Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News

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Monday, January 01, 2018

Veteran journalist Carl Bernstein said Sunday that President Donald Trump's lawyers are telling him what he wants to hear about the probe ending soon to prevent Trump from firing Mueller. "There are many times he has expressed, I'm told by people in the White House, the desire to fire Mueller, the desire to pardon people under investigation including his family," Bernstein, a CNN contributor, told CNN's Dana Bash on State of the Union. "His lawyers are telling him what he wants to hear -- that's what I'm told -- by lawyers in the White House, they're telling him what he wants to hear to keep him from acting precipitously and to go off and fire Mueller in a rage, or fire (Deputy Attorney General) Rod Rosenstein in a rage. They have an out-of-control client."


This is a headline that has never appeared on the Drudge Retort before. The Bills made the playoffs after an improbable last-minute comeback by the Cincinnati Bengals beat the Baltimore Ravens at home Sunday night. Here's how Bills fans and players reacted to the Bengals touchdown pass on fourth and 12 with 53 seconds remaining.


President Donald Trump began the New Year by sending an angry, early morning tweet criticizing Pakistan. Trump tweeted: "The United States has foolishly given Pakistan more than 33 billion dollars in aid over the last 15 years, and they have given us nothing but lies & deceit, thinking of our leaders as fools. They give safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help. No more!" It was not immediately clear why Trump opted to tweet on Pakistan.


Teen drinking -- as well as teen smoking, marijuana use, and abuse of other drugs -- has plummeted across Iceland in the past two decades as academics, policy makers, and parents joined forces to clamp down. And now cities around the world are looking to this tiny island nation for clues on how to tackle underage drinking. ... "It does not concern teaching individual children about responsible choices, or even about making them responsible for their own behavior," says Álfgeir Kristjánsson, a former data analyst at ICSRA who is now an assistant professor of public health at West Virginia University. "The Icelandic approach ... is to strengthen the societal and protective factors and drive down risk factors."


Former Milwaukee County sheriff and Donald Trump ally David Clarke has threatened to make the media "taste their own blood," following news reports of bombshell allegations in an FBI affidavit that he sicced deputies on a fellow airplane passenger almost a year ago. Clarke, who resigned as sheriff in August, made the threat in a tweet Saturday following stories about the affidavit that was unsealed on Thursday. He also warned "libs" to "bring a hard hat" because "I'm going to smack you around." read more


North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un said on Monday the United States should be aware that his country's nuclear forces are now a reality. Kim, wearing a Western-style gray suit and tie, said in his customary annual address his country had achieved the historic feat of "completing" its nuclear forces and added he has a nuclear button on his desk. "The US should know that the button for nuclear weapons is on my table," he said during the speech. read more


President Trump wished Americans a Happy New Year from his Mar-a-Lago luxury resort in south Florida on Sunday, saying that his New Years wishes extended to not just his supporters but also his "enemies" and the "fake news" media. "As our Country rapidly grows stronger and smarter, I want to wish all of my friends, supporters, enemies, haters, and even the very dishonest Fake News Media, a Happy and Healthy New Year," he wrote. "2018 will be a great year for America!" read more


If you think the government has no business telling business its business, this has been a pretty great year. If, on the other hand, you think government has a role to play in ensuring fair play by companies that have shown themselves to be guided almost exclusively by self-interest and a disregard for consumers and public welfare, this year has been nothing short of horrendous. And 2018 doesn't look much better. The Trump administration has been single-mindedly focused on getting rid of rules and regulations that businesses say hindered competition, innovation and free markets. "The consumer protections that were put in place over the past two generations are being destroyed brick by brick under the Trump administration," said Sally Greenberg, executive director of the National Consumers League. read more


Russian interference, obsolete voting machines, and tight races -- lots of them -- could be a chaotic combination. Nearly four years after U.S. officials intercepted a classified cable from Russia's military intelligence unit, laying out a playbook for the use of fake online personas to spread disinformation abroad, the U.S. has yet to mount a full-scale response. According to the [Washington] Post, U.S. spy agencies have planned a "half-dozen specific operations to counter the Russian threat," but "one year after those instructions were given, the Trump White House remains divided over whether to act." read more


A 67-year-old Slidell man [in Louisiana] who served as a go-between for an international team of scammers running a "Nigerian prince" email scheme has been arrested after an 18-month investigation. Michael Neu, who is neither Nigerian nor a prince, has been charged with 269 counts of wire fraud and money laundering. Neu helped shuttle fraudulently obtained money to his co-conspirators, some of whom actually do live in Nigeria, according to the Slidell Police Department.


"My wife's nurse had to stand for 30 mins and administer a drug slowly through a syringe because there are almost no IV bags in the continental U.S. anymore. See, they were all manufactured in a Puerto Rican factory which still isn't fixed," [Ben Boyer] wrote. "Meanwhile that stupid swollen --- golfs," he added. The tweet spread like wildfire. By Saturday morning, it had more than 100,000 likes and 62,000 retweets. "I think probably it wouldn't have blown up without that there," Boyer said of his allusion to President Trump in an interview with Newsweek. "I don't regret it. Those are very much the words that I feel. But this stuff goes beyond that." read more


There's something about a new year that gets people reflective about their lives. They think that when the page turns to a new year, the things they need to do to improve their lives will come into focus. Old bad habits are wiped from the slate and forgotten. Start an exercise program, lose weight, get laid more. Travel, read more books, contact forgotten friends. Whatever deficiency they think exists in their life will now be made whole with dedication and willpower. This year I will again make the same simple resolution that I've made for the last several years, Be better in every way. What's yours?


Early in 2017, Donald Trump was worried the dollar was getting too strong. At the start of 2018, he has nothing to worry about. This year, the US dollar recorded an annual decline for the first time in five years. The ICE dollar index, which measures the dollar against a basket of six other currencies, fell nearly 10% in 2017. That's biggest annual decline since 2003 when the US dollar fell almost 15%. ... Most analysts predict a similarly tough year for the greenback in 2018. Goldman Sachs expects a "soggy dollar," meaning a dollar that has "all but finished pricing the relative strength of the US vs. the global economy."


"Eight hundred," says the auctioneer. "900 ... 1,000 ... 1,100 ... " Sold. For 1,200 Libyan dinars -- the equivalent of $800. Not a used car, a piece of land, or an item of furniture. Not "merchandise" at all, but two human beings. ... The auctions take place in a seemingly normal town in Libya filled with people leading regular lives. Children play in the street; people go to work, talk to friends and cook dinners for their families. But inside the slave auctions it's like we've stepped back in time. The only thing missing is the shackles around the migrants' wrists and ankles.


A Muskegon area man's video captured a 40-vehicle pile-up along southbound U.S. 31 as it happened Friday, Dec. 29. Jim Perreault posted cell phone video taken from his pickup to his Facebook page on Friday. The crash, involving dozens of vehicles, closed the southbound lanes of U.S. 31 at Holton Road about 2 p.m. ... Perreault's video shows his vehicle in the ditch. As he's waiting, other vehicles can be seen sliding by and smashing into already crashed vehicles. At one point in the video, Perreault notes that his truck has been struck three times. read more


When Dan Schetter saw how the weather was shaping up on Christmas Day -- below zero temperatures and a wind chill hovering around -25 degrees -- he knew it would be a great day for surfing a blustery Lake Superior. Even better, they were fantastic conditions to grow his signature ice beard. ... "It's not like we're trying to out-ice beard each other," he said of other surfers. "I just happen to have the biggest ice beard."


President Trump has fired the entire council that advises his administration about the HIV/AIDS epidemic, the Washington Post reported on Saturday. Patrick Sullivan, an epidemiologist at Emory University in Atlanta who works on HIV testing programs, told the newspaper the members were informed by letter this week that their terminations were effective immediately. The Washington Post said the council, which was set up in 1995, makes national HIV/AIDS strategy recommendations -- a five-year plan which sets out how health officials should respond to the epidemic. ... The mass dismissal follows the resignation in June of six other representatives of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS, who said at the time they were frustrated with Trump's health care policies. read more


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