Monday'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.

Good Monday Morning.

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

  • In the morning, President Donald J. Trump will depart Morristown, N.J., for Joint Base Andrews en route to the White House. The President will then meet with Chief of Staff General John Kelly.
  • In the afternoon, the President will sign a memorandum on addressing China’s laws, policies, practices, and actions related to intellectual property, innovation, and technology.
  • The President will then meet with the National Economic Council.
  • In the evening, the President will depart the White House for Joint Base Andrews, en route to John F. Kennedy International Airport. The President will depart John F. Kennedy International Airport to Trump Tower—New York.
  • The President will then speak with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan by telephone.

Where were the police and National Guard at the Charlottesville race riot?

The garbage governor of Virginia, Democrat Terry McAuliffe, was making excuses for the piss-poor security at the white power rally in Virginia over the weekend.

“It’s easy to criticize, but I can tell you this, 80 percent of the people here had semiautomatic weapons," the anti-Second Amendment McAuliffe said. As an aside, there was much concern about all the open carry at the riot, but no one was shot.

Remember the "event" was not a surprise; the ACLU sued for the group to obtain their permit after there were problems with the city. There was plenty of time to plan for security and the National Guard was on standby for this obvious powder-keg in the making. And yes, the Nazis have a right to hold their event on government property.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Virginia, which tweeted that counter-protesters were not happy with the police, also reported police saying that they would "not intervene until given command to do so." Why was that command not given?

Usually, dueling protestor groups are separated by the police and they demonstrate in different locations. We did we not have that in the case of Charlottesville. WHY NOT?

Said the mayor of Charlottesville, Mike Signer "There was a ton of preparation that went into one goal for government which was setting the conditions so that people could express themselves and assemble peaceably, and what happened was you had a lot of people who were not willing to accept even that basic condition of what we do in our democracy."

Video replayed over the weekend on cable news and social media appears to show long brawls between protesters and counter-protesters that went uninterrupted by police.

Here's an account from ProPublica's A.C. Thompson:

At about 10 a.m. today, at one of countless such confrontations, an angry mob of white supremacists formed a battle line across from a group of counter-protesters, many of them older and gray-haired, who had gathered near a church parking lot. On command from their leader, the young men charged and pummeled their ideological foes with abandon. One woman was hurled to the pavement, and the blood from her bruised head was instantly visible.

Standing nearby, an assortment of Virginia State Police troopers and Charlottesville police wearing protective gear watched silently from behind an array of metal barricades — and did nothing.

It was a scene that played out over and over in Charlottesville ...

Brian McLaren, a former priest and nationally known religious author and speaker, described: "police hung back quite a distance away from the 'center of the action.'"

Chuck Ross at The Daily Caller writes, "When police were ordered to disperse the alt-right rally, that act directed the white nationalists into the antifa demonstrators, leading to further street brawls. Police didn’t seem to try to get in between the two groups or suppress the fights."

“There was no police presence,” Brittany Caine-Conley, a minister-in-training who protested the alt-right rally, told The New York Times. “We were watching people punch each other; people were bleeding, all the while police were inside of barricades at the park, watching. It was essentially just brawling on the street and community members trying to protect each other.”

Cui bono? Anyone who wanted a spectacle and opportunity to tie the Nazis and alt-right to the GOP and the president, who did not help himself by not denouncing antifa fascists and Nazi fascists explicitly. Also on the list of beneficiaries are those who would like to see that pesky First Amendment eroded with speech codes and "hate speech" limitations.

The DOJ has launched an investigation. Hopefully, part of that investigation will include stand-down orders and the lack of police interference.

Sadly, this won't be the last "Charlottesville."

Pompeo assures no "imminent" threat from the NorKs

“There’s nothing imminent,” Pompeo told “Fox News Sunday." “There’s no intelligence indicating we’re on the cusp of a nuclear war.”

President Trump has come out strong against the crazy North Korean regime, alarming some in the media who believe the U.S. might be provoking the lunatic leader.

Pompeo said Sunday, “The president made clear to the North Korea regime how America will respond if certain actions are taken.

“We are hopeful that the leader of the country will understand [Trump's remarks] in precisely the way they were intended, to permit him to get to a place where we can get the nuclear weapons off the peninsula. …. That’s the best message you can deliver to someone who is putting America at risk.”

Venezuelan leader put hit on Marco Rubio

The Miami Herald reports that Diosdado Cabello, a leader of Venezuela's socialist party, has put out a hit on Senator Marco Rubio.

Though uncorroborated, federal authorities reportedly took the threat seriously. Rubio's beefed-up security detail was first spotted at a July 19 Senate hearing and following the senator the past several weeks in both Washington and Miami.

Last month, a memo from the Department of Homeland Security was sent to several law enforcement agencies outlining the possible threat against Rubio.

The Miami newspaper obtained the memo that described an “order to have Senator Rubio assassinated." It also noted Rubio and Cabello have publicly attacked each other with words in the past.

According to the memo, “unspecified Mexican nationals” were enlisted to assassinate Rubio. The Venezuelan embassy had no comment about the report.

Historical picture of the day:

President Ronald Reagan muses with reporters and photographers after being taken by surprise by his faithful canine companion, Millie, Aug. 14, 1981, in Santa Barbara. Millie joined her master shortly after the president completed signing landmark legislation cutting the federal budget and taxes at his California ranch near Santa Barbara. (AP Photo/Wally Fong)

Other morsels:

$180 Wagyu beef sandwich coming to San Francisco as part of $595 dinner

Back to school crisis: Lack of school bus drivers plagues the nation

Rare white moose captured on film in Sweden

Archaeologists uncover the 'French Pompeii'

133% leap in children admitted to ER for marijuana, study finds

GoDaddy bans neo-Nazi site Daily Stormer for disparaging woman killed at Charlottesville rally

France reports 60 percent increase in radicalization in two years

Tom Cruise injured filming stunt on ‘Mission: Impossible 6’ set

Watchdog group wants to know how FBI let Comey walk out door with sensitive docs

Drunk American tourist beaten up after giving Nazi salute, police say

Texas police chief asked to leave doctor's office for carrying gun

And that's all I've got, now go beat back the angry mob! (But only metaphorically, no violence.)

Protesters gather at Trump Tower, and it's not pretty.

Is this a statement or character assassination?

Anyway, protesters are gathering as President Trump returns to Trump Tower, to wish him a fine evening... or rather, to blame him for the Charlottesville white supremacy and violence.

Here's what Franklin Graham has to say about that: "That's absurd." Wait 'till you see whom Graham blames for the violence.

What happens when your column is excerpted as Notable & Quotable in the Wall Street Journal?  Even though you're a subscriber and really only read that paper (what other one is possibly worth reading?), you don't notice your own column until your friend Lionel calls you after lunch.  Instead, you pick up the editorial pages of that paper and read the lead op-ed - in this case on Korea and written by two unknowns named Mattis and Tillerson - finish their article and toss the paper aside, going about your business without realizing the bottom of that same page is you.  Ah, well.  At least I got a bit of excitement a few hours later.  As an observation - and this says a lot about my own makeup, but I suspect that of others as well - when something good happens, it gives me pleasure for about forty-five minutes.  When something bad happens, the pain tends to linger for years.  Worth keeping in mind even if, as in my case, you can't cure it.

Do you ever get the feeling that there are two sets of rules that determine whether or not a violent attack is an act of terrorism or simple assault? And that the determining factor seems to depend on political affiliation?

The FBI is treating the attempted mass assassination of Republican lawmakers as “assault” and not terrorism, FBI Assistant Director in Charge Andrew Vale announced at a press conference Tuesday morning.

“At this time the FBI has assessed that the deceased shooter, James T. Hodgkinson, acted alone. We also assess that there was no nexus to terrorism. The FBI is investigating the shooting as an assault of a member of Congress and assault on a law enforcement officer,” Vale said.

Hodgkinson was a "lone wolf" left-wing terrorist as surely as James Alex Fields is a right-wing terrorist.  But for whatever reason, the FBI under acting director (and Clinton supporting) Andrew McCabe didn't want to admit that.


Car attack kills one and injures seven outside Paris.

On Monday night, a man drove a car into a pizzeria, injuring seven and killing one. His motives remain unclear. More from CNN (I know, I know):

A car was intentionally rammed into a pizzeria east of Paris Monday night, leaving one person dead and seven injured, according to the French Interior Ministry.

The incident took place in Sept-Sorts, 55 kilometers (34 miles) east of Paris, a ministry spokesperson told CNN.

The driver of the car has been arrested but his motivations are still unknown the spokesperson said.

The French National police tweeted that an operation was ongoing and asked people to respect the security perimeter, in order not to affect the rescue operations.

The dead girl was 8 years old, according to the Associated Press (AP).

More on this story as it develops.

This is awful.

Records from 911 calls show the driver charged with killing a woman at a white nationalist rally was previously accused of beating his mother and threatening her with a knife.

Authorities say 20-year-old James Fields drove his car into a crowd of counter-protesters on Saturday in Charlottesville. At least two dozen were wounded in addition to the woman killed.

The records the Florence Police Department in Kentucky show the man’s mother had called police in 2011. Records show Fields’ mother, Samantha Bloom, told police he stood behind her wielding a 12-inch knife. Bloom is disabled and uses a wheelchair.

 In another incident in 2010, Bloom said that Fields smacked her in the head and locked her in the bathroom after she told him to stop playing video games. Bloom told officers Fields was on medication to control his temper.

While everyone's still talking about Charlottesville, it's worth keeping in mind that just because two groups clash violently, it doesn't mean that, philosophically, they aren't on the same side. As I tweeted this morning:

A look at the political situation in Germany at the time can be found below: it's worth a watch.  Both the National Socialists and the Communists hated the liberal democracy of the Weimar Republic and wanted it destroyed.  Hitler won that round; Stalin won the rematch in 1945.

If you had "stuntman" in the Deadpool...

Then you'd have lost. A stunt woman has tragically died on the set of "Deadpool 2." From TMZ:

The rider went airborne in Vancouver Monday morning during filming for the movie. Her bike crashed through the glass of a ground-floor studio inside Shaw Tower near Jack Poole Plaza. Witnesses say she never applied the brakes.

The rider -- whose identity is being withheld  -- was pulled from the crash site and taken to the hospital by ambulance. Police taped off the area, and an investigation is underway.

It's the second major mishap involving stunts in as many days. Tom Cruise was badly injured during a failed stunt on the set of "Mission: Impossible 6."

Steve -- nice to see a shout-out to one of the great villains in all literature, Ellsworth Toohey from Rand's best novel, The Fountainhead.  Insidious, scheming, self-serving and utterly sociopathic. In other words, just like a lot of people in public life these days, mostly on the Left but not entirely...

Toohey's philosophy is the polar opposite of individualism. He's all about collectivism; he believes in the crowd. Unlike Roark, who is all about life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness (Roark is presented as being as American as apple pie), Toohey rants about sacrifice, denial, the virtues of being miserable, and the unimportant nature of the individual.

Toohey's ideal world is a creeptastic hivemind:

"The world of the future. That's what I want. A world of obedience of and unity. A world where the thought of each man will not be his own, but an attempt to guess the thought of the brain of his neighbor who'll have no thought of his own..."