Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News

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Monday, January 15, 2018

Alexander Hamilton wrote to Elizabeth Schuyler Hamilton on September 6, 1780, two months before their marriage. According to a mid-19th century publication of the Hamilton papers, the letter was entirely about a battle of the Revolutionary War and begins: "Most people here are groaning under a very disagreeable piece of intelligence just come from the southward, that Gates has had a total defeat near Camden, in South Carolina." In the mid-20th century, Columbia University history professor Harold C. Syrett published the Hamilton papers again. In Syrett's edition the same letter begins: "I wrote you My Dear Betsey a long letter or rather two long letters by your father." The "disagreeable piece of intelligence" from South Carolina starts at paragraph two. Syrett also includes the end of the letter, excluded by John Hamilton, where Hamilton apologizes: "Pardon me my love for talking politics to you. What have we to do with any thing but love?" read more


Let's go to the tape. Again and again. President Donald Trump on Sunday misquoted himself in a tweet complaining about how he had supposedly been misquoted in a scrutinized Wall Street Journal interview. The Journal soon released audio of the interview to prove the president said what it reported, and the White House followed up minutes later with a seemingly identical recording trying to prove the Journal wrong. "The Wall Street Journal stated falsely that I said to them 'I have a good relationship with Kim Jong Un' (of N. Korea). Obviously I didn't say that. I said 'I'd have a good relationship with Kim Jong Un,' a big difference. Fortunately we now record conversations with reporters ... ... and they knew exactly what I said and meant. They just wanted a story. FAKE NEWS!" he wrote over two tweets. Within minutes, the Journal released audio from the interview that seemed to clearly show Trump's comment had been reported right the first time.


President Donald Trump appears poised to ignore his own calls for Americans to mark Martin Luther King Jr. Day with "acts of civic work and community service." Trump is not scheduled to partake in any service projects on the federal holiday he and every other US president have designated as a "day of service" since 1994. Instead, he arrived Monday morning at his golf club in West Palm Beach, Florida. ... A White House spokeswoman did not return a request for comment on whether Trump had any impromptu plans to take part in a community service project. The first lady's office also did not return a request for comment asking whether Melania Trump had any such plans. read more


John R. Schindler, Observer: As Donald Trump approaches a year in the White House, one of his gifts that is too seldom acknowledged is his fine-honed ability to make days seem like weeks and weeks seem like months, even years. As president, he has managed to jam-pack so many bizarre, jaw-dropping antics into such short periods of time -- any one of which would be scandalous for any normal White House -- that they blur into each other inside the news cycle and soon melt into the morass of Trumpism. However, for the sake of future historians trying to unravel the unprecedented disaster which is the Trump presidency, let's review the past week's Oval Office highlights (such as they were), many of which involve President Trump's profligate use of Twitter. As is his wont, last Saturday morning the commander-in-chief started tweeting, and even for Trump this was a doozy.


The Cranberries lead singer Dolores O'Riordan has died in London at the age of 46, her publicist has confirmed. The Irish musician, originally from Limerick, led the band to international success in the 90s with singles including Linger and Zombie. ... The Cranberries shot to international fame with their 1993 debut album Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can't We? and went on to sell over 40 million records worldwide. read more


Steve Benen, MSNBC: With policymakers facing a series of pressing deadlines, congressional Democrats have taken several steps to work out an agreement on a Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) solution that would protect Dreamers. Just last week, Democratic officials not only briefly persuaded Donald Trump to agree with their position, they also worked out a bipartisan agreement with Senate Republicans. It's against this backdrop that the president spent much of the weekend publishing a series of tweets suggesting the door is effectively closed. "The Democrats are all talk and no action. They are doing nothing to fix DACA. Great opportunity missed. Too bad!" ... Trump appears to be echoing an emerging line that's popular on the right, especially in conservative media: Dems could agree to a DACA compromise, the argument goes, but they'd rather keep the issue alive in order to exploit the controversy for political gain. The problem with the thesis, which the president seems a little too eager to promote, is that it's ridiculous.


An anti-Islamic nationalist wheeled a homemade gallows into central London, led a group of men into a conference hall and attempted to "arrest" the city's first Muslim mayor as he gave a speech on Saturday. The group failed, and was eventually escorted out by the same police officers they had asked to apprehend Mayor Sadiq Khan. They still managed to delay the speech for 15 minutes as they accused Khan of treachery, tyranny and disrespecting President Donald Trump. Khan stood up and resumed his speech. "It's a pleasure to be here," he said, "even though we were distracted by the actions of what some would call very stable geniuses." The crowd laughed at this. Outside in the lobby, his gallows still empty, [nationalist Davey] Russell continued to argue with police. He also asked for a refund on his ticket.


Despite leading the Tennessee Titans to a playoff win for the first time in 14 years, head coach Mike Mularkey is departing. Did he get fired or quit? It's unclear. Owner Amy Adams Strunk says they "saw different paths to achieve greater success." The 56-year-old Mularkey went 20-21 in three seasons and back-to-back 9-7 records over two full seasons, beating the Kansas City Chiefs in a road upset during the first round of this year's playoffs.


David Corn: Once again, the political-media world is in a tizzy over a Donald Trump remark. In a White House meeting on Thursday, he ... oh, you know what happened. ... Trump's "s---hole" moment was years in the making. With the nation -- or at least, part of it -- trying to come to terms with this latest manifestation of Trump's vileness, it's a good time to remember a fundamental reality: Trump became racist-in-chief because Republicans and conservatives embraced him and normalized his racism-driven politics. ... His racist comment is much more than the latest reminder of his dark soul; it is a reflection of the values (or lack thereof) of a party and movement that has accepted Trump and elevated him to its highest rank.


Chelsea Manning has released the first campaign ad in her bid for a Maryland Senate seat. Manning will run against Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) in the November Democratic primary. The whistleblower was sentenced to 35 years for releasing confidential military and State Department documents, but former President Obama commuted her sentence to seven years, leading to her release in 2017. Manning has been a visible activist for LGBTQ rights and other causes since her release. She would become the first openly transgender member of Congress if elected to the Senate. read more


The Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday celebrates the life and legacy of a man who brought hope and healing to America. We commemorate as well the timeless values he taught us through his example -- the values of courage, truth, justice, compassion, dignity, humility and service that so radiantly defined Dr. King's character and empowered his leadership. On this holiday, we commemorate the universal, unconditional love, forgiveness and nonviolence that empowered his revolutionary spirit. read more


The star of arguably cinema's greatest chase was long thought to be lost to history, but it's just been in a New Jersey garage for a few decades. In 1968, as his celebrity was cresting, Steve McQueen produced and starred in Bullitt. He had been nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor the year before for his dramatic role in The Sand Pebbles. But in the crime thriller, he played a tough San Francisco police detective, Frank Bullitt, who was battling a mob boss. The movie was moody and noir-ish, and a well-reviewed box-office hit. But despite all of this -- and co-stars Robert Vaughn, Robert Duvall, and Jacqueline Bisset -- Bullitt is recalled today mainly for its car chase, a 10-minute masterpiece shot in and around San Francisco, and completed in a souped-up, Highland Green, 1968 Ford Mustang fastback (and a 1968 Dodge Charger). read more


Kevin Jennings, Los Angeles Times: For those clamoring for a wall against immigrants, it may come as a surprise to learn that there were no federal laws concerning immigration until well into the history of the United States. When people say "my ancestors came here legally," they're probably right. For the first century of the country's existence, anyone could land here and walk right off the boat with no papers of any kind ... The first federal general immigration law was enacted in 1882. It prohibited from entering the U.S. "any convict, lunatic, idiot, or any person unable to take care of himself or herself without becoming a public charge." In other words, unless you were physically or mentally incapable of taking care of yourself, you were in -- unless you were Chinese. That's because the first sweeping federal restriction on immigration also came in 1882, in the form of the Chinese Exclusion Act. read more


Astronomers have discovered 11 new stellar streams -- remnants of smaller galaxies torn apart and devoured by our Milky Way. The finding is among the highlights of the first three years of survey data from the Dark Energy Survey -- research on about 400 million astronomical objects, including distant galaxies as well as stars in our own galaxy. ... The Dark Energy Camera, the primary observation tool of the Dark Energy Survey, is one of the most powerful digital imaging devices in existence. It was built and tested at Fermilab, the lead laboratory on the Dark Energy Survey, and is mounted on the National Science Foundation's 4-meter Blanco telescope in Chile.


Sunday, January 14, 2018

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV is investing $1 billion in a Michigan truck factory and paying worker bonuses in the wake of a U.S. tax cut, gestures that could come in handy amid major policy matters being sorted out in Washington. The Italian-American automaker will share the spoils of a lower corporate tax rate by sending $2,000 checks to about 60,000 U.S. workers. Fiat Chrysler also will spend more than $1 billion and add 2,500 jobs at a factory near Detroit to produce heavy-duty Ram pickups that the company has been making in Mexico. The moves may prove useful to Fiat Chrysler's cause. Threats by Donald Trump to withdraw the U.S. from the North American Free Trade Agreement or dramatically rework the deal have spurred warnings from the auto industry of major harm. The president also has said he'll cut carmakers a break on fuel economy standards his administration is reviewing and explicitly asked them to return the favor by hiring more workers. read more


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