Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Monday, February 18, 2019

I can think of 31 actual national emergencies that haunt the United States... illegal immigration is not one of them.


A study released on Sunday tallies the chemical weapons attacks over the course of the Syrian civil war, which has left hundreds of thousands dead. At least 336 have occurred, according to authors Tobias Schneider and Theresa Lütkefend of the Berlin-based Global Public Policy Institute.

Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime carried out 98 percent of them, according to the authors, dropping chlorine gas, sarin and sulfur mustard gas on Syrian civilians.


A Tennessee man is in jail after being accused of pulling a gun on a Sam's Club customer Saturday. According to the police report, officers were called to Sam's Club due to a person with a gun. According to the alleged victim Terry Pierce, a man pulled a gun on him because he was wearing a Make America Great Again (MAGA) hat.


Rich individuals and families have as much as $32 trillion of hidden financial assets in offshore tax havens, representing up to $280 billion in lost income tax revenues. Excluding non-financial assets such as real estate, gold, yachts and racehorses, puts the sum between $21 and $32 trillion. The research was carried out for the Tax Justice Network, which campaigns against tax havens, by James Henry, former chief economist at consultants McKinsey & Co. He used data from the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, United Nations and central banks. These tax shelters starve 139 developing countries of desperately needed tax revenue, putting wealth beyond the reach of local tax authorities. Both Trump and Putin use these types of accounts. Read more


A Baltimore man died Sunday after he apparently caught fire while inside a porta potty near the city's M&T Bank Stadium. Fire crews responded to the scene to find three porta-potties on fire, Fox 5 DC reported. Authorities are investigating the cause of the fire. Reports said that a stadium employee called in the three stalls on fire. At one point, an adult man was seen exiting one of the stalls and collapsing. TMJ4.com reported that police believe the incident could be an accidental death.


Former Gov. Paul LePage and his staff members paid for more than 40 rooms at Washington, D.C.'s Trump International Hotel during a two-year period, spending at least $22,000 in Maine taxpayer money at a business owned by the president's family. Documents recently obtained by the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram show that the LePage administration paid anywhere from $362 to more than $1,100 a night for rooms at the luxury hotel during trips to meet with President Trump or his inner circle, attend White House events or talk to members of Congress. Receipts from those dozen trips also show the Republican governor or his administration spending hundreds of dollars on filet mignon or other expensive menu items at the restaurant in the Trump hotel. Those expenditures are likely to draw additional scrutiny from attorneys who have cited LePage's previously disclosed stays at the D.C. hotel in a federal lawsuit alleging the president is improperly profiting from the business. Read more


Beef Products Inc. (BPI), the South Dakota-based meat processing company at the center of 2012's "pink slime" controversy, just won a long-sought semantic victory. For years, the company has argued that its signature product is safe, wholesome, and not unlike everyday burger meat. Now, BPI has enlisted a powerful ally in its effort to recoup its image and reclassify its product: the federal government. After a months-long evaluation, the United States Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) determined in December that BPI's signature product -- the offering famously called "pink slime" in an ABC News exposé that got the network in a lot of trouble -- can be labeled "ground beef." Legally speaking, it's now no different from ordinary hamburger, and could even be sold directly to the public. Read more


In an interview with Rush Limbaugh on Sunday, Fox News host Chris Wallace suggested that the conservative radio talker is a hypocrite when it comes to his views on presidents trying to circumvent the will of Congress. Wallace noted on his Fox News Sunday program that Limbaugh had attacked President Barack Obama's use of executive actions, but the radio host applauded President Donald Trump for using a national emergency to build a wall on the southern border against the wishes of Congress. Read more


Sunday, February 17, 2019

A lesbian activist and former member of a city LGBTQ Commission in Baltimore, said that she was kicked off that commission for using the wrong pronoun to refer to a rapist who identified as transgender. She said that her story was "as unbelievable and absurd as it is common place." Julia Beck to;d reporters that she had been kicked off the LGBTQ Commission for the mayor of Baltimore, despite being the sole lesbian on the committee, "simply for stating biological facts."

Apparently, Ms. Beck was dismissed for using male pronouns while referring to a convicted male rapist who wanted to be addressed as a female. The convict in question had earlier declared himself a transgendered woman, for which he was cheered on by the progressive establishment and sent to a female prison. Shortly afterwards he raped two cisgendered female inmates. According to the Mayor of Baltimore, the real crime here, was not the rape itself but the denial of his chosen gender identity by Ms. Beck.


Former acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe outlined on Sunday the reasons top officials decided to open a counterintelligence probe and obstruction of justice investigation into President Donald Trump.

In an interview with CBS' Scott Pelley on "60 Minutes," McCabe said Trump had been speaking in a "derogatory way" about the Russia investigation for weeks, which they viewed as an attempt to "publicly undermine the investigation."

He said officials were concerned by the President's "own words."


WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Senate Finance Committee has launched a bi-partisan inquiry into meetings in 2015 between top Obama administration officials, a Russian central banker and Maria Butina, who has pleaded guilty to conspiring to work as a Russian agent to influence American foreign policy. "The Senate Finance Committee has a constitutional responsibility to engage in vigilant oversight of entities and government agencies within its jurisdiction," wrote Senators Charles E. Grassley, Iowa Republican, and Ron Wyden, Oregon Democrat, the committee's chairman and ranking member, respectively.

"A critical issue facing the Committee and the country is the extent to which the Russian government engaged in efforts designed to undermine our political system and governmental policy through obfuscation and manipulation as early as 2015" Wyden said in a press release.


State Dept. spokeswoman Heather Nauert, President Donald Trump's pick to be Washington's next U.N. ambassador, has withdrawn from consideration for the job, after a background check revealed that she failed to pay taxes on time and hired a nanny who didn't have proper work authorization. "I am grateful to President Trump and Secretary Pompeo for the trust they placed in me for considering me for the position of U.S. ambassador to the United Nations," Nauert said in a statement late Saturday. "However, the past two months have been grueling for my family and therefore it is in the best interest of my family that I withdraw my name from consideration," she said. Read more


Acceding to a request from Washington, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe nominated U.S. President Donald Trump for the Nobel Peace Prize last autumn for engaging with North Korea, Japanese government sources said Feb. 16. According to the sources, the U.S. government "informally" asked Tokyo to nominate Trump after he met with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore in June, the first-ever summit between the two countries. At a news conference in the White House on Feb. 15, Trump revealed that Abe gave him a copy of a five-page letter the prime minister sent to the Norwegian Nobel Committee, which awards the prize. Read more


Incarceration vs. education: America spends more on its prison system than it does on public schools – and California is the worst Most American states spend more on their prisons than they do on education - and California is the worst, investing $64,642 per prisoner compared to $11,495 per student - a $53,146 difference in spending priorities The reasons include an incarceration rate that has tripled over the past three decades, the higher cost of caring for people in prisons 24 hours a day, and the higher number of workers required to operate a prison New York, Connecticut, New Jersey and Rhode Island round out the top states spending more on prison


When TMZ first reported that actor Jussie Smollett was the victim of a vicious hate crime, it sounded almost impossible to believe: at 2 AM one sub-zero night in late January, two masked men recognized the "Empire's" gay black actor, hurled racist & homophobic slurs at him, beat him to the point of breaking his ribs, doused him with bleach, tied a noose around his neck, before pronouncing "This is MAGA Country!" and fleeing.

Making such astonishing claims, the national media owed it to their viewers to give this story the circumspect coverage responsible journalism demands. Instead the major media used their platform to uncritically parrot TMZ's original report, even adding new fake details along the way (such as that the attackers wore "Make America Great Again" hats). This vicious hate crime, they said, painted a disturbing picture of America in 2019.

As Smollett's claims have unraveled over the intervening weeks, it's worth revisiting how the story was originally covered.


Pamela Ramsey Taylor, the woman who made headlines in 2016 when she made a racist remark about then-First Lady Michelle Obama, pleaded guilty on Monday to defrauding the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The 57-year-old Clay County woman falsely registered for FEMA benefits that were meant for those who were impacted by the June 2016 floods that killed 20 people along the Elk River. She managed to snatch up more than $18,000, according to the Charleston Gazette-Mail. 'It will be refreshing to have a classy, beautiful, dignified First Lady in the White House. I'm tired of seeing a [sic] Ape in heels,' Taylor wrote after Donald Trump was elected as president. The racist post wasn't the first time Taylor, who had worked at the CCDC since the late '90s and became director in 2007, had seen trouble there. She was dismissed in 2002 after being accused of taking fundraising money, but then hired back again shortly after, according to a lawsuit deposition seen by the Gazette-Mail.


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