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. (




No reason to panic over the NJ and VA elections … NAACP offended by the national anthem … Dennis Prager no firebrand

Here are my observations on items in the news.

ABOUT THOSE RECENT ELECTIONS – Even though Democrats are crowing about their gubernatorial wins in New Jersey and Virginia, claiming it’s a repudiation of  Trump administration policies, it’s all for show and they know it. Hillary Clinton won both states during the last election – by 14 percentage points in New Jersey and 4.5 percent in Virginia.

Virginia residents represent the second highest number of federal employees (136,377), mostly from Alexandria, Arlington and Fairfax counties, who are unhappy with the president’s goals of smaller government and draining the swamp. You may recall that Hillary took 90 percent of neighboring Washington DC votes in 2016.

In Virginia, Democrat Ralph Northam replaces Democrat Terry McAuliffe and in New Jersey Democrat Phil Murphy replaces Republican Chris Christie, who was term limited. Republicans still hold governorships in 34 states.

With that background, it was reasonable to expect the Democrat Party to be somewhat emboldened with those expected wins. Even so, as Mollie Hemingway of The Federalist cautions, “(Republican) members of Congress are delusional if they think they can keep their jobs without passing tax reform, repealing ObamaCare, and some other dramatic achievement.”

As expected, CNN’s graphic said, “Key wins by Democrats may portend an ominous future for President Trump and his party.” At least they chose to use “may.”

“Voters delivered a forceful rebuke of President Trump and his party,” said the New York Times.

The Washington Post wrote, “Republicans seek new path after failure of Gillespie’s ‘Trumpism without Trump.’” To that, Ann Althouse asked, “How do they know what Republicans are seeking based on one Republican losing a race in a blue state?”


NAACP OFFENDED BY NATIONAL ANTHEM – It started with former 49er quarterback Colin Kaepernick and spread throughout the rosters of overindulged NFL teams. Disrespect for the flag and our national anthem. The Star-Spangled Banner has been our national anthem since 1931, and singing it before sporting events has become a tradition, and now California’s NAACP chapter wants a new anthem.

They claim it is “a racist song that has caused so much controversy.” Really? It’s the first I have heard about it. In fact, their objection is to words in the third stanza. I guess I knew there were more stanzas, but I certainly wasn’t aware of the words, “No refuge could save the hireling and slave from the terror of flights, or the gloom of the grave,” within that stanza.

Since we usually only sing the first stanza, how can people of color be offended?

Do you think black rap “artists” would stop using foul language because I am offended?

SPEAKING OF OFFENDED – Free speech has been thwarted at another college campus last night. Conservative talk show host Dennis Prager faced an effort by offended students, administrators and campus organizations to mobilize and shut down the event at the University of Wyoming. Leading the effort was the student government’s – are you ready for this? – director of diversity. Prager was scheduled to speak on the topic, “Why Socialism Makes People Selfish.”

Calling Prager’s past comments “bigoted,” “horrific,” and “disgusting,” he has been referred to as “a polarizing conservative with a history of controversial statements and positions,” and a “conservative firebrand.”

As an occasional listener to his radio show and frequent viewer of guest presenters on his Prager U online site, I view Prager as someone with common sense views.

Prager always looks forward to answering every question and challenge students wish to pose, and promises that most students will wonder why anyone at their university would call him a bigot and a hater.