Wednesday's HOT MIC

Here's your Hot Mic liveblog for Wednesday, April 5, 2017.  Join PJ Media's editors and contributors for news updates and conversation throughout the day. Scroll down or click here for Wednesday's Morning Update.

PJ Media's HOT MIC — 4/5/2017

Insane Murderous Death Cult of Maniacs think the U.S. is run by an idiot:

A newly released message from ISIS:

“You have become prey for the soldiers of the caliphate in every part of the earth, you are bankrupt and the signs of your demise are evident to every eye,” Abi al-Hassan al-Muhajer added. “There is no more evidence than the fact that you are being run by an idiot who does not know what Syria or Iraq or Islam is.

“Die of spite America, die of spite,” al-Muhajer continued. “A nation where both young and old are racing to die in the name of God will not be defeated.” Whatever.

Catch that Pepsi Spirit

Or not. Pepsi has come under fire for what I can only describe as a bizarre commercial situated during a protest/rally/march/street fair. The people are marching, they have signs (much tamer than we are used to seeing at these things, with filthy words and vagina references) and then Kendall Jenner, of the famous-for-nothing Kardashians, gives one of the cops, playing the role of riot police but without riot gear, a Pepsi. Everyone cheers. The end.

"This is a global ad that reflects people from different walks of life coming together in a spirit of harmony, and we think that's an important message to convey," Pepsi said in a statement to Business Insider.

Here's the ad.

The diversity/grievance troupe took to social media to express their outrage. Now I'm a Pepsi fan, I prefer it over Coke, so I'm inclined to like Pepsi. (Thanks for bringing back the aspartame Diet Pepsi, by the way.) But this commercial is just weird. When companies bend over backwards to placate the racial/ethnic/religious bean counters, this is what we get and no one ends up happy.

Just another brick in The Wall

CNN is reporting that "larger, more experienced firms might not be on board" to build President Trump's wall.

Several companies who otherwise possess the resources and experience to manage and deliver such a large and complex project are staying away from it largely due to concerns about political backlash, according to Dave Raymond, President and CEO of the American Council on Engineering Companies. He told CNN, "in my lifetime, I can't think of a similar experience."

One senior official from a construction firm told CNN via email that "there are many hurdles associated with the wall, ranging from political ones to financing to the very real human aspect. There are also concerns about how working on the wall would affect a construction company's ability to work in other countries, given that the Trump plan has received a great deal of international criticism."

Many companies face retaliation from certain states if they work on the wall. "The biggest problem with this project is the political side, not the engineering side," said Dave Raymond, President and CEO of the American Council on Engineering Companies.

State lawmakers in both California and New York have introduced bills that would effectively blacklist any company involved in building the border wall from future state business. Neither of the bills has passed into law, but the possibility alone has turned off many potential bidders.

"The state initiatives have really had a chilling effect on companies which otherwise would have sought involvement on these projects," Raymond told CNN. "While these companies, generally speaking, think these state initiatives are grossly unfair, they are not going to presumably risk their standing in those states by getting involved in these projects."

I guess those states don't want people to have jobs? At least we're clear on their priorities.

I have nothing to wear

Chicago has you covered.

Hardiman of Violence Interrupters visited the South Shore neighborhood after seven people were killed in three separate shootings less than 12 hours apart on Thursday.

Hardiman said he wasn’t joking when he suggested that “young people in the South and West Sides of Chicago be equipped with helmets and bullet-proof vests.”

On the other hand, this woman has worn the same thing everyday for a year and plans to continue.

[Renata] Briggman’s uniform is simple: she wears black slacks, black shoes, a grey blazer and a white shirt. Every. Single. Day. She has one necklace. When she feels like accessorizing, she’ll add a muted red leather belt. Her attitude toward dressing isn’t militant: on weekends she’ll wear black jeans instead of slacks, and in the winter she’ll slip into black boots instead of pumps. But everyday, her look is essentially the same. She’s been going strong for over a year, and she says the decision has changed her life.

“I didn’t care that I was wearing the latest the greatest, the new, the different,” Briggman says. “I just wanted to look good and professional, and especially with what I do in real estate, I need to consistently look about the same to be dependable.”

Bye-Bye DiFi?

She has been around a long time, she is 84 years old and has been in government service for 24 years.

A new poll conducted by the Institute of Governmental Politics at the University of California, Berkeley, found that 52 percent of registered voters said Feinstein should call it quits while 48 percent said it would be a “good thing” for the California lawmaker to run again.

When respondents were reminded that Feinstein will be 84 years old next year, the share of voters who said it would be a “bad thing” for the senator to seek re-election jumped to 62 percent.

Give someone else a chance.

By the way, we interrupt your usual programming to notice that President Trump couldn't help himself, and had to make the Bill O'Reilly scandal even bigger. He attacked the media for covering O'Reilly's settlements instead of Susan Rice — and Susan Rice is indeed a much bigger story. But this had the effect of throwing gasoline on the O'Reilly fire, which has already sent 21 advertisers on his show scrambling for cover.

Also, on this particular issue, I'm not sure it's the best thing to have Donald — "grab them by the p*ssy" — Trump on your side. I hope O'Reilly's innocent, but $13 million is a rather large number...

Well Tyler, as many others have said, the only evidence we've seen thus far that shows a crime was committed, was the leaking of Michael Flynn's name to the media. And that was done by someone on the Dem side to hurt/discredit Trump. Having been the recipient of many illegal leaks, the New York Times knows this better than anyone.

Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton this morning on "Fox & Friends" discussed the potential legal ramifications for Susan Rice:

"If she was accessing this material and using it for improper purposes, there are all sorts of criminal laws that would have been violated," Fitton said.

He noted that many GOP lawmakers are calling for Rice to testify under oath, but he said he would go a step further.

"If she is going to be called as a witness, I would suggest the focus be on getting a grand jury going and having her testify before a grand jury," Fitton said. "That would show that we're actually serious about investigating this unprecedented violation and abuse of power by a president and his appointees."

Fitton said that Rice may have violated the Privacy Act by improperly collecting private citizens' identifiable information, which could mean prison time. ACLJ president Jay Sekulow says Rice needs to lawyer up.

Great points, Deb! The Times just loves to say Trump has no evidence, right? The real question is, where is their evidence?

President Trump weighs in on the Susan Rice unmasking scandal in typical Trumpian fashion: "It's one of the big stories of our time."

NYT's reports his comments in typical NYT's fashion: "Trump, Citing No Evidence Suggests Susan Rice Committed a Crime".


Interesting palace intrigue here. Was Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner leaking anti-Bannon information to MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough?  That's what former Donald Trump adviser Roger Stone claimed in an InfoWars interview on Tuesday. Stone said: "Jared Kushner, perhaps the one presidential aide who cannot be fired, is now in regular text message communications with Joe Scarborough."

He also claimed: "Many of the anti-Steve Bannon stories that you see, the themes that you see on Morning Joe, are being dictated by Kushner. While Mr. Kushner’s plate is very full with Middle Eastern peace and the China visit, I think he is disserving the president.”

Hey, Debra --

That wouldn't happen to be the same Ben Rhodes who bragged about lying to the press, would it?

And they still go back to him for more.

Steve Bannon is out at the NSC:

According to The Washington Post's Robert Costa on Twitter, "Bannon hasn't been taking part in NSC meetings. Saw his role early on as keeping an eye on Flynn, making sure Obama-era NSC was reshaped..."

Bannon will continue to be the chief strategist for President Trump and an adviser on national security and foreign affairs.

The king of the Obama media echo chamber weighs in on Susan Rice unmasking bombshell:

Hey, you guys, leave our media toadies alone! They're just doing their jobs!

Eight years ago, all the smart people assured me that "business climate" was meaningless.