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Friday, October 07, 2016

President Barack Obama's approval rating stands at 55% in a new CNN/ORC poll, the highest mark of his second term, and matching his best at any time since his first year in office. The new rating outpaces his previous second-term high -- reached just after a Democratic convention that extolled the successes of his presidency -- by one point, and hits a level he's reached just twice since the end of his first year in office: In January 2013 just before his second inauguration and in January 2011. The new poll continues a streak in which Obama's approval rating has been at 50% or higher in CNN/ORC polls since February, a seven month run that is his longest since 2009. And taken together, Obama's approval ratings in 2016 average 51% so far in CNN/ORC polls, his best mark since that first year in office.

A nonpartisan watchdog group Thursday called for a federal investigation of Hillary Clinton's campaign committee, accusing it of illegally accepting millions of dollars worth of "opposition research" and other assistance from Correct the Record, an outside super-PAC, in violation of U.S. election laws.

The Campaign Legal Center also filed complaints with the Federal Election Commission to initiate probes of Donald Trump's campaign, and two super-PACs backing it, for similar violations of laws barring "coordination" between political campaigns and outside groups.

But the Campaign Legal Center's detailed 52-page complaint against Hillary for America and Correct the Record -- part of the sprawling political empire run by Clinton backer David Brock -- is likely to get special attention, given Clinton's repeated advocacy of campaign finance reform.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Jim Nelson, GQ: Something is dawning on us -- it's almost too soon for us to admit, but it's there, a half-considered thought only now blooming in our brains. Maybe we dismiss it with one of those quick cognitive fly swats. Nah, too early to say or I hate that guy. But the truth is coming, and it sounds like this: Barack Obama will be inducted into the league of Great Presidents. Wait. One of the Greatest? you ask, your thumb emoticon poised to turn up or down on me. The guy haters love to hate with their very best hate game? Like 20-Dollar Bill great? Like Mount Rushmore great? Yep. (We just won't build Mount Rushmores anymore.) In so many ways, Obama was better than we imagined, better than the body politic deserved, and far, far better than his enemies will ever concede, but the great thing about being great is that the verdict of enemies doesn't matter. read more

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Hillary Clinton, in winning a tough primary cycle, has been scrambling to adopt elements of the Sanders program. Her delegates used the platform negotiations to engage and stroke Sanders delegates in the search for enough unity to prevail in November.

Whether the party becomes more unified after the Philadelphia convention, which began Monday on discordant notes, remains to be seen. But the platform presents a fascinating map of how the Democratic Party is evolving as a stark alternative to the Republicans.

On immigration, the Democrats ignore Donald Trump's wall against Mexico, calling for a pathway to citizenship for the 11 million undocumented immigrants Mr. Trump would deport. read more


My co-worker was telling me about a screenplay he is thinking of writing.

Act 1: The opening scene will have an actor portraying Obama pacing back and forth in the Oval Office complaining to his worried top aides that they must take extreme action to fight the Daesh threat. The situation has gotten completely out of control. He needs outside-the-box strategies. But the Generals and Admirals nervously avoid making eye contact with the President. Instead, they stare at the floor determined not to be the first to speak up. After several tense moments one of them finally fearfully suggests unleashing our greatest weapon. At first Obama is horrified by the mere suggestion. Fear grips the room But no one else has any other ideas. Slowly President Obama nods his head in agreement. Almost like a prayer, under his breath he mutters, "so it begins".

Act 2: 2 guys chasing a runaway piano as it rolls down a hill with a third guy stuck on top of it furiously waving his arms and saying "woo woo woo woo". Then a large ominous shadow and the sound of approaching military helicopters arriving on scene. The Copters land in perfect formation. Immediately several very bad-ass SEALs, Green Berets and Rangers, all armed to the teeth, jump out. Lastly, the top General, wearing a long trench coat and reflecting sunglasses steps out onto the location in all his military splendor. He barks, "Moe, Larry, Curly!! Your nation needs you." The camera pans right. We hear someone complaining "why youse guys" and "I oughta...". After joinking each other in the eyes and bonking each other on the head a few times, our heroes finally come into clear focus.

The Three Stooges vs. ISIS. Coming soon to a theatre or a warzone near you.

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