Tuesday's HOT MIC

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BBC pulls Sean Bean TV show from Tuesday lineup following Manchester attack. From the Daily Mail:

Sean Bean and Anna Friel's new BBC drama Broken has been pulled from schedules following the horrific terror attack in Manchester on Monday night, with a repeat of David Attenborough's Planet Earth II to replace the show.

The much-anticipated show was due to start on Tuesday, yet BBC bosses postponed the launch for a week in light of the atrocity, that killed at least 22 people, including eight-year-old Saffie Rose Roussos, and left more that 119 injured.

Other programs — or as our friends across the pond would write, programmes — were pulled, too.

Broken joins a number of programmes to be drawn from schedules, including Andrew Neil's interview with UKIP leader Paul Nuttall. The decision to reschedule comes after it was agreed to suspend general election coverage for 24 hours.

Broken is notable not just for being a modern show centered on the struggles of a Roman Catholic priest, but also as a show in which (spoiler alert!) Sean Bean does not die. Cheers! If only Boromir and Ned Stark were so lucky...

Roger: I have no opinion regarding the Seth Rich/Kim Dotcom story. But I can say with a degree of high confidence that it was Oswald in the School Book Depository with the Mannlicher-Carcano rifle in 1963. I spent weeks in the JFK Assassination Archives, then housed in the National Archives building in Washington, D.C., researching the backdrop for my first novel, Exchange Alley. I had access to all the raw data, including the FBI and CIA reports, autopsy findings, even the actual photographs taken by Marina of Lee with his rifle in the backyard.

In its starred review (the novel was a Book-of-the-Month-Club selection), Publishers Weekly wrote:

JFK assassination buffs will enjoy bushwhacking their way through this labyrinthine debut. Young Danish cultural attache Egil Ekdahl--engaged in hawking the KGB's file on Lee Harvey Oswald to the highest bidder--turns up murdered in a particularly grisly fashion, and NYPD Detective Francis X. Byrne is given the joyless task of finding his killer...

There isn't much Walsh doesn't know about the JFK assassination, and the background research for this virtuoso novel feels thorough. Weaving from the worst of the Russian prison camps to Manhattan's elite European demimonde, from Brighton Beach's vicious Russian mobs to Little Italy's complacently murderous families, Walsh orchestrates a gripping tale of the horrors that were set in motion the day a president was murdered.

These things can all be true: that Oswald, an unstable Marxist, Marine Corps defector to the Soviet Union, was on the radar of the CIA, FBI, KGB, the Pope in Rome, Queen Elizabeth and their twelve best friends... and still simply took his rifle to work one day and shot the president for reasons of personal pique and aggrandizement.  He even translated a section of Yeletsky's aria from Tchaikovsky's opera, The Queen of Spades, and left it for Marina to find:

I love you, love you beyond all measure,

I cannot conceive a day without you,

I am ready to accomplish for our sake

A heroic task requiring matchless strength.


It's World Turtle Day! Here's a cool video from Australia's Daily Telegraph.

Roger, Em Zanotti has been following this for a long time. Here's what she has to say:

If I had to guess, I'd bet that Kim DotCom thinks he can maneuver some kind of leverage in his extradition to the US.

Transgender surgeries up 20 percent in the last two years.

Thanks (?), Caitlyn. From WebMD:

The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) reports a nearly 20 percent jump in transgender-related surgeries in the first two years of collecting data on these procedures.

Watch what they call these surgeries.

More than 3,200 gender confirmation surgeries of all types were performed in 2016, the plastic surgeons' group reports. That represents a rise of nearly 20 percent from 2015.

About 1.4 million adults in the United States, or about 0.6 percent of the adult population, identify as transgender, according to a 2016 analysis by the Williams Institute at University of California, Los Angeles School of Law.

Naturally, they dress it up as "gender confirmation." Isn't the point to change your gender? Caitlyn Jenner recently went full monty.

Interesting redefinition to call transgender surgery "gender confirmation." It "confirms" the identity, but not exactly the biological situation.

I'm far from a conspiracy theorist.  For me it has always been Oswald by himself from the Texas Schoolbook Depository.  But this KimDotCom - Seth Rich business has me wondering.  Lot of untied shoes here and now Kim is ready to release more.  Do we believe him? Does Mueller have let him come to the US to testify?  The DNC has some 'splainin to do.  What do the rest of you think?

Another day, another equal pay push.

Most of the "equal pay" statistics are misleading. It stands to reason fewer mothers work overall, but the study liberals are pushing says this gap is between working mothers and working fathers specifically. How should conservatives respond?

I wish the media here and in Europe would stop confusing passports with national identity. In America, that's true, although most of us still add qualifiers to make clear our ethnicity, country-of-origin, pride, etc. But in Europe, which has no tradition of immigration or assimilation other than via conquest, not so much.

The suicide bomber who killed 22 people and injured dozens more at the Manchester Arena has been named as 22-year-old Salman Abedi. Born in Manchester in 1994, the second youngest of four children his parents were Libyan refugees who came to the UK to escape the Gaddafi regime.

His parents were both born in Libya but appear to have emigrated to London before moving to the Fallowfield area of south Manchester where they have lived for at least ten years. They had three sons in total and a daughter, who is now 18-years-old.

Abedi grew up in the Whalley Range area, just yards from the local girl's high school, which hit the headlines in 2015 when twins and grade A pupils, Zahra and Salma Halane, who were both aspiring medical students, left their homes and moved to Isil controlled Syria. There were unconfirmed reports in Manchester that the whole family apart from the two elder sons recently returned to Libya.

In other words, Abedi may have held a British passport by accident of birth, but he was in no meaningful sense either "British" or a "Briton." This was not "homegrown" terrorism -- this was cold-blooded murder by a North African Muslim Arab.


President Trump just landed in Italy for a meeting with Pope Francis.

Trump and Francis don't exactly have the best history. Let's hope that improves today.