Friday's HOT MIC
Why do 90 percent of Americans want to write a book but fewer than one percent do?
Jon Acuff makes an excellent point: "Well begun isn't half-done... The first part of any experience isn't the hardest part. The middle is what sucks." What unfinished projects do you have lying around your house?
Ambulance chasers are looking for victims of the NCAA:
My son, who played college baseball for two years, received this card in the mail notifying him that he's a potential victim of the NCAA's failure to adequately monitor student athletes for concussions. "If you are a current or former student-athlete who played an NCAA-sanctioned sport at an NCAA school at any time" you may be eligible to participate in the settlement, according to the notice. Concussions are a huge problem for baseball players? Really? And rowers and bowlers and gymnasts? A pox on these money-grubbing lawyers.
Can you sue a political party for fraud? One Virginia Republican donor thinks so.
A retired attorney in Virginia Beach is so incensed that Republicans couldn't repeal the Affordable Care Act he's suing to get political donations back, accusing the GOP of fraud and racketeering.
Bob Heghmann, 70, filed a lawsuit Thursday in U.S. District Court saying the national and Virginia Republican parties and some GOP leaders raised millions of dollars in campaign funds while knowing they weren't going to be able to overturn the ACA, also known as Obamacare.
The GOP "has been engaged in a pattern of Racketeering which involves massive fraud perpetrated on Republican voters and contributors as well as some Independents and Democrats," the suit said. Racketeering, perhaps better known for use in prosecuting organized crime, involves a pattern of illegal behavior by a specific group.
The lawsuit lists as defendants the Republican National Committee and Virginia's two national GOP committee members, Morton Blackwell and Cynthia Dunbar, as well as the Republican Party of Virginia and state party Chairman John Whitbeck.
In an email, Blackwell dismissed Heghmann's complaint as a "frivolous, nuisance suit that should be thrown out of court by any judge."
In a separate email Dunbar sent to Blackwell that was forwarded to The Virginian-Pilot, Dunbar referred to it as "ridiculous."
But at the same time, both said they understood where Heghmann was coming from. Blackwell said the suit is a "sign of conservative anger that the Republican-controlled Congress has not yet repealed and replaced Obamacare."
I think this has been tried before and, of course, it failed. Holding politicians and political parties responsible for their campaign promises is a great idea but suing them for fraud might not be the best way to go about it. In order to prove your case, you have to prove intent to defraud and I don't see how that's possible. The defendants could argue that unforeseen circumstances prevented repealing Obamacare, or that it was those politicians from that other state who are responsible.
Maybe the best way is the old fashioned way; throw the bums at election time.
Rick, I'm not particularly incensed about Acosta's recent antics. The sooner everyone accepts that all media outlets have biases that seep into their reporting the better off we'll be. It's actually a good thing to have the biases on full display rather than continuing with this charade that journalists are nonpartisan arbiters of the truth. Even if it were possible for a media outlet to be completely unbiased in its reporting (and I'm not convinced that's possible), there would still be bias in the form of story selection. Editors and producers decide what is newsworthy and allocate resources accordingly. CNN showing its hand in the form of Acosta is just highlighting what should be obvious to most Americans by now. I actually liked Acosta's debate with Miller. How often do TV news viewers get to see unfiltered debate like this? Sure, CNN is only airing it because they think Acosta was right and he won the debate, but the beauty of it is that viewers got to hear both sides of the argument and can decide for themselves who's right, no matter the spin CNN puts on it. The White House should send Miller out there every day to defend and champion Trump's policies. Bring it on.
IS Jim Acosta auditioning for his own show? Some CNN staffers think so.
Jim Acosta is suddenly one of CNN's most controversial figures even among some of his CNN colleagues, who say his public battles with the Trump administration are going too far.
One of Acosta's colleagues, an on-air conservative political commentator for CNN, said he sees an ulterior motive in Acosta's actions. He said Acosta's widely noticed clashes with the White House give the impression that he wants a new role at the network.
"He's angling to host an opinion show," he said. "These [White House] briefings are his auditions."
Another CNN employee in Washington, D.C. made it clear that Acosta's outbursts aren't as popular behind the scenes as CNN sometimes makes them out to be on the air.
"Ugh, just ugh," a producer told the Washington Examiner when asked about Acosta.
Acosta is CNN's most visible White House correspondent, and his notoriety grew Wednesday when he pressed Stephen Miller, a top White House adviser, on the administration's new Republican-backed bill that aims to sharply reduce immigration.
At the press briefing that day, Acosta suggested that the new bill, which would favor English-speaking and higher-skilled workers, was out of sync with America's spirit in welcoming immigrants.
I'm pretty sure Acosta would not be pulling this partisan crap unless he had at least tacit support of higher ups at the network. Whether that bodes well for his own show is another issue. The questions are, why is he still on the air and why is he becoming even more outrageously anti-Trump?
CNN has watched as MSNBC has taken their hysterical anti-Trump coverage to new heights, subsequently seeing their ratings skyrocket. Acosta has become CNN's Rachel Maddow, with the difference being that his confrontations with the Trump administration happen face to face while Maddow's are Molotov cocktails tossed from afar.
CNN is daring the White House to ban Acosta from press briefings. Trump should take the network up on their generous offer and have the Secret Service perp walk him out of the building in handcuffs.
Here's what probably clued the airline in that Dunham was making the whole thing up:
Dunham’s explanation that it was between the arrivals area and Gate B30 would place her at JFK’s Terminal 4. ABC News reported that Dunham’s Instagram story appeared to show her flying on Delta Air Lines, which does in fact operate out of Terminal 4. American Airlines, meanwhile, operates out of JFK’s Terminal 8.
But don't you worry. Dunham won't suffer any consequences for her lie. American Airline employees will be the ones punished, likely with more mandatory diversity training classes and strict Orwellian speech codes. Mission accomplished.
For crying out loud.
Let me know when the camps for solving the untermenschlichkeit problem open, Larry.
We're only 17 years in, but we may have already found the ultimate 21st Century crime story.
You read that right.
A South Wales man wanted for an alleged assault spotted his mugshot on the local police’s Facebook page and deemed it so unflattering he wanted it taken down. He turned himself in Thursday and got his wish.
Wayne Esmonde, 35, had his face put on the South Wales Police’s page earlier this week as cops appealed to the community to be on the lookout for him. He was wanted in connection with an assault on July 18 in Fforestfash, Swansea.
What would you have done?
(Mugshot courtesy South Wales Police Department.)
Maybe Trump was right about the White House being a "dump":
Everyone who works in the White House West Wing, including the Oval Office occupant himself, must clear out by the end of the week so that the government can replace a balky, 27-year-old heating and cooling system. White House spokeswoman Lindsay Walters said Thursday that West Wing staff needs to vacate the premises in August while workers are replacing the building’s HVAC system.
“The president’s going to continue to work and we all need to be relocated out of the West Wing due to these renovations that should have taken place before,” she said. “They either need to be repaired or replaced and it’s not something that can go on while we’re still occupying the West Wing.”
I was in the West Wing a couple of months ago, very near the Oval Office, and while I wouldn't call it a "dump," it's surprisingly smaller, more cramped and less elegant than you might expect. It's almost as if the federal government has outgrown its initial boundaries, or something.
If you read the full story at the link, be warned: the vast majority of this AP piece is devoted to slamming Trump, this time for taking a vacation -- a vacation in fact forced by the necessity of the repairs.
They never stop, they never sleep, they never quit.