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Thursday's HOT MIC

Welcome to HOT MIC, PJ Media's new 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. Scroll down or click here to read Liz's Morning Update.

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Charlie asks,"Was the Obama Administration's suspicion of Trump/Russia connections real, or convenient?"

We won't know for sure until the FBI finishes its investigation, but considering how the Obama administration weaponized our intel community to spy on journalists, Congress, opponents of the Iran deal, our allies, and God knows who else for political purposes, I'm going to go out on a limb and say  "convenient."

George Neumayr in the American Spectator goes so far as to suggest that former spy chief John Brennan is the mastermind behind "KremlinGate."

John Brennan was the American progenitor of political espionage aimed at defeating Donald Trump. One side did collude with foreign powers to tip the election — Hillary’s.

Seeking to retain his position as CIA director under Hillary, Brennan teamed up with British spies and Estonian spies to cripple Trump’s candidacy. He used their phony intelligence as a pretext for a multi-agency investigation into Trump, which led the FBI to probe a computer server connected to Trump Tower and gave cover to Susan Rice, among other Hillary supporters, to spy on Trump and his people.

John Brennan’s CIA operated like a branch office of the Hillary campaign, leaking out mentions of this bogus investigation to the press in the hopes of inflicting maximum political damage on Trump. An official in the intelligence community tells TAS that Brennan’s retinue of political radicals didn’t even bother to hide their activism, decorating offices with “Hillary for president cups” and other campaign paraphernalia.

A supporter of the American Communist Party at the height of the Cold War, Brennan brought into the CIA a raft of subversives and gave them plum positions from which to gather and leak political espionage on Trump. He bastardized standards so that these left-wing activists could burrow in and take career positions. Under the patina of that phony professionalism, they could then present their politicized judgments as “non-partisan.”

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.

The 'March for Science' Is Actually a Threat to Science Itself

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:

Another fave:

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?

Washington Post:

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...