Finally! Democrats Support Cutting Off the Money

It hasn’t made the national news (except for this column) but for a brief time it looked like Democrats around our nation’s capital were going to accept the fact the federal government can withhold funds from states that don’t cooperate with the feds.

And this wasn’t a mere threat to turn off the spigot; funds for Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia have been cut off.

metro-cartoonYet no Democrats are vowing to fight to the last ditch to get their money. No state attorneys general are rushing to the courthouse hoping to find a federal judge willing to write legislation from the bench. No legal defense funds have been established. No lawyers have been hired. No posters have been printed. And no protestors wielding superglue and PVC pipe have blockaded entrances to buildings.

Why George Ramos wasn’t even thrown out of a news conference for asking impertinent questions.

If you’re thinking now that Trump has vanquished the Sanctuary City movement, it’s time to move on to Obamacare repeal, I have bad news.

Now I’ve got you. You’re wondering what bad news? The question is easily answered by clicking on the link below and reading the entire column on Newsmax.com:

http://www.newsmax.com/MichaelShannon/city-federal-funding-sanctuary/2017/03/01/id/776296/

 

 

Quanah Parker’s House Joins Geronimo’s Teepee

It’s not every day you can lean on the dining room table that once belonged to the Comanche’s last war chief, Quanah Parker, and wonder if your feet are going to crash through the floorboards.

The table that once hosted Teddy Roosevelt and Geronimo is now surrounded by a house that’s collapsing due to lack of funds and lack of will power.

Quanah Parker's House near Cache, OK.

Quanah Parker’s House near Cache, OK.

Somehow a nation that puts a minor figure like Sacajawea on its coinage can’t coordinate the rescue of a house that personifies a man who successfully lead his people through the transition from savagery to civilization.

Quanah Parker was the foremost warrior of his time, the real “Lord of the Plains.” Parker was a cruel, ruthless raider who recognized the Comanche way was ending. Instead of living out his life as a despondent ward of the Great White Father, Parker became a businessman, hob–knobbed with the famous and represented his tribe in Washington.

The house symbolizes the transition. Cattlemen driving herds north needed grass and water, both of which Parker had in abundance. They asked what he would need from them in return for grazing rights.

Parker said build him a house just like the one the commandant of Ft. Sill lived in — only bigger. And thus Star House was born.

Parker lived in it until his death in 1911. His last direct descent to occupy the house was Linda Parker Birdsong. In 1957 the Army decided to take her land and use it for a firing range. Birdsong was promised the house would be moved, but in typical Pentagon fashion Star House was dumped in a field and the contractors abandoned it without reinstalling the stoves or providing a connection to running water.

Although it was uninhabitable, it wasn’t neglected. Birdsong sold the home to the uncle of the present owner, Wayne Gipson, and it served as an amusement park tourist attraction.

In 1985 the park was forced to close by skyrocketing insurance rates — another gift to America from trial lawyers — and the revenue dried up. Keeping a two–story, eight–bedroom house in good repair proved too expensive for Gipson, who lives on the proceeds of a small restaurant and trading post.

Now the house is on the verge of disintegration. The roof is gone from much of the rear and the second story is so unstable and dangerous, I didn’t risk trying to see it for myself.

In 2015 a reporter from the New York Times came to visit and he was optimistic that a May flood, which ruined most of the rugs and wallpaper, might have a sliver lining. “I think the best thing that could have happened is the flood,” said Chenoa Barhydt, a Comanche Nation official. “This will start a conversation about saving it.”

It was a short conversation. The house dried out and the promises dried up. Gipson said although the Comanche nation promised extensive help, nothing materialized.

And there the situation stood until a grant paid for an architectural assessment report. Just stabilizing Star House will cost $200,000. Restoring will run over a million. After the report Comanche Nation officials promised to spring for pocket change and register a “savethestarhouse.org” website to take donations. But digging the change out of the sofa must have been a bigger challenge than expected because the website is dead.

Let’s put this in perspective. The most recent figures (from 2006!) show the Comanche nation made a $35,000,000 profit from their four Oklahoma casinos and, with one exception, for the next ten years revenue has increased. Yet the nation is passing the hat among outsiders to raise money to save the last home of its greatest war chief.

Part of the problem is Gipson, a non–Comanche. The nation wants him to give up control of Star House, evidently out of the goodness of his heart. The other is foundations and government won’t donate to an individual for a restoration project of this type. Someone will have to establish a 501(c)3 tax–exempt charity to accept donations, a project beyond Gipson’s means, but well within that of the Comanches.

Gipson may not be the easiest person to deal with, but he’s obviously not viewing Star House as a profit center. If he had, Gipson would’ve been selling Parker’s furniture piecemeal over the years to collectors.

The feds spent $199 million building the Museum of the American Indian; the Comanches make millions in profits off their casinos each year and Gipson made $8.00 in sales the day I visited.

The Comanches, Oklahoma and/or the feds must to come up with a solution that includes Gipson and saves the house. Now. Otherwise Star House is going the way of Geronimo’s teepee.

Trump Protesters Do Violence to “Peaceful”

The inauguration will be a learning experience for President Trump in more ways than one. To begin with, he’ll see first hand just how hard it will be to re–establish the rule of law in the United States and he will learn just how deep the “resistance” to his administration extends into government.

My fear is Trump’s inauguration will either be an asymmetrical warfare defeat for security forces or a willing surrender. The homeland security apparatus appears to be preparing to prevent an attack by jihadis when the big threat to the ceremony is an attack by jerks.

trump-protestThe mainstream media who vilified and lied about candidate Trump can now hardly wait to cover Trump inauguration protests it helped generate. The Washington Post is fired up, “Planning for protesters is taking up more bandwidth ahead of the quadrennial festivities in the District than at any time in over a decade.”

The focus of security planning should be on people coming to enjoy the inauguration. These citizens should be able to travel to and from the event safely and otherwise undisturbed as they celebrate the victory they worked so hard to produce.

Unfortunately, planning priorities are exactly backwards. I have yet to read a statement by any security functionary, police chief, mayor, congressman or even K–9 dog assuring law–abiding citizens here to witness a peaceful transfer of power that the government will do its best to make sure Trump supporters enjoy the day.

The sentiment seems to be: What did you expect? We voted for Hillary.

Official pronouncements certainly fail to reassure law–abiding Trump voters who plan to attend the festivities. See for yourself what collaborating officialdom says and what a rule–of–law response to disruption should be by clicking the link below and reading the rest of my Newsmax.com Insider column:

http://www.newsmax.com/MichaelShannon/trump-inauguration-protest-illegal/2017/01/17/id/769037/

 

Uncle Remus’ Solution to Obamacare Repeal

“Roast me! Hang me! Do whatever you please,” said Brer Rabbit. “Only please, Brer Fox, please don’t throw me into the briar patch.”

Uncle Remus Stories

Gullible Republican House and Senate members, convinced that repealing Obamacare also involves replacing Obamacare, are preparing to throw Democrats right into the middle of the federal briar patch that is their natural home.

repeal-obamacare-cartoon-heller-495x342

Sure Democrats are making a big deal out of the repeal of Obamacare — there are even rumors Obama himself cut back to golfing only six days per week — yet replacing Democrat meddling in the healthcare marketplace with Republican meddling is no improvement and worse still, gives Democrats an avenue to expand their interference in the future.

Think of Obamacare as one of those patients with a pre–existing cancer. The merciful response is to eradicate the cancer once and for all. There will be some pain and uncertainty, but in the long run the patient and the country will be much better.

Exchanging Obamacare for some jury–rigged replacement only means Republicans decided they want a tumor of their own. It makes federal intrusion into healthcare a permanent feature of modern life.

Our weak, vacillating GOP leadership faces a Treaty of Versailles situation. At the conclusion of World War I the allies wanted to end Germany’s war–making capability, but during negotiations the allies made a crucial mistake. They repealed the Imperial German Army and its General Staff, replacing it with a smaller Weimar Army. German bureaucrats just hid General Staff personnel in a tame sounding “troop office.”

When Hitler came to power the foundation of the Wehrmacht already existed, all he had to do was add manpower. That’s the danger for “Mitch McClellan” and Paul Ryan: Replacing Obamacare with the Wehrmacht–in–waiting. When the next Democrat Congress or president takes office they simply have to ramp up spending and “reform” the Republican replacement and we’re back where we started.

So what should Republicans do after repealing Obamacare? I have a four–point program that protects Constitutional government, taxpayers and patients. You can find all the details by clicking on the link below and going to my Newsmax.com Insider column.

Thanks.

http://www.newsmax.com/MichaelShannon/obamacare-repeal-replace-legislation/2017/01/12/id/768208/

 

 

Football Flashback to An Earlier Era

This season a remarkable decision took place on the next–to–last play of the Oklahoma vs. Oklahoma State football game. This intra–state championship matchup dates back to 1904, but this matchup was particularly important. Oklahoma was ranked #9 and OSU just behind at #10. The game winner would not only have bragging rights, the victor would also be the Big 12 champion.

perine-kneeMy alma mater OU got off to a ragged start. The defense was exceptionally porous and the usually reliable running game stalled. Then in the second quarter Heisman Trophy candidate receiver Dede Westrook was knocked unconscious after being hit while making a catch.

OU dropped seven points behind, but managed to tie 17 – 17 to end the half. In the third quarter, just as prospects were looking up for the Sooners, RB Samaje Perine limped off the field and into the locker room.

Perine is the Sooners’ hammer. He’s a punishing straight–ahead runner who brings back memories of Steve Owens. Without him the load would go to Joe Mixon, who so far was having an off day. It looked like a long afternoon ahead.

Then without ceremony Perine quietly returns. Viewers, like the OSU defense, learned he was back when he got the ball. On a rainy, slick day OU wanted to keep the ball on the ground and use up the clock. Perine got the ball play after play after play. OSU had eight players stacked on the line and they knew who was going to get the ball, yet he kept going.

On the last drive of the game he carried the ball 11 times and it looked toward the end like some OSU players had their fill of tackling Perine. They began making what Deon Saunders called “business decisions.”

Then it happened. On what became the last time he would touch the ball, Perine broke through line and had a clear path to the goal line. Nothing short of Divine Intervention could have prevented a touchdown, yet just before he crossed the goal line, Perine stopped, took a knee and ended the play.

The announcers didn’t make much of it at the time, as OU ran out the clock, but the significance struck me immediately.

It was an extraordinary act of sportsmanship. Maybe viewers who have never played a contact sport miss these nuances, but those of us who have appreciate a player who has some reverence for the way a game should be played.

In rivalry grudge matches, particularly when one of your star players has been knocked out of the game, it’s natural for teams to want to punish their opponent and the scoreboard is the natural place to do it.

Perine didn’t. When asked about the play after the game he explained, “I mean, what’s the point of scoring? We’re already up by two touchdowns. There’s only a few seconds left, so there’s no need to run up the score. I just did what I thought was the right thing to do.”

Coach Bob Stoops explained that taking a knee was all Perine’s idea, “God bless him. “What a class, character guy. It’s character. That’s him. Rather than padding his stats, just take a knee. No sense in running it up on somebody.”

This is typical of Perine. He plays like the coach is Vince Lombardi. Earlier in the game Perine crashed head–on into an OSU defender on the goal line and swept by him for the score. Instead of treating teammates, TV cameras and opposing players to 20 seconds of interpretive dance, Perine handed the ball to the nearest official and walked back to the huddle.

Like Lombardi said, he acts like he’s been in the end zone before.

While he’s got the ball Perine is all business and all contact, but even in this heated rivalry game he helped OSU players to their feet more than once. After the game he sits in the back of the interview room and lets other teammates bask in the spotlight.

The knee and what it signified might be Perine’s last regular season carry for Oklahoma. Perine is a junior. An average performance in the Sugar Bowl will put him ahead of Owens and probably ahead of Billy Sims, giving him the all–time Sooner rushing record. He’s eligible for the NFL draft and as my son says a running back’s body can only take so many hits, to Perine may as well be rich when he’s bruised.

If he leaves, I’ll miss watching him, but what a way to finish.

Thirty–seven carries, the most by one running back in the last 27 years, 239 yards, one touchdown for the record books and one he decided to donate to sportsmanship.

Republican Party Now Controlled by Depend Caucus

For a guy who’s billed as the next great Republican political wizard, he sure makes a lot of rookie mistakes.

No, I’m not talking about Donald Trump. I’m talking about Speaker of the House Paul Ryan — the Hamlet of Pennsylvania Avenue.

ryan-good-bad-stupid-678x381Now Ryan is doing the Hokey–Pokey over Trump’s just–released video “How to Impress Women Like the Stars Do.” I say now, because this is only the most recent example. Ryan earlier was weathervaning over Trump’s Twitter war with the Democrat’s angry Arab. Before that it was Trump vs. the ethnic–supremacist judge. Prior to that it may have been the disabled reporter. Somewhere in there we have Carly Fiorina’s face.

Unless you have a Democrat opposition researcher in the family it’s hard to keep track.

The only thing that’s certain is the joy in the enemy camp as Ryan predictably dances to the mainstream media’s tune and the rest of the Depend Caucus wrings their tiny hands.

There’re a number of problems with Ryan’s performance of the Politically Correct Polka, beginning with the fact it makes him look weak. This confirms what conservatives have been saying for months, but going public demonstrates Ryan’s fecklessness to the entire nation.

Politically Ryan’s weakness is an even bigger mistake for GOP members of the House he’s supposed to be leading. Responding to media inquiries regarding Trump’s shambolic campaign only serves to nationalize House races, which incumbent House members should certainly avoid. House races should stay local.

Incumbents talk about the pork they’ve brought home not the pork–brain at the top of the ticket.

House members, including the Speaker, have no control over presidential candidates. Regularly commenting on the Improv Impresario at the top of the ticket means what happens there also reflects on those members.

It’s the equivalent of the Uber passenger in a self–driving car being held responsible for the robot’s tickets.

Nationalizing a House race is what challengers do to try and ride the coattails of their presidential candidates and overcome the incumbent’s name ID and record within the district.

Ryan’s continuing comments on the Trump race puts pressure on all House candidates to answer Trump questions from local reporters who take their cues from the networks.

This idiocy won’t hurt Ryan — he’s in a safe district, otherwise he wouldn’t be Speaker — but it damages incumbents in marginal districts and it really handicaps GOP challengers. Instead of signing on for color commentary of the Trump race, Ryan should have told national reporters from the very beginning that he is focused on increasing the Republican House majority and he doesn’t have time to be an advisor for the Trump campaign, too.

The media won’t accept that answer, so he’ll be pressed. He repeats those questions are a distraction for House members concentrating on (insert message sound bite). Voters will have a chance in November to decide the presidential race and they don’t need my help to do it.

Then Ryan refuses to answer any more questions about Trump.

The media will tire of badgering him and move on to reliable RINO weasels and backstabbers like John McCain and Lindsay Graham. For proof this technique works we have only to look at Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. He finally shut up about Trump and the media stopped asking.

Ryan’s silence regarding the Trump campaign would allow other House members to do likewise. When a local news poodle asks them to comment on the latest Trump communication adventure, all they have to do is say, like Speaker Ryan, I’m concentrating on my own race where (insert political BS). Voters can make their own decision regarding Trump and Hillary in November.

Then they can shut the heck up.

Ryan’s failure to adhere to this obvious and sensible strategy calls into question his motives. Is he trying to appeal to GOP contributors that might otherwise stop giving? If so, he can tell them in private what I’ve written here. Does Ryan want to cozy up to the next administration? There’s probably a better chance for good relations with Hillary than with Trump. Or does Ryan want to be the national GOP leader acceptable to the media? He can ask Mitt Romney how that worked out.

A wise friend contends Ryan’s diarrhea of the mouth isn’t a mistake — it’s a fallback plan. Originally, Ryan wanted to block Trump’s nomination so the party would turn to him as nominee without subjecting him to a primary campaign.

Now Ryan just wants to defeat Trump regardless of the cost to the nation. Gov. Mike Huckabee contents the Republican RINO and consultant complex isn’t afraid Trump will lose.

They’re afraid Trump will win.

I’m beginning to think the governor and my friend are correct.

Can the Hair Be Convinced to Train Like the Tortoise?

Instead of trying to turn Donald Trump into Mitt Romney, I suggest the campaign junta stop trying to construct a Debatetron 5000 and instead get Trump to utilize the assets that won him the nomination: Humor, the ability to connect with an audience and a willingness to say what programmed politicians won’t.

robottrump_march_8He’s not trying to convince the New York Times subscriber base to vote for him. Trump is trying to persuade independent voters who aren’t obsessed with politics to support him and, equally important, go to the polls.

Thinks of it this way: Trump isn’t after the people who stay in his hotels. He’s after the people who built and work in his hotels. (Assuming they’re citizens.)

And speaking of the Times, they’ve found another group of anonymous Trump staffers who’re going to single–handedly whip him into shape for the next debate. The term used is “rigorously prepare.”

Good luck, I can’t see them making a silk tongue out of a rabble–rouser’s ear.

The campaign can’t make Trump what he isn’t. He’s not going to sit still for some memorize–the–Koran debate workout. Instead of trying to make him into Meryl Streep, accept the fact he’s John Wayne and try to find a role that fits the venue.

Trump debate preparation should be fun, if the junta expects his willing participation. The bulk of it can consist of him watching his favorite person — Donald Trump — in one of his favorite activities: Speaking to adoring crowds at rallies.

Explain to him that when Hillary talks about crime or a crime–related question comes up he should respond with an illegal alien crime sound bite and then play the rally footage. Ask him to repeat what he just heard. The next day rearrange the order of the topics and clips.

Instead of treating the debate like Masterpiece Theatre, treat it like a sitcom. Trump can be engaging and funny. Bring those sides out. One of the most memorable occasions in the Bush Vs Gore debates was when Albert the 1st invaded Bush’s personal space and George W. looked at the camera and made a face.

It connected with the audience and expressed what all normal viewers were thinking. Trump should do the same. The debate audiences don’t help him because they are so stodgy. Trump feeds on the energy of the crowd. (Hillary feeds, too, but more like what happens in The Strain.)

Absent a loud crowd, let him look at the camera — since he’s on a split screen anyway — and try some non–verbal communication. It’s a technique Hillary is constitutionally incapable of adopting (also the only known instance of Hillary obeying any type of constitution).

The next debate is where the media will really be looking to trip Trump and make him look callous or insensitive as he relates to the “Millennial–in–the–Street.” This is the “Town Hall” session that consists of a crowd of angry leftists moderated by two condescending leftists.

The debate commission will assemble probably the only people in America who know less about the Constitution, the federal governments’ role and how government functions than Trump does and invite them to ask inane questions.

These questions typically consist of two parts. The beginning where the “independent voter” looks at the camera and hopes mom remembered to set the DVR and the conclusion where the “independent” puts her vote up for auction and the candidates then compete to see who can spend more tax dollars on her behalf.

You never see a questioner ask how long it will take to deport all the illegal aliens. Instead they ask why the government hasn’t flown the rest of their family up from Bogotá.

It’s a hostile venue with a hostile audience and Trump will have to be better prepared.

Right now Trump supporters boast he won the first part of the debate, but being proud of winning the first 30 minutes of a 90–minute debate is like being proud of winning the flat stages of the Tour de France.

Hillary probably couldn’t have passed the test at doping control after the race, but she crossed the finish line first.

Donald the Defiant Dominates Debate

somebody-stop-meThe only way Sunday’s Town Hall debate could have been better was if Trump had come whirling onstage like Jim Carrey in “The Mask” and shouted, “Somebody STOP me!”

There are candidates who would have been chastened after political archeologists unearthed a tape of them boasting like high school jocks about their way with women. Those candidates might have begged Hillary on behalf of all females to forgive them. They might have thanked the “unbiased” moderators for giving them the opportunity to grovel before millions of viewers.

But they wouldn’t be named Donald Trump.

Trump is the John Paul Jones of presidential candidates. With water sloshing over the deck Trump yells, “I have not yet begun to fight!” He’s one–armed Gen. Phil Kearny at Chantilly, surrounded by Confederates, trying to cut his way out with a cavalry sabre. He’s America’s Populist Id defying the false cordiality and empty smiles of politics.

Don’t get me wrong here. I know Trump is going to lose.

Like Kearny he’ll be shot down by the Clinton cabal and its eager media volunteers, but like Kearny, Trump is going down hard.

I’ve attended comedies that didn’t generate the laughter and joy that Trump produced as he lit Hillary up. Trump went after Cruella Clinton in a way conservatives have wanted to see since she slithered into public life.

The Bushes, the Rubios, the Grahams and the Kasichs would have debated Hillary as if her bloviating about plans and “smart solutions” really merited serious consideration — while ignoring the rotten character and its accompanying failures that are the real issue with Hillary.

I’ve selected my five favorite Trumpisms from the debate, but you’ll have to go to my Newsmax.com column to discover which ones made the cut. Just click here:

http://www.newsmax.com/MichaelShannon/graham-kasich/2016/10/12/id/752960/

 

Tie Goes to the Outsider in 1st Presidential Debate

Bathing in the blood of virgins appears to be working. Hillary didn’t cough and remained upright for 90 whole minutes.

hillary-gullible-votersTrump didn’t discuss the size of his package or Rosie O’Donnell.

So I’d say the first presidential debate was a draw — once again putting me out of step with the rest of America.

“Snap polls” conducted just after the debate showed Trump was the overwhelming winner, even on sites where the readership is composed of pasteurized Communists. The Daily Mail had a compilation of results and Drudge (Trumpista Central) led the pack with Trump 81.5 percent to 18.5 percent for Hillary.

The Lefty sites included Time.com with Trump 58 to 42, Slate had Trump 54.3 to 45.7, Variety was Trump 51.5 to 48.5 and even CNBC had Trump the winner 51 to 49.

The sites that gave three options: Trump, Hillary and Neither offered a more reasonable selection of choices, but even there my preferred “neither” was holding steady at 5 percent.

Unfortunately, Trump’s Fabulous Improv Tour Campaign missed a number of opportunities to let the air out of Hillary’s cheeks. You’ll get complete details and my suggestions for the future by clicking here and jumping to my Newsmax.com column:

http://www.newsmax.com/MichaelShannon/cnbc-drudge-lester-holt-time/2016/09/28/id/750629/

 

Why the First Presidential Debate May Decide the Election

With apologies to George Ramos, this year the first presidential debate is the Big Enchilada. Independent voters will finally be tuning in to see both candidates boca–y–boca. This cumulative first impression will probably decide the election.

And what will Independents be concerned about? Many are participating in betting pools based on the exact time Hillary will cough, with over–unders on duration and intensity.

hillary-healthNot since Ronald Reagan’s second debate with Walter Mondale has candidate health been a primary topic. That was in 1984 and health was a byproduct of the first debate after Reagan appeared to be a quart low on formaldehyde. His answers were sometimes confused and the Gipper looked old.

The disastrous performance seemed to confirm the mainstream media’s unsubtle attempts to portray Reagan, at 73, as too old and feeble to function during a second term.

Mondale knew the election would ride on Reagan’s performance in the rematch. Reagan knew it, too. When he was asked a question designed to remind voters of the first debate and put him at a disadvantage, the Gipper defied expectations and won the election with a single answer:

Moderator: Mr. President, I want to raise an issue that I think has been lurking out there for 2 or 3 weeks and cast it specifically in national security terms. You already are the oldest President in history…President Kennedy had to go for days on end with very little sleep during the Cuban missile crisis. Is there any doubt in your mind that you would be able to function in such circumstances?

Reagan: Not at all. I want you to know that also I will not make age an issue of this campaign. I am not going to exploit, for political purposes, my opponent’s youth and inexperience.

The surprised laughter of the audience, and even members of the media, washed away any hope Mondale had of winning.

Clinton, at 68, is actually the younger of the two candidates, but that hasn’t kept her campaign out of the intensive care unit for the last two weeks. Her cough. Her concussion. And her Crazy–legs Hillary spaz–out as she was tossed into a van are causing voters to wonder if they are “Ready for Hillary” or the staff at Johns Hopkins.

Hillary may have to address her health, but it won’t be with humor. She would either have to bring a water bottle, surgical mask or Taser on stage as payoffs for her multiple explanations and changing health diagnoses, and that’s two jokes too many.

But the health question is not guaranteed.

The media asked Reagan a loaded question because it wanted him to lose. These Democrats–with–bylines would much prefer to avoid Hillary’s health, because it would help Trump. As long as Hillary isn’t brought to her chair riding on a gurney or rolled on stage like a barrel of Oktoberfest beer she’ll be fine until the questions start.

I’ve been told that in a break with past debates, Hillary will be allowed to have one ornamental shrub to her left, mostly to obscure the saline drip. And both candidates will be allowed one bottle of water or Robitussin.

The first moderator, Lester Holt, has announced debate topics for the Sept. 26th event: America’s Direction, Achieve Prosperity and Securing America. None of which lend themselves to asking if she can “power through” four years in the Oval Office. The segments will cover 30 minutes each broken into two 15–minute portions. During the pause one medical professional will be allowed to approach Hillary.

The debate will be carried by the three broadcast networks, cable news networks and Univision — which will save money by having all Trump’s Spanish subtitles read: “Trump: ‘All Mexicans are rapists.’”

Right the first debate is predicted to set a record with total viewers approaching 100 million. I haven’t placed any bets myself, but I am wondering will she cough? And when?

More than one observer has predicted Clinton will have so much codeine in her she’ll be lucky to talk, much less cough. This stands to reason since a codeine overdose is not all that different from the usual Hillary: Slow, labored breathing with cold, clammy skin.

Trump’s job will be to keep the pressure on Hillary and not allow the debate to turn into a wonk–fest where she dominates with an avalanche of minutia and acronyms. If he’s witty and relaxed, while she’s leaden and uptight, Trump can count it a victory.

Even without the cough–heard–round–the–world.