Thursday'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.

It continues to amaze me that President Trump is threatening to oust Attorney General Jeff Sessions, one of his earliest supporters.

The two cabinet members who are causing him the biggest headaches are his secretary of State and national security adviser.

When Trump said he'd "drain the swamp," everyone assumed the swamp things he'd get rid of would be Obama holdovers -- not his own appointees. But that seems to be what is needed, as members of his cabinet continue to undermine him.

 

The US Men's National Soccer Team pulled out a 2-1 victory over Jamaica last night in the final of the CONCACAF Gold Cup. It was the USA's 6th Gold Cup finals victory and was a much needed shot in the arm for the USMNT.

Reuters:

The United States' 2-1 win over Jamaica in the CONCACAF Gold Cup final on Wednesday took their unbeaten streak to 14 games but coach Bruce Arena says they must not lose sight of the big picture -- qualifying for next year's World Cup finals.

The United States are unbeaten since Arena replaced Juergen Klinsmann last November, moving up to third in CONCACAF's six-team final qualifying round where the top three sides get an automatic berth for Russia.

The fourth placed side will take on a team from the Asian confederation for another place at the finals.

"We've made progress but we are a long way from qualifying for a World Cup and that's the objective for sure," he told reporters in Northern California after the United States won their sixth Gold Cup.

Despite the upturn in their fortunes since he took over, Arena, who led the U.S. team at the 2002 and 2006 World Cups, joked that he was far from irreplaceable.

Arena's attention now turns to selecting his squad for a World Cup qualifier against Costa Rica on Sept. 1 followed by matches against Honduras, Panama, and Trinidad and Tobago.

The winning goal was scored by young Jordan Morris, who has pulled an unusual trifecta; NCAA champ, MLS championship, and now, Gold Cup winner.

Morris was almost the goat. Early in the second half, he blew coverage on a Jamaican forward who slipped behind him on a corner kick and knocked in the equalizing goal. But with just a couple of minutes left in the game, he found the ball at his feet in front of the Jamaican goal and powered home the winner.

The USMNT now moves on to the final few qualifying games for the 2018 World Cup. The US position is precarious, sitting third with only 8 points, one ahead of Panama. But the team has gotten new life after the firing of the dour German Klinsmann as Bruce Arena seems to be getting the most out of his talent.

In truth, the US is not a good side and even if they make the World Cup final in Russia next summer, they aren't expected to make any noise. The sad fact is, the national team continues to fail in developing American talent that can light up the international stage and bring the World Cup to the US.

This seems excessively .. interesting:

Debra, Christian Toto has more on William Shatner's tweets:

A Tale of Two Trekkers on Twitter: William Shatner vs. George Takei 

Which "Star Trek" alum is more fun to follow?

Not even close. No one ever uses "fun" and "the left" in the same sentence.

I can't let this moment pass without sharing my favorite Shatner moment. It never disappoints. (Apparently, I'm not alone. The video has over three million views!) Keep your eye on the cigarette.

Montana Senator Steve Daines is going to hold his Democratic colleagues' feet to the fire and force them to vote up or down on a single payer insurance plan.

Daines will offer an amendment to the Senate health care bill.

Washington Examiner:

The Montana Republican doesn't support single-payer healthcare. But in a bit of political gamesmanship often seen in Congress, Daines wants to force vulnerable Democratic senators running for re-election in red states in 2018 to take a position on the liberal healthcare policy, which is gaining currency on the Left.

The Senate is considering legislation to partially repeal Obamacare. The floor debate process is poised to enter the amendment phase, during which senators can offer hundreds of proposals to alter the underlying bill. Daines' single-payer amendment is a carbon copy of one offered in the House by Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich.

The Conyers bill, with more than 100 Democratic cosponsors, proposes to create a program the legislation describes as "Medicare for All." According to the bill's language, "all individuals residing in the United States would be covered." To pay for the program, Conyers proposes raising income taxes on the top 5 percent of earners, plus hiking taxes on payroll and self-imployment income, unearned income, and stock and bond transactions.

As political gambits go, this one is pretty good. Not only would it expose Democratic Senators to charges of wanting a complete government takeover of the health care system, but a failure to vote in the affirmative would tick off the Democratic base. It's a two for one electoral extravaganza that puts Senators between a rock and a hard place.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services - CMS - has not rescinded its analysis of Medicare that states both programs are "unsustainable" in their present form. And yet, Conyers and the Democrats want to add tens of millions of clients to the Medicare rolls, bankrupting the program and giving substandard care to millions.

Sounds like a winning issue for Republicans.

Best speech code? The First Amendment.

In a hearing about free speech on college campuses, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) said the best speech code is the First Amendment.

Daily Wire Editor Ben Shapiro eviscerated the Left's intersectionality arguments against free speech, which often lead to violence.

Intersectionality "suggests that straight white Americans are inherently the beneficiaries of white privilege and therefore cannot speak on certain policies, since they have not experienced what it's like to be black or hispanic or gay or transgender or a woman."

This philosophy, Shapiro declared, "ranks the value of a view not based on the logic or merit of the view but on the level of victimization in American society experienced by the person espousing the view." An LGBT black woman is automatically considered more correct than a straight white male, before any speech exits either of their mouths.

Finally, Rep. Gary Palmer (R-Ala.) noted that even though the Left's violent rhetoric inspired the Scalise shooting, victims of that shooting have not called for restrictions against free speech.

The Left wants to silence people based on their race, sex, or sexual orientation. The Right stands for free speech, even when that speech has inspired people to attack them. Which side would you rather be on?

The dangers of 140-character presidential edicts

As everyone knows by now, President Trump, in a series of tweets Wednesday, announced that transgender individuals will not be allowed to serve in the military. Here was the first tweet:

The next tweet, expounding on the first cryptic missive, would not come until nine long minutes later. BuzzFeed reports:

At the Pentagon, the first of the three tweets raised fears that the president was getting ready to announce strikes on North Korea or some other military action. Many said they were left in suspense for nine minutes, the time between the first and second tweet. Only after the second tweet did military officials receive the news the president was announcing a personnel change on Twitter.

Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis is on vacation this week, and defense officials said Mattis knew that Trump was considering the policy change. It is unclear if he approved it.

Now, it's Buzzfeed, so we don't how many Pentagon personnel they interviewed — none spoke on the record. But knowing what we know about Trump's tweets not being vetted by his national security advisors, it's entirely plausible that the tweet caused some consternation amongst those who are not in Trump's circle of trust.

So I just started following the "non-political" William Shatner ....

Yesterday the Star Trek star predicted that he would get attacked by SJWs just for saying hello, and was promptly attacked by SJWs:

Of course, a snowflake meltdown immediately ensued.

Some of the reaction even seemed coordinated...

This morning Shatner's greeting was met with a barrage of hilarious memes:

Yes, a very interesting timeline ... so glad I'm following ...

 

RNC chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel has called on Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) to testify before Congress on her recently arrested former aide Imran Awan.

Via the Washington Free Beacon:

Despite Awan being stripped of his House IT access and under investigation since February, Wasserman Schultz kept him on her payroll. The Florida Democrat later demanded the Capitol Hill police return a laptop pertinent to the investigation, threatening "consequences" if they did not.

"Debbie Wasserman Schultz absolutely needs to testify and explain why this individual was on taxpayer-funded payroll until yesterday, as he was fleeing the country, on top of the fact that they had removed his access to congressional computers in February," McDaniel told Breitbart on Wednesday.

"So she knew he was under investigation, she knew something was wrong, and she kept him on payroll," McDaniel continued. "So we need to figure out what she knew, why she was protecting this person, and figure out what he did with important government information."

McDaniel suggested that Awan might have had something to do with the hacking of the Democratic National Committee during the 2016 election.

"We need to have a full big picture as to what access this individual had not just to the congressional but also to the DNC servers," she said.

It's nice to see the GOP go on the offensive for a change.

Mea culpa! Mea culpa! I made a (big) blunder in my post last night on the Imran Awan Case that fortunately got corrected by Debra and then by Paula. (More evidence of the oft-stated belief that men are always being followed around by women who clean up after them.) Smart guy that I thought I was, I discovered on Google a nauseatingly politically correct CNN article on Islamophobia by one Imran Awan. Eager to stick it to the network, I grabbed the lede from this article as the lede for mine. Turns out it was a different Imran Awan.

Moral of the story: If something seems too good to be true, it probably is. I try to follow that rule, but in this case my zeal got the better of me. (I had a suspicion something was wrong -- the article had no bio at the end.)  The corollary to this rule, however, is that when something seems especially bad or catastrophic, it probably isn't either. Worth keeping in mind at seemingly bad times.