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Friday's HOT MIC

Welcome to HOT MIC, PJ Media's new 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. Click here or scroll down to read Liz's Morning Update.

Be sure to bookmark this link so you can easily find HOT MIC every day.

Happy Friday!

Here's what is on the president's agenda today:

  • The president will meet with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.
  • Next, the president will depart the White House for the Department of the Treasury to sign financial services executive orders and meet with Secretary of the Treasury Steve Mnuchin.
  • Later in the afternoon, the president will meet with the Director of the Office of Management and Budget Mick Mulvaney.

Terror attack in France

Yesterday, a gun-wielding maniac killed a police officer on the Champs-Elysees in Paris and wounded two others before he was shot dead as he attempted to flee the scene. The dead terrorist was identified as "Abu Yusuf," a Belgian fighting for ISIS. Is that so?

Near midnight, President François Hollande said in an address to the nation that the attack appeared to be an act of terrorism. The Islamic State claimed responsibility in a message posted on a jihadi channel, and the Paris prosecutor said he had opened a terrorism investigation.

As usual, PJ Media's national security expert, Pat Poole, called this.

The attack comes as France is about to elect a new president in a hotly contested election.

One place less likely to tell you this was a terrorist attack was the cesspool of MSNBC.

“President Trump said right off the bat to a question looks like another terrorist attack in France—that we have not been comfortable to call it that or report that, but we'll have more reporting upcoming,” fabulist Brian Williams complained. Chuck Todd also chastised Trump for "getting ahead of the facts."

Their guest, former Ambassador Nicholas Burns, agreed: “We just don't have enough facts to go on to call, as you say, to call it a terrorist attack at this point.”

Maybe it's not a terrorist attack in the pretend world the progressives have created for themselves, but everyone else knows what this attack was about. And President Trump's remarks were qualified, as news of the terrorist attack was just breaking when his press conference began. Said Trump:

Our condolences from our country to the people of France. Again, it’s happening, it seems. I just saw it as I was walking in, so that’s a terrible thing and it’s a very, very terrible thing that's going on in the word today but it looks like another terrorist attack and what can you say? It just never ends.

Yes, that's what it looked like. Anyone paying attention thought so too.

The Dean Scream

Howard Dean, former governor, former presidential candidate, and former chair of the DNC, is misinformed on the First Amendment.

In fact, "hate speech" is protected by the First Amendment. That's exactly the speech that is protected because people like Dean and his progressive friends dish out the "hate speech" label to enforce conformity with their authoritarian ideal and punish transgressors with legal restraint.

I remind you that this man is a high-ranking Democratic official.

Dean's tweet referred to the censorship of Ann Coulter at Berkeley.

Coulter... is scheduled to speak at the University of California-Berkeley — where left-wing students and agitators are particularly hostile to free speech — early next month. The university briefly rescinded her invitation to speak due to safety concerns about violent liberal mobs which have wreaked havoc at Berkeley in recent months.

Dean was responding to a tweet from a former New York Times reporter who insinuated free speech defenders shouldn’t defend Coulter’s right to speak.

Coulter has the right to speak and if you don't like what she says, don't listen, don't watch her, don't attend her lectures or turn off the radio. It's so simple.

Caitlyn Jenner to pose nude to showcase her new body


Caitlyn Jenner is planning to take it all off for a nude photo shoot, DailyMail.com can disclose.

Jenner, 67, completed gender reassignment surgery in January, according to her new memoir, ‘The Secrets of My Life’.  The photo shoot promises to be Caitlyn's finest hour since she first announced her transition in an interview with ABC’s Diane Sawyer in April 2015 and revealed her new look in a Vanity Fair spread the following July.

Just no.

The Onion gets it

Legal victory for baby Allah

Georgia has issued a birth certificate for a child named "Allah."

Georgia has issued a birth certificate for a toddler with the last name “Allah” after initially declining to do so because that doesn’t match either of the parents’ last names, a civil rights group that sued on behalf of the parents said Thursday.

The parents, Elizabeth Handy and Bilal Walk, had chosen the name ZalyKha Graceful Lorraina Allah.

“This is an important vindication of parental rights and a long overdue victory for Elizabeth and Bilal,” ACLU of Georgia Executive Director Andrea Young said. “No one wants to live in a world where the government can dictate what you can and cannot name your child. It goes against our values, the legislature’s intent, and the plain language of the law.”

The child is now 23 months old and the state had previously issued birth certificates for the couple's two older sons with the last name of "Allah."

And that's all, folks. Have a wonderful Friday and a wonderful weekend. Catch you next week when Congress is back in session.

Somewhere my seventh-grade English teacher is weeping.

A post shared by Erick Erickson (@ewerickson) on

Because who hasn't dreamed of delivering a roundhouse kick to an airliner?

David French has an excellent piece at National Review on what he calls the "toxic conservative-celebrity culture." He writes:

[T]he fastest way to become the next conservative star is to “destroy” the Left, feeding the same kind of instinct that causes leftists to lap up content from John Oliver, Samantha Bee, and Stephen Colbert. Liberals use condescending mockery. Conservatives use righteous indignation. That’s not much of a difference. The cost has been a loss of integrity and, crucially, a loss of emphasis on ideas and, more important, ideals. There exists in some quarters an assumption that if you’re truly going to “fight,” then you have to be ready to get your hands dirty. You can’t be squeamish about details like truth or civility or decency. When searching for ideological gladiators, we emphasize their knifework, not their character or integrity.

French concludes:

O’Reilly’s fall can be an important act of public hygiene, but only if it represents the beginning of the end of a conservative culture that makes us behave like the cultural enemies we purport to despise. Otherwise conservatives will hand the Left more scalps, forfeit more public trust, and ultimately lose because of their single-minded quest to wins.

One of the most discouraging things for me over the course of this past election cycle was seeing friends who had spent most of the last decade denouncing the left's despicable Alinskyite tactics suddenly adopting them because...well...winning. They became what they said they hated. And even now, post-election, they're still on the #WARpath. Sure, this sort of victory will result in short-term electoral and policy wins. But if we adopt the left's values and become increasingly indistinguishable from them, who's really winning the war for the soul of our country? And what kind of moral legacy will we have bequeathed to our children?

The headline of the day goes to -- of all places! -- Vanity Fair for:


Like tribesmen laying out a sacrifice to placate King Kong, news outlets continue to make offerings to the Clinton gods. In The New York Times alone, Chelsea has starred in multiple features over the past few months: for her tweeting (it’s become “feisty”), for her upcoming book (to be titled She Persisted), and her reading habits (she says she has an “embarrassingly large” collection of books on her Kindle). With Chelsea’s 2015 book, It’s Your World, now out in paperback, the puff pieces in other outlets—Elle, People, etc.—are too numerous to count.

One wishes to calm these publications: You can stop this now. Haven’t you heard that the great Kong is no more? Nevertheless, they’ve persisted.


Tired of reading about terror attacks, the situation in North Korea, and endless dysfunction in the GOP House? Well, then have I got a story for you.

Taxpayer-Funded Duck Penis Researcher Now Studying Whale Penises.

So we've got that going for us. Which is nice.

Patricia Brennan, a visiting lecturer at Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts, worked on the duck penis study that received $384,949 from the National Science Foundation, a grant that was funded through the 2009 stimulus package. The study looked at the differences in the corkscrew-shaped penises of ducks.

A recent interview with New England Public Radio revealed that Brennan is still fascinated by genitalia of various marine animals, this time one from an orca whale that was just delivered from Sea World to her lab.

"Holy cow," Brennan said when the penis first arrived. "Oh wow. Oh my goodness. It's enormous!"

The story doesn't say exactly how many tax dollars were required to help Brennan determine that whale penises are indeed enormous, but I'm sure the sum was yuge.

Earlier this week the horrific "Facebook" murder of a Cleveland grandfather made national headlines, as did the multi-state manhunt for his killer, Steve Stephens. What didn't get a lot of coverage was the bravery of the Erie, Penn., McDonald's employees. From CBS Pittsburgh:

When Stephens went through the drive-thru, the employee at the first window recognized him. As he pulled up to the second window, the employee told her supervisor and restaurant owner.

The employee called state police as the manager and owner went to the window to give Stephens his chicken nuggets, but said his fries were going to be another minute. The stall tactic worked.

“Basically just told him it was gonna be a minute for his fries, which it wasn’t, really. We were just trying to make sure she could get in contact with state police,” restaurant owner Tom Ducharme said.

Responding troopers spotted Stephens leaving the restaurant in Erie and went after him, bumping his car to try to get it to stop, authorities said. He shot himself in the head after the car spun and came to a stop, police said.

The chase ended about 2 miles away.

Remember, Stephens had just two days earlier murdered a random victim on the street in cold blood and then posted the video on Facebook. The McDonald's employees likely had no way to protect themselves, but they made the courageous decision to delay his order while they waited for police to arrive. I hope McDonald's corporate does something extra special for these employees.

Jon Ossoff, Democrat golden boy and frontrunner in the Georgia 06 special election — who couldn't vote for himself because he's living with his girlfriend outside the district — didn't vote in the 2012 presidential election.

CNN has the story:

A review of Ossoff's voter file shows he voted in in the presidential primary and general elections in 2008, 2010, 2014, and 2016, but did note vote in the 2012 presidential election.

Ossoff commented on the 2012 election frequently, a review of his past tweets shows.

Ossoff could have voted by absentee ballot, as he did in 2016.

"Jon was working on his Master's degree at the London School of Economics during the 2012 election and as a result did not vote," a spokesperson for Ossoff said.

Ossoff left for London in September of 2012, his campaign said. Prior to that, he had been working as an aide to Rep. Hank Johnson.

Why didn't he vote in 2012? CNN reported that he voted by absentee ballot in 2016, and could have done so four years earlier.

Take that, California.

Red States Rank among Renewable Energy Leaders.

We lead in fracking, too -- which doesn't require a bunch of subsidies from Washington.

Gotta love this epic tweet from the president touting his administration's success at securing the release of Egyptian prisoner Aya Hijazi:

A brilliant way to cap off the week. Well done, Mr. President.