Wednesday's HOT MIC

Here is today's HOT MIC.

Piggy Brother Is Watching You.

North Koreans Get Smartphones, and the Regime Keeps Tabs.

This is a Wall Street Journal story, so you'll need a subscription to read the whole thing. My job, however, allows me to subscribe in a completely tax-deductible manner -- so I'll excerpt the juicy stuff for you.

North Korea has allowed more citizens access to smartphones and an isolated intranet, offering residents who can afford it a new way to communicate and giving the dictatorship new opportunities to monitor its people and bolster its powers.

Defectors interviewed by The Wall Street Journal and recent visitors to Pyongyang said mobile phones are becoming more commonplace, and status symbols. One woman who recently defected said wielding a smartphone at first made her feel proud.

Her views changed, she said, after learning that the government employed people to monitor the devices around the clock.

“There is no country which monopolizes and controls successfully the internet and information as North Korea does,” said Kang Shin-sam, an expert on North Korean technology and co-head of the International Solidarity for Freedom of Information in North Korea, a nonprofit based in South Korea.

And if you think Android was stolen from Apple? North Korean "smart" phones run a forked version of Android, which I'm sure Kim Fatty the Third claims to have created himself in between curing syphilis and shooting a perfect 18 on Pyongyang's finest golf course in the country's annual Death Camp Classic.

Anyway, the regime has figured out how to get millions of its citizen-serfs to put tiny Orwell-style telescreens right in their pockets, complete with GPS tracking.

Which, come to think of it, isn't much different from what millions of Western Android owners do every day.

The NFL can't die fast enough:

The N.F.L. on Wednesday extended the contract of Commissioner Roger Goodell for another five years, ending an unusually rancorous monthslong standoff with Jerry Jones, the Dallas Cowboys’ owner, who wanted to derail the deal.

A committee of owners negotiating Goodell’s compensation signed off on a contract worth roughly $200 million over five years, which is in line with his current deal. But unlike his current arrangement, nearly 90 percent of the potential compensation will be paid only if a variety of financial targets are met.

Well, that's something, I guess.  Through its arrogance, its sense of entitlement, the mediocre quality of its play, the interchangeability of its players, and now its capitulation to the social-justice warriors, the NFL no longer deserves the loyalty of its former fans.

Despite declining television ratings, persistent worries about the safety of the game and a backlash against the league because of players protesting during the national anthem, the league is still a financial juggernaut, with $14 billion in annual revenue. That is a big reason the owners are comfortable keeping Goodell — who became commissioner in 2006 — on for another five years.

But with anxiety over the league’s weaknesses growing, Jones and other owners wanted to ensure Goodell continued to focus on growing the league’s business. As a result, they have insisted that most of his compensation in the coming years be based on the N.F.L. hitting financial targets, with various owners signing off on bonuses linked to the targets. Goodell’s guaranteed salary before those potential bonuses will be about $4 million a year.

Things are tough all over.

The White House put out this nifty abbreviated version of Trump's remarks today:

 

Haha, good question:

 

These people ...