Friday's HOT MIC

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ISIS territory is shrinking fast.  The last significant areas under its control are shown in gray on the linked map, a string of towns along the Euphrates river.   The rest is desert.  US-backed forces have the yellow area on the along the Turkish border clearly co-extensive with the Kurdish autonomous region.  This potential breakaway area must worry Turkey.

Perhaps most significantly, ISIS will lose control over oil resources to Iraq, the Kurds and Assad.  The future of ISIS is now virtual.  They have lost their desert-and-river infrastructure.


There's been a shooting inside Bronx Lebanon Hospital in New York. The AP reports:

A law enforcement official says the gunman who opened fire at a New York City hospital was a doctor who formerly worked there.

The official says Dr. Henry Bello walked into Bronx Lebanon Hospital at about 2:50 p.m. Friday with a rifle concealed in his lab coat and opened fire, killing at least one person and injuring six others. He then apparently killed himself.

The official was not authorized to speak publicly and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.

Bello was listed on the hospital’s website as a family medicine physician. It’s not clear when he left the hospital. Calls there rang unanswered.

According to local news reports, the suspect had a history of violent behavior.



NASA has issued a statement that the US is not harboring child sex slaves on Mars.

Whew! What a relief.

New York Post:

On Thursday, a guest on InfoWars claimed that NASA had kidnapped kids and sent them to the red planet to be sex slaves.

“There are no humans on Mars. There are active rovers on Mars. There was a rumor going around last week that there weren’t. There are,” Guy Webster, a spokesperson for NASA’s Mars exploration, was forced to tell The Daily Beast. “But there are no humans.”

The insane conspiracy theory was aired on Alex Jones’ “The Alex Jones Show,” which is broadcast on 118 radio stations across the country.

Jones spoke with Robert David Steele, who said the kidnapped children arrived on Mars after a 20-year journey through space.

“We actually believe that there is a colony on Mars that is populated by children who were kidnapped and sent into space on a 20-year ride,” said Steele. “So that once they get to Mars, they have no alternative but to be slaves on the Mars colony.”

The two decades of travel would technically mean the hypothetical children were no longer children upon arrival, but regardless, the child slave colony is not real, so the math doesn’t really matter.

Not to spoil the sex slave on Mars party, but why did it take 20 years to get to Mars? We've sent probes to the Red Planet that have made it in about 8 months.

The big problem for the sex slaves would be achieving escape velocity from the Earth's gravitational field - about 30K miles per hour. Obviously, if they were able to accomplish that, they would get to Mars in a lot less than 20 years.

No word on whether Dejah Thoris or John Carter are helping with the colony.




Roger and Steve K: I've had mixed experiences with Euro-style health care. In Germany, where I raised my children, it's excellent and the system (up to the arrival of the "refugees," anyway) worked quite well. Ireland is a somewhat, er, different story -- although in fairness, my encounter with rural Irish docs has been very limited.

So I suspect (shhhhhh while I lower my voice) that the success of "single-payer" medicine has a lot to do with the capabilities and talents of the people in whose country you're encountering it. England's basically a Third World country now, so that's the level of service and skill you're likely to get.

Meanwhile, back in the good ol' USofA, you know which government programs actually work, and work well, at least from the point of view of the customer? Social Security and Medicare. I had to get old enough to find this out first-hand, but so far, so good. You can get them on the phone, you get Real Americans at the other end of the line, they get you sorted right away, and they pay on time. If the entire federal government ran like this, what a country this would be.

Of course, I've been paying into the system since I was a teenager, so it's not like I don't expect some level of efficiency and accountability. And, yes, I know there's no "lockbox," that my "contributions" went to my parents's generation, that the system is going broke, and there will have to be either tax hikes or age hikes or both in order for it to continue. Even so, it's nice to see something that actually works for the customer. And P.S. -- I've got mine, Jack.

Meanwhile, kids, keep paying those FICA taxes so Roger and I can enjoy a comfortable dotage.

I don't want to pick on Steve Kruiser because he's a good guy and because I'm not much for nanny states either, but I have yet to be convinced of the superiority of ANY healthcare system.  There's something wrong with every one of them.  Health is the most coveted product in the world.  The old yiddish bubbes used to say "So long as you're healthy, it's the main thing" (add accent) for a reason. There will never be enough healthcare for all under any system.

Nevertheless... and we have to face this.... if you take longevity as the benchmark (and those of us of... ahem.... a certain age tend to do that) then the top ten nations with the longest lie expectancies as of 2015 all have some version of single payer. The UK system at number 20 is not a particularly good one - and not just because of the horrifying stories like the one Steve K. cited.  I've experienced it personally and it sucks.  I've also personally experienced the French and the Israeli and they were pretty good. (They rank among the top ten in longevity.)

Worth noting is that world number one on longevity, as it has been for some time, is Japan. The average Japanese woman lives to a staggering 86.8.  What all this means I'm not sure - other than the warnings against mercury in your sushi seem way overblown.  Maybe we should all be eating a diet of raw fish, seaweed and green tea (actually I like all of those  - but eat a lot of steak and cheese as well, alas).

And, yes, I agree with Michael on the repeal of Ocare.  But what comes next?  Beats me. Frankly I'm ready to just skip it and move to tax reform.

Tucker Truth

Tucker nailed it again last night.

Tucker Carlson opened his show Thursday night with a response to the incident that came to dominate the news today – Donald Trump‘s tweet about MSNBC host Mika Brzezinski.

According to Tucker, the reaction from the liberal media and Democrats in Congress was so dramatic, “chaos erupted” and “Washington melted down.”

“Meanwhile, over at CNN, you would’ve thought a new ISIS torture tape had been released except worse because it was Trump.”

Tucker believes that the over-reaction to Trump’s comments fits the left’s notion of perceived victimhood and, “nothing is more empowering than victimhood.”

Just as we see on college campuses, the media is now claiming that hurtful words are tantamount to actual violence.

What's most disturbing here isn't that the MSM's perspective is obviously ridiculous, it is that they actually believe it. The media was awash this past week with conflations of White House press pool reporters and embedded war zone correspondents. That's how the pampered nightly happy hour with the coworkers Beltway media see themselves. In their emotionally overwrought minds, President Trump saying mean things to them is the same as being under sniper fire.

The flip-side to this coin is that the MSM has been verbally dumping on Republican presidents without any fear of treatment in kind for decades. They're getting a mild dose (Trump is just one man, after all, albeit a powerful man) of their own medicine and aren't reacting well at all.

Nanny state single-payer health care system pats itself on the back for being benevolent to the parents of the child it just ordered to be killed.

This is one of the more horrifying stories you will ever read. But read it you must.

The cold-hearted callousness being displayed by the British courts here should terrify any sane person. They have declared that they can come for your children and make life or death decisions regarding them, all in the service of government health care metrics.

And then they, and their accomplices in the media, will congratulate themselves for allowing you precious extra time with your child before they kill him:


Now this is the way forward:

Repeal was what the electorate voted for, repeatedly, since the day Scott Brown briefly seized "Ted Kennedy's seat" in the Senate. Somewhere along the way, nice clean Repeal got an ugly, deformed attachment, "Replace," which a grand total of nobody ever asked for. Ever since, career swampcritters like Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell have pretzeled themselves into trying to sell monstrosities like the American Health Care Act and the Better Care Reconciliation Act to a paying public chiefly interested in getting the monkey of Obamacare, its taxes and its mandates off its back, and then sort the rest out later.

A clean repeal would be a good first step toward getting the feds out of the insurance industry and the medical profession altogether. The power-mad Left can't have that, of course, and their collaborators in the GOP ranks are only too happy to give them cover with bogus "replacement" bills that still accept the underlying philosophy of Obamacare, including many of its provisions.

More please, Mr. President: repeal, repeal, repeal. Then, let's talk.


File under: chutzpah:

The Left, exemplified by Holder, feels it's above the law, even as it cites the law as justification for its "higher morality."

I needed a smile this morning.