Friday's HOT MIC

Welcome to HOT MIC, PJ Media's daily liveblog. Join our editors and contributors for news updates and conversation throughout the day, and add your thoughts to the mix in our comments section at the bottom or by clicking on the comment bubbles on individual posts.  Be sure to save this link so you can find HOT MIC every day.

Might as well kick off the weekend by piling on Comey a little more (see what Deb posted below).

Fox News had Jay Sekulow on to speculate whether the new info about Comey means he lied when testifying before Congress.

"James Comey had the nerve to testify under oath that he had to come forward last July to make his statement because the [tarmac meeting] cast doubt on the scope and nature of the investigation,” he told Fox News’ “Hannity.” “The fact is, evidently, he already made up his mind three months before the investigation really got underway, so this whole thing was a fraud on the American people.”

Many people I respect on the right have long insisted that Comey is an honorable law man. Honestly, the guy rubs me the wrong way and I don't trust a word that comes out of his mouth. I found his rationale for doing nothing to Hillary last year convoluted and suspect. Since his firing, he seems rather petty.

Again, this is just me.

But I could be right.

Now here is a tantalizing tweet to mull over this weekend:




Rick wrote:  "Antifa thugs and white supremacists are arming themselves, growing in numbers and organization, and more than eager to confront each other violently."

Seems that way, but if true I suspect the white supremacists are in trouble.  There aren't enough of them.  The antifa thugs are clearly more ubiquitous, but I'm not sure there are that many of them either.  There's a "made for media" quality to this whole thing.  I should say "made by media."  If you wanted to end antifa and white supremacy in one "fell swoop," just don't cover them.  They'd be gone in an instant (except for their bitter remnants who couldn't fill a minor league baseball stadium).

Interestingly, since Dems are beginning to suspect the more numerous antifa are an electoral hazard for them, the media may obey their masters and cover them less, hoping to ignore them out of existence.  We shall see.

More anthem drama in Cleveland. Because of a dozen Browns football players taking a knee during the national anthem in early August, members of the police, firefighters, and EMT unions are refusing to hold a giant flag during pregame ceremonies at the opening game.


There is new fallout from the fierce debate over Cleveland Browns players kneeling during the national anthem.

Cleveland safety forces have backed out of a plan to hold a large flag on the field for the opening game.

A dozen Browns players created a firestorm during a recent preseason game by not standing during the anthem. They created the largest demonstration in the NFL during the anthem since former San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick started his protest more than a year ago.

Some police officers and paramedics are doing something about it. The Cleveland Police Patrolmen's Association and ILA Local 1975, representing the city's dispatchers, EMTs and paramedics, said the Browns came to them weeks ago, and the team wanted city safety forces to hold the flag on the field for the opening game.

EMS union president Daniel Nemeth said it sounded great until a group of Browns players took a knee during the anthem.

"This hit home with me. I am a veteran, an 8-year veteran with the U.S. Marine Corp. So, to disrespect the flag by taking a knee is not something I was going to be a part of," Nemeth said.

We tracked down police union president Steve Loomis out of state at a police convention.

"I’m here at a national police convention, and soon as they hear that I'm from Cleveland, the first question is ‘What about those stinking Browns?'" Loomis said. "So if the ownership of the Browns and the league are going to allow that type of stuff to happen, and then come to us and say,  ‘We want you to help us with the flag,’ that's hypocritical. We're not gonna participate.”

The stadium sits just steps away from city hall. The  FOX 8 I-Team learned the stand being made by the safety forces was discussed by the city's top brass. A city spokesman said the police have been told the Browns will replace the officers, paramedics and firefighters with members of the military.

It's certainly an honor to hold the flag and some military members may see the invitation that way, rather than tacitly supporting an anthem protest. But unless the league office - not team management - puts their foot down and forbids players from disrespecting the flag in this manner, they may be playing in empty stadiums by the end of the year with no one watching on TV.



It's been a rough few weeks for the comedy world, with the loss of Dick Gregory, Jerry Lewis, and now Shelley Berman.

Berman was always fun to watch both on and off stage. He was great during interviews.

Here's a clip of Berman from I believe the early 1960s. Obviously, it was a different era in stand-up. Berman begins by sitting on a stool and going through what would be considered an interminably long set-up by modern stand-up standards. His timing is impeccable, turning lines that often aren't even jokes into laughs.

More from the junior senator from Arizona:

As a native of the Grand Canyon State who still has a LOT of conservative and Republican friends and family there, I can assure that almost no one in Flake's natural constituency agrees with him on this. It's almost as if he is deliberately inviting primary challengers.

Kelli Ward is already in but she's an iffy candidate at best. President Trump tried to get some Arizona Republican establishment money moving against Flake when he recently visited the state.

It's going to take someone with a lot of money who is also a great campaigner to unseat Flake. He does appear to be vulnerable, but we have to remember that this is the same electorate that keeps sending John McCain back to Washington.

I've worked for d**ks like this.


Staffers in tears. Pay cuts for small mistakes. Aides who walked out of the office — and never came back.

Working for four-term Republican Rep. Todd Rokita of Indiana is an exacting job with long hours, made more difficult by a boss known for micromanaging and yelling at his staff, according to 10 former aides who spoke to The Associated Press.

All but one of the former staffers spoke on the condition of anonymity out of concern of retribution from the congressman, who is in a competitive GOP primary for the chance to challenge first-term Democratic Sen. Joe Donnelly in next year’s midterm elections. They include five former congressional staffers, three who worked for Rokita when he was Indiana’s secretary of state and two who worked on his political campaigns.

In response to the criticism, Rokita said in a statement to The Associated Press: “I have a lot of great employees, and I demand excellence and hard work of them, and myself ... Hoosiers who break their backs putting in 12 and 14 hour days to provide for their families should expect the elected officials and public servants they are paying to work just as hard.”

Meticulous and driven, Rokita was the youngest secretary of state in the country when he was first elected in 2002. He served two terms before winning a seat in Congress in 2010, representing parts of western Indiana.

But even in Congress, where ambition and ego can go hand-in-hand, Rokita’s behavior is outside the norm, according to the former aides, most of whom have worked for other elected officials.

“Todd’s a hard boss to work for. He’s got some staff turnover issues,” said Tony Will, who was a constituent service representative for Rokita for nearly three years. “But he is a very hard worker.”

During the 2010 campaign, a worker was booted from a staff meeting and instructed to clean Rokita’s vehicle, which included scrubbing the carpets, according to two people with direct knowledge of the incident.

The reason? A volunteer driver had body odor the night before, they say. Rokita’s campaign said the congressman did not recall the incident.

When I worked on the Hill during the Reagan years, I knew a lot of congressional staffers who worked for some real SOBs. I recall one congressman who had 3 press secretaries in a year. Another was such a Lothario that his wife took to sitting in a chair outside of his office to make sure he didn't stray (the women in the office were very grateful).

People with mile high egos and driving ambition are not easy to get along with. Just ask my Zsu-Zsu.



Lol --This is a great headline:

If only.

So, according to confidential law enforcement documents obtained by POLITICO, the FBI and DHS have had their eye on the violent thugs known as "Antifa" for over a year, and have even classified their activities as "domestic terrorism."

Previously unreported documents disclose that by April 2016, authorities believed that “anarchist extremists” were the primary instigators of violence at public rallies against a range of targets. They were blamed by authorities for attacks on the police, government and political institutions, along with symbols of “the capitalist system,” racism, social injustice and fascism, according to a confidential 2016 joint intelligence assessment by DHS and the FBI.

I've been doing a slow burn about this since I read it this morning -- for a couple of reasons.

1.) Why are we only hearing about this now? These goons were dogging the Trump campaign for the entire election year, causing riots at rallies, beating up Trump supporters, etc.  The Democrat/media narrative all year long was that Trump and his supporters were to blame for the violence.

Yet "authorities" in the Obama administration knew that "anarchist extremists" were the primary instigators. Moreover, if federal authorities knew that these left-wing extremists had become "increasingly confrontational and dangerous," shouldn't some sort of warning have gone out to the public? (Note: some of the violence was linked to the DNC and the Clinton campaign.) In city after (Democrat-controlled) city, innocent people have been viciously assaulted while police stood around and watched.

There needs to be a federal investigation into every single one of these incidents from Chicago, San Jose, Minneapolis, and other cities before the election to Berkeley, Boston, Phoenix and Charlottesville etc. after the election.. Something stinks.

2.) Who remembers that infamous DHS report that came out early in the the Obama administration? This document wasn't kept secret -- it was passed out to police and sheriff’s offices all across America and warned about the growing likelihood of violence from “right-wing extremists." These potential domestic terrorists were identified as people who were pro-life, "disgruntled" military vets, anti-illegal immigration, against high taxes, and against the expansion of government.  In other words, your typical Tea Party member. During its heyday, the Tea Party caused zero riots, zero assaults, and zero property damage. They even cleaned up their own messes.

The laughable DHS report was a shoddy piece of propaganda disseminated far and wide to put the conservative and law-abiding Tea Party in a negative light. But legitimate intelligence on the truly dangerous Antifa radicals was kept under wraps until now? Do I have that right?

And the really puzzling question: Why have the media, Nancy Pelosi, and other leftists suddenly flipped on Antifa after ignoring them for so long?



We relish this fight!