Thursday's HOT MIC

Here is your HOT MIC for the day.

Buying a giant inflatable ball for fun on the beach may seem tempting -- but don't do it folks!

A cautionary tale:

After all that, he still gave it two stars, LOL. Read more here:

All Hell Breaks Loose after GIANT Beach Ball is Unleashed in Public, Amazon Reviewer Says

Your Meme of the Day -- and as a devoted Bowie fan and Tesla (the scientist) fan and space fan, I can't begin to tell you how much this tickled me.

David Laufman, who leads the Justice Departmentโ€™s counterintelligence division, announced his resignation for โ€œpersonal reasonsโ€ on Wednesday, The Daily Caller reported.

Laufman worked with FBI counterintelligence agent Peter Strzok on both the Hillary Clinton email investigation and the Russia investigation. He and Strzok interviewed Clinton as part of the investigation into her emails.

In addition to working on the investigation into Clintonโ€™s handling of classified information, Laufman has also worked on the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

On the Clinton investigation, he sat in on interviews with the former secretary of state and several of her aides, including Cheryl Mills, Huma Abedin and Jake Sullivan.

 No doubt more rats will be jumping ship in the coming days as the various investigations close in on them.


So Salon tried to get away with this (HT Twitchy):

Then this happened:


You can't read it online anymore because it appears Salon pulled it down. But here's an excerpt:

Millions of evangelicals and other Christian fundamentalists believe that the Bible was dictated by God to men who acted essentially as human transcriptionists. If that were the case, one would have to conclude that God is a terrible writer. Many passages in the Bible would get kicked back by any competent editor or writing professor, kicked back with a lot of red ink โ€” often more red than black.

Mixed messages, repetition, bad fact-checking, awkward constructions, inconsistent voice, weak character development, boring tangents, contradictions, passages where nobody can tell what the heck the writer meant to convey. This doesnโ€™t sound like a book that was dictated by a deity.

Parting shot โ€” and it's a stinger:

UPDATE: Alert reader Joseph noted in the comments that the article is available for consumption at AlterNet. You can read the wretched thing in all its glory here. Also, while we're on the subject, Dr. Jeff Sanders, PJM's resident pastor, has a good summary of how we got the New Testament:

How Did We Get The New Testament?

Jesse was tweeting specifically about the lefties who have volunteered to lie down in front of any tanks at any Trump parade, but really he could be saying this about most any issue.

Good Lord, Tyler -- I just listened to the President Trump's speech. It was perfectly fine.

I think you're making way too much of his Ephesians quote. He (his speechwriter) used part of the verse to launch into a lovely paean to America's heroes. It's not a "scandal" that he did this.

Do you seriously believe the National Prayer Breakfast is an appropriate forum for a president of the United States (made up of not only Christians -- but Jews, Muslims, Hindus, atheists, etc.) to preach to fellow Americans that their good works won't save them unless they're Christian? He's "distorting" the verse by not pointing out that those heroic Cajun Navy guys, brave firefighters et al. are all going to hell unless they accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and savior? Come on. 

You note in your post that "the verse he quoted is emphatically not about American greatness."

Well duh. NO quote in the bible is emphatically about American greatness. You could argue that every biblical quote ever used to buttress the idea that America is a force for good in the world is out of context โ€” if you wanted to nitpick.

The death toll continues to rise from tax reform:

My response:

Leftist outrage at National Prayer Breakfast blinds them from real Trump scandal.

In Trump's remarks today at the National Prayer Breakfast, he actually made a colossal error about a very important Bible verse, Ephesians 2:10. Here's why what he did was such a big deal.

Meanwhile, Leftists are so busy hating him for everything that they miss things like this.

Good Lord, yes -- even if only for the name, which is maybe the ugliest-sounding neologism of my adult lifetime.

Trust the polls? Trump beats Obama.

A new survey from Rasmussen Reports released Thursday shows President Trump's approval rating is higher than Obama's was at this point in his presidency. Here's the breakdown:

The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Thursday shows that 48% of Likely U.S. Voters approve of President Trumpโ€™s job performance. Fifty percent (50%) disapprove.

The latest figures include 34% who Strongly Approve of the way Trump is performing and 43% who Strongly Disapprove. This gives him a Presidential Approval Index rating of -9.

On February 7, 2010, Obama had an approval rating of 44 percent, with 56 percent of likely voters disapproving of him. This gave him a Presidential Approval Index rating of -17. This isn't cherry-picking, either. On February 8, Obama's rating was -15. His lowest point that month came on February 27, with -21: with 43 percent of likely voters strongly disapproving of him and only 22 percent strongly approving.

His average for that month was -13, a full four points below Trump's current rating.



And for the uninformed or progressives (but I repeat myself) among us, here is a collection of awesome Mattis quotes.

Yes, it includes my favorite line, delivered to our on-again/off-again allies in post-Saddam Iraq: "I come in peace. I didnโ€™t bring artillery. But Iโ€™m pleading with you, with tears in my eyes: If you fuck with me, Iโ€™ll kill you all."

Faith is central to American liberty.

President Donald Trump is speaking at the National Prayer Breakfast. Watch here:

He has declared that our rights come from our Creator, not government. He also referenced the four times the Declaration of Independence mentions God.



I'll have an opinion-piece angle on this subject later today at Instapundit, but for now here's the straight news.

Post-bankruptcy California city tests โ€˜universalโ€™ income for residents.


A California city plagued by financial woes is testing a new welfare plan to give families a โ€œuniversal basic incomeโ€ of $500 every month.

While critics question whether this is the best move in post-bankruptcy Stockton, for now the program is being funded with private money -- as a possible first step toward expanding a concept touted by tech CEOs.

โ€œI think it will make people work better and smarter and harder and also be able to do things like spend time with their families because we're not robots. We're not just designed just to work all day and run a rat race,โ€ Mayor Michael Tubbs told NPR.

I'm intrigued by two notions in reform politics. The first is the Fair Tax. If you haven't heard of it, I'll give you the short version. The Fair Tax would replace all payroll and income taxes with a national sales tax on new goods and services. A monthly "prebate" check, which "gives every legal resident household an 'advance refund' at the beginning of each month so that purchases made up to the poverty level are tax-free." In other words, you choose your own tax rate based on your spending, not on your income. Live like a pauper and your effective tax rate is zero. Spend like a Hilton heiress and your effective tax rate can zoom all the way to 23% on every single one of your purchases.

The Fair Tax would require a much smaller IRS than we have today, without the power to audit or spy or anything else. For that reason alone, it's probably worth trying.

The second notion is the Universal Basic Income. That would replace all welfare, unemployment, and retirement programs with a subsistence-level check paid out to everyone -- regardless of income. I've been slower to come around to UBI, mostly just because it feels wrong somehow to support even the able-bodied, even at mere subsistence levels. Although I'm beginning to embrace the idea because it would radically reduce administrative overhead and all the soul-killing, bureaucratic hoop-jumping welfare recipients are subject to. And, at least in theory, it doesn't seem any more ripe for abuse than the current system. Certainly it's worth trying in at least a few of our many laboratories of democracy.

But I'm not sure that Stockton is the place to start. Here's why:

The plan is mostly funded by The Economic Security Project, which is contributing $1 million to the yearlong pilot. Several-dozen families will be given $500 a month, and monitored to see what they do with the money and how it affects self-esteem and identity.

Whenever you hear phrases like "self-esteem and identity" come out of the mouths of well-meaning progressives -- RUN! That's pretty good tell that they're not looking for measurable results, but just in spending more of other people's money. Yours, mine, whoever's.

That concern aside, who knows? Maybe UBI is such a great idea that even Stockton can make it work. And if not, maybe the rest of the country can learn from Stockton's mistakes.

I'll be watching this one with great interest over the next year.

Now if we could just repeal the 16th Amendment and get that Fair Tax up and running...

Good Thursday morning.

Here is what's on the president's agenda today:

  • The president participates in a bilateral meeting with the president of Guatemala
  • President Trump delivers remarks at the National Prayer Breakfast
  • The president meets with Secretary of Defense James Mattis
  • President Trump has lunch with Secretary of Veterans Affairs David Shulkin
  • The president meets with Dr. Henry Kissinger

I have a condensed version of the briefing for you today.

Your daily WTF:

Starbucks sued after 2-year-old customer allegedly drank barista's blood

Other morsels:

EEK! RUSSIANS! Big RUSSIAN delegation anticipated for prayer breakfast in Washington

RUSSIAN plane shot down in Syria

RUSSIA successfully hacked into voter rolls during 2016 election

Eric Holder says heโ€™s considering a run for the White House

Holder redistricting effort aims to break GOP statehouse control

Holder: 'Technical' case of obstruction of justice could be made against Trump

Pelosi Wraps Up Eight Hours Of Remarks On House Floor

Democrats blew their chance for big 2018 midterm gains in tax fight

Conservatives slam budget deal

Biden tells Democrats: โ€˜Weโ€™re gonna win back the Houseโ€™

North Korea holds military parade on eve of Olympics

White House knew of abuse allegations against aide Rob Porter

Tillerson says Trump's tweets "doesn't dictate our policy"

Amazon launches Whole Foods deliveries in four cities

Food nazis: House passes scale-back of Obama-era menu calorie count rules

Chinese police are using facial-recognition glasses to scan travelers

FBI finds no evidence of altercation in border patrol agent's death

California says will block crude oil from Trump offshore drilling plan

Dem Senators Are Scrambling To Save Obamaโ€™s Landmark Climate Reg From Trump

Schiff: Bannon, Lewandowski defy committee's requests in Russia probe

New York to ban tasty looking Tide Pods

'Law & Order: SVU' star running for Congress

Nunes says heโ€™s 'sure' top Obama adviser knew about Steele dossier

Elementary School Principal Switches Genders In Middle Of School Year

Strzok Texts Suggest Discussions About Giving Huma Abedin Immunity

FBI Missed Clinton Emails Openly MARKED Classified, Wanted To Conclude Probe Before IG Caught Mistake

Jake Clapper responds to Trump's 'liar' dig: 'This is normal now'

James Tapper: White House is degrading US values

FBI agentsโ€™ texts: Obama wanted โ€˜to know everything weโ€™re doingโ€™

Fewer Americans are getting herpes

First baby with Down syndrome wins Gerber Baby of 2018

James Comey memoir gets an earlier release date amid 'urgent conversation' about FBI

'Hangry' is officially a word in the Oxford English Dictionary

Dunkin' Donuts to replace foam cups with paper by 2020, but not everyone is happy about it

And that's all I've got, now go beat back the angry mob!