Monday's HOT MIC

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Here we go again?

Fight over Trump wall could lead to shutdown.

Sure looks that way.

Marc Short, the White House director of legislative affairs, says the Trump administration has clear expectations for the fall: "We get tax reform and we also complete funding of the government which includes rebuilding of the military and securing our border." (Read: the wall.)

Sources inside and close to Republican Hill leadership, however, are privately less sanguine:

• Some say there's a good chance of a government shutdown before the end of the year because of deep rifts over spending priorities.

• No one sees Trump's wall getting much more than a symbolic nod, which is sure to anger Trump and the Bannon faction, and could lead to a shutdown.

• Tax reform in this calendar year seems increasingly unlikely. A bill and big debate? Yes. Something signed into law? Very hard given the points above and persistently deep disagreements over which loopholes to keep and how to pay for the tax cuts.

Let's leave aside for now that "how to pay for tax cuts" is one of those phrases which ought to make your blood boil and your teeth itch. Next time let's try, "We're going to stop taking so much of your money because of all the awful, stupid things we do to it," shall we?


Given the jellyfish levels of spinelessness of so much of the GOP, it's safe and easy to predict that they'll fold rather than risk another shutdown. Queen Nancy and her Shrunken Court will get much of what they want, and the Republicans.... well, they won't. And Chuck Schumer will smile his lizard smile while deciding whether to roast Mitch McConnell at 475° or get the job done much more slowly in the Crock Pot.

I'd just remind you that when the Democrats held the White House and Capitol Hill for all of two years, they shoved through everything they wanted -- everything. The GOP looks like it might not be able to get through so much as a tax cut.


Engineering education is under assault by special snowflakes who are more interested in learning about useless concepts like "diversity" and "unequal outcomes" than about how to build, invent, design, maintain, and improve things that can actually benefit people.

Via Campus Reform, Mechanical Engineering professor Indrek Wichman wrote in an essay published last Wednesday:

“Instead of calculating engine horsepower or microchip power/size ratios or aerodynamic lift and drag, the engineering educationists focus on group representation, hurt feelings, and ‘microaggressions’ in the profession,” Wichman adds.

Citing the Purdue University School of Education Engineering as a case study, Wichman claims that “engineering education” schools increasingly focus on concepts that are incompatible with the actual discipline, such as “empowering” students and “reimagining” engineering as a more “socially connected” field of study.

“For the record, engineers ‘empower’ themselves and, most important, other people, by inventing things,” he points out. “Those things are our agents of change.”

Wichman, who has taught engineering for 30 years, pointed to the “ambitious agenda” of the new dean of Purdue’s engineering school, Dr. Donna Riley, as an example of social justice “infiltration” at the university level.

According to her faculty page, Riley aims to “revise engineering curricula to be relevant to a fuller range of student experiences and career destination” by incorporating “concerns related responsibility,” focusing on “de-centering Western civilization,” and “uncovering contributions of women and other underrepresented groups.”

In addition, she has taught classes addressing topics like “racist and colonialist projects in science” and using “feminist and postcolonial science studies” to study engineering issues.”

How that helps people design and build technically successful products is anyone's guess, but Wichman says “Riley’s purpose seems not to be how best to train new engineers but to let everyone know how bad engineers have been.”

The professor told Campus Reform, “Engineers like me, at least, believe there is A Truth…and muddling that with someone’s vague notions about ‘social justice’ would ruin engineering (and the other sciences).”

What media bias?

President Donald Trump plans to spend some time in New York City while he takes a break from Washington. White House spokeswoman Lindsay Walters said Monday that Trump will return to his hometown for part of the first half of next week. She did not provide details.

Trump tweeted Monday that he would be heading to New York for meetings. He arrived at his private golf club in New Jersey Friday for a 17-day “working vacation.

Typical Trump, right -- always playing golf, traveling, goofing off, much like his predecessor. Twitter was filled with derision from the usual suspects over the weekend. But what the AP forgot to mention in this slanted dispatch is that the Oval Office and the West Wing are currently undergoing renovations, and personnel have been temporarily evicted.

Just like an episode of HGTV's "Fixer Upper," the minute Trump leaves, workers will begin around-the-clock renovations to the West Wing, including structural repairs to address a ceiling leak, HVAC work and repairs to the South Portico steps on the South Lawn. Additionally, renovations to the Navy Mess kitchen, the West Wing lower lobby, the IT system and generic cosmetic upgrades including fresh paint, carpet and curtains will be completed before his return later this month.

Trump took a lot of heat for his alleged remark (overheard by a golf reporter named Alan Shipnuck) that the White House was a "dump," but anyone who's been in the West Wing lately, as I have, will know that it's surprisingly cramped and shabby and is in need of obvious repairs. And if you don't believe me, you can ask CNN:

[A] White House official later clarified to CNN that the while the President enjoys the White House residence, he has often remarked on the poor condition the West Wing is in. He has a point: The West Wing is in need of some upkeep.

And while the President has lamented information leaks coming from his West Wing, there are also actual leaks there. After flash-flooding in the greater Washington area last week, the ceilings dripped in three separate spots in the Lower Press area, emitting a "foul odor," per one witness. Staffers moved multiple trash cans to catch the dripping.

Although the HVAC systems are 27 years old, they are constantly running. "Due to the 24/7, 365-day use a year, the estimated age of the system based off of usage is 81 years old," deputy press secretary Lindsay Walters told reporters aboard Air Force One on Thursday.

The South Portico steps haven't been restored in 64 years, Walters added.

Speaking of the Great Tarmac Meeting between Loretta Lynch/Elizabeth Carlisle and William Jefferson Blythe/Clinton III -- what is it with Democrats and their penchant for aliases? -- it seems that some stenographers reporters for the Compromised Media ™ were for some unknown reason averse to covering this story:

Reporters with the Washington Post and New York Times were apparently less than enthusiastic about covering the controversial private meeting between then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch and former President Bill Clinton just months ahead of the 2016 election. The non-profit American Center for Law and Justice published emails Friday that showed reporters asking Department of Justice officials for details on the meeting.

Mark Landler, a reporter for the Times, is seen in one June 30 email reaching out to a DOJ official to say he's "been pressed into service to write about the questions being raised" by the meeting.

Matt Zapotosky with the Post emailed a DOJ official the same day after several other emails to say that his editors "are still pretty interested" in the story but that he wanted to "put it to rest."

Thus driving home the truth of my pal Iowahawk's famous dictum:

Meanwhile, Arthur Schwartz observes:


This is just mind boggling.

The Daily Caller:

A transgender day camp for kids ages four through twelve in California is boasting triple enrollment since its founding three years ago, reported the Associated Press.

The pre-schoolers and elementary school kids who attend the “Rainbow Day Camp” start each morning by choosing which pronoun they want to use for the day, according to the AP. Campers can choose, “he”, “she”, a combo of “he/she”, “they”, or opt to write undecided or nothing at all.

The San Francisco Bay Area camp has made it its mission to cater to “gender fluid” and transgender children. Founded in 2014, the camp is currently the only one to offer a transgender program of sorts to such young children. The camp has about 60 attendees, up from 20 in its first summer.

“A decade ago, this camp wouldn’t have existed. Eventually, I do believe, it won’t be so innovative,” the camp’s founder Sandra Collins told the AP. “I didn’t know you could be transgender at a very young age. But my daughter knew for sure at 2,” she said, crediting her daughter as inspiration for starting the camp. Collins has also founded “Camp Kickin’ It” for transgender kids ages 13-17.

If an adult wants to claim their gender is something different that what their biology says, that's none of our business -- unless they demand "rights" that don't exist and government protection from ridicule. Then it very much becomes our business and the business of the taxpayer.

But, pray tell, how can a 2 year old "know for sure" that she was transgender? Madness. Obviously, the parents led the toddler to her belief that she was not a little girl. How can that not be child abuse?

This entire "gender fluidity" thing is getting out of hand. The gender activists and their allies in the media and academia are pushing, pushing, and pushing against common sense and the culture.

At age 63, I probably won't live to see the day when it will be a crime if you use the wrong pronoun for someone. But that's where we're headed. "You will be made to care" - even about irrational issues like being able to choose your gender at will.

But of course.

Jill Soloway calls SNL’s Pat character “anti-trans propaganda.”

There might not be any conservatives or libertarians producing, writing, or starring on SNL. You might not watch even any clips from SNL. But you can still be certain that this is somehow your fault.

During a panel about transgender representation on TV during the Television Critics Association press tour, Transparent creator Jill Soloway noted that Julia Sweeney’s long-running Saturday Night Live character Pat was an “awful piece of anti-trans propaganda that was handed out for years.” For those who missed SNL in the early ‘90s, Pat was an androgynous character who would get into weird situations that—for whatever reason—revolved around other people trying to figure out if Pat was a man or woman.

Soloway says that people didn’t recognize it at the time, but looking back, she thinks Pat was “a hateful thing to do.” She goes on to call out “the idea of pointing at a person and laughing because they were non-binary” as particularly bad, especially since that’s really the whole joke with Pat. Other panelists, like Danger And Eggs creator Shadi Petosky, singled out Buffalo Bill from Silence Of The Lambs as being damaging because of the way the film makes his desire to be a woman just as bad as the murders.

Orange Is The New Black’s Laverne Cox also pointed out that creators in general need to “do better” because there are a lot of stories about trans people “that are still not being told.”

Let's take a deep breath, and then take a moment, and then another deep breath before we consider Soloway's complaint -- which is about a long-abandoned character played by a long-gone cast member from a time when SNL's comedic efforts were... mixed.

On second thought, let's not do any of that. To do so might only encourage Soloway in her effort to expunge even the Clinton (Bill) Era of doubleplusungood wrongthink.


Did we know that Al Gore's sequel to "An Inconvenient Truth" is out in theaters? Gore has apparently been urging people to pack movie theaters to send a message to “Trump and the other climate deniers,”  but they apparently missed the memo because it's bombing. 

“A botched strategy by Paramount Pictures effectively sabotaged the nationwide release of the Al Gore documentary An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power, which finished in 15th place in US theatres this weekend. This was not supposed to happen,” said a clearly peeved D.R. Tucker in Washington Monthly:“Al Gore Gets Ripped Off Again.”

“This was not supposed to happen,” Tucker wrote, adding, “he should have demanded a recount.”

“Sadly, the box-office under-performance of An Inconvenient Sequel will be seized upon by climate-change deniers as ‘proof’ that Americans don’t really care about this issue,” Tucker wrote.

Polls actually show that concern among the public over climate change is growing.  

Maybe people just aren't that into Al Gore.

Well, well, well.

Loretta Lynch used alias “Elizabeth Carlisle” to email about Bill Clinton tarmac meeting.

Please do tell us more about the Most Scandal-Free Administration in History™.

Chuck Ross at The Daily Caller does an excellent job sorting out the emails and demonstrating how Lynch used an alias to communicate about the tarmac meeting and its fallout, Here Is The Alias Email Account Loretta Lynch Used As Attorney General:

Like her predecessor, Eric Holder, former Attorney General Loretta Lynch used an email alias to conduct government business, The Daily Caller has confirmed.

Several of Lynch’s emails were included in 413 pages of DOJ documents provided to the conservative groups Judicial Watch and the American Center for Law and Justice. Both groups had filed lawsuits for records regarding Lynch’s controversial meeting with President Bill Clinton at the Phoenix airport last June 27.

Using the pseudonym “Elizabeth Carlisle,” Lynch corresponded with DOJ press officials to hammer out talking points in response to media requests about the meeting. The tarmac encounter drew criticism from conservatives because Lynch was overseeing the federal investigation into whether Hillary Clinton mishandled classified information on her private email system.

The meeting was revealed not by Lynch, Clinton or the Justice Department, but by a reporter in Phoenix working based on a tip.

On June 28, a reporter with Phoenix’s ABC News affiliate contacted the Justice Department to inquire about the meeting. Internal DOJ emails show that the request touched off a mad-dash to develop talking points and statements to respond to the developing story.

Lynch, using the Elizabeth Carlisle account, which was hosted on the Justice Department’s system, was also involved in those discussions.

Lynch’s attorney, Robert Raben, confirmed to TheDC on Monday that Lynch emailed under that pseudonym. He pointed to an article published in The Hill last February in which the Justice Department acknowledged that Lynch was using an email handle that was not her given name.

“That address was and is known to the individuals who process [Freedom of Information Act] requests; the practice, similar to using initials or numbers in an email, helps guard against security risks and prevent inundation of mailboxes,” Raben said.

This is just another indication that there has been a coverup about the tarmac meeting. The explanations at the time never made sense, and didn’t pass the smell test for anyone who has observed how the Clintons and their cronies operate.

Hillary Clinton's wiped server and Debbie Wasserman-Schultz's IT guy could not be reached for comment.

Steve, political effects aside, what happens in a "Government shutdown" is that non-essential services are shut down while essential services remain.

I have got to admit I see a lot to recommend this.