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:

divisions

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

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

Many expressed fear of the future under a Trump Administration.

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

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

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

Protesters across the nation found themselves behind bars as well.

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

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

Former Illinois Congressman Aaron Schock indicted on 24 corruption charges.

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

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

Friday, 11/11/16:

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

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

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

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

The Prez Elect is quickly learning his words matter.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday, 11/13/16:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks for viewing!

Pardon Me?

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Last weekend America was laughing as Saturday Night Live spoofed Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump over her use of a private email server while Clinton was Secretary of State.

In the skit, Trump impersonator Alec Baldwin said that Hillary as being played by Kate McKinnon bumped into him on the way to the third and final debate and politely said, “Pardon me.”

Not missing a beat The Donald replied, “Maybe we should wait until I am in the Oval Office.”

No matter your political persuasion it was hard not to laugh.

This weekend the scandal has turned from joke into serious once again after FBI Director James Comey informed Congress the probe into what he said was a “closed” case was being reopened after discovering new emails.

Those emails are reported to have been found on a laptop jointly used by disgraced former Democratic Congressman Anthony Weiner. Weiner is the estranged husband of Clinton confidante Huma Adedin.

The emails were discovered as the FBI investigated charges that Weiner was sexting with a 15-year-old girl.

There only 11 days until America decides whether Clinton or Trump wins the White House. May millions have already voted.

President Barack Obama is on the campaign trail actively seeking to leave his job to Clinton.

The President has also been on a campaign of commuting prison sentences with a high to-date of 872 sentences, the most since the Administration of Woodrow Wilson.

This brings up a question as I sit here in the Cornfield this October evening:

Will the President pardon Clinton to ensure a victory on November 8, rather than allow the FBI continue and his Justice Department indict his chosen successor?

From the Cornfield, something for everyone to mull as people prepare for the Halloween holiday weekend.

Will it be trick or treat for American voters?

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.

Second Debate Another Draw

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That was some debate last night between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Though, I must admit, as the night wore on, it became rather boring.

The highlight of the night for me was the very end. No, not because it was over, but the final question and the responses from the two presidential wannabes.

The question was to name one thing that each found admirable in the other.

Clinton commended Trump on his children. She noted she may disagree with almost everything Trump says and stands for, but that his children and how they are spoke well for Trump as their father.

For Trump, it was the fact that Clinton never backs down. Trump said she was a fighter that kept going rather than backing down even though he disagrees with much of what she is fighting for.

This to me was the best part of the entire second Presidential Debate.

Yet, when all was said and done, to me this second debate was another draw between the two candidates.

Both Clinton and Trump said what they needed to say to keep their supporters. But neither of the two said anything to pull more voters into their tent.

This last month of the election cycle is still open to a win or draw when the votes are cast on November 8.

The CNN/ORC poll of debate watchers scored a win for Clinton. The network admitted as it does each time that the poll is skewed in favor of the Democratic nominee.

Watching the entire debate, what I found interesting is that though it was a town hall format, the audience participation was minimal. There was also little to no interaction by the presidential office seekers with the people who asked questions.

Trump stopped the defection following his lewd and lascivious remarks revealed over the weekend.

Clinton stood her ground and did not allow women who accused her husband, former President Bill, of sexual assault seated in the audience to rattle her.

Both candidates said the words that rang true to their supporters.

Both stumbled over chinks in their armor.

Clinton had trouble answering accusations on use of a private email server and revelations of a public and private view.

Trump had trouble in his apology for his remarks bragging about sexual assaults on women.

Yet when all was said and done, both candidates were standing at the end of the night with their base in tact.

From the Cornfield, Trump did better this time around. Clinton was so-so, but solid.

At the end of the night, no significant change in who is voting for whom.

The undecided remain undecided.

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?

Pence Takes the Night

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Why Bayh

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

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

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

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

Here is why.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We cannot afford more of this.

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

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

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

We need a Senator willing to govern, not grandstand.

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.

Debate Changes Little

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The most watched Presidential Debate ever is now swept into the dustbin of history.

Last night at Hofstra University, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump shook hands and came out swinging.

From my perspective at the end of the night the contest was a draw.

Yes, on points, as many analysts and pundits point out, Clinton came out on top of the heap.

Yes, Clinton got under Trump’s skin.

Yes, Trump was led down the primrose path and was stuck time and again with the thorns placed strategically by Clinton.

But, when you look at the debate as being one which will change anyone’s mind or persuade any of the undecided voters, the fight ended without a win for either Trump or Clinton.

For Clinton supporters, Clinton showed she was the queen of politics.

For Trump supporters, Trump proved he is the consummate outsider, risking all to tilt at windmills.

For the undecided, Clinton was cool – perhaps too cool – and calculating with a smile that seemed plastered rather than genuine, offering more of the status quo.

For the undecided, Trump was too thirsty, too pushy and not deep enough on substance.

In the end, the needle moved little if any at all.

Most of my family in the Cornfield are backing Trump. My mother, my brother Phil, my sister Leticia, my nephews and cousins are all advocating for change.

My oldest son Dave and daughter-in-law Anna are supporting Trump.

My youngest son Kev and daughter-in-law Hailey, who live in Austin, Texas are backing Clinton.

For Kev and Hailey, Clinton is their second choice. They would much rather have Uncle Bernie Sanders vying for the Oval Office.

The debate did not change any of their opinions. The debate re-enforced why my family members are voting for whom they are voting.

As I said, from my perspective last night’s debate ended in a draw.

I remain on the fence, looking at whether to vote for the Libertarian Gary Johnson.

From the Cornfield, I believe the next Presidential Debate on October 9 will be more productive than this first historic debate.

The format will be different – a town hall versus standing behind a lectern on a split screen arguing points.

The candidates will have to get personal with the voters, which may tell us more than the more scripted type of performance in the traditional debate.

Unleashing the Genie

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The day before the Democratic National Convention and then today when it convened, unity is not a word you can use to describe Democrats.

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders campaigned for the past year talking about starting a political revolution. His fans took his message to heart. Those who felt  the Bern are far from ready to cede the battlefield and admit defeat.

Hundreds marched on Sunday through the streets of Philadelphia chanting, “We won’t vote for Hillary.” Those protests continued in the streets today.

This morning while speaking to supporters, Uncle Bernie was heckled and booed every time he mentioned the name of the soon-to-be-anointed Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and running mate, Virginia Senator Tim Kaine.

The ire of Sanders’ supporters was enough to push Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz out of any role at the convention and resignation effective Friday as the party chair.

We are talking a small number either. Sanders garnered the support of 43% of the vote during the primary season.

As soon as the convention was gaveled in this afternoon, the chants on the floor began with the delegation from California in support of Uncle Bernie. This even though Sanders has asked the delegates to accept that Clinton will be the nominee and to show respect and not stage floor demonstrations.

Each time anyone mentions Clinton’s or Kaine’s name the rallying cries around the Sanders campaign go from a low growl to loud howl. Uncle

Bernie let the genie out of the bottle. Now the age old question returns: How do you get the genie back in the bottle?

Although Sanders ceded and has endorsed Clinton, technically if enough SuperDelegates change positions and vote for Uncle Bernie, he could be the nominee instead of Clinton.

When Sanders and Massachusetts Senator and liberal darling Elizabeth Warren address the convention tonight, can either of them qualm the savages on the floor and soothe the beast ready to rumble?

With respected and trusted Democratic strategist Donna Brazile assuming the Chair in place of Wasserman Schultz, the DNC released an apology to Uncle Bernie within the hour of the start of the convention, hoping to quell the uproar on the floor.

But – will it silence the vocal opposition from the floor during prime time?

From the Cornfield, like it or not, want it or not, Uncle Bernie may get his revolution after all.

Once released, you can’t just put the genie back in the bottle with a twitch of the nose.