Tuesday's HOT MIC

Welcome to HOT MIC, PJ Media's 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.  Be sure to save this link so you can find HOT MIC every day.

Paula, the president's erratic and contradictory response to the rapidly changing "health care" mess is not entirely his fault. Three female GOP senators immediately came out against Repeal:

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s new proposal to simply repeal Obamacare appears to be dead less than 24 hours after he dropped his replacement plan for lack of support among fellow Republicans.

GOP Senators Susan Collins, Shelley Moore Capito and Lisa Murkowski said Tuesday they’ll oppose a repeal of the Affordable Care Act. McConnell said late Monday the Senate would vote on a repeal with a two-year delay to give Congress time to agree on a replacement, but he could afford to lose no more than two Republican votes to advance the measure.

"We’ll let Obamacare fail" and then Democrats may want to agree on a replacement, President Donald Trump told reporters at the White House. "I’m not going to own it."

Two of them offered these explanations:

Capito of West Virginia said she would refuse to take up a repeal plan without an adequate replacement. "I did not come to Washington to hurt people," she said in a statement.

Murkowski of Alaska also said she would refuse to take up a repeal-alone measure. "There’s enough chaos and uncertainty already and this would just contribute to it," Murkowski told reporters. She said she wants a fix that would stabilize individual insurance markets and leave Medicaid unchanged, and that lawmakers should work on a bipartisan measure in committee.

Good grief: "leaving Medicaid unchanged" essentially leaves Obamacare unchanged. Medicaid is a welfare program, not medical insurance. With friends like these... time to repeal the 19th Amendment? Asking for a friend.


For anyone who needed another reason to dislike government bureaucracy-some kids in D.C. got handcuffed for selling water on a hot day.

From the Washington Examiner:

On a hot and humid 88-degree summer day in Washington, D.C. in June, three teenagers were handcuffed and detained for selling water.

Yes, water. The teens were not selling drugs, stolen merchandise or bootleg cigarettes. They were selling water on the National Mall.

According to the U.S. Park Police, the teens were handcuffed for illegally vending without a license. They were detained by police but eventually released to their parents without charges. While this might seem like a minor incident, it is one all too frequent example of government taking away opportunities from young entrepreneurs.

These teenagers should have been celebrated for their initiative, not handcuffed. They saw a real human need and took action to meet it. On hot, humid days, people need water. These teens were not exploiting people or taking advantage of the needy; they were being creative problem-solvers. Isn't that what we want teenagers to aspire to become?

It is reasonable that people should comply with the law, but the question is whether the law reasonable. Is it reasonable to require teens to have a vending permit? In order to sell water on the National Mall, they would have to obtain a sidewalk vending permit from the D.C. Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs for $1,200. They would also need an additional $476 for a Class A Vending License. To make matters worse, any teens selling water who are the primary license holders would have to pay a $55 fee for any of their friends to work with them. How are teenagers from low-income families supposed to do this?

We celebrate and protect people who are in the country illegally while literally and figuratively handcuffing teenagers who would rather make a buck than get in trouble.

I used to like to mow lawns to get some spending money when I was a 'tween and young teenager. The government occasionally tries to get in on that now. Thankfully, this particular city was so embarrassed by the national attention it received that it changed the law.

D.C. doesn't embarrass as easily, unfortunately.

My good friend and Ricochet.com's editor-in-chief Jon Gabriel has crunched some numbers to come up with an interesting snapshot of the chasm between what concerns Americans and what the media covers. As you might imagine, the citizens and the information peddlers aren't exactly dancing to the same tune. Jon has created a chart showing the disparity on a variety of issues, but here is what pops out the most from his efforts:

Just 6 percent of Americans think Russia is the top issue, yet nightly newscasts devoted 75 percent of their airtime to the story. Meanwhile, Americans’ biggest concern, health care, only garnered 4 percent of the major networks’ total coverage.

The media have shown how drastically out of step they are with their own audience. If they want to earn back their hemorrhaging Nielsen numbers, perhaps they can spend time on something other than Russia Russia Russia.

Much like the worst Saturday Night Live casts throughout the years, the present-day news types seem to be interested only in entertaining themselves.

I'm noticing on here -- and almost everywhere -- that everyone and his brother and sister are being blamed for the healthcare failure (by me as well!).  Will heads roll?  McConnell and Ryan?  Possibly.  And I'm no fan of either.  But here's the bad news -- that will have NOTHING whatsoever to do with solving healthcare.  REASON:  There is no solution.  Healthcare is the commodity everyone desperately wants and there never will be enough to go around under ANY system.  For those who worship at the shrine of complete free market, riddle me this, oh riddler -- what do you do with the homeless person who has a coronary and is dragged into emergency?  Treat him?  If you're a Christian or a Jew, you do.  The number of poor needing healthcare in our society is stratospheric.  As a reminder, the unemployment number may be a complete fiction, but the labor participation rate isn't and it tells us that roughly a hundred million Americans are not even looking for work.  How do they pay for their chemotherapy or whatever?  Do we let them rot? Die an agonizing death?  Of course not.  We don't now.  The taxpayer picks up the bill no matter how you slice it.  And the taxpayer will continue to pay.  That's why this whole healthcare debate is rife with dishonesty on all sides -- and terminally boring.

Michael, I had JUST tweeted this before opening up the Hot Mic page to see what you all were talking about today:


This is how the media operates in sync with the institutional Left and the Democratic Party to create a false narrative. Take a look at this tweet from the The Hill:

The insinuation that the president's voter fraud commission (which PJ Media editor J. Christian Adams and frequent contributor Hans von Spakovsky are members of) is attempting to operate outside the law is clear.

Of course, a quick read of the article reveals that the tweet is outrageously misleading.

The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), a non-profit, is attempting to halt the commission's request for all states and Washington, D.C. to send it their publicly available voter data. I wrote extensively on this last week with this piece -- No, 44 States Didn’t Reject Trump’s Election Integrity Commission: Anatomy of a CNN #FakeNews Narrative -- in which I pointed out that the commission only asked for information that each state, according to each state's respective laws, makes available to the public. The Commission merely wished to save $130,000 or so in taxpayer money by asking for the data free of administrative charge, fees which range as high as $30,000 in some states.

EPIC is trying to prevent PUBLICLY AVAILABLE information from reaching the Commission, which is insane.

And their tactic for doing so is to claim that the Commission didn't follow the procedures that, say, the State Department would need to follow in requesting PRIVATE data. Also insane.

Those irrelevant procedures are in place solely because actual Executive Branch departments have powers that the Commission does not.

In fact, the Commission has no power at all. It can only offer recommendations:

“The Commission is not an agency subject to the APA and the E-Government Act because it lacks ‘substantial independent authority in the exercise of specific functions.’ The Commission reports directly to the President and is ‘solely advisory,’” attorneys in the Department of Justice argued in court documents.

The attorneys, who include Chad Readler, acting assistant attorney general for the civil division, said the commission was created to "submit a report to the President that identifies rules and activities that enhance and undermine the American people’s confidence in the integrity of the voting process used in Federal elections” and to identify “vulnerabilities in voting systems ... that could lead to Improprieties.”

The Commission has no regulatory, funding, or enforcement powers, nor does it have any independent administrative responsibilities,” the attorneys said in court briefs. “Instead, it exists solely to provide research and advice to the President. It is not, therefore, an ‘agency.’”


Of course, The Hill was happy to run with that tweet -- and everything it implied -- to further paint a commission intended to address the estimated 1 in 8 voter registrations that contain a serious error by examining PUBLICLY AVAILABLE information to simply produce a REPORT as some sort of devious, racist "voter suppression" scheme.

Let's hope The Hill's readers are smarter than that.

In the wake of last night's "health care" fiasco, my last word on the subject of Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell:

In a decent constitutional Republic, both men would have resigned their "leadership" posts by now, and slunk away into the back benches, or out the door. But Swampcritters never do.

You'd be forgiven if you said you had no idea what President Trump thinks should happen with ObamaCare. He tweeted this last night:

Sometime in the night he apparently had a change of heart and was back to this:

So which is it? Repeal or leave it to fail? This is madness. The problem is that candidate Trump promised both of these things during the campaign. Best I can tell, he's tossing out both options now to see which gets the most retweets from his followers, but who knows? Maybe it's 1000-D chess that's way over all of our heads. At this point, it's less about good public policy than it is about avoiding any culpability for this debacle. Trump promised during the campaign that repealing ObamaCare would be easy, but he ran headlong into Congress, where his famed boardroom skills don't work. He's been essentially rendered impotent, his agenda stalled because he's not doing the hard work of setting a clear policy agenda and then going out and building the coalitions necessary to get the agenda passed. He can rail about draining the swamp all he wants, but Congress is not going away. It's not a swamp he has the power to drain. He's going to need to man up and do a lot of heavy lifting in the coming months unless he wants to see his agenda tossed to the curb.

If you're not following this horrible story out of Somaliland -- I mean Minneapolis -- you should be. It's a powderkeg of political incorrectness and a major narrative-buster:

Today we learn a few more things about Officer Mohamed Noor, who shot Justine Damond as she stood in her pajamas, talking to Noor's partner through the open window of the police cruiser.

The Minneapolis cop who fatally shot an Australian woman during a police call was celebrated as one of the department’s few Somali-American officers, but had two open complaints and named in a recent lawsuit. Mohamed Noor fired at Justine Damond on Saturday night while she was speaking to the officer’s partner.

Damond, who’d moved from Australia in 2015, had called police to report an assault. The incident has sparked international outrage. Noor and his partner, identified as Matthew Harrity, hadn’t turned on their body cameras, according to reports, and have since been put on administrative leave.

Three complaints have been filed against Noor since he joined the department in 2015, two of which remain open, according to the city’s Office of Police Conduct Review. It wasn’t immediately clear what those complaints were for. Noor was also one of three officers named in a lawsuit filed on Friday by a Minnesota woman.

Until yesterday, Noor was the poster boy for diversity:

“I want to take a moment to recognize Officer Mohamed Noor, the newest Somali officer in the Minneapolis Police Department,” Mayor Betsy Hodges wrote in a Facebook post last year. “Officer Noor has been assigned to the 5th Precinct, where his arrival has been highly celebrated, particularly by the Somali community in and around Karmel Mall.”

Here are the details of the shooting as we know them at the moment:

While many of the details about what happened Saturday night in the city’s southwest corner have not been disclosed, this much was: She called to report a possible assault in the alley behind her house in one of the city’s safest neighborhoods and was unarmed when officer Mohamed Noor shot her.

Just before 11:30 p.m. Saturday, Damond, 40, called 911 to report a possible assault occurring in an alley near her home between Washburn and Xerxes avenues S., in the Fulton neighborhood. Damond, in her pajamas, went to the driver’s side door of the responding squad and was talking to the officer, according to three sources with direct knowledge of the case.

Moments later, Noor shot across his partner from the passenger’s seat, killing Damond.

Stay tuned.

Man, there's a lotta bad news this morning: Iran deal recertified, ObamaCare limps on, yet another death threat against Republicans, a bad police shooting in Minnesota...

I think a palette cleanser is in order.