Wednesday, January 17, 2018

President Trump Earns the Highest Presidential Approval Level of All Time

President Trump Earns the Highest Presidential Approval Level of All Time
Posted January 9, 2018

The Small Business Optimism Index hit an all-time high. That’s the new Presidential Approval Poll.

In olden days (pre-2016), candidates for president were not so different from each other. I can remember pundits complaining endlessly about how similar the Democrats and Republicans had become. In that environment, you can easily imagine someone who voted for Candidate A warming up to Candidate B. In those simpler times, a presidential approval poll meant something.

Today, a “presidential approval poll” is little more than taking attendance. If you’re a Democrat, you disapprove of President Trump as a lifestyle choice. If you voted for Trump, you probably still approve of him because you knew exactly what you were getting. And if you are an anti-Trump conservative, you allow cognitive dissonance to rule your brain and you say he’s doing a good job but you disapprove of him anyway. David Brooks accidentally described this phenomenon in this article.

I contend that business optimism — and small business optimism in particular — are the new standard for presidential approval because “economics” captures most of what a president influences.

If a president starts a war, or threatens to start one, the economy flinches.

If a president starts a trade war, or threatens one, the economy flinches.

If a president is tearing apart the fabric of civilization in one way or another, the economy collapses.

If a big terror attack succeeds on the homeland, the economy flinches.

If immigration is allowed in large numbers, the economy feels it.

I could go on. The point is that all of the “big” issues directly influence the economy via their impact on our psychology and our resources. In a free, capitalist country, “the economy” captures all the goodness and badness of a presidency without really trying. And the measure that best reflects the future of the economy, in my opinion, is small business optimism.

Big businesses can do fine with a president who promotes policies that favor big corporations, even if the rest of the country is suffering. But when small business owners are feeling good about the economy, that means the president is doing a more bottoms-up job of getting things right. President Trump has focused on bottoms-up economics from the start, meaning jobs and lessened regulations. Apparently that is working.

I have been telling you for two years straight that psychology drives the economy, and that a Master Persuader such as President Trump can directly influence psychology and optimism. We see him doing that right before our eyes.

At the same time President Trump is “talking up” our economy, he’s talking North Korea’s economy to ruin. If you own a company that is involved in smuggling with North Korea, you probably noticed that South Korea nabbed two tankers that satellite photos spotted cheating. That’s going to be a financial disaster for those shipping companies. The psychology of the corporations involved in smuggling just changed, courtesy of the Master Persuader who has no intention of taking his boot off the North Korean economy until they lose their nukes. This approach is already causing North Korea to get flexible, at least in the talking sense.

Keep in mind that all of the personality negatives that are reflected in the old-timey presidential approval polls are exactly what is scaring North Korea into the arms of “good cop” South Korea. President Trump’s tweets didn’t cause a war; they caused North Korean flexibility, exactly as I predicted.

And if you are still worried about President Trump’s mental health, I’ll do a Periscope later today to tell you how badly the media has abused the public on that topic. For a preview, check out this interview that Dr. Drew did with Dr. Bandy Lee on her opinions of President Trump’s mental health. The media reported her as saying he was mentally unfit. That wasn’t the case. She has no professional opinion on the President’s mental capacity because she has never met him. Her primary concern is about societal violence as a result of his presidency. That is completely different from what has been reported all week. I nominate this story for the Fake News Awards. I think it can be a finalist.

You will enjoy my book Win Bigly because you enjoyed this blog post.

CHARLES HURT: Behold, the anatomy of a “fake news” smear.

The latest drive-by character assassination of White House adviser Stephen Miller began, as it so often does, in a fact-free live TV orgy of public posturing by a journalist eager to display his virgin-snow virtue when it comes to unalloyed hatred of President Donald Trump.
This time it was CNN anchor Jake (Mr. Trump calls him “Fake”) Tapper, who invited Mr. Miller on his Sunday show to respond to Mr. Tapper’s complex conspiracy theory about how the president is somehow unfit or too mentally unstable to occupy the White House.
Obviously, Fake Tapper missed the report on Twitter that actually Mr. Trump is a “very stable genius.”
Anyhoo, Mr. Miller had no intention of playing any of Fake Tapper’s reindeer games. Instead, he wanted to talk about the unrelenting unfairness of CNN and its coverage of Mr. Trump.
When Mr. Miller refused to engage in Mr. Tapper’s conspiracy fantasy, the anchor changed his mind and decided he no longer wanted Mr. Miller on his show.
“I think I’ve wasted enough of my viewer’s time,” he petulantly whined before cutting off Mr. Miller’s mic.
I lost faith in Tapper nearly eight years ago.
You might remember a story from June of 2010, during the "Free Gaza" campaign to send "supply" ships past an Israeli blockade to prevent weapons from reaching Hamas terrorists there. One such ship, the Mavi Marmara, was chartered by an purported charity organization in Turkey. Israeli commandos boarded to inspect the cargo, were attacked by what ABC News described as "passengers," and several people were killed and many more were injured, including a few Israeli soldiers.
One of those killed was 19-year-old Furkan Dogan, who held dual Turkish-American citizenship. He was born in New York state, but moved to Turkey at the age of two, and apparently never even visited the US again.
Jake Tapper took this opportunity to grandstand on This Week with his guest, Senator John Cornyn, demanding to know how the US should react after "a US ally kills a US citizen."
The transcript has disappeared from, but I still have the partial quote saved in my notes for a segment I did on this back then for PJTV. My response to Tapper then was: "When a former American ally [Turkey] is making the first of several broadcast moves to reestablish hegemony over the near east, our very first concern should be, 'Did the Israelis first check the passports of all the men who were attacking them, just in case one of them might have lived in the US when he was two years old'."
But, hey, Jake -- don't let the realities on the ground (or on board the ship) stop you from making hay against Israel or a Republican Senator.
Sheesh. This happened eight years ago and Tapper still has me irritated like a fresh rash.
I suppose it would be easier for me to let go if Tapper would stop with the grandstanding -- but I think we both know that's not going to happen.



President Trump denies that he referred to certain countries as s***holes” during a meeting with Senators about DACA. He admits using “tough” language, but not that particular word.
Originally, the quote was attributed to Trump by anonymous sources not present at the meeting. However, Sen. Durbin, who was there, now says Trump did say “s***holes.”
Frankly, I don’t consider either Trump or Durbin honest. So for now, I’m agnostic as to whether the president used the particular offensive word ascribed to him. But at least Trump seems to recognize that it’s inappropriate for the president to speak this way about other countries.
Is it racist, though? Yesterday, in a brief add-on to a post by Steve, I argued that Trump likely described the countries this way because of how he views the objective conditions there, not because of the race of the residents. I would add that the very premise of the current preference for immigrants from some of these countries is the hellish nature of life there for ordinary people.
But is it racist for Trump to be unhappy with current levels of immigration from Haiti and/or certain African countries while, reportedly, saying there should be more immigration from Norway? Ramesh Ponnuru notes that American immigration policy has typically rejected the idea that we should discourage immigration from places that are poor or badly governed.
He’s right. And it my view, it would be a bad idea, though not necessarily a racist one, to stop admitting people from such places.
But almost everyone agrees that there are limits to how many people we should admit from places that are poor or badly governed. Such limitations are in place now. I don’t think it’s racist to say that the line should be redrawn to reduce the number of immigrants from these countries.
It’s true that most of the immigrants in question are Black. But that doesn’t mean Trump’s motive for wanting to cut back on this immigration is race-based. The motive may be (and probably is) the view that these immigrants, as a group, don’t bring much to the table — that, compared to immigrants from certain more advanced nations, they bring fewer skills, are less easily assimilated, and so forth.
Reasonable people can disagree about how to balance our humanitarian desire to admit people from hellholes, our pragmatic desire to admit people who are easy to assimilate, and our desire to protect American workers from pressure on their wages. It isn’t necessarily anti-Black to lean in a direction that favors less immigration than we now have from hellholes; nor is it necessarily anti-White to lean in the opposite direction.
It is cynical for Democrats and anti-Trumpers to play the race card in what is a legitimate policy dispute about immigration.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018



Daniel Horowitz reports on a new study by criminologist John Lott. It finds that illegal aliens commit crimes at a disproportionate rate relative to their share of the population.
Lott’s study is based on data from the state of Arizona. His team examined data on all prisoners who entered the Arizona state prison from January 1985 through June 2017.
Of particular interest, given the current debate over DACA, is this finding:
While undocumented immigrants from 15 to 35 years of age make up slightly over 2 percent of the Arizona population, they make up almost 8 percent of the prison population. Even after adjusting for the fact that young people commit crime at higher rates, young undocumented immigrants commit crime at twice the rate of young U.S. citizens. These undocumented immigrants also tend to commit more serious crimes.
Thus, Lott observes:
Unfortunately, if the goal of DACA is to give citizenship to a particularly law-abiding group of undocumented immigrants, it is accomplishing the opposite of what was intended. DACA age eligible undocumented immigrants are 250% more likely to be convicted of crimes than their share of the population. Those too old for DACA status are convicted at a relatively low rate (45.7% more than their share of the Arizona population.
What about the illegal immigrant population as a whole? Lott found they are more likely than non-illegals to be convicted of serious violent crimes: 163 percent more likely for first-degree murder; 168 percent more likely for second-degree murder; and 189.6 percent more likely for manslaughter.
In addition, illegal immigrants in Arizona are more likely than non-illegals to commit sexual offenses against minors, sexual assault, drunk driving, kidnapping, and armed robbery, according to Lott’s study.
DACA advocates note that dreamers with criminal records will not receive amnesty. But many crimes do not result in arrest and conviction, and it may very well be that a disproportionate share of crimes committed by illegal immigrants within their communities go unreported, partly because the victims sometimes are here illegally. Thus, it matters for the current DACA debate if the Dreamer-age population is particularly prone to criminality.
Moreover, Horowitz points out that Obama’s DACA program tried to avoid scrutinizing juvenile records. Of the current DACA-fix bills, only Rep. Goodlatte’s would open up juvenile records.
This state of affairs renders worrisome another of Lott’s findings. Illegal immigrant criminals tend to go to jail at an earlier age than non-immigrant criminals, and therefore are released at a younger age (despite having committed more serious crimes).
Lott’s general findings are consistent with data released by the Department of Justice showing that of those convicted of non-immigration federal crimes between 2011 and 2016, 21.4 percent were not U.S. citizens. By comparison, non-citizens are 8.4 percent of the adult population.
Milton Friedman once said of John Lott, he “has few equals as a perceptive analyst of controversial public policy issues.” Congress should take Lott’s study into account as it considers what to do about the DACA population.



I don’t know whether President Trump called any countries “s***holes” yesterday. However, I wouldn’t be surprised if he disparaged certain countries, as is his wont, and he may well have done so profanely.
If he did, and if doing so hurt America, then Sen. Durbin and others in the room should have kept Trump’s statement to themselves. No patriotic American would hurt this country’s international standing just to embarrass the president or in the hope of gaining a little leverage in negotiations (which, I’m pretty sure, Durbin has failed to do).
But patriotism has never been Dick Durbin’s long suit. During the Bush administration, he compared American soldiers to Nazis, Soviets, and Pol Pot. (See video below).
Now that the alleged “s***hole” comment is out there, we’re starting to hear, inevitably, about comparable remarks made by others. The Daily Caller reminds us that President Obama referred to Libya as a “s***show,” which it surely was. In 2016, Atlantic, quoting Obama, reported:
“So we actually executed this plan as well as I could have expected: We got a UN mandate, we built a coalition, it cost us $1 billion — which, when it comes to military operations, is very cheap. We averted large-scale civilian casualties, we prevented what almost surely would have been a prolonged and bloody civil conflict. And despite all that, Libya is a mess.
Mess is the president’s diplomatic term; privately, he calls Libya a “shit show,” in part because it’s subsequently become an ISIS haven — one that he has already targeted with air strikes. It became a shit show, Obama believes, for reasons that had less to do with American incompetence than with the passivity of America’s allies and with the obdurate power of tribalism.
(Emphasis added)
Obama’s profane disparagement of Libya received little attention, nor should it have. No one claimed it demonstrated racism against Arabs. Nor should anyone have.
Lindsey Graham used language less profane but equally disparaging to describe Mexico, a major ally and one of the most important countries in our hemisphere. In 2013, during debate in the Senate Judiciary Committee, he declared:
The people coming across the southern border live in hellholes. They don’t like that. They want to come here. Our problem is we can’t have everybody in the world who lives in a hellhole come to America.
Jeff Session took exception to Graham’s language. He said: “It’s not a hellhole, it has great things going on in Mexico, we’re proud of the people in Mexico.” Graham then tried to walk his statement back, claiming that he “wasn’t slandering Mexico” but rather “talking about all the places people want to leave, for whatever reason.” In other words, all the countries that people want to leave are hellholes.
Trump should not have used profane language to describe Haiti and/or African nations (if that’s what he did). Obama should not have used profane language to describe the mess in Libya. Graham is just a Senator, not the president, but he too should have chosen his words more carefully.
None of these statements is that big of a deal, though. Way too much is being made of Trump’s alleged remarks.
And if I’m wrong about this — if Trump’s comments have materially harmed the U.S. in its foreign relations — then Dick Durbin should not have let word of the comment leave the room.



We are now immersed in a s***storm over President Trump’s alleged “s***hole” comment. The Democrats, more than ever, are convinced that voters will express their revulsion toward Trump by awarding them the House in November, and perhaps the Senate as well. Maybe so. On the other hand…
President Trump denies using the word “s***hole.” So who, exactly, says that he did? Who knows? The source is, as usual, anonymous. Presumably it was one of the Democrats who attended the meeting on immigration, but we don’t even know that for sure. If no one is willing to stand up like a man (or woman) and say, “I was there, I heard what was said, and Trump described Haiti as a ‘s***hole country,'” why should be believe the story? If it’s true, why is the source anonymous?
It strikes me that something like half the stories that dominate the news aren’t news at all, they are more properly classified as rumor, based on things allegedly said by people who are not identified. I don’t think we can even imagine what a newspaper looked like if it stopped reporting stories based on anonymous sources.
Meanwhile, the story about what Trump supposedly said is shifting. Jake Tapper tweets that his source says the “s***hole” reference wasn’t to Haiti, but to unspecified African countries. Whatever. There is not much point in fine-tuning allegations by anonymous sources.
President Trump has been tweeting, too:
The Democrats have, as usual, gone ballistic over the president’s alleged crude language. But none of them, as far as I have seen, has tried to answer his question: why do we need more poor, unskilled immigrants from Haiti, or from various African countries?
Given the unremitting hate directed against President Trump by the Democratic Party press, Americans must all have turned against him, right? Seemingly not. The latest Rasmussen Pollpredates the “s***hole” hysteria, but it shows Trump spiking up a bit, to 46% approval versus 53% disapproval, about the same numbers President Obama generally registered.
A reader asks a good question: “Would it make a difference if he’d said ‘hellholes’? How else would liberals describe these God-forsaken places?” And why are so many residents of these places anxious to emigrate to the U.S.? The same reader, a Boston native, suggests that Trump may be saying, however crudely, what most Americans believe: “Boston, 1974, Louise Day Hicks: ‘She Says What You Think.'” That is indeed how a great many people view President Trump.
UPDATE: Dick Durbin, a thoroughly dishonest character, now apparently stands by the “s***hole” comment.