Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News

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Monday, May 02, 2016

In one of the most improbable championships in sport, a 5,000-to-1 underdog has won the English Premier League in soccer. Leiceister City won the title Monday night when Tottenham drew 2-2 at Chelsea, making it impossible for them to catch Leicester City with two games to play. The victory costs bookmakers an estimated $14 million. Anyone who bet £100 pounds won £500,000 ($730,000).


While Donald Trump's campaign rhetoric on China grows more incendiary, a column in China Daily may shed some light on how China's government views Trump's rise in the GOP race. "What is at stake?" asks China Daily columnist Mike Bastin. "Is it Trump's often nonsensical and barmy rhetorical rants? Or, is it yet again the phony, money-centric system of democracy that defines the United States? The answer is the latter." The column describes Trump as a symbol of the inequality in America. "The presidential race, and Trump's presence in particular, also highlights the gross unfairness of wealth distribution across the U.S. ... Trump relies on one thing and one thing only: financial fortune (most of which was inherited from his late father). Not that Trump is the only one. All the presidential front-runners rely on huge amounts of money without which any hopes of power would be a pipe dream." read more


The number of organ donors who died of a drug overdose rose by nearly 270 percent in a 10-year span nationwide. In 2015, there were 848 deaths compared to 230 a decade earlier, according to the United Network for Organ Sharing. There were were 19,000 deaths involving prescription opioids in 2014 -- an increase of 3,000 from the year before -- the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found. Families of drug overdose victims are sometimes more positive about organ donation than those dealing with deaths caused by car wrecks or other trauma. "Many of the families we encounter have been going through this addiction for several years," said Helen M. Nelson of New England Organ Bank. "It's almost as if the families were preparing for this death; many feel great comfort in knowing that some good has come out of it."


Alex De Waal, DefenseOne: For half a century, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has been the linchpin of U.S. Mideast policy. A guaranteed supply of oil has bought a guaranteed supply of security. Ignoring autocratic practices and the export of Wahhabi extremism, Washington stubbornly dubs its ally "moderate." So tight is the trust that U.S. special operators dip into Saudi petrodollars as a counterterrorism slush fund without a second thought. In a sea of chaos, goes the refrain, the kingdom is one state that's stable. But is it? read more


The sporting goods retailer Sports Authority has abandoned plans for bankruptcy reorgnization and will auction off off its assets on May 16. Unless buyers keep the doors open in at least some locations, all 450 stores could be liquidated. The Colorado-based retailer has more than $1.1 billion in debt. Sports Authority, at one time the largest sporting goods retailer in the U.S., traces its origins to a store begun in 1928 by a Denver Post newspaper carrier who acquired $50 in fishing rod samples to sell. The NFL's Denver Broncos play at Sports Authority Field at Mile High in a 20-year, $60 million deal the retailer reached in 2015.


Andrew Sullivan: Democracies end when they become too democratic. And right now, America is a breeding ground for tyranny. [Donald] Trump is not just a wacky politician of the far right, or a riveting television spectacle, or a Twitter phenom and bizarre working-class hero. He is not just another candidate to be parsed and analyzed by TV pundits in the same breath as all the others. In terms of our liberal democracy and constitutional order, Trump is an extinction-level event. It's long past time we started treating him as such. read more


A Florida poll by a Republican-leaning business organization indicates Donald Trump and Ted Cruz would both be easily defeated in a general election in the swing state. "Our latest Florida tracking survey provides an ominous warning for Republicans as they head into the final full month of their nomination process," wrote Ryan Tyson of Associated Industries of Florida in a memo to members. "Voters in Florida appear poised to reject Donald Trump and Ted Cruz as viable options for the presidency as evidenced in their poor image ratings and ballot position with key segments of the electorate." Tyson said the poll shows that among Hispanics Trump is -77 percent (10% favorable/87% unfavorable) -- "and no, that is not a typo. Trump is also underwater with Cubans by 60% (17/77). ... Ted Cruz isn't doing any better at -30% (29/59) with 39% of the electorate having a very unfavorable view of him. Perhaps the most damaging news for either candidate is how high their negatives are within their own party. Amongst Republicans, Trump is 55/38 and Cruz is actually underwater by a point, 47/48." read more


Donald Trump accused China of "raping" the U.S. at an Indiana rally Sunday. "We can't continue to allow China to rape our country, and that's what we're doing," Trump said. While declaring his love for China, the businessman's standard stump speech has long included accusations that China manipulates its currency to give its exports a global competitive edge. Trump also regularly claims that he can fix the U.S.-China relationship. "We're going to turn it around, and we have the cards, don't forget it," Trump said. "We have a lot of power with China." read more


Ted Cruz told a boy heckling him during a Sunday speech in Indiana that if the child was behaving that way in his household he would get a spanking. "Apparently there is a young man who's having some problems," Cruz said after the boy yelled something that was not easily heard. The boy responded, "You suck." Cruz scolded the boy: "You know one of the things that hopefully someone has told you is that children should actually speak with respect. Imagine what a different world it would be if someone told Donald Trump that years ago. ... You know, in my household, when a child behaves that way, they get a spanking."


Christopher Ingraham, Washington Post: This past week, a Milwaukee toddler fatally shot his mother after finding a handgun in the back seat of the car they were riding in. The case drew a lot of national attention given the unusual circumstances: Little kids rarely kill people, intentionally or not. But this type of thing happens more often than you might think. Since April 20, there have been at least seven instances in which a 1-, 2- or 3-year-old shot themselves or somebody else in the United States ... There have been at least 23 toddler-involved shootings since Jan. 1, compared with 18 over the same period last year. read more


An Illinois woman has filed a class-action suit against Starbucks for $5 million over the amount of ice the coffee giant used in its cold coffees. A suit filed by Stacy Pincus in Northern Illinois Federal Court Wednesday claims that because it uses so much ice, customers often end up with half the amount of drink listed on its menus in fluid ounces. "The word 'beverage' is defined as 'a drinkable liquid.' Ice is not a 'beverage' by definition. Accordingly, Starbucks actually gives the customer much less beverage in the cold drinks they order and pay for," the suit states. read more


Australian entrepreneur Craig Wright has publicly identified himself as Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto, backing up his claim using coins known to be owned by Bitcoin's creator. Wright digitally signed messages using cryptographic keys created during the early days of Bitcoin's development. The keys are inextricably linked to blocks of bitcoins known to have been created or "mined" by Nakamoto. "I really do not want to be the public face of anything," he said, expressing regret that he had been forced to reveal his identity by widespread media speculation. "I don't want money. I don't want fame. I don't want adoration. I just want to be left alone." read more


Sunday, May 01, 2016

A look at some of President Barack Obama's best lines from his final speech Saturday night at a White House Correspondents Dinner: "Next year at this time, someone else will be standing here in this very spot, and it's anyone's guess who she will be." Obama teased Ted Cruz for calling a basketball hoop a "basketball ring" during a speech last week on a basketball court in Indiana. "What else is in his lexicon? Baseball sticks? Football hats? But sure, I'm the foreign one." On Donald Trump: "I am a little hurt that he's not here tonight. We had so much fun the last time," Obama said. "And it is surprising. You've got a room full of reporters, celebrities, cameras, and he says no? Is this dinner too tacky for The Donald? What could he possibly be doing instead? Is he at home, eating a Trump Steak, tweeting out insults to Angela Merkel?" read more


On the five-year-anniversary of the death of Osama Bin Laden, the Central Intelligence Agency began live-tweeting the killing as it happened five years ago. The agency shared details of the mission and intelligence that led to America's most wanted man being found. One Tweet reads: "1:51 pm EDT - Helicopters depart from Afghanistan for compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan #UBLRaid" The social media reaction was mixed. "Probably the most interesting Twitter account of the day," wrote one reader. Another person disagreed: "What? Why?! Demonstrating some seriously poor taste and judgement there."


Finn Cohen, New York Times: On March 15, 2004, George Harrison was posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. As part of the ceremony, an all-star band performed "While My Guitar Gently Weeps," Harrison's best-known Beatles song. The group featured Tom Petty and two other members of the Heartbreakers, as well as Jeff Lynne, Steve Winwood, Dhani Harrison (George's son) and Prince, himself an inductee that year. Marc Mann, a guitarist with Mr. Lynne's band, played Eric Clapton's memorable solo from the album version of the song. But Prince, who essentially stood in the dark for most of the performance, burned the stage to the ground at the song's end. His three-minute guitar solo is a Prince milestone, a chance to see him outside of the purple-tinted (for once, he is dressed in red) context of his own meticulous studio craft. read more


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