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.

Some residents of Marlborough, CT, who fly the American flag are getting hate mail.

WFSB:

While the people who got the hate mail say they are disturbed by what they found in their mailbox, it will not change the way they feel about their country.

Ashley Meyer is not afraid to show her patriotism.

“There are 12 flags on the bottom. Two up top. One in honor of my grandfather. The other in honor of our other friends who have served our country,” Meyer said.

Meyer says she found an envelope in her mailbox on Sunday, with multiple pages of anti-American and anti-government fliers.

“Someone took all this time to send all this through the mail. Clearly, they have no patriotism and aren't proud of our country,” Meyer said.

Ken Hjulstrom also received the same envelope. He also proudly supports his country.

“I'm a very proud American. My son is a veteran with Army National Guard, spent time in Iraq. My father was a World War II veteran,” Hjulstrom said.

He added that the content of the mailer isn't just unpatriotic, it's also racist and anti-Semitic.

“This I think is really over the top in terms on content,” Hjulstrom said.

Both Hjulstrom and Meyer say they have no plans to take down their flags, and hope others will help them send their own message.

“I hope everybody in Connecticut puts flags up everywhere just to show people like this who are so hateful that we need to ban together,” Meyer said.

Both Meyer and Hjulstrom notified the resident trooper in Marlborough about the mailing.

They believe they aren't the only ones who got it and hope the troopers can track down the person sending them.

What is it about the American flag that inspires some people to lose their minds?  Colin Kaepernick won't honor the flag because he says it stands for "oppression." Others burn the flag because they say it stands for racism, or imperialism, or militarism, or nationalism, or any other sort of "ism" that happens to be in disfavor.

You have to deliberately obscure what the flag represents to come up with twaddle like that. And while there is some America hatred on the far right, most of it comes from the left. To them, it doesn't matter what the flag truly represents. They have superimposed their own grievance culture on the flag so they can trash it.

And, apparently, those who honor it by flying Old Glory in front of their house.

 

Without comment.

The chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, Rep. Ray Lujan, promised America that Democrats would not use an anti-abortion "litmus test" to disqualify candidates.

Cross his heart and hopes to die.

The Hill:

"There is not a litmus test for Democratic candidates,” said Luján, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee chairman. “As we look at candidates across the country, you need to make sure you have candidates that fit the district, that can win in these districts across America.”

In taking the position, Luján and Democrats risk alienating liberals, as well as groups dedicated to promoting access to abortion and reproductive health services that represent the core of the party’s base.

“Throwing weight behind anti-choice candidates is bad politics that will lead to worse policy,” said Mitchell Stille, who oversees campaigns for NARAL Pro-Choice America. “The idea that jettisoning this issue wins elections for Democrats is folly contradicted by all available data.”

Luján, serving his second term as the DCCC’s chairman, has cast a wide net for candidates. A map on his office wall highlights districts held by dozens of Republican that he hopes to oust in the 2018 midterm elections.

“To pick up 24 [seats] and get to 218, that is the job. We’ll need a broad coalition to get that done,” Luján said. “We are going to need all of that, we have to be a big family in order to win the House back.”

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) have both argued against party litmus tests, saying there’s room for people with different opinions on abortion. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), another influential voice, has echoed that

Planned Parenthood, NOW, NARAL, and a dozen other pro-abortion Democratic groups could not be reached for comment.

Is this guy serious? What the hell do the above groups care what he, Pelosi, and even Bernie Sanders say about the abortion issue? These are people who won't let pro-life speakers into the Democratic convention. Now they're not going to care if a Democratic candidate is pro-life?

We're seeing Lujan's lips move but don't believe what's coming out of his mouth.

 

 

Reading Claudia's terrific piece on Nikki Haley (first woman president?) makes you speculate on what really should be done about the crazy NORKS.  Austin Bay's proposal about shooting down their missile tests makes sense, but I wonder if it would finally work.  I assume we can hit the missiles.  The question is does that completely matter in the long run?  They can still get more accurate and will.  Warmonger that I am I suspect it is time to scare the bejesus out of Mr. Kim.  Maybe something like dropping some bunker busters on the newly-discovered mountain site from which he is shooting off his long-range missiles.  Might even have some (gasp!) collateral damage incinerating a few of his rocket scientists.  That would be a great human tragedy, no?

Looks like Paul Ryan is getting itchy for the border wall, or maybe just a distraction. From The Hill:

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) called for action on President Trump's proposed wall along the U.S.-Mexico border in a video he tweeted out on Tuesday.

"RT if you agree," he posted on Twitter, along with a video of a border visit he made. "It is time for the wall."

The video shows Speaker Ryan on a visit to the Rio Grande Valley in Texas, where he met with Border Patrol officers.

"When you see what they're up against, it really gives you even greater respect for what they do. They clearly need more tools and more support to do their jobs effectively," he said.

"That's why we're going to get this done this week," he added.

As a native of Arizona who once lived twelve blocks from that border, I've always been a big proponent of doing whatever it takes to stop the madness. Walls. Drones. Or-and I know this is outside the box-maybe letting the agents do their jobs, which this administration is willing to do.

Fingers crossed that the GOP clown car on Capitol Hill can get something done.

If you don't think the Compromised Media (™ )  protects its own, you've got another think coming:

One year after WikiLeaks began publishing emails from the Democratic National Committee and Clinton campaign chair John Podesta that exposed prominent journalists as partisans, many of those journalists are continuing their careers without, it seems, any serious consequences.

Take Glenn Thrush, for example. Thrush, now with the New York Times, was exposed sending stories to the Clinton campaign for approval while at Politico. “Because I have become a hack I will send u the whole section that pertains to [you],” he wrote in an April 30, 2015 email to Podesta, including five paragraphs from a story later titled “Hillary’s big money dilemma.”

“Please don’t share or tell anyone I did this,” Thrush added. “Tell me if I fucked up anything.”

“No problems here,” Podesta replied.

Thrush was rewarded for his shameless breach of journalistic "ethics" by getting a promotion from Politico to the Times, and is now one of the paper's White House correspondents. His colleague there, Maggie Haberman, was also tarnished by Wikileaks:

While covering the Trump administration for the NYT, Thrush has often co-authored stories with fellow White House correspondent Maggie Haberman, whom an internal Clinton campaign memo described as a “friendly journalist.” The memo added: “We have had her tee up stories for us before and have never been disappointed.”

When I was a reporter at the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle, the San Francisco Examiner and a writer at Time Magazine, these were firing offenses. Today, they're resume enhancers.

To make things worse, both Thrush and Haberman are inveterate Tweeters (Thrush blocked me long ago, although of course I can still see his tweets), disparaging the president non-stop throughout the day. Why they're allowed in the White House is beyond me, but White House insiders say that, incredibly, Trump thinks he can charm them into liking him. Maybe General Kelly will finally disabuse him of that notion, pull their press credentials, and ask Times editor Dean Baquet to send him some uncompromised reporters, for a change.

Watching a beautiful state like Connecticut circling the financial drain is depressing, especially when it's the richest state in the country. But years of Democrat rule (aided and abetted by a couple of Republican governors, one of whom is currently in prison) have left the Nutmeg State a quivering basket case:

Connecticut, the richest state in the nation, has racked up $74 billion in debt. Its finances have more in common with Puerto Rico than Massachusetts, as the home of America’s financial wizards struggles to pay off its massive obligations big as the bills come due on decades of mismanagement.

While ballooning payments for  public employees’ guaranteed pension and health benefits for public employees and teachers are the main cause of Connecticut’s fiscal misery, the state continued borrowing with the abandon of a teenager let loose in a Forever 21 with her parent’s credit card. Jobs lost during the recession have not returned. Its youth and future tax base is fleeing for New York and Boston. Fortune 500 companies are following them out of town.

And it could get worse before it gets better.

The main problem is the state's principal cities: Hartford, Bridgeport, New Haven, Waterbury -- dumpster fires all. Vibrant diversity has changed them all from Yankee strongholds into resource-draining redoubts of welfare recipients, illegal aliens, and people utterly dependent on the state. In the meantime, the industries that made New England great, including firearms manufacture, have long since fled, leaving the towns reliant on -- you guessed it -- government employment in order to keep at least a few folks working and paying taxes to support the rest.

Hartford, a microcosm of the state’s troubles, is contemplating bankruptcy. The state’s four major cities, Hartford, Waterbury, New Haven, and Bridgeport, have accumulated a combined $4.8 billion in retirement benefit obligations and may need future intervention from the state to handle its debts.

The state boasts the highest per capita income in the nation at $71,033 per year, Bureau of Economic Analysis records show.  Well-heeled hedge funders in enclaves such as Old Greenwich, with an average household income of $341,401 in 2015, and Darien, with an average household income of $331,277, keep the state on top.

Hartford, which is grappling with a poverty rate of 28 percent and a 9 percent unemployment rate, has a median income of $28,970 and the average taxpayer contributes $903 to the state in 2015. A Darien resident earned an average income 11 times higher than a Hartford resident while the average Greenwich taxpayer paid the state roughly the same amount in income tax revenue as 27 Hartford residents combined.

Until the state demands that the cities adjust their social policies to their finances, the situation will only get worse. When your main employers are fleeing for Boston and New York City, you know you're doing something wrong. But on the Left, ideology always trumps reality, so don't expect improvement any time soon.

Ouch.

Ex-RNC chairman on Reince Priebus move: 'Karma's a b---h, ain't it?'

Michael Steele used to be so soft-spoken.

Former Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele has little sympathy for Reince Priebus' ouster as White House chief of staff.

"This is the bed Reince has been making for himself since he was my general counsel," Steele told The Atlantic. "He's a guy who's always positioning himself for the next thing. Karma's a bitch, ain't it?"

Priebus won the RNC chairmanship in 2011 after he challenged Steele, who was Priebus' boss at the time. Steele saw the challenge as a sign of disloyalty.

But was it karma, or are we just witnessing a really fast-moving season of The Apprentice?

Former Fox News contributor suing Fox over ... Seth Rich?

Fox News commentator Rod Wheeler is suing the network over a rush to publish a story on Seth Rich, the DNC staffer whom many have suggested leaked DNC emails to WikiLeaks. Wheeler claims the story was fabricated. NPR's David Folkenflik has an exclusive.

Wheeler alleges Fox News and the Trump supporter intended to deflect public attention from growing concern about the administration's ties to the Russian government. His suit charges that a Fox News reporter created quotations out of thin air and attributed them to him to propel her story.

Fox's president of news, Jay Wallace, told NPR Monday there was no "concrete evidence" that Wheeler was misquoted by the reporter, Malia Zimmerman. The news executive did not address a question about the story's allegedly partisan origins. Fox News declined to allow Zimmerman to comment for this story. ...

"Rod Wheeler unfortunately was used as a pawn by Ed Butowsky, Fox News and the Trump administration to try and steer away the attention that was being given about the Russian hacking of the DNC e-mails," said Douglas Wigdor, Wheeler's lawyer.

If the Seth Rich story was fabricated, that could be a huge problem for Fox.

Meanwhile, Roger Stone has responded to the story with a hit on the Imran Awan scandal.

 

Somehow this doesn't come as a shock:

Former President Barack Obama’s intelligence chief issued revised procedures in 2013 that made it easier for executive branch officials to “unmask” the names of lawmakers or congressional staffers caught up in intelligence intercepts overseas, according to interviews and documents reviewed by The Hill.

Procedures issued by Director of National Intelligence James Clapper in March 2013 formally supplanted a 1992 set of rules that made the dissemination of names of intercepted lawmakers or congressional aides an act of last resort.

The new standard allowed for a lawmaker’s or staffer’s name to be unmasked if  “an executive branch recipient of intelligence” believed that learning “the identity of the Member of Congress or the Congressional staff is necessary to understand and assess the associated intelligence and further a lawful activity of the recipient agency,” according to a memo released earlier this month by the DNI's office with little public fanfare.

Brick by brick, the wall protecting the Deep State -- led by Clapper, former CIA director John Brennan, former national security adviser Susan Rice (very hard to type that without laughing) and former UN ambassador Samantha Power -- is being broken down.

Intelligence officials familiar with the process say there was no political motive behind the new standard and that the changes authorized by Clapper largely codified practices that had been adapting in the intelligence community over several years.

So what? If you believe there was no "political motive" behind the expanded unmasking program, then you'll also believe that Lois Lerner was simply a dispassionate public servant at the IRS and Eric Holder knew absolutely nothing about the "Fast and Furious" gunrunning program along the southwest border.

When Robert Mueller finally finishes examining Donald Trump's old expense accounts, he might want to get on this.