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. Scroll down or click here to read Liz Sheld's Morning Briefing.

Good Wednesday Morning!

Here is the President's agenda for today:

  • The President will welcome President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority.
  • Later in the morning, the President will meet with President Abbas. The President will then give a joint statement with President Abbas.
  • In the afternoon, the President will have a working luncheon with President Abbas.
  • In the evening, the President will have dinner with religious leaders.

Meet the newest member of the resistance: Soreloserman 2.0

Yesterday, two-time presidential loser Hillary Clinton was interviewed by Christiane Amanpour, hosted by (whatelse?) Women for Women International in Manhattan. Clinton talked about the campaign, made excuses for her most recent presidential loss and criticized President Trump. The New York Times write-up of the interview is just precious.

She repeatedly said that Mr. Trump did little to prepare for the presidency. And but for the actions of Russian-backed hackers and the F.B.I. in late October, Mrs. Clinton said, she would have won.

“The reason why I believe we lost were the intervening events in the last 10 days,” she said “If the election had been on Oct. 27, I’d be your president.”

There was no follow-up by Amanpour asking for comment on this information:

A new Washington Post-ABC News poll confirms this — in spades. And, in fact, it shows more buyer's remorse for Trump's opponent in the 2016 election, Hillary Clinton. And were the 2016 election held again today, it shows Trump would avenge his popular-vote loss.

The Times describes Clinton's interview as a "remarkably blunt dressing-down of a new president by his adversary in the last election." Have we had anything else but "remarkably blunt dressing-downs" from everyone on the left since Trump was elected?

“I’m back to being an active citizen,” Mrs. Clinton said, “and part of the resistance.”

Pressed by Ms. Amanpour to reflect on the campaign, Mrs. Clinton said she took “absolute personal responsibility” for her defeat. But she said she believed she would have won if not for the actions of Russia and a surprise announcement in late October by James B. Comey, the F.B.I. director, that the agency was conducting an additional review of emails linked to Mrs. Clinton.

In pointed language, Mrs. Clinton said Mr. Trump seemed to be tightly aligned with President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia, whom American intelligence agencies believe ordered an extensive campaign aimed at influencing the 2016 race.

“He certainly interfered in our election,” Mrs. Clinton said of Mr. Putin. “And clearly interfered to hurt me and to help my opponent.”

Mrs. Clinton said that if you “chart my opponent and his campaign’s statements,” they appear “quite coordinated with the goals of that leader, who shall remain nameless.”

There would have been no "Comey investigation" if Clinton hadn't set up a homebrew email server in her basement to conduct all her State Department business. She takes no responsibility for that nor does she recognize how serious a security breach her desire to avoid public record requirements was.

Allahpundit at Hot Air writes:

Or, of course, maybe not. Silver himself noted on November 6th, after Comey’s second letter was released announcing that no new emails had been discovered on Anthony Weiner’s laptop, that “betting markets show Clinton’s probability of winning the election improving by about 3 percentage points on the news.” His final “polls-plus” electoral model gave her a better than 70 percent chance of winning the election notwithstanding Comeymania. It’s impossible to say how much of the late break among voters towards Trump was a backlash to the Comey news and how much was late deciders tilting towards the anti-status-quo candidate for more organic reasons. And as any Trump voter would happily remind you, if Comey’s letter affected the race, that was partly because Clinton had run a sufficiently lousy campaign that she had left herself vulnerable to an eleventh-hour gamechanger.

The new book "Shattered" reveals plenty about what was going on behind the scenes in the Clinton campaign, including critical campaign elements like she had no message or reason for running for president other than she felt entitled to it. Her campaign was in disarray, she did not go out and talk to the voters, she wrote off the Rust Belt states and only did outreach in minority-heavy areas to accumulate primary delegates—and that's only a partial list of her failures. She lost because people don't vote for presidential candidates they don't LIKE, and people do not LIKE her. She was viewed as untrustworthy by voters and her extreme secrecy only compounded her image problems.  I could go on... I should write a review of "Shattered" at some point.

Unfortunately, Clinton will be releasing a book in the fall, so we'll have to see her talking about this all over again.

Report: No charges in Alton Sterling shooting

This is going to get ugly today.

The Department of Justice is expected to close an investigation into the police shooting death of Alton Sterling and bring no charges in the case, CBS News' Paula Reid reports.

Sterling was shot after police were called to a convenience store to investigate him for threatening a by-stander with a gun. CBS News leaves that part of the story out of their report. In fact, all the major media reports leave out the details that led up to the shooting incident. Go figure.

In the video, filmed by store owner Abdullah Muflahi, officers are seen pinning Sterling to the ground. Officers can be heard saying "You [expletive] move, I swear to God," and shouting, "Gun!" before shots ring out.

Sterling can be seen bleeding from the chest on the ground.

Muflahi told CBS Baton Rouge affiliate WAFB-TV the first officer used a Taser on Sterling and the second officer tackled him. Muflahi said that, as Sterling fought to get the officer off him, the first officer shot him "four to six times."

The owner said Sterling didn't have a gun in his hand at the time but he saw officers remove a gun from Sterling's pocket after the shooting.

The Sterling family had not been given any news about the impending DOJ decision, nor had their attorneys or Louisiana officials, according to CNN.

Two attorneys for the Sterling family also told CNN on Tuesday evening they have not heard from the Justice Department on a decision in the case, in which two white police officers were involved in the shooting while trying to detain Sterling, a black man, outside a Baton Rouge convenience store on July 5.

Justice Department spokeswoman Sarah Isgur Flores told CNN the department has not communicated to anyone a decision. When there is a decision, the family will be notified first and then the department will hold a news conference, she said.

Expect some violence after this report comes out. The left is ready to take advantage of any opportunity to get violent for political reasons.

Yates to testify about Flynn

Former Obama DOJ appointee Sally Yates will appear next week in front of Congress to testify about former NSC honcho Mike Flynn. She will tell the lawmakers that she warned the Trump administration about Flynn's contact with the Russian ambassador.

Yates on Monday is expected to recount her Jan. 26 conversation about Michael Flynn and to say that she was concerned by discrepancies between the administration's public statements on his contacts with ambassador Sergey Kislyak and what really transpired, according to a person familiar with that discussion and knowledgeable about Yates's plans for her testimony.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity so as not to pre-empt the testimony.

Yates is expected to say that she told White House counsel Don McGahn that she believed Flynn's communications with Kislyak could leave Flynn in a compromised position because of the contradictions between the public depictions of the calls and what intelligence officials knew to be true, the person said.

There seems to be some confusion: Yates will say she was "warning" the White House, while the WH says Yates just wanted to give them a "heads up" about an apparent conflict with the administration's public remarks. Of course, we aren't talking about how Flynn was identified or the illegal unmasking of a private citizen by Obama's tools in the intelligence agencies.

"So just to be clear, the acting attorney general informed the White House counsel that they wanted to give a 'heads up' to us on some comments that may have seemed in conflict with what he had sent the Vice President out in particular," White House press secretary Sean Spicer told reporters at a Feb. 14 press briefing.

Yates will appear before the Senate Judiciary Committee alongside former DNI director and suspected leaker James Clapper.

McDonald's releases a new french fry utensil

If you felt like something was missing from your McDonald's experience, you were right.

McDonald’s unveiled a “uselessly useful” utensil called a “frork” Monday in a hilarious infomercial hosted by McDonald’s Chef Mike and pitchman Anthony Sullivan. The frork is essentially a fork, but with French fries.

The frork was released as part of the rollout of McDonald’s new Signature Crafted Recipe Sandwiches. 

The purpose of the new device is to "ensure customers can scoop up any toppings that fall out of McDonald’s new pico guacamole, sweet BBQ bacon and maple bacon dijon sandwiches."

“When savoring these recipes, there’s a hitch you just can’t ditch: The topping dropping,” Sullivan says in the infomercial. “This is a real problem. Wait, sorry is this a real problem? Probably not, but good news, we solved it anyway.”

Watch the funny "infomercial" commercial:

I love McDonald's and I think they do best when they stick to their basics: the McDouble (add Mac sauce) and their delicious Filet-O-Fish.

That's all I've got, now go beat back the angry mobs.

Mark Zuckerberg announced today that Facebook is adding 3,000 new content monitors (in addition to the 4,500 they already employ) to look for extremely violent content, like the recent so-called Facebook murder in Cleveland. It didn't sound like a completely terrible idea until Zuckerberg added that they're also going to be ferreting out "hate speech." Whose definition of hate speech are they going to use? In a political climate where conservative speech is increasingly labeled hateful, I don't have a good feeling about this.

Okay, so here's my theory. (Following up on Tyler's piece and a bunch of others today.)

Comey knew that the Justice Department was no way going to indict Hillary. The "intent" excuse was just that -- an excuse (18 USC 793(f) again.) At the same time, he could not bring himself to let a multiple felon be elected President.

On the heels of this morning's Facebook virus hoax, we now have this, which is NOT FAKE NEWS:

That's my techie son's Facebook post and yes, I clicked because it looked like it was from someone I know. (Derp...I should know better.)

Here's what it asks you to agree to if you try to click through:

If you click to open the doc, here's what happens:

Tom's Guide has more:

It's not yet clear what the aim of the phishing scam is, but whatever you do, don't click on that "Open in Docs" button. If you do, change your Gmail password immediately, and set up two-factor authentication if you haven't done so already.

Excuse me while I head over to Google to change my password and then do this:

My apologies to everyone in my address book.

 

 

On today's Right Angle, Bill Whittle, Scott Ott and Yours Truly pick over the rotten corpse of the "GOP" budget deal.

Update on the North Lake College shooting in Irving, TX.  Two people are dead in what police are characterizing an apparent "murder-suicide."

Police say two people are dead, including the suspected gunman, after he opened fire at North Lake College in the Las Colinas area of Irving in what's believed to be a murder-suicide.

Irving police have confirmed that three shots were fired on the campus Wednesday just before noon.

The deceased gunman was described as being a white man with a buzz haircut, who was wearing an orange tank top and black jacket. He was armed with a handgun, police say, and hasn't been identified.

Terrible.

FiveThrityEight's Nate Silver says Comey's October 28 letter likely cost Hillary Clinton the election.

The letter isn’t the only reason that Clinton lost. It does not excuse every decision the Clinton campaign made. Other factors may have played a larger role in her defeat, and it’s up to Democrats to examine those as they choose their strategy for 2018 and 2020.

But the effect of those factors — say, Clinton’s decision to give paid speeches to investment banks, or her messaging on pocket-book issues, or the role that her gender played in the campaign — is hard to measure. The impact of Comey’s letter is comparatively easy to quantify, by contrast. At a maximum, it might have shifted the race by 3 or 4 percentage points toward Donald Trump, swinging Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Florida to him, perhaps along with North Carolina and Arizona. At a minimum, its impact might have been only a percentage point or so. Still, because Clinton lost Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin by less than 1 point, the letter was probably enough to change the outcome of the Electoral College.

Silver criticized the media for downplaying the impact of Comey's letter.

In fact, one liberal said The New York Times is "the Right's propaganda" because it downplayed the Comey letter's impact. Does ANYBODY buy that?

A war among Republican moderates belonging to the Tuesday Group may lead to the ouster of one of its leaders. Rep. Tom MacArthur negotiated a compromise on the health care bill with members of the conservative Freedom Caucus -- even after being told not to by members of the group.

Apparently, negotiating with the "opposition" -- even among moderates who supposedly favor negotiating with Democrats -- can be detrimental to your standing.

The Hill:

During a recent closed-door meeting, Tuesday Group lawmakers warned MacArthur not to negotiate with Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) amid an impasse over the health bill; they were worried moderates would be blamed if a deal brought conservative holdouts on board the bill.

But MacArthur pressed forward anyway and cut a deal with Meadows, although he said he was only negotiating for himself and not the larger Tuesday Group.

"I think [MacArthur] overstepped his bounds," the Tuesday Group lawmaker said.

MacArthur's compromise would allow states to apply for waivers from some ObamaCare requirements, a move that is seen as a concession to Freedom Caucus conservatives.

No jokes about the Tuesday Group meeting in an elevator of a phone booth, please. They are very sensitive about that sort of thing.

I agree with most who believe the Trump bill doesn't "reform" much of Obamacare, and keeps too many parts of it intact. But it may be a political necessity for President Trump to get it passed.  It's encouraging to me that Trump took a personal hand in the negotiations over this $8 billion rider. It shows he's engaged and recognizes what's important to his presidency.

Steve thinks the money is "ransom" but, as a practical matter, I would look upon it as a down payment for a successful first term.

 

Oh my. Sean Spicer's WH press conference just devolved into a debate between Spicer and reporters about the definition of the word "wall." "There are various types of walls, " Spicer insisted, whipping out PowerPoint slides proving that a chain link fence is not the same as a "wall." Reporters questioned Spicer about Trump's failure to secure the $1.4 billion he requested for a border wall. The spending bill instead provides $341 million for replacement fencing.

Now Spicer's tweeting out the pictures (while simultaneously sparring with reporters, I guess).

During today's White House press conference, Sean Spicer repeatedly cited Ivanka's "passion" for women's issues as the reason she's qualified to be one of her father's top advisors. But is "passion" a bonafide qualification? Mark Cuban apparently doesn't think so. He called BS on two women on a rerun of "Shark Tank" last night who substituted "passion" for actual evidence that their business was viable. "If I hear the word 'passion' one more time, I'm out," he told the contestants before asking them to provide some hard data to back up their assertions.