Thursday's HOT MIC

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Interesting post by Charles Glasser at Insty about the Sarah Palin defamation lawsuit against the New York Times. The judge in the case has taken the unusual step of ordering an evidentiary hearing to find out what the reporters knew about the false "bullseye" story.

This is unusual, because in libel cases, under a doctrine called “Iqbal/Twombly”, plaintiffs are required to show in their complaint more than a naked assertion of wrongdoing and have to set out a “plausible” claim with some degree of specificity. Here, most media lawyers thought the Times had it in the bag, because under a motion to dismiss, external fact-finding is not allowed, and the judgment is made within the four corners of the pleadings. But Rakoff was not convinced that Palin failed to make a plausible claim, and instead noted that:

One close question presented by that motion [to dismiss] is whether the Complaint contains sufficient allegations of actual malice, an essential element of the claim. To a large extent , determination of that issue may turn on what inferences favorable to the plaintiff are reasonable given the circumstances alleged in the Complaint. For example, the Complaint alleges that the allegedly false statements[…] were contradicted by information already set forth in prior news stories published by the Times. However, these prior stories arguably would only evidence actual malice if the person(s) who wrote the editorial were aware of them…Accordingly, to help inform the Court of what inferences are reasonable or unreasonable in this context, the Court, pursuant to Rule 43(c), will convene an evidentiary hearing on Wednesday, August 16 at 2:00 PM EST.

My reading of this is that the Times reporters have two choices: They can admit they're too stupid to work for a major media organization because they were unaware the "bullseye" narrative had been debunked. Or, they could admit they knew about the story and wrote a malicious editorial.

Couldn't happen to a nicer bunch of liberal shills.

AG Sessions told Hugh Hewitt back in March that he would be open to investigating the IRS scandal.

Hewitt pressed Sessions on the IRS targeting scandal in particular.

"Will you be looking at the IRS investigation specifically?" he asked. "Because that left many of us thinking that the Department of Justice had laid down for a terrible abuse of political power."

Sessions agreed, saying "that circumstance raised a lot of questions in my mind when I was in the Senate. So it is a matter of real concern to me."

During the campaign, then-candidate Donald Trump repeatedly threatened to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate Clinton's scandals, but since the election he has been less resolute, disappointing the "lock her up!" crowd.

Five months later, and not only is there no investigation, the deeply corrupt and/or incompetent IRS commissioner John Koskinen STILL HAS HIS JOB.

Hard to believe America has become this stupid, but, yes, America has become this stupid:

PORTLAND, Ore. -- The Centennial School Board voted to change the names of three elementary schools in the district Wednesday night over concerns of offensive language. The change will remove the name "Lynch" from two schools.

Lynch Wood and Lynch Meadows elementary schools will be known temporarily as Wood Elementary and Meadows Elementary, pending new names for both schools. Lynch View Elementary will be permanently changed to Patrick Lynch Elementary school.

In the late 1800s, Patrick Lynch donated a parcel of land to the district, which is why so many schools included his name. In recent years, district officials said some students and families had complained that the name "Lynch" made them think of the verb, lynch, and the racist connotation behind it.

"Made them think..." Would that they would. But wait -- it gets even stupider!

“I don't think any of you have ever seen a picture where one of your decedents was hanging from a tree,” said one man who testified in favor of the name change. “I know the majority of you guys are white and it's hard to know how that word could have an effect but it does,” added a young student who testified. “If a simple name change could make students feel safe, then why are we holding back?”

Not sure if the poor fellow actually means decedents as in "dead persons," or descendants, as in progeny, somewhere down the line of your family tree, a term generally used after you have become a decedent yourself.

Then again, given the state of "journalism" today, it's equally possible the reporter had no idea which word he used, or how to spell it.

Today's #FakeNews faux pas comes to us via the Kennebec Journal. See if you can spot the problem here ...

Of course Twitter is full of wise guys:

From the "Party in Crisis" files:

The MSM will rarely, if ever, mention any struggles the Democrats may be having, either ideologically or financially. Should two Republicans have lunch together and order different things, however, a "Republican Civil War!" think piece is almost certain to follow.

These numbers also lay to waste the notion that the Dems aren't really fueled by big donor money, to the extent that they are fueled these days.

Rest assured that the narrative will continue to be all about the GOP falling apart. It may not be entirely untrue as it pertains to Congress, but that doesn't change the fact that the Democrats aren't exactly seizing the moment here.

More than half of Google employees think the company shouldn't have fired James Damore.

Huh. Here's Business Insider's Julie Bort on the new poll:

Employees across Silicon Valley are deeply divided about Google's move, according to a survey conducted on Tuesday and Wednesday by Blind, an anonymous corporate chat app. When Blind asked its users if they thought Google should have fired Damore, over 4,000 from different companies weighed in.

Perhaps most pertinently, 441 Google employees responded. Of them, more than half  – 56% to be precise– said they didn't think it was right for the company to fire Damore.

At Uber, 64% of employees who participated in the survey thought Google shouldn't have fired Damore. Employees at Apple and LinkedIn were nearly evenly split in the poll but leaned slightly toward approving Google's decision. Meanwhile, 65% of respondents from Lyft were good with the way it went down.

Here's the skinny on Damore's diversity memo that got him fired. And how did women at Google respond on Monday? By not coming to work, as if they wanted to prove Damore right. By the way, the board members of Google's parent company, Alphabet, don't exactly favor Republicans...

Stephen-I tweeted this at almost the same exact time you posted that:

Shot:

Chaser:

To recap:

The Sussex, UK police department has a "Hate Crime Sgt & Trans Equality Advocate" important enough to warrant a blue checkmark from Twitter. At a local Tesco market, he finds it problematical that there are tampons for sale on a shelf labeled "Feminine Hygiene" and makes a report to corporate HQ.

And it appears that Tesco finds this problematical, too.

No word on whether some local Tesco stockperson will be doxxed, fired, and blackballed -- but if I were a betting man I'd say the deck might already be stacked.

So I'll say it once again: These are Heinlein's Crazy Years; we just live in them.

Maybe Americans should start doing the jobs foreigners just can't do any more.

Jamaicans and other foreign workers have long powered the summer economy in the upscale tourist haven of Martha’s Vineyard, cleaning hotel rooms, waiting tables and mixing fudge. This year, many local businesses had to come up with a Plan B.

Facing a shortage of foreign laborers, local restaurants have reduced hours of operation and pared back menus. Managers are cleaning hotel rooms, laundry is piling up and at least one restaurant is using disposable cups to ease the dishwashers’ load.

The problem is a scarcity of the H-2B visas used to bring foreign seasonal workers to the U.S. It has affected many resorts and other businesses that depend on such workers, including Alaskan fisheries. Isolated locations such as Martha’s Vineyard—it has a tiny year-round population and is accessible only by ferry or plane—are especially vulnerable.

As President Donald Trump presses to restrict both illegal and legal immigration, citing the need to boost prospects for American workers, Martha’s Vineyard serves as a small-scale, real-time experiment in what can happen when labor markets that depend on foreign workers no longer have access to as many of them.

I thought the Left hated the rich, wanted to eat the rich, in fact -- but here's a weeper about the travails of a labor shortage in the "upscale tourist haven of Martha's Vineyard." What the story doesn't say is that the Vineyard in August is not simply a "tourist haven" -- in fact, it's anything but. Instead, it's Summer Camp Central for the wealthy Leftist political and media elite, a kind of Beltway northeast where the business of bashing Trump can continue unabated, even while they're all on "vacation."

Meanwhile, what they're really crying about it is the upward pressure on domestic wages that a reduction in cheap foreign labor is causing. They claim to be for the Little Guy, but the truth is they'd rather underpay a Jamaican and put the American on welfare than give him an entry-level job.

 

Roger,

I share your concerns with Google going way back. In fact, I stopped using all of their products a couple of years ago.

For a few bucks a month a hosting service takes care of my email needs, so no Gmail for me. Switching to DuckDuckGo (with Bing as my backup) was a no-brainer. It was easy deleting Google app from my phone. Giving up Google-owned Waze -- easily the best mobile navigation app -- was harder, but I managed.

ASIDE: Did you know that Waze tracks all of your movements, even when you're not using the app? It's true -- check its permissions under Location Services.

Even that's not enough, though. Google's tracking scripts are all over the web, maybe even on this very web page. So I block most JavaScript with JS Blocker 5 for Safari, but there are plenty of other blockers for other browsers. And don't forget to install the Ghostery extension, too, which targets tracking scripts. Google makes a ton of money watching what you click, then selling the results, even if you don't actively use any of their sites, products, or apps.

But with just these two easy precautions, you can put a stop to much of Google's surreptitious data-gathering.