Use of ‘s–thole’ crude, but not racist … DACA may be dead … Scott Adams’ small business presidential rating … record tax revenues … growth predictions … Samantha Powers a simpleton … Chelsea Manning to run for senate … and Illinois AG candidate robbed at gunpoint in Chicago

Here are my observations on the news of the day.

THE PRESIDENT’S USE OF “S—THOLES” is still getting negative press by the left-leaning media, even though examples of its common use continue to surface.

In the blog, Althouse, Ann Althouse devoted her January 12, 2018 post to the subject of this slang word.

A wretched place … (a) a dirty or dilapidated dwelling; (b) a remote, downtrodden, or unpleasant city, town, etc.” – Oxford English Dictionary

With that definition, Althouse stated that the dictionary cited a number of examples of its use dating back to 1930. I don’t have the space here to publish them, but if interested, you can read her blog.

“It was said by the President of the United States, but in a private meeting,” she wrote, “where I presume he, like many presidents before him, have said “f—k” and other bad words of the time. We know Nixon did. LBJ did.

“So what is the big deal? The big deal is that its racist. Supposedly. That’s in the mind of the hearer, as the hearer really hears it or chooses to speak of it, and the motivations there are not untainted. Anything about Trump that can be called racist, will be called racist,” she added.

It’s realistic to believe that the president was referring to “s—thole countries,” not individuals. “Is Haiti not a wretched place?” asks Althouse.

“S—thole” is a perfectly good rude, slangy word,” concludes Althouse, “It is not a racial term, and shame on the people who are making it racist.”

“Let’s be clear about one thing,” writes Ben Domenech in The Federalist, “Haiti is a s—hole. I’ve been twice. It is a really hellish place.

“When this story broke yesterday, people immediately seized upon it as indicative of the president’s racism. That’s wrong,” he added.

I often wonder how many Democrats would be willing to bring a Haitian family into their homes as immigration sponsors. I think not. As I wrote yesterday, they are mainly interested in their projected votes.

To wit, I understand the National Review’s Rich Lowry caught CNN host Joan Walsh off guard when he asked if she would rather live in Haiti or Norway.

“Anti-immigration appetites are fed when people are unwilling to admit the truth about what they are arguing,” Domenech claims.

HOW ABOUT THIS observation from Philip Kennicott, culture editor of the Washington Post? He asks: “Did Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Il) speak sharply to the president, saying no one should speak like that, not in the White House, not in decent society?”

“It’s kind of weaselly to sit there and listen and then afterwards talk to the press and let them, who didn’t experience the context or have the ability to shape and propel the conversation – do your chiding and slamming for you,” Kennicott suggests.

Certainly, Kennecott knows that Durbin would not confront the president like that.

I’m reminded of the Sen Jeff Flake’s shameless glory-seeking take down of President Trump on the Senate Floor. He didn’t have the courage or character to vent his beliefs to the president in private, which could have been arranged.

MEANWHILE, the president said this weekend that the DACA is probably dead because Democrats don’t really want it, they just want to talk and take desperate needed money away from our military.

DILBERT CREATOR SCOTT ADAMS writes in his blog that President Trump has earned the highest presidential approval of all time. No, he isn’t referring to those ”popularity” polls– if you are a Democrat, you disapprove of him; if you voted for Trump you probably still approve of him; and if you are an anti-Trump conservative, you believe he is going a good job, but you disapprove of him anyway.

Adams is referring to the small business optimism, calling it the new standard for presidential approval because “economics” captures most of what a president influences. Think about it. Adams points out that the threat of war; even a trade war, a terror attack, immigration and other issues all directly influence the economy.

“The economy captures all the goodness and badness of a presidency without really trying,” Adams believes, “and the measure that best reflects the future of the economy, in my opinion, is small business optimism.”

HARD TO IMAGINE, BUT … The Treasury collected a record $390,847,000,000 in individual income taxes in October-December, but despite the record revenues, the federal government ran a deficit of approximately $225 billion during the quarter. With that, I was reminded of the quote of the late Sen. Everett Dirksen (R-Il) – “A billion here, a billion there, and pretty soon you’re talking about real money.”

(Courtesy Gary Varvel)

GROWTH NUMBERS – Even with 3 percent growth, economists are skeptical about continued impressive growth. Many of them hold back credit for the consumer confidence to the White House, but a recent CNBC/Moody’s Analytics Survey noted that the improvement in business attitudes and spending is a direct result of the changing of the guard in Washington and may be contributing to a more consistent growth pattern.

Joseph LaVorgna, chief economist Americas at Natixis, notes that while his forecast is an outlier, he says the fourth quarter could even hit as high as 5 percent, and he sees the 3 percent pace continuing into 2018.

FORMER UN AMBASSADOR Samantha Power caused a bit of a stir in foreign policy circles with her tweet – “Does anybody else pine for the good old days when we weren’t talking or thinking about buttons – the size of nuclear buttons, the ease of hitting the wrong button, etc.?”

The best response came from Richard Grenell, who is currently up for confirmation as our ambassador to Germany, “Your good old days were actually when North Korea assembled their nuclear program, began perfecting their launch, and miniaturized a nuclear warhead. You ignored this developing storm.”

Makes me thankful that the Trump administration has a powerful voice in UN Ambassador Nikki Haley.

CHELSEA MANNING has announced that she will challenge Maryland Democrat Ben Cardin, who is up for re-election in November. It’s difficult for me to understand what she is thinking. The DNC will surely support Cardin, who is considered an over whelming favorite to win a third term.

CHICAGO, CHICAGO, my kind of town. Aaron Goldstein, a candidate for Illinois attorney general, was robbed at gunpoint while taking promotional photos with campaign workers for his campaign. It happened in the Northwest Side ward, were he is the Democrat committeeman.

The robbery took place mid-afternoon as three men in their early 20s approached the party and demanded belongings and cameras from Goldstein’s group. At least one of the thieves had a gun.

Just a reminder to those who think Oprah Winfrey would be a great president. Here’s another photo of her with sexual predator Harvey Weinstein. (




Trump didn’t botch Puerto Rico … double standard politics … our unproductive Senate … Rush Limbaugh on target … Trump judge nomination … our arrogant Senate … the high cost of protest … common sense from a letter-writer … and Peggy Noonan, wrong again

Here are my observations on items in the news.

AN HONEST APPRAISAL of President Trump’s response to our devastated island of Puerto Rico following a dual hurricane hit is related in a piece by Tobin Harshaw for Bloomberg News, “No, Trump Didn’t Botch the Puerto Rico Crisis,” In an interview with former Navy Captain Jerry Hendrix (Ret.), now a senior fellow with the Center for New American Security.

Amid the attempts by the media and “experts” like Hillary Clinton to blame the president for his lack of support for Puerto Rico, going so far as to say it was racist, Hendrix recounts how the light amphibious carriers Kearsarge and Wasp, and the amphibious landing ship Oak Hill were at sea and dispatched to Puerto Rico ahead of the hurricane’s impact.

“Pulling into a port that has not been surveyed for underwater obstacles like trees or cables or other refuse is an invitation to either put a hole in your ship or foul your propellers or rudders,” Hendrix reminds those critical of delays.

Providing help for Puerto Rico is a much more difficult undertaking than that faced in Texas, Louisiana and Florida. “The island suffers from its position in the middle of the Caribbean and its physical separation from the U.S.,” Hendrix points out, “Its roads were in disrepair and its electrical grid was antiquated prior to the hurricanes. The island has also suffered from ineffective local government and rising local territorial debt,” he continued. Without an air traffic control system, aircraft with government workers, volunteers and supplies were delayed.

In my research for this piece, I have learned that the U.S. Navy, Coast Guard and Army Corp of Engineers are in place and working hard to restore electric and water service. While supplies have been flooding into the Island, drivers cannot be found to dispatch them to needed communities. In comparison, I am reminded of the neighbors helping neighbors in Texas and Florida.

Puerto Rico’s governor has stated his appreciation to President Trump for his response for help, but the mayor of San Juan chose to pick a fight with the president while being taped standing in front of massive pallets of bottled water.

DOUBLE STANDARD – We’ve seen it a number of times in the political arena. Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) is in court on corruption charges, but you wouldn’t know it the way the media has barely mentioned it. A Media Research Center study revealed that in first three weeks of former Sen. Ted Stevens’(R-AK) corruption trial in 2008, CNN had produced 36 stories compared to just seven on Menendez. In 2008, then Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said that “a convicted felon is not going to be able to serve in the United States Senate” as he scheduled a vote on Stevens’ expulsion. Some Democrats are already talking about Menendez staying, but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell better not allow that to happen if Menendez is found guilty. Incidentally, the verdict on Stevens was later set aside and his indictment dismissed after evidence of prosecutorial misconduct was uncovered.

OUR UNPRODUCTIVE REPUBLICAN SENATE – House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI)   announced last week that 274 House-passed bills are sitting on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s desk awaiting votes. When will someone challenge McConnell for his job?

RUSH LIMBAUGH SPELLED IT OUT for those like me, who are disgusted with the Washington D.C. establishment in a two-part interview with Sean Hannity on Fox September 28 and 29. “ … it goes back to election night. They didn’t expect Trump to win. And they weren’t prepared for Trump to win. And they are still unhappy that Trump won. And I think the real answer to your question is, the Washington establishment, both parties … it’s a small club. It’s elite.

“You can’t get in it because you want to get in it. They don’t have a clubhouse. But Trump would never be admitted to the club no matter what he did. These guys have been running the country … its donors, its think tanks, it is the whole Washington media, the whole establishment. Trump is an outsider. They have been managing the country, ruling the country for however many decades.

“They can’t afford for an outsider neophyte to come in and redo everything. Fix things in three months, fix things in a year. Show that it can be done. Show that an outsider can do it. Show that what they say can’t be done, can be done. I think they are petrified and they are all united, Republicans and Democrats, not just the Senate, in making sure that Trump, the outsider doesn’t succeed with his agenda.”

I’m beginning to believe he’s correct, folks.

OOPS – In my September 30, post on tax cut demagoguery, I quoted Benyamin Applebaum. His name is actually Benyamin Appelbaum. I apologize.

TRUMP’S NOMINATION OF KURT D. ENGELHART to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, a district that runs from Alabama to the Rio Grande, is another bright spot in a slate of outstanding picks by the president. It was Engelhart, who wrote a scathing 129-paage order blistering the misconduct of lawyers in the Civil Rights Division of Eric Holder’s (and Obama’s) Justice Department and the New Orleans U.S. Attorney’s office in a prosecution of New Orleans police officers.

“His order offers a look behind the curtain of some of the worst ideological misconduct that occurred at the Obama DOJ,” writes J. Christian Adams, “It is a tale of deliberate and deceptive violation of constitutional rights of police officers in order to get a conviction at any price, and of lying to the court. It is a cautionary tale of civil rights enforcement run amok from ideologically driven hatred of police – an issue that even this week continues to resonate in America.”

The anti-police movement began in the Obama administration on July 22, 2009, when he said the Cambridge, Massachusetts police “acted stupidly,” and continued during his eight years in office. President Trump has the support of the men in blue and is endeavoring turn that around by giving them proper respect.

THE POMPOUS ARROGANCE OF THE SENATE – They bill themselves as the greatest deliberative body, and continually call each other “my good friend,” but the September 19, meeting of the Select Committee on Intelligence was another example of their arrogance.

Michael Cohen, lawyer to President Trump, was scheduled to testify in the Senate’s probe of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential campaign, when the committee abruptly cancelled the session, because – are you ready for this? – he broke an agreement by releasing his statement to the media in advance. They showed him, by golly. You don’t mess with the greatest deliberative body. Incidentally, Cohen’s statement can be found in the Internet.

“FREE” TO PROTEST. HARDLY – You most likely heard that the security protection for Ben Shapiro’s recent speech at UC Berkeley cost some $600,000. Chicken feed. The Wall Street Journal reports that the North Dakota Department of Emergency Services announced that taxpayers will have to pay about $43 million (that’s correct) in expenses accrued as the state struggled to respond to protestors of the Dakota Access Pipeline. North Dakotans will cover most of the cost, but the DOJ has provided the state with a $10 million grant, leaving taxpayers nationwide on the hook to pay for the antics of the 8,000 to 10,000 protesters over 233 days at the site.

LETTER-WRITER WITH COMMON SENSE – “Any rational person with a heart would want to find a way not to deport ‘Dreamer’ illegal immigrants, who came here as children, if they follow the law and contribute to society,” wrote Randy Rossi of Grayslake, Illinois in a letter to The Wall Street Journal, “But anybody with a brain would also want to make sure that we stop rewarding illegal immigrants from bringing in more Dreamer children in the future.”

Rossi believes that President Trump is correct in linking legal status for current Dreamers to tough laws that stop future Dreamers. “The parents of Dreamers knowingly broke the law and put their kids at risk in return for the hope that they would get legal status, jobs and free services,” wrote Rossi, “They knew exactly what they were doing.”

“My wife was a public health nurse and many of her patients were illegal immigrants who knowingly were gaming the system,” said Rossi, “They even made appointments from Mexico before they came here to get free health care at her clinic. They know that they would get free health care, diapers and schooling if they brought or had their kids here.”

In conclusion, Rossi stated that he believed we must combine Dreamer compassion with logic and the rule of law. “If we reward bad behavior,” he said, we will get more of it.”

PEGGY NOONAN is again pushing bipartisanship as a solution to the health insurance mess in her latest Wall Street Journal column. The Dems refuse to give on the repeal of ObamaCare, as if it were the finest piece of legislation ever conceived. Compromising with them will result in a finished product that meets their desires, not ours, and we lose.