Hello, Main Street. Amid an avalanche of alarmist coverage of the economy and the stock market comes this happy news. Gallup reveals noteworthy sentiments among the nation’s U.S. small business owners: 58% say their revenues have increased in the past year, 64% say they expect further increases in the future, while 79% now say they are optimistic about the future in general. All of these percentages are up since the second quarter of the year, the pollster says.
But wait, there’s more.
“Small-business owners’ optimism appears to reflect in part a generally positive view of the national economy. Seventy percent of owners now think the U.S. economy is excellent or good, compared with 63% in Quarter 2. Only 3 in 10 feel the economy is currently fair or poor,” Gallup noted in an analysis.
The pollster’s summary: “Small-business owners evince strong financial outlook. Improvement in the Small Business Index driven by strong revenues Impact of trade and tariffs mixed; many cite no impact.”
Actually, 66% said the “trade and tariff situation” will have little or no impact on their specific business, Gallup found. The survey of 600 small business owners was conducted July 8-12 and released Tuesday.
INSTANT CNN TOWN HALL
A veteran media observer is vexed with CNN, which airs a live town hall event at 9 p.m. EDT Wednesday titled “America Under Assault: The Gun Crisis” in El Paso, Texas — site of one of two mass shootings which occurred in the U.S. over the weekend. Anchorman Chris Cuomo will moderate the event.
“I’m calling on all public officials to boycott CNN’s disgraceful town hall in El Paso tomorrow night. It’s nothing more than a partisan political ratings stunt, and it dishonors the victims and their families. We saw how CNN’s town hall following the shooting in Parkland, Florida, last year turned into a left-wing anti-gun political rally. There are no indications this event won’t be more of the same,” says Brent Bozell, founder of the Media Research Center.
“CNN’s shameless move to politicize this tragedy for ratings is disgraceful. Families are still burying their loved ones. If there is a ‘gun crisis,’ why aren’t they conducting town halls in Chicago or Baltimore?” he asks.
Other critics have also weighed in.
“I am sure this will involve lot of journalisming,” tweeted Daily Wire editor Ben Shapiro, while Curtis Houck, managing editor of the press watchdog Newsbusters.org, referred to the broadcast as another “grief porn thunderdome.”
INSTANT GUN SAFETY FORUM
Three advocacy groups funded by Michael Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York City, now have organized an instant “Urgent Gun Safety Presidential Forum,” set for Saturday in Des Moines, Iowa. The event has already attracted a half-dozen Democratic presidential hopefuls, among them Sens. Bernard Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and Amy Klobuchar.
Attendees also include Pete Buttigieg the mayor of South Bend, Indiana; former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro; and Gov. Jay Inslee of Washington — with more expected.
The host groups include Everytown For Gun Safety, Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action — which all grew out of Mayors Against Guns, founded and funded by Mr. Bloomberg in 2006.
“They will gather in Des Moines to learn about each candidate’s action plans to address gun violence in the wake of the recent mass shootings and the daily gun violence that kills 100 people every day and wounds hundreds more,” the organizers said in a statement.
“There has never been a more urgent time for 2020 candidates to tell Americans exactly how they will address gun violence,” says John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety.
BLAME IT ON THE LOOPHOLES
Though it does not command media obsession at the moment, the migrant “surge” continues on the southern border. Why is that?
“Many Democratic politicians cite either climate change or fears of violence when asked what is driving the border crisis, but the data indicate otherwise. The reality is that our own asylum loopholes are at the root of this surge, and it will not abate until those loopholes are closed by Congress,” says Matthew Sussis, assistant director of communications for the Center for Immigration Studies.
Murder rates have dropped in Northern Triangle countries, based on data from both the U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the governments of Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador.
In Honduras for example, murder rates have fallen by over half since 2011 — from 86.5 per 100,000 to 42.8 per 100,000 in 2017. During that same time, the annual number of apprehensions of Hondurans at the U.S.-Mexico border quadrupled. A government poll in Guatemala, meanwhile, revealed that 91% of its citizens seek to migrate to the U.S. for economic reasons; less than 1% cited gang violence.
“Similarly, despite concerns over climate change, crop production in Central America has steadily risen in recent decades. Asylum loopholes such as the Flores Settlement Agreement appear to be much more direct drivers of current migration,” Mr. Sussis advises.
For the 30th consecutive week, Fox News Channel has emerged as the most watched cable channel throughout the day, according to Nielsen Media Research. Fox News averaged 1.5 million viewers, compared to 995,000 for CNN, 855,000 for MSNBC and 679,000 for non-news rival HGTV.
“Hannity,” “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” “The Ingraham Angle,” “The Five” and “The Story” claimed 18 of the top 30 cable telecasts overall in total viewers last week. FNC also was the top-rated cable news network for breaking news coverage of the shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, on Saturday and Sunday.
POLL DU JOUR
•52% of U.S. voters say Congress should not conduct impeachment proceedings against President Trump; 90% of Republicans, 49% of independents and 19% of Democrats agree.
•26% of U.S. voters say impeachment proceedings should be a “top priority” for Congress; 5% of Republicans, 20% of independents and 51% of Democrats agree.
•11% overall say they are a “lower priority”; 3% of Republicans, 13% of independents and 19% of Democrats agree.
•10% overall say they are a “not too important” priority; 4% of Republicans, 11% of independents and 15% of Democrats agree.
•45% overall say impeachment proceedings should not be a priority in Congress; 84% of Republicans, 42% of independents and 10% of Democrats agree.
Source: A Politico/Morning Consult poll of 1,996 registered U.S. voters conducted Aug. 1-3.
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