Monday, February 26, 2018

Surprise, Guess Who Is More Popular Than Obama?

On Friday, President Trump addressed the largest crowd of conservative activists in the history of CPAC. It was another memorable Trump speech, listing his many accomplishments and encouraging the crowd to support Republican candidates in the mid-term elections. For 80 minutes, the President discussed an array of issues such as tax cuts, judicial appointments, immigration and the strong economy.

To the delight of the crowd, Trump claimed that “we have got seven years to go folks.” Of course, this did not thrill the President’s many enemies in the national news media. MSNBC’s Ali Veshi said the President’s speech was similar to what he has “heard from Hugo Chavez or Fidel Castro or Erdogan. President Putin gives something like this every year, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad used to give speeches like this.” Both Veshi and his co-host, Stephanie Ruhle claimed that the speech was filled with “lies.” They were also aggravated that the President discussed 31 topics but did not mention Russia. Hey, Ali and Stephanie, since there is no collusion or obstruction of justice, why should he mention a “fake news” story like Russia?

This kind of media abuse directed at the President is nothing new. Ever since Donald Trump officially entered the presidential race on June 16, 2015, the national news media has treated him with total disdain. It has been even worse since he was elected President despite their best efforts. Since that time, liberal cable news outlets like CNN and MSNBC have devoted almost their entire broadcast schedule to attacking his personality, his temperament and his administration’s agenda.

Donald Trump has received the worst media coverage of any President in modern American history. According to a recent study by the Media Research Center, the press coverage of the President by the major broadcast networks has been negative 91% of the time.

With such hatred toward the President, it must be especially upsetting for his critics to see the recent upsurge in his approval rating. In the latest Rasmussen survey, President Trump registered a strong 50% approval rating, his highest level of support since June of last year.

At this point in his administration, Barack Obama had only a 45% approval rating. Incredibly, Trump with almost universal media condemnation is more popular than Obama, who received undying adulation and praise from the press.

The same so-called journalists who idolized Barack Obama have been relentlessly hounding President Trump about non-existent “Russian collusion.” One Trump critic, Jeff Zeleny of CNN, once asked President Obama at a news conference what “enchanted him the most” about the position. This type of fawning behavior was typical of how the media treated Barack Obama. They made obsequious comments and asked President Obama no probing questions that would ever upset him. The lap dog media during the Obama years has become a rabid attack dog media during the Trump administration.

Fortunately, more Americans understand the nature of the liberal mainstream news media. Consequently, millions of Americans are consuming more of their news from other sources such as news websites, talk radio and social media. This is a good development and explains why the President has been able to grow in popularity despite the daily negative media onslaught against him. In contrast, the ratings for CNN have plummeted recently as Americans turn away from their hateful coverage of President Trump.

It also helps that President Trump has an extremely loyal base of supporters who will stand with him no matter what criticism he encounters. This bond was established during the campaign when he stood firm on the key issues and did not back down in the face of unrelenting criticism.

Another major factor in the President's surging popularity is the tax reform bill that passed Congress last December. The bill is associated with President Trump and as more Americans appreciate the many benefits of the bill, his popularity will continue to rise.

The Democrats and the news media denounced the tax cut bill, but Americans are getting raises, and bonuses and are starting to see more money in their paychecks. The reality of their improving financial situation is trumping the “fake news” being delivered by the President's many media critics.

With an improving economy and a rising approval rating for President Trump, the Republicans have a better chance of retaining control of Congress in the mid-term elections. This is news that will not enchant the liberal news media, which will start to wonder why their abusive treatment of the President is not working. Luckily, the American people are starting to understand what the liberal media is all about.



CNN’s Town Hall Event Becomes A Hate Rally Against The NRA

Hating is what the Left does

Well, talk about a tale of two meetings. The one hosted by President Trump with those who have been victimized by mass shootings was respectful, grounded, and doled out logical solutions. Yes, there was some talk about assault weapons bans and Australian-style gun control, but a lot of family members who lost their loved ones to gun violence said more armed guards, possibly the teachers themselves should be considered. Better security at schools concerning access to buildings also need to be addressed as well. That was earlier in the afternoon on Wednesday. Later that evening, CNN held a town hall event in Sunrise, Florida. The National Rifle Association agreed to participate, along with Sens. Marco Rubio (R-FL), Bill Nelson (D-FL), and Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL).

It was a hostile environment. Period. Sen. Nelson wants a new ban on so-called assault weapons. He slammed Gov. Rick Scott for incentivizing a gun manufacturer that makes the AR-15 rifles to move to Florida. That was the main course in this segment, which was broken up into two parts. The second half was with NRA spokesperson Dana Loesch and Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel.

Rubio became the punching bag. One father, Fred Guttenberg, who lost his daughter in the tragic shooting last week, was the first to confront the Florida Republican, saying his remarks, and that of President Trump since the event, were “pathetically weak.” A lot of cheers were thrown when Rubio was slapped repeatedly for not catering to the anti-gun atmosphere. Rubio did say he now supports raising the minimum age to buy a rifle to 21, might support limiting magazine sizes, and banning bump stocks (via WaPo):

"Look at me and tell me guns were the factor in the hunting of our kids in the school this week,” Fred Guttenberg, who lost his 14-year-old daughter Jaime in the shooting, asked Rubio. She had been running down the hallway when she was shot in the back, Guttenberg said. “Were guns the factor in the hunting of our kids?” Guttenberg asked.

“Of course they were,” Rubio responded. But he said a “better answer” than banning assault weapons is to “make sure that dangerous criminals, people that are deranged cannot buy any gun of any kind.”

Rubio said he would support a law that makes it illegal for 18-year-olds to purchase rifles, as well as the banning of bump stocks and expanded background checks. He said he pushed for a $50-million-a-year threat-assessment fund so states could identify people who could potentially commit mass shootings, and stop them.

It’s here that the crowd’s enthusiasm for gun confiscation became explicitly clear.

Cameron Kasky not only asked Rubio if he would stop accepting NRA donations, but even equated him to the shooter, Nikolas Cruz. CNN host Jake Tapper just sat there (via NewsBusters):

“I'm sorry, I know I'm not supposed to do this, but I'm not going to listen to that. Senator Rubio, it's hard to look at you and not look down the barrel on an AR-15 and not look at Nikolas Cruz, but the point is: You're here and there are some people who are not,” Kasky spat.

After Rubio answered his question, Kasky began to browbeat him for the money the NRA donated to his campaign, basically insinuating he was being bribed. “And this is about people who are for making a difference to save us and people who are against it and prefer money. So Senator Rubio, can you tell me right now that you will not accept a single donation from the NRA in the future,” he demanded as the crowd went crazy.

The second segment saw Dana Loesch taking serious heat from the audience, with more than a few people calling her a murderer. She noted that this was a monstrous act, and that the shooter, Nikolas Cruz, shouldn’t have been able to buy a firearm. The background check system needs to be updated and reformed, so that his disturbing behavior could be properly documented in the system. Cruz had no prior criminal convictions and was not adjudicated as mentally defective, which would have barred him from buying an AR-15.

On January 5, the FBI received a tip that Cruz could carry out a school shooting. The bureau never followed up on it; something FBI Director Chris Wray admitted last week. The FBI was invited to the town hall event, but declined. They dropped the ball, as did local law enforcement, which visited his home 39 times over a seven-year period, documenting episodes that were described as that of a “mentally ill person.” There were many red flags that were not acted upon, something that Loesch pointed out during this second hour of the town hall event.

Yet, where things got ugly was when Loesch was asked why the NRA position is not to raise the age of purchasing long guns to 21.  She mentioned Kimberly Corban was on a previous CNN town hall on the Second Amendment when Obama was president; he mansplained gun politics to her, by the way. She was brutally raped in college and wishes she was able to defend herself with a firearm, probably a shotgun, which drew boos from the crowd. Yeah, that’s the anti-gun Left, people.

I don’t get it. I just don’t get how anyone could even consider that the position of leaving women unable to defend themselves from rapists and others who seek to do harm to them is fine. The reaction on this front was appalling, but women are becoming a bigger voice in the gun industry, with many think they’re rapidly becoming the next frontier. More women are lining up to obtain their concealed carry permits, shooting sports participation is up, and they’re the fastest growing demographic embracing gun ownership.

Second, what about all the signs Cruz was exhibiting? Was it the gun? Or was it that all levels of government failed to protect these kids? It’s the latter. Is our system broken or is it that the front office handling the management of this system—NICS—has to do better at their jobs? The FBI dropped the ball here, folks. That is a fact. The FBI manages the background check system. Does anyone not think that armed guards, better security at schools, better mental health detection, proper documentation of disturbing behavior, and the ability to update NICS with this information could stop people who shouldn’t have firearms from obtaining them? I think it can. 

But that doesn’t ban so-called assault weapons or limit magazines, so it’ll be unacceptable to the anti-gun Left. The confiscatory ethos permeates every policy initiative they dish out. What happened last night was a North Korean kangaroo court and every conservative, every Second Amendment supporter, every NRA member, and anyone in America who wasn’t onboard with gun control was on trial. We’re guilty of supporting American civil rights and freedom.



'Unpatriotic:' New Wave of Horrible Tax Reform "Crumbs"  Arrives, Utility Bills Lowered in 39 States

We noted earlier in the week that Nancy Pelosi has evolved from issuing cartoonishly dire warnings about the consequences of tax reform, to sneering at the unmistakably positive results of the law passed over her objections (along with every Congressional Democrat), to muttering about how making US businesses more competitive and allowing taxpayers to keep more of the money they earn is 'unpatriotic,' or something.  Her messaging is an elitist, counter-productive mess, but it's all they've got.  It's not working.  Public polling has tracked the tax reform bill bouncing from underwater by double digits, to tied, to supported by a majority of voters -- all in about two months. 

The needle hasn't moved that significantly because Republicans have undertaken a masterful communications strategy while Democrats have fallen asleep at the switch.  It's moved because in many respect, the results speak for themselves.  As I put it on television a few days ago, Democrats don't have a messaging problem on tax reform; they have a reality problem.  And reality keeps interfering with their efforts to attack the GOP-passed law.  Here is the latest cascade of examples of employers handing down tax reform-caused benefits to employees, from a Minnesota-based food company:

Hormel Foods Corp. this morning announced that it plans to use savings from the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act to award stock options to its employees and raise starting wages to $13 an hour...“Tax reform will have a clear benefit to all Hormel Foods stakeholders — our shareholders, our employees, and the communities in which we operate,” Hormel President and CEO Jim Snee said in the announcement. “The ongoing cash tax benefit will provide additional funds, allowing us to accelerate the growth of our business...Snee also announced that Hormel will continue to raise its starting wages following the $13 an hour increase. The company plans to bump the starting wage to $14 an hour by the end of fiscal 2020. “We also pledged an additional $25 million in donations over the next five years as supporting our communities through product and monetary donations is important to us,” he added. Hormel also expects to pass some of the tax savings on to its shareholders.

To an international air shipping company:

Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings, Inc. (Nasdaq: AAWW) today announced record fourth-quarter and full-year 2017 revenue, record fourth-quarter earnings and robust full-year earnings growth, and a continued strong outlook in 2018...We expect the new tax legislation to have a positive impact on economic activity and corporate growth. On passage of the law, we were pleased to provide a one-time bonus of $1,000 to our global personnel in recognition of their hard work and commitment to the company's growth.” Turning to 2018 and beyond, Mr. Flynn stated: “We are operating in a strong airfreight environment, underpinned by global economic growth.

To a transportation company headquartered in Ohio:

Wilmington-based global transportation company R+L Carriers announced this week it would issue bonuses of up to $1,000 for all its employees....

Remaining in Ohio, here's a furniture business doling out bonuses and rolling out a major expansion:

Over 140 employees for a local furniture store will feel their wallets get a lot bigger. Sheely’s Furniture and Appliance President and CEO, Dale Sheely Jr. announced the bonuses Tuesday morning.....

To a bank in Virginia:

Employees of F & M Bank were surprised on Tuesday to learn they would receive a bonus, which the institution attributes to additional earnings expected as a result of the GOP tax plan....

And I'll leave you with this data point from the Speaker of the House, whose office has been tallying the results of the GOP-passed law. Not only are millions of workers experiencing benefits, and not only are 80-90 percent of taxpayers receiving a tax cut, many consumers around the country are getting helpful breaks, too:

This is the opposite of the Obama position on energy costs, which he sought to increase through his preferred policies.  Higher energy bills -- like (ahem) gas taxes -- are extremely regressive.  They hammer the people who can least afford it.



For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCHPOLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated),  a Coral reef compendium and an IQ compendium. (Both updated as news items come in).  GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten. I also put up occasional updates on my Personal blog and each day I gather together my most substantial current writings on THE PSYCHOLOGIST.

Email me  here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or  here (Pictorial) or  here  (Personal)


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