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Wednesday's HOT MIC

Introducing HOT MIC, PJ Media's new 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. Scroll down or click here to read today's Morning Update.

Morning Update

On President Trump’s agenda today:

  • The President will meet with House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte.
  • In the afternoon, the President will meet with Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg of NATO.
  • The President will then lead an expanded bilateral meeting with Secretary General Stoltenberg.
  • Later in the afternoon, the President will hold a joint press conference with Secretary General Stoltenberg.

GOP retains seat in Kansas

We had a quite a lead-up to the special election yesterday in the Kansas 04 congressional race. The special race was to replace Mike Pompeo, who left his seat when he was appointed as CIA director by President Trump.

The left and media assured us that this election, less than 100 days from when Trump took office, was a mandate on Trump’s performance and there were ominous warnings that this race could be the first of many “punishing” the GOP for Trump.

So that didn’t happen and now we are getting some spin. Chris Cillizza at the Washington Post described the results as the Republicans “averting disaster.” ABC News said the race was “tight” and there “was a far smaller gap” than what Trump and Pompeo saw in that district.

Eh, it’s not that unusual. The Democrats are all fired up and filled with sore loser juice from the November elections. Republican Ron Estes won the race by an 8-point margin.

ABC News writes, “anxious Republicans needed to make a frantic push in the campaign's final days, calling on House Speaker Paul Ryan to send a fundraising request and asking both Trump and Vice President Mike Pence to record robocalls to help get out the vote. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, made a visit to the district Monday.”

“Anxious push” or what we political professionals call “campaigning?”

Special elections have notoriously low turnout and the voters are high propensity, politically invested and well-informed. Both sides turn out their A-listers to the polls. We’ll see if other off-year elections issue the GOP “repudiation” that the media prophesies.

ABC puts a positive shine on the future special elections.

Still, the close finish also signals that Democrats were able to rally their anti-Trump sentiment into votes at the ballot box -- while Republicans may have lost some enthusiasm with the bumps in Trump's first 100 days. Observers are already looking to a special election for a House seat in Georgia next Tuesday, which has attracted more of the national spotlight and is expected to be very competitive.

Angel in the Centerfold

John Giles, the guitarist for the J. Giles Band was found dead yesterday at his home in Massachusetts.  He was 71 years old.

Geils' death is under investigation because he was alone at the time of his death, but a preliminary investigation indicates that Geils died of natural causes, according to authorities. Foul play is not suspected at this time.

Further information on the incident was not immediately available.

https://youtu.be/BqDjMZKf-wg

Rest in peace.

The New York Times concern trolls the White House Easter Egg Roll

The NYT ominously warns that the White House is not prepared for this year's Easter Egg Roll.

President Trump received an urgent warning in February, informing him of a crucial date he was about to miss.

“FYI manufacturing deadlines for the Easter eggs are near,” said a Twitter post directed at Mr. Trump; the first lady, Melania Trump; and the president’s daughter Ivanka Trump. “Please reach out!”

The message was from the company that manufactures the wooden eggs that are given out as mementos for the event.

“It’s the single most high-profile event that takes place at the White House each year, and the White House and the first lady are judged on how well they put it on,” said Melinda Bates, who organized eight years of Easter Egg Rolls as director of the White House Visitors Office under President Bill Clinton. “I’m really concerned for the Trump people, because they have failed to fill some really vital posts, and this thing is all hands on deck.”

The Times worries the Easter Egg roll won't be as grand as it has in the past.

The late start in planning by the Trump White House points to a smaller and less ambitious Egg Roll than in previous years. There may be half as many guests, a fraction of the number of volunteers to manage the invasion of the South Lawn, and military bands in place of A-list entertainers like Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande, Idina Menzel and Silentó who have performed for Egg Rolls past.

Do voters care about the Easter Egg Roll or is this something the Acela crowd cares about? The political celebrity cocktail circuit is so out-of-touch.

Another hate hoax

Over at the Daily Caller, Justin Caruso writes about yet another hate hoax. Do you ever notice that these stories get hyped up and then, when the “mystery” is solved and it does not follow the hoped-for paradigm, the story is never heard from again?

Police have arrested a black male suspect in connection with a fire at a store owned by South Asian immigrants left damaged with a note from “White America” telling them to “go back to where they came from.”

A note left at the scene read: “Our newly elected president Donald Trump is our nation builder for White America. You all know that, we want our country back on the right track. We need to get ride of Muslims, Indians and all immigrants.”

Has the SPLC issued a statement yet? I bet not.

This is similar to the San Bernardino school shooting which has all but disappeared from the headlines. If the shooter wasn’t some Christian, Jesus freak, Trump-voting, hillbilly with a doomsday arsenal, the media has no interest in "gun violence."

You know how you can lose a lot of weight? Cancer.

I don’t know who greenlights this stuff or what the editorial process is over at Cosmopolitan magazine, but the publication has taken clickbait to a new level.

The magazine ran an article about a woman who lost 44 lbs. without exercising. How did she do that, you ask? She got cancer.

Only it turns out, when you read about Simone Harbinson's harrowing story of weight loss, that it came after she confronted major health issues, including a rare form of cancer, removal of organs, multiple infections, a partial lung collapse and PTSD from all the stress.

The magazine posted the story and the tweet on Monday afternoon, then deleted the tweet soon after. Meanwhile, the story is still online, and with the same headline missing the crucial facts.

By Tuesday, tweeters were still ticked off, responding to the magazine's bait-and-switch with a mix of outrage and incredulity and a slew of caustic tweets, many along the lines of this: Cancer is not a diet plan!

Whoever did this, expect to burn in hell.

Happy Wednesday everyone! Only two more days until the weekend!

The latest confrontation between Lindsey Graham and Ruth Bader Ginsburg isn't easy to watch.

Your end of the day cat video.

After just a few hours, Google installed a workaround to prevent that Burger King ad from activating your Google Home device.

A more permanent workaround is to not have any Google Home or Amazon Alexa devices in your house.

Steve says:

Anyone with a Google Home device within earshot might then hear their Google Assistant activate at the sound of the wake words, “OK Google.” It would then read off the first sentence on the Whopper sandwich’s Wikipedia page.

Not cool, BK. Not cool.

It is, however, hilarious.

The Washington Times is reporting that two top Republicans have asked the DOJ to reopen the investigation into the IRS targeting scandal to see if charges should still be brought against former official Lois Lerner.

Ms. Lerner was cleared after an investigation by the Obama administration but Reps. Kevin Brady and Peter Roskam, respectively the chairman of the Ways and Means Committee and the panel’s tax policy subcommittee, say there are plenty of questions with how that probe was run, and said a new look by the Trump administration’s Justice Department is warranted.

“Taxpayers deserve to know that the DOJ’s previous evaluation was not tainted by politics,” the congressmen said in a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

But William W. Taylor, Ms. Lerner’s lawyer, said she was properly cleared of charges by the previous probe.

IRS leaders had previously denied targeting conservatives, with an assist from then-President Obama, who famously opined in an interview with Fox News' Bill O'Reilly in February of 2014 that there wasn't a "smidgen of corruption" regarding the IRS targeting scandal.

The sham Obama DOJ investigation of the IRS' targeting activities was led by Barbara Bosserman, an attorney who had donated at least $6,750 to President Obama’s election campaigns and the Democratic National Committee in past years.

AG Sessions said in an interview earlier this month that he is open to appointing a special prosecutor to review Obama-era DOJ scandals. He told conservative talker Hugh Hewitt that the IRS, in particular, was "a matter of real concern" to him.

The wheels of justice turn slowly, they say. But maybe, just maybe, justice will finally be meted out in this colossal abuse of governmental power.

In other news, Jude Law is playing Dumbledore in the next Fantastic Beasts, a spin-off of Harry Potter. He's already played the Pope and he's also playing King Arthur, so why not?

More on the United troubles:

Here's some of what he said:

“We are not going to put a law enforcement official to take them off the aircraft,” he added. “To remove a booked, paid, (seated) passenger — we can’t do that.”

The executive expressed “shame” over Kentucky doctor David Dao’s unsettling ejection from a Sunday flight, video footage from which spawned nationwide outrage.

“The first thing I think is important to say is to apologize to Dr. Dao, his family, the passengers on that flight, our customers, our employees,” Munoz said. “That is not who our family at United is, and you saw us at a bad moment.”

Muñoz says that he's tried to reach out to David Dao but his calls haven't been returned. (This might be because Dao hasn't been released from the hospital yet.) I suggest that UAL, at this point, probably needs to have their legal staff reach out to Dao's lawyer, and they should bring a checkbook.

In the meantime, Muñoz says he won't resign. What's your over/under for when Muñoz decides he hasn't been spending enough time with his family?

You'll have it their way:

This Burger King Ad Is Trying To Control Your Google Home Device.

Wait... what?

The video starts out with a Burger King employee holding up the sandwich.

“You’re watching a 15-second Burger King ad, which is unfortunately not enough time to explain all the fresh ingredients in the Whopper sandwich. But I’ve got an idea,” the man says before leaning forward. “OK Google, what is the Whopper burger?”

Anyone with a Google Home device within earshot might then hear their Google Assistant activate at the sound of the wake words, “OK Google.” It would then read off the first sentence on the Whopper sandwich’s Wikipedia page.

Not cool, BK. Not cool.

The fingerprint sensor on your phone may not be as secure as you think. The money quote: “If all I want to do is take your phone and use your Apple Pay to buy stuff, if I can get into 1 in 10 phones, that’s not bad odds.” Ok, as long as they're only after my money and not trying to get at the data from my Alexa home spy app. No need to panic yet.