Cornfield Standings – 44 Days Out

cornfieldstandings

As of today there are 44 days until the November 8th General Election. This election may be one of the most crucial in decades.

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

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

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

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

President:

  • Libertarian Gary Johnson – 1/2 Ears of Corn
  • Republican Donald Trump 3 1/2 Ears of Corn
  • Democrat Hillary Clinton 0 Ears of Corn
  • Green Party Jill Stein 0 Ears of Corn

US Senator:

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

8th District Congressional Representative:

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

Indiana Governor:

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

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

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

How are you leaning in your state and national elections?

Political Circus: September 12-18

cornfieldlogo

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

Monday, 9/12/2016:

Sidelined.

Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton had to be helped away from 9/11 commemoration at Ground Zero on Sunday as a result of what her doctor said is pneumonia and dehydration.

Clinton, shown in a video, stumbled and nearly fell as Secret Service agents had to hold her up and put her in her vehicle to be whisked away to daughter Chelsea’s apartment.

Clinton then made her way home to Chappaqua, New York to recuperate.

Her planned trip to California for today and tomorrow has been cancelled.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump offered his well wishes to Clinton for a speedy recovery. He then announced he had a physical this past week and will release the results when they come back.

Word is Trump will reveal his physical results when he appears on the Dr. Oz show this week.

Hillary’s 47% moment: at a fundraiser with reporters in the room, Clinton said that half of Trump’s supporters belonged in a “basket of deplorables.”

Not good.

Millions of voters were maligned.

GOP 2012 presidential wannabe Mitt Romney did the same with his 47% remark. It cost him the election.

Clinton did say she regretted using the word, “half“, but stood by her remarks.

It is a virtual dead heat in both national and battleground state polls between Clinton and Trump.

Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson is moving up in state polls getting into double digits, but not the 15% threshold in national polls to qualify for the first Presidential Debate on Monday, September 26.

Trump is calling for the moderators to be nixed during the Presidential Debates. Trump proposes that he and Clinton appear on stage alone and slug it out verbally.

OOPs!

Roger Stone, erstwhile unofficial adviser to Trump, tweeted a picture of the poster from the movie “The Dependables” altered as “The Deplorables.” Donald Trump, Jr., one of Trump’s sons, posted the same image on Instagram. The origin of the image is unclear.

Unfortunately, in the photo-shopped poster there was also included a white supremacist symbol, Pepe the Frog.

Not good.

This comes after second son, Eric Trump, posted an image he labelled the arena from Florida where Trump was speaking Friday night to a packed house which turned out to be a picture of the arena for the Dallas Mavericks.

Tuesday, 9/13/2016:

Transparency!

Fuhgeddaboudit!

Anyone hoping for openness and transparency with either Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump or Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton must not be reading the tea leaves.

The name of the game is Only What I Think You Should Know.

GOP vice presidential candidate Mike Pence, who also happens to be Governor here in the Cornfield, is getting a lot of criticism for telling Wolf Blitzer that it is not his job to call people names.

Specifically, Pence refused to say that white supremacist, Ku Klux Klan Grand Dragon and candidate for US Senate in Louisiana, David Duke “deplorable.

Pence did say neither he nor Trump wanted Duke’s endorsement or support. Pence did denounce Duke’s ideology.

But, it would not have been in Pence’s character to label Duke as “deplorable.” I say that as a citizen of Indiana who is not a fan of our Governor nor did I vote for him in 2012.

Had Pence run for re-election, I would not be voting for him again this year.

Bad optics: while Trump was denouncing hate and bringing supporters on stage to push back on Clinton saying that half of Trump backers belong in a “basket of deplorables,” a supporter in the stands lashed out and attacked protesters during a campaign event last night.

Not good.

Clinton called in to talk with Anderson Cooper on CNN last night to reassure people she is recuperating from pneumonia and becoming over-heated on Sunday while attending a Ground Zero ceremony to commemorate the victims of 9/11.

Clinton said the reason it was not disclosed that she was sick was because she did not think “this would be such a big deal.

Meanwhile, Bill Clinton told Charlie Rose this is not the first time that his wife has had an episode such as what was seen in a video which went viral showing Clinton stumbling into her car on Sunday as she left the 9/11 event.

She had said the same about her private email server and destroyed emails while she was Secretary of State.

Oh, the guy who set up that private email server defied a congressional committee today and refused to appear after being subpoenaed.

President Barack Obama is out on the campaign trail today for Clinton and will do a fundraiser later this evening. The Prez currently has a 58% approval rating, even though the majority of the nation think under his leadership the country has been traveling the wrong direction.

This bodes well for Clinton.

Questions are being raised about how much money Trump has actually donated to his own foundation and how much of money doled out by the foundation has been his and not non-related donors.

The Supreme Court turned down a request to re-instate an Ohio state law that changed voting procedures. Golden Week voting procedures, when people could register and cast ballots in the same week, is no more.

The latest poll has Clinton with 42%, Trump 40%, Libertarian Gary Johnson 11% (he needs 15% to be in the Presidential Debate) and Green Party Dr. Jill Stein 4%.

The bigger news is that Clinton continues to lose ground with independents. Clinton now gets 38% to Trump’s 36% of those non-aligned voters.

The latest outrageous statement from Trump is that the Federal Reserve is in the can for Clinton and keeping rates low to get his rival elected.

The latest outrageous statement from Clinton that she did not think her health concern would be a big deal.

A former head of the Democratic National Committee is calling for a contingency plan in light of Clinton’s health scare on Sunday.

Now is the time for all good political leaders to come to the aid of their party. I think the plan should be developed by 6 o’clock this afternoon,” Don Folwer, who was chair of the DNC during the Clinton years, told Politico.

Republican Todd Young is giving Democrat Evan Bayh a run for his money in the race to fill the US Senate seat of retiring Senator Dan Coats of Indiana. Bayh has seen his double digits drop to four points against Young.

Wednesday, 9/14/2016:

The Democratic Attorney General of New York State is investigating the Trump Foundation to “to make sure it’s complying with the laws governing charities in New York.

That was the word on Tuesday to CNN‘s Jake Tapper from AG Eric Schneiderman.

After all the talk of investigating the Clinton Foundation, it was only a matter of time.

New York is also the only state going after Trump University as well.

That was just a few hours before Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump presented his child care program, written by daughter Ivanka and Washington State Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers.

As reported by the newsletter CNN Politics Nightcap:

Child care expenses would be fully tax-deductible, capped at the average cost of child care in the taxpayer’s state. The plan also calls for guaranteeing six weeks maternity leave to working mothers whose employers do not guarantee the time off by offering six weeks of unemployment insurance benefits.

President Barack Obama was in the City of Brotherly Love on Tuesday to raise the enthusiasm level and turn out the vote for Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton. Obama stressed that he “really, really, really want to elect Hillary Clinton.”

The Prez was truly relishing being back in his element – on the campaign trail.

It will be back on the trail for Clinton come Thursday, speaking at the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Gala.

She has been getting over her bout with pneumonia since becoming noticeably ill on Sunday during commemoration ceremonies at Ground Zero.

So where do presidential wannabes go when they ride off into the sunset?

If you are former Texas Governor Rick Perry, you land on ABC‘s Dancing with the Stars.

Where is Melania?

That’s the question being raised in some circles.

Traditionally, the spouse of a candidate is an active surrogate on the campaign trail. Melania Trump, however, is rarely seen.

The campaign of Trump says Melania is at home caring for 10-year-old son Barron.

In leaked, hacked emails, former Secretary of State and former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Colin Powell took aim at both Trump and Clinton. Powell is no fan of either.

Powell called Trump a “national disgrace” and an “international pariah“. The General in another email said that Clinton was a victim of her own “hubris,” causing her own self-inflicted wounds. He also referred to “Hillary’s mafia” trying to drag him into the private email server controversy.

Not a fan of either of the two most disliked presidential candidates in history.

Do not expect medical test results to be revealed when an interview of Trump by TV’s Dr. Mehmet Oz airs tomorrow. Those test results, according to the campaign, will be released later this week.

Then again, word just in, Trump showed up after all with a copy of his test results when he sat down with Dr. Oz for the taping this morning.

OK, so it seems Trump shared some info, but not as much as was anticipated.

The Governor of Kentucky Matt Bevin warns that if Clinton is elected there will likely be “bloodshed” in the streets.

Libertarian presidential and vice presidential candidates Gary Johnson and Bill Weld penned an open letter to the Presidential Debate Commission, asking it to allow Johnson on the stage for the first Presidential Debate on Monday, September 26, since Johnson is polling in double digits though not the threshold 15%.

In the letter, the candidates say if Johnson does not improve his numbers to the 15% after the debate, the two would not seek to be on the other two Presidential Debates nor the single Vice Presidential Debate.

The Libertarians point out they are the only candidates, besides the two major party candidates, to be on all 50 state ballots. The last time a 3rd party made it onto all 50 ballots was two decades ago.

Remember Ross Perot?

If elected, what will happen with the Trump businesses?

Reportedly, the businesses will be run by the Trump children in a blind trust. But questions are being raised about whether a President Trump would act in a way that is best for his companies bottom line or what is best for the US of A.

Could Trump’s business dealings impact national security?

Some are saying unless Trump completely divests from the Trump Organization, those dealings could affect US security.

Democrats in Congress are calling for a Justice Department probe into the 2013 contribution to a PAC for Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi from the Trump Foundation.

Trump when he discovered an error reported the error to the IRS and paid a fine of $2,500 on the $25,000 donation, which was refunded and paid from the correct account.

The race between the Cornfield’s two senatorial candidates, Evan Bayh and Todd Young, continues to tighten. The race could impact whether Republicans retain control of the US Senate or whether Democrats seize back the leadership.

A New York lawmaker running for re-election killed himself, sadly. Four days later he won the Republican Primary.

Local GOP party officials will now choose who they want to run against the Democratic candidate in November.

Thursday, 9/15/2016:

Interrupted.

That is what happened at a black church in Flint, Michigan on Wednesday while Republican presidential nominee was speaking.

When Trump began to go into his rote, political, stump speech, the Pastor of the church came out to cut him off.

We didn’t invite you here to make a political speech,” the Pastor informed Trump.

The Pastor also chastised a member in the audience to stop heckling and be polite.

This morning, Trump insinuated that the Pastor had planned on asking him not to do his usual spiel from the get-go.

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton released additional medical records late afternoon Wednesday.

In the release, Clinton’s doctor indicated she is in “excellent mental condition.

She continues to remain healthy and fit to serve as President,” the doctor wrote.

Oh and her case of pneumonia?

The doc says it is non-contagious and caused by bacteria, treatable with a 10-day-regimen of antibiotic.

If you have not read it yet, this is a must read from Newsweek: http://www.newsweek.com/2016/09/23/donald-trump-foreign-business-deals-national-security-498081.html

Please, Donald, no more saying Clinton does not have any policies – that’s all she is – a policy wonk!

Republican Homeland Security Chairman Michael McCaul of Texas announced late Wednesday to Wolf Blitzer on CNN‘s Situation Room that Russian hackers also hacked into the Republican National Committee.

The RNC released a statement saying there is “no known breach.

Within the hour, McCaul sent a message to say he misspoke. It was not the RNC, but Republican operatives that had been hacked.

How will this impact the election?

We already learned that the States of Arizona and Illinois voting records were hacked.

Which state or states could be next?

During the upcoming Presidential Debate on Monday, September 26, should the moderator fact-check the candidate on the spot or should that be the job of the other candidate?

Jim Lehrer and Bob Schieffer both believe it is the job of the candidates to fact-check each other. The moderator should only pose the questions and steer to the other candidate to rebut.

You’re not a judge, you’re a moderator,” Schieffer said in remarks at Notre Dame University in the northern Cornfield last night.

Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson pulled off another coup getting the endorsement of the century-old-Republican-endorsing Manchester Union-Leader, New Hampshire’s leading newspaper.

In today’s dark times, they are a bright light of hope and reason,” the newspaper’s endorsement editorial wrote about Johnson and running mate Bill Weld.

Clinton’s lead both in national polls and battleground states continues to erode. In fact in essential Florida and Ohio, Trump now has the top position.

Neck and neck: Clinton 46% Trump 44%.

Johnson has pulled up to 14%.

Another poll has Clinton with 41% and Trump with 39%.

Any way you look at it, that 10-point advantage following the Democratic National Convention has disappeared.

Donald Trump Jr. said this morning that his father’s tax return is 12,000 pages and if released would turn every American into a tax auditor, detracting from his father’s message on the campaign trail.

Oh, here is the pertinent part of the medical results Trump showed Dr. Mehmet Oz:

trumpmedical

In a speech today to The Economic Club of New York, Trump promised economic growth of at least 3.5%, if elected. Trump also said the tax rate would drop from 35% to 15% tops.

Clinton is back on the trail after taking the first half of the week off to recover from pneumonia.

Clinton added a stop in North Carolina to her schedule for today. Tonight she will be at the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Gala in Washington DC.

Friday, 9/16/2016:

The so-called birther movement is front and center.

It is back in a big way and biting Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump in the seat of the pants.

The issue is overshadowing Trump’s roll out on Thursday of a revised economic plan where he promised creation of 25 million jobs and a hefty cut in income tax rates.

This morning, Trump was expected to finally say that President Barack Obama was born in the US of A at the opening of his new hotel in Washington DC.

At that event were a number of flag and general officers as well as Medal of Honor recipients and other veterans pledging their support for Trump.

Keeping the suspense alive, in his opening remarks before the parade of military people, Trump said nothing.

Coming back at the end of the endorsements, “Hillary Clinton and her campaign of 2008 started the birther controversy. I finished it. I finished it, you know what I mean,” Trump said. “President Barack Obama was born in the United States. Period.”

The candidate then added, “Let’s get back to the issues that are important and make America strong and great again.

Trump walked off stage without staying to answer reporters questions.

To say the media is not happy would be an understatement.

As CNN‘s Dana Bash put it, “He played us.”

Then the press pool representative was “physically constrained” from going on the tour with Trump of his new hotel.

So much for the focus on the economic plan.

Kids say the darnedest things,” the late Art Linkletter used to say.

In the case of Donald Jr., he stirred controversy stating that Republicans will be sent to the “gas chamber” if they said some of the things Democrats say. This set off people shaking their heads that he was referring to the Holocaust.

Not so, the campaign said it was about being given a death sentence much like when his father said the same about the electric chair earlier in the year.

Then there was Ivanka hanging up the phone on a reporter doing an interview for Cosmopolitan when the fluff piece she thought would be the case turned into real questions about her father’s child care policy which she helped to write.

Left behind.

The traveling press corps was left on the tarmac while Trump went to a campaign event in New Hampshire last night. Trump joked about the press not being there.

The corps did arrive, finally, to catch the last three minutes of Trump’s speech.

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, speaking to a gathering of influential black women in Washington DC today, said that Trump owed President Obama a personal apology for his attempts to deligitimize “America’s first black President.

For five years, he has led the birther movement to delegitimize our first black president,” Clinton said, demanding that Trump apologize to Obama. “His campaign was founded on this outrageous lie. There is no erasing it in history.

Clinton took umbrage at the Trump campaign saying that Trump had done the country a service in pressing for the Prez to release his birth certificate.

Clinton said that Trump was digging into the “worst side” of Americans.

President Obama joked this morning, “I never had any doubt about where I was born.

Clinton returned to the campaign trail yesterday after being off most of the week recovering from a bout of pneumonia.

Trump said that Anderson Cooper, who will moderate the second Presidential Debate, should not be allowed to moderate because of working for CNN – “Clinton News Network.

Trump claims bias.

Clinton maintains that in spite of the polls showing a tightening race that she is a strong position to win in November.

By the way, according to the latest survey:

Beliefs that Obama was born outside the United States peaked at 26 percent among Republicans and 34 percent among self-identified tea party supporters, compared with 19 percent of independents and 12 percent of Democrats.

Can Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren and Vermont Senator and former presidential candidate Bernie Sanders enthuse Millenials to get out and vote for Clinton?

That is the big question in the Clinton campaign, who have been frustrated to see Millenials gravitating toward Libertarian Gary Johnson and Green Party Dr. Jill Stein.

Sunday, 9/18/2016:

What a muddled affair! Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump cannot stay on message to the chagrin of his campaign and his surrogates.

The latest is his talk of disarming the Secret Service agents guarding Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton. Republican vice presidential candidate Mike Pence called it “nonsense” that Trump was calling for a violent act on Clinton when Trump called for her security personnel be disarmed. 

Well I think, you know, Donald Trump believes in the safety and security of every American, and any suggestion otherwise regarding Secretary Clinton is just nonsense,” Pence said. “I mean, the point that he was making is that Hillary Clinton has had private security now in her life for the last 30 years, but she would deny the right of law-abiding citizens to have a firearm in their home to protect their own families. I think what Donald Trump was saying is that if Hillary Clinton didn’t have all that security, she’d probably be a whole lot more supportive of the Second Amendment.

Trump went out ahead of New York City officials on Saturday to comment on the bomb which went off in Manhattan, calling the explosion a bomb. Clinton waited several hours and asked everyone to wait on an official police report.

Yet in the polls, it is a dead heat now between the top two wannabes.

Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson will not be on the stage when Clinton and Trump debate on Monday, September 26.

President Barack Obama forcefully called on black voters to preserve his legacy by voting for Clinton in November during an event in Washington DC last night for the Congressional Black Caucus.

The President said it would be a “personal insult” if the black community does not vote for Clinton. 

We have achieved historic turnout in 2008 and 2012, especially in the African-American community. I will consider it a personal insult and an insult to my legacy if this community lets down its guard and fails to activate itself in this election,” he said. “You want to give me a good send-off? Go vote.

A Vice News reporter was arrested at a Trump event last night when he went into the Omni Hotel in Houston, Texas to inquire about the status of his request for press credentials.

Earlier today he was still being held in the Houston Central jail.

Not good.

Cast your vote in our Cornfield Polls National Presidential poll between now and Friday.

Tune in next week for another Political Circus.

Cornfield Standings – 51 Days Out

cornfieldstandings

As of today there are 51 days until the November 8th General Election. This election may be one of the most crucial in decades.

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

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

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

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

President:

  • Libertarian Gary Johnson – 1 Ears of Corn
  • Republican Donald Trump 3 Ears of Corn
  • Democrat Hillary Clinton 0 Ears of Corn
  • Green Party Jill Stein 0 Ears of Corn

US Senator:

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

8th District Congressional Representative:

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

Indiana Governor:

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

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

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

How are you leaning in your state and national elections?

Lest We Forget – 9/11/2001

From the Desert with feet planted firmly in the Cornfield

It seemed to be a quiet, sunny day in the dwindling hours of summer. People going about their business. Children rushed off to school. Flights of pleasure, business and fancy were seemingly soaring the skies peacefully.

Tranquility and a sense of safety were shattered in an instant as a commercial jetliner plowed into the World Trade Center (WTC). What first seemed to be nothing more than a tragic accident was quickly revealed to be more diabolic in nature.

The world watched horror-struck as a second jetliner in live airtime was shown deliberately crashing into the second tower of the WTC.

The unthinkable, that which seemed to only be comprehensible in a movie script, lifted from the page of fiction into the horrifying fact of reality. Life changed forever.

9-11-2

I rolled over. Opened my eyes. With blurred vision, I looked at the clock. 10:48 a.m. I sprang out of bed, shaking my head, wondering why I had slept so late.

I grabbed my robe, moving between my loveseats to turn on the television. I made my way back around what I called, my loveseat, to make my morning coffee.

Strangely I heard the voices of Katie Couric and Matt Lauer. In disbelief, disconcerted and shocked, I listened and learned about the attack on America.

Nearly spilling the water, I finished making my coffee. I stumbled back to my loveseat to watch and listen to the unfolding events.

I yelled at the troubled young man sleeping on my other loveseat, “Wake up! We’ve been attacked!

Frightened, not knowing what to do, how to react, what to say, the young man took off on his bike. Running, trying to find comfort, peace and some sense of what was happening.

I stayed glued to the TV.

Not only had two commercial planes been used as guided missiles exploding into the WTC, but another had been fatally directed at the Pentagon.

But, this was not the end.

The news revealed a fourth jetliner, its objective still unknown, was deflected from further mass destruction by the heroics of passengers. Passengers, who followed the highest law of Love.

Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:13 (KJV)

The unthinkable had become a deliberate, thought-out scheme of murder, destruction, mayhem, pain and suffering.

What had happened to America’s tranquility and safety?

Gone in moments.

What were and are we to do?

What could and can our leaders do?

What was and is America to do?

Life changed forever.

From the Cornfield, we pause, as we do each year, and remember the lives lost, the heroes, the resolve of a nation to not back down, to rise from the ashes and press on for a better day filled with peace, liberty and justice for all.

We will never forget.

We will never crumble.

We will stand tall.

We will cross any valley, climb any mountain, ford any stream and remain forever that shining city on a hill to which the world looks to find light in the darkness of ignorance, fear, intolerance and injustice.

Cornfield Standings – 72 Days Out

cornfieldstandings

As of today there are 72 days until the November 8th General Election. This election may be one of the most crucial in decades.

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

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

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

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

President:

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

US Senator:

  • Democrat Evan Bayh – 2 Ears of Corn
  • Republican Todd Young – 2 Ears of Corn

8th District Congressional Representative:

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

Indiana Governor:

  • Democrat John Gregg – 2 Ears of Corn
  • Republican Eric Holcomb – 2 Ears of Corn

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

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

How are you leaning in your state and national elections?

Journalistic Integrity Model

cornfieldlogo

His father was a liberal giant. His brother is governor of arguably the most liberal state in the Union. He works for a center left news network. His political ideology is not a secret.

Yet, CNN New Day anchor Chris Cuomo is cut from the same fabric as those paragons of journalism, Walter Cronkite and Tim Russert.

Both icons maintained the highest level of objectivity and integrity in their reporting. While we knew their political bent, neither let that get in the way of doing the job of a free press who looks at events with an eye of neutrality and not picking sides.

This is why Cronkite was America’s favorite Uncle behind Uncle Sam. This is why Russert was the face of Meet the Press for two decades with full trust of the viewing public.

Compare this to today’s crop of journalists whom survey after survey reveals are not trusted. Today’s journalists rank far behind even the two most mistrusted presidential candidates in history.

Then there is Chris Cuomo.

Most people would accept if he slipped now and then and revealed a bit of bias or prejudice, but he does not. Instead Cuomo seems to go out of his way to uphold and maintain why the free press was enshrined in the First Amendment to the Constitution.

Chris makes sure he does not become the story, but rather lets the story develop on its own. In questioning candidates and politicians of all stripes, Chris walks the line we expect of reporters unlike too many of his colleagues.

Whether liberal or conservative or moderate, whether Republican, Democrat, Libertarian or independent, all are put under the same glaring light of professionalism and transparency.

Chris is one reason I continue to view CNN. Not that I have many options with Fox News being too far to the right and MSNBC being too far left. 

There is hope left for the current cadre of journalists who have abandoned the principles on which our free press was founded.

That hope is the example of Chris Cuomo.

From the Cornfield, Chris keep up the good work and being an example for journalists everywhere in this day when too many journalists are leaving behind objectivity and integrity.

Thank you, for the breath of fresh air, Chris.

Race Determines Race Perspectives

cornfieldlogo

This election cycle race has become a major topic of discussion. Adding fuel to the emphasis on race has been the number of people of color killed in confrontation of police.

Yet, for all the news headlines about race, the protests, the riots, the upheaval in big cities across the country, Pew Research has uncovered some interesting information. How people talk about and view race relations in the nation is largely determined by one’s race.

For the majority of whites, race seldom if ever enters the conversation on social media. For the majority of blacks, race occupies a majority focus on social media.

Check out this chart:

socialmediaraceAs is readily seen, for whites race is something of an afterthought. For blacks, race is an integral part of life on and off the web. The saying goes that perception is reality.

For most blacks, the perception is that life in the US of A is pitted with systemic racism. For most whites, the perception is that the race issue was long settled and not worth discussing.

It is our perceptions, whether from the Cornfield or from the inner city, which taints our reality to one view or the other. Thus our reality is skewed toward what we see when we look out the door. This also has an impact on what we hear from and see on the campaign trail from the candidates.

Another saying is you cannot have your own facts, but the fact is the facts are even colored by our perception which is also colored by our color or race.

Because of our perspectives being different, do our perspectives end up being self-fulfilling prophecies?

From the Cornfield, whites believe we are well on our way to that color blind society where people are accepted as people without a regard to race. Blacks believe the mountain is still far off in the distance.

Can the two perceptions ever meet and become a reality for all?

Or will we continue to struggle day by day in either ignorant bliss or fearful existence?

Read more about the Pew study: http://www.pewinternet.org/2016/08/15/social-media-conversations-about-race/

A Blended America?

cornfieldlogo

As I sit and listen as President Barack Obama speaks at the memorial service for the slain Dallas, Texas police officers, who were brutally killed by hate last Thursday night, I wonder if a blended America, a color-blind America is possible.

The great American experiment has been one of a melting pot where diverse peoples and cultures have come to these shores “in order to form a more perfect union.

The national motto is E pluribus unum – out of many one.

On the base of the Statue of Liberty, a symbol of the US known around the globe, are the words, “…give me your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.

The country has had its first non-white President for almost eight years now, but the racial divides seem to be worse now than when President Barack Obama took office in 2009.

A little over a week ago, a study from Pew Research was highlighted in the July 3rd The Sunday Paper on racial divisions in the US of A. There is a wide disparity in how whites view race relations and blacks and other people of color view those relations.

Most whites see improvement. Most blacks see a deterioration.

Most whites think the nation has recovered from past sins. Most blacks think those sins are still being visited on the children and the children of the children.

Can we actually have a blended society?

Can I as an older, white male understand?

My thoughts: Guilty: Failure to Understand, Incapable of Empathy

The President had the difficult task today of trying to bring together three separate incidents over a little more than a week which has brought the divisions in our American society to the forefront – the killing of two, young, black men in Louisiana and Minnesota by white police officers and the ambushing of the Dallas police, which left five officers dead.

Not an easy task.

Often as he has been speaking, the President has found the right tone, maneuvered to play the correct notes, but occasionally slipping into more political and ideological positions.

Yet, as the President speaks, the question rises more in my mind if  a blended America, an America without divisiveness is possible.

I hear the rhetoric on the campaign trail. I hear the words of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.

I see the lines being drawn in the halls of Congress.

On social media there is the blistering commentary, the lack of empathy, the shouting too loud to hear the other side.

From the Cornfield, does this great divide that seems to be impossible of being bridged have its roots back in the annals of time?

Is a blended America not a reality which can be accomplished because of the dispersal at the Tower of Babel, where the tongues were confused and people pushed to differing parts of the globe?

I do not have the answer.

Guilty: Failure to Understand, Incapable of Empathy

cornfieldlogo

The truth is staring me in the mirror.

I am an older, white male.

markvoted

As such, I have a failure to understand, an incapability of empathy and am justifiably labeled guilty.

Why deny it?

How can I as an older, white male be able to “get it”?

How can I as an older, white male know how it feels to be abused both verbally and physically?

How can I as an older, white male know the hurt of being turned down for employment or fired from employment because of being who one is?

How can I as an older, white male be able to relate to police hostility or brutality?

How can I as an older, white male think I can be party to healing wounds that cross time?

How can I as an older, white male have the gall to talk about injustice and inequality?

How can I as an older, white male discover my options limited in achieving the great American Dream?

How can I as an older, white male know the humiliation of mothers pulling their children close to them when passing by?

How can I as an older, white male relate to the shame as people cross to the other side of the street in avoidance?

How can I as an older, white male comprehend being refused service in a restaurant or store simply for being alive?

Anyone can see it clearly in the photo that I am an older, white male – thus I am suspect.

It is plain to see that I have no seat at the table with the downtrodden.

The only participation I can have in the conversation is to admit my guilt and complicity for actions perpetrated 50, 100, 200, 300 years ago.

Those actions surely were committed by someone like me. I am guilty whether I am blood-related or not to the perpetrator.

I am guilty whether any thoughts of malice have ever crossed my mind or not.

I am guilty whether I have ever committed any acts of inhumanity or not.

I am the spitting image of the guilty.

From the Cornfield, not sure if I mentioned it, but I am also gay.

I have been asked to move from where I lived.

I have been beaten.

I have been threatened with jail time.

I have been met at the church door and told I was not welcome.

I have seen employment opportunities disappear.

I have been called things which would make the most vile person blush.

None of that matters.

I am betrayed by my appearance in the picture.

I am an old, white male.

Nothing matters except for what is so obvious by one look.

But don’t call it profiling.

In 2016, I Do Hereby Resolve…

cornfieldlogo…to refrain from responding, reacting, to engaging in any dialogue with any extreme ideologue on any post, report, blog, tweet or comment. To do so is a fool’s errand. It is simply “casting pearls before swine”.

Trying to have a real discussion or interact with an extreme ideologue, no matter which end of the spectrum, is like ramming your head into an immutable force. You keep doing it hoping that eventually you may make a dent or create a crack, refusing to realize it is immutable. It don’t budge.

It doesn’t matter how level-headed or logical your words or writings if it doesn’t match with the extreme ideologue’s position, you are automatically discounted and declared wrong. It doesn’t matter how many facts, statistics, irrefutable evidence are presented, the extreme ideologue will promptly be dismissive.

Both ends of the spectrum of ideology claim to be open to dissussion, claim to be seekers of the truth, claim to have a position on the higher ground, but unless your perspective is 100% on par with the extreme ideologue’s you are living in a world of delusion. While each polar opposite claims to be ready to see all sides, study all facets of a given issue or concern, to the extreme ideologue, there is only one side, there is only one facet. There are no shades, no contrasts, no variations nor truth from both ends that can meet and match in the middle.

For those of us who can see there is more than what is visible immediately on the surface and that there are layers to peel through before finding the gem in the center, we are dismissed and castigated. We, who are open, are not wearing blinders, are labeled herectics, wishy-washy, straddling the fence, unable to take a stand. This of course is as far from the truth and reality as one can get.

The reality is those of us who can “see clearly now, the rain has gone” are able to make informed decisions and make informed statements of belief that encompasses all that is around us. We do stake a claim. We do fight for what is right. We do hold our own.

From the Cornfield, in 2016, for as long as I remain upon this plain of existence, I hereby resolve to not engage in Don Quixote quests of jousting with the windmills of extreme ideology.

This is not to be construed as a boycott of other points of view, nor on not reading others’ comments and reports. What this resolution states is that in most instances, while I may follow, may peruse, may take in what is stated in both the posting and comments, I may in most cases refrain from commenting myself except in cases of clear factual error or whether to not comment would be a crime of gross negligence on my part.