Rapid Reactions: Hunter’s Not Done Yet, Trump Pivots To Early Voting, Hollywood Goes Populist

Hunter Biden, the son of US President Joe Biden, is seen during the annual White House Easter Egg Roll on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, DC on April 18, 2022. (Photo by MANDEL NGAN / AFP)
(MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)

Come for Morning Wire’s Afternoon Update’s straight news, but stay for the Rapid Reactions. The following four stories, and more, can be heard on today’s Morning Wire Afternoon Update podcast. Click here to listen

1. Hunter’s Plea Deal Blows Up

In a surprising development, President Biden’s son Hunter entered a not-guilty plea Wednesday after his plea deal unraveled.

Hunter’s plea deal was thrown into chaos after Judge Maryellen Noreika questioned the deal’s language and its constitutionality. She pressed whether it would cover future charges and whether Hunter is still under federal investigation. The DOJ confirmed he was and that the deal would not apply to future charges, but Hunter’s attorneys disputed that, leading to new negotiations and the previous agreement being ripped up. Hunter wound up pleading not guilty — for now — and the two parties will reconvene before Judge Noreika sometime in the next four to six weeks. Noreika apologized to Hunter, saying, “I know you want to get this over with, and I’m sorry. But I need to get more information to do justice as I’m required to do.”

Rapid Reaction: This author will have more on this in a future column, but there have been signs that Hunter doesn’t tend to hire the brightest legal minds. Remember when his attorneys tried to file a countersuit against the Delaware computer repairman, John Paul Mac Isaac, who claimed to have worked on Hunter’s personal computer way back in 2019? The president’s latchkey son is alleging that Mac Isaac illegally obtained and distributed his “electronically stored data,” thereby invading his privacy.

Yet, his attorneys insisted that the legal action in no way should be taken as proof that the “laptop from hell” is real.

With that in mind, it’s easy to see how the attorneys in Hunter’s plea deal botched it so badly.

2. UFO Whistleblower

David Charles Grusch — a decorated former combat officer in Afghanistan and a veteran of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency — testified today before a House panel investigating UFOs. Grusch, 36, was the Reconnaissance Office’s representative to the Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAP) Task Force from 2019-2021. And then from late 2021 to July 2022, he was the NGA’s co-lead for UAP analysis and its representative to the task force. For more on this story, tune into tomorrow’s episode of Morning Wire.

Read more here.

Rapid Reaction: Why are we allowing ourselves to be distracted by a literal shiny object? There’s the Border Invasion, the Biden crime family allegations, the ongoing Ukraine War and slumber toward World War III, Tech Censorship, and so many other stories that are — arguably — more important. It also defies the odds that the current Congress — perhaps the most rotten group of officials ever assembled — are either doofuses or liars on every other issue, except for UFOs.

3. Trump Endorses Early Voting

Former President Donald Trump, the current GOP front-runner, announced today that he is formally backing the Republican National Committee’s plan to encourage early voting — a change in his 2020 election strategy. 

“We may not like the current system, but we need to master the rules and beat the Democrats at their own game and then we can make our own rules. Republicans must get tougher and fight harder to cast our votes and get our ballots turned in earlier so Democrats can’t rig the polls against us on Election Day,” he added.


Rapid Reaction: Trump hit the nail on the head. You have to use the system to your advantage. And right now, Republicans are operating at a massive disadvantage after ignoring early voting for so many years. This also is smart politically now in the 2024 primary because it neutralizes criticism that Trump would not do what’s necessary to win in 2024.

4. Bryan Cranston Speaks Out Against AI

And, Actor Bryan Cranston excoriated Hollywood executives and singled out Disney CEO Bob Iger on Tuesday for the use of artificial intelligence in the film and television industries.

“We’ve got a message for Mr. Iger: I know, sir, that you look through things in a different lens,” he said. “We don’t expect you to understand who we are. But we ask you to hear us, and beyond that, to listen to us when we tell you: We will not be having our jobs taken away and given to robots.”

Cranston made his remarks during the “Rock the City For a Fair Contract” rally in Times Square, in support of the ongoing Hollywood writer’s strike.

Rapid Reaction: Technology erasing jobs in rapid fashion will impact all workers — and the social cost of that change can be debated — so there is a populist sympathy toward Cranston. Yet, it sure would have been nice to have Hollywood speak out when Disney used America’s legal immigration system to hire cheaper Indian nationals for its IT department and effectively forced American citizens to train their replacements nearly 10 years go.

As one worker told the press, “I felt extremely un-American. … I felt like I was part of destroying our economy because I had to train a replacement that was going to come here, take my job and potentially take other people’s jobs.”

Two of those workers sued, and ultimately lost the case. Before we debate the pros and cons of AI replacing jobs, perhaps we need to discuss the benefits of ever-increasing mass legal and illegal immigration.

To listen to the audio version of Afternoon Update, click here. And for more in-depth discussion of the biggest stories of the day, listen to the latest full episode of Morning Wire every morning.

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