Tuesday, October 17, 2017


Trump Announces His Drug-Czar Nominee Is Withdrawing; 'This Country...Has a Drug Problem'

By Susan Jones | October 17, 2017 | 6:00 AM EDT

President Donald Trump speaks with reporters in the White House Rose Garden on Monday, Oct. 16, 2017. (Screen grab/C-SPAN)
(CNSNews.com) - President Trump, speaking at an impromptu news conference on Monday, said he plans to have "a major announcement, probably next week," on the nation's opioid drug crisis.
The president also said he'll take another look at the man he's nominated to be his drug czar, now that questions have surfaced about the nominee's support for the makers and distributors of prescription pain pills.
(On Tuesday morning, after this story was published, Trump tweeted: "Rep.Tom Marino has informed me that he is withdrawing his name from consideration as drug czar. Tom is a fine man and a great Congressman!)
"This country, and frankly the world, has a drug problem. The world has a drug problem," Trump said. "But we have it, and we're going to do something about it. So I'm going to have a major announcement on that problem next week. We're going to be looking into Tom," he added.
Rep. Tom Marino (R-Pa.) is Trump's nominee to head the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy.
A joint Washington Post-"60 Minutes" investigation looked at legislation sponsored by Marino in 2014 that made it more difficult for the Drug Enforcement Administration to stop the diversion of pain pills to unscrupulous doctors and other distributors.
According to the Washington Post:
In the spring of 2016, a handful of members of Congress, allied with the nation’s major drug distributors, prevailed upon the DEA and the Justice Department to agree to a more industry-friendly law, undermining efforts to stanch the flow of pain pills, according to an investigation by The Washington Post and “60 Minutes.” The DEA had opposed the effort for years.
The Ensuring Patient Access and Effective Drug Enforcement Act was the crowning achievement of a multifaceted campaign by the drug industry to weaken aggressive DEA enforcement efforts against drug distribution companies that were supplying corrupt doctors and pharmacists who peddled narcotics to the black market. The industry worked behind the scenes with lobbyists and key members of Congress, pouring more than a million dollars into their election campaigns.
Marino's bill, sponsored by Sen. Orrin Hatch in the Senate, eventually passed and was signed into law by President Barack Obama in 2016.
At Monday's news conference, a reporter asked President Trump if he'd seen the Oct. 15 "60 Minutes" segment, which said the nation's opioid crisis was fueled by the drug industry and Congress.

"I did see the report," Trump said. "We're going to look into the report. We're going to take it very seriously."
Trump noted that Tom Marino was a "very early supporter of mine."
"He's a great guy," Trump said. "I have not spoken to him, but I will speak to him, and I'll make that determination. And if I think it's -- I think -- if I think it's one-percent negative to doing what we want to do, I will make a change, yes."

WALL STREET TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE: DIE YOUNG… your company pension dies with you! 



"These gigantic revenues and huge personal fortunes were 

accumulated by means of what can only be termed a massive 

social crime: the flooding of impoverished working-class 

neighborhoods with high volumes of opioids, narcotics that 

were being prescribed in vast quantities by doctors and 

pharmacists and illegal “pain centers” and “pill mills” that 

were a constant presence in the affected areas."

Behind the opioid crisis: Republicans and Obama cleared the way for corporate murder

By Patrick Martin
16 October 2017
Leading Republican and Democratic members of Congress and top Obama administration officials collaborated to shut down efforts by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to stem the flow of prescription opioids that have killed 200,000 Americans over the past two decades, according to a devastating exposure published Sunday by the Washington Post and broadcast Sunday night on the CBS news magazine “60 Minutes.”
The joint investigation by the Post and “60 Minutes” made use of extensive whistleblower revelations by former officials of the DEA, which has the main responsibility for halting the flow of illegal narcotics, including prescription drugs like oxycodone and hydrocodone.
Three major companies, all in the top 20 of the 

Fortune 500 and hugely profitable, dominate the 

distribution of these opioids: McKesson, Cardinal 

Health, and AmerisourceBergen, with combined 

revenues of more than $450 billion. McKesson 

chairman and CEO John Hammergren has the 

largest pension fund of any US corporate boss, a 

$160 million nest egg.
These gigantic revenues and huge personal fortunes were accumulated by means of what can only be termed a massive social crime: the flooding of impoverished working-class neighborhoods with high volumes of opioids, narcotics that were being prescribed in vast quantities by doctors and pharmacists and illegal “pain centers” and “pill mills” that were a constant presence in the affected areas.
The consequences have been felt in a historic reversal in the long-term rise of life expectancy in the United States. For middle-aged whites, particularly those living in rural areas, life expectancy is declining and death rates soaring, in large part because of the impact of opioid abuse and addiction.
Appalachia is a center of the opioid crisis. The figures presented in the Post /”60 Minutes” report are staggering—and damning. To Mingo County, West Virginia, an impoverished former mining area on the state border with Kentucky, population 25,000, the mid-sized Ohio-based drug distributor Miami-Luken shipped 11 million doses of oxycodone and hydrocodone in a five-year period: enough to give two pills a week to every man, woman and child in the county.
In the county seat, Williamson, population 2,938, Miami-Luken shipped 258,000 hydrocodone pills in one month to a single pharmacy. The city of Williamson has filed suit against the company and other drug distributors, charging them with deliberately flooding the city with pain pills to supply the black market. A document filed in the suit charges, “Like 

sharks circling their prey, multi-billion dollar 

companies descended upon Appalachia for 

the sole purpose of profiting off of the 

prescription drug-fueled feeding frenzy.”
Post reporters Scott Higham and Lenny Bernstein and “Sixty Minutes” reporter Bill Whitaker conducted dozens of interviews for their exposé, but the principal whistleblower is Joseph T. Rannazzisi, who headed the DEA’s Office of Diversion Control for a decade until he was forced out in 2015.
The Office of Diversion Control oversees the flow of prescription drugs produced by the major US pharmaceutical companies and shipped to hospitals and pharmacies and other prescribers by distributors, including the big three. By targeting unusually large and unexplained sales—for example, several Walgreen’s pharmacies in Florida sold more than one million opioid pills in a year, compared to a nationwide average of 74,000—the DEA unit could force companies to pay substantial fines.


These big three and smaller distributors paid more than $400 million in fines over the last decade as the result of the DEA, but this is a pittance compared to their gross revenues during that same period, well over $5 trillion. One former DEA official told the Post this sum simply represented “a cost of doing business.”
A more serious problem for the industry was the issuance of “freeze” orders, in which the DEA could use its authority to order a distributor to halt a shipment if there is “imminent danger” to the community. According to Rannazzisi, there was increasing resistance from top-level DEA officials, from 2011 on, to approving such “freeze” orders against opioid distributors. 

During this period, the drug distributors 

hired 46 DEA officials either directly or through law 

firms or lobbying groups representing them.
In 2014, industry lobbyists produced a bill, written by a former DEA lawyer, and introduced by Republican Representative Tom Marino, that substantially raised the threshold of proof for a DEA order to halt a shipment. Instead of “imminent danger,” such an order required proof of “a substantial likelihood of an immediate threat,” a standard so strict that, once adopted, there were no further DEA orders to halt drug distribution.
Marino’s bill was initially blocked by DEA opposition, but it was reintroduced with Democratic cosponsors and passed the House of Representatives by a voice vote, without opposition, in April 2015. In October 2015, Rannazzisi was pushed into retirement at the DEA, after previously being removed as head of the Office of Diversion Control by means of heavy pressure from congressional Republicans on the Obama Justice Department. In March 2016, the Senate passed a modified version of the Marino bill, and the House accepted the changes the following month. The DEA was now handcuffed, and the drug distributors could proceed without any concern about federal oversight.

As Rannazzisi told “60 Minutes”: “The drug industry—the manufacturers, wholesalers, distributors and chain drugstores—have an influence over Congress that has never been seen before. And these people came in with their influence and their money and got a whole statute changed because they didn't like it.”

The protection of the giant drug distribution companies—amid a nationwide epidemic of drug overdose deaths caused by the products they were distributing—was a bipartisan affair. Congressional Democrats cosponsored the legislation, and a former top Clinton administration official, Jamie Gorelick, was a lead attorney and lobbyist for the distributors. 


Attorney General Loretta Lynch approved the legislation, and President Obama signed it into law, with the White House issuing a one-page press release to mark the occasion.
None of those involved, including Lynch and Obama, would comment to the Post or “60 Minutes.” According to the Post, “The DEA and Justice Department have denied or delayed more than a dozen requests filed by The Post and ‘60 Minutes’ under the Freedom of Information Act for public records that might shed additional light on the matter,” indicating that the Trump administration is continuing the stonewalling tactics begun under Obama.
When a “60 Minutes” camera crew came to Marino’s office, his aides called Capitol Hill police to have them removed.
Trump has rewarded the darling of the drug distributors, Representative Marino, by nominating him last month to become the next White House “drug czar,” in charge of coordinating federal efforts against the opioid crisis. Representative Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee, the main cosponsor of the bill, is now favored to be the Republican nominee for US Senate in Tennessee in 2018. Both representatives come from districts ravaged by the opioid crisis. According to the Post account, 106 people have died in Lycoming County, Pennsylvania, the largest in Marino’s district, since he first introduced his anti-enforcement legislation.
The following exchange from the “60 Minutes” program sums up the reality of corporate domination of American life, and the catastrophic impact on working people:
BILL WHITAKER: You know the implication of what you're saying, that these big companies knew that they were pumping drugs into American communities that were killing people.
JOE RANNAZZISI: That's not an implication, that's a fact. That's exactly what they did.
… These weren't kids slinging crack on the corner. These were professionals who were doing it. They were just drug dealers in lab coats.



 How the Democrat party surrendered America to Mexico:

“The watchdogs at Judicial Watch discovered documents that reveal how the Obama administration's close coordination with the Mexican government entices Mexicans to hop over the fence and on to the American dole.”  Washington Times


“That Washington-imposed policy of mass-immigration floods the market with foreign laborspikes profits and Wall Street values by cutting salaries for manual and skilled labor offered by blue-collar and white-collar employees. It also drives up real estate priceswidens wealth-gaps, reduces high-tech investment, increases state and local tax burdens, hurts kids’ schools and college education, pushes Americans away from high-tech careers, and sidelines at least 5 million marginalized Americans and their families, including many who are now struggling with opioid addictions.” ---- NEIL MUNRO

THEY INVADE OVER AND UNDER OUR BORDERS… and do so by invitation of the Democrat Party.
Lawmen are worried that the cartel tunnel builders on the Mexican border are now using their engineered concoctions to smuggle illegals, not merely drugs.

 That's what the Daily Caller has found, describing the new anxiety as one was discovered over the weekend, catching about 30 illegals coming in from Mexico and China. MONICA SHOWALTER – AMERICAN THINKER.com

"These figures present a scathing indictment of the social order that prevails in America, the world’s wealthiest country, whose government proclaims itself to be the globe’s leading democracy. They are just one manifestation of the human toll taken by the vast and all-pervasive inequality and mass poverty. 


Millions of children go hungry as the super- rich gorge themselves and ILLEGALS SUCK IN BILLIONS IN WELFARE!

"The top 10 percent of Americans now own roughly three-quarters of all household wealth."


"While telling workers there is “not enough money” for wage increases, or to fund social programs, both parties hailed the recent construction of the U.S.S. Gerald Ford, a massive aircraft carrier that cost $13 billion to build, stuffing the pockets of numerous contractors and war profiteers."



 How the Democrat party surrendered America to Mexico:

“The watchdogs at Judicial Watch discovered documents that reveal how the Obama administration's close coordination with the Mexican government entices Mexicans to hop over the fence and on to the American dole.”  Washington Times
"These figures present a scathing indictment of the social order that prevails in America, the world’s wealthiest country, whose government proclaims itself to be the globe’s leading democracy. They are just one manifestation of the human toll taken by the vast and all-pervasive inequality and mass poverty. 

OBAMA-CLINTONOMICS to serve the filthy rich

The same period has seen a massive growth of social inequality, with income and wealth concentrated at the very top of American society to an extent not seen since the 1920s.

“This study follows reports released over the past several months documenting rising mortality rates among US workers due to drug addiction and suicide, high rates of infant mortality, an overall leveling off of life expectancy, and a growing gap between the life expectancy of the bottom rung of income earners compared to those at the top.”

THE LA RAZA PLAN: California’s final surrender to fly the Mexican flag within 4 years.

"The American Southwest seems to be slowly returning to the jurisdiction of Mexico without firing a single shot."  -- - EXCELSIOR --- national newspaper of Mexico


They claim all of North America for Mexico!


Barack Obama created more debt for the middle class than any president in US history, and also had the only huge QE programs: $4.2 Trillion.

OXFAM reported that during Obama’s terms, 95% of the wealth created went to the top 1% of the world’s wealthy. 

UNDERWAY: THE OBAMA COUP FOR A THIRD TERM FOR LIFE… for 8 years he laid the groundworks for his Muslim-style dictatorship.




“Obama’s new home in Washington has been described as the “nerve center” of the anti-Trump opposition. Former attorney general Eric Holder has said that Obama is “ready to roll” and has aligned himself with the “resistance.” Former high-level Obama campaign staffers now work with a variety of  groups organizing direct action against Trump’s initiatives. “Resistance School,” for example, features lectures by former campaign executive Sara El-Amine, author of the Obama Organizing .”


"We know that Obama and his inner circle have set up a war room in his D.C.

home to plan and execute resistance to the Trump administration and his legislative

agenda.  None of these people care about the American people, or the fact that

Trump won the election because millions of people voted for him."  

Patricia McCarthy / AMERICAN THINKER.com



"Cold War historian Paul Kengor goes deeply into Obama's communist background in an article in American Spectator, "Our First Red Diaper Baby President," and in an excellent Mark Levin interview.  Another Kengor article describes the Chicago communists whose younger generation include David Axelrod, Valerie Jarrett, and Barack Hussein Obama.  Add the openly Marxist, pro-communist Ayers, and you have many of the key players who put Obama into power." Karin McQuillan

CBS: Sure, Obama Signed Harmful Opioid Law; But Blame Republicans Instead!

CBS on Sunday and Monday hammered Republicans in Congress for supporting a law in 2015 that changed how the Department of Drug Enforcement could regulate opioid distribution. The network minimized the fact that the law was signed by Barack Obama (as the opioid crisis grew). On 60 Minutes, Sunday, Obama’s name was mentioned just once. 
On Monday, This Morning's Nancy Cordes blamed, “Pennsylvania’s Tom Marino and Tennessee’s Marsha Blackburn introduced this bill back in 2015. Well, each of them received significant contributions that year from the pharmaceutical industry, more than $70,000 for Marino. More than $160,000 for Blackburn and $177,000 to Utah Senator Orrin Hatch.” 

Allowing the ex-President to divert blame, Cordes spun, “It ended up passing with unanimous consent and signed by President Obama. Former administration officials, some of them now say they didn’t realize how much this one bill would change things.” 
Oh, well, if Obama didn’t realize the effect, it doesn’t matter? In the 8am hour, co-host Norah O’Donnell reoriented the blame to the GOP: “Republican member of Congress Tom Marino and Marsha Blackburn promoted it as a way to ensure patients had access to the medication they needed.” 
The only other hint of culpability came when co-host Charlie Rose noted that the bill was “approved by Democrats.” 
On 60 Minutes, the ONLY mention of Obama came when correspondent Bill Whitaker noted, “A week later, with no objections from Congress or the DEA, President Barack Obama signed it into law, without ceremony or the usual bill signing photo-op.” 
The Washington Post, which worked with CBS as a joint investigation, didn’t mention Obama until paragraph ten. Finally, writers Scott Higham and Lenny Bernstein noted the Democrat’s role: 
On April 19, Obama signed the bill. The White House issued a one-page news release announcing its enactment.
Marino also issued a release taking credit for the legislation.
“With this law, our drug enforcement agencies will have the necessary tools to address the issue of prescription drug abuse across the country. I applaud the hard work of my colleagues on both sides of the aisle in Congress and President Obama for realizing the importance of this legislation.”
Industry groups also thanked Obama.
The Washington Post’Dan Zak cheered his paper's attack on Congressman Marino, now Donald Trump’s nominee for DEA czar. 
If this legislation was ill-advised, than that means that all those who were apart of it are culpable. It passed with no objection through the House and the Senate and was signed by the President. If, as CBS allowed Obama defenders to state, the then-President “didn’t realize” what the bill would do, he was ignorant. Either way, the Democrat should be the subject of some blame too. 
[The 60 Minutes segment was sponsored by Buick, Ancestry DNA and Brighthouse Financial.] 
A partial transcript is below:  

Trump’s pick for drug czar forced to step down after expose

By Genevieve Leigh
18 October 2017
Republican Representative Tom Marino from Pennsylvania has withdrawn his name from consideration as the United States’ next Drug Czar, the director of federal drug control policy, after a damning report exposed his role in pushing through legislation dismantling regulations on prescription opioid drugs.
The joint investigation by the Washington Post and 60 Minutes revealed a bipartisan effort to effectively take away the power of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to suspend drug distributors suspected of funneling prescription drugs onto the black market. Mariano spearheaded the effort which resulted in the Ensuring Patient Access and Effective Drug Enforcement Act in 2016, which passed unanimously in Congress and was signed into law by then President Barack Obama.
The bill targeted the DEA’s Office of Diversion Control, which is a department meant to monitor the flow of prescription drugs from the major US pharmaceutical companies to distributors such as hospitals and pharmacies. As prescription opioid abuse was exploding throughout the country the Office of Diversion Control began to freeze drug shipments for unusually large and unexplained sales.
The main function of the Marino’s legislation was to modify the language of the standard for identifying dangers to society, from "imminent" threats to "immediate" threats. The change makes it virtually impossible for the DEA to suspend drug companies that do not report obscenely large orders for narcotics.
The investigation used evidence from whistleblowers who formerly worked in the DEA. One of the primary sources was Joe Rannazzisi, a former high-ranking DEA official, who told reporters, "This is an industry that allowed millions and millions of drugs to go into bad pharmacies and doctors' offices that distributed them out to people who had no legitimate need for those drugs.” Rannazzisi was forced to retire in 2015.
One example highlighted in the investigation showed that a drug distribution company shipped 20 million doses of oxycodone and hydrocodone (both powerful opioids) to pharmacies in West Virginia between 2007 and 2012. This included 11 million doses to one small county in a southern region of the state with only 25,000 people. Before the campaign to disarm the DEA was well under way in 2014, the Office of Diversion Control would have had the power to immediately suspend the shipment of the drugs, preventing them from getting to the street, and launch an investigation.
Despite overwhelming evidence of drug mills popping up throughout the country, one of the high-level officials who played a key role in pushing through the final version of the bill, Republican Senator Orrin Hatch from Utah, stated that they were instead “concerned about DEA's unfettered enforcement authority.”
The concern of Hatch and Mariano over “enforcement authority” comes at a time of unprecedented drug abuse in US history. Recent reports indicate that 143 Americans are dying each day from drug overdose, and over 30,000 of the 50,000 overdoses each year are from a drug in the opioid family. It is estimated that over 2.1 million people in the United States are suffering from substance use disorders which are directly related to prescription opioid pain relievers.
The concerns within Washington lay with the financial interest of the pharmaceutical companies.
The Washington Post/60 Minutes investigation also revealed that political action committees representing the pharmaceutical industry and their distributors contributed at least $1.5 million to the 23 lawmakers who sponsored or co-sponsored four versions of the bill, including nearly $100,000 to Marino and $177,000 to Hatch. Between 2014, when the campaign against the DEA started, and 2016, when the law was passed, the drug industry spent $102 million lobbying Congress on the bill and related matters.
President Trump tweeted Tuesday, “Rep. Tom Marino has informed me that he is withdrawing his name from consideration as drug czar. Tom is a fine man and a great Congressman!” Marino’s “stepping down” was prompted by public relations calculations over the fallout from the investigation, not because of the sordid details unveiled by the investigation itself.
It was Marino’s ruthless defense of the pharmaceutical companies’ financial interests that made him a prime candidate for the job of Drug Czar in the first place. Had the report not been released, Marino would have joined the ranks of Betsy DeVos at the Department of Education, Ryan Zinke at the Department of the Interior and Scott Pruitt at the Environmental Protection Agency-- all figures appointed, in Orwellian fashion, to oversee the destruction of their departments and boost the profits of big business.
During the presidential campaign, Trump promoted a national plan to combat the growing opioid epidemic. This was a key selling point in some of the areas through the so-called Rust Belt in the Midwest where Trump won in large numbers. The states in this region, which was ravaged by deindustrialization, have subsequently been some of the hardest hit by the opioid crisis.
Trump reasserted that he is “committed” to the issue in the wake of the investigation. He announced on Tuesday that he will make "a major announcement, probably next week, on the drug crisis."
While Marino is now out of the running for the Drug Czar position, there should be no illusions among workers and youth who are concerned with drug abuse that any political figure tapped by the Trump administration will be able or willing to do anything to stem the murderous epidemic.

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