Tuesday's HOT MIC

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Weak, big government Republicans are using Hurricane Harvey victims as human shields to hide from criticism while raising the debt ceiling.

From NBC News:

Congress is expected to pass relief aid for victims of Hurricane Harvey as early as Wednesday and GOP leaders are looking to take advantage of the overwhelming political support for it by including controversial legislation to lift the debt ceiling in the overall package, multiple congressional sources tell NBC News.

The House of Representative will vote on a $7.85 billion Harvey relief bill Wednesday, a package that is expected to pass overwhelmingly. And it couldn't come soon enough: FEMA has alerted Congress that their disaster relief funds will likely run out this Friday, Sept. 8, according to multiple congressional aides and Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas.

The measure will then go to the Senate where Republican leaders will add legislation to increase the debt limit, beating an end-of-September deadline where the U.S. Treasury would no longer be able to pay its existing bills.

The notion that a debt ceiling or limit exists is now one of the cruelest jokes in politics. A limit that can be arbitrarily changed ad infinitum is not a limit at all.

There was a point in the not-too-distant past when a majority of elected Republicans had an interest in controlling debt, spending, and the size of government. Their attempts to do so didn't always work, usually because they didn't have sufficient numbers.

By the early part of this century, the party had transitioned to one that merely gave lip service to any of this, and that was frustrating. Now, they don't even pay lip service to it. This group would be right at home in the Democratic party of the late 1970s.

I fear that this is a permanent shift for the party and that the course can't be reversed. Naturally, I would like to be proven wrong on this point.


Back in the PJTV days, I was making this point a lot in the spring of 2016. I repeatedly said that the Republican establishment would get behind Trump in heartbeat rather than support Cruz. Mitch McConnell has always acted like Ted Cruz poses an existential threat to the GOP because he actually wants the party to stop moving leftward. After the GOP took the Senate in 2014, McConnell's first press conference after was mostly a message that he didn't want to tolerate Cruz. There was more of that than an agenda for countering President Obama.

So, yeah, if there is disharmony in the family now because President Trump won't tolerate their inability to lead, it's on them.

Berkeley likes to think of itself as the birthplace of the free speech movement, but it really isn't fond of any such thing whenever conservatives are supposed to speak there. They're being a pain about the venue that Ben Shapiro is scheduled to speak in there. Amy Lutz, program officer for  Young America's Foundation (YAF) (the event's sponsor), mentioned it on Twitter earlier.

Fifteen grand should buy some good faith, especially about the number of seats available in the venue:

HotAir reports that the seating is being reduced because the school is closing the balcony, which is now apparently the most dangerous place on Earth with a conservative speaking.

So the justification for closing the balcony is that a) someone will throw something at people below causing injuries or b) someone will “fall” over the edge. The email doesn’t specify who might be responsible for these potential injuries but it’s not hard to work out. The danger here isn’t from conservatives or from open-minded students coming to hear the lecture, it’s from so-called anti-fascists, i.e. people who label everyone to the right of Bernie Sanders a fascist.

The less-than-subtle message here is that mob rule still prevails on campus when any non-commie is speaking.

Kudos to YAF though for continuing to fight this fight. They are an energetic, well-organized group of passionate young people who continue to remind us that there may be hope for the future. You can learn more about them here.

Two words: insurance drones.

More from ABC News:

Insurance adjusters are bringing more drones with them than ever before as they head to Texas to assess the damage from Harvey.

Companies are using the drones on a much larger scale to record images, save time and spare human adjusters from venturing into potentially unsafe areas. Insurers have increased their fleets since the Federal Aviation Administration eased some restrictions a year ago, and tried them out in areas of the southeastern U.S. hit by Hurricane Matthew last October.

Travelers Insurance, based in Hartford, had 65 certified drone pilots as of Friday among the 600 employees deployed to the Houston area. Claims specialist Laura Shell, who will be in Texas this week, spent last week at the company's training center in Windsor, Connecticut, learning how to pilot drones.

"This is great," said Shell, 55, of Lexington, Virginia, whose job typically has involves climbing a lot of ladders. "It's going to allow me to get a look into areas that aren't easily accessible and onto roofs and do it quickly."

For those of us who have never been through anything like this it is impossible to understand the shock of the initial loss and devastation. Here is hoping that technology can expedite some of the painful recovery period for these people.

We can add Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel to the parade of horribles who came out to bash Trump today in the wake of his decision to end Obama's unconstitutional DACA policy.

Emanuel's defiant message to undocumented immigrants: "You are welcome in the city of Chicago. This is your home, and you have nothing to worry about."

The president of the United States, however, is not so welcome in Rahmbo's city.

"Chicago, our schools, our neighborhoods, our city, as it relates to what President Trump said, will be a Trump-free zone," Emanuel said. "You have nothing to worry about," he added, as if racist GOP storm troopers were on the verge of rounding them up.

In related news, a new poll shows that 77 percent of Americans oppose so-called sanctuary city policies in over 300 cities.


My high school honors English teacher, Paul Baltz, used to pound into us (with a very long pointer stick named Junior) that "never is never correct and always is always wrong." This was a good lesson to learn. I avoid using the words never and always in my writing — unless I'm going for hyperbole. In mediating fights between my children, I stop them when they claim "she ALWAYS does that!" -- and make them acknowledge that always is always wrong. A few people could use that lesson today, coupled with a sharp rap on the knuckles with a long stick. First there's everyone making the statement that DACA recipients are "all good people." That's as absurd a claim as "women are always right." For every "good" DACA case you can find, I can find a lowlife. Like this guy who is a suspect in the murder of a woman outside a bar. So let's not muddy the issue with meaningless hyperbole. Instead, how about looking at the facts and leaving our feelings out of it?

Then there's this poor chap, a leftover from the Bush and Reagan administrations, who has had a mental breakdown on Facebook over the last 24 hours, calling 100% of Trump supporters "racists." (There's that troublesome "all, always" thing again.)

After being called out by thousands of people, including black Trump supporters, he continued to dig that hole.

Oh well...in that case.

I now have a better understanding of why George W. Bush was such a disappointment to me if he was hiring guys like this. His Facebook page reads like an Antifa manual. For real. How did he get hired by two Republican presidents? The swamp is deep, folks.

Here are the people the pro-DACA Republicans are getting in bed with:

That is the group that proudly claims to be "the largest socialist organization in the United States." They're busy mobilizing their "comrades" for what I'm sure will remain a "largely peaceful" demonstration.

Yes, that's sarcasm.

It's as if the GOP is working overtime to validate my decision to leave it last year. I'm sure many Americans would prefer to not find common ground with socialists in opposing the rule of law.

Turn your head away from the hurricanes and this is what you see on the other side of the country:

The one burning here has made the already less than stellar Los Angeles air extremely irritating. Social media is full of people from the northwest posting pictures of ash all over their vehicles, as if a volcano had erupted.

Nature is having its way with both sides of our part of the continent right now.

A statement on DACA from the president

And a statement from the former president:

High tech is introduced to old-school baseball trickery. The New York Times says that the Boston Red Sox have been busted for stealing signs using an Apple watch:

Investigators for Major League Baseball have determined that the Boston Red Sox, who are in first place in the American League East and likely headed to the playoffs, executed a scheme to illicitly steal hand signals from opponents’ catchers in games against the second-place Yankees and other teams, according to several people briefed on the matter.

The baseball inquiry began about two weeks ago, after the Yankees’ general manager, Brian Cashman, filed a detailed complaint with the commissioner’s office that included video the Yankees shot of the Red Sox dugout during a three-game series in Boston last month.

The Yankees, who had long been suspicious of the Red Sox stealing catchers’ signs in Fenway Park, contended the video showed a member of the Red Sox training staff looking at his Apple Watch in the dugout and then relaying a message to players, who may have then been able to use the information to know the type of pitch that was going to be thrown, according to the people familiar with the case.

Baseball investigators corroborated the Yankees’ claims based on video the commissioner’s office uses for instant replay and broadcasts, the people said. The commissioner’s office then confronted the Red Sox, who admitted that their trainers had received signals from video replay personnel and then relayed that information to some players — an operation that had been in place for at least several weeks.

This is one of those baseball things that is absolutely taboo...if you get caught. Every team does it, or at least tries too. Sign stealing brings out a lot of emotions. Dodgers fans who weren't even alive in 1951 still complain that the Giants were stealing signs when Bobby Thompson hit "the shot heard 'round the world" to win the pennant. Earlier this season, Dodgers pitcher Alex Wood thought one of the San Diego Padres was trying to steal and relay signs from second base and threatened to "drill him."

In true baseball fashion, the Red Sox fired back with a counter accusation:

The Red Sox responded in kind on Tuesday, filing a complaint against the Yankees, claiming that the team uses a camera from its television network, YES, exclusively to steal signs during games.

"I know you are but what am I?"