Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Trump approval reaches new high of 50% among registered voters nationwide-Morning Consult Politico Poll, 2/24-2/26/17

Poll dates: Feb. 24-26, 2017, 2000 registered voters, online poll

2/28/17, "Ahead of Joint Address, Most Voters Think Trump Is Delivering on Promises," Morning Consult, Eli Yokley

"As President Donald Trump prepares to deliver his speech to a joint session of Congress on Tuesday, most voters say he has kept his promises to the American people during his first month in office."...


Among Trump voters: 88% say he's keeping his promises so far. 

Among all voters: 56% say he's keeping his promises so far.

"On the campaign trail, Trump promised a lot. He pitched voters on a broad “America first” pledge — reinforced during his inaugural address — aimed at strengthening the country’s manufacturing sector and improving the job market, as well as “draining the swamp” of influence in Washington. He also vowed to cut regulations, ramp up deportations of undocumented immigrants [illegal aliens], build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, slow the flow of refugees and immigrants into the U.S., repeal...[ObamaCare], and “drain the swamp” of political corruption.

And while Trump has taken steps to accomplish some of these goals — mostly via executive action — it’s too early to determine how successful he will be in pushing his agenda through. But, most voters say he’s delivering so far....
A third of voters (33 percent) said Trump has accomplished more than they expected since he took office in January, while 36 percent said he has accomplished about as much as they expected him to. More than half of Trump’s supporters (56 percent) said Trump has accomplished more than they expected, while about 4 in 10 (39 percent) of Clinton’s voters said he’d accomplished about as much as they expected.... 

Trump’s approval numbers among registered voters also hit a new high over the weekend, with 50 percent approving of his performance, [page 1] compared with 45 percent who do not....

The national, online survey polled 2,000 registered voters on Feb. 24-26. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points. See more here."


p. 4. Should transgendered persons use rest rooms according to the gender they identify with or the gender they were born with?

Identify as: 38%
Don't know: 16%

Demographics, page 12



Liberal 31, Moderate 23, Conservative 37



Income: Under $50,000 53, $50-100,000 33, $100,000+ 14


Demographics, page 13

Race: White 81, Hispanic 9, Black 13, Other 6

Top Issue, page 14

Economy 30%
Security 21%
Health care 16%
Medicare/Soc. Security 15%


WSJ NBC News Poll: 86% agree with Trump that a few in Washington have 'reaped the rewards of government while the people have borne the cost.' For first time since 2002, Republican optimism soars. Americans overall "view Trump more positively than negatively on being effective, bringing change to D.C., being firm and decisive, direct and straightforward-and perhaps most importantly, dealing with the economy”-Wall St. Journal, 2/26/17. Poll dates, 2/18-2/22/17

"Asked about the course of the country, 40% said the nation is headed in the right direction. That is up from 33% in December and 18% in July."
Poll dates: Feb. 18-22, 2017, telephone interviews with 1000 adults nationwide. (No further description, such as if respondents voted, political affiliation, male vs female) 3.1 error margin on total. No link to poll. Article is WSJ subscription.

2/26/17, "Many Americans Disapprove of Trump but Are Open to His Agenda, Poll Finds," Wall St. Journal, Michael C. Bender

(Scroll to paragraph 17): "47% said they approve of most of his policies. That is a higher rate than Ronald Reagan recorded in January 1987, or George W. Bush in March 2006. Among three previous Republican presidents, only George H.W. Bush had a higher rating, in October 1991, with 50% approving. 

When pollsters tested one of the lines from Mr. Trump’s inaugural speech—asking whether a small group in Washington had “reaped the rewards of government, while the people have borne the cost”—an overwhelming majority of 86% said they agreed.

I thought this would test well, but never thought it would reach 86%,” Mr. McInturff said. 

He added that while Mr. Trump’s speeches are often described as dark and apocalyptic, many individual lines resonate powerfully with many Americans. That may continue with Mr. Trump’s address to Congress on Tuesday. 

The poll suggested that the public may be sympathetic to some of Mr. Trump’s recent attacks on the media. A majority of adults, 51%, said the media has been too critical of the president, while 41% said the press has been fair and objective.

When a similar question was asked in the third year of Mr. Clinton’s first term, 45% said news coverage of the president was fairly well balanced, while about one-third said it was biased against Mr. Clinton and 16% said it was biased in his favor.

Aiding Mr. Trump’s approval rating was the fact that Americans are slowly becoming more optimistic about the country and the economy. Asked about the course of the country, 40% said the nation is headed in the right direction. That is up from 33% in December, and 18% in July.

A plurality of Americans, 41%, continue to believe that the U.S. economy will improve, a postelection shift that followed three years in which most Americans expected economic prospects to remain stagnant. Among those who are anticipating improvement, 73% credit the expected gains mostly to Mr. Trump’s policies, while 20% say it would result from the normal ebb and flow of the business cycle. 

Some 60% of Americans now say they’re hopeful and optimistic about the future of the country, up 4 percentage points from December. Just 40% are worried and pessimistic, slightly lower than in other recent Journal/NBC News polls.

That optimism is reflected in a sharp change in how Americans view major institutions in the country. For the first time since 2002, a majority of adults, or 52%, say they don’t believe the nation’s economic and political systems are stacked against them. An improved outlook among Republicans is largely responsible for the change....

His voters wanted change,” Mr. McInturff said. “He’s not another president; he’s their president. And Americans overall do view him more positively than negatively on being effective, bringing change to D.C., being firm and decisive, direct and straightforward—and perhaps most importantly, dealing with the economy. 

The Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll was based on nationwide telephone interviews of 1,000 adults conducted from Feb. 18-22. Overall, the data’s margin of error is plus or minus 3.1 percentage points. The margin of error for subgroups is larger."

"Write to Michael C. Bender at Mike.Bender@wsj.com"


Comment: George W. Bush scorned Republican voters and ensured that the Republican Party, if it existed at all, didn't reflect views of its voters. He left the country with only one functioning political party, no checks and balances, effectively a dictatorship. Trump offered to represent us and didn't scorn us:

2/26/2017: "For the first time since 2002, a majority of adults, or 52%, say they don’t believe the nation’s economic and political systems are stacked against them. An improved outlook among Republicans is largely responsible for the change."... 

NYC Mayor De Blasio's quest for national respect hit another roadblock Saturday after defeat of his candidate Ellison for DNC chair-NY Post Editorial Board

2/24/17, DeBlasio exits NYC building after 5 hours of questioning by feds


2/26/17, "De Blasio’s quest for national respect hits another roadblock," NY Post Editorial Board 

"Mayor de Blasio’s endless drive to win respect as a national progressive leader hit another banana peel Saturday with the defeat of his candidate to chair the Democratic National Committee. 

The mayor had dramatically flown to Atlanta on Friday afternoon, after his 4½-hour grilling by federal prosecutors probing the possible sale of City Hall favors, to rally support for Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison.

The change-the-subject stunt annoyed some in the Ellison camp. As Mary Kay Linge and Aaron Short reported in Sunday’s Post, one Democratic source said Ellison allies had asked de Blasio not to come: “The buzz is, what the f–k was he doing here?”

After all, the mayor has built a rep not so much as a progressive leader but as a progressive opportunist. During the long Bernie Sanders-Hillary Clinton contest for the 2016 presidential nomination, he first tried (and failed) to play power broker, as with his unsuccessful efforts to make both candidates attend his own issues forum.

Behind the scenes, he was trying to get the Clinton camp to make him its point man with progressives as a condition of his support. In the end, he got nothing for holding out months after virtually every other New York elected Democrat had endorsed Clinton.

Perhaps de Blasio was looking to reconnect with the Bernie bros by going all-in for Ellison: Sanders and American Federation of Teachers chief Randi Weingarten were the two main speakers when Ellison announced for the job.

In the end, though, former Labor Secretary Tom Perez — the preferred candidate of former President Barack Obama — won. 

Meanwhile, de Blasio burned bridges with other local Democrats by failing to support the DNC vice-chair bids of Bronx Assemblyman Michael Blake and Queens Rep. Grace Meng. (Instead, he backed a California labor activist.)

In a speech Friday night at a private party (he didn’t get a slot at the actual meeting), the mayor complained that people had come to see Democrats as “a party of lobbyists and consultants.” Funny: The mayor himself not only faces multiple probes into his relationship with lobbyists, he’s also in court fighting to keep the public from seeing his communications with lobbyist-consultants he declared to be secret “agents of the city.”

Perhaps the rest of the progressive movement has good reason for not wanting de Blasio as its leader."


Monday, February 27, 2017

Rapper MC Rove performs at 2007 Radio and Television Correspondents' Dinner-Time.com

Karl Rove, 2007 Beltway media dinner

"The Radio-Television Correspondents Association is the major organization of broadcast journalists who report on the U.S. Congress in Washington, D.C. comprised of radio and television broadcasters from every part of the world."

"Top Ten Performing Politicians," time.com

6 of 10, "Karl Rove": The main attraction of course is DJ Jazzy Rover here. At the 2007 Radio and Television Correspondents' Dinner, the Architect himself revealed his most frightening persona — MC Rove. Which is really the laziest hip-hop name he could have come up with. Ol' Dirty Rove? Rove Dogg? Ice-K? We're not even trying here. Also, he apparently believes that rapping can only occur with a deep, faux-gravelly voice. Shockingly embarrassing, no matter your politics."...


Warren Buffett says weather events haven't changed in a way that would cause his insurance businesses to write policies differently-CNBC, 2/27/17

2/27/17, "Warren Buffett says global warming is not impacting the way Berkshire writes insurance," CNBC, Tom DiChristopher

"Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett on Monday said he has not yet seen sufficient evidence that climate change is affecting weather events to a degree that would make him change the way his conglomerate's insurance businesses write policies.

Events such as Hurricane Sandy have raised concerns that global warming is increasing the intensity and frequency of so-called superstorms.

"I have not seen anything yet that would cause me to change the way we look at evaluating quakes, tornadoes, hurricanes by atmosphere. Now, that may happen some day," he told CNBC's "Squawk Box." 

He added that the frequency of Florida hurricanes has been "quite low" for roughly the last decade compared to historical trends, and storms in the Sunshine State, Texas and the U.S. Southeast have been "remarkably benign."

Buffett delivered a similar assessment in last year's annual letter to shareholders. In that letter, he said climate change had not up until then "produced more frequent nor more costly hurricanes nor other weather-related events covered by insurance."

That caused rates for super-catastrophe insurance to fall, leading Berkshire to back away from the products, according to Buffett. Costlier and more frequent "super-cats" would actually likely benefit Berkshire's insurance business, he wrote.

At the time the letter was released, Buffett was facing a proposal from a shareholder that asked Berkshire to report on the dangers climate change poses to the company's insurance operations.

Research shows it is premature to conclude greenhouse gas emissions from human activities "have already had a detectable impact on Atlantic hurricane or global tropical cyclone activity," according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration."...


With Hollywood and Oscars on board, We are all Neocons now: False Syrian war coverage by US media and Hollywood cause more suffering and death. Misinformed Americans are most dangerous because with their support US neocons can righteously decree death of nations or 'regime change' as they did in Libya-Boston Globe, 2/28/2016, Stephen Kinzer. Hollywood and Oscars warmongers pretending to be humanitarians profits bloody Beltway Endless War Party-Rick Sterling, Consortium News. 2/2/4/17

At a 2016 debate in Milwaukee, "Hillary Clinton claimed that United Nations peace efforts in Syria were based on "an agreement I negotiated in June of 2012 in Geneva." The precise opposite is true....No one on the Milwaukee stage knew enough to challenge her."  

Feb. 18, 2016, "The media are misleading the public on Syria," Boston Globe, Stephen Kinzer, opinion

"Coverage of the Syrian war will be remembered as one of the most shameful episodes in the history of the American press. Reporting about carnage in the ancient city of Aleppo is the latest reason why. 

For three years, violent militants have run Aleppo. Their rule began with a wave of repression. They posted notices warning residents:

“Don’t send your children to school. If you do, we will get the backpack and you will get the coffin.Then they destroyed factories, hoping that unemployed workers would have no recourse other than to become fighters. They trucked looted machinery to Turkey and sold it. 

This month, people in Aleppo have finally seen glimmers of hope. The Syrian army and its allies have been pushing militants out of the city. Last week they reclaimed the main power plant. Regular electricity may soon be restored. The militants’ hold on the city could be ending. 

Militants, true to form, are wreaking havoc as they are pushed out of the city by Russian and Syrian Army forces. “Turkish-Saudi backed ‘moderate rebels’ showered the residential neighborhoods of Aleppo with unguided rockets and gas jars, one Aleppo resident wrote on social media. The Beirut-based analyst Marwa Osma asked, “The Syrian Arab Army, which is led by President Bashar Assad, is the only force on the ground, along with their allies, who are fighting ISIS— so you want to weaken the only system that is fighting ISIS?”

 This does not fit with Washington’s narrative. As a result, much of the American press is reporting the opposite of what is actually happening. Many news reports suggest that Aleppo has been a “liberated zone” for three years but is now being pulled back into misery. 

Americans are being told that the virtuous course in Syria is to fight the Assad regime and its Russian and Iranian partners. We are supposed to hope that a righteous coalition of Americans, Turks, Saudis, Kurds, and the “moderate opposition” will win. 

This is convoluted nonsense, but Americans cannot be blamed for believing it. We have almost no real information about the combatants, their goals, or their tactics. Much blame for this lies with our media. 

Under intense financial pressure, most American newspapers, magazines, and broadcast networks have drastically reduced their corps of foreign correspondents. 

Much important news about the world now comes from reporters based in Washington. In that environment, access and credibility depend on acceptance of official paradigms. Reporters who cover Syria check with the Pentagon, the State Department, the White House, and think tank “experts.After a spin on that soiled carousel, they feel they have covered all sides of the story. This form of stenography produces the pabulum that passes for news about Syria. 

Inevitably, this kind of disinformation has bled into the American presidential campaign. At the recent debate in Milwaukee, Hillary Clinton claimed that United Nations peace efforts in Syria were based on “an agreement I negotiated in June of 2012 in Geneva.”

The precise opposite is true. In 2012 Secretary of State Clinton joined Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Israel in a successful effort to kill Kofi Annan’s UN peace plan because it would have accommodated Iran and kept Assad in power, at least temporarily. No one on the Milwaukee stage knew enough to challenge her. 

Politicians may be forgiven for distorting their past actions. Governments may also be excused for promoting whatever narrative they believe best suits them. Journalism, however, is supposed to remain apart from the power elite and its inbred mendacity. In this crisis it has failed miserably. 

Americans are said to be ignorant of the world. We are, but so are people in other countries. If people in Bhutan or Bolivia misunderstand Syria, however, that has no real effect. Our ignorance is more dangerous, because we act on it. The United States has the power to decree the death of nations."...

[For example in Libya: