Happy Birthday, US of A!

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Today, the US of A celebrates its 241st birthday.

It was, like with any birth, one that was born out of travail, crying, shouts of glee, bloodshed and even death. Truly the continent was in heavy labor as the push and screams of thousands were heard around the world.

That sorrow and agony gave way, however, to jubilation as the nation emerged scathed and covered with the scars and trappings of nativity. But as difficult as that birth was, the struggle was not over.

There would be growing pains, illnesses and diseases to overcome. There would be those who would attempt to reclaim and to destroy that life which was born out of a pledge to devote honor, lives and fortunes to see this epic birth come to be and last through all time.

Through the years, as with any baby maturing to toddler to child to teen to adult, this great nation of states joined to form a “more perfect union” had to go through its share of perils, tests and trials. In each instance, in the end, the US of A emerged on the other side a better nation.

The most trying time is undisputed, which is what occurred during what I would call the teenage years, puberty, when literally brother was pitted against brother, sister against sister, sons and daughters against mothers and fathers. The greatest and most costly toll of lives and bloodshed threatened to tear the nation apart. Yet through the trauma of the Civil War, the War Between the States, a united and stronger country came of age.

Dark days still lay ahead, but it seemed the worst had passed.

Through more battles and more wars, we find ourselves today celebrating the nation we’ve become and feeling the pain of the mistakes we have made. We honor the lives who gave their all to keep this nation the home of the brave and the land of the free.

Now, we look forward to the days and years ahead.

We are traveling the rough and choppy sea of economic uncertainty, but which seems to be slowly recovering.

The ship of state must traverse the gulf as the skipper maneuvers the ship to avoid crashing on the rocks of lost hope, despair, keeping an eye on the course and the port of serenity which lies in the distance.

The tides of global unrest threaten to engulf us. We must stay resolute and strong. Together we can ride the waves and dock in safe harbor.

Many have lost hope.

Many no longer aspire to the American Dream.

Many wonder if the flag will still wave for much longer.

But we are Americans.

We will survive.

From the Cornfield, America, may she always be that shining city on a hill to which others seek to aspire.

Happy Independence Day!

The Prez – A Review

Before we get started, pour yourself a tall one of This is Life, mixed not stirred, with the flavor of choice: Fox News, CNN, MSNBC or PBS. With that out of the way, let us move to the main course.

Grab a healthy slice of WWE Raw and knead with Survivor. Mix in a dallop of Big Brother and a bit of The Amazing Race. Blend until it consists of The Voice along with a tinge of American Idol. Sprinkle in The Real Life and a dash or two of Fear Factor. Garnish with The Apprentice. Bake and bank it like America’s Got Talent.

For dessert serve, hot or cold, The Bachelor or World of Dance (you may substitute Dancing With the Stars or So, You Think You Can Dance).

What you have concocted is the hottest dish on television this year, breaking all ratings and blowing up the Nielsen boxes – the reality hit – The Prez, starring Donald J. Trump and a host of snakes and gators slithering through the swamp.

So, Who Wants to be a Millionaire?

We should have seen it coming. The critics should not be surprised. But in such a relatively short period of time it may have caught us all off guard.

Less than four score years ago, the first television President burst on our black and whites.  John F. Kennedy became a matinee idol to Richard Nixon’s five o’clock shadow of a villain in the making.

Bill Clinton took late night TV by storm and even rocked out MTV.

Barack Obama tapped into the new internet medium, but soon a new nerd came along to dominate social media – Trump. On our smart phones, our tablets, laptops and PCs, not to mention our flat screens, Everything’s Turning Up Trump!

The American viewing public is eating up as The Donald takes on the Main Stream Media and rubs the Dems and even his fellow GOPers noses in it.

Americans have become insatiable. More Facebook videos. More Twitter. More Youtube cinema masterpieces.

Howard Stern may be the king of all media, but Trump is the master of the medium of social networking.

America, you asked for it – you got it.

Those 24-hour news networks have fed the monster and shot it up with hormones, resulting in the award winning show of our first Reality Television Presidency.

Now the national press corps complains about the Frankenstein it aided the American public in creating.

Yet in the Heartland, in the Cornfield, people tune in to catch the highlights, but go back to living their lives. Folk here tend to care more about a job, paying the bills, living life, putting food on the table.

While the Coasts can’t get enough of the Beltway action.

The Heartland yawns.

From the Cornfield, how long will the show run?

Four years?

Eight years?

Will it crash and burn early with an impeachment to boost ratings?

Tune in tomorrow – same Bat channel, same Bat time.

Salute! to Those Who Gave Their All

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Today is Memorial Day.

It is a time to stop, reflect and remember those military personnel who have paid the ultimate sacrifice to maintain and protect our freedom and way of life in the US of A.

The tradition of Memorial Day originally began in commemoration of those soldiers lost during the Civil War. It was known in various communities and states as Decoration Day. The date set aside was May 30. This was later changed to allow for a 3-day weekend by Congress to be the last Monday in May.

For the vast majority of Americans it is just another holiday weekend and the unofficial start to the summer vacation season. For many others it’s the weekend when millions around the world tune in to watch or listen to the greatest spectacle in racing, the Indy 500.

To too many it’s just a day to get together with family, have picnics and barbecues, go to the opening of community pools across the nation.

It’s a time to lay back and enjoy having three days off in a row with no worries.

Yet, Memorial Day symbolizes much more.

Ask any veterans’ organization or any military person in uniform or any family member who has lost a loved one in war, whether declared or undeclared, in peacetime or wartime.

Memorial Day was meant to be a day upon which a grateful nation pauses to remember those who donned a uniform and gave their lives in defense of our American way of life.

These brave men and women paid the ultimate price to make sure we could have our picnics, our barbecues, our splashing around in the pool.

The sacrifice of those who gave their lives 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 and died for peace, justice and freedom.

None of our liberties came without cost and thus we owe a debt to those men and women who died in defense of our freedom.

On a personal note:

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 the war. The one who didn’t return was my Great-Uncle Homer. My grandfather and his other two brothers, Herman and Wesley, came home, but changed, never to be the same.

I never was afforded the pleasure of meeting my Great-Uncle Homer Powell, a sailor who gave his life for our nation during World War II and long before I was born. The family seldom mentioned his name, but it was apparent Great-Uncle Homer was not forgotten. His picture, in uniform, hung proudly in my Great-Grandpa Ancil Powell’s living room. In silence, his memory was honored.

Today thousands still are in the fight to keep us safe. Over the past 10+ years, thousands more have shed their blood and forfeited their lives. We must never forget their sacrifice, their bravery, the lives they lived.

This is why we owe a debt of gratitude we can never repay and should never stop repaying.

This is why the deaths of veterans waiting on care from the Veterans Affairs medical facilities is such a gaping wound on the American conscious and must be addressed not after another study, but with action now.

From the Cornfield, I hope each of you will take time from the barbecuing, the playing games with family, watching reruns of yesterday’s race or enjoying the water and sun to stop – remember our heroes who gave their all so that we can live in the land of the free and the home of the brave.

Politics Roundup – November 7 – 13, 2016

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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.

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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:

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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:

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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!

Political Circus: October 10 – 16

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

Monday, 10/10/2016:

The second of three Presidential Debates took place at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri last night.

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Both Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton did what they needed to do to keep the state of the race where it is, but not much more.

My take: Second Debate Another Draw

A CNN/ORC poll, skewed toward Democrats, of debate watchers gave the night to Clinton 57% to Trump 34%.

I think the market declared it a draw and has no more clue after debate then before, at least not in watching the S&P futures,” said JJ Kinahan, chief strategist at TD Ameritrade.

The defections have stopped for the moment by Republican elected officials following Trump’s performance in the debate.

A conference call of Republican lawmakers this morning kept the party faithful in line, but also provided cover to do what is necessary to keep their majority in the US House of Representatives.

House Speaker Paul Ryan, however, told lawmakers he would no longer defend Trump. Ryan also will not campaign with Trump.

The Republican National Committee are scheduled to talk at 5 p.m. today.

Will the party stop spending resources to get Trump elected President?

Prior to last night’s debate, Trump held a press conference seated with four women from the past – Juanita Broaddrick, Paula Jones, Kathleen Willey, and Kathy Shelton, all but Shelton have accused former President Bill Clinton of sexual assault. The fourth was a 12-year-old rape victim at the time (1970s), whom Clinton was defense attorney for her attacker.

GOP vice presidential nominee Mike Pence became enmeshed in a Wow! moment last night when Trump said he and Pence had not talked about Syria. Trump went on to say he did not agree with Pence on his position and comments on coming to the aid of the Syrian people in Aleppo, Syria.

In what came across as a joke to me, others found sinister when Trump said that Clinton would be in jail if he were President.

Trump prefaced this by announcing that if elected he would “instruct” his Attorney General to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate Clinton and her use of a private email server while Secretary of State.

As a point-of-fact, a President can suggest to an AG a special prosecutor, but cannot order or instruct it be done.

Clinton had heads spinning over her explanation of why she said to an audience of bankers that there is a public position and a private position, which was revealed by hacked emails from her campaign manager John Podesta.

Clinton said she had just watched the movie “Lincoln” and how the 16th President had to cajole members of Congress to pass the 13th Amendment to the Constitution.

OK…

Does that clear it up for you on being duplicitous?

Prior to last night’s debate, an ABC poll said 43% of Americans think Trump should drop out of the race for the White House.

Trump owned up to using the nearly $1 billion loss he claimed on his taxes in 1995 as a deduction to not pay personal federal income taxes for a number of years.

Clinton keeps saying she would target the head of the Islamic State if she is elected.

Does this mean that President Barack Obama is not going after the would-be caliph?

Russia and Syria should be investigated for war crimes, Clinton said last night.

Trump said that Aleppo has already fallen. The GOP wannabe also wrongly stated that the Syrian regime and Russia are going after the Islamic State.

In response to a voter question, Clinton and Trump actually addressed the issue of the Supreme Court last night.

Clinton wants a Justice who will overturn Citizen United, strengthen voting rights and uphold Roe V Wade and marriage equality.

Trump wants a Justice cut from the same cloth of the late Justice Antonin Scalia. He pointed to the list of 20 possible jurists he has put out already.

Pence told CNN today that he is sticking with Trump contrary to the rumors that he is ready to abandon ship. The Indianapolis Star, the Governor’s home newspaper, reports Pence is keeping his options open privately.

A poll from NBC News/Wall Street conducted Saturday and Sunday before the debate has Clinton with double-digit lead 46% to 35% for Trump.

The number of viewers dropped about 10 million from the first debate, but then NBC did not preempt Sunday Night Football for last night’s debate.

For those wondering about talking time, according to CNN, Trump spoke 40 minutes and 10 seconds. Clinton spoke 39 minutes and 5 seconds.

In other words virtually tied.

Following last night’s debate many may see the election as I do:

Voters Face Dilemma

The third and final Presidential Debate is nine days away on October 19 at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Nevada.

Tuesday 10/11/2016:

The Wrath of Khan,” no not the Star Trek movie, but the father of an American war hero who was slain on the battlefield.

Khazir Khan is back criticizing Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump for saying during Sunday night’s debate that if he had been President at the time, Khan’s son would not have been killed in battle.

Fighting back, fellow billionaire Warren Buffet is recoiling against Trump’s charge during the debate that he paid no income taxes. Buffet, unlike Trump, released his tax returns.

Buffett said he had paid federal taxes every year since 1944, and that in 2015 he paid $1,845,577 in federal income tax on $11,563,931 in adjusted gross income, donating more than $2.8 billion to charity without taking deductions.

House Speaker Republican Paul Ryan told members of his caucus to do what they have to do to be re-elected and keep control of the House of Representatives – even if it meant cutting ties with Trump.

The GOP defections have slowed, but continue.

Trump has declared war on Ryan. Yet Ryan has not withdrawn his endorsement of Trump.

Ryan is being pragmatic and doing what he can as Speaker to ensure the Republicans keep control of the House.

I wrote about all of this back in February: An American Revolution

With Trump continuing to sink in the polls, recall I wrote this in July of 2015: Trump Effect – Or How to Throw an Election

Trump tweeted today that the “shackles” are off so he can run his campaign the way he wants.

It is so nice that the shackles have been taken off me and I can now fight for America the way I want to,” Trump said.

I’m going to make three, four, five stops a day,” Trump said. “I may be limping across that finish line, but we’re going to get across that finish line.”

Does this make sense?

Trump fired his Virginia campaign manager for staging a protest in Washington DC outside the Republican National Committee office on Monday while Chairman Reince Priebus was on a conference calls with committee members to reaffirm support for Trump.

That fired Trump supporter is still a strong advocate for Trump as he told CNN today.

While Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton has to contend with more hacked emails being leaked.

The third batch of emails was released by Wikileaks of emails hacked from Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta.

The Clinton campaign has been in contact with the US Justice Department about the emails and how to handle the growing scandal.

Florida voters were given one extra day to register – tomorrow – over the protest of Governor Rick Scott by a federal judge. The plaintiffs wanted an extra week.

Will early voting hand Clinton the election before November 8?

It could happen.

In response to his running mate’s lewd comments released over the weekend, GOP vice presidential candidate Mike Pence said, “The other part of my faith is I believe in grace. I’ve received it. I believe in it. I believe in forgiveness, and we are called to forgive as we have been forgiven.”

The numbers are in: 66.5 million tuned into the debate on Sunday night.

That is a drop of about 18 million views from those who watched the first debate. Then again NBC did not air the debate, but stuck with Sunday Night Football.

About that “locker room talk“: Voters Face Dilemma

My take: Second Debate Another Draw.

Wednesday 10/12/2016:

Your vote really, really, really matters.”

That was former Vice President and 2000 Democratic presidential candidate Al Gore to voters in Florida on Tuesday as he attempted to rouse Millennials to turn out and vote for Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.

Gore was brought in to focus on climate change, which surveys reveal is a major concern of Millennials.

In spite of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s statements from the past biting him in the back side, the election is not a given for Clinton.

It all depends on turnout of the vote.

Trump is continuing his war with the Republican Party – especially the elected leadership of the party.

Clinton is deflecting and ignoring hacked emails insinuating collusion with the US Department of Justice and favorable treatment and access by the US State Department while she was Secretary of State for “Friends of Bill“, donors to the Clinton Foundation.

Accusations swirl that Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin and coordinating attacks on Clinton.

Trump campaign manager KellyAnne Conway told Republican lawmakers today on supporting or not supporting Trump, “enough pussyfooting around.”

Most believe the wording was intentional.

Florida Republican Governor Rick Scott 0 – Clinton Campaign & Democrats 2.

As I noted yesterday, Democrats wanted an extra week to register voters in Florida due to Hurricane Matthew, but only received one day. Today, however, the same judge who granted the extension ordered another extension to make it a full week over the protest of Scott.

Trump picked up two point after Sunday night’s debate.

Clinton is no longer 11 points ahead, but only nine, 46% to 37%, per NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll.

Leaked emails from Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta reveal that Clinton picked Tim Kaine to be her running mate back in July, 2015.

After a woman at a rally in Newton, Iowa said if Clinton wins, she is ready for an actual revolution, GOP vice presidential nominee Mike Pence responded, “Don’t say that.”

A poll of Utah voters reveal that #NeverTrump independent candidate Evan McMullin pulling 22% of the voter versus Clinton and Trump each with 26%.

Now some 33 states have asked assistance from the FBI over concerns their election systems may be hacked.

Today it was revealed an election vendor in Florida was hacked.

Trump stands by his call for a return of the death penalty in New York and his position against the now exonerated Central Park 5, who were accused erroneously of rape.

Podesta claims the Trump campaign was given a heads up about the hacks of the Democratic National Committee and other Democratic targets of Russian hackers.

Twenty-six percent of Republican governors and members of Congress are refusing to endorse Trump, according to a survey by USA Today.

According to NBC News, some half a million votes have already been cast in the presidential race.

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Did interim Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Donna Brazile leak a question to the Clinton campaign prior to a town hall back in March before Clinton squared off against Bernie Sanders?

Emails reveal a slur against Catholics by a top Clinton aide.

A Catholic group demands resignation.

From an email exchange from 2011:

Friggin’ Murdoch baptized his kids in Jordan where John the Baptist baptized Jesus,” John Halpin at the progressive think tank Center for American Progress wrote. “Many of the most powerful elements of the conservative movement are all Catholic (many converts) from the SC and think tanks to the media and social groups. It’s an amazing bastardization of the faith. They must be attracted to the systematic thought and severely backwards gender relations and must be totally unaware of Christian democracy.”

I imagine they think it is the most socially acceptable politically conservative religion,” Clinton’s communications director Jennifer Palmieri responded. “Their rich friends wouldn’t understand if they became evangelicals.”

OOPs!

Make sure you get out and vote,” Trump told supporters on Tuesday at rally in Florida. “November 28th.”

Uh, Donald, the election is on November 8th, not 28th.

Thursday 10/13/2016:

More than words?

Several women are accusing Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump of unwanted advances, which went beyond “locker room talk.”

Trump is also coming under fire for saying during a Florida rally, that Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton “has to go to jail.”

The election is boiling down to a gender war.

Trump may not be getting the feminist or metrosexual, urbane male vote, but he may have a lock on the bubba, jock vote and conservative women who cannot stomach Clinton.

He said he never touched them. Several shes said yes, he did.

The GOP presidential wannabe denies all charges.

The women who are talking say the only reason they are doing so is because Trump denied ever acting upon his words.

Clinton and her campaign continue to deflect that the hacked emails coming out almost daily on Wikileaks were stolen. People should ignore the content and focus on the fact the emails were purloined and result of a crime being made public.

Last night several CNN reporters and anchors stopped saying, “hacked” about the emails, and began referring to them as “stolen,” feeding into the Clinton story line.

First Lady Michelle Obama at a rally for Clinton in New Hampshire today said that Trump was guilty of violating basic human decency with his rhetoric and actions about women.

She went on to accuse Trump of being a bad role model for boys about what it is to be a man.

Strong men do not need to put down women to be powerful,” the FLOTUS said.

The First Lady went on to note that women have “all the power we need” to win the election. She stressed this was an election of women versus men, of men who cherish women.

Trump supporters are starting to make the case to vote for the reality television star to ensure the Supreme Court does not turn decidedly left.

At a rally in Florida, Trump focused on the hacked emails and the content showing an apparent link to special interest influence on the Clinton campaign and links with the media.

Trump said this election would be last chance to save the nation.

Also being lashed out at was what Trump is now calling the “corporate media.”

Uncle Bernie Sanders is giving Clinton a pass on the hacked emails saying, “The job of the progressive movement is to look forward not backward. No matter what Secretary Clinton may have said years ago behind closed doors…

But was that not a big part of Sanders campaign against Clinton during the primaries?

Politico reports the exact same wording in a question from TV One host to Clinton during a debate with Sanders in March as the same as in an email from interim Democratic National Committee Chair Donna Brazile.

Why in the world is the Trump campaign pulling out of Virginia?

The hacked emails reveal a plan by the Clinton campaign to go after “needy Latinos.”

Needy Latinos,” Clinton campaign chariman John Podesta urged Clinton in a 2015 email to call former Energy Secretary Fedrico Pena, who is “close to committing but carrying some baggage,” and former New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, “notwithstanding the fact that he can be a dick.”

In an interview with a Serbian magazine, Trump issued an apology to the Balkan nation for the bombing of the country during the Administration of President Bill Clinton.

The bombing of Serbs, who were our allies in both world wars, was a big mistake,” Trump told the Serbian weekly magazine Nedeljnik for an article published on its website Thursday. “Serbians are very good people. Unfortunately, the Clinton administration caused them a lot of harm, but also throughout the Balkans, which they made a mess out of.

Not happy with the choices for President?

Maybe this is a solution: Voters Only Hope

Friday 10/14/2016:

Men give it up.

As First Lady Michelle Obama said on Thursday, women have the votes.

Women have the power.

When it comes to Red State‘s Eric Erickson and his ilk, time to go back to the caves for suggesting repeal of the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote.

That is one genie that will not be going back in the bottle.

Get over it.

This does not mean the election is over – but if this continues as a battle between men and women – men lose.

From the woodwork – seems now one woman after another is suddenly revealing allegations of unwanted sexual attention from Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.

The question now becomes if Republicans can keep majority control in both the House of Representatives and the Senate.

The House will probably remain GOP, but the Senate is a real toss-up.

Trump is losing over his personal foibles.

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is winning as the public and media give only passing reference to her publicly known policy positions which are contrary to what she tells voters – open borders, open trade, one big hemispheric trade zone.

In a speech to supporters in North Carolina today, Trump provided wiggle room to those accusing him of sexual assault by saying the stories were “in almost all cases, nonsense.”

How none of this came out during the primary season is almost beyond belief.

How none of this never came out in the tabloids over the years is also bending credulity.

Do not misconstrue what I am writing. I am not defending Trump, nor am I a supporter of his nor of Clinton.

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan is sticking to his position of campaigning to maintain control of the House and presenting the GOP plan for the nation. Ryan is not mentioning nor defending Trump.

Trump was not mention nor did the subject of the scandals surrounding him come up during a question and answer between Ryan and college Republican students today in Madison, Wisconsin.

Billy Bush, at the center of the controversial remarks released over last weekend by Trump, is not going quietly nor gently into the dark night as NBC attempts to get rid of him.

The National Republican Senatorial Campaign has dropped Trump’s name from fundraising emails.

Clinton in a written deposition, as part of lawsuit by JudicialWatch over the use of a private email server while Secretary of State, denies knowing if she was ever told that use was a violation of or conflicted with federal record-keeping laws.

Vice President Joe Biden said that former President Bill Clinton’s sexual hijinx “shouldn’t matter” during the current election cycle.

Clinton is claiming Trump “stalked” her during last Sunday night’s debate in an appearance on the Ellen DeGeneres Show.

One Georgia county has had voter registration extended due to Hurricane Matthew while Democrats in North Carolina go to court to extend registration in their state.

Hacked emails reveal the Clinton campaign prepared for questions about the dalliances of former Prez Bill.

Other emails reveal that the Clinton campaign in 2008 did in fact consider polling voters about rumors involving then-Sen. Barack Obama’s cocaine use and about his late father’s Muslim faith.

What did the Clinton 2008 campaign consider?

* 1 Obama was the only candidate at a recent event not to cover his heart during the national anthem and he has stopped wearing an American flag pin.
* 2 Obama benefited from a land deal from a contributor who has been indicted for corruption.
* 3 Obama would personally negotiate with the leaders of terrorist nations like Iran and North Korea without preconditions.
* 4 Obama voted against allowing people to use handguns to defend themselves against intruders.
* 5 Obama plans to raise taxes by 180 (one hundred and eighty) billion dollars a year to pay for his government-run health care plan
* 6 Obama voted repeatedly against emergency funding bills for U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.
* 7 Obama’s father was a Muslim and Obama grew up among Muslims in the world’s most populous Islamic country.
* 8 Obama is ranked as one of the ten most liberal members of the Senate because of his support of issues like gay adoption.
* 13 Obama voted against requiring medical care for aborted fetuses who survive the procedure.
* 14 Obama supports giving driver’s licenses to undocumented immigrants.
* 15 Obama described his former use of cocaine as using “a little blow.”

(Reference: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2016/10/14/leaked-emails-clinton-allies-pondered-polling-in-2008-on-rumors-about-obamas-cocaine-use-his-fathers-muslim-faith/)

Sunday, 10/16/2016:

Rigged, I tell ya. It’s rigged!

That’s the line of defense coming out of the mouth of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump as woman after woman is suddenly recalling acts of sexual misconduct.

No, I agree with Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, the election is not rigged.
Is the timing questionable?

Absolutely.

Then there are those hacked emails, which the campaign of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton will neither confirm or deny authenticity.

Nothing to see hear. Move along. These were stolen – so ignore the content.

The latest ABC/Washington Post poll shows a statistical tie between Clinton and Trump.

What is going on here?

Last weekend everyone said Trump was toast.
The 47%-43% race is at the same numbers as prior to the party conventions in July.

That poll has noted that 2/3 of voters were not swayed by the obscene locker room talk video released a week ago of Trump.

The latest Electoral College poll has Clinton in a blowout 118 votes over Trump.

Hacked emails reveal that Clinton believes that environmentalists should “get a life.”

The Clinton campaign is pushing back on the emails being released by saying: “What did Trump know, and when did he know it?” asks a Clinton campaign essay that argues both circumstances should be seen as “effort[s] to steal private campaign documents in order to influence an election.”

Looking ahead to Wednesday’s third and final Presidential Debate, Trump told supporters yesterday: Athletes, they make them take a drug test, right? I think we should take a drug test prior to the debate,” he said to cheers at a campaign rally. “Why don’t we do that? We should take a drug test, prior — because I don’t know what’s going on with her, but at the beginning of her last debate, she was all pumped up at the beginning, and at the end it was like, ‘Oh, take me down.’

At a fundraiser, Clinton talked about how “painful” the election was and went on to say: I take absolutely no satisfaction in what is happening on the other side with my opponent. I am not at all happy about that, because it hurts my country. It hurts our democracy. It sends terrible messages to so many people here at home and around the world.”

The leaks also uncovered $1 million offered to the Clinton Foundation by Qatar for five minutes of time with former President Bill Clinton.
Pay to play?

Scuttlebutt has it that former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg is hankering to be Secretary of State in a Clinton Administration.

Trump surrogate and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani is doing his imitation of one of the monkeys with his “see no evil” routine saying about Trump’s female accusers, the assaults “couldn’t possibly have happened.”

The Clinton campaign tried unsuccessfully to move back the Illinois primary this election season, according to hacked emails: The overall goal is to move the IL primary out of mid-March, where they are currently a lifeline to a moderate Republican candidate after the mostly southern Super Tuesday,” Mook wrote. “IL was a key early win for (GOP presidential candidate Mitt) Romney” in 2012.

Clinton and staff thought the private email server scandal would blow over a weekend and be the end of it.

They were wrong.

Goal would be to cauterize this just enough so it plays out over the weekend and dies in the short term.”

Not happy with the choices for President?

Maybe this is a solution: Voters Only Hope

Tune in next week for another Political Circus.

Voters Only Hope

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In less than four weeks, Americans will choose whom they wish to occupy the Oval Office for the next four years.

What are American voters to do?

Topping the choices are the two most disliked nominees in the history of American politics – Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump. One or the other is expected to become the next President of the United States.

But what if the voters decide not to hand either candidate the crown?

It can be done.

What if rather than holding our noses and voting for the person we dislike less or throwing away our vote on either the Libertarian Gary Johnson, the Greens Jill Stein or the real long shot #NeverTrump Evan McMullin, the voters rebel and do as I suggested in last Saturday’s Cornfield Standings and write-in their own name or anyone’s name to be President?

What if by doing so, neither Trump nor Clinton has an Electoral College majority, throwing the election into the US House of Representatives to decide?

We could actually get a Mike Pence or Tim Kaine presidency.

We could get a Paul Ryan or Corey Booker presidency.

Americans would get a do-over and not be  stuck with a choice between two people Americans do not want.

But do American voters have the courage to reject these candidates?

From the Cornfield, voters only hope this election cycle is to cast a ballot for anyone, but Clinton or Trump.

Political Circus: October 3 – 9

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

Monday, 10/3/2016:

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

Does it matter?

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

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

You think?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Will the candidates talk about the Supreme Court?

Tuesday 10/4/2016:

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

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

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

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

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

Cease and desist.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday 10/5/2016:

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

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

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

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

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

My take on last night: Pence Takes the Night.

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

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

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

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

Ouch!

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

Ouch!

Does not help Trump with women voters.

Does this make sense?

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

Trump has himself and Pence.

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

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

Nearly half as many people tuned into the debate.

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

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

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

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

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

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

My choice for US Senator from Indiana: Why Bayh.

Thursday 10/6/2016:

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

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

Johnson’s excuse?

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

OK…

I guess ignorance must truly be bliss.

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

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

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

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

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

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

That is in the last 160 years or so.

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

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

Friday 10/7/2016:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Could Hurricane Matthew affect the presidential election?

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

It is an interesting read.

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

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

Honey, who was that on the phone?

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

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

Sunday 10/9/2016:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Does any of this matter?

What are voters to do?

Voters Face Dilemma – my take.

Republican elected officials are distancing themselves from Trump in droves.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Is there a pattern emerging?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Can Trump survive?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tune in next week for another Political Circus.

Voters Face Dilemma

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For American voters, it is a dilemma.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What are voters to do?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What are voters to do?

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

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

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

How much of this really is “breaking news?

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

Will we ever get back an objective press?

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

I have no clue what to do come November 8.

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

Political Circus: September 26 – October 2

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

Monday, 9/26/2016:

It’s debate night in the nation.

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

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

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

Psyche Out!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Will Clinton or Trump come out on top tonight?

Tell me what you think.

Get caught up on last week’s Political Circus!

Read what is on the Minds of Voters.

How attuned to politics are Disabled Americans?

Tuesday 9/27/2016:

Today the most watched Presidential Debate in history is over.

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

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

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

My own take was that it was a draw.

You can read my take: Debate Changes Little.

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

Donald, stop digging holes.

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

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

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

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

Then there is the mic-gate issue.

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

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

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

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

USA Today has this interesting trivia:

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

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

Did you catch the Hillary shimmy?

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

Clinton traveled to Raleigh, North Carolina today.

Trump is in Miami, Florida.

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

Get caught up on last week’s Political Circus!

Read what is on the Minds of Voters.

How attuned to politics are Disabled Americans?

Wednesday 9/28/2016:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday 9/29/2016:

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

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

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

Poor Gary Johnson.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Will it work with those undecideds and Millennials?

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

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

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

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

Interesting tidbit from left-leaning Public Policy Polling.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday 9/30/2016:

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

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

But pitbulls do not vote.

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

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

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

Why do Millennials matter so much?

The group is now 25% of the electorate.

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

This ought not to be.

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

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

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

Battleground state polls are out.

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

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

Did the foundation have the certification to solicit donations?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday 10/2/2016:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The story has dominated rather than the actual debate.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

You think?

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

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

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

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

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

Read my take: Major Election Concern – Supreme Court.

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

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

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

Tune in next week for another Political Circus.

Major Election Concern – Supreme Court

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

favorability

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

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

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

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

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

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

Does it have any sway?

Here are five takeaways identified by Pew:

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

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

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