Thursday's HOT MIC
Welcome to Thursday! Here's the 411 today.
On the President's Agenda:
- The president will lead a signing event for the Memorandum Regarding the Investigation Pursuant to Section 232(B) of the Trade Expansion Act.
- In the afternoon, the president will meet with National Security Advisor H. R. McMaster.
- The president will then welcome Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni of Italy. Later in the afternoon, the president will meet with Prime Minister Gentiloni.
- The president will then lead an expanded bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Gentiloni. Afterwards, the president will hold a joint press conference with Prime Minister Gentiloni.
The game is a foot
We have two "games" this morning: the hunt for whoever spilled the beans about the dumpster fire that was the Clinton presidential campaign and the hunt for the person who gave WikiLeaks top-secret documents.
Those Clinton folks are not happy about the salacious details in the new book Shattered exposing the mess that was Hillary's presidential campaign. Remember, this campaign was celebrated by the media, even as Hillary refused to talk to the press and disappeared from the public eye for long stretches of time for her naps. How much did the media know about this hot mess and how much did they hide so they could get Clinton into office? That's a rhetorical question.
There is a witch hunt underway among Clinton’s presidential campaign staffers after the release of the autopsy book, “Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton’s Doomed Campaign” by journalists Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes.
We’re told the details in the book, which depicts the campaign as inept, “could only have come from someone in the inner circle.” Dennis Cheng, the finance director of Clinton’s presidential campaign, has been sending out messages to determine where the leaks come from.
"The knives are out to find the people who spoke about the campaign to the authors of this book. Dennis has been texting prominent campaign staffers, asking who talked. He’s on a witch hunt to find out who talked to save their own skin, throwing Hillary and her campaign manager Robby Mook under the bus," said a source.
Here's an interesting name: “There’s some speculation that Huma Abedin cooperated to save her own reputation. However, she and Hillary are still very close," revealed the source.
It's professional suicide not to keep political secrets, but maybe the former Clinton operators don't want to be held professionally responsible for the campaign train wreck. I'm just kidding. No one in the political industry is held accountable for their campaign failures. FAIL UP.
The CIA and FBI are looking for the traitor (or whistleblower, you decide) who leaked classified information to WikiLeaks.
The CIA and FBI are conducting a joint investigation into one of the worst security breaches in CIA history, which exposed thousands of top-secret documents that described CIA tools used to penetrate smartphones, smart televisions and computer systems.
Sources familiar with the investigation say it is looking for an insider -- either a CIA employee or contractor -- who had physical access to the material. The agency has not said publicly when the material was taken or how it was stolen.
Much of the material was classified and stored in a highly secure section of the intelligence agency, but sources say hundreds of people would have had access to the material. Investigators are going through those names.
“It is time to call out WikiLeaks for what it really is: A non-state hostile intelligence service often abetted by state actors like Russia,” CIA Director Pompeo said.
Is anyone looking into the leaks and the unmasking of private U.S. citizens in the Trump witch hunt? It doesn't seem so.
Obama's legacy: a crazy high murder rate
Over Hot Air, Jazz Shaw brings our attention to one of the Obama legacies that will be swept under the rug by his media enablers.
It always takes a while for the feds to compile all of the crime statistics for any given year and 2016 won’t be any exception. (In a country of this size with literally tens of thousands of police and sheriff’s departments reporting in that’s understandable.) But the FBI has some preliminary numbers which foreshadow what we can expect when the full reports are released. If you thought you saw a lot of murders going on in some of the country’s larger cities last year it wasn’t just your imagination.
The murder rate isn't up everywhere, just in certain cities.
An 8% rise over the previous year is nothing to sneeze at. Now, to be fair, the report goes on to caution people against worrying over some sort of a “national crime wave.” That’s not the case at all. In fact, for the vast majority of the country (in terms of land mass, not population) the murder rate is actually still going down. And crime in general is also slowly decreasing, remaining far below the worst levels we saw in the 90s.
But those facts don’t mitigate the underlying problem. As the excerpt above indicates, three cities – Chicago, Baltimore and Houston – account for roughly half of the urban killing rate increase. And 43.7% of that was just from Chicago. Pretending that this isn’t a worrisome trend which could continue to spread and pointing to the relatively static figures for the rest of the country is akin to being on the Titanic and saying that aside from that one big gash in the side, the rest of the ship is still a wonder to behold.
Trump campaigned as being the "law and order" president. Let's see if he can turn this around...without shredding our civil liberties.
Step away from the water gun with your hands up
The latest installment of "crazy liberals overreact to toys that look like guns" comes from Alabama.
A 16-year-old Alabama girl was caught by teachers with a water pistol, and was expelled from the school for an entire year as a result.
The water pistol in question was black so it might have looked like a real gun.
According to the Montgomery Advertiser, Sara Allena “Laney” Nichols, a student of Prattville High School, was handed a water pistol by a fellow student. The toy was black, and may have looked like a real firearm upon a cursory glance. Nichols put the water pistol in her backpack, and then put it in the back seat her car.
A student reported to PHS authorities that Nichols had a gun after seeing the exchange with the boy. Camera monitors within the school captured footage of the exchange, and Nichols was called to the office where she confessed to having the toy in the back seat of her car.
Initially, the teen was suspended for 10 days but that was increased to a year by the Autauga County Board of Education. She is banned from all schools in the county and from school property and from school activities.
What is the point of this, taking a teenager out of school for a year?
The teen's parents have hired a lawyer, who has sent a letter with some warnings to the relevant parties.
In the letter, McPhillips makes the case that none of the boys who brought the toy to school have suffered punishment beyond in school suspension. The attorney requests that Nichols’ record of being expelled be changed to having been voluntarily withdrawn from the school, as Herring claims she was able to take her daughter out of the school before the punishment of expulsion was handed down.
Legal action is not off the table. “It has become such a source of insatiable chagrin, seeing her daughter Sara Nichols, innocent of bringing a toy/replica gun to school the first time, and yet receiving a far more serious disciplinary action than those responsible for both occurrence, that Ms. Herring is very seriously considering a Title IV sex discrimination case against Prattville High School,” the letter reads.
Khizr Khan, a man with a never-ending 15 minutes of fame, has filed an amicus brief supporting a block on Trump's immigration ban.
He promised he was going to retreat from the limelight after the DNC circus. What happened?
Attorneys for Gold Star father Khizr Khan filed his brief in San Francisco where the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is considering an appeal to the ruling by U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson.
This is the case that took place in Hawaii.
Watson issued a temporary restraining order against the revised ban after the state of Hawaii filed a lawsuit challenging it.
Hawaii says the policy discriminates against Muslims and hurts the state's tourist-dependent economy.
Extending the judge's temporary order until the lawsuit is resolved would ensure the constitutional rights of Muslim citizens across the U.S. are vindicated after "repeated stops and starts of the last two months," the state has said.
One thing I give Mr. Khan credit for: forcing the media to learn what a Gold Star family is.
And that's your morning update! Have a great Thursday and remember...tomorrow is Friday.
This wins the Internet.
4:20 above Hippie Hill in California on 4/20
This coming Saturday is Earth Day, which doesn't usually mean that much, except this year we have another massive anti-Trump protest scheduled.
Here are some people who don't think it's a good idea for scientists to be identified as "partisan hacks."
Scholars in the fields of biology, ethics, environment, and economics attacked the upcoming "March for Science," scheduled for Earth Day this coming Saturday, as a threat to the public appreciation of science. They argued that a politicization of science following the rhetoric of the "Women's March" against President Donald Trump would be disastrous.
"When they behave like partisan hacks in the name of science, they politicize science and undermine trust in science," Marlo Lewis, Senior Fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), declared at a Heritage Foundation event on Wednesday. "When you use your expertise as a license to regulate others and tax others ... ordinary people are going to get very skeptical, not only about your expertise but about your motives."
But there's more...
Not only do political stunts like the "March for Science" politicize the discipline of studying nature, they also arguably undercut the very process by which science operates — open debate about how to interpret the evidence. When tied to absurd causes like giving legal rights to rivers and asking if peas should be considered persons, they further tarnish science's reputation.
Yes: Rights for rivers, peas being called persons, and even dignity for plants are all real initiatives. And they call climate change skeptics "anti-science" ...
Does this count as a meme? It's one of my favorites from the 2016 election:
UC Berkeley has reversed itself and announced that conservative author and columnist Ann Coulter can speak on campus.
Except, Coulter won't be able to speak on April 27th as originally planned by College Republicans, but rather on May 2. And she must speak in the middle of the afternoon. And only students can attend. And the location of Coulter's speech won't be announced until the last minute.
And can you believe this bullcrap?
But on Thursday, the university said it had found a venue where it could hold the speech on May 2, instead of the original April 27 date. However, a leader of the college Republican group that originally invited Coulter said the university was placing strict conditions on the event, and he said his group intended to reject the new terms.
Before the reversal was announced, Coulter had vowed to go ahead with an appearance anyway.
That probably would have put security officials on high alert and might have sparked another showdown in struggles over campus safety, student views and ideological openness.
“What are they going to do? Arrest me?” she said late Wednesday on the Fox News show “Tucker Carlson Tonight."
Coulter said she “called their bluff” by agreeing to rules set by the university seeking to prevent violence.
Coulter said in an email to The Washington Post on Wednesday that the university had been trying to force her to cancel her speech by “imposing ridiculous demands” on her but that she still agreed “to all of their silly requirements.” She said she believes that her speech “has been unconstitutionally banned” by the “public, taxpayer-supported UC-Berkeley.”
Coulter said the university insisted that her speech take place in the middle of the day, that only students could attend and that the exact venue wouldn’t be announced until the last minute. She said that she agreed with the conditions but that apparently wasn’t good enough.
Now, Berkeley has reversed itself and will allow Coulter to speak. But it raises serious questions about the university's commitment to free speech. What has changed from yesterday to today about the "potential for violence"? And if they have satisfied themselves that they are doing everything possible to keep people safe, why couldn't they have done this before the firestorm broke over their cancellation of Coulter's talk?
What this has done, of course, is to throw down a gauntlet to the leftists and anarchists who are responsible for all the violence to begin with. Now, they will redouble their efforts to disrupt Coulter's address and create as much mayhem as possible. I fear for the safety of Coulter and her supporters with radical, violent leftists confronting police who are urged to show "restraint."
What good that will do in the face of a violent mob is unclear.
Here is PJ Media's Media National Security correspondent Patrick Poole reporting live from Egypt on the Paris terror attack:
The New York Times backs off on the Patriots tweet:
Michael, oh yeah, I understand about hat etiquette, although I'd more likely pick a John Wayne or Gary Cooper movie.
Charlie: This clip -- the famous opening scene of the 1932 version of Scarface, illustrates what I mean by hat etiquette. Note that Big Louis and his men are hatless in the restaurant (although the Boss is wearing a paper crown), but that Tony Camonte most definitely is not:
If only Big Louis had noticed Tony was wearing a hat, he might have realized -- too late! -- that the old order was about to changeth...