Politics Roundup: November 21 – 27, 2016

politicsroundup

Welcome to the weekly compilation of the ins and outs, the ups and downs, the comings and goings from the alternate world of reality – politics!

Monday, 11/21/16:

Will names be named today?

Could President Elect Donald Trump go against his pledge during the campaign not to put a Democrat in his Cabinet?

What about Bernie Sanders Democrat, Hawaii Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, meeting with Trump today?

On her meeting with Trump, Gabbard said, “Let me be clear, I will never allow partisanship to undermine our national security when the lives of countless people lay in the balance.”

Has the entertainment world declared war on the President Elect?

First there was the cast of Hamilton addressing Vice President Elect Mike Pence when he attended a performance of the show with his family. Then last night during the American Music Awards we had to endure a political statement in song from Green Day with an anti-Trump refrain.

Is this appropriate?

Is the venue wrong?

In comments in Peru on Sunday, President Barack Obama signaled he would not be silent like former President George W. Bush, if he disagrees with Trump policies.

Ohio Congressman Tim Ryan is serious about toppling California Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi from the position of House Minority Leader.

There are no conflict-of-interest laws binding the President and Vice President, but we have never elected a businessman with a global empire to sit in the Oval Office before.

So how does the President Elect divest himself from his formidable holdings and business entanglements from his role as President of the United States?

Former Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown says he talked to the President Elect about heading up the Veterans Administration.

Pence said Sunday that 2012 GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney is under serious consideration to become Secretary of State.

With the uptick in hate crimes since the election, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has put together a task force specifically to delve into such incidents.

Arizona Senator and 2008 GOP presidential nominee John McCain was adamant that contrary to the expressed desire of the President Elect to bring back water boarding, it will not happen.

Trump’s approval rating has risen to 46% since election.

Representatives of the five largest television news networks – Fox, CNN, NBC, ABC, CBS – had a meeting this afternoon with the President Elect.

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The Federal Election Commission has asked the Trump campaign to correct 1,000 donations, totaling over $1 million which may have violated fundraising law.

A Texas lawmaker has submitted a bill which would allow parents full access to their children’s school records. But opponents say that closeted gay students would be outed to parents, who may throw them out in the cold.

Before I get flak, it happens every day. Hundreds of young people find themselves on the street, cut off by family.

When asked, President Obama said he was not concerned about being the last Democratic President since Hillary Clinton, the 2016 nominee, won the popular vote.

But as we know, it is not about the popular vote, but the Electoral College, which matters.

For those who wonder, here is this year’s Electoral College map:

electoralcollegemap

Both Trump and the President of Argentina deny that there was any discussion of business concerning a Trump property in the Latin American country when the two spoke, squashing rumors of conflict of interest.

Tuesday, 11/22/16:

President Elect Donald Trump released a video Monday outlining his agenda for his first 100 days in office.

More voices are calling on Trump to call out white nationalists by name and denounce their bigotry. This comes after release of video of a meeting of white nationalists Saturday in Washington DC showing attendees shouting, “Hail Trump” and displaying Nazi salutes.

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Why does Trump not denounce these racists by name?

The argument is that Trump slammed not using the term, “Islamic terrorism” by his Democratic opponent and the White House during the campaign.

Yet Trump won’t call out “white supremacists” and “white nationalists” by name.

Rival Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton will not be investigated or charged by an incoming Trump White House, says Campaign Manager Kellyanne Conway.

Or will she?

To hear many Democrats talk, Trump is already President referring to him as “the most corrupt President in history.”

Sorry, folk, at the moment he is still a private citizen and a businessman. Trump does not take office until January 20, 2017.

Then you can talk about whether he is or is not a “corrupt” President.

For now, he is transitioning from private citizen to public servant.

Following a meeting of representatives from CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS and Fox, attendees speaking anonymously said that they walked into the sitdown with Trump and faced a “firing squad” on Monday afternoon.

Reportedly, CNN honcho Jeff Zucker was singled out for the President Elect’s wrath over the “dishonest media.”

By the way, do not expect actual news reports of the meeting. It was “off-the-record.”

Today, Trump was to meet with reps of The New York Times, then cancelled. Next thing you know, the meeting was back on.

In that interview with the Times today, Trump said he “condemns” and “disavows” white supremacists.

The President Elect also said that when it comes to climate change and the humanity’s impact, he has an “open mind.”

OOPs! The Trump Foundation admits it skirted the law, by using charity money for personal items.

The national press is focused on the “Emolument Clause” of the US Constitution which bars gifts being accepted by the President of the United States from foreign governments.

Question is whether income from Trump’s businesses in foreign lands constitutes a “gift.”

Trump indicated in a tweet that he expects to be around for two terms when noting his Cabinet selections will lead the country for the next “eight years.”

A federal judge ruled Wisconsin’s redistricting map for congressional districts is unconstitutional. It is back to the drawing board for lawmakers.

Dr. Ben Carson said last week he would be an outside adviser, but not join a Trump Administration. However, today, Trump tweeted that he is seriously considering Carson to be the next Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.

In a survey, 59% say that Trump should close his Twitter account.

President Barack Obama and the President Elect have continued to converse since meeting in the White House a couple of weeks ago.

Business versus presidency:

A comment about a wind farm in Scotland which is located near a Trump golf course is sparking controversy.

In his meeting with Nigel Farage, Trump asked Farage and company to oppose the kind of offshore wind farms which will mar the pristine view from one of his two Scottish golf courses, in his opinion.

Then we learn that in addition to being present for that meeting last week with the Japanese Prime Minister, Ivanka, Trump’s daughter, was on the phone call with Trump and the President of Argentina.

North Carolina Republican Governor Pat McCrory is still yelling and crying about what appears to be his defeat at the polls in his re-election bid. Rather than concede, McCrory is alleging voter fraud in 50 of 100 counties is why he lost.

Time to pack it in, Pat.

One federal judge has advice for new US citizens not happy with an incoming President Donald Trump: “I can assure you that whether you voted for him or you did not vote for him, if you are a citizen of the United States, he is your president. He will be your president, and if you do not like that, you need to go to another country.”

Supporters of California seceding from the Union, since Donald Trump garnered enough votes to take the Electoral College, have now formally submitted their petition.

The group has submitted a proposed ballot measure to the state Attorney General’s office in the hopes of a statewide vote as soon as 2018.

More about this move: http://www.latimes.com/politics/essential/la-pol-ca-essential-politics-california-secession-calexit-htmlstory.html

My Word of Wisdom:

Politics is like WWE Raw
Governing is like 60 Minutes

In global politics:

South Korea’s Cabinet approved a law to allow an independent counsel be appointed by the opposition to investigate the embattled President.

Did Trump overstep, break protocol, in tweeting his desire that the man who led the Brexit vote to success in Great Britain, Nigel Farage, be the kingdom’s new Ambassador to the US of A?

The United Kingdom is not happy with the President Elect for making a public suggestion. The nation nixed the suggestion.

Turkey’s Prime Minister has had to withdraw a proposed law that would have pardoned men who were charged with statutory rape if they married the under-aged girls after global outcry.

Turkey’s pro-Kurdish HDP party is ending its boycott of Parliament.

OOPs! Popular Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is being accused of attending a cash-for-access fundraiser hosted by some Chinese billionaires.

Former Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi had his life sentence in conjunction with a Hamas espionage case overturned by the nation’s highest court.

Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe declares the TransPacific Partnership agreement “meaningless” if Trump follows through with withdrawing the US from the pact.

Wednesday, 11/23/16:

President Elect Donald Trump continues to do things his way.

In a wide-ranging interview on Tuesday with The New York Times, Trump acknowledged that humans may play a role in climate change, acknowledged that water boarding may not be a practice worth doing, praised the paper as a “jewel“.

Then today, even after he headed last night from Trump Towers in New York City to spend the holiday in Mar-a-Lago, Florida, Cabinet picks are rolling out.

Remember in 2008, the first Cabinet pick was not announced until 20 days after the election then only one was named. Others were not announced until December.

Trump is well beyond that precedent.

Naming Names:

Ambassador to the United Nations – South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley
Secretary of Housing and Urban Development – Dr. Ben Carson
Secretary of Education – Charter school advocate Betsy Devos

Pew Research asked voters to grade the participants in the 2016 Election. Here is how the candidates, parties and voters rated included are the press and pollsters, who got it wrong:

electionreportcard

Read more about the scoring of the election: http://www.people-press.org/2016/11/21/low-marks-for-major-players-in-2016-election-including-the-winner/

Vice President Joe Biden has nixed the idea of becoming new head of the Democratic National Committee.

Reality is that that the Trump business empire is inherently a conflict of interest on a global scale. Legally, as President, Trump has no boundaries or rules that constitute a conflict of interest.

Democratic Senator Ben Cardin, ranking member on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, is introducing a resolution calling for Trump to divest himself of his business holdings to satisfy the Emoluments Clause of the US Constitution.

It is unclear if income is considered “gifts” from foreign countries as outlined in the clause.

That’s what we get when we elect a non-politician to the highest office in the land.

President Barack Obama, in his last such ceremony, awarded 21 people, many from the entertainment industry and the world of sports, with the nation’s highest honor – the Medal of Freedom – on Tuesday.

The Prez today conducted his last pardon of the national Thanksgiving turkeys. In reality both Tater and Tot, the two turkeys offered to be spared, will live out their days being pampered.

The President also yesterday brought the number of inmates, whose sentences he commuted, to over 1,000.

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Soon-to-be First Son-in-Law Jared Kushner – peace ambassador to Israel and Palestine?

A federal judge blocked implementation of a new rule on overtime pay put forth earlier this year by President Obama.

The top national security pitfall for the incoming Trump Administration according to the White House is North Korea.

A group of scientists are urging Hillary Clinton to challenge election results in the Rust Belt states of Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania. The scientists say they noticed a statistical anomaly with voting machines. (https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2016/11/23/attention-democrats-theres-still-no-good-evidence-the-election-was-rigged/)

Clinton’s popular vote lead over Trump has now passed two million.

Former Green Party candidate Dr. Jill Stein is rumored to be considering asking for a recount in the three states aforementioned.

Reportedly, Donald Trump Jr. met with Russian supporters in Paris, France last month to discuss the Syrian civil war.

The Cornfield’s own State Health Commissioner met with the President Elect to talk healthcare.

Hmm…I wonder.

Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren and Democratic Congressman Elijah Cummings have sent a letter to the General Accountability Office to investigate how the Trump Transition Team is using government money.

“Mr. Trump’s apparent conflicts of interest — and his behavior during the campaign and after his election — raise questions about the use of taxpayer funds during the transition,” the lawmakers wrote.

When will Trump have a full-scale press conference?

What were Mark Cuban and Steve Bannon talking about at the King Cole Bar in New York City?

How many times must Trump disavow white supremacists before some in the national press and the chattering class are happy?

Starting to look like I got my answer to a piece I wrote several months ago: Person Versus Persona

In global politics:

Italy’s Minister of Industry pledged to help Italian businesses work out deals with Iran.

Second time charm? That is what Columbia and rebel FARC are hoping as they sign a new peace treaty to end a civil war that has lasted over half a century.

India is shuffling its government, appointing 19 new secretaries.

There is growing opposition to demonetization in India.

Finland is expressing concern over Russia’s deployment of missiles in the Baltic region.

Iran is warning or repercussions if the US renews sanctions.

Friday, 11/25/16:

Hillary Clinton, the Democratic nominee for President, continues to amass a wide lead in the popular vote over President Elect Donald Trump, the Republican standard bearer.

That lead in the popular vote can be narrowed down primarily from California, which is still counting votes.

In the latest count from the California Secretary of State, Clinton has 8,021,534 votes to Trump’s 4,196,371 votes.

If we take California’s votes out of play, Trump has 58,141,272 votes. Clinton has 56,411,865.

Which gives credence to keeping the Electoral College. Otherwise, one state can determine the outcome vetoing the desire of the other 49 states.

Something to think about.

In the meantime, Green Party candidate Dr. Jill Stein has raised over $4.5 million. She plans to launch a request for a recount of the vote in the three Rust Belt states which went for Trump – Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania.

Stein said she is doing so, so the American voters are not questioning the vote.

Court politics are playing out on the small screen and Twitter as camps stake claims for this one or that one or the other for Secretary of State in a Trump Administration.

Trump loyalists are balking at the consideration of 2012 GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney for the top diplomatic position and rooting for former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani.

There are a few backing retired General David Petraeus, who was convicted of mishandling classified materials.

Dr. Ben Carson has not yet said, nor has the Trump Transition Team, if he will be Housing and Urban Development Secretary.

Hearts are aflutter in the Cornfield after it was revealed that Trump was working over the holiday to keep Carrier in Indianapolis, Indiana rather than moving operations of its air conditioning manufacturing business to Mexico.

The issue became a big deal leading up to the election, propelling Trump to a big win in the Hoosier State and keeping the Senate seat up for grabs in Republican control.

Two staff appointments are expected to be announced by the Transition Team, but no major word on other vital Cabinet positions until Monday per a teleconference.

Since the election, the President Elect has only attended two intelligence briefings. On the flip side Vice President Elect Mike Pence has had daily briefings.

Do not be surprised if Pence turns out to be more of a shaker behind the scenes than Dick Cheney under George W. Bush.

New Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer had some choice words for Republicans – Keep your hands off Medicare:

schumerKT McFarland has accepted appointment as Deputy National Security Adviser to the President Elect, according to Bloomberg.

Don McGahn has also been appointed as White House Counsel for the incoming White House.

A new wrinkle in the conflict of interest surrounding Trump and his business interests. Turns out the President Elect owns stock in the company building the Dakota Access pipeline.

The Secret Service is looking into renting space in Trump Tower.

An anti-Trump elector bound by his state’s vote to cast a ballot for the candidate who won his state when the Electoral College meets has gone to court to be unbound. The elector is from Colorado, which went for Clinton. The suit, however, is in protest to the law in 29 states that binds electors.

Who would have thunk it – Trump received nearly three times as many votes from Muslims than Romney did in 2012. This came even though Trump called for a ban on Muslims entering the US of A.

In the Establishment hustings and the punditry alternate universe, some are grumbling about the number of retired generals beating a path to Trump’s golden doors in Trump Tower.

How much money people have is now becoming an issue as Trump interviews candidates for Cabinet positions. Some say too many are billionaires.

Could the Keystone Pipeline be revived by the incoming Trump Administration?

In global politics:

In light of scandal and arrest of her closest confidante, South Korean President Park Geun-hye has sunk to a 4% approval rating.

Turkish President Recep Erdognan wants to reintroduce a bill, after its rewritten, which will allow those convicted of statutory rape to get out of jail if they marry their victims.

South Africa’s President is none too happy with an influence peddling report critical of him.

If Washington cannot or does not want to fight terrorists, it should not get in the way,” Major General Igor Konashenkov, a spokesman for the Russian Defense Ministry said about US involvement in Syria.

Brazil’s government crisis is growing as another Minister has stepped down in a case that implicates the interim President.

Sunday, 11/27/16:

Recount is the word this weekend following Thanksgiving.

Green Party failed wannabe Dr. Jill Stein has filed and received a recount in the Wisconsin presidential election. Not that the 3rd party candidate thinks there will be any change in the results, but the voters will know the election was fair.

The also failed campaign of Democrat Hillary Clinton is sending lawyers to observe the recount – just because it is happening.

President Elect Donald Trump sees this as a way for Stein to raise money and a publicity stunt. Trump also referred to Stein and Clinton as a “pack of sore losers.”

trumponsteinrecount

Stein for her part vows to “do a recount in any state where the deadline has not passed.”

Then there is the public fight going on over whom to choose for Secretary of State – loyalist Rudy Giuliani or major critic Mitt Romney. Throw into the mix disgraced retired General David Petraeus, Senator Bob Corker and retired General John Kelly.

Trump soundly denounced former Cuban dictator Fidel Castro on learning of his death on Friday. President Barack Obama offered a mild statement and offered condolences to the family.

The President Elect, who on the campaign trail vowed to rescind the executive actions of Obama on Cuba, is now adopting a wait-and-see approach to keeping diplomatic relations alive with the island nation 90 miles off the Florida coast.

If you did a search of Trump Tower on Google Maps you may have found Dump Tower instead. That is if you did your search before the mischief was corrected on Saturday.

A lot of people, mainly Democrats, are calling for abolishing the Electoral College.

I believe, rather, we should keep it.

Read my reasoning: Electoral College Genius

Global Politics:

Fidel Castro, Jesuit to revolutionary who overthrew a dictator to become a dictator, ruling Cuba with an iron hand for over half a century died at age 90 on Friday.

Cuba is in nine days of official mourning. 

But in Little Havana in Miami, Florida, Cuba-Americans are celebrating the death of the despot.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is being soundly panned for his effusive praise of Castro upon learning of his death.

François Fillon will be the right wing candidate for President of France. It is not yet known if President François Hollande, a Socialist, will seek re-election.

Swiss voters are saying “no” to accelerating the government’s withdrawal from nuclear energy.

Thanks for viewing!

Electoral College Genius

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After two presidential elections so far this century in which the candidate amassing the popular vote has lost the presidency in the Electoral College delegate count, there are those calling for abolishing the system implemented by the Founding Fathers.

Many are saying the 2016 election especially bears out the need to do away with the system of selecting the next President, which is found nowhere else on Earth.

As I noted in Friday’s Kernels From the Cornfield:

Hillary Clinton, the Democratic nominee for President, continues to amass a wide lead in the popular vote over President Elect Donald Trump, the Republican standard bearer.

That lead in the popular vote can be narrowed down primarily from California, which is still counting votes.

In the latest count from the California Secretary of State, Clinton has 8,021,534 votes to Trump’s 4,196,371 votes.

If we take California’s votes out of play, Trump has 58,141,272 votes. Clinton has 56,411,865.

These facts are why so many say this proves the need to abolish the Electoral College.

I beg to differ.

The recent scenario proves the genius of the Electoral College. This shows the prescience of our Founding Fathers in not setting up a direct vote during the construction of the nation.

Going to a straight popular vote would mean that only one state – California – would ever need to vote.

Only one state – California – would decide for the entire nation who should be in the White House, which ideology the American people would follow, which mores and ethics would apply to an entire country.

There would be no need to cast ballots or to electioneer in any other state as by sheer population, California would hold all the cards. Make all decisions.

Sure state legislatures and governor’s offices would be up for grabs as would members of both chambers of Congress.

Yet in the end, no matter the ideology, the ethical bent, the morals of the citizens in the other 49 states and the District of Columbia, California would be the determinant state by the fact it would put the person in the Oval Office, who in turn would appoint all Supreme Court justices and jurists in all federal courts.

The genius of the Electoral College is that no one state would have the power and ability to dictate to the rest of the nation.

Another plan being put forth right now is for all electors to be bound to the popular vote winner rather than to the individual state winner. This would yield the same result with California dictating to the rest of the nation.

Some will argue, but what about population shifts?

The same result would ensue.

Whichever state has the most votes which can dominate, as California does currently, would become the only state that matters.

With the Electoral College – yes, I know in the beginning it was a compromise in part to protect slave states – all states are put on a more equal footing.

The number of electors is based on the population of any given state.

The long term benefit is that each state matters.

A candidate must amass, currently, 270 electors to go to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Population shifts would only juggle the number of electors for a particular state, but the requisite number would remain a constant percentage.

In essence the Electoral College does keep the spirit of democracy if not the strict adherence to the same.

The Electoral College provides greater equality for each state.

From the Cornfield, the Founding Fathers displayed genius not even they knew they had, as well as forethought not expressed, in devising a system of election unparalleled.

For This I Am Grateful

From the Desert with feet planted firmly in the Cornfield

Life – filled with its ups and downs, the level plains which lie between;

The rain without which there would be no flowers;

The valleys where strength and supplies are found to climb to the mountain tops;

Health – though fraught with issues and concerns with which I must daily battle;

Healthcare – which has resulted in finding the root cause of many of my more serious physical ailments along with a cure for the fatal infection that threatens to kill me;

Eye Care – which provides the expertise to restore my vision rather than allowing me to go blind;

Family – who bring joys and tears, but with whom I could not live without;

Sons – those offspring who carry on and outshine the man who was their sire;

Granddaughters – who are beautiful, bubbly, putting a smile on my face even in the darkest moments with a look;

Daughters-in-Law – who put up with the “Old Man” and don’t fuss too much when their husbands stay in touch;

Mom – who may not always agree with the choices, decisions I make, but is always there to support me as her son;

Dad – who often is on opposite sides from where I stand, but is still there when least expected;

The Other Halves – who have brought love and joy to my parents and been there too many times to count for me;

Siblings – who bring the tussle and tumble at times and the closeness and connectivity that none else can know;

Ex-Wives – without whom I would never have known the joy and love of my two sons;

My Ex-Partner – who put up with me through good, bad, sickness and health for over a decade;

Chooey – who provides companionship, alerts me and loves his “Daddy” unconditionally;

Real Life Acquaintances – who have shown up at my door when unexpected, but at the right moment;

Online Friends – some who have been angels in some of my direst moments over the past few years when I felt I could not carry on;

Our Nation – though battered and torn at times, though enmeshed in family feuds at times, yet still the most free and greatest light of liberty in the world today;

God – for sustaining me thus far and deciding it was not time for me to cross the divide and go home yet.

From the Cornfield, I send out my wish to one and all for a day of reflection, a time with family and friends, a day of peace, love and joy this Thanksgiving Day before the madness of shopping fever takes over, forgetting the reason for the season.

May you find no matter your situation, station in life, health or wealth, there is always something for which to be grateful.

The Day the World Stopped

From the Desert with feet planted firmly in the Cornfield

It was a mild, sunny Friday afternoon in the Cornfield. As usual on a school day, I was sitting in Mrs. Smith’s 4th grade class. Thoughts of the upcoming weekend filled my mind with revelry.

The daydream, as Mrs. Smith droned on about Indiana history, came to an abrupt halt when the principal’s trembling voice came out of the wooden box mounted in the top center of the wall behind the teacher’s desk.

The halting voice, filled with sorrow, announced that our beloved President, John Fitzgerald Kennedy, had been struck down by an assassin’s bullet and was dead. Mrs. Smith’s eyes began to tear. Shock was on her face.

The class seemed transfixed as if turned to stone by Medusa’s stare. One by one, starting with the girls in the class, weeping and crying took over.

The girl sitting next to me (I think her name was Sally) was bawling her eyes out. My 8-year-old brain couldn’t comprehend why Sally was crying.

I began to laugh at her and make fun of her, not understanding what the principal’s words meant. Mrs. Smith came over to chide me and explain in terms my immature mind could comprehend what had happened.

As she spoke, my laughter turned to tears as well.

My mind went back in time to that dark night in the parsonage in Anderson, Indiana where my Dad was pastoring, watching the black-and-white television and listening as President Kennedy demanded the Russians to remove the missiles from Cuba or risk all out war.

I recalled the Russian leader, Nikita Khrushchev, taking his shoe off and pounding it on the table at the United Nations threatening to bury the United States in the ashes.

The man who had stood up to the red threat and made the Ruskies back down was dead.

The King of Camelot was dead.

His queen, Jackie, and the young princess and prince, Caroline and John-John, were left without a husband or father.

None of us rushed out of school, frolicking in the fall sunshine as we normally would with the weekend beckoning. With slow steps we made our way home.

Life was not the same.

Childhood was not the same.

The world stopped at 12:30 p.m. (CT) that afternoon in Dallas, Texas.

Over the next few days, not only did Americans mourn, but the peoples of the Earth lamented the loss of the Leader of the Free World. Even our enemies, the Russians and Chinese, expressed condolences and disbelief that JFK was gone.

A few days later on live television, I watched in horror as Jack Ruby, gun drawn, walked up to Lee Harvey Oswald, the President’s assassin, and shoot him dead. The police officers surrounding Oswald seemed to not see or did not care that the two-bit hoodlum Ruby had a gun out, pointed and walking quickly up to Oswald.

A half century later and another image that remains etched into my mind is that of a 4-year-old John-John in a short-pants suit standing smartly on Pennsylvania Avenue saluting as the horse-drawn wagon bearing his father’s casket came down the street, surrounded by a weeping throng.

The young prince was the picture of strength in time of trouble and hope in an hour of despair.

The fabric of the World was torn that day.

Life was changed for an entire generation.

The end of an era had come to a sudden and deadly halt.

Conspiracy theories continue.

The question of “What if?” still dominates the conversation when anyone pauses to remember that fateful November day.

From the Cornfield, that day is as real today as it was a life time ago.

Ask Not – Remembering

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Today is the anniversary of John Fitzgerald Kennedy’s death at the hands of an assassin in Dallas, Texas. Across the Cornfield and across the nation, people are remembering the years of Camelot, when a young, charismatic politician stole the hearts of Americans.

At the time, though many throughout the nation still were at odds with the President on policy issues, he had managed to capture the people’s hearts as had his wife, Jackie, and children, Caroline and John-John. Speeches would denounce his politics and yes, even his religion, but would in the next breath extol what a determined, caring man and war hero JFK was.

A phrase which has become synonymous with the Kennedy years and the course of a nation was his appeal during his inaugural address on January 20, 1961: “And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you—ask what you can do for your country.”

Today that concept, that idea, seems to be alien to many Americans and especially lost on most of our national elected officials.

The concept and its origin is steeped in debate. Some arguing it goes back a thousand years or more to Plato or Juvenal. Others cite President Warren G. Harding who made a similar statement to the Republican National Convention decades before. Others cite JFK’s former school headmaster.

No matter the origin, the sentiment of the line is rooted in a belief shared since the foundation of this great nation – the idea of individual responsibility, individual fortitude, individual enterprise and individual ingenuity to build and sustain a nation unlike any other before it.

Ronald Reagan voiced a similar sentiment with his quip that government is the problem and not the answer. Kennedy recognized this. Kennedy knew government was only as effective as the people and what the people were willing to do for themselves and for country.

While JFK in his “New Frontier” speech to the 1960 Democratic National Convention made known his desire to expand on the more social platform instituted by Franklin Delano Roosevelt, he also was a pragmatist who understood the need for the individual doing his or her part and not relying solely on taking from or asking for government to provide the solutions and answers.

That concept, that sentiment, appears so lost in the political climate of today. It is lost not just with the Democratic Party of which JFK is a legacy, but also with Republicans who are far afield of either Abraham Lincoln or Reagan.

From the Cornfield, as we remember Kennedy, let us once more look inward and say with him, “Ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country.”

And let it begin in the halls of Congress and in the White House.

Politics Roundup: November 14 – 20, 2016

politicsroundup

Welcome to the weekly compilation of the ins and outs, the ups and downs, the comings and goings from the alternate world of reality – politics!

Monday, 11/14/16:

Reince Priebus has been tapped to be President Elect Donald Trump’s Chief of Staff when he moves into the Oval Office on January 20.

Controversial figure, Steve Bannon, has been named Chief Political Strategist for the incoming President.

Trump in making his announcement Sunday said the pair would be equals in his Administration.

The appointment of Bannon has outcries coming from pundits, national news journalists and Democrats. Bannon ran the alt-right website Breitbart. Detractors see his appointment as allowing bigotry into the White House.

As Trump made his announcement, the sound was deafening as minds closed tighter than a trap on a bear’s leg.

The idea of giving a Trump presidency a chance melted faster than snow in the Mohave Desert.

Reality is 99% perception.

The perception of Bannon is that of a man who is anti-immigrant, anti-gay, anti-Muslim, anti-Semetic, anti-black and misogynistic.

Forget that Bannon kept Trump on message and won him the White House.

Forget that Bannon took away Trump’s phone as the election drew near.

Protests continue across the country with people rejecting Trump as their President. A petition is online calling on Electors to be “faithless” and vote for Hillary Clinton, who won the popular vote, rather than for Trump who may have won their individual state.

In an interview with CBS’ 60 Minutes, Trump said that same-gender marriage was “settled law.” Abortion, Roe V Wade, however is still up for review in Trump’s opinion.

That $400,000 year salary a President receives?

Trump will only take $1.

The President Elect has two words for supporters who are targeting minorities, immigrants and others, “Stop it.”

Don’t expect Trump to “lock her up.” Chalk it up to political rhetoric when it comes to vanquished foe Clinton.

House of Representatives Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy says more Clinton investigations are not part of the GOP agenda.

Students from coast to coast walked out of high schools in protest of the election of Trump.

Vice President Elect Mike Pence as Indiana Governor has gone to court to shield his private emails from public scrutiny.

The why: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/onpolitics/2016/11/14/whats-mike-pence-hiding-his-emails/93791712/

Is New Jersey Chris Christie in or out of a Trump Administration?

Will Trump honor an agreement with Australia to accept asylum seekers in exchange for Australia accepting Latin American immigrants?

The story: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-australia-asylum-idUSKBN1390BN

Secretary of State John Kerry is trying to rush through details of the climate change pact approved by the United Nations and signed by the US before Trump takes office.

Trump has promised to negate the pact.

House Speaker Paul Ryan told Republicans, “We must deliver.”

We need to seize this moment, and come together like never before,” Ryan told fellow House GOP lawmakers in a letter seeking their support in his re-election for speaker.

Former presidential wannabe and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders had some scathing remarks for Democrats.

There needs to be a profound change in the way the Democratic Party does business. It is not good enough to have a liberal elite,” Sanders said in an interview on CBS This Morning.

I come from the white working class and I am deeply humiliated that the Democratic Party can’t talk to the people where I came from,” he added.

Ex-wife Ivana Trump wants to be ambassador to the Czech Republic.

A push is on to separate Trump from his business dealings which could present a conflict of interest.

Some House Democrats want to delay voting for new leadership in light of last week’s loss at the polls. At least 20 have sent a letter to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

It is vital that our Caucus take the time to listen to the American people and learn the lessons of this difficult election in order to put our Caucus in the best position to fight the potentially dangerous agenda of President-elect Donald Trump and to have a realistic chance of taking back the House in 2018,” the letter reads.

Tuesday, 11/15/16:

President Barack Obama is on his last foreign trip as Leader of the Free World with stops in Greece, Germany and Peru on tap.

Before the Prez left, he gave a press conference on Monday in which he said that President Elect Donald Trump was more “pragmatic” and not holding to a specific ideology.

Some notable quips from Obama:

Nobody said democracy was suppose to be easy. It’s hard.”

This office has a way of waking you up.”

It is true I have not been able to close the darn thing,” said the Prez about Gitmo.

Meanwhile tension continues to swirl around the pick of Steve Bannon as the Chief Political Strategist in the incoming Trump Administration. A move, which President Obama said that Trump must be allowed to make his own decisions.

Sort of like saying that Trump must be allowed to stub his toe.

While it seems that House Speaker Paul Ryan is safe in his position, Nancy Pelosi may be in trouble holding on to her spot as Minority Leader in the House of Representatives.

Ohio Democratic Congressman Tim Ryan is said to be taking on Pelosi for the job. The election has been delayed until November 30.

Even the Prez seem to put the onus on the election loss at the feet of Hillary Clinton in responding to reporters on Monday.

Clinton told House Democrats on a conference call, “No one is sorrier than me.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin reached out to the President Elect and offered to reset the relationship once Trump is in office.

Arizona Senator and 2008 GOP presidential nominee John McCain warned the President Elect today to not get too cozy with nor believe too much coming out of the mouth of Putin.

Dr. Ben Carson, who ran unsuccessfully for President, has declined to serve in the Trump Cabinet, but rather to advise the new President from the outside.

Los Angeles, California and Chicago, Illinois have come down as sanctuary cities which will not cooperate with detention of illegal immigrants for deportation.

The City of Washington DC released a statement today declaring it would uphold its status as a sanctuary city as well.

sanctuary

Trump is looking into getting Top Secret security clearances for adult children – Ivanka, Don Jr. and Eric – as well as son-in-law, Jared Kushner.

President Obama praised Greece for being one of five NATO countries paying its 2% of GDP as required. The issue of NATO members paying was a Trump complaint during the campaign.

Speaker Ryan to the American people: “Welcome to the dawn of a new unified Republican government.”

Speaking from Greece today, President Obama said, “We are going to have to guard against a rise in a crude sort of nationalism, or ethnic identity or tribalism that is built around an us and a them, and I will never apologize for saying that the future of humanity and the future of the world is doing to be defined by what we have in common, as opposed to those things that separate us and ultimately lead us into conflict.”

Genius” or “disaster“?

You pick.

Trump has called the Electoral College, which is how he won the presidency, both terms.

Who will serve in a Trump Cabinet?

Maybe we will know tomorrow.

A Russian investigative committee has arrested the Economic Development Minister on corruption and bribery charges.

The British government is reeling after a memo was leaked stating there is no Brexit strategy due to in-fighting among the Ministers.

Wednesday, 11/16/16:

The national press is miffed that President Elect Donald Trump took his family out to dinner at The 21 Club in New York City, New York last night without them.

In fact the press was clueless that the incoming First Family had left Trump Tower until a reporter, who happened to be dining at the restaurant, tweeted out that Trump was there.

Reportedly, the patrons at the trendy eatery took it all in stride and matter-of-fact that the man who would soon be Leader of the Free World and his family were having dinner in the same room with them.

Trump spokesperson Jason Miller said the Trump team was working toward setting up a protective pool in the near future but said that “for some in the media, unless they’re actually sitting at the table, seeing if he’s getting the chicken or the fish, that they will never be happy. And there always needs to be some balance for respecting some degree of privacy.”

Back in 2008, then President Elect Barack Obama did not name his first Cabinet member until 20 days after the election.

At that time the first named was the Treasury Secretary. Americans and the press had to wait until December for more appointments.

It has been eight days since this election. The press are clamoring for Cabinet appointments.

Surely the Transition Team is in total disarray because there are no announcements yet.

Jared Kushner – soon-to-be First Son-in-Law – seems to be holding all the cards or at least has the biggest and last voice in the ear of the President Elect.

And we are surprised, why?

Kushner, along with wife Ivanka, were the most influential voices during Trump’s campaign.

Why should that change?

Mitch McConnell remains Majority Leader in the US Senate.

Chuck Schumer takes the reins of Minority Leader from retiring Harry Reid.

Will Ohio Congressman Tim Ryan challenge Nancy Pelosi for Minority Leader in the House of Representatives or won’t he?

Ryan is not saying. But the other Ryan, Paul, won by unanimous acclamation the nod from Republicans to remain Speaker of the House.

Vanquished foe, Hillary Clinton, now has amassed more than one million votes more than Trump in the popular vote count. This does not alter the Electoral College win by Trump.

The House approved an extension of the Iran Sanctions Act for 10 more years.

It now moves to the Senate.

Debatable if President Barack Obama will sign if it makes it to his desk before he leaves office.

Ted Cruz showed up at Trump Towers on Tuesday – if only…

Today, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio showed up for a sit down at Trump Towers with the President Elect.

Not sure which would have been more interesting to listen and watch – Cruz or de Blasio.

In another testament that we are transitioning to a Reality TV Presidency, Trump took to Twitter to announce, “I am the only one who knows who the finalists are.”

Trump was talking about his picks for his Cabinet.

The wording, however, sounds like something you would have read or heard from his long-running show, The Apprentice.

Still in Athens, Greece, President Obama poignantly noted, “Democracy depends on a peaceful transfer of power. Especially when you don’t get the results you want.”

Before leaving office, President Obama plans to block drilling for oil or natural gas in the Arctic Ocean until 2022.

Nikki Haley?

The South Carolina Governor, with family roots in India, is being rumored to be in consideration for the post of Secretary of State.

Count the Independent Senator from Vermont who gave Clinton a run for her money, Bernie Sanders, as a member of the new leadership in the Senate. Sanders is the new Chair of Outreach.

Liberal darling and rising star, Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren was elevated to Vice Chair of the Democratic Conference.

Twitter has suspended alt-right accounts.

Earlier this year, it suspended the account of a Breitbart senior editor.

Did Megyn Kelly fail to disclose information vital to voters that she put in her book?

Are the accusations of Trump threatening her, Roger Ailes harassing her, Trump knowing questions, all put in the book to make sales?

Or did Kelly violate her duty as a working journalist?

Everyone is talking about how unexpected the outcome of the election was – even for Trump.

Here were my thoughts back in February: An American Revolution

Smoke ’em if you got ’em – marijuana cigarettes that is – in bars and restaurants in Denver, Colorado. Voters approved the measure in last week’s voting.

The Russian government conducted an “extraordinary meeting“, but no one knows why. Though the government is now saying it was “routine.”

Thursday, 11/17/16:

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper was the first to submit his resignation as one Administration makes the hand-off to the incoming one.

This puts added pressure on the Donald Trump Transition Team to find the right people to man the leadership posts that will guide a Trump presidency.

Vanquished Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton received an award from the Children Defense Fund last night.

She had a few words to her supporters.

I know over the past week a lot of people have asked themselves whether America is the country we thought it was,” she said.

The divisions laid bare by this election run deep, but please listen to me when I say this. America is worth it, our children are worth it.”

Even if it may not seem like it right now,” she said, “there is common ground to build upon.”

On his last foreign trip as President, Barack Obama spoke in Athens, Greece before heading on to meet with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

As you may have noticed, the next American president and I could not be more different,” Obama said. “We have very different points of view, but American democracy is bigger than any one person.”

Vice President Joe Biden and his wife hosted Vice President Elect Mike Pence and his wife yesterday. Biden spoke to reporters after the luncheon.

“On Day 1, everything will be in good hands,” Biden said.

As of today, the Trump Transition Team is conducting daily press briefings. Today’s was a conference call rather than a face-to-face.

Speaking from Germany today, the Prez cautioned that the President Elect and voters need to be “serious about facts.”

The President Elect meets with his first foreign head of state, Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, during the 5 o’clock hour today without State briefing.

South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley made the trek to Trump Towers today. She is reportedly being considered for Secretary of State.

A 2-hour meeting with the entire Transition Team has been set for tomorrow with Trump.

The GOP 2008 presidential nominee Mitt Romney will have a sit down with the President Elect this weekend.

Talk about strange bedfellows.

Is Romney being considered for a Cabinet position?

NBC News reports Romney is in the running for State Secretary.

Like it or not, soon-to-be First Son-in-Law Jared Kushner is not going anywhere and will likely get that Top Secret security clearance.

Retiring Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid sounds like an old pugilist not ready to leave the ring and go to his corner.

Forget the rumors about charter school advocate Eva Moskowitz for Secretary of Education. Moskowitz said she does not want the job.

Democratic lawmakers continue to call on Trump to take back his appointment of Steve Bannon as his Chief Political Strategist.

The requests seem to fall on deaf ears.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi appealed directly to Pence today to intercede with Trump to get rid of Bannon.

I do not see that happening.

Nope, pork will not be back on the table in the US House of Representatives. Speaker Paul Ryan declared the item remains banned from the menu.

(Earmarks, for those not aware of which pork is referred also known as pet projects for members of Congress.)

GOP members, though, say they want to hear it from the President Elect if their pet projects can be green lighted or continue to see a red light.

The Reverend Jesse Jackson has called on President Obama to issue a blanket pardon to Clinton. (Pardon Me?)

Kansas Congressman Tom Huelskamp says he has been asked about becoming Agriculture Secretary.

The Trump Team announced a five-year ban on lobbying by those joining the incoming Administration once they leave government service.

The Team also said any candidates wanting to be named have to cut all ties to any lobbying positions currently being held.

Former Texas Governor and presidential wannabe Rick Perry for Energy Secretary?

The same department Perry wanted to do away with if he were President?

President Obama has asked the 4,000 or so political appointees to submit their letters of resignation no later than Inauguration Day.

House Republicans plan to put through a bill to fund the government through March to allow the Trump Administration to add input for the fiscal year 2017.

Republican National Committee Communications Director Sean Spicer says in addition to the 5-year lobbying ban, appointees will be banned for life from representing a foreign government.

Add Baltimore, Maryland to the list of sanctuary cities.

Democrats are asking President Obama to issue a pardon to all “dreamers”, who have registered with the DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) program.

Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger visited Trump Towers.

Count Newt Gingrich out in serving in a Trump Administration. The former Speaker of the House and would-be presidential hopeful said, “I intend to be focused on strategic planning.”

Keep an eye on Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions, who is becoming more of a key player than he already has been.

sessions

Ohio Congressman Tim Ryan has formally thrown his hat in the ring to replace California Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi as House Minority Leader.

Wait for it – the President Elect is planning a “Victory Tour” of states he won.

A fake news writer is claiming credit for Trump’s win.

In honor of the Vice President Elect, a staunch social conservative, thousands have donated to Planned Parenthood in Pence’s name.

At least 20,000 donations have been sent in for Pence.

How nice of North Korea offering to make nice with the US of A under Trump – IF – the incoming Commander-in-Chief removes all American troops and defenses from South Korea.

A Cornfield lawmaker plans to introduce a bill to the Indiana General Assembly to outlaw and criminalize all abortions in the state.

Friday, 11/18/16:

Naming names.

Coming many days ahead of then President Elect Barack Obama in 2008, President Elect Donald Trump is choosing people for top posts in his Administration.

Attorney General: Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions
Central Intelligence Agency Director: Kansas Congressman Mike Pompeo
National Security Adviser: Retired Army Lieutenant General Michael Flynn

Two of the positions require US Senate confirmation. One does not.

Will remarks which denied him a federal judgeship back in the 1980s derail Session’s getting the top job at the US Justice Department?

Pompeo will likely face some rigorous questions from Democrats over his questioning during the Benghazi hearings, but will likely be the nation’s next top spy.

Pompeo won his seat in 2010 as part of the Tea Party revolt.

The choice of Pompeo is garnering praise from the security community for Trump.

Flynn, who has been a very vocal supporter of Trump, does not require confirmation. Flynn is the former head of the Defense Intelligence Agency.

The question is if Flynn will tone down his rhetoric about Islam?

Bandied about: Michelle Rhee for Education Secretary and Admiral Michael Rogers for Director of National Intelligence. Retired General James Mattis is under consideration to be Defense Secretary.

Soon-to-be First Daughter Ivanka and her husband Jared Kushner joined her father in meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe last evening.

Abe was the first foreign head of state to meet with the President Elect.

Does Ivanka, who with her brothers will run the Trump Organization, run into a conflict of interest by sitting in on the meeting with a world leader?

Abe said the conversation was “candid” in a “warm atmosphere.” The pair agreed to more and deeper conversations.

The Prime Minister also said of the President Elect that he is a “leader in whom I can have great confidence.”

Abe and Trump met for about 90 minutes.

After calls from Democratic lawmakers for President Barack Obama to pardon “dreamers” before he leaves office, the White House said the President does not have that authority.

The idea of implementing a registry to track Muslims is being dismissed by Team Trump:

muslimregistry

Trump is taking credit for Ford Motors’ decision not to move production of one model of Lincoln out of Kentucky for Mexico.

The fraud case involving Trump University looks like is being settled for $25 million after Trump signed off on the settlement.

In the for-what-its-worth department, Kanye West did not vote in the past election, but had he voted would have voted for Trump.

Former Arkansas Governor and presidential wannabe Mike Huckabee met with Trump today, but remained mum about their conversation.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg reports having a good conversation with the President Elect on the future of the alliance. The two also discussed increased defense spending and terrorism.

In an interview with Der Spiegel, President Obama was asked if he would pardon Edward Snowden, who revealed the National Security Agency’s bulk data collection program.

The Prez replied, “I can’t pardon somebody who hasn’t gone before a court and presented themselves.”

As reported by The Hollywood Reporter from Steve Bannon, the Chief Political Strategist for the President Elect, “Darkness is good. Dick Cheney. Darth Vader. Satan. That’s power. It only helps us when they – get it wrong. When they’re blind to who we are and what we’re doing.”

The reporter speculated the “they” was referring to liberals.

A Georgia state lawmaker has withdrawn his bill to outlaw the wearing of the burqa after an outcry from constituents and push back from colleagues.

Who is the President Elect meeting with this weekend?

According to Reuters:

BETSY DEVOS
Republican donor and former chair of the Michigan Republican Party
LEW EISENBERG
Republican National Committee finance chairman
RETIRED GENERAL JAMES MATTIS
Retired four-star general and head of U.S. Central Command
Visiting fellow at the Hoover Institution, a conservative-leaning think tank at Stanford University
ANDREW PUZDER
CKE Restaurants chief executive officer and director
Under consideration for U.S. labor secretary, according to Politico
MITT ROMNEY
2012 Republican presidential nominee
Former governor of Massachusetts and CEO of 2002 Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City
Under possible consideration for U.S. secretary of state
MICHELLE RHEE
Former chancellor of Washington, D.C., public school system
Founder of StudentsFirst, an education advocacy group
Under consideration for education secretary, according to media reports
TODD RICKETTS
Chicago Cubs board member
Director and CEO of Ending Spending, a political group that has said it wants to reduce “wasteful and excessive government spending”
BOB WOODSON
*Founder and president of Center for Neighborhood Enterprise, a community development advocacy group (Reporting by Susan Heavey; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)

With the stunning defeat of Hillary Clinton, a new survey reveals 2/3 of Democrats want to get rid of the Electoral College.

Don’t bet the kids’ future on that happening any time soon.

Talking with The New Yorker, President Obama said about his legacy under a Trump presidency, “Maybe 15 percent of that gets rolled back, 20 percent, but there’s still a lot of stuff that sticks.”

A Washington State lawmaker wants protesters of the President Elect’s victory charged with “economic terrorism.”

Mr. State Senator, you have heard of the US Constitution – right?

The Portage, Indiana Mayor and the Lake County, Indiana Sheriff have been charged with corruption.

Sunday, 11/20/16:

President Elect Donald Trump met with the 2012 Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney on Saturday.

Romney on meeting with Trump said that the two had “a far-reaching conversation with regards to the various theaters in the world where there are interests of the United States of real significance.”

However, Romney remained mum about the Secretary of State position up for grabs.

The Sage of the Book of Ecclesiastes told us that there is “a time and a season” for everything.

Was this advice not adhered to when the cast of Hamilton chided and implored with Vice President Elect Mike Pence, when he attended a performance of the show with his family, on Friday night, to uphold American principles and ideals?

Were the “boos” from the audience impolite, rude and disrespectful?

The President Elect thinks so and tweeted the cast of the show owed Pence an apology.

Was this the wrong time and place?

Pence for his part said he was “not offended.” The Vice President Elect added, “That’s what freedom sounds like.”

The movement is on to have Electors go against the popular vote in their state which awards the presidency to Trump and cast a “faithless” ballot for vanquished Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton when the Electoral College convenes and officially selects the next President on December 19.

The grassroots movement is basing its appeal to Electors on the fact that Clinton won the popular vote. That vote was almost exclusively in the Northeast and the West Coast.

There were a couple of blue islands in this sea of red – Illinois and Minnesota.

That popular vote lead is now over 1.5 million.

Scuttlebutt has it incoming First Lady Melania Trump and First Son Barron will stay in New York City, New York rather than moving into the White House to shield Barron from prying eyes and the media circus. The two may, however, move to Washington when school is out in the spring.

Current Republican National Committee Chair and incoming White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus refused to rule out the possibility of a Muslim registry while appearing on the Sunday talk shows. However, Priebus added there would be no registry based on religion.

Is Trump’s conflict of interest showing?

On Friday, the President Elect met with three businessmen from India in the process of building a luxury apartment complex branded with the Trump name in their native country.

Retired Army General Jack Keane says he has declined an offer to be Secretary of Defense from Trump.

The outgoing Administration of President Barack Obama want to sack the head of the National Security Agency before leaving office. Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter and Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper Jr. both recommended last month that Admiral Mike Rogers be removed as head of the NSA.

Rogers is under consideration by Trump to be Director of National Intelligence when he takes office January 20, 2017.

While in Peru, the Prez had this to say about his successor:

My main message to you … and the message I delivered in Europe is don’t just assume the worst,” Obama told a group of young people during a question-and-answer session on Saturday.

Wait until the administration is in place, it’s actually putting its policies together, and then you can make your judgments as to whether or not it’s consistent with the international community’s interest in living in peace and prosperity together.”

Speaking of the Prez, he seems to think that he should take the helm of the currently rudderless Democratic Party.

Hispanic representation in state legislator grew from 307 to 321 members with this election.

In global politics: Angela Merkel announced she will run for a fourth term to be Germany’s Chancellor.

Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy was rejected by conservatives in France.

Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto’s favorable rating has dropped to a new low of 25% with the election of nemesis Trump.

Could the President of South Korea be toppled and charged with crimes?

Two of her close confidantes were just charged and she was implicated as a conspirator.

Thanks for viewing!

Politics Roundup – November 7 – 13, 2016

politicsroundup

Welcome to the weekly compilation of the ins and outs, the ups and downs, the comings and goings from the alternate world of reality – politics!

THIS JUST IN!: Major news outlooks are reporting that Republican National Committee Chair Reince Priebus has been selected to become President Elect Donald Trump’s Chief of Staff beating out Breitbart Exec and Campaign CEO Steve Bannon.

Monday, 11/7/16:

One day.

Tomorrow voters will fan out across the nation. At issue is who will lead the country for the next four years.

Will the race end or will there be ongoing battles contesting the will of the people?

Will there be mandatory recounts or challenges raised to specific precincts or state vote counts?

One Elector from Washington DC is already on record as saying he will vote on December 19, his conscience even if goes against how the people vote for their presidential choice.

Will any of the third party candidates deprive either of the two major party candidates from an Electoral College majority?

What happens then?

Federal Bureau of Investigation Director James Comey released another letter to congress in which he confirmed that his department had reviewed the emails pertaining to Hillary Clinton found on a laptop used by disgraced former New York Congressman Anthony Weiner, estranged husband of Hillary confidante Huma Abedin.

Comey stated that he stands by the conclusion he came to in July that there was no criminal wrongdoing by Clinton in the use of a private email server while she was Secretary of State.

Comey wrote that investigators had worked “around the clock” to review all the emails. “Based on our review, we have not changed our conclusions expressed in July.”

The campaign of Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton is staying mum on the news.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is imploring voters to “deliver justice at the ballot box” for Clinton’s alleged criminal activity.

Trump supporters see this as more proof that there is one standard of justice for Clinton and another for ordinary Americans.

comeyletter

The emails found on Weiner’s laptop were determined to be mostly duplicates of other email already reviewed and personal correspondence.

Question is: Are voters paying attention?

US House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan’s response to Comey’s announcement:

ryanresponse

Early voting shows that Hispanic turnout is at an all-time high.

Could this portend bad news for Trump?

The largest voting bloc this election cycle – Millennials – could be the deciders in tomorrow’s election.

Question is: Will Millennials use their power at the polls or stay home in disgust?

The markets are loving the news from the FBI as the Dow jumps more than 250 points and the S&P 500 gains after a 9-day losing streak. Investors prefer a Clinton presidency to a Trump administration.

The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals set aside a federal judge in Ohio’s injunction against Republican activity at polls, when the judge barred the GOP from “scaring” voters. Democrats have now appealed to the US Supreme Court.

The US Justice Department says it will monitor the polls in 28 states, five more than 2012.

The FBI has questioned Muslims in eight states over concerns about election threats.

Will African-Americans turn out for Clinton on Tuesday?

To-date, African-American votes are lower than those of 2012.

If you are a fan of The Voice, like I am, expect to see your entertainment interrupted by two-minute commercials from Clinton and Trump tonight.

There is more than just who will sit in the Oval Office on the ballot tomorrow.

There is the fate of who leads the Senate and the House.

There are governor’s offices up for grabs in a number of states, including Indiana.

There are state legislatures along with a host of local races to be determined.

For a rundown of key races in each state: https://icitizen.com/news/35ec2fb7-5057-46a4-8aff-e3d95f5f1cf2/from-coast-to-coast-a-look-at-key-races-in-every-state

Exercise Your Right – Vote!

The first female US Attorney General, a key figure in the President Bill Clinton Administration, Janet Reno has died at age 78.

Reno was a figure of controversy with the Waco assault on the Branch Davidian compound and the Elian Gonzalez deportation.

Her decades long fight with Parkinson Disease is now ended. For the warrior her battles are over. She moves to her seat in the hallowed halls of Valhalla.

Rest in peace.

Tuesday, 11/8/16:

Election Day!

The finish line is sight as the candidates sprint toward a win or a loss.

Barring some unforeseen major screw-up, disputed ballots or multiple machine malfunctions, we may know later tonight or in the wee hours of the morning who will be the 45th President of the United States – Democrat Hillary Clinton or Republican Donald Trump.

That is unless neither gets the requisite 270 Electoral College votes. In that case it goes to the US House of Representatives to decide our next leader.

There have been a few hiccups today, but nothing of consequence as of this time.

The Trump campaign filed suit to set aside some early voting precinct ballots in Nevada, but the judge said it ain’t happening.

The weather has not been beneficial to my respiratory system today, but I made my way across the street to the Ruritan building to make my voice heard in the Cornfield.

I voted - did you?
I voted – did you?

On the northern border of Sullivan County, Indiana where I live is Vigo County and county seat Terre Haute. Since the late 1890s, Vigo County in all but two elections has chosen correctly the candidate who becomes President.

Will Vigo County do it again?

The election of the Cornfield’s new US Senator filling the vacancy with the retirement of Dan Coats will be a real squeaker between Republican Todd Young and former Democratic Senator Evan Bayh.

The governor’s office is being vacated since Mike Pence may or may not be the nation’s next Vice President. Another squeaker between Democrat John Gregg, former Speaker of the Indiana General Assembly, and Lieutenant Governor Eric Holcomb.

The all-important State of Florida is still voting, but has already exceeded the total votes cast in 2012. Some 400,000+ more Latinos registered and voted in early voting.

The super early voting in northern New Hampshire gave Trump the win 32-25 in the three communities. Clinton did claim the first in the nation vote from Dixville Notch taking four of the eight votes. Trump received two and Libertarian Gary Johnson, one. The final vote was a write-in for Mitt Romney, the 2012 Republican presidential nominee.

In Hart’s Location, Clinton captured 17, but only 4 in Millsfield. Trump garnered 14 and 16, respectively.

The next crucial vote will be on December 19, when Electors from every state gather to officially elect the person who will be the next POTUS.

Wednesday, 11/9/16:

It is over!

Big sigh!

Last night I could not get Carol King out of my mind singing:

I feel the earth move under my feet. I feel the clouds coming tumbling down…

Even today the song won’t quit.

Around 2:30 a.m. Hillary Clinton called Trump and conceded the election.

Shortly before 3 a.m., Trump addressed the nation for the first time as the nation’s soon-to-be 45th President.

In his acceptance speech, Trump said, “Now it’s time for America to bind the wounds of division. It is time for us to come together as one united people. It’s time.”

Trump also congratulated and held out an olive branch to his rival, Hillary Clinton.

Trump won 289 electoral votes with four states still out.

He knocked big holes in the Blue Wall of Democrats as he claimed Pennsylvania and Wisconsin to put him over the top.

Michigan will likely be added to his win as well.

The plan had been to run through the Rust Belt and turn blue to red.

Trump succeeded.

It looks at this time that Clinton won the popular vote by a little less than 200,000 votes, but Trump took the Electoral College by blasting through Clinton’s firewall.

Both the US House of Representatives and the US Senate stayed firmly in GOP hands, handing Trump an added bonus come next January when he takes office.

As noted yesterday, the Cornfield’s Vigo County has in all, but two elections, correctly picked the next President in every election since the late 1890s. Vigo County, Indiana did it again on Tuesday as the normally Democratic country went for Trump.

Indiana Republican Congressman Todd Young stomped on favored former Governor and Senator Evan Bayh in the Cornfield.

In the Cornfield’s gubernatorial race, Lieutenant Governor Eric Holcomb bested Democrat John Gregg, who was in a second run for the governor’s mansion.

Holcomb will succeed Mike Pence, who was elected to become our next Vice President.

In Illinois, as expected, Democratic Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth defeated incumbent Republican Senator Mark Kirk.

Democrats held onto retiring Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid’s seat in Nevada, where Democrat Catherine Cortez Masto bested GOP Congressman Joe Heck.

California, Massachusetts and Nevada voters approved recreational marijuana use.

Maine may be added to the list as votes are tallied. In Arizona the measure is failing.

Florida, North Dakota and Arkansas gave thumbs up to medical marijuana initiatives.

Colorado voters approved assisted suicide.

Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Arizona will be no more. He tumbled and failed in his re-election bid for a seventh term.

The people Arpaio targeted decided to target him,” said Carlos Garcia, executive director of the advocacy group Puente. “He lost his power when undocumented people lost their fear.”

The pundits, the pollsters, the national press are still in shock.

Results reveal Trump – the equal opportunity offender – received more Hispanic and African-American votes than 2012 Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney.

President Barack Obama will meet with Trump Thursday to plan for the peaceful transition of power, the hallmark of US democracy.

No glass ceiling.

No floor painted with the map of the US for her stand in the center.

Rather a more demure setting with a tinge of sadness was the scene as Clinton today said farewell to the political world and her disappointed supporters.

Clinton, dressed in purple, – the convergence of red and blue – conceded the election to Trump.

She noted that Trump would now be her President and President of all Americans.

We owe him an open mind and a chance to lead,” Clinton said.

To the dismay of her supporters, last night Clinton Campaign Chair John Podesta came out to speak to supporters at the Javitz Center, where Clinton’s celebration was to take place, told the crowd to go home.

Clinton would not be speaking last night.

President Barack Obama, flanked by Vice President Joe Biden, stood in the Rose Garden today to promise a smooth and efficient transfer of power. The President also pointed out that we are all Americans and “on the same team.”

Both Presidents Bush and their wives called Trump to wish him well and to offer their support.

House Speaker Paul Ryan said, “We are eager to work hand-in-hand with the new Administration.”

While congratulations came in from leaders around the world, many also expressed concern about Trump’s election.

For the uninformed, this looks like the end of the “Un“Affordable Care Act, President Obama’s signature domestic legislation.

Expect one of Trump’s first acts as President is naming a jurist to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court.

Remember when Obama was elected Texans talked of seceding?

This time around we have Californians talking “Calexit.”

With the White House and both chambers of Congress being in Republican control come January, will the GOP do any better than the Democrats in 2009?

Melania Trump, born in Slovenia, will be only the second First Lady not born in the US of A.

The other was Louisa Adams, wife of John Quincy Adams.

Today, what I wrote several months ago seems to be worth reading again: Person Versus Persona.

I wonder as one last act, could President Obama, Pardon Me?

Thursday, 11/10/16:

We are in the last seven weeks of the tenure of President Barack Obama with the first 100 days of a President Donald Trump in the wings.

Hillary Clinton offered a visibly painful and conciliatory concession speech to the nation on her loss to Trump. She had these words for the millions of little girls listening:

Never doubt that you are valuable and powerful and deserving of every chance and opportunity in the world to pursue and to achieve your own dreams.”

Today, President Elect Trump met with President Barack Obama in the Oval Office in a significant gesture of the peaceful transfer of power.

Later Trump met with Speaker of the House of Representatives Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to lay out his agenda for the first 100 days.

Top priority: Immigration and healthcare.

Vice President Joe Biden met with Vice President Elect Mike Pence.

Incoming First Lady Melania Trump had a sit down with First Lady Michelle Obama as well.

The meeting between Trump and Obama was to last for 10 minutes. That conversation went on for around 90 minutes.

While Clinton won the popular vote around 200,000 votes, it should be pointed out that the vote revealed that the nation is fairly evenly split into two camps right now.

What does this portend as Trump takes office along with Republican majorities in both chambers of Congress and begins the task of governing?

Not backing down, GOP Utah Congressman Jason Chaffetz vowed to continue investigating Clinton.

This comes even though Trump said on Wednesday the nation owed a debt of gratitude to Clinton for her years of service to the country.

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders said he and others prepared to support Trump on progressive issues such as trade and infrastructure building, but would oppose any conservative pushes.

Sanders on CNN today warned the President Elect that if he “goes after the poor, people of color and Muslims, we will be his worst nightmare.”

Is Sanders now the face and the voice of the Democratic Party or in European terms, the Loyal Opposition?

Scuttlebutt has it that Trump wants Breitbart’s Steve Bannon will be tapped to be his Chief of Staff. Even Republicans are voicing concerns.

Also rumored is that JP Morgan Chase honcho Jamie Dimon may be tapped for Treasury Secretary.

I wonder as one last act, could President Obama, Pardon Me?

It has been a topic among the talking heads today.

The divides between how Democrats and Republicans could not be more clear as seen through a new survey from Pew Research.

The perspective, depending on political affiliation, can plainly be borne out in this chart:

divisions

Get the details: http://www.people-press.org/2016/11/10/a-divided-and-pessimistic-electorate/

While last night, in 25 cities across the US of A, people marched in protest to the election result which catapulted Trump to the presidency. Many of those protesting were young people. High school students, some too young to vote, stomped out of their classrooms in protest.

Many expressed fear of the future under a Trump Administration.

I wonder how many of these young people know our history or understand our political system?

Much of the protests seem reminiscent to the fear and protest of many in 2008 when Obama was elected.

As the President said yesterday, “The sun still rose.”

Protesters across the nation found themselves behind bars as well.

Young protesters, many undocumented, were concerned they or friends and family would be rounded up and shipped out of the US of A.

More on the outcry: http://in.reuters.com/article/usa-election-protests-idINKBN135243

Former Illinois Congressman Aaron Schock indicted on 24 corruption charges.

Turns out Russia was in contact with the campaign of Donald Trump – but – also the campaign of Hillary Clinton.

Howard Dean is wanting his old job back as head of the Democratic National Committee.

Friday, 11/11/16:

The President Elect took back to Twitter in the middle of the nigh and this morning.

At first, Trump blamed the “media” for the protests which have broke out across the nation in response to his election.

Then this morning, Trump praised the “passion” of the protesters and vowed to bring the country together.

The first tweet had the markets taken aback. The second brought ease.

The Prez Elect is quickly learning his words matter.

More on this: http://www.bostonglobe.com/news/politics/2016/11/11/hours-after-calling-protests-unfair-trump-strikes-tone-unity/nlZA3z1ws2MypD1NdyyH5M/story.html

It may not be so easy to get rid of the Affordable Care Act as Republicans may wish.

Here are five obstacles to the dismantling of outgoing President Barack Obama’s signature domestic legislation:

a. People don’t want to lose coverage
b. Some companies don’t want it gone
c. Trump himself
d. The hit to the economy
e. The political opposition

The details: http://www.marketwatch.com/story/5-big-hurdles-to-repealing-obamacare-2016-11-10

The Trump Transition Team is fighting over whether to consider #NeverTrump people for vital posts.

Outgoing Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid sounded like he was back in the boxing ring as he slammed voters electing a “sexual predator” as President.

Minnesota Congressman Keith Ellison being touted to become Democratic National Committee Chair.

Former Maryland Governor and presidential wannabe Martin O’Malley expresses interest in DNC Chair.

The Mayors of Los Angeles and New York vow their cities will remain sanctuaries for illegal immigrants.

Sunday, 11/13/16:

The marches in the street, some peaceful, some not, continue even though the election was five days ago.

Fear is a common reason given for people taking to the streets in protest.

Portland, Oregon continues to be the center for violence rather than peaceful dissent.

The safety pin has become the symbol for the movement. As it signifies keeping those maligned by President Elect Donald Trump during the election cycle – Muslims, the gay community, minorities and handicapped individuals.

Read more: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-election-protests-saturday-idUSKBN1370D2

The campaign of losing presidential candidate Hillary Clinton as well as the candidate herself are blaming the loss of the presidency to Donald Trump to Federal Bureau of Investigation Director James Comey sending letters to Congress in the waning days of the campaign about opening then reclosing the issue of criminality with use of a private email server while Clinton was Secretary of State.

What Clinton refuses to do is take blame for the loss in her own actions or message.

About one-third of Clinton supporters are saying the election is not legitimate.

Read more: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/hillary-clinton-james-comey-fbi-director-loss-donor-call/

Vice President Elect Mike Pence has taken over the Transition Team.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie was demoted to vice chair of the team.

A choice of who will be Chief of Staff is imminent, according to the only woman to ever successfully run a presidential campaign, Kellyanne Conway.

Trump told CBS 60 Minutes he will continue to use Twitter, but be “very restrained” in what he tweets.

House Speaker Paul Ryan has said that the President Elect has no plans to form a “deportation force.”

Trump said that sections of “The Wall” may be fencing instead of an actual wall.

As most supporters already knew, President Elect Donald Trump signaled he would keep provisions that allow for people with pre-existing conditions to have healthcare insurance as well as allow children up to age 26 remain on their parents’ insurance policies.

Read more: http://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2016-11-12/decision-on-trump-chief-of-staff-imminent-adviser-conway-says

Thanks for viewing!

To Those Who Served – Salute!

From the Desert with feet planted firmly in the Cornfield

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

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

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

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

On a more personal note:

Normandy Award to Luther C. Powell

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

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

First Sergeant Jack L. Hollifield

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

USN veteran Allen Powell

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

Allen's Honorable Discharge

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

AFC Mark after USAF Basic Training

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

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

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

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

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

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

Exercise Your Right – Vote

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No sunshine across the Cornfield is forecast tomorrow as voters head to the polls. Rain will dominate along with dark, gray clouds dot the sky.

I will take advantage of my right to make my voice heard. In so doing, I retain the right to both criticize and boast over the next two years.

Though a struggle, I will walk across the street to the Ruritan Building to cast my ballot. For whom, I have yet to decide at the top of the ticket. For the down ballot races, I am pretty confidant which lever to pull.

As usual the squeakiest wheels are from both the far left and the far right. Will extreme liberals and ultra conservatives determine the outcome or will those more toward the center be the deciding voters?

There is nothing wrong with being a liberal if you apply common sense. There is nothing wrong with being a conservative as long as you utilize common sense. The same goes for moderates.

There are examples of the detriment of both fringes. Kansas shows the devastation on the people of ultra conservatism. Detroit is a study in how extreme liberalism can lead to demise and destruction.

The most skillful governors, legislators, mayors, council members and commissioners understand that to govern effectively, you must govern from the center, not too far right nor too far left.

This is why every vote counts.

From the Cornfield, exercise your right – vote!

Political Circus: October 31 – November 6, 2016

cornfieldlogo

Tuesday is Election Day. Get out and VOTE!

This is a look back at the political circus during the prior week, the last full week of the 2016 election cycle through today.

LATE BREAKING: This afternoon, Federal Bureau of Investigation Director James Comey released another letter to congress in which he confirmed that his department had reviewed the emails pertaining to hillary clinton found on a laptop used by disgraced former new york congressman anthony weiner, estranged husband of hillary confidante huma abedin.
Comey stated that he stands by the conclusion he came to in july that there was no criminal wrongdoing by clinton in the use of a private email server while she was secretary of state. Comey wrote that
investigators had workedaround the clockto review all the emails.BASED on our review, we have not changed our conclusions expressed in July.”

Monday, 10/31/2016:

Welcome to the final week of the 2016 Presidential Election!

Or is it?

What happens if the race is thrown from the Electoral College to the US House of Representatives to decide?

What if one or the other of the candidates is indicted?

What if there are disputed results?

A woman in Iowa has been charged after she voted twice in early voting. The woman claims she voted the second time because she was worried her vote for Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump would be “flipped” for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

Now this is a case of voter fraud.

But then again maybe she was following the advice of Trump, who told a crowd in Colorado on Sunday to vote twice if they think their vote won’t be counted.

Trump also told those in attendance at the rally, “If you go to university center, they’ll give you a new ballot, they’ll void your old ballot. They’ll give you a new ballot, and you can go out and make sure it get’s in. Now in some places, they do that four or five times, but we don’t do that. So by tomorrow, almost everyone will have their new ballots in.” (Updated to reflect unedited remark.)

Trump was found wanting in giving to others as he has claimed.

Down ballot Republicans are breathing easier on keeping control of the House and Senate, playing off the latest revelation that emails have been discovered that may be relevant to the investigation into the use of a private email server while Secretary of State by Clinton.

Trump has found a subject he can talk about and stay on topic – Clinton’s emails.

Libertarian vice presidential candidate Bill Weld called FBI Director James Comey’s revelation to Congress of finding the Abedin emails as “disgraceful” and “unfair” to Clinton.

The Clinton campaign has resurrected the notorious “Daisy Girl” ad from 1964 to take attention off her problems with the email server. (Not sure what it is? Google it.)

Newsweek is reporting that Trump’s companies over the years have also been guilty of destroying emails and records in defiance of court orders. (http://www.newsweek.com/2016/11/11/donald-trump-companies-destroyed-emails-documents-515120.html)

First it was one.

Now it is two times that interim Democratic National Committee Chair Donna Brazile tipped off Clinton about a question when she was prepping to debate with rival Bernie Sanders.

brazile

Clinton close confidante Huma Abedin has been absent from the campaign trail since Comey’s revelation.

#HillaryForPrison is trending on Twitter.

Democrats are pressing Comey to come clean about the relationship between Trump and Russia.

Marijuana is on the ballot once more in nine states, including California and Florida.

Clinton and Trump both remain the most unfavored candidates in history.

It is being reported that the path to 270 elector votes has been closed to Trump.

Do does this mean we may have No Electoral Majority?

As if there is not enough proof that we are witnessing a Reality TV Presidential Election:

AMC Theaters announced on Oct. 24 that it would show CNN’s election night coverage in 50 theaters in the United States — designating a “red” and a “blue” theater in each of 25 cities.

Clinton told supporters today that the FBI had no basis to re-investigate and “no case” over the current hoopla over the discovered emails.

Not happy with the choices for President?

Maybe this is a solution: Voters Only Hope

The weekly: Cornfield Standings

Clinton Headache – The fallout from the revelation that possible new information into the investigation of the use of a private email server by Hillary Clinton while she was Secretary of State continues to pile up.

Federal Bureau of Investigation Director James Comey is being accused by US Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid and others of breaking the law by violating the Hatch Act by notifying Congress of the emails discovered on a computer used by both Clinton confidante Huma Abedin and her estranged husband Anthony Weiner.

Late yesterday, FBI investigators were granted a warrant to begin sifting through the emails found on the shared laptop used by both disgraced former New York Congressman Anthony Weiner and his estranged wife, Huma Abedin, a close confidante and top adviser to Clinton.

Both Republicans and Democrats are calling on Comey to release more information than the vague letter he sent to Congress about the discovery. It is doubtful that will happen before the election just over one week away.

At the daily press conference, White House Press Secretary Josh Ernest said President Barack Obama will neither “defend nor criticize” Comey’s decision to inform Congress about the found emails.

If she objected, why did Attorney General Loretta Lynch not order Comey not to tell Congress?

At the end of the day, if you have the FBI director telling Justice that he has an obligation to tell Congress, there is no way you can direct the FBI to do otherwise,” said one official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.“That’s too fraught. You can’t direct someone to withhold information from Congress. That’s not a prudent way to do things.”

More: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/onpolitics/2016/10/31/clinton-emails-what-we-know/93047060/

Tuesday 11/1/2016:

One week from today Americans, who have not yet cast a ballot, trek to their precinct to decide who will lead the nation for the next four years.

Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton is trying to make the issue Federal Bureau of Investigation Director James Comey, and not her use of a private email server while Secretary of State, after it was revealed that emails passed through the Clinton server and landed on a laptop used by disgraced former Democratic Congressman Anthony Weiner, the estranged husband of top Clinton aide Huma Abedin.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is staying on script and making the most of the latest in the email scandal that continues to plague Clinton.

The Clinton campaign and Democrats are accusing Comey of sitting on information tying Trump to Russian President Vladimir Putin and the Russians hacking Democrats.

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid wrote Comey a letter directly accusing him of sitting on information about Trump and ties with Russia.

The New York Times today, however, is reporting no clear link between Trump and Russia has been found by the FBI.

Trump avoided paying tens of millions of dollars in personal income taxes during the 1990s using a tax avoidance move his own lawyers argued the IRS would find to be improper, according to documents obtained by The New York Times.

On Full Frontal with Samantha Bee on TBS, President Barack Obama said that gender bias from members of Congress and the public will be rampant if Clinton wins the White House.

Comey told CNBC it was too close to Election Day to say that Russia is trying to meddle in the US election.

A group of computer scientists believe that a Trump server was in communication with a Russian bank.

North Carolina Republican Senator Richard Burr, who is in a tough re-election fight, joked about a “bull’s eye” on Clinton. He has since apologized for the remark.

A federal judge in New Jersey has ordered the Republican National Committee to turn over to the Democratic National Committee any and all agreements, written and verbal, between the RNC and Trump’s campaign regarding voter fraud, ballot security and poll watching.

This is in response to a suit filed by the DNC against the RNC.

The ABC News/Washington Post tracking poll has Trump and Clinton in a virtual tie nationwide.

A white supremacist, who has already been denounced by the Trump campaign, launched a series of robocalls to voters in Utah to disparage #NeverTrump independent Evan McMullin, including falsely stating McMullin is a closet gay.

The stock market’s election year performance between July 31 and Oct. 31 has often accurately predicted the next president — and this year it’s pointing to a victory by Trump, if history is a guide.

Not good news in the Cornfield for Democrats hoping to capture a US Senate seat. One week out, former Democratic Senator Evan Bayh is in a dead heat, 45% to 45%, with Republican Tea Party Congressman Todd Young to replace retiring senior Senator Dan Coats.

Hope grows dim of capturing control of the upper chamber of Congress this cycle.

Good news in the Governor’s race for Democrats as former Democratic Speaker of the Indiana General Assembly John Gregg is besting Lieutenant Governor Eric Holcomb hoping to replace outgoing Governor and Republican vice presidential candidate Mike Pence. Gregg is leading 48% to 42%.

In the race for the White House, Trump is besting Clinton in Indiana 50% to 39%. No surprise in the Cornfield.

In the Cornfield, there are two main concerns being discussed: the Supreme Court and free trade agreements taking away jobs.

Clinton Headache – The FBI is using special software to go through a reported 650,000 emails on a laptop used by disgraced former Democratic New York Congressman Anthony Weiner, estranged husband of Clinton confidante Huma Abedin.

The Justice Department has assured members of Congress that the FBI will complete its examination of the emails “as expeditiously as possible.”

It is doubtful more information will be revealed prior to the General Election one week from today.

In other words, there is nothing new to report.

Wednesday 11/2/2016:

Six days.

America’s too-long-running Reality Television Election will be pulling the curtain on the final act in six days.

Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton is turning her message back on Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s treatment of women and away from discussing the latest on the scandal involving her use of a private email server while Secretary of State.

Trump is staying on message slamming Clinton on the emails and the skyrocketing cost of health insurance under the Affordable Care Act.

From the stump, Trump is reminding early voters in some six or seven states they can change their vote in light of the recent revelations about his opponent.

Thanks, but no thanks.

Trump does not want the endorsement of the Klu Klux Klan.

In response to a Freedom of Information Act request, the Federal Bureau of Investigation posted documents about a controversial pardon in the waning days of the Bill Clinton Administration of financier Marc Rich, whose wife was a major contributor to the Democratic Party.

Question is why with less than a week until the Presidential Election?

Don’t know about the Marc Rich pardon scandal and the FBI investigation which ended without charges in 2005?

Google it.

President Barack Obama is taking it personally that so far black voter turnout in early balloting is not where it was in 2012. The President is appealing to black voters to save his legacy or face losses and rollback of gains made over the years.

The Prez also weighed in on the email scandal. The President seemed to accuse Federal Bureau of Investigation Director James Comey of innuendo, incomplete information and leaks.

Could the President be working up to a Pardon?

On Monday, Trump announced he would call for a “special session” of Congress, if he is elected, specifically to “repeal and replace Obamacare.”

Should someone tell The Donald that Congress will already be in session?

In the 25th round of hacked emails released by Wikileaks from Clinton Campaign Chair John Podesta, comes the line that Podesta wrote, “we are going to have to dump all those emails so better do so sooner than later.”

Some say Podesta was talking about destroying the emails. Others believe Podesta was meaning to release the emails.

You decide.

The Orlando Sentinel reports that Seminole County, Florida election officials received five stolen and forged absentee ballots.

Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller is in hot water after a tweet from his account with a vulgar term used for Clinton. That tweet is now deleted.

Clinton is smarting today after it was revealed in a new tracking poll that she is eight points behind Trump on the question of honesty.

The tracking polls also find that the two major party candidates are tied up as voters prepare for next Tuesday.

Double the number of people have cast early votes than in 2012 – over 24 million. In key battleground states, Republicans can take heart.

An article in Vanity Fair (http://www.vanityfair.com/news/2016/11/is-donald-trump-a-manchurian-candidate) is suggesting that Trump may be a “Manchurian Candidate.”

Haven’t seen the movie or know the story?

Google it.

But go for the original – NOT the remake.

It should be noted that for the first time in its more than 100 years of publishing, the magazine endorsed a presidential candidate.

Guess who?

Shaking My Head – A black church in Mississippi was set on fire and vandalized with the words, “Vote Trump.”

This ought not to be.

And how will the weather be for Election Day?

electiondayweather

Thursday 11/3/2016:

Five days.

Legal?

Probably.

Unethical?

Probably not.

Looks bad?

Absolutely.

A new revelation from the hacked emails from Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s Campaign Chair John Podesta of an exchange between Podesta and a high ranking member of the US Justice Department from a private email account tipping the campaign off to upcoming House of Representative hearings and Freedom of Information Act requests has come to public scrutiny.

After his press secretary said he would not “defend or criticize” Federal Bureau of Investigation Director James Comey for telling Congress about the 650,000 emails found on the laptop used by disgraced former New York Congressman Anthony Weiner, estranged husband of Clinton confidante Huma Abedin, that is exactly what President Barack Obama did.

The President, without using Comey’s name or title, said the Administration did not “operate on innuendo.”

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump provided some levity on Wednesday as he publicly from the podium spoke out loud to himself to remain “cool” and be “nice.”

Stay on point, Donald. Stay on point. No side tracks.”

Various extremists and militia groups are gearing up for “poll watching” on Election Day.

Melania speaks.

At a campaign rally in suburban Philadelphia, Pennsylvania this afternoon, Trump’s better half made an appeal to those vital Republican suburban housewives to lay aside their concerns and vote for her husband on Tuesday.

Since getting panned for lifting some of the words from First Lady Michelle Obama’s speech in 2008, Melania has not been seen on the campaign trail. She has given some interviews.

If she becomes First Lady, Melania plans on taking on cyber bullying.

Many are asking if she has met her tweeting husband.

In one of those Twilight Zone moments, not only did former rival Texas Senator Ted Cruz cast his ballot for Trump, he traveled with GOP vice presidential nominee Mike Pence to stump for Trump in the Great Lakes region.

Even in the biggest sporting event of the century, politics reared its ugly head as both Clinton and Trump ran ads during Game 7 of the Cubs’ break-of-the-curse, winning World Series over the Indians last night.

Former Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard David Duke, who is running for the US Senate from Louisiana, said at a debate at a traditionally black university last night that he does not hate “all” Jews.

How magnanimous of Duke.

Protesters of Duke’s appearance found themselves pepper sprayed by police.

The Libertarian gubernatorial candidate in the Cornfield, Rex Bell, has been hospitalized. Bell is a long shot to win the office in the race against Republican Lieutenant Governor Eric Holcomb and former Speaker of the Indiana General Assembly Democrat John Gregg.

The New York Times/CBS News poll finds Clinton leading by only three points over Trump nationally.

The ABC News/Washington Post tracking poll has it even closer – two points dividing the two.

No, you cannot tweet in your vote for President – or any other office.

Medical marijuana will not be on the ballot in Arkansas after the State Supreme Court barred allowing the proposition to be put before voters.

The Clintons and Obamas will campaign together in Philadelphia on the eve of the General Election.

Friday 11/4/2016:

Four days.

Melania Trump is being slammed by some for saying she wants to tackle cyber bullying if her husband, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, wins the White House.

While people say it is admirable to want to stop cyber bullying, that Trump is known for his 3 a.m. tweets where he is guilty of the same, has some saying Melania should start with her husband.

The US Justice Department is dispatching monitors to four polling stations in North Carolina.

All hinges on turnout.

At this point in early voting, turnout among black voters has been considerably less than it was in 2012, which could trend poorly for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

GOP vice presidential candidate Mike Pence is in hot water after not saying he would support House Speaker Paul Ryan for another term as Speaker.

Might make for a strained appearance of the two at a rally in Wisconsin on Saturday.

The fourth time, however, when asked if he supports Ryan seeking to remain Speaker, Pence said he does.

A New Jersey federal judge is hearing allegations that Republicans are involved in voter intimidation coordination.

A federal judge in Ohio issued an injunction to the Trump campaign and Roger Stone from harassing or intimidating Ohio voters.

Fox News Bret Baier is having to apologize for wrongly saying the FBI investigation into the Clinton Foundation was close to an indictment.

A Trump supporter disrupted a speech by President Barack Obama stumping for Clinton today. The President defended the man’s right to protest and wave his sign supporting Trump.

A US Appeals Court blocked a new Arizona law making it a felony to collect ballots – a win for Democrats.

The Pennsylvania Attorney General said the state is investigating voter registration “irregularities.”

The US State Department has released more than 350 more documents/emails from Clinton’s term as Secretary. Two of those emails have been upgraded “confidential.”

US authorities have issued a warning to New York City, Texas and Virginia about an unspecific threat of attacks by al Qaeda militants around Election Day.

Flyers inserted into a church’s bulletin in California is warning parishioners that voting Democratic is a “mortal sin” because of the party’s platform positions on such things as abortion, immigration, gun control and anti-hate efforts against homophobia and Islamophobia.

Once considered a shoo-in, Democratic Senate candidate Evan Bayh is now in a dead heat against rival Republican Todd Young. Indiana may remain with one Democrat and one Republican Senator.

The latest poll released today actually puts Young up five points over Bayh – 46% to 41%.

Former Arkansas Governor and presidential wannabe Mike Huckabee says that Trump is a “car wreck“, but that Clinton is “worse.”

Sunday, 11/6/2016:

Two days!

America’s first Reality TV Election, running too long, will come to a dramatic end in just two days – or will it?

What a rush last night when Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump was grabbed and dashed off the stage at a campaign rally in Reno, Nevada after a shout of “gun” caused a panic. There was no gun.

The man, not a fan, was taken into custody and released. There was no threat. Trump came back to finish his speech.

Turns out the “suspect” was a #NeverTrump Republican.

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is filling the days and nights with star-studded rallies trying to get young African-Americans and other Millennials to turn out and cast their votes for her.

Clinton’s running mate Tim Kaine accused FBI agents actively working to throw the election Trump’s way.

The GOP second fiddle Mike Pence is trying to turn neighboring Michigan from blue to red like Jesus turning water into wine. That was a miracle and it will take a miracle in the automotive capitol of the world.

Democrats in Arizona are smarting after the US Supreme Court allowed a ban by the state that bars collection of absentee ballots. Voters have to return their own ballots.

The press bus traveling with Kaine was involved in a vehicle accident on Saturday, without injury.

There has been a lot of talk about a “hidden Trump vote.” Now the talk is about a “hidden Clinton vote.”

Tuesday we will know – maybe.

Remember a referendum is on the ballot for Washington DC voters Tuesday on the question of pursuing statehood.

Clinton failed to inform the State Department of a $1 million donation to the Clinton Foundation from the Arab country of Qatar, which may have possibly violated an ethics agreement she made with the Department.

Latinos are voting in higher numbers than ever. Part of this seems to be a backlash against the position of Trump on illegal immigration and disparagement of Mexican-Americans in particular.

With all the concern over hacks this election cycle, cyber security professionals are preparing to swoop in, track and hopefully block anyone attempting a cyber attack aimed at destabilizing the Presidential Election.

Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson, once thought dead in his re-election bid, is looking like he will keep his seat firmly in Republican hands.

Former Senator Evan Bayh continues to slide in polls in the Cornfield. The chance of picking up a Democratic seat in the Senate is growing slimmer in the Hoosier State.

President Barack Obama took aim at endangered Republican Pennsylvania Senator Pat Toomey, who put a video of the Prez praising Toomey in an ad.

Courage is telling Pennsylvania voters where you stand on the tough issues, not just the easy ones like background checks,” Obama said in the statement. “Pat Toomey won’t tell Pennsylvania voters where he stands on Donald Trump, trying instead to have it both ways by telling different people what he thinks they want to hear. That’s not courage. Voting to shut down the government and against bills to close the terrorist gun loophole isn’t courage. And playing politics with the Supreme Court isn’t courage.”

The final Cornfield Standings.

Remember as you go to the polls on Tuesday: Voters Only Hope.

Look for a new feature starting on Sunday, November 13 – Politics Roundup.