Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Thursday, March 23, 2017

Former Vice President Joe Biden will join Democrats at the Capitol Wednesday as they rally to save Obamacare one day before House Republicans vote to dismantle the health law.

Biden will join House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and other House Democrats on the front steps of the Capitol at 10 a.m. Wednesday, making one of his first major appearances since leaving office in January.

The event, which also will feature Americans who have benefited from the law, is being billed as a celebration marking the seventh anniversary of the Affordable Care Act, which was signed into law March 23, 2010, according to a press advisory obtained by POLITICO.

House Republican leaders have scheduled a vote on their Obamacare repeal bill for Thursday, the actual anniversary of the signing of the law. Read more

A Hawaii lawmaker who says she was pressured to give up her leadership post at the statehouse after criticizing President Donald Trump resigned Wednesday from the Republican Party.

Rep. Beth Fukumoto said members of the GOP refused to oppose racism and sexism including a suggestion by Trump to create a Muslim registry during his campaign.

"As a Japanese-American whose grandparents had to destroy all of their Japanese artifacts and items and bury them in the backyard to avoid getting taken and interned, how could I not have said anything?" Fukumoto asked. "And how could my party have not said anything?"

Fukumoto was voted out of her post as House Minority Leader in February after calling Trump a bully in a speech at the Women's March in Honolulu, saying many of his remarks were racist and sexist and had no place in the Republican Party.

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Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Neil Gorsuch's belief in reading the law as narrowly as needed to screw ordinary people reared its head again during his Supreme Court confirmation hearing Wednesday, but not because of anything Gorsuch himself said on Wednesday. No, the issue was something the entire United States Supreme Court said -- that Gorsuch was wrong in a 2008 opinion dealing with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. Read more

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Tulare) has risked undermining the credibility of the panel's investigation of Russian interference of the 2016 election by sharing new information with the White House, his Democratic counterpart said Wednesday.

By briefing the public and then President Trump about intercepted communications involving members of the transition team, but not other members of the committee involved in the probe, Nunes cast "quite a profound cloud over our ability to do our work," Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank) told reporters.

"The chairman will either need to decide if he's leading an investigation into conduct which includes allegations of potential coordination between the Trump campaign and the Russians, or he is going to act as a surrogate of the White House. Because he cannot do both," Schiff said at a Capitol Hill news conference. Read more

The Kagan family, America's neoconservative aristocracy, has reemerged having recovered from the letdown over not gaining its expected influence from the election of Hillary Clinton and from its loss of official power at the start of the Trump presidency.

Back pontificating on prominent op-ed pages, the Family Kagan now is pushing for an expanded U.S. military invasion of Syria and baiting Republicans for not joining more enthusiastically in the anti-Russian witch hunt over Moscow's alleged help in electing Donald Trump. Read more

Honduran farmers on Wednesday filed a lawsuit against a branch of the World Bank for funding a massive palm oil corporation that the suit alleges has been responsible for the killings of over 100 farmers, as well as torture, violent assaults, and "other acts of aggression.

The suit alleges that the "International Financial Corporation (IFC), the World Bank Group's private lending arm, together with an IFC financial intermediary, the IFC Asset Management Corporation, have provided millions of dollars in financing to Dinant, even though, at the time, there were widespread allegations that Dinant employed hitmen, military forces, and private security guards to intimidate and kill local farmers who claim Dinant's owner stole their land decades prior," ERI wrote in a statement.

The horrendous spate of violence that followed the IFC's loan to Dinant is probably one of the most severe instances of corporate-related human rights abuse and financier negligence in the past decade. Read more

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- The first U.S. inmate to have taxpayer-funded sex reassignment surgery says she is struggling since being transferred to a California women's prison.

In a federal court filing, convicted killer Shiloh Quine called her new housing a "torture unit."

She said she's isolated and denied basic privileges such as a razor. She has grown facial hair that is making her transition to life as a woman more difficult.

Quine wants a judge to order electrolysis, among other changes.

The 57-year-old had reassignment surgery in January and last month was moved from a men's prison.

Quine and an accomplice kidnapped, robbed and killed a father of three in Los Angeles in 1980. Read more

While Republicans in DC are pushing for massive cuts to Medicaid, John Eplee and other Republicans in one of the country's most conservative states are fighting to expand the program.

Eplee is a family doctor in Atchison, Kansas -- a town of about 11,000 in a county that Donald Trump won by 32 points. He's also a Republican politician; last year, he ran for and won a seat in the state House of Representatives on a platform that included improving access to health coverage for poor residents of his district.

For Eplee, one solution to Kansas' health care woes can be found in a law that is deeply unpopular among Republicans nationally: Obamacare. Specifically, he's interested in the part of Obamacare that allows states to offer Medicaid -- the federal-government-funded program that provides insurance for poor people -- to a much wider population. Read more

The chairman of the House intelligence committee said Wednesday that the communications of Trump transition officials -- possibly including President Donald Trump himself -- may have been "monitored" after the election as part of an "incidental collection."

Speaking to reporters on Capitol Hill, Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., said the intercepted communications do not appear to be related to the ongoing FBI investigation into Trump associates' contacts with Russia. He said he believes the intelligence collections were done legally.

It was unclear whether Trump's own communications were specifically monitored. Nunes initially said "yes" when asked if Trump was among those swept up in the intelligence monitoring, but then said it was only "possible" that the president's communications were picked up. Read more

He publicly announced that he was living with HIV in November 2015.

And Charlie Sheen now claims that there are people in Hollywood who are secretly living with the same disease.

'I know who they are, but I will take that to my grave,' the 51-year-old actor told The Kyle & Jackie 'O' Show on Wednesday. Read more

Trumpcare may or may not grind out enough votes to pass the House. In the Senate, it's hopelessly short of the 50 votes it needs. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has laid out a wildly aggressive time frame, under which his chamber would essentially xerox the House bill and pass it into law within a few days -- no hearings, no negotiations. A few weeks ago, I suggested the possibility that McConnell's plan was not wildly aggressive but actually designed to fail. His latest comments make this scenario seem far more likely. Read more

Kudos to Sears Holdings Corp. (SHLD) for finally admitting what everyone already knew: it's almost dead.

As TheStreet broke the news on Twitter Tuesday evening, Sears indicated in its newly filed annual report that "substantial doubt exists related to the company's ability to continue as a going concern." For those clickbait-loving headline writers out there with no financial services training: what Sears essentially said is that yes, it's unsure if it could stay in business. Well, duh.

Sears' cash position has melted from a high point of $1.7 billion for the 2009 calendar year to a mere $286 million to close out 2016. Revenue hasn't grown since the credit boom lifted all ships in retail in 2006. The company hasn't generated cash flow from its operations since 2006.

The father of a missing 15-year-old girl -- who authorities say disappeared with her 50-year-old former teacher more than a week ago -- was overcome with emotion to learn that her alleged abductor had been recently looking up teenage marriage online.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigations has said that Tad Cummins, a teacher at a rural high school in Maury County, possibly planned to abduct Elizabeth Thomas, and the two have been missing since March 13.

Authorities said there had been no credible sightings of Elizabeth or of Cummins since last Monday, when she was seen in Decatur, Alabama. That same day, several disturbing social media posts were found on their accounts, including Elizabeth referring to herself as a "wife" on Instagram.

His outreach was part of a broader effort by the president-elect's transition team -- which included public denunciations of the settlements resolution by Trump, and back-channel lobbying of U.N. diplomats by his not-yet-then-and-now-former national security advisor, Michael Flynn, to derail the resolution vote. It ultimately failed, as the council's 15 members, including Britain, dismissed the Trump team's appeals and voted 14-0, with a U.S. abstention, in favor.

But Kushner's intervention provided an early test of the neophyte's attempt to wade into a Middle East morass that has bedeviled professional diplomats for decades. It also provided further insights into a rare effort by an incoming administration to press America's closest ally to break ranks with a sitting American president.

A 17-year-old is the target of legal attention by President Donald Trump's general counsel over a site where kitten paws bat around images of President Trump's face, according to a report from the New York Observer.

As the Observer reports, the site's creator, named only as Lucy, initially made the site as a way to practice her coding skills. But after a few weeks, the site received a cease and desist letter from President Trump's general counsel in New York. The cease and desist letter, which the Observer confirmed, mentions that "as I'm sure you're aware, the Trump name is internationally known and famous."

Lucy changed the site from TrumpScratch.com to KittenFeed.com, but said the Trump team contacted them again. According to a Whois lookup, KittenFeed.com was created on March 2 this year. Lucy told the Observer she was dumbfounded by the attention from President Trump's legal team.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) called for a delay Tuesday of Judge Neil Gorsuch's Supreme Court confirmation vote, citing the FBI investigation into potential ties between President Trump's campaign and Russia.

As the Senate Judiciary Committee continued its hearing on Gorsuch's confirmation, the Democratic senator sent a flurry of tweets to say the Russian investigation should take priority.

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