Thursday's HOT MIC

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Paula makes an excellent point about Pence. There is reason for hope, though — the vice president is meticulous about nearly everything. Donald Trump is a man with famously little self-control, but Pence has every part of this life planned out. That's why he follows the "Billy Graham" rule with his wife — he's ready for attacks. I think the Left will have met its match with Pence, and I wouldn't be surprised if he outmaneuvers them.

If the Democrats impeach Trump, it will burn a great deal of public trust. With Pence at the helm, they would find it exceedingly difficult to take down Trump's replacement. Then, conservatives would have a true conservative in the White House. It's essentially check-mate. Now, the Democrat leadership's hesitancy to impeach Trump starts to make sense, right?

I'm on a flight from LAX to Chicago on my way home from a productive trip to the PJM mothership, and we're dealing with some bathroom hoarders. There are three laboratories in the middle of the plane, two of which have been occupied for quite some time. When I went back to use the facilities, four people took turns using the single open unit before me, then I had my turn, and still, no one emerged from the occupied bathrooms. Hopefully it was just some bad mayo on the in-flight chicken sandwiches, but it's funny how even after all these years the mind still goes to 9/11 and the tragic final moments of the passengers. I instinctively looked around for a place to hide if terrorists suddenly emerged from the toilet, and noted that I might be able to swing some oxygen tanks at them. (Who am I kidding? If I'm the first one they see when they come out of the toilet I'm toast.)

The pilot has turned on the seatbelt light for our descent and they're still in there as far as I can tell.

While many Republicans are dismissing out of hand the possibility that Trump could be impeached, the Left seems to be working under the assumption that it's already a foregone conclusion. How do we know? They're now setting their sights on the heir apparent:

WaPo: Vice President Pence has a growing credibility problem

CNN: What did Mike Pence know?

Slate: Mike Pence can't save the GOP.

MSNBC: In light of Flynn revelations, Mike Pence has some explaining to do

I don't think Trump will be impeached, but just for the sake of argument, let's say it does happen. Liberals will suddenly wake up and discover that their worst nightmare has come true: an evil social conservative now occupies the Oval Office. One who knows how to navigate the congressional labyrinth. No doubt that hellish (in their minds) scenario has begun to dawn on them, so they're trying to devise a way to take out both Trump and Pence in one fell swoop.

Springtime in the Rockies (part II)

The snow just broke the big ash tree in my front yard.

As Republicans in the House try to — I don't know — actually govern, Vox says they should drop everything until Trump is — I don't know — impeached? Because of the unsubstantiated Russia scandal. Here's some of the Vox article about Republicans' "alternate reality":

As scandal after scandal plagues the White House, House Republicans were living in an alternate reality Thursday — moving forward with their legislative agenda as if nothing happened.

The House Ways and Means Committee, which writes the nation’s tax laws, hosted its first hearing of the year on tax reform, assembling a group of business leaders to testify about the best way to overhaul the tax code and grow the economy.

So, the Republicans should twiddle their thumbs while Democrats try to impeach a sitting president after a little over 100 days? Is it really "living in an alternate reality" to try to push forward on important reforms? To Vox, it is. But Americans want to see some results from their government, and tax reform is one of the key goals of the Republicans voters elected.

Going forward, assume everybody is wearing a wire. Usually disguised as the smart phone they put face down on the table as the meeting starts:

House Republican leadership is agitated after the Washington Post published a transcript from a secret recording of one of the inner-sanctum conversations in the office of Speaker Paul Ryan.

The transcript shows House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy joking with his colleagues that then-candidate Trump and California Republican Dana Rohrabacher were both on the payroll of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

"The unknown is frustrating," said one senior GOP aide, referring to the possibility that this wasn't the only private leadership conversation that was secretly recorded.

  • The most widespread theory in House leadership is that the secret recorder and the leaker was Evan McMullin, who as a former leadership aide participated in the June 15 conversation and confirmed the private conversation to the Washington Post. (I am told that the Post, in their back-and-forth with leadership over the story, privately said that the source wasn't McMullin. There's no evidence that he was the leaker and I've reached out to him for comment.)
  • Evidence or not, leadership sources are privately worried that McMullin had a tape on while he sat silently through all of their confidential meetings. They're concerned about what leaks could come next.

Moments ago: During President Trump's joint press conference with President Juan Manuel Santos of Colombia, a reporter asked whether he had urged former FBI Director James Comey to "in any way, shape or form" close or back down from the investigation into Michael Flynn. Before the reporter could finish his question, Trump interrupted with a resounding "NO."

Good news about Global Warming Global Cooling Climate Change!

NASA space probes have discovered an artificial barrier around Earth created through human activity—showing we are not only responsible for shaping the environment on land, but that we are now having an impact on space too.

The barrier, which comes and goes, is the result of very low frequency radio communications interacting with particles in space, which results in a sort of shield protecting Earth from high energy radiation in space.

This, scientists say, is potentially very good news, as we could use the barrier to protect Earth from extreme space weather resulting from events like coronal mass ejections—huge explosions on the sun, where plasmas and magnetic field are ejected from its corona, the outermost part of its atmosphere. These ejections can result in geomagnetic storms, which have the potential to knock out communication satellites and power grids.

Researchers say that if there were no VLF bubble, the radiation belt boundary would be far closer to Earth than it is. Data from the 1960s indicates the inner limit of the Van Allen radiation belt used to be far closer to Earth, when the use of VLF was more limited.

To believe in "man-made climate change," you not only have to believe it's possible, but that it's inimical. But then, the leftist opinion of mankind was always very low.


FBI Director ... Joe Lieberman?

President Donald Trump says he's close to naming a new FBI director, and sources say it's former Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman. He was a Democrat and Al Gore's vice presidential candidate in 2000, but will he join Trump's administration?

Rick, if I had to bet, I'd bet Chaffetz's main motivation is that he's found a better gig.

Of course, compared to the last 2-4 years, high school janitor could be a better gig.