Wednesday'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.

Breaking news, not many details yet:

Here's some more from ABC News:

An amphibious vehicle caught fire during a training exercise at a Southern California base Wednesday and 15 Marines were hospitalized, including eight rushed to a burn center in San Diego, military officials said.

Three of the Marines were listed in critical condition Wednesday afternoon at the Burn Center at the University of California San Diego Health and five were in serious condition, the Marine Corps said in a statement. Four other Marines were rushed to the University of California Irvine Medical Center in nearby Orange County, including two in critical condition there.

Another Marine at a hospital in the San Diego suburb of La Jolla was in stable condition and two others were treated for minor injuries at a Navy hospital at Camp Pendleton.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the Marines and their families affected by this incident," a Marine Corps statement said.

I will update on this page if any more news comes in.



Feel-good nightcap.

The vice president is hosting his own tax reform dinner, but this one is decidedly partisan:

House Republicans push back on DOJ asset forfeiture changes. From CNN:

The House of Representatives has agreed to several measures pushing back on Attorney General Jeff Sessions' expansion of the Justice Department's role in law enforcement seizure of US citizens' property and cash without proof of guilt.

On Tuesday, the House passed four amendments via voice vote which would limit the Justice Department from using funds towards facilitating asset forfeiture.

Then-Attorney General Eric Holder curtailed the Justice Department's involvement in the heavily criticized law enforcement practice, but Sessions changed the policy in July as one of many steps the new attorney general has taken to rescind Obama-era Justice Department policies.

One of the amendments, led by Michigan Republican Rep. Justin Amash, would use Congress' funding authority to prohibit the Justice Department from taking any action blocked by Holder's policies. Two others, one from Michigan Republican Rep. Tim Walberg and another from Maryland Democratic Rep. Jamie Raskin, would ban the Justice Department from using funds to enforce Sessions' July order.

This has probably been one of my least favorite moves by this administration. It is a practice that is loathed by people on both sides of the aisle, even people like me who are extremely pro-law enforcement. Whether any of this makes it to the president's desk is a long shot, but if there has to be bipartisan coordination on any issue, let it be this one.

The San Diego Chamber of Commerce probably regrets this little gem getting out there:

More from WaPo:

San Diego has started sanitizing its streets and sidewalks to try to combat a hepatitis A outbreak spreading among the city’s homeless population.

Amid an outbreak across several cities in San Diego County that county health officials sayhas led to 16 deaths and nearly 300 hospitalizations, workers hosed down areas in San Diego earlier this week with chlorine and bleach, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune. Mayor Kevin Faulconer (R) recently announced that measures to try to curb the spread of the deadly disease would include giving free vaccinations, installing hand-washing stations and power-washing streets in the Southern California city.

“We must continue to work collaboratively to stop this crisis and save lives,” Faulconer said in a statement.

Earlier this month, health officials in San Diego County declared a public health emergency because of a hepatitis A outbreak spreading through the area.

The Southern California weather is a driving factor in this problem. Anaheim is reeling from it:

Here in L.A. I see little tent gatherings appear in one area for a while, only to have the police kick them out so they can relocate to another place for a month or two. That's a very "rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic" approach, it would seem.

The weather won't be changing here, so this problem isn't going to go away by itself. Los Angeles has spent a lot of money over the years to combat homelessness, and last year voters approved over a billion dollars to build housing for the homeless. This opinion piece says that county and municipal governments need a more individual approach to effectively help homeless people.

I'm quickly becoming a fan of the fierce Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who has proven herself to be quite adept at handling the overwhelmingly hostile press corps.

You can watch her ripping Hillary's "sad" book here, and accusing James Comey of "false testimony" here.

Keep slaying, queen.


Amazon is under fire for deleting unverified 1-star reviews of Hillary Clinton's new book, What Happenedor as I like to call it, What Difference at This Point Does it Make?

Amazon seems determined to keep Our Lady of the Pantsuits high in the ratings. This comes as a surprise to me, because my book, Shut Up! The Bizarre War That One Public Library Waged Against the First Amendment,  was attacked by unverified trolls (who happen to mostly be public library employees) and Amazon wouldn't do anything about it. In fact, the day my book dropped on Amazon it was deluged with 1-star reviews by unverified accounts declaring it the worst piece of garbage they never read. When I reached out to Amazon for help, they deleted 5-star verified reviews because they claimed I "knew" the reviewers. Amazon actually searched my Facebook author page and anyone who "liked" it, who also bought the book and gave it a good review, got their reviews deleted. Meanwhile, they allowed the unverified 1-star reviews to stay. You can see them still there more than a year later.

This is more of the Internet gods' war on ideas utilizing censorship.Et tu, Amazon?

[Shameless promotion alert!] Go buy my book in celebration of Banned Books Week coming up since the library it is primarily about, the Orland Park Public Library, has banned it from its shelves, even though it was given several copies as donations. Want to find out what terrible things are happening in libraries near you and snicker at some of the worst public officials in America? This book is for you. 


Ross Douthat actually wrote something good at The New York Times today. Usually, I find the token "conservatives" at the Times and WaPo to be painful to read. This piece on the Trump administration's revision of the campus assault kangaroo court rules from the Obama era is fantastic though.

Perhaps this was because enough people read The Atlantic, which chose last week to run a three-part series by Emily Yoffe on the sexual-assault policies in question. The series demonstrated exhaustively what anyone paying close attention already knew: The legal and administrative response to campus rape over the past five years has been a kind of judicial and bureaucratic madness, a cautionary tale about how swiftly moral outrage and political pressure can lead to kangaroo courts and star chambers, in which bias and bad science create an unshakable presumption of guilt for the accused.

It’s also a cautionary tale with specific implications for cultural liberalism, because it demonstrates how easily an ideology founded on the pursuit of perfect personal freedom can end up generating a new kind of police state, how quickly the rule of pleasure gives way to the rule of secret tribunals and Title IX administrators (of which Harvard, Yoffe notes in passing, now has 55 on staff), and how making libertinism safe for consenting semi-adults requires the evacuation of due process.

Rape and sexual assault are age-old problems. But the particular problem on college campuses these days is a relatively new one. For ideological reasons, the modern liberal campus rejects all the old ways in which a large population of hormonal young people once would have had their impulses channeled and restrained — single-sex dorms, “parietal” rules for male-female contact late at night, a general code emphasizing sexual restraint. Meanwhile for commercial reasons as well as liberationist ones, many colleges compete for students (especially the well-heeled, full-tuition-paying sort) by winkingly promising them not just a lack of adult supervision but a culture of constant partying, an outright bacchanal.

That last paragraph brings up some things that are rarely part of this "debate" about the campus sexual assault problem. As Douthat later points out, the universities have deliberately created an unhealthy environment that blurs the lines between criminal behavior and youthful drunken regret.

Any discussion of the above is nigh on impossible because the always-shouting social justice warriors will begin accusing anything nuanced of being pro-rape. The SJW stance on this is intractable: all males are rapists and are guilty until proven guiltier. They haven't backed off on this after the Rolling Stone/University of Virginia hoax either, they've actually dug in.

Douthat's conclusion is chilling and accurate. The abandonment of due process wasn't something concocted in an isolated academic bubble, it was dictated by the Obama administration:

It wasn’t a policy from the liberal fringe, in other words. It was liberalism, period, as it actually exists today and governed from the White House until very recently.

I have a nineteen year-old daughter in college right now. It's not as if I am dismissive of the issue altogether. Obviously, I want everything possible done to prevent sexual assault from ever happening. I, and many others, simply don't believe that constitutional rights disappear because one is on a college campus.

The Cleveland Indians just made history:

Their 21-game win streak is a new American League record.

"Hammy" calls it: "BALL GAME!"

The Tribe is tied with a pair of Chicago teams for the most consecutive wins in all of MLB and now have the record set by the 1916 Giants in their sights.

The streak has been especially impressive given that several key players, including closer Andrew Miller, are on the DL. Slugger Michael Brantley, second baseman Jason Kipnis, and outfielder Andrew Zimmer are also injured, yet the team continues to adjust and win.

A few stats from Sports Illustrated that highlight just how well the Indians are playing baseball right now:

1. The Indians have defeated their opponents by a combined score of 134–32 over the 20-game winning streak. Only six teams have a run differential greater than 100 for the entire season. Cleveland's overall run differential of 220 is 52 runs higher than that of the second-best team, the Dodgers.

2. The Indians are not simply winning games, they’re dominating from start to finish...Cleveland has trailed for only four of 171 innings during their winning streak.

3. Of their 20 wins, the Indians have three times as many wins of five runs or more (nine) as they do one-run wins (three).

4. They have hit 39 homers during the winning streak. They have allowed 32 runs total.

5. They have logged six shutouts during the winning streak. Fourteen teams have logged six or fewer all season.

6. They have three of the majors' top four pitchers in strikeouts since Aug. 1.

I'm not gonna lie — this team is a blast to watch! Could this be the year?



At least one person has died and 3 wounded at a school shooting in Washington state.


11:55 a.m. (local time)

Officials say one person was killed and at least three others were shot when a gunman opened fire at a high school in Washington state.

Brian Schaeffer of the Spokane Fire Department told reporters that one person died in the shooting Wednesday morning at Freeman High School in Rockford, south of Spokane.

Three of the injured were taken to a hospital.

The Spokesman-Review reports Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich said at the scene that the shooter was in custody.

Either the shooter was stopped before he could do more damage or he showed up with a specific target or targets in mind.

Will update this post as more information becomes available.