Thursday's HOT MIC

US North Korea

Here is your HOT MIC for today.

Republicans In Congress Are Going To Investigate Facebook's Censorship Of Conservatives

Not only are there Republicans who want to grill Mark Zuckerberg and Company over the way they're censoring conservative news on their website, they're not even golden boys like Ted Cruz and Mike Lee. When even John Cornyn and Susan Collins bring this issue up, it means there are a lot of Republicans with juice talking about it behind the scenes,

Social media giants that have acknowledged Russians exploited their platforms ahead of the 2016 election face renewed bipartisan demands to explain to Congress what they're doing to counter abuse of their networks ahead of this year's congressional midterms.

...Republican Senator John Kennedy of Louisiana on Thursday urged Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley to call the CEOs or the policy makers of Facebook, Twitter and Google to the committee for another hearing "as opposed to the very able counsel who do a terrific job of what they're paid to do, which is dodging and bobbing and weaving."

...Senator John Cornyn of Texas, the No. 2 Senate Republican and a member of both the Judiciary and Intelligence panels, also said he'd want to hear from the tech companies on various topics—including how they monitor threats made on their platforms like ones that preceded the Parkland shooting.

"Social media's become just such a challenging issue for us. Now we've got social media throttling news on their own sites which is a form of censorship, which raises all sorts of issues...”

...(Susan) Collins added that she remains wary of the companies' power over content.

"You know, it's very tricky because in many cases they're deciding what stories should be trending, what stories should be disseminated and what stories shouldn't be. That's an awful lot of power for them to have," Collins said.

A year or two ago, senators talking about Facebook's attacks on conservative news sources might have done a lot of good. Unfortunately since then, Facebook's targeting of conservative pages has done a lot of damage (See here and here).  Still, better later than never and don't underestimate the importance of making these social media executives fear Republican retaliation. In a real sense, outfits like Facebook and Google are much more powerful than 10 or 20 news outlets combined and when they start picking and choosing which news people are allowed to see, it has the potential to shape our republic for decades to come.

Wouldn't it be funny if Trump wins the Nobel Peace Prize for denuclearizing North Korea?

As we all know, that will never happen - not because North Korea won't denuke (though it's highly unlikely) but because the Nobel Committee would rather commit seppuku than give a prize to The Donald.  Nevertheless, we live in interesting times indeed.

South Korean security adviser Chung Eui-Yong says "Kim [Jong-un] pledged that North Korea will refrain from any further nuclear or missile tests."

Of course, everything  "Rocketman" has to say about anything has to be taken with a huge grain of salt.

This is kinda huge --

I think Trump actually scared Lil' Kim to the bargaining table.

Will the media give the president any credit for this? No, of course not. But the American people are watching...

This is lovely --

I certainly hope the University of Missouri appreciates how much better these optics are than those of the protesting snowflakes and "safe space enforcers" of a few years ago.


Is he basing his final decision on their counsel? Worse, has he made up his mind and is merely using them for the optics? Of course, this is something difficult to navigate for all involved. I'm just unclear on why his decision to sign the bill should be predicated on this. He has already met with the families of the victims. Their intentions surely aren't unclear. Perhaps Scott is truly torn about whether to sign this, as it differs from what he proposed. Maybe he's just buying time. It just doesn't seem likely that meeting with the families again will lead him to not sign it.

The further erosion of the culture:

Then again, "Amish on a Bicycle" sounds like fun starting point for a short story experiment.

Still, this makes me feel like a lady pope can't be too far off.


I don't even know what to say about this other than -- what. the. hell?

Honestly, I can't think of anything more quintessentially liberal than a group of weak, beta males with their hands in each other's pockets.


I'd love to go shooting with Jenn, even though I'm pretty sure she'd embarrass me at the range -- and I'm not bad at all.

OK, how crazy is this?

A federal appeals court ruled Wednesday in favor of 21 children and young adults suing the U.S. government for not doing enough to protect their constitutional right to a stable climate. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals judges refused to grant mandamus relief and block the U.S. District Court in Oregon from hearing the suit, which was originally filed by the environmental group Our Children’s Trust in 2015.

A federal judge in Oregon ruled in 2016 the 21 youngsters had standing to sue. President Donald Trump’s administration and oil and gas groups appealed the decision in June 2017. They asked judges to “end this clearly improper attempt to have the judiciary decide important questions of energy and environmental policy” and upset the balance of powers. The Ninth Circuit disagreed.

“There is enduring value in the orderly administration of litigation by the trial courts, free of needless appellate interference,” Judge Sidney Thomas wrote on behalf of the court.

Most overturned appeals court in the nation obviously cruisin' for another bruisin's at the hands of the Supes. But what the hell is a "right to a stable climate"? The lunatic Left's obsessions with inventing positive "rights" -- which all began with FDR's "Four Freedoms" speech in 1941 -- continues apace.

Generic Democrat would trounce Trump in election: poll.

Too bad for them they'll have to run a specific Democrat.

As readers may know, I'm no Mitt Romney fan. He's a proven loser in multiple races, including a Massachusetts Senate race, a GOP nominating contest, and a presidential election loss in an election he should have, and could have, won. He's a reverse-Teflon candidate to whom everything sticks and, even worse, a passive campaigner who allowed Barack Obama and his henchmen to paint him as greedy, murderous monster who once cut a possibly gay kid's hair and put his dog on the roof of the family car.

So now Willard -- who at one point or another has or has had residences in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Michigan, California, and Utah -- is aiming to replace John McCain as the official Thorn in Trump's Side as the junior senator from Holladay, Utah. Naturally, the Left and the Nevers immediately hailed him as a shoo-in... but is he?

Mitt Romney is being hit with the first attack ad of the Utah Senate race Thursday, a slickly produced video that portrays him as a darling of the D.C. establishment and gives him the nickname “flip-flopper Mitt.” The ad from Republican candidate Larry Meyers slams Mr. Romney, the presumptive front-runner in the GOP race, with accusations of not being conservative enough for Utah voters.

“The D.C. establishment loves Mitt Romney. But Utah voters have a better choice. Larry Meyers,” says the announcer. It then rips open an old wound for Mr. Romney, the 2012 Republican presidential nominee and a former Massachusetts governor. In 2012, President Barack Obama also accused Mr. Romney of being a flip-flopper and having “no core.”

Romney's name recognition and his Mormon faith are obviously big advantages in Utah. But given his track record, it's generally safe to bet against Mitt.


Steve: the Leftist fantasy/wet dream of a "blue wave" makes no sense, as I've been saying for months now. As that Axios post points out, the Democrats have a near-insuperable obstacle in the Senate, where they have to defend a bunch of seats in deep-red Trump territory, while the GOP has only a handful to hang onto. Yes, the Senate is currently just a two-seat GOP advantage but unless the Republicans completely collapse in November -- or nominate a slate of blithering idiots (always a possibility with the Stupid Party) -- it's going to be hard for them not to increase their majority in the upper chamber.  And there goes impeachment as well...

I can't find it, but earlier someone tweeted that the Senate map is so bad for Democrats this year that they could win the House and yet still lose seats to the GOP. Or as Axios noted this morning:

Democrats are defending 10 Senate seats in states Trump won in 2016. In six of those states Trump's approval is higher than 50% (compared to 43% nationally). These numbers underscore how hard it will be for Democrats to pick up the two seats needed to win the majority despite Trump’s troubles.

It's one seriously tough Senate map for Dems when they're just two seats away from a majority, but they have to defend three seats held by the unloved Joe Manchin, Jon Tester, and Claire McCaskill.

Of course, two years ago the hope was that the GOP had a real chance in 2018 of winning a whopping 60-seat Senate majority, but it's been a long time since I've seen any serious speculation about that possibility.

Pressure is mounting in Congress for seven Louis Farrakhan-linked Democrats to disavow and repudiate the anti-Semitic Nation of Islam leader or resign.

This is so true:

Whose party is it, anyway?

Republicans’ last hope to flip Trump on tariffs: Pence.

It's complicated.

In public, Vice President Mike Pence is loudly praising his boss’ proposed tariffs on steel and aluminum — while gently urging him to scale back the policy behind the scenes.

Pence was in Council Bluffs, Iowa, this week, where he gave Trump a shout-out for a policy decision that alarmed legions of White House aides, including the vice president, a lifelong advocate of free markets and free trade.

“Whether it’s in renegotiating NAFTA, or protecting our steel and aluminum industries, President Trump is always going to put American workers, American companies and American farmers first,” Pence said in a speech touting the administration’s tax reform.

But back in Washington, the vice president has been among the legions of top administration officials pushing President Donald Trump to back off the sweeping protectionist plan he put forward during a March 1 meeting with industry executives.

Pence, according to more than a half-dozen White House and Capitol Hill aides, has been quietly delivering messages to the president from Republicans on the Hill, who have publicly opposed the tariffs plan set to be announced as early as Thursday — though he’s made sure to maintain a studiously neutral position, to the frustration of some who had hoped he would do more to exert influence over Trump.

Trump lost his own economic policy planner to this policy spat earlier in the week, although Gary Cohn might have left for two reasons. The first and most obvious is that he and Trump have an honest disagreement over policy. The other is that Trump's decisionmaking process completely obviated his own National Economic Council, which Cohn directed.

It's one thing to come to a conclusion different from your a advisor. It's quite another to act as though he doesn't exist.

And then there's this morning's report that Trump's tariff announcement, set for today, has been delayed. No word if the delay is until tomorrow, next week, or "whenevs."

While we're on the subject of violent video games:

Yeah, but this could be super fun to watch:

Cut a deal with Iran, they said. The mullahs will stop ordering nukes, they said.

Iran is undertaking a massive buildup of its ballistic missile program, sparking fears of a "second Holocaust" amid sensitive international negotiations that could see the Trump administration legitimize Iranian missiles capable of striking Israel, according to multiple sources familiar with ongoing diplomatic talks.

That's just out from the Free Beacon.

New boss, same as the old boss?

While the Trump administration went into the negotiations with a hardline stance on cutting off Iran's ballistic missile program, it appears the United States is moving closer in line with European positions that would only regulate a portion of the missiles.

Multiple sources with knowledge of the ongoing talks told the Washington Free Beacon U.S. officials have been backpedaling on key demands originally proposed by President Trump in order to preserve the agreement and appease European allies who are eager to continue doing business with Tehran.

Omri Ceren, a managing director at The Israel Project, told the Free Beacon that any fix that does not fully ban ballistic missiles is a failure.

"Congress and the Israelis are on the same page about this. The only acceptable fix to the Iran deal is one that prohibits all nuclear capable ballistic missiles, which is what the relevant U.N. resolution says anyway, if the international community would ever bother to enforce it," Ceren said. "House Republicans even explicitly laid out those expectations in recent legislation they advanced."

(I know, I know, 5-D chess.)


Heh. I'll have more on Farrakhan later today, I think.

Can. Not. Make. This. Up.



But never forget that they're our intellectual betters.


I can tell you my yoots aren't squeamish on guns -- not even my little seven-year-old, who doesn't let the fact that his hands are still just a little too small for a tiny .22 revolver stop him from target practice.

Fascinating splits on some gun-control polls. The yoots may not be so squeamish on guns.


And on an all-out assault weapons ban:

YouGov on all semiautomatic weapons:

I don't have any scientific proof to back this up, but if I had to guess, I'd say it has something to do with the proliferation of first-person shooter video games. I have two sons in this age group and they, along with most of their buddies, cut their teeth on "Call of Duty" and other games that simulate war. As young adults, they play these games online to socialize and to blow off steam after work. Is it a coincidence that my kids and most of their friends don't have a mortal fear of firearms? It sort of makes sense that they would be more comfortable with guns in general, and semiautomatics more specifically, no?

This is the question...

The NYPD Is Ready to Arrest Harvey Weinstein. Will District Attorney Cy Vance Finally Agree to Let It?

Details, via The Daily Beast:

We’re ready to go with an arrest,” the official said yesterday afternoon.

The NYPD is awaiting only a nod from Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance.

Earlier in the day, Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce was asked during a wide ranging press availability about the investigation into sexual assault allegations against Weinstein. Boyce replied that the detectives are still gathering evidence in the case and, “It is going very, very well.”

Boyce then suggested that questions regarding the next step would be best addressed to Vance.

“I would ask you to ask him,” Boyce said.

The Daily Beast did ask.

“We will decline,” a Vance spokesman said when asked for comment.

Decline to answer, not decline to arrest.

New York City politics is so not my beat, so I'm not going to make any predictions here. But my guts says that if Vance has a strong case, he's going to have to arrest Weinstein, or risk exposing all of the infotainment industry's newfound "But We Love Women!" stuff for the crap that it actually is.

One worry is that Weinstein's arrest would come with an unofficial tipoff, allowing Harvey to fly off to Europe and join child-rapist Roman Polanski in comfortable exile in France.

On the other hand, I don't know how much money Weinstein has squirreled away. Polanski still earns a living making entertaining movies, for those who have the stomach to watch them. But who is going to let Weinstein produce for them, now that he's powerless, friendless, and perhaps even penniless?

Good Thursday Morning.

Tariffs, tariffs, tariffs.

President Trump is set to sign a tariff plan at 3:30 p.m., but the GOP is uniting against him. On Wednesday, 107 Republicans in the House of Representatives sent a letter to Trump urging him to reconsider. From The Hill's Vicki Needham:

"We are writing to express deep concern about the prospect of broad, global tariffs on aluminum and steel imports," they wrote to the president in the letter first drafted earlier this week.

The lawmakers wrote that "any tariffs that are imposed should be designed to address specific distortions caused by unfair trade practices in a targeted way while minimizing negative consequences on American businesses and consumers."

Republican lawmakers on Capitol Hill have pushed for Trump to focus his trade ire on China and other nations that engage in unfair practices that hurt U.S. workers instead of slapping across-the-board tariffs on nations following the rules.

“We’re urging the president to tailor these tariffs so American businesses can continue to trade fairly with our partners, sell American-made products to customers all over the world and hire more workers here at home," Brady said.

Otherwise, they argue that Trump's suggested tariffs of 25 percent on imported steel and 10 percent on aluminum would do broad damage across the U.S. economy just as the tax-cut law is kicking in to boost growth.

“We urge you to reconsider the idea of broad tariffs to avoid unintended negative consequences to the U.S. economy and its workers,” the lawmakers wrote.

Politico reported on legislative ways Republicans in Congress could derail Trump's plan.

Added Senate Majority [Whip] John Cornyn (R-Texas): “This is not a real estate transaction. While you could maybe walk away from a real estate transaction, we really can’t walk away from these trade agreements without jeopardizing the economy.”

So desperate are Republicans to stop the president that they're even considering whether they could tie his hands legislatively — though that seems unlikely. There is very little recourse for Congress short of rewriting a 1962 law underpinning U.S. trade policy, which lawmakers are discussing but is no easy slam-dunk, according to a congressional aide working on the matter.

Republicans could also block a three-year renewal of the administration’s Trade Promotion Authority later this year, an extraordinary step given that Republicans voted three years ago to give then-President Barack Obama, a Democrat, such power. Taking it from Trump, the leader of their own party, would be risky and could sour the Hill GOP -White House relationship fast.

“The president’s got to come to us for approval on trade issues and we could do a resolution of disapproval," Cornyn said of the idea. "I think that’s all a little bit premature until he makes his final decision."

Even Vice President Mike Pence is advising Trump on the issue, acting as a go-between for the president and Congress. From Politico:

Pence, according to more than a half-dozen White House and Capitol Hill aides, has been quietly delivering messages to the president from Republicans on the Hill, who have publicly opposed the tariffs plan set to be announced as early as Thursday — though he’s made sure to maintain a studiously neutral position, to the frustration of some who had hoped he would do more to exert influence over Trump. ...

As governor of Indiana, Pence was a tireless advocate for free trade. He urged the Indiana congressional delegation to support both Trade Promotion Authority and the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which Trump campaigned against. In the letter, Pence argued that “reducing tariffs and other trade barriers so that Indiana businesses can enjoy increased market access and fairly compete on the world stage is something that Congress must do.”

Trump is set to sign the new tariffs today, but don't expect the battle to be over with that.

"Going to war" in California.

The Trump Department of Justice has sued the State of California over its recently-passed "sanctuary state" policies subverting federal immigration law. Gov. Jerry Brown (D-Calif.) denounced the lawsuit as an "act of war" against the state. From the Los Angeles Times's Jazmine Ulloa and Liam Dillon:

A long-simmering battle between the Trump administration and California over immigration boiled over Wednesday, with Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions deriding the state's "irrational, unfair and unconstitutional policies" and Gov. Jerry Brown accusing the federal government of launching "a reign of terror."

"This is basically going to war against the state of California," Brown declared.

As the Justice Department formally filed a legal challenge to state immigration laws, Sessions told a gathering of law enforcement officers in Sacramento that California was attempting to keep federal immigration officials from doing their jobs, and he charged Democrats with advancing the political agendas of "radical extremists."

A "reign of terror" ... oh, and white supremacy.

"Let's face it, the Trump White House is under siege," Brown said. "Obviously, the attorney general has found it hard just to be a normal attorney general. He's been caught up in the whirlwind of Trumpism … [and is] initiating a reign of terror."

State Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles), author of one of the laws targeted by the legal challenge, accused Sessions of having ideology based on "white supremacy and white nationalism."

De León said he is directing former U.S. Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr., under contract to provide legal advice to the state Senate, to help formulate a response to submit in court. On a conference call with reporters, Holder said legal precedent makes clear that the federal government cannot insist that a state use its resources to enforce federal immigration law.

"From my perspective, the Trump administration's lawsuit is really a political and unconstitutional attack on the state of California's well-established rights under our system of government," Holder said.

This legal battle will shake the nation. Ironically, the Obama administration may have already given the Trump administration victory on the issue. From National Review's David French:

So that’s federalism, right? While it’s clear that states can’t nullify federal laws, in the absence of conflicting federal statutes, can’t California enact immigration policies that advance its own, unique state interests?

It appears not. Ironically enough, thanks to a determined litigation effort by Obama’s Department of Justice, progressives handed the Trump administration a legal club that will likely beat down California’s attempt to go its own way: A Supreme Court precedent. And yesterday, the Trump DOJ picked up that club, suing California to block its new statutes.

You see, way back in 2012 the two parties had very different views of federalism. The GOP wanted to dissent from Obama’s immigration policies, and the Obama administration very much wanted to impose its own version of uniform, national rule. The state of Arizona, facing multiple challenges from a swelling illegal-immigrant population, enacted a statute that essentially created enhanced penalties for illegal immigration and granted state officials new powers to enforce existing federal law.

In other words, it was the mirror image of the California effort. Arizona’s statute didn’t conflict with federal law; it was just different from federal law, reflecting the state’s sovereign priorities. The Obama administration sued, taking the case all the way to the Supreme Court. On June 25, 2012, the Court struck down the key provisions of the Arizona law. Justice Kennedy wrote the opinion, and it was sweeping in its language and scope.

Essentially, Kennedy ruled that Congress — through its comprehensive statutory scheme — had “occupied the field” of alien registration and thus “even complementary state regulation is impermissible.” (Emphasis added.) This so-called “field preemption” reflects “a congressional decision to foreclose any state regulation in the area [preempted], even if it is parallel to federal standards.” After waxing eloquent about the importance of immigration in the American national story, Kennedy’s opinion goes on to conclude that “Arizona may have understandable frustrations with the problems caused by illegal immigration . . . but the State may not pursue policies that undermine federal law.”

A "blue wave" in Texas?

Democratic turnout was up in the Texas primary on Tuesday, but rumors of a "blue wave" are quite premature. From The Washington Times's Seth McLaughlin:

More than 1 million Democrats voted in the primary, or double the turnout from the last two Democratic Senate primaries in 2012 and 2014. It’s the first time they’ve surpassed the 1 million mark since 2002.

“What’s happening in Texas is part of a national trend,” said Tom Perez, chairman of the Democratic National Committee. “All across the country, Democrats are competing and winning in deep-red states.

Charlie Cook, of the Cook Political Report, a non-partisan election tracker, said there was a lot of evidence of a Democratic wave heading into Tuesday’s primary and, while it might not cost Mr. Cruz his seat, overall that still seems to be the case.

“It’s the Democratic tidal wave versus the Republican seawall,” Mr. Cook said. “At this point, my bet is that in House, the wave is bigger and stronger than the wall, but in the Senate, my money is on the wall not the wave."

Both parties witnessed strong turnout, however. From NBC News's Alex Seitz-Wald:

Thanks to Texas' booming population, both parties saw a record number of voters head to the polls.

Democratic turnout was up 84 percent from the last midterm primary, in 2014, while Republican turnout increased about 14 percent, according to data from the secretary of state's office. GOP turnout was the highest since the 2010 midterm.

Republicans still easily outnumbered Democrats at the polls on Tuesday and in early voting — 1.54 million to 1.04 million — underscoring just how difficult it will be for Democrats to take the country's second-largest state, even in what is shaping up as a strong year for the party.

Even if Republicans hold on to Texas, they may lose some seats. This was indeed an auspicious sign for the Democrats as the 2018 mid-terms officially began.

Other morsels:

Dem Senator Up for Re-Election Unrecognizable to Even CNN

Viewpoint Discrimination with Algorithms

Northern Ireland University Refuses to Show Documentary on Ex-Gay Christians


Intersectionality, the Dangerous Faith

Linda Sarsour, CAIR Leaders Arrested for Stunt at Paul Ryan's Office

'How Dare You': Jeff Sessions Files Suit, Rips Oakland Mayor for Warning Illegal Aliens of ICE Raid


4 Ways the Left Twists Science Into Propaganda

Minimum Wage Hike Is Killing Jobs in This Arizona City

Sweden Refuses to Investigate 512 Acts of Muslim Religious Violence Against Christian Refugees

Hollywood’s Celebration Of ‘Call Me By Your Name’ Is Astounding In The #MeToo Era

Ted Cruz Faces Off Against CNN’s Chris Cuomo on Gun Control


‘Veep’ Creator Compares President Trump to Murderous Dictators