Wednesday's HOT MIC

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Disrespectful breach of hat etiquette:


The rules are plain:

  1. a gentleman always takes his hat off in the presence of a lady.
  2. a gentleman never wears his hat indoors, except in the presence of other men of equal rank/standing.
  3. a gentleman never wears his hat in the presence of a superior.


Ha ha ha ha ha ha.


The egg-on-face original tweet from the Times:

In honor of the overly-aggressive translator-propagandists at the Associated Press:

Is it meme-magic time yet? Okay then, I'll go first.

To be fair, he does have another chance to fail in June.

NEWS AND POLITICS DESK UPDATE: Defense Secretary James Mattis and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson were both in Riyadh today. Mattis got the high-profile meetings with King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud and Defense Minister Mohammad bin Salman al-Saud, while Tillerson delivered remarks at the U.S.-Saudi CEO Summit.

The defense minister, noting he had "great trust" in Mattis, said the kingdom would work with Washington "in order to curb and counter all the challenges in the region, either when it comes to fighting terrorist organizations or the malign activities of Iran that continues to unsettle the world."

Mattis said the two had "come to conclusions about our cooperation for the future" and would "actually do something as we reinforce Saudi Arabia's resistance to Iran's mischief and make you more effective with your military as we work together as partners."

"We are not leaving this region, but at the same time, it is in our interest to see a strong Saudi Arabia military security service and secret services," Mattis added, saying talks "could actually open the door, possibly" to President Trump visiting Saudi Arabia.

The Defense secretary later told reporters "it's very clear that Saudi Arabia is stepping up to its regional leadership role out here right now at a key time in terms of trying to restore stability in this key region of the world."

"The meetings could not have gone better. They were frank. They were candid. They were honest," he said. "They were highly productive in terms of outcomes, to include how we're going to work together with one of our best counterterrorism partners against the enemy."

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis meets with Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud in Riyadh on April 19, 2017. (DoD photo by U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Brigitte N. Brantley)

Sometimes it snows in April.

Prince 'Deliverance' EP Hit With Legal Challenge.

I'm still looking forward to this, but:

Social media lit up Tuesday with the news that a six-song EP of previously unreleased material called Deliverance will drop April 21 to honor the one year anniversary of Prince's death. To help get the word out, its title track went up early on iTunes and Apple Music (though it's notably absent from Spotify or Tidal).

Just hours later, reports emerged that Prince’s estate and Paisley Park had filed a federal lawsuit against sound engineer George Ian Boxill for control of the Deliverance tracks. The lawsuit estimates the value of the recordings at more than $75,000.

According to St Paul’s KSTP, the lawsuit accuses Boxill of refusing to return the tracks in violation of a contract he made with the late artist. The lawsuit was initially filed in Carver County district court Friday, but was re-filed in federal court Tuesday because Boxill, who has worked with 2Pac, Gladys Knight, Janet Jackson and others, works in California.

A press release announcing the Deliverance collection claims the “undiscovered studio recordings” were cut from 2006–2008 and will be released via RMA (Rogue Music Alliance), with a physical version of the set scheduled to drop June 2.

The $3.99 preorder is still available on the iTunes Store, at least for now. The title track -- available for download -- is good, old-fashioned, Gospel-influenced R&B.

Michael: At this point it's "he said/she said" regarding O'Reilly and his accusers. We don't know what the truth is and may never know. Right now we have O'Reilly's lawyer alleging a vast left-wing conspiracy, but no one's offered any proof that all the women who have accused O'Reilly of sexual harassment are lying leftist plants involved in a surreptitious plot to destroy him. It seems just a teensy bit premature to go out on that conspiracy limb at this point.

Jamelle Bouie, writing in Slate about the retail apocalypse and why Trump doesn't care.


The Bureau of Labor Statistics doesn’t disaggregate this data by race and gender, but it’s likely that a large number of those nonwhite workers—if not a majority—are women too. By contrast, heavy manufacturing, industrial, and extraction work is overwhelmingly white and male. What’s more, it’s tied to a particular image of the standalone (and often unionized) worker who can provide for his family on one income. Americans have historically had an almost romantic attachment to the hard-hat worker, usually white, in a way that we don’t to any other profession.

Work is gendered and it is racialized. What work matters is often tied to who performs it. It is no accident that those professions dominated by white men tend to bring the most prestige, respect, and pay, while those dominated by women—and especially women of color—are often ignored, disdained, and undercompensated.

For all of the impersonal economic reasons for the decline of retail, for all the understandable reasons motivating political attention to manufacturing, it’s also the case that this is a story of race and gender. A story of who matters in our society; who deserves our collective concern. And if one thing is true in American history, it’s that white men have always been among those called “deserving,” with other groups struggling to attain that label and the respect it implies, and some—like black women—long stigmatized as inherently unworthy.

Really, Jamelle? What is it exactly that you expect Washington to do about the fact that people don't want to get in their cars, wrestle with traffic, find a parking place, and then walk a mile and a half to buy a pair of shoes?

Is racism the reason that Washington refuses to shut down the internet?

One imagines that if Bouie were writing during the first quarter of the 20th century, he would demand that Washington "do something" about disappearing jobs for blacksmiths, wheelwrights, coopers, candle makers, and buggy whip manufacturers.

Of course, if Washington had intervened, we'd still be shoveling horse crap off the streets.

The notion that Washington isn't doing anything about the death of retail has absolutely nothing to do with what color or gender the workers are. It is the simple truth that nothing is to be done to resuscitate a dying brick and mortar retail industry short of making it illegal to sell stuff on the net.

Auto mechanics replaced blacksmiths, electricians replaced candle makers. New industries arose that employed those wheelwrights and coopers who were thrown out of work.

Bouie apparently never heard of "creative destruction."