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. (




PC madness … Susan Rice’s advice … Benghazi probe gets boost … Trump administration stonewalls … IRS targeting continues … and another tale of ‘the swamp’

Here are my observations on selected items in the news.

One of three schools in Portland, Oregon that will be renamed. (Thatcher Schmid for the LA Times)

YOU JUST CAN’T MAKE THIS STUFF UP – The Centennial School District in Portland, Oregon voted last week to change the names of three of their elementary schools – Lynch View, Lynch Wood, and Lynch Meadows – in response to some parents and school officials who believed “lynch” is a bleak reminder of a time in America when blacks were publicly hanged – lynched – by white mobs and the KKK. One name change document stated that “the Lynch school names have proven to be a disruption in the learning environment for our increasingly diverse student population.”

Never mind that they were originally named after pioneering berry farmers Patrick and Catherine Lynch, Irish homesteaders, who initially donated land to build a one-room school house in 1900. Officials were so pleased with that donation and a subsequent bargain land sale by the Lynches that they named the whole district Lynch, which became Centennial in 1976 when it merged with another district.

Incidentally, a survey of Lynch school alums revealed that 360 were opposed to the name changes, while just 17 favored the changes. (Rick Anderson, LA

SUSAN RICE OFFERS ADVICE ON NORTH KOREA – Who asked her? The leftist CNN, of course. “History shows that we can, if we must, tolerate nuclear weapons in North Korea,” Rice said, “the same way we tolerated the far greater threat of thousands of Soviet nuclear weapons during the Cold War.”

Surely, she realizes that was a different time with a Soviet leader in Nikita Khrushchev, who was a far cry from Kim Jung Un. Under a strategy of mutually assured destruction, neither the U.S. and Soviet Union wanted to launch nuclear weapons.

Only a national security failure like Rice would come up with a silly comparison like that. Serving as ambassador to the UN and former President Obama’s top national security advisor, Rice admitted to the failure of the Obama administration to stop North Korea from building its nuclear weapons capability. Of course, she also blamed other administrations (those of Bill Clinton and George W. Bush) who were not able to stop it.

BEEN THERE DONE THAT – “Each administration,” she said, “tried a range of measures, from sanctions and pressure, cooperation with China, and other methods we shouldn’t speak about on television, to no avail.

“The fact of the matter is, that despite all of those efforts, the North Korean regime has been able to succeed in progressing with its program, both nuclear and missile,” Rice noted, “That’s a very unfortunate outcome. But we are where we are, and we now need to decide how to proceed.”

Why, despite all of her failures, including her Sunday news show lies about Benghazi, does Rice think the current administration is interested in her advice, but in a New York Times op-ed she offers that “President Trump should soften his rhetoric and accept a nuclear North Korea.”

SPEAKING OF BENGHAZI – The investigation into Hillary Clinton’s cover-up of the terrorist attack on our compound there that resulted in the deaths of four Americans, including our ambassador, got a boost this week by Washington D.C. District Court Judge Amit P. Mehta. The judge ordered the State Department to search the e-mail accounts of Huma Abedin, Cheryl Mills and Jacob Sullivan, former aides to Clinton during her tenure as secretary of state, in response to a Judicial Watch Freedom of Information Act query.

While this may finally result in more answers about the Benghazi scandal and Clinton’s involvement, Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton remarked that “It is remarkable that we had to battle both the Obama and Trump administrations to break through the State Department’s Benghazi stonewall. Why are Secretary Tillerson and Attorney General Sessions wasting taxpayer dollars protecting Hillary Clinton and the Obama administration?”

THAT MAKES FOUR STONEWALLS supported by Attorney General Jeff Sessions. In earlier posts, I wrote about two – the Lynch-Clinton meeting document redacting, and the failure to reveal which Obama staffers did unmasking of whom – now he’s forcing Judicial Watch to fight for the Benghazi papers. The fourth involves the protection of IRS Commissioner John Koskinen and Lois Lerner, who stonewalled searches for documents covering their treatment of conservative organizations seeking tax exempt status. You may recall that Lerner took the Fifth Amendment during Congressional testimony and is now enjoying her government pension. Unbelievably, Obama-appointee Koskinen still holds down the IRS position under President Trump.

THE IRS TARGETING OF CONSERVATIVE non-profit organizations continues under the Trump administration, according to Kimberly A. Strassel of The Wall Street Journal. She recently reported that Mark Meckler, president of Citizens for Sound Government, told her that nothing has changed since Trump came into office. His organization has been funding a class action suit in Ohio federal court on behalf of groups targeted by the IRS, at a cost so far of $3 million. He’s now fighting the DOJ (Sessions) which has refused to turn over documents or make witnesses available for depositions. The Texas Patriots Tea Party continues to fight the IRS after five years of stonewalling.

ANOTHER TALE FROM THE WASHINGTON SWAMP – Most likely, you’ve never heard of Paige Herwig. She was a counsellor to former Attorney General Loretta Lynch (aka Elisabeth Carlisle) at the time Lynch met with former President Bill Clinton in her airplane, parked in Phoenix. Herwig’s name popped-up several times in the 417 pages of meeting documents recently obtained by Judicial Watch.

As often happens in “the Swamp,” bureaucrats resurface in another position. Herwig now serves as deputy general counsel for the minority (Democrats) on the Senate Judiciary Committee, where she will have access to all investigative documents, including those with communications between her and her former boss, Lynch (Carlisle). Isn’t that just great?