This week, a compendium of things that just seem a little bit off to me.

Stocks

When the stock market got all crazy at the end of last week and the beginning of this week, President Donald Trump tweeted out the following:

In the “old days,” when good news was reported, the Stock Market would go up. Today, when good news is reported, the Stock Market goes down. Big mistake, and we have so much good (great) news about the economy!

Not sure when the “old days” were, but Trump should know – and probably does – that the stock market has always acted just like it has these past couple of weeks.

I don’t ever recall stock markets leaping ahead on good economic news and falling back on bad economic news.

Frankly, it mostly has to do with the bottom lines of companies represented on the exchange. So, if wages go up, that’s good economic news. But that can actually affect the market in a negative way if profits fall.

There are tons of examples like this.

Frankly, the stock market has never really been a reliable barometer of the economy.

Not sure where Trump was going with that one.

Immigrants

Ever since Trump started his campaign with a get-tough stance on immigration, the left and the media have been pushing back, especially with regard to crimes committed by illegal immigrants.

The narrative that has been set up is that “immigrants commit less crime than U.S.-citizens.”

Often cited are two studies, one by The Sentencing Project and one by the Cato Institute, both in 2017.

The Cato study found that there are about 2 million U.S-born citizens, 123,000 undocumented immigrants and 64,000 documented foreign citizens in U.S. jails.

The Sentencing Project study suggests that increased immigration "may have contributed to the historic drop in crime rates" since 1990.

But here’s the thing: A perusal of government statistics paints a different picture.

A Government Accountability Office study from 2011 – the most recent data available – looked at 251,000 criminal aliens in federal, state and local prisons and jails.

That’s around 25 percent more than the Cato study counted. Which is it?

According to the Census Bureau, from 2010–2012, 311.6 million people lived in the United States, including 289.3 million citizens and 22.3 million noncitizens. Citizens – including both native born and naturalized foreign born – represented 93 percent of the total population, while noncitizens represented 7 percent.

So in 2011, noncitizens accounted for 7 percent of the U.S. population and the GAO report found that criminal aliens make up roughly 25 percent of all federal prisoners.

Now, to be sure, a lot of those immigrants in federal prisons are likely there because of immigration violations, but those are still crimes, aren’t they?

I truly don’t know who or what to believe. Surely the Obama GAO wasn’t padding the stats to make things look worse for immigrants.

It’s troubling, though, when things like this don’t add up. Lawmakers need to be making policy based on facts, not political hyperbole.

Pranks

Apparently, Adam Schiff, the ranking Democrat member of the intelligence community, was the victim of a prank phone call last April.

Seems a couple of Russian comedians – posing as Ukrainian politicians – got Schiff on the phone and told an elaborate tale of how Russian President Vladimir Putin had nude blackmail photos of Trump and some Russian reality TV star.

The story broke earlier this week even though it’s almost a year old when the pranksters posted audio of the phone call on YouTube.

I listened to the recording.

Maybe he was just playing along, but Schiff sure seemed interested, right down to taking notes and asking how to spell the names of the players involved.

Then, afterward, he had his staff arrange a way to pick up the compromising materials.

Here’s an email exchange between a Schiff staff member and the “Ukrainian politician.”

Staffer: I understand Mr. Schiff had a productive call with Mr. Parubiy and that Mr. Parubiy would like to make some materials available to Mr. Schiff through your embassy. Please let me know how best to arrange pickup of those materials from you Embassy here in Washington, D.C.

Ukrainian pol: Thank you! Today we will contact with our embassy in Washington, D.C., and our representative will visit it in the end of this week to give them all our materials. Then our ambassador Chaliy personally will give that to the congressman. Also, Mr. Schiff told he will provide information from our conversation to office of FBI in Kiev (embassy of the U.S. in Ukraine) through you and they will call us. Today we will send you unclassified documents for the congressman. Please forward him that.

Staffer: Thanks, Sergey. All that sounds great. Please let me know when the materials are ready to be picked up from the Embassy here in Washington and in the meantime we will wait for the unclassified documents you can provide.

A spokesman for Schiff this week said the congressman knew all along that the phone call was bogus.

Sorry, doesn’t add up.

Weather

It seems to me that the more technology weather forecasters have, the less accurate they are able to predict the weather.

Maybe it’s just because I’m getting old and crotchety, but it seems like when I was a kid the weatherman was a better forecaster.

Take this latest snowstorm. We didn’t get near the amounts predicted, but that didn’t stop the “BREAD AND MILK!!!” lines from forming at grocery stores throughout the area.

Sometimes it seems like we’d be better off predicting the weather in relation to how much Grandpa’s knees hurt.

Deficits

I love how the only time there is any bipartisan agreement in Congress is when they are spending untoward amounts of money.

Well no, I really don’t love that. I think it’s tragic and dangerous.

Remember during the Obama years when there were all those budget years with $1 trillion deficits?

Republicans were apoplectic. But now that they’re running the show, they happily run up the tab –  $1 trillion-per-year deficits are no problem. And, of course, the Democrats now see deficits as evil.

Apparently, the only time a politician cares about deficits is when they’re in the minority.