Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Weekly Digest

The following front-page stories received the most comments during the preceding week.

Fact Checker: Two days in a row, in prepared speeches, [Donald] Trump asserted that that his rival [Hillary] Clinton lacks "mental and physical stamina" to do the job as president. ... We assume Trump's rhetoric is related to a not-so-quiet campaign among right-leaning news entities to highlight "concerns" about Clinton's health, often shared on social media ... Given Trump's poor track record with the facts, it should be little surprise that, through innuendo, he is trying to surface debunked Internet rumors from the fringes of the right. But these are also half-baked, ridiculous and easily disproved, making it especially shocking that he would try to highlight them in prepared speeches. ... Trump has claimed twice, without proof, that Clinton lacks the physical and mental stamina to be president. In the absence of any evidence, he earns Four Pinocchios.

Pew: [Hillary] Clinton supporters are far more likely to be concerned with income inequality than [Donald] Trump backers, per a new Pew poll Voters view a number of issues as significant problems for the country. About half of registered voters (52%) say the gap between the rich and the poor is a "very big problem," while nearly as many cite relations between racial and ethnic groups (48%) as a very big problem. Terrorism (46%) and crime (45%) also are considered very big problems by voters. Roughly four-in-ten say immigration and the availability of good-paying jobs (38% each) are very big problems in the country, while somewhat fewer (30%) cite the condition of the environment. On the list of seven issues, immigration and terrorism stand out as especially serious problems among Trump supporters; nearly two-thirds cite each as very big problems in the country (66% immigration, 65% terrorism). read more

On Friday morning, freshly-minted Donald Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway told ABC News that Trump and running mate Mike Pence would be traveling to Baton Rouge, Louisiana to "help people on the ground" in a "decidedly non-political event" with "no press allowed." As it turns out, though, there actually were members of the press allowed, and the candidate did use the occasion to attack his political opponent, and there were opportunities for photographs, but true to his word, Trump did "help out." Pool cameras trailed Trump for his entire visit, and over the course of those several hours, Trump "helped out" by unloading a truckload of toys for 49 seconds [ ... ] After that, it was into the fire house, out the back door and back to the Trump plane. read more

Robert Reich: The problem isn't Obamacare per se. It lies in the structure of private markets for health insurance -- which creates powerful incentives to avoid sick people and attract healthy ones. Obamacare is just making this structural problem more obvious. In a nutshell, the more sick people and the fewer healthy people a private for-profit insurer attracts, the less competitive that insurer becomes relative to other insurers that don't attract as high a percentage of the sick but a higher percentage of the healthy. Eventually, insurers that take in too many sick and too few healthy people are driven out of business. read more

... . underscores an unsettling truth about the two leaders In Feb. 2014, Donald Trump appeared on Fox News to defend Putin from mockery over Russia's Sochi Olympics, which was a breathtakingly expensive spectacle marred by numerous infrastructural failures. "They spent all of this money, and I think we should not be knocking them at this point. You know, then we wonder why they don't like us -- and why they're eating our lunch," Trump explained. "And I will tell you something: If I'm Putin, I'm not happy about it. And I know for a fact he's not happy about it. When I went to Russia for the Miss Universe Pageant, he contacted me. And was so nice ... I mean, their leaders are, whether you call them smarter, or more cunning, or whatever. But they're outsmarting us, if you look at Syria or other places. They're outsmarting us. I really think we should not be knocking that country with all of the money and all of the guts they put into it." read more

Pediatrics professor Aaron Carroll, New York Times: The EpiPen isn't new; it has been in use since 1977. Research and development costs were recouped long ago. Nine years ago, it was bought by the pharmaceutical company Mylan, which then began to sell the device. When Mylan bought it, EpiPens cost about $57 each. ... As of this May, they cost more than $600 a pack. Since 2004, after adjusting for inflation, the price of EpiPens has risen more than 450 percent. ... There's little competition, but there are huge hurdles to enter the market, so a company can raise the price again and again with little pushback. The government encourages the product's use, but makes no effort to control its cost. Insurance coverage shields some from the expense, allowing higher prices, but leaves those most at-risk most exposed to extreme out-of-pocket outlays. The poor are the most likely to consider going without because they can't afford it. EpiPens are a perfect example of a health care nightmare. They're also just a typical example of the dysfunction of the American health care system.

Cruise ships regularly depart major ports with thousands of passengers onboard, and they are now being called out as major sources of pollution. At full power, the massive diesel engines propelling the Harmony of the Seas -- the world's largest cruise ship -- can burn about 66,000 gallons of diesel fuel a day. One cruise ship emits the same amount of air pollutants as five million cars traveling the same distance, claims German environmental group Nabu.

Warming ocean waters as a result of changing climate have been driving ocean-dwelling species north, changing the habitat for fish and shellfish and decimating iconic species such as New England's cod. But new research shows that the warming waters may hold an additional danger: Changed temperatures are leading to increases in a bacteria called Vibrio, which can cause fatal illness in people who eat shellfish or swim in ocean waters. Vibrio is probably little known to most Americans, though it has caused major outbreaks in European coastal cities. But the bacteria is what lies behind the old advice to only eat oysters in months with an r in the name -- that is, not in summer. Vibrio burgeons in warmer water. It collects in shellfish such as oysters when they filter water while feeding and then makes people ill when they eat the shellfish raw. It can also cause grave infections if it gets into a wound or a nick in the skin

Paul Manafort abruptly resigned as Donald Trump's campaign chairman on Friday. "I am very appreciative for his great work in helping to get us where we are today, and in particular his work guiding us through the delegate and convention process. Paul is a true professional and I wish him the greatest success," Trump said. This surprising news comes just two days after the Republican nominee announced a shakeup of his senior staff, bringing on Breitbart News' Steve Bannon as his campaign CEO and GOP pollster Kellyanne Conway as the campaign manager.

The message on the receipt rattled Sadie Karina Elledge, but it made her grandfather see red. Instead of leaving a gratuity on Monday, a couple eating at the Harrisonburg, Virginia, restaurant where Sadie works scrawled: "We only tip citizens." The dig was aimed at Sadie, 18, who was born in the United States but is of Honduran and Mexican descent. So, John Elledge took a photo of the grease-stained receipt left for his granddaughter and posted it on Facebook. Beneath the photo he typed: "You are a complete and total piece of dung." read more


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