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.

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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.

Voters Face Dilemma

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Nearly two years ago the race to replace President Barack Obama in the Oval Office took off to a less than stellar start.

More than 100 wannabes threw their names in the hat to be whittled down to two major party candidates and two third-party candidates, who can impact the November 8, 2016 Presidential Election.

During this summer, the American voters were stuck with the two most unpopular nominees from the Republicans and Democrats – for that matter any political party – in American history.

From the Republicans we have Donald Trump – reality television star and businessman.Misogynist, self-absorbed, laughs about sexual abuse and incest.

From the Democrats we have Hillary Clinton – consummate politician,former Secretary of State, former Senator, former First Lady of the US of A, former First Lady of Arkansas and former Goldwater Girl (look it up). Devoid of trust and likability, will say anything to get elected.

From the Libertarians, there is Gary Johnson – former two-term New Mexico Governor and businessman. He is also a goof ball with no regard to foreign affairs which affects his primary job as President to be Commander-in-Chief.

From the Green Party hails Dr. Jill Stein, who would rather go to jail than use reason. Camped so far to the left her only chance is if she lived in her own private Utopia.

For American voters, it is a dilemma.

Various polls and surveys reveal that enthusiasm for any of the candidates is sorely lacking. The surveys reveal that most people plan to cast a vote NOT for a candidate, but against the other candidate.

Check out this article from a couple of weeks ago: What’s on the Minds of Voters.

Now in the last 48 hours an already unbelievable campaign season has been turned inside out again.

Audio and video of Trump talking like Trump and saying what everyone already knew has surfaced. Knowing and hearing and seeing are not the same.

Republicans are running away like someone being chased by a swarm of yellow jackets. Cries are going out to replace Trump with his running mate Mike Pence.

Lost in all the hullabaloo, are new email revelations about Clinton, which should sink her candidacy as well. There is the revelation the White House colluded with Clinton and her campaign on how to deal with the scandal over her use of a private email server while at State.

Then there are those transcripts of speeches with Goldman-Sachs that proves she lies to the public and says and does another when being paid big bucks.

This is all the backdrop for the second Presidential Debate, which will happen Sunday night at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri.

What are voters to do?

We have the choice of four candidates, none of whom meet up to the standard Americans deserve.

Please do not tell me about Evan McMullin, the #NeverTrump independent. He can’t even get on half of the ballots.

Today in my Cornfield Standings, I gave four ears of corn to Writing In Myself. That is how frustrated I am as a political junkie.

What would happen if the rest of us who have not voted, actually wrote in ourselves?

Could we then get a new election with candidates deserving of our vote?

Or would it fall to the US House of Representatives to pick a President of the Congress own choosing?

Thousands, perhaps millions, of early voters have already cast ballots.

What are voters to do?

What if Wikileaks does come out with even worse about Clinton that seals her fate and proves she broke the law?

What if more audio, images and video come out about Trump?

I am also nauseated by the hypocrisy and the fake outrage of so many in the national press. The umbrage is so transparent.

How much of this really is “breaking news?

How much of this has been known by many in the media for years, for decades?

Will we ever get back an objective press?

From the Cornfield, I do not have an answer. I am totally flustered.

I have no clue what to do come November 8.

How much stink can any of us hold our noses for before the smell puts us in a coma?

Cornfield Standings: 30 Days Out

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As of today there are 30 days until the November 8th General Election. This election may be one of the most crucial in decades.

Not only do we have a host of local and state elections occurring, but the both the US House of Representatives and US Senate face either retaining Republican control or either or both turning over to the Democrats.

Then there is the change in guard in the nation’s two highest offices – the President and the Vice President. Who wins the election for the Oval Office will also impact the direction of the US Supreme court for generations.

Each Saturday between now and Election Day, I will show where the top state and national candidates rate as far as getting my vote.

From the President to Governor to Senator and Representative, you can see how I am leaning from week to week.

President:

  • Libertarian Gary Johnson – 0 Ear of Corn
  • Republican Donald Trump – 0 Ears of Corn
  • Democrat Hillary Clinton – 0 Ears of Corn
  • Green Party Jill Stein – 0 Ears of Corn
  • Write-in Myself – 4 Ears of Corn

US Senator:

  • Democrat Evan Bayh – 4 Ears of Corn (Why Bayh)
  • Republican Todd Young – 0 Ears of Corn

8th District Congressional Representative:

  • Republican Dr. Larry Buschon – 4 Ears of Corn
  • Democrat Ron Drake – 0 Ears of Corn

Indiana Governor:

  • Democrat John Gregg – 4 Ears of Corn
  • Republican Eric Holcomb – 0 Ears of Corn

This does not mean between now and November my mind can’t be changed. This is just how I am leaning at this point in time.

From the Cornfield, that’s how I view the races.

How are you leaning in your state and national elections?

Pence Takes the Night

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As anyone who knows me or follows my posting From the Cornfield is aware I am not a fan of my Governor Mike Pence. I did not vote for him in 2012 and had he run would not have voted for him this year in a re-election bid.

But last night’s one and only Vice Presidential Debate was clearly a win for Pence. Pence, who is the Republican vice presidential nominee, was calm, cool and collected. He stayed on point.

Pence refused to be lured down a primrose lane lined with thorns, but pivoted adroitly through the pendulums of disaster axes.

His opponent, Democratic vice presidential candidate Tim Kaine, came across as more wired than that fuzzy, pink bunny that keeps going and going. It is if Kaine had downed too many energy drinks before coming on stage.

Within the first half hour, Kaine seemed petulant, overly aggressive and out-and-out rude, trying to walk on top of Pence’s statements. Pence came across more presidential and in command of the stage than any of the current candidates running in this presidential election year.

Pence was a total contrast to the top of the ticket, his running mate, GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump.

But the big question is did Pence stop the bleeding from self-inflicted wounds his running mate opened over the past week?

What we may have seen last night is the person who will be front runner in either the 2020 or 2024 presidential election.

From the Cornfield, Pence takes the night. Hoosiers all over the Cornfield are proud of their Governor this morning, whether they will or have voted for him or not.

Why Bayh

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In 35 day from now, Hoosiers will fan out across the Cornfield to polling locations to cast their vote for whom they want to represent them in the US Senate.

The seat is open due to the retirement of senior Senator Dan Coats.

The two people competing to fill the vacancy are a current Congressman, Todd Young, a Tea Party Republican, and former Governor and Senator, Evan Bayh, representing the Democratic Party.

While I am a former Republican who now considers myself an independent moderate, I will be casting my ballot for Bayh.

Here is why.

Top of the list is that Bayh understands that to govern, one must understand that compromise is not a dirty, four-letter word.

This is something that Young and other Tea Party advocates do not seem to grasp.

Such a position goes against the American idea of representative democracy.

The my way or the highway mentality works – but only in a dictatorship.

Too many times over the last few years, Tea Party adherents have held the government, and thus we, the governed, hostage. This is not in accord with the founding principles of this great nation.

Back in 2011, Bayh joined with other politicians with a new idea – reaching across the aisle and finding ways to work together for the good of the people.

From that meeting came the organization, which has become influential in Washington DC, No Labels.

I worked with Bayh and his wife, Susan, on several projects back in my other life as a reporter for the daily newspaper, The Linton Daily Citizen, before becoming ill.

Bayh  is known for his moderate views and ability to work with others no matter the party affiliation.

In fact in many other states and compared to national party types, Bayh would be considered a Republican rather than a Democrat.

I wrote about No Labels here: http://marksden.com/blog/blog2.php/no-labels-wants-congress-to.

It made sense to me then. It makes sense to me now.

We have had experienced too much partisan gridlock in the halls of Congress over the last eight years. We do not need this pattern to continue.

What Young promises is more stubbornness, more obstruction, cut in the vein of Ted Cruz.

We cannot afford more of this.

What Bayh offers is fiscal conservatism combined with a willingness to give a little to get a little, to govern for all the people – not just some of the people.

From the Cornfield, for this reason, I am casting my vote for Bayh.

This does not mean I always agreed with Bayh in years past. Nor does it mean I will agree on all his votes and views now.

We need a Senator willing to govern, not grandstand.

Political Circus: September 26 – October 2

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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.

Clinton:
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/

Trump:
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.

Major Election Concern – Supreme Court

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On Monday, the US Supreme Court begins its new term without a full bench. The vacancy left by the untimely death of Justice Antonin Scalia remains unfilled.

President Barrack Obama has put forth a nominee, Merrick Garland. The Senate has refused to consider his appointment, saying the empty seat should not be filled until the next President is elected.

In addition to Scalia’s seat, with the ages of the current Justices, there is a real possibility the next person to fill the big chair in the Oval Office may have the opportunity to appoint up to four other people to the High Court.

At stake is the ideological bent of the Supreme Court, which has been decidedly conservative for decades, to a more liberal persuasion.

Yet on the campaign trail we have heard only a small amount of talk of such an important duty of the presidency.

As the new term begins and the Presidential Election just over a month away, what do voters think of the Court?

In timely fashion, Pew Research has revealed the results of its most recent subject on the highest court in the land and Americans opinions about the Court.

As can be readily seen from this chart, the Justices are viewed much more favorably than the other branches of government. Americans with a 60% sentiment look kindly on the Court.

favorability

But there is a sharp difference in how Republicans and Democrats view the Supremes.

partylinesIndependents and Republicans may have a majority favorable view of the Supreme Court, it is much lower than the opinion of Democrats.

When Americans look at the Court from an ideological perspective, there are diverse ideas.

ideologyAs the chart depicts, Democrats see the Constitution as being a living document and changing with changing times. Republicans tend to interpret the Constitution to say what it means and meaning what it says. Independents tend to be evenly split between the two points of view.

Moderates tend to be evenly split between POVs, while conservatives and liberals are decidedly encamped in opposing perspectives.

How does appointments to the Supreme Court factor into your decision on who should be the next Commander-in-Chief?

Does it have any sway?

Here are five takeaways identified by Pew:

  1. Americans’ opinions of the court hit a 30-year low last year after controversial decisions, but have rebounded after a quieter term.
  2. There is a significant partisan gap in views of the court.
  3. Partisans have starkly different views over how the justices should interpret the Constitution.
  4. Conservative Republicans and liberal Democrats are particularly likely to see court appointments as very important to their vote.
  5. Most Americans disagree with the Republican-controlled Senate’s decision to not hold hearings on Obama’s court nominee.

Get the details: http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2016/09/26/5-facts-about-the-supreme-court/

From the Cornfield, as I continue to evaluate the candidates – Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Gary Johnson, Jill Stein and Evan McMullin – who gets to make these vital appointments to a term for life is a  deciding factor.

Cornfield Standings: 37 Days Out

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As of today there are 37 days until the November 8th General Election. This election may be one of the most crucial in decades.

Not only do we have a host of local and state elections occurring, but the both the US House of Representatives and US Senate face either retaining Republican control or either or both turning over to the Democrats.

Then there is the change in guard in the nation’s two highest offices – the President and the Vice President. Who wins the election for the Oval Office will also impact the direction of the US Supreme court for generations.

Each Saturday between now and Election Day, I will show where the top state and national candidates rate as far as getting my vote.

From the President to Governor to Senator and Representative, you can see how I am leaning from week to week.

President:

  • Libertarian Gary Johnson – 2 Ear of Corn
  • Republican Donald Trump 2 Ears of Corn
  • Democrat Hillary Clinton 0 Ears of Corn
  • Green Party Jill Stein 0 Ears of Corn

US Senator:

  • Democrat Evan Bayh – 4 Ears of Corn
  • Republican Todd Young – 0 Ears of Corn

8th District Congressional Representative:

  • Republican Dr. Larry Buschon – 4 Ears of Corn
  • Democrat Ron Drake – 0 Ears of Corn

Indiana Governor:

  • Democrat John Gregg – 4 Ears of Corn
  • Republican Eric Holcomb – 0 Ears of Corn

This does not mean between now and November my mind can’t be changed. This is just how I am leaning at this point in time.

From the Cornfield, that’s how I view the races.

How are you leaning in your state and national elections?