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 for Liz Sheld's Morning Briefing.

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Really time to pull back the curtain on Evan McMullin: who was behind his "candidacy"? Who financed it? Why, when they were pushing this non-entity as an Electoral-College spoiler in Utah, did they mention he was a "congressional aide" and, of course, a Mormon, but skipped over his CIA background? What services were provided by the law firm of Hopping Green & Sams in Tallahassee, Fla., which serves clients in the southeast U.S., and why does he owe them $255,000?

You can read the filing here.

Here's another live feed from Berkeley:

Hundreds of demonstrators have shown up to support free speech, with a smattering of counter-demonstrators also making their presence known. So far, no violence -- just lots of debates between the factions and only four arrests.

Via CBS:

Two of the arrests have taken place on the Berkeley campus. Campus police said one person had been arrested for carrying a knife and a second had been taken into custody for wearing a mask and confronting an officer.

Among those gathered in the Civic Center Park was Chris Cox, the leader of a group called Bikers For Trump, who flew in from Washington, D.C. to attend the rallies. He said his group was not there to repeat the violence of past demonstrations, but to keep the peace and let people know that Trump supporters also support free speech.

“It just takes one radical voice to take a whole group so I needed to make sure we don’t have anybody out here that is being a fool,” he told KPIX 5


Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) sent a warning to the University of CA Berkeley during his appearance on Laura Ingraham's show today.

Asked whether he thought the federal government  should “impound” funds from institutions that are hostile to free speech, Rand said, “I think if it were a liberal president, and they were shutting down speech, they could probably do it."

But he added, "I don’t think that — I don’t think impounding funds is probably going to pass muster, but I think that Congress, and the people who appropriate the money, we should think about whether or not we should be sending money to universities that only have one set of speech.”

President Trump first introduced the idea back in February in the wake of the anti-Milo riots at Berkeley:

Liberal stupidity at its finest.

House Democrats are threatening to oppose a short-term funding extension if Republicans vote to repeal Obamacare this week, Politico reported. Here's what Jesse Hunt, national press secretary for the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC), had to say about that:

Nothing says sore loser like threatening to shut down the federal government over an issue that is responsible for knocking you out of power. Nancy Pelosi is doing an awfully good job of showing how beholden Democrats are to the fringe radicals of their party.

Republicans failed to bring the first Obamacare "repeal and replace" bill to the floor after conservatives opposed it, claiming it did not fulfill politicians' promises to voters that they would scrap the health bill.

One of the groups opposing the original bill — the Club for Growth — switched to supporting the new proposal after Vice President Mike Pence suggested some key amendments. The House Freedom Caucus, a group of conservative congressmen who originally opposed the bill, also came to support the new version on Wednesday.

House Speaker Paul Ryan has said Congress will vote on the measure "when we have the votes." The American people who elected Republicans in 2016 eagerly await the results.


National Review's Heather Wilhelm on The Handmaid's Tale:

According to a recent article in The New Republic, lo, have mercy, for great woes have apparently befallen me, a wide-eyed, unsuspecting resident of the Lone Star State: “Texas is Gilead and Indiana is Gilead and now that Mike Pence is our vice president, the entire country will look more like Gilead, too.”

We heard a bit of “We’re turning into The Handmaid’s Tale!” panic-hysteria-accusation during the Bush administration, too. I’ll dust off my argument from then: To picture a near-future United States that is a Christian theocracy with open, systematic and brutal oppression of women, you have to picture some unbelievable changes occurring very quickly: repealing women’s right to vote; a re-acceptance of slavery; widespread Christian acceptance of government-mandated extramarital sexual intercourse; total repeal of the First Amendment; total bans on any other religious beliefs (there are references to “Baptist rebels”). Perhaps most absurdly, almost all men have accepted a regime where the only sexual outlet of any kind is government-monitored breeding with the fertile “handmaids,” reserved for the most powerful.

But other countries do have echoes of the story of women's oppression.

How about Yemen, where there is no legal minimum age for marriage, 52 percent of girls marry before 18, and there’s a tradition of “honor killings” for disobedient women?

Or the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where one estimate calculates two million rapes have occurred as part of that country’s continued violent instability, and armed gangs commit rapes with horrifying frequency.

Or Egypt, where more than 125 million women and girls have endured the barbaric practice of “female genital mutilation” and the practice is the norm.

Sudan’s penal code legalized flogging women for inappropriate dress, and girls can be married at age 10.

It is quite frankly absurd to suggest that women are oppressed in America but not in Muslim countries.


This 25-Pound Blanket is Scientifically Proven to Help Relieve Stress and Anxiety.

Fascinating stuff:

For decades, weighted blankets have been used by individuals in the medical community in order to reduce stress and anxiety (and to assist individuals with ailments such as autism, MS, and PTSD). In fact, in an interview with Futurism, Amber Martin, an occupational therapist with a M.S. degree from Utica College, noted that deep pressure stimulation is the most effective method of assisting individuals in her therapy sessions, adding that deep pressure stimulation isn’t useful in just therapy sessions. As Martin notes, “proprioceptive input is good for pretty much everyone and anyone. It can be very calming and organizing.”

Unfortunately, society at large hasn’t had access to the benefits of deep pressure stimulation. To that end, the Gravity Blanket recently launched on Kickstarter in order to give access to all individuals.

Ultimately, the Gravity Blanket uses crafted poly pellets to target pressure points throughout your body that induce the release of serotonin, which assists with stress reduction and improves sleep and relaxation. The Gravity Blanket is also custom tailored to each individual, so you can select a blanket that is designed specifically for your body type.

A personal anecdote helps back up these findings.

I'm one of those people who can't sleep very warm, so the first thing I do when getting into bed is kick the bottom corner loose so I can stick my feet out. By morning, there's maybe some sheet left wrapped around my midsection. The only time I can sleep completely under anything is out camping in the Colorado mountains, where even in summer the nighttime temps drop down to 40° or under.

Last summer I finally gave up on all those high-tech, lightweight sleeping bags, which never seem to work down to their rated temperatures. I picked up an old-school, heavy canvas and flannel model. Slept great the first night, and by the third morning, I felt like a new man -- as rested and de-stressed as I could remember feeling. Best. Sleep. Ever.

I had thought it was because of the warmth, but maybe it was really the weight.

If you have similar sleeping troubles, click the link and check out the product.

Reportedly, the first antifa arrest at Berkeley so far today:

Still not a huge antifa presence in the park -- yet.

Roger, in answer to your question: I had never heard the term "alt-right" until the Left started throwing it around as a synonym for "Nazi." Which, given that "Nazi" is a German shortening of Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei,  is funny, since that designation translates as National Socialist German Workers Party. But that's the Orwellian Left for you.