I’m not going to get a chance to see the entire debate tonight because of work but here is what things are going to come down to one thing: Will the caricatures of the two candidates be confirmed or refuted.

1. Trump: Is he crazy, is he presidential?

These two questions are what the American people want the answer to. Hillary Clinton the media and the left (but I repeat myself) has been trying to sell Donald Trump as an uncontrolled loon for the last year or so, completely unprecedented and unable to deal lead. That caricature took a huge hit thanks to his mexican trip whose live feed completely disappointed the left has the Donald not only sounded strong but competent. While this was no surprise to me as a person who is running business on an international scale has to know how to deal with foreign leaders this is totally contrary to what the MSM has said.

The goal for Donald Trump therefore is to appear presidential enough on TV to make a lie of this. I predict that he will have very little trouble doing so due to his massive TV experience.

2. Clinton: Is she corrupt, is she well?

There have been two memes with Hillary Clinton that has been out there, the first is corruption, while the email scandal has not had legs with the MSM it HAS with voters. Clinton needs to give answers that suggest there is no there there. This should actually not be a hard thing to do as she has decades of experience dissembling before reporters, however it is the viewing audience and not the press that she has to sell this too. My gut says she should be able to do this but the real question is, have her consultants prepped her for the press or the people? That will be the determining factor.

The second factor can’t be wargamed. Clinton’s health. I’m sure that Hillary has rested herself to the max and her medical and makeup team will have put out full effort to make sure that she is in the best physical shape possible or tonight.

All that being said if she starts coughing, if she starts to fall, if anything happens that says “unwell” that will be the final nail in the coffin for her. This is the overriding factor above all else. Can she manage to stand there for 90 minutes without seeming ill?

I predict she will manage to do so but the reality is we have no idea on this. It is the wild card in this debate.

The Clinton advantage MSM: The biggest advantage for Hillary Clinton is the MSM. As long as Hillary Clinton doesn’t cough up a lung, start drooling on the stage or physically collapse, the media will pronounce her well and declare her the victor in tonight’s debate. It doesn’t matter what she says or how she says it this is going to be the media narrative that the press will be selling.

The Trump Advantage the audience: It appears this is going to be one of the most watched debates in the history of history. A large amount of people who would not normally bother will politics will be drawn to it. Furthermore I suspect most of those people will not be bothering with much of the pre-debate or post-debate coverage. This means that Trump will have an excellent change to make his case directly to the people, particularly those who will not be bothering with the post-debate spin. If he doesn’t commit an obvious gaffe, and by gaffe I mean something that normal people, not the media, not the media, consider a gaffe. He will be fine.

My prediction. Barring a physical collapse by Hillary, this debate is going to be pretty much a wash by normal debate standards. However a wash in the debate is a win for Trump because the main question in the mind of people who don’t like Hillary is: Is Trump Qualified. If he passed that bar, he win…

…it should be pointed out that the MSM is going to declare Hillary the victor in this debate (again barring a physical collapse) I wouldn’t be surprised if most of those stories have already been written and just need the odd bit of space filled in. Howie Carr has nailed it:

Whatever happens on Long Island, Hillary will immediately be declared the winner by 98 percent of the press. The headlines are already written, the phony-baloney polls and focus groups are ready to roll.

Hillary has to accomplish only two feats in Hempstead. The first one is to get off a couple of canned zingers for her adoring fans in social media to run with Tuesday morning.

What’s the over/under on how many minutes it will take her to say, “I’m a grandmother”? Comrade Chris Matthews and Andrea Mitchell will lap it up with a spoon. Oh, she so humanized herself, blah blah blah.

Hillary’s second task may prove more daunting: She has to remain vertical for 90 long minutes, with no oxygen mask or iron lung up there on the stage.

Alas for the Clintons we live in an age where people will have already formed their opinions and shared them online long before the pundits are able to push these stories.

Update: PowerLine reports they are getting panicked fundraising requests and says

with a hundred million people set to tune in to tonight’s debate, the Democrats have even more to worry about: what if millions of those viewers don’t find Trump scary or dangerous, and they see no reason to consider him a “racist, sexist bigot”? If I were a Democrat, I’d be worried too.

I’m enjoying this much too much.


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By:  Pat Austin

SHREVEPORT  — There were protests in New Orleans Saturday, as promised, at Jackson Square and at other Confederate monument sites in the city.  The stated goal of these protests, organized by Take ‘Em Down NOLA and BLM, was to bring the monuments down with ropes, if necessary.

They did not succeed.

All of this new hullabaloo is in advance of the September 28 court hearing on the monuments this week.

The event began Saturday in Congo Square in the Treme section of New Orleans and hundreds of protesters began their march to the French Quarter and Jackson Square.  The group was comprised of people on both sides – some people were there in support of the monuments and others were opposed.

Interestingly, the Andrew Jackson monument was not one on Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s original hit list.  His initial targeted monuments were Lee Circle, Liberty Place monument, P.G.T. Beauregard monument, and the Jefferson Davis monument.

Upon arrival at Jackson Square, the protesters were met with mounted patrols who guarded entrance to the monument. Protesters chanted “No justice, no peace” and some threw paint filled water balloons, much like the vandal that targeted our Confederate monument here in Shreveport a few months ago.  The estimate to remove the paint from the Shreveport monument is staggering and the United Daughters of the Confederacy in Shreveport are raising money to help cover the cost.  Because the paint soaks into the marble and granite, removal must be done with chemicals and care.

The night before the protests in New Orleans, the PGT Beauregard monument was tagged with red paint: “Burn ‘em Down.”  Local preservation groups got out quickly to clean the paint from the base of the monument.

There were about seven people arrested during the protests Saturday, mostly for disturbing the peace; two were arrested for fighting. One had a weapon.

After the protesters moved on from Jackson Square, they marched through the French Quarter and blocked traffic on Canal Street, and finally as it all disbursed and darkness descended on the city, monument watchers were in place through the night to ensure that no more vandalism or violence took place at each of the targeted monuments.

To say that this is a time of great tension in our southern cities is an understatement but after talking to the people that live in New Orleans, most are not concerned with the monuments and never pay them any attention. These protests and agitations are primed primarily by outside BLM groups whose main purpose is to create racial tension. Those monuments have stood for years without notice and without protest.

It all makes me very concerned for our shared history, our heritage (as American, not just north and south), and our future.

And now we wait for the September 28 hearing.

Pat Austin blogs at And So it Goes in Shreveport.

While I was volunteering for WQPH at the Johnny Appleseed Festival in Leominster MA I did several interviews for the station but there were also some political people worth getting on camera which of course could not be associated with the station.

So I left the WQPH booth and went out into the festival where I saw a tea party friend working a pair of booths, one for national GOP candidate Donald Trump and one for Frank Ardinger running for state rep in the 4th Worcester District His web site is here.(Leominster) who I interviewed here. (Full disclosure he is a subscriber to the website and has been for years.)

It turns out Gwen is now the chair of the Leominster GOP committee.

Three things really jumped out at me, the first was the giant Lost in Space Robot which really got some attention, The second was the list of events which indicate quite an outreach for the GOP, but the big thing that jumped out was the fact that in the blue state of Massachusetts the Ardinger booth was right next the Donald Trump one & sharing some staff while there was no booth for Hillary Clinton that I saw and if there was one I missed it certainly wasn’t near the booth for Frank’s opponent Natalie Higgins. That it had no Hillary signs anywhere near it speaks volumes and all of it in Trump’s favor.

One more thing

You might wonder why I didn’t interview Natalie Higgins the upset winner of the Democrat primary in the 4th Worcester district particularly as her booth was right across of the WQPH booth.

Normally I would not have hesitated to do so, but as Tom is both a friend and a longtime subscriber to the blog I didn’t want to put myself in a spot where I might find myself doing an unfair interview. That wouldn’t be fair to the readers nor to candidate Higgins, although I would have really liked to ask her why I didn’t see any Hillary buttons in her group.


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Hillary Clinton represents an existential threat to the nation. She would perpetuate the liberal dumbing down of America, attempt to load the courts with more leftists, and redefine our unalienable rights to match the progressive agenda. Under no circumstances would I endorse or even remotely consider voting for her.

That’s the preface necessary to set the stage for dissent. As I wrote previously, questioning Trump’s policies will not make you a #NeverTrump Clinton supporter. We can see Trump as a leftward lurch by the GOP or we can view him as an opportunity to take a malleable candidate and show him why fiscal conservatism is the right direction for America if we want to thrive today and be sustained into the future. I’ve held to the hope that the latter can come to pass but recent trends point to the former being the more likely scenario.

A recent poll should shock every fiscal conservative in the Republican Party. 85% of Republicans surveyed said that free trade has cost the U.S. more jobs than it has created, compared to 54% of Democrats. Let that sink in. The party of Reagan that has witnessed the tremendous benefits of a free market economy and the absolute need for free trade as a hallmark of our fiscal plan has reversed its perspective in a single election cycle. I don’t care how charismatic of a salesman someone is – this should not have been even remotely possible.

There’s a difference between believing that our current free trade agreements can be improved and believing that free trade is bad. Free trade is not bad. It has always been the driving force for our economic prosperity. Today’s communication and infrastructural advancements make this the perfect opportunity to take advantage of trade in ways that we have never been available to us.

More importantly, we are no longer the only consumers nor are we the primary producers. The global economy is expanding and the United States needs to lead it, not break away from it. The fear of globalism is a righteous fear. It’s the primary reason that we need to maintain as much control of global trade or risk losing our place as the main benefactors.

Here’s a short video from 2010 that explains it quite nicely:

The biggest argument against free trade is that it means more jobs are sent overseas. This is a fundamental misunderstanding of economics. In a thriving free market economy driven by free trade, the “loss” of jobs is an opportunity to replace low-yield employment with higher-yield employment. As companies rightfully send certain jobs, particularly manufacturing jobs, to places where they can be done more cost effectively, the nation’s economy becomes more stable. With stability comes the creation of more industries and increased domestic employment requirements within those industries. Jobs aren’t lost. They are traded. They are replaced. As a consumer-driven nation, the need for better employees rises with free trade. As a technology-driven nation, the need for higher-skilled employees rises with free trade as well.

“Fair” trade is part of an anti-growth economic system. It’s a short-term bandaid that forces companies to keep jobs and production facilities in the United States. This concept is being sold as a good thing. Unfortunately, it’s only a good thing in the beginning. As revenues dry up due to increased production expenditures, costs of goods rise for consumers. Whether through tariffs or forced domestication of production, the benefits for a few are taken from the wallets of the masses. For example, let’s say Apple was forced through tariffs or mandates to produce the iPhone in the United States. That would bring a huge number of jobs back; over a million people contribute in some way to iPhone production worldwide. It’s a win, right? The problem is that production costs would skyrocket. The already-overpriced iPhone would need to retail over $2000 to make up some of the difference. As sales volume drops, so too would jobs.

If you’re thinking that Apple makes enough money already and should bring those jobs to the United States without raising prices, you’ve already taken your first steps towards a socialist mentality.

The GOP has been more responsible over the years when it comes to fiscal planning… at least that’s what we’ve been led to believe. I contend that the GOP isn’t pushing to the left because of Trump. Instead, it has always wanted to be the moderate populist party for the sake of winning elections rather than a party that believes in the tenets of fiscal conservatism.

The shift away from free trade is reminiscent of a lesson in George Orwell’s 1984 that doesn’t get as much attention as others. In the dystopian novel, we learn of the dangers of an overreaching government and how “Big Brother” can make our lives miserable for the sake of a perceived good to the oligarchy. We all know about doublespeak. What gets less attention is the lesson of controlled perceptions. In the book, Oceania is in a constant state of war with either Eurasia or Eastasia. The question of who the enemy is at any given moment is dictated by the leaders and maintained in false perpetuity, including in the past. If Oceania is at war with Eurasia at any given moment, it has always been at war with Eurasia. If the government shifts and declares that they are at war with Eastasia, then they have always been at war with Eastasia and have never been at war with Eurasia. Attempts to say otherwise are punished.

Somehow, the electorate is believing the manufactured reality that the Republican Party is now against free trade. If you were to question some of the 85% of Republicans who believe this, I would wager that a majority would say that the party has always been against it. Sadly, they may be inadvertently correct.