Last night was the final POTUS debate of this cycle, thus meaning this is the last post on presidential debates from the Greenbean for at least three years. Here is what we can learn from last night’s debate in the desert.


First, we learned that Chris Wallace won the debate. Is there any doubt that he was by far the best moderator in recent history? I recommend that Chris Wallace moderate every debate from this time forth until he dies. Please don’t die, Chris Wallace.

Second, we learned a new word–Bigly, and I learned that I am fascinated by it. Apparently, it is an actual word, even if Mr. Trump is not using it correctly. I confess I didn’t know it was a word. Some have argued that what Mr. Trump is saying is “Big League” and it comes out in this compressed way. Maybe in a Mandela Effect alternate reality, but not in this one. In this universe, he is saying bigly. It motivates me to want to preach bigly this Sunday.

Third, we learned that Secretary Clinton invokes the incredibly small number of health-of-mother cases when challenged on the brutal and savage practice of partial-birth abortion. Shame on her.

Fourth, we learned Mr. Trump’s strongest case for our vote is his Supreme Court argument. Secretary Clinton’s call for judicial activism is frightening. I am not against activism–I am all for getting rid of the big money in politics and making certain that powerful special interests are kept in check–but this should be done through the legislative branch.

Fifth, we learned that Mr. Trump can dish it out, but he can’t take it. When Secretary Clinton ribbed him about dodging taxes, he interrupted her to call her a, “nasty woman.”

Sixth, we learned that Secretary Clinton has no answer for the leaked videos about Democratic operatives serving as agitators at Trump rallies, particularly in Chicago. This confirms what Bernie Sanders learned (and George H.W. Bush) — the Clinton’s play dirty pool.

Seventh, and most importantly I think, we learned that Mr. Trump is not prepared to accept the results of the election. I find this shocking, horrifying, and deeply disturbing. It proves, to me, once and for all, that Mr. Trump cares more about himself, his reputation, and his brand than he does about the American people. Bigly.



It is a time honored practice to ask politicians questions, and then have them ignore the question and move onto their talking points. Skilled politicians can do that and make you think they answered your question and that they care. Neither Mr. Trump nor Secretary Clinton have that skillset. Whenever they are asked questions, it is painfully obvious they don’t want to answer it, don’t care about it, and would prefer to move to their pre-planned talking points.


If I were allowed, however, the chance to ask Mr. Trump some questions, and I would be guaranteed that he would have to answer them, these are the questions I would start with. I have posted similar questions for Hillary Clinton on a separate (click here) blog post.

  1. Many people are bothered by the fact you haven’t released your tax returns. You say it is because you are being audited. It has been reported, and you admitted in the last debate, that you have claimed exemption to refrain from paying federal income taxes. Would you tell us, then, approximately how much money or what percentage of your income, you’ve given to charity for the past five years? For the sake of clarity, your Foundation doesn’t count because it is not a recognized charity.
  2. Your slogan is “Make America Great Again.” When, in your opinion, did America stop being great? Please be as specific as possible, and what would be the first sign that greatness has returned?
  3. You have said it might be a good idea for The United States to leave NATO because some of the member nations do you not pay their fair share. If indeed you are serious about that sentiment, do you think the United States should be a “pay for play” military corporation that works for the highest bidder?
  4. Earlier in your life you were pro-choice, then when you decided to run for President you became pro-life. You’ve also said positive things about Planned Parenthood. Many pro-life people would like to cut the funding for Planned Parenthood because of its strong advocacy for abortion. How do you reconcile the two thoughts–and more to the point, would you share your real position on abortion, and maybe why you decided to become pro-life.
  5. In your early campaign rhetoric, trade and immigration were your primary policy issues, including the building of a wall on the border with Mexico and a ban on Muslim’s coming into the country. These authoritarian policies combined with your positive comments about dictators like Saddam Hussein and Vladimir Putin worry many people that you favor a “Strong Man” approach to governance. What can you say to people to reassure them that a President Trump would honor the democratic traditions of dissent, free press, free speech, and the freedom to assemble? Can you give examples of people who have disagreed with you that you didn’t threaten to silence or file a lawsuit?

Of course, I have other questions for Mr. Trump, not the least of which are about Trump University, Trump Airlines, his love affair with Playboy Magazine, his thoughts on Jesus I think are important because he has courted the Christian community so strongly, and I’d also like to know what he plans on doing with North Korea. Nevertheless, these questions are where I would start.


RandoM Thing # 1

As a writer, I’m always thinking about dialogue. Listening to the POTUS debate on Monday night I decided that Mr. Trump speaks IN ALL CAPS–EVERYTHING HE SAYS IS ALL CAPS ALL THE TIME, BELIEVE ME! In contrast Secretary Clinton speaks in italics. Most of her words are special, thought-out, planned, rehearsed, and designed as asides.

Random Thing #2

An often overlooked aspect to making excellent excellent guacamole is red onions. That gives the guack the perfect sweetness to bring out the full bouquet of flavor.

Random Thing #3

Our church has way too many ice cream scoops in the drawer. I think we have more ice cream scoopers than we have deacons. I don’t know how the order works–do we have a lot of ice cream scoopers because we are Baptist, or are we Baptist because we have so many ice cream scoopers? You decide.

Random Thing #4

During the Colin Kaepernick brouhaha I came across this picture. I don’t quite know what it means. I find it fascinating. Perhaps a bit enlightening. And troubling.


Random Thing #5

81csga13xdl-_sl1500_1I have developed in my head a book–one of those self-help how to live books–based on the titles of Duran Duran songs. Each chapter is a song title, and then I explicate the trendy topic of the times. Examples.

  1. “New Moon On Monday” a chapter about the importance of seeing every day as a fresh beginning. We have to forget what is behind us and move forward. Every Monday is a new start.
  2. “Ordinary World” a chapter about how the world has changed, and many of us long for what we might think of ordinary.
  3. “Girls on Film” the dangers of pornography and the hyper-sexualizing of women. This would be the feminist chapter.
  4. “Wild Boys” about tapping into our wild side, our rebellious side to maintain sanity in a world that wants to categorize and control us. “They tried to tame us, looks like the’ll try again.”

You get the point. If any of you publishers are interested, hit me.

So there are your five random things for today.



Rest assured Greenbean will have the popcorn popped and the Kool-Aid aiding when the debate begins this evening, and he will be live Tweeting it too. Keep in mind that I am not partisan and hold all politicians with an equal amount of contempt. Nevertheless, I have a certain morbid curiosity about the process, politics, and the horse race. I have had this hobby since I was a child.

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I’ve divided my speculation in three categories: What I absolutely expect, what would not surprise me, and what could happen but probably will not.

What I Absolutely Expect

  1. The Real Donald J will not attack Clinton directly in the first half hour, but he will make an attack on the moderator, Lester Holt.
  2. HRC will attack The Real Donald J for his immigration stance, and she will contrast his view with Ronald Reagan’s leniency toward immigrants.
  3. HRC will wear blue.
  4. The Real Donald J will drop at least one, if not two, swear words, both in the last half hour.
  5. In the last fifteen minutes, when The Real Donald J has forgotten the strategy his advisors have laid out, he will attack HRC directly. Maybe on her health, but also maybe on WJC.
  6. The Real Donald J will say “Believe me” more than twenty times.
  7. HRC will not pull closer to President Obama in her language, but instead will speak where her policies are more aligned with some famous republicans, because her target is republicans who don’t like The Real Donald J.

What Would Not Surprise Me

  1. HRC attacks first, and in her opening remarks comes right out and says that The Real Donald J is not fit or qualified to be POTUS. She probably will reference other republicans in doing so.
  2. Lester Holt will ask some kind of question about white supremacists and The Real Donald J’s use of bait language and code words. The Real Donald J will dismiss it as irrelevant and “The people don’t care about that, believe me.”
  3. Someone will heckle. It might even be a #BLM protester. It could be a Benghazi protester. I don’t know if it will come from the left, or right, but it wouldn’t surprise me.
  4. The Real Donald J will be asked about Putin, and he will not back down from his bromance.
  5. HRC will be asked about TPP, and she will come close to a John Kerry, “I was against it before I was for it” kind of moment.
  6. The shootings recently in Tulsa and Charlotte will be mentioned. HRC will not have any answers, The Real Donald J will blame Obama.

What Could Happen But Probably Will Not

  1. HRC does a few jumping jacks or push ups to show that she is healthy.
  2. The Real Donald J announces that he is actually dropping out of the race.
  3. Lester Holt asks HRC about her speaking fees and the transcripts.
  4. Lester Holt cites a lawyer and maybe law and calls out The Real Donald J and his refusal to release his tax records.
  5. The Real Donald J actually calls HRC insulting names the way he has attacked other women in the past (This will happen he last fifteen minutes).
  6. WJC rushes the stage and challenges The Real Donald J to a duel, ala Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr.

Winners and losers are always hard to call, because people see what they want to see. I feel like, though, HRC will have a better night because of her experience in these types of debates. Trump will have a hard time speaking substantively and staying on topic for that long.