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Monday's HOT MIC

Here is your HOT MIC for today.

Who needs lawmakers and advisers when you've got teenagers and Mar-a-Lago fatcats?

Reminder: We're "this" close to Trump breaking his promise about sending the Dreamers back because he's been watching them on TV.

Related, John Kasich's strategist:

Cleveland.com reported last night that the First Amendment section has been scrubbed from the Ohio governor's website. I am bored to tears with this man and can't wait until he's out of office.

Also related: the Ohio governor's race just got really, really interesting. The leading contender is former U.S. senator and current Attorney General Mike DeWine. Dewine, you may remember, joined with Sen. Dianne Feinstein to do this:

The Federal Assault Weapons Ban (AWB)—officially, the Public Safety and Recreational Firearms Use Protection Act—is a subsection of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, a United States federal law that included a prohibition on the manufacture for civilian use of certain semi-automatic firearms it defined as assault weapons, as well as certain ammunition magazines it defined as "large capacity".

The ten-year ban was passed by the U.S. Congress on September 13, 1994, following a close 52–48 vote in the Senate, and signed into law by then President Bill Clinton the same day. The ban only applied to weapons manufactured after the date of the ban's enactment, and it expired on September 13, 2004, in accordance with its sunset provision.

Several constitutional challenges were filed against provisions of the ban, but all were rejected by reviewing courts. There were multiple attempts to renew the ban, but none succeeded.

DeWine was a pariah in Ohio GOP circles for more than a decade after that stunt: "DeWine was defeated in the 2006 midterm elections by Democrat Sherrod Brown, receiving 905,644 fewer votes in 2006 than he received in 2000." He managed to salvage his political career by repenting of his gun-grabbing ways and vowing to never try a stunt like that again. Now he's running against Rep. Jim Renacci -- a gun-toting, Harley-riding Trump supporter. You're going to want to stock up on popcorn for this one. Renacci is running for Senate, hoping to replace Sherrod Brown. Read my mea culpa here.

 

 

This is delicious in so many ways:

Some workers at J.M. Smucker Co. are the latest to reap the benefits of bonuses stemming from federal tax cuts, as the Orrville-based food giant announced payouts Friday morning, Feb. 16, as part of its third-quarter earnings report.

The company said that "with the benefit resulting from U.S. income tax reform," it's giving a one-time bonus of $1,000 to nearly 5,000 employees. Smucker also announced it will make an additional $20 million contribution to its employee pension plan and will increase its charitable contributions by $1 million as a result of lower tax rates bolstering its earnings significantly.

Smucker also raised its full-year guidance; the company said it expects an adjusted profit of $8.20 to $8.30 a share for its upcoming fiscal year, up from its previous guidance of $7.75 to $7.90 a share.

Smucker's is in my backyard, so I'm elated to see my friends and neighbors benefitting from the GOP tax cut.

I'm not done with John Kasich yet. I had completely forgotten about his 1994 vote for the so-called "assault weapon" ban.

Here's Kasich in all his (in)glory:

Downthread I had a bit of a brain cramp and said that Rep. Jim Renacci was running against DeWine in the GOP primary for Ohio governor. For some reason (I blame lack of coffee) it completely slipped my mind that Renacci jumped to the Senate race last month, hoping to take out Sherrod-Brown-Let-Us-Down.* I apologize for the error. Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor is opposing DeWine in the primary. She's desperately trying to rid herself of Kasich's stain, but it probably won't work (for a variety of reasons) so we'll be stuck with DeWine.

*Renacci would be an idiot not to resurrect this circa 2006 Mike DeWine for Senate campaign ad against Sherrod Brown. More than a decade later I still think "Sherrod Brown let us down" every time I hear his name.

 

The UK Sun:

For North Korean athletes, the prospect of failure on the big stage carries a punishment far worse than a damaged ego.

Having failed to land a single medal in South Korea so far, its Winter Olympic team could suffer the same fate as previous underperforming athletes - imprisonment in one of the country's sick gulags.

[...]

Similar treatment awaited Olympic team who travelled to Rio 2016 and came back with just two gold medals.

"Those who won medals will be rewarded with better housing allocations, better rations... and maybe other gifts from the regime," North Korea expert Toshimitsu Shigemura told the Telegraph.

He said athletes who "disappointed" the leader would likely be punished with a downgrade in housing, reduced rations and even "being sent to the coal mines".

The damned may have included weightlifter Hyo Sim-Choe, a gold medal favourite who walked away with a mere silver.

A friend said he would love to see the entire N. Korean team collectively defect, but fat chance of that. The athletes are under constant surveillance. Business Insider:

  • North Korean athletes are subject to round-the-clock security at the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea.
  • Each athlete has a "minder" who will even follow them into the toilet so their whereabouts can be guaranteed at all times.
  • Athletes from North Korea are "separated" from athletes from other nations.

Bethany Mandel is raising money to rescue N. Korean refugees:

You can donate here.

George the yellow lab has no boundaries:

This is literally every yellow lab ever. They're notorious for eating anything that's not nailed down (and even some things that are). Toby, my yellow lab, has a bad habit of taking unsecured food off the counter when we're not looking. He's eaten whole loaves of bread, bags of bagels, and an entire apple pie. He also nabbed a glass pan of brownies off the counter. Unfotunately for my always-starving boy, the pan landed face-down. When we got home we found it in the foyer, 20 feet from the kitchen counter where he found it.  Another time I caught him eating a dollar bill and he's also recently developed a taste for dog poop. I am not kidding when I say they will eat anything (except orange peels for some odd reason).