It’s Not the Heat; It’s the Sensitivity in Global Warming

The Heartland Institute’s 12th International Conference on Climate Change was nothing like I expected. When joining a group described in pejorative terms as “deniers,” one would expect to see furtive movements and disreputable haircuts, yet the crowd displayed good humor and a welcoming attitude.

Even the dour Washington Post, which sees potentially fatal darkness around every corner, described the event as “buoyant,” which will come in handy if the seas continue to rise on Al Gore’s Titanic–like timeline.

Spending time with climate realists shows an informed observer that what he should be looking for is not spectacular climate disasters visible just prior to his agonizing death. Trying to spot herds of tornados tossing Oklahoma into the Gulf of Mexico or perpetual heat waves leaving spontaneous combustion in their wake is simply a waste of time.

The momentous events that drive leftist climate policy aren’t something as mundane as the weather. What really counts are small adjustments to computer programs. Or as Patrick Michaels, director of the Center for the Study of Science at the Cato Institute, puts it, “He who controls the parameters controls the climate.” Or at least climate policy and how it affects the taxpaying public.

It’s why control–freak leftists are so passionate about the climate. Minute adjustments to confidential computer models produce dramatic disaster scenarios that can only be prevented by massive government control and intervention.

Earlier that morning Kevin Dayaratna, senior statistician and research programmer at the Center for Data Analysis, gave an example of parameter control. The EPA has determined the social cost of carbon is $36 a ton. This figure purports to represent the sum of the net damage across the world of adding another ton of carbon to the atmosphere.

An accurate cost “improves the efficiency of policy” and “putting a price on carbon is the only regulation needed.” But the key word is accurate and takes us back to Michael’s “parameters.”

The EPA price for carbon has been more volatile than Reince Priebus futures under Donald Trump. The cost started out at $21/ton, then jumped to $24 and has now peaked (until the next Democrat takes the White House) at $36/ton.

The price kept jumping not because the damage increased, but because the number was “a political decision.” According to Dayaratna, “The goal was a high price not justified by science.” To get their number EPA bureaucrats cooked the books and based the cost finding on “worst case scenarios” and a world that embraced “zero (carbon) mitigation.”

The EPA’s future featured self–driving Ubers powered by burning wood and a White House heated by dirty coal. The EPA couldn’t even be trusted to follow guidelines for discount rate set by Obama’s Office of Management and Budget. OMB recommended a 7 percent discount rate, but EPA’s calculations used 2.5, 3 and 5 percent, finally setting on the figure that resulted in the highest carbon cost per ton.

Dayaratna’s cost with little adaptation on the part of the government is $18/ton and with extensive adaptation $4/ton.

The difference between the figures is the difference between maintaining your first–world lifestyle or fleeing to Honduras as an economic refugee after the EPA makes modernity unaffordable.

Obama’s lasting legacy is embedded leftist regulations. Even if Donald Trump issues executive orders overturning the EPA’s economy–killing regulation, they won’t take effect because green fanatics will file suit to stop implementation. Their argument will be Trump can’t overturn any of the EPA’s carbon regulations because the EPA has determined carbon is a pollutant. Reversing the “endangerment finding” is the only way to prevent this stalling tactic.

A reversal is only possible if the administration can prove the “endangerment finding” was based on faulty science.

Michaels explains, “The endangerment finding was based on computer models [showing carbon causes warming] and nothing else. If these models are demonstrably failing, the endangerment finding can get thrown out.”

Michaels compared an average based on 102 temperature models with the actual temperature at various altitudes in the atmosphere based over a number of years. The distance between the temperatures predicted by the models and the measured temperature looked like the gap between a husband’s opinion on the acceptable price for a sports car and that of his wife.

“Climate scientists” can’t admit the sensitivity in their models is wrong because then “you admit you’re wrong.” So they continue to use models calibrated to reflect 20th century climate exactly, but break down completely after the turn of the century.

The scientific solution is to change the carbon = pollutant hypothesis since observation doesn’t support it, but “climate science” isn’t science. It’s religion. Which is why the economy’s only hope rests on a carbon atheist in the Oval Office.

Russell Moore: A Baptist Shepherd Who Doesn’t Care Much for His Sheep

Russell Moore, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, may not have to suffer deplorables gladly for too much longer. This week he met with the head of the SBC’s executive committee to discuss his estrangement from the 81 percent of Evangelicals who voted for President Trump.

Moore survived the meeting, but I wouldn’t advise asking for money to redecorate his office next year.

To his credit Moore is a staunch defender of marriage, the unborn and the Bible’s instruction on homosexuality, but his grasp of other culturally relevant theology is spotty at best. When Moore discusses illegal aliens, race and politics it sounds like New York Times Revised Version.

Moore is so out of step on those topics I’m surprised he wasn’t invited to be a speaker at the Herd of Heretics conference sponsored by the Virginia Baptist General Assembly, details here.

Moore could probably finesse those issues if he wasn’t such a Pharisee concerning Trump. He was and is a loud and incessant Never Trumper. As former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee observed, he’s “utterly stunned that Russell Moore is being paid by Southern Baptists to insult them.”

Moore cast a write–in ballot for president, observing, “If you lose an election you can live to fight another day and move on, but if you lose an election while giving up your very soul then you have really lost it all, and so I think the stakes are really high.”

Moore can enable the victory of a candidate who believes the unborn have no rights without getting so much as a smudge on his angelic robes, but voting for Trump means your soul is powering the HVAC in Trump Tower.

To learn more about Rev. Moore the White Guilt pastor and the response of Deplorable Baptists to his hectoring you’ll have to click on the link below and finish reading at Newsmax.com.

https://www.newsmax.com/MichaelShannon/baptist-evangelical-sbc/2017/03/14/id/778689/

 

Business Learns Trump Giveth and Trump Taketh Away

Conservatives always knew Trump’s policies would be a dog’s breakfast of competing initiatives and impulsive proposals. His State of the Administration speech only served to confirm it.

There were solid assurances to reestablish the rule of law and promises to develop a “historic” tax reform program that will make US businesses more competitive with other countries.

Unfortunately, waiting for tax reform from a Republican Congress that supports business because it makes campaign contributions and ignores competition because it doesn’t, is like waiting for a pause in an Obama monologue.

Rather than wait, Trump issued an order that requires the executive branch to remove two old regulations for every new one it issues.

That’s a great start; although something tells me at least initially the regulations deleted are going to be those covering the sodium content of salt pork issued to the Army of the Potomac.

But how does removing burdensome regulations on US business square with requiring those same businesses to provide paid family leave? I know it’s a logical progression from universal Pre–K, which is taxpayer–funded daycare, to paying mothers to raise their own babies, but it’s not logical for Republicans trying to make America competitive.

Trump’s new Commissar of Motherhood is going to be regulating up a storm. What number employees is the cutoff for coverage? Will men get to take advantage of paid leave? What about men who can’t decide if they are a man or a woman? Can homosexuals take off to raise a surrogate child? Is a polygamist limited to children from one wife or do all qualify? Does a mother of twins get twice as much leave? Can a divorced husband take off if he still gets along with the ex–wife and she has a child? Will leave only apply to immediate family or will it be like chain immigration and apply to cousins, uncles and people with similar last names?

Do mothers who abort their child get time off to sooth a guilty conscience? How long does the leave last? If a woman gives birth to a girl and a few years later she decides she’s a boy, can mom take another leave to help with the transition? If a woman adopts an infant, does she qualify? If a woman serves as a surrogate mother can she take paid leave, too?

Will the payment be a percentage of salary or a fixed rate? Will there be a means test? How about a citizenship test? Does a woman continue to earn seniority as she cares for junior? Does the leave clock for a premie start when the child was born or when it should have been born? If a mother’s state already has a paid leave program does she have to choose one or can she double–dip?

Just answering those few questions will generate reams of regulations. Will the Commissar get a free pass on the new one–for–two regulatory rule and start from scratch? Or will he have to persuade other agencies to donate old regulations he can sacrifice on the altar of red tape?

I’m sorry, but this has Ivanka’s fingerprints all over it and no one that I know of voted for her.

This program better left to the states. California, New Jersey, Massachusetts and Rhode Island already have leave programs. The other states are free to follow their lead and burden their businesses, too.

This is not to say I downplay the importance of motherhood. I don’t. Conservatives put much more emphasis on the nurturing of the nuclear family than the left does. Strong families build a strong society.

Let’s say Virginia, where I live, wanted to encourage working mothers to stay home with their children for the first three months. I could support a plan that takes inspiration from the foster parent program.

Virginia pays foster parents $462 a month for children under age four. It could start a new Leg Up on Life program that pays working mothers a similar amount for the first three months of the child’s life. This encourages mothers to take time off from work to establish a relationship with the newborn and removes some of the financial pressure.

In the interest of equity I would allow both working and non–working women to be eligible. In the interest of keeping the program simple, the payment would not be means tested. If women already had paid leave from their place of employment, they could collect both payments.

This program has the advantage of being simple, non–federal and no burden on business. It encourages mothers without discouraging job creation. Best of all it doesn’t establish a federal entitlement Democrats could increase at some time in the future, like Trump’s does.

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/

 

 

McConnell & Ryan Join Trump Troika Under Duress

It appears the Trump, McConnell, Ryan honeymoon is over before the marriage was consummated.

term-limits-adSure Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Speaker Paul Ryan made the right noises just after Trump’s astonishing victory. On the Senate floor McConnell said, “Speaker Ryan and I have had productive discussions with the president-elect last week and we’re both looking forward to working with him.”

McConnell was even ready to take on Obamacare, “It’s pretty high on our agenda, as you know. I would be shocked if we didn’t move forward and keep our commitment to the American people.”

Yes it’s been on Mitch’s “honey–do” list for almost a decade, just under “defund National Endowment for the Arts,” “zero out PBS” and declare war on North Viet Nam.

I always had my doubts as to the durability of this menagerie of three. As 1 Corinthians 14:8 advices: “For if the trumpet makes an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself for battle?”

And as McConnell has proven over the years his whoopee cushion call–to–action inspires neither his troops nor the voters. (For complete details on McConnell’s reluctance to fight for conservative principles see my earlier column here.)

Now that Trump is serious about “draining the swamp” and the denizens thereof, not only is a divorce in prospect — the fight over who gets custody of the GOP is going to be nasty. In a post–election interview with “60 Minutes” Trump declared, “We’re going to put on term limits, which a lot of people aren’t happy about, but we’re putting on term limits. We’re doing a lot of things to clean up the system.”

That choking noise you just heard was McConnell gagging on his Senate Bean Soup.

So what’s the time–server’s response and the Trumpista solution? You can find out by clicking the link below and traveling to my Newsmax.com column:

http://www.newsmax.com/MichaelShannon/president-elect-trump-mcconnell-paul-ryan-term-limits/2016/11/22/id/760234/

 

I Was 100 Percent Wrong About Donald Trump

msm-covers-for-hillaryIt’s been a decade or more since I’ve enjoyed watching election returns on TV. Republicans are always being told not to give up hope; the campaign is gaining momentum in the last week. I remember four years ago there were reports from the Romney campaign that prospects for victory were looking up.

Instead of three little old ladies waiting in line for Mitt outside a Florida Golden Corral, there were now four.

Even in the midst of such encouraging news I still felt like a German soldier on the Eastern Front waiting for the advent of winter.

This year Trump was barnstorming the country like the Great Waldo Pepper with thousands of people packing areas to hear him speak. Yes, it looked very impressive compared to the handful Hillary allowed to stand at her bedside, but how much credence could one give to Trump’s reports of eminent victory?

I was briefly encouraged when the director of the FBI performed an encore of the Hokey–Comey, but the last move he busted was to take his right foot out and proclaim Hillary was again disingenuous, negligent and unindictable.

Then there was the problem of which network? Could I take hours of smug Megyn Kelly gloating over a Trump defeat she eagerly anticipated?

As it turned out, Megyn and I both got a big surprise.

Trump extended his record of proving me 100 percent wrong.

Once acknowledging a Trump victory was unavoidable, watching the pundits squirm became very entertaining. The pathetic Karl Rove was claiming Trump owed Speaker Paul Ryan for his victory in Wisconsin. If Ryan is the measure of support, then Trump should be equally grateful to illegal aliens for providing the rioters that roughed up his supporters outside rallies.

Dana Perino allowed that veterans of the Bush administration might hold their nose and agree to work with Trump, which is quite an understatement. Trump will soon discover it’s easier to rid himself of head lice than it is to shed Bush hangers–on wanting a place on the Trump train.

Many on Fox couldn’t rid themselves of their condescending, establishment mindset, even with the results of Trump’s victory starring them in the face. Sean Hannity, an early and vocal Trump backer, was asked if he thought Trump could find a way to reach out to Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Hannity injected a note of realism when he observed tartly that those two had better figure out a way to reach out to Trump.

Currently the opposition media is speculating regarding what the effects of a Trump victory will be in the next few months. But I say he’s already had an impact. The good news is “assault rifles” just became a lot cheaper.

On the other hand Hillary Clinton’s speaking fees took a big hit. She’ll be lucky if she can land a job cutting ribbons for new Chipotles and chances are she’ll be paid in burrito bowls. No more demands for private jet transportation. Hillary will have to depend on the coyotes to get her there like the rest of the help does.

The exodus from the Clinton Corruption Foundation will look like Occupy protestors fleeing a meth lab explosion. The only jobs Hillary ever created were at the foundation and it took donations to make that possible. Now the charity–funded, administration–in–waiting has the same fund raising potential as Trump University.

What does the future look like if your only marketable skill is selecting the pantsuit of the day?

Bill will feel the effects, too. He won’t be picking up any more hotties on billionaire’s executive jets. He’ll be back at the bus station scouting talent with the rest of the chicken hawks.

Clintons and their hangers on aren’t the only economic victims of the Trump victory. Election day was a nationwide experiment in the value of a paid GOTV (Get Out the Vote) ground game. Experts griped that Trump’s lack of one was yet another reason he wasn’t fit to be the nominee.

Today consultants peddling manpower–intensive GOTV programs just saw the market for their services plummet. Trump’s “Ringling Brothers, Barnum & Bailey” campaign proved those anecdotal people showing up at a rally also show up at the polls.

And speaking of refugees, what about the more–conservative–than–thou #NeverTrump crowd? The Weekly Standard and the National Review were both hotbeds of the anti–trump commentariat. I wouldn’t be surprised if embarkation process for the post–election cruises both magazines sponsor resembles Saigon in 1975.

I briefly considered joining one of the cruises to gloat, but then it struck me: Do those embarking on the #NeverTrump cruise plan to come back?

Final Debate Answers Dictator Question

Compared with the second debate, the final encounter between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton was mostly a snooze, but we did clear up one point of contention.

Now the American people know who to support if they want to complete the Latinization of the United States and install a tin–pot dictator in the White House just like South of the Border.

hillary-dictatorA vote for Hillary will be a two–fer: She’ll undermine the Constitution while changing the drapes.

Hillary’s answer to a question regarding her criteria for appointments to the Supreme Court cleared up everyone but the media’s confusion. A crucial question since the next president will fill one open seat and potentially two to three more as leftist hacks move on to the final venue.

In 416–words Hillary didn’t bother to mention the Constitution until the next–to–last sentence and even then it was an incorrect procedural reference to the confirmation process.

Instead of appointing judges who will defend the Constitution, her goal is to make the Supreme Court a mini–legislature where she determines the membership and the decisions.

Even worse, Hillary — like other tin–pot dictators — intends to tell judges how to rule BEFORE she appoints them. The Clintonista judiciary is to “stand on the side of the American people, not on the side of the powerful corporations and the wealthy. For me, that means that we need a Supreme Court that will stand up on behalf of women’s rights, on behalf of the rights of the LGBT community, [and] will stand up and say no to Citizens United.”

That’s not a litmus test — those are marching orders.

Hillary’s philosophy is a fundamental perversion that overturns a constitutional order dating from the founding and the rule of law itself.

The law is not to be a respecter of persons, or as Leviticus 19:15 instructs: “[Judges] shall do no injustice in judgment; you shall not be partial to the poor or defer to the great, but in righteousness shall you judge your neighbor.”

The role of the Supreme Court is to apply the law, in this case the Constitution, to the case at hand, regardless of the social standing or sexual preference of the individuals involved in the case. Lawsuits aren’t handicapped like horseraces. A judge doesn’t give a poor minority the benefit of the doubt; he gives him the benefit of the law.

Hillary’s whims will determine what is constitutional and what is not. Take her differing views of two court decisions. Roe v Wade re–wrote the Constitution to permit killing as long as the victim was under a certain age.

Citizens United held that money in campaigns was a form of speech and laws passed by Congress that banned this speech/money violated the 1st Amendment. At that the ban only applied to certain commercial enterprises. Corporate money was banned, but union money — just as commercial — was not banned, since that money helped elect Democrats.

Both decisions can theoretically be overturned by a future court, as long as it’s not a Clinton court. Hillary says Roe v. Wade “guarantees a constitutional right” to abortion, as if the wording is actually part of the document, while Citizens United is a decision “[judges] must stand up against.”

If you are interested in learning how Hillary’s philosophy of appointing judges whose first loyalty is to the left and not the Constitution works in practice just look at the situation in Venezuela. Bloomberg News reports strongman President Nicholas Maduro has used his appointed judiciary to block a citizen–generated recall vote guaranteed in the country’s constitution.

Maduro’s unilateral edicts and the political situation is eerily similar to ours: “Even after losing power in Congress 10 months ago, Maduro has managed to stifle constitutional attempts at removing him …In coordinated actions, courts in five pro­government states suspended signature collections on Thursday, prompting the national electoral council to halt the process nationwide.”

That ends any hope for a recall vote.

And don’t take comfort in the false assurance that we won’t be facing a recall situation here. Maduro uses his court for routine government, much like Hillary would like to if she gets the chance. Does this divide between the executive and legislative sound familiar? “The legislature and executive remain at loggerheads, paralyzing the democratic process. Maduro even approved his 2017 budget through the supreme court, bypassing legislators.”

A Hillary Clinton administration will be a continuation of eight years of Obama decline, only she will add to the Oval Office collection of office supplies.

Hillary will have a phone, a pen and a rubber stamp Supreme Court.

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.

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.