At The Hill: The media couldn't be more blatant in distorting Trump's words on Charlottesville

I have a new piece at The Hill about how the media is completely distorting what Trump has said about Charlottesville.  The piece starts this way:
Has the media ever so deliberately and consistently misinterpreted what a president said? 
It certainly seems as if the media finally found its proof that President Trump is a racist. ABC News’ coverage was all too typical: 
Trump quickly blamed both sides for the conflict, adding that there were "very fine people" among both the protesters — which included white supremacists and white nationalists — and the counter protesters. 
"I think there is blame on both sides. You look at both sides. I think there is blame on both sides," Trump said today. "You had some very bad people in that group. You also had some very fine people on both sides," he added. 
With wall-to-wall news coverage repeating this misreading of Trump’s statement, it’s not too surprising that politicians from both parties quickly condemned the “very fine people” comment. NBC’s headline read: “Democratic, Republican Lawmakers Decry Trump’s Latest Charlottesville Remarks.” Ohio Gov. John Kasich attacked Trump: “This is terrible. The President of the United States needs to condemn these kinds of hate groups. The president has to totally condemn this." 
Does anyone even listen to comments anymore before commenting on them?
When it comes to the president, do politicians just take reporters at their word?
But Trump never said that the white supremacists and neo-Nazis were “very fine people.” He said that there two different types of people protesting the taking down of the Robert E. Lee statue – the racists (“some very bad people in that group”), and people who thought that for the sake of history it was important not to take down the statue. 
Here is Trump’s own explanation from his press conference
Trump: “And you had people, and I'm not talking about the neo-Nazis and the white nationalists, because they should be condemned totally. But you had many people in that group other than neo-Nazis and white nationalists. 
“OK? And the press has treated them absolutely unfairly.” . . . 
Reporter: “You were saying the press has treated white nationalists unfairly? (inaudible) understand what you're saying.” 
Trump: “No, no. There were people in that rally, and I looked the night before. If you look, they were people protesting very quietly the taking down of the statue of Robert E. Lee. I'm sure in that group there were some bad ones. The following day, it looked like they had some rough, bad people – neo-Nazis, white nationalists, whatever you want to call them. 
“But you had a lot of people in that group that were there to innocently protest and very legally protest, because you know – I don't know if you know, they had a permit. The other group didn't have a permit.” 
President Trump made it very clear that his comment did not pertain to “neo-Nazis and the white nationalists.” When a reporter misinterpreted his very clear statement, Trump again made it clear that the bad people were the “neo-Nazis, white nationalists.” . . .
The rest of the piece is available here.


On The Morning Show with Brian and Leland to discuss Kevin Hassett's nomination to the Council of Economic Advisers

I was on The Morning Show with Brian and Leland in Brownsville, Texas and central Texas to discuss Kevin Hassett's nomination to chair President Trump's Council of Economic Advisers.  Unfortunately, the beginning part of this interview is missing where we talked briefly about the role of the Council of Economic Advisers in everything from taxes to regulations to even crime.
(Tuesday, August 15, 2017, from 8:06 to 8:16 AM)
Audio available here.



In the Washington Times: Confirming Kevin Hassett to chair the Council of Economic Advisers is prudent and necessary

Kevin Hassett's confirmation to chair the Council of Economic Advisers is important not just taxes but also for a whole range of other issues, including crime.  The Council of Economic Advisers touches on every issue that economists have done research on.  From the beginning of my piece in the Washington Times:
Even if the Senate votes for confirmation on the very day that it returns from recess, a record 112 days will have passed since President Trump nominated Kevin Hassett to chair the Council of Economic Advisers. Since 1980, the average time to confirm other Council chairmen is 25 days. For incoming administrations, the average confirmation period is 13 days. The longest was 25 days. 
A world-recognized expert on taxation, Mr. Hassett has been stuck on the sidelines despite the administration’s big goals this year on tax reform. Mr. Hassett is the one person who can help make the different parts of a tax bill fit together and can explain it to the media. 
White House chief economic adviser Gary Cohn has reportedly told associates that time is running out for tax reform. He worries that if tax reform doesn’t get done by the end of the year, it likely won’t happen at all. Missing key players such as Mr. Hassett doesn’t help. And Democrats are threatening to delay Mr. Hassett’s vote much longer. 
The delay reflects only Democrats’ unwillingness to confirm any Trump nominees. Mr. Hassett is not a controversial pick. . . .
The rest of the piece is available here.

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New in the Chicago Tribune: How Democrats keep guns in the hands of the rich

Dr. John Lott has a new piece in the Chicago Tribune today (it will be in the print edition tomorrow).  The piece starts this way:
When it comes to voting rights, any obstacles outrage liberals; even free government-issued IDs are viewed as disenfranchising poor and disproportionately black people. But when it comes to the right to own a gun for self-defense, liberals don't hesitate to pile on fees, ID requirements, expensive training and onerous background checks. 
That's too bad, because many law-abiding citizens in crime-ridden neighborhoods really do need a gun for self-defense. Since poor, urban blacks are the most likely victims of violent crime, there is little doubt that they stand to benefit the most from owning guns. Research, including my own, has demonstrated this. 
A new report from the Crime Prevention Research Center shows that the average fee for a concealed handgun permit is $67, but it is much higher in the most Democratic states. Each 10-percentage-point increase in a state's presidential vote for Hillary Clinton was associated with an additional $30 in the concealed handgun permit fee. In California, where Clinton won by about 30 points, fees can be as high as $385 for just two years. In New York City, where she won by 60 points, a three-year permit costs $430. 
In addition to prohibitive fees, some blue states — California, Illinois — require four times as many training hours as the national average, adding hundreds of dollars to the cost of obtaining a concealed-carry license. In California counties, the mandated cost of training can run from $250 to more than $1,000. Compare heavily Democratic Illinois, where the cost of permit and training runs over $450, with neighboring Republican Indiana where the total cost for everything is $50.


Obama’s Attorney General Used Fake Identity To Hide Her Involvement In Development of Clinton Investigation E-Mails talking points

From the Daily Caller:
Like her predecessor, Eric Holder, former Attorney General Loretta Lynch used an email alias to conduct government business, The Daily Caller has confirmed. 
Several of Lynch’s emails were included in 413 pages of DOJ documents provided to the conservative groups Judicial Watch and the American Center for Law and Justice. Both groups had filed lawsuits for records regarding Lynch’s controversial meeting with President Bill Clinton at the Phoenix airport last June 27. 
Using the pseudonym “Elizabeth Carlisle,” Lynch corresponded with DOJ press officials to hammer out talking points in response to media requests about the meeting. The tarmac encounter drew criticism from conservatives because Lynch was overseeing the federal investigation into whether Hillary Clinton mishandled classified information on her private email system. 
The meeting was revealed not by Lynch, Clinton or the Justice Department, but by a reporter in Phoenix working based on a tip. 
Lynch, using the Elizabeth Carlisle account, which was hosted on the Justice Department’s system, was also involved in those discussions. . . .



On the Steve Gruber Show to discuss Democrats delaying Kevin Hassett's confirmation vote to chair the Council of Economic Advisers

I was on the Steve Gruber show to discuss how Democrats are obstructing even non-controversial confirmations by President Trump.  In particular, they talked about  Kevin Hassett's confirmation to be President Trump's chair of the Council of Economic Advisers.  The show is broadcast on the Michigan Talk Network. (Tuesday, August 1, 2017, from 6:45 to 6:53 AM)

The audio is available here.



On Fox Business to talk about tax cuts and the impact that they will have on investment in the US

Appearing on Fox Business.  Dr. John Lott says optimism over tax reform is boosting the markets.  He explains how money will US flood markets if we get tax cuts.

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California: Criminal penalties and arrests down, crime up

From The DailyWire:
California's latest attempt to handle one of the perpetual subjects of progressive complaint, jail and prison overpopulation supposedly caused by "over-incarceration," has proven once again what should not need re-proving: going easy on criminals results in more crime. 
Back in 2014, nearly 60% of Californians voted in favor of Proposition 47, which sought to thin out jails and prisons by downgrading many "nonviolent, nonserious" felonies to misdemeanors and allowing some prisoners to be eligible for re-sentencing for more lenient terms (see summary below). The measure ostensibly saved the state millions in incarceration costs, but while that particular budget line might look better, the state and its residents have suffered as a result.  
Since Prop 47 went into effect, arrests are down 30% while violent crime in Los Angeles is up a devastating 40%. And it's not just L.A. — Southern California as a whole is feeling the deleterious effects of the law's "lighter" touch.  
A major reason for the stunning increase in violent crime is the reckless way Prop 47 downgraded some offenses, including theft of a firearm, which used to be a felony but which is now treated as a misdemeanor, along with several other serious property theft offenses. . . .

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Canada: What happens when a crime victim takes a gun from a criminal and shoots him? The victim goes to jail

Canadian man takes gun from home invaders and shoots on of them; he is now charged with attempted murder and nine other firearms charges. From the Herald News in Nova Scotia, Canada:
A man is charged with attempted murder and a raft of firearms offences after helping fend off home invaders, one of whom he’s now charged with shooting. 
Kyle Earl Munroe was arrested on July 12 after RCMP and Halifax Regional Police responded to a report of a home invasion involving firearms at a home in Porters Lake.
Police said that three men entered the residence with guns and a struggle took place with two men inside. 
The two in the home seized a firearm from one of the suspects and several shots were fired as the suspects fled. Police later located one of the suspects, who had non-life-threatening gunshot wounds. 
Munroe faces charges of attempted murder, intent to discharge a firearm, intent to discharge a firearm when being reckless, careless use of a firearm, improper storage of a firearm, pointing a firearm, possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose, 
unauthorized possession of a firearm, possession of a firearm knowing that possession is unauthorized, and possession for the purpose of trafficking. . . .

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At Fox News: Trump needs a chairman for his Council of Economic Advisers. When will Democrats let him be confirmed?

I have a new piece at Fox News on the incredibly slow confirmation process for Trump's nominees.  Because of the delays created by the Democrats, even if Trump had nominated people as quickly as past administrations, it wouldn't have made any difference in the number of people confirmed.
It’s the middle of July, and President Trump still doesn’t have a chairman for his Council of Economic Advisers. His nominee, Kevin Hassett, is a world-recognized expert on taxation, but he has been stuck on the sidelines despite tax reform being one of the administration’s big goals this year.  He is the one person who could explain how the different parts of the tax bill fit together. 
White House advisor Gary Cohn has reportedly told associates that time is running out for tax reform.  He worries that if tax reform doesn't get done by the end of the year, it likely won’t happen at all.  Missing key players such as Hassett doesn’t help. 
The delay reflects only Democrat’s unwillingness to confirm any Trump nominee.  Hassett is not a controversial pick.  
The Senate Banking Committee very easily advanced Hassett’s nomination last month, with only Elizabeth Warren opposing.  Other liberal Democrats such as Sherrod Brown (Ohio), Jack Reed (R.I.), Robert Menedez (N.J.), and Brian Schatz (Hawaii) all voted in Hassett’s favor.  
According to organizations such as the AFL-CIO, the League of Conservation Voters, and Americans for Democratic Action, these Senators have perfect or near-perfect liberal voting records. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) was the only committee member who opposed Hassett. 
The economists who know Hassett best also support him. Forty-four prominent economists, liberal Democrats and conservative Republicans alike, signed a letter supporting Hassett’s confirmation.  
It read, in part, as follows: “While the signers of this letter hold a range of views on President Trump’s policies, we all believe that the formulation of economic policy would be advanced by the analysis and advice that Dr. Hassett would bring to the table.”  They also noted Hassett’s “record of serious scholarship.”  The signers included all of President Obama’s Council Chairmen (Jason Furman, Alan Krueger, Christina Romer, Austan Goolsbee), President Clinton’s chairs (Laura Tyson, Martin Baily), Vice President Joe Biden’s chief economist Jared Bernstein, and Obama economic advisor Mark Zandi. 
Going back to 1980, the average time to confirm a Council Chairman was 25 days. For incoming administrations such as Trump’s, which are already short-handed, the average confirmation period is 13 days, with the longest lasting 25 days. 
Hassett’s confirmation stands at 76 days and counting.  For past incoming administrations, the chairman would have officially started his job by around February 26.   
Not a single nomination to this position has ever taken anywhere near as long as Hassett’s. Some of the responsibility lies with the administration, but Democrats have done everything they can to slow down all of President Trump’s nominees.  Demanding cloture filings for every single nominee, no matter how uncontroversial, means two days of debate before cloture can even be voted on, and then an additional 30 hours after that. . . .
The rest of the piece is available here.

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Scouts Chant "We Love Trump!" at National Jamboree!

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New CPRC study on concealed handgun permits: over 16.3 million Americans now have them

The CPRC has just issued our newest annual report on the number of concealed handgun permits in the US.  A copy of the report is available for download here.  Some updated numbers are shown at the bottom of this post.  Past reports can be viewed here.


On Fox Business' Varney & Co to discuss the changes in concealed handgun permits

I talked to Fox Business' Stuart Varney about the CPRC's newest study on concealed handgun permits. (Friday, July 21, 2017, from 9:16 to 9:19 AM)


Trump judicial nominee used pseudonym in posting on political issues

Democrats upset that Trump judicial nominee made political posts under a pseudonym.
John Bush, President Donald Trump’s nominee for a vacancy on the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, was confirmed Thursday, after a contentious battle over blog posts he wrote under a pen name. 
Bush’s nomination was confirmed on a 51-47 vote that followed party lines.
“It is good to see Bush confirmed, but dozens of judicial nominees continue to languish in the Senate, where Senate Democrats continue to obstruct and delay,” said Carrie Severino, chief counsel for the Judicial Crisis Network. Several of the president’s nominees, including Justice Joan Larsen and Justice David Stras, have not yet appeared for hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee due to Democratic obstruction. 
Larsen and Stras were nominated for vacancies arising in Michigan and Minnesota. By Senate tradition, hearings for judicial nominees are not held until the senators representing states where the vacancy occurs submit their approval to the chair of the judiciary committee. Both senators from Michigan and Minnesota are Democrats. . . . 
In a 2008 post, Bush wrote that slavery and abortion are “the two greatest tragedies in our country.” In the same post, he argued that Roe v. Wade and Dred Scott v. Sanford — an 1857 Supreme Court decision which found that slaves were not citizens — “relied on similar reasoning.” 
“John Bush’s anonymously published blog posts show that the Trump administration handpicked him to appease fringe elements of his base, individuals who share his agenda to roll back the rights of women, the LGBTQ community, and working people,” said Ilyse Hogue of NARAL Pro-Choice America. . . .



At the Wall Street Journal: Women & Minorities Bear Arms: They are fueling growth in concealed carry permits

I have a new op-ed at the Wall Street Journal:
Each year brings a new record increase in the number of concealed handgun permits. The rate of growth in permits among women and minorities has far outpaced growth among white men. The data paint a picture of incredibly law-abiding permit holders, the vast majority living outside America’s insular media capitals. 
A new report from the Crime Prevention Research Center shows that there are now more than 16.3 million concealed handgun permits in the U.S., up 1.83 million since last July. Far more people carry guns today than in 2007, when there were only 4.6 million permits. Thirteen states now no longer require a permit to carry in all or most of the state. Eight of those 13 states made the change in the last two years. 
Did the antigun agendas of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton drive demand? Maybe not. The growth in permits has hardly slowed since the election. 
Women are largely fueling the increase. Among the eight states that had data from 2012-16, permits for men grew by 22% and permits for women soared by 93%. In the 14 states with 2016 data on sex, women now make up 36% of permit holders. 
Over those same years, the number of blacks with permits increased 30% faster than the number of whites with permits. Blacks now make up 11% of permit holders. A few states provide a breakdown for Asian-Americans, and in those states they accounted for the largest percentage increase in permits. 
The numbers show how out of sync the media capitals—California, New York and the District of Columbia—are with the rest of the country. In those places, where public officials decide who get permits, only a few adults out of every thousand have permits, mostly in rural counties. In the rest of the U.S., 8% of adults have permits. People in most states don’t think twice about being surrounded by concealed carry in restaurants, theaters and stores. New Yorkers must be terrified to visit Pennsylvania, where 13% of adults have permits. In Potter County, Pa., on the New York state line, more than half of adults have a permit. 
In Los Angeles County, by contrast, as of January there were 226 permits for almost eight million adults. Only the political elite get them: judges, reserve deputy sheriffs and a small group of very wealthy, well-connected individuals. As of 2012, Hispanics made up almost half the county, but they only got about 6.5% of the permits. Women got about 7%, and blacks 5%. 
Where officials decide who gets permits, explicit death threats often aren’t enough for a law-abiding person to get one. Living in high-crime neighborhoods is considered irrelevant. 
My research has demonstrated that the two groups that benefit the most from carrying guns are the likeliest victims of crime (poor blacks in high-crime urban areas) and people who are physically weaker (women and the elderly). Dozens of published peer-reviewed studies find similar results. 
If the media elites spent more time outside their protective bubbles, they might realize how misplaced their fears of permit holders are. According to a study in Police Quarterly, criminal convictions of police are rare compared with the general public. But permit holders are convicted at less than one-sixth the rate of police officers. . . .
The rest of the article is available here.



Evaluating recent claims about permitted concealed handguns

There has been some recent research on permitted concealed handguns that has gotten a lot of attention.  For those interested, a copy of our original evaluation is available here and a response to their response is available here.