human waste on the side of the road in Lawrenceville, Georgia.

The DNC has apologized.

From the Rose Garden, standing next to the Italian Prime Minister, President Barack Obama told Trump to “stop whining.”

I’d invite Mr. Trump to stop whining and go try to make his case to get votes,” the Prez said.

How unhappy are voters with the choices for President?

Apparently, young Americans are beyond dispirited.

An opinion poll found nearly one in four said they would rather have a giant meteor destroy the Earth than see Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton in the White House.

University of Massachusetts Lowell’s Center for Public Opinion conducted the poll alongside Odyssey Millennials.

This is not good news for Trump and team:


The third and final Presidential Debate is tomorrow evening at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Nevada.

Kickoff is 9 p.m. once more.

Wednesday 10/19/2016:

Ready to rumble!

No holds barred!

No subject off limits!

The final Presidential Debate gets underway at 9 p.m. (ET) from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Nevada.

In a first, Fox News anchor Chris Wallace will moderate.

Topics are supposed to include immigration, the economy, the Supreme Court, foreign hot spots, “fitness” to be president, and the national debt.

Get the tarps and ponchos ready for all the blood splatter.

In the right corner is newcomer Republican Donald Trump.

In the left corner is veteran Democrat Hillary Clinton.

Where is your money placed?


Was Trump right that Democratic activists came to his campaign events to purposely incite violence?

That seems to be the case after an edited video came out from a disgraced GOP videographer.

Clinton’s team denies the allegation.

The Democratic National Committee denies supporting the activity of the Democratic operative involved in the video, but still fired him.

The conversations in the video are being excused as “bar talk” by some.

In most polls, Clinton has a double-digit lead. A poll released today puts Clinton at nine points ahead of Trump.

Can Trump score a knockout tonight and recover?

Remember last debate when the families of the candidates shook hands even though the two on the stage did not?

Tonight that won’t happen. The Clinton campaign does not want an awkward moment.

Whether Clinton and Trump will shake hands before coming out fighting is not known.

Ecuador (the Latin American country has endorsed Clinton by the way) gave this explanation for cutting off internet access to Julian Assange, slowing down the hacked emails being poured out from Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta on Wikileaks:

The government of Ecuador respects the principle of non-intervention in the affairs of other countries.”

Will Russia get the message?

Guests at tonight’s debate:

Malik Obama for Trump (yes, half-brother of the President) as well as Pat Smith, the mother of one of those brave Americans killed in Benghazi, Libya.

Mark Cuban (again!) and Republican billionaire HP CEO Meg Whitman for Clinton.

More than 2.1 million votes have been cast in early voting. Of that number, 1.6 million are votes in battleground states.

In an interview with CNN‘s Wolf Blitzer today, Podesta refused to deny the accuracy of the leaked emails from his account.

What’s the old saying?

Silence is consent.

Trump’s proposal for a constitutional amendment to limit terms for Congress would be six years for Representatives and 12 years for Senators. That is three terms for the House and two for the upper chamber.

Green Party presidential nominee Dr. Jill Stein tweeted, “Independents now outnumber Democrats & Republicans – yet there hasn’t been an independent in the #debates in 24 years. #OpenDebates.”

Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson said he was not smoking wacky tobacky at the time of his “Aleppo moment.”

Don’t expect Wallace to fact-check the debaters in real time. Wallace says that is not his job.

If people say, ‘it was a great debate and I don’t remember you being there,’ I will have done my job,” Wallace told Fox News.

Florida Senator Marco Rubio cautioned Republicans to be careful using the hacked emails because “tomorrow it could be us.”

Election stress disorder is on the rise as crisis centers field a growing number of calls.

Thursday 10/20/2016:

Last night’s big event from my perspective: Final Debate Another Draw.

Finally there was some actual discussion of the issues that matter this election cycle during last night final Presidential Debate.

There were clear differences of policy revealed in classic Republican/Democrat ideological divide.

Then personalities got in the way.

You’re a puppet.”

No, you’re the puppet.”

Am not.”

Am too.”

Give me a break!

Today instead of discussing differences on abortion, gun control, taxes, job creation, foreign entanglements, appointments to the Supreme Court, the talk is all about not pledging to accept the election results, “bad hombres” and “nasty woman.”

Those hoping for civility were disappointed when before and after the debate the wannabes did not shake hands.

By the way, big kudos to Chris Wallace, who was the moderator last night. Wallace showed what a consummate professional is like and one others should emulate.

Today, Trump opened a campaign rally in Ohio by pledging he would indeed accept the results of the election – “if I win.”

Over 70 million people tuned in to the final debate.

How different are Clinton and Trump supporters?


Check this out from Pew Research: http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2016/10/20/6-charts-that-show-where-clinton-and-trump-supporters-differ/

Both Clinton and Trump are headed to the Alfred E. Smith charity dinner tonight.

Traditionally candidates poke fun at each other, but with the rancor this season, not  so sure it will be all fun.

Oh, no he didn’t!

Yes, he did.

Donald Trump Jr. said that if his Dad wins the presidency it would be a step down from where he is in the business world.

Down ballot Republicans are seething over Trump’s refusal to stand up and promise to accept the results of the election. Incumbents and hopefuls are worried Trump may cost them votes come November 8.

Even loony Maine Governor Paul LePage thinks Trump needs to make the pledge on the election results.

LePage said in words to the effect that The Donald needs to get over himself.

Did Clinton violate national security by saying that launch officers, in charge of the US nuclear arsenal, have only four minutes to react to an order from the President to push the button?

The military is not happy. No clear answer has been provided yet.

Friday 10/21/2016:

Some chuckled.

Some groaned.

Some booed.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Hillary got the chance to face-off against other one night after their last debate at the Alfred E. Smith dinner last night to raise money for Catholic Charities work with disadvantaged youth in New York.

Traditionally the night is filled with self-deprecating jokes and roasting each other.

There was more roast, some would say burn, than introspection last night.

The candidates did, however, shake hands.

The two were also amiable with one another in a private chat shared with the public by their host, the New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan.

After the little prayer, Mr. Trump turned to Secretary Clinton and said, ‘You are one tough and talented woman,'” Dolan said. “He said, ‘This has been a good experience, this whole campaign, as tough as it’s been.'”

Clinton then returned the compliment.

She said to him, ‘Donald, whatever happens, we need to work together afterward,'” Dolan said.

The White House released a statement yesterday on the peaceful transfer of power to the new President, whomever is elected on November 8:


Trump’s political director is stepping back for “personal reasons” with only days left in the campaign.

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan is getting blow back from Republican lawmakers. A movement is generating to oust Ryan during the lame duck session.

Three states (Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana) turned down requests from Russia to monitor the upcoming election.

The US State Department already told the Russians, “Thanks, but no thanks.”

Trump is pouring another $100 million into his flailing campaign.

An Associated Press survey of early voting found the Democrats doing well in Florida and North Carolina, but Republicans holding their own in Iowa and Ohio.

We have a surprise in store for @TimKaine and @DonnaBrazile,” Wikileaks tweeted.

What could it be????

Kaine, of course, is the Democratic vice presidential candidate while Brazile is the interim Democratic National Committee chair.

The nation’s “toughest” sheriff, Joe Arpaio, may be out of a job after 38 years. He is behind in the polls running up to the election by almost 15 points.

Looks like New Hampshire may send a Democrat to the Senate replacing the current Republican. Kelly Ayotte is in big trouble as Governor Maggie Hassan has an eight-point advantage.

Same thing here in the Cornfield with Evan Bayh besting Tea Party conservative Todd Young in the polls.

Still smarting from the 2000 election, which many Democrats think was stolen by Ralph Nader’s third party bid, there is a concern about voters going for other presidential wannabes – Libertarian Gary Johnson or Green Party Dr. Jill Stein.

A deep-pocketed environmental group aligned with Hillary Clinton will blanket 1.1 million households in battleground states with mailers warning millennials that a vote for a third-party candidate only helps Donald Trump, the group told NBC News.

Sunday, 10/23/2016:

Is it over?

Recent polls seem to indicate that Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is running 6.2 points ahead in the Real Clear Politics average of polls.

But one poll, which has the best percentage of predicting the presidency in the last few elections cycles (2004, 2008,2012) with more accurate numbers, the IBD poll (Investors Business Daily) has Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump besting Clinton by two points.

Imagine that.

Will the polls be off as much as they were with the Brexit vote earlier this year when the pollsters said Brexit would go down to defeat then defied the predictions and won?

Trump gave a solid speech outlining what he plans to accomplish within his first 100 days in office if he wins the presidency.

But all the press corps is talking about today is the first five to 10 minutes of the speech at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania out of 42 minutes when Trump denied allegations of unwanted sexual advances and threatening to sue his accusers.

Getting his first major newspaper endorsement, the Las Vegas Review-Journal, which was bought last year by casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, put its money on a Trump win.

A “Pantsuits for Hillary” flash mob broke out in downtown Raleigh, North Carolina.

About Wikileaks threat of a surprise for Democratic vice presidential candidate Tim Kaine, Kaine said, “I would say it would not be my norm. I do have a temper so, I mean, I imagine I’ve got an email or two out there that people might find unusual.”

Thinking she was at a Trump rally, a drunk, 32-year-old woman in Amherst, Wisconsin, smeared 30 cars with peanut butter. It was a meeting of conservationists. She now faces disorderly conduct charges.

After several days absent, Clinton is back on the campaign trail. Today she was in North Carolina urging black voters to vote early.

Trump Campaign Manager Kellyanne Conway admitted today the Trump Train is behind schedule and may not arrive at the depot on time on NBC‘s Meet the Press.

Let me tell you something: You go out on the road with Donald Trump, this election doesn’t feel over,” Conway said on CNN‘s State of the Union.

What he’s saying is he wants to reserve all options and if there is grounds for a recount I will exercise my options,” Republican National Committee Chair Reince Priebus said on CBSFace the Nation about Trump’s talk of a “rigged” election process.

…If it’s a close election — look, if you lose by 200 votes in Florida are you going to concede on election night if you’re at 260 electoral votes?” Priebus asked.

Speaking of not accepting results, here are the three times in US history a candidate did not accept the results of an election immediately:

a. George W. Bush vs. Al Gore (2000)
b. Samuel J. Tilden vs. Rutherford B. Hayes (1876)
c. John F. Kennedy vs. Richard Nixon (R) (1960)

After the Supreme Court ruling, Gore conceded to Bush. Following a deal behind closed doors, Hayes emerged the winner. Nixon, smarting, finally gave in for “the good of the country.”

Not happy with the choices for President?

Maybe this is a solution: Voters Only Hope

The weekly: Cornfield Standings

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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