news & opinion
If you missed the CBS Sixty Minutes news
magazine show Sunday night or the major report The Washington Post published
October 15, you not only missed some great reporting you
missed an eye-opener
of how America's out of control and devastating opioid epidemic got
You also missed an eye-popping,
jaw-dropping expose' of just
how powerful the drug industry is in this country as is the proverbial
"revolving door" in Washington where lawyers, lawmakers and
bureaucrats who once worked for a federal agency, cross over and work
private enterprise, usually for much bigger money, to effect and change
policies at the agencies they used to help run.
A joint investigaiton by the
Washington post and CBS News
claims that in April 2016:
"At the height of the deadliest drug
epidemic in U.S.
history, Congress effectively stripped the Drug Enforcement
its most potent weapon against large drug companies suspected of
prescription narcotics onto the nation’s streets.
By then, the opioid war had
claimed 200,000 lives, more than three times the number of U.S.
in the Vietnam War. Overdose
deaths continue to rise. There is no
end in sight," read the opening lines of the Post report.
Both news agencies claim
probe of the opioid epidemic shows:
......That just a
"handful" of members of Congress, allied (in cahoots with?) with the
nation’s major drug distributors "prevailed upon" the DEA and the
Justice Department to essentially give up the farm and agree to "a more
industry-friendly law" which then undermined the efforts of those
at the DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) to even stem, let alone
flow of hard core narcotic pain pills.
......And the new "industry
friendly law," signed by President Obama after it sailed through
with nary a whimper, had been opposed by the DEA for years before.
law was the result
of a full court
press, a long game..."a multifaceted campaign by the drug industry"
designed specifically to weaken the DEA's aggressive
enforcement efforts against "drug distribution companies
that were supplying corrupt doctors and pharmacists who peddled
the black market. "
that the drug industry worked behind the scenes with lobbyists and key
of Congress, pouring more than a million dollars into their
.......And just who was the
chief advocate of this new industry friendly law? None other, says the
investigation than Republican Congressman Paul Morino, the man in the photo on this page who is now
Trump's nominee to become "the nation's next drug czar." (Update 10/17 1:50 pm: President Trump said today that Marino has withdrawn his name from consideration for the job of "drug czar" following public outrage and shock after the CBS News-Washington Post articles were broadcast/published. In a tweet Trump called Marino " a fine man and a great Congressman!" Health offcials say the American opioid epidemic could kill 500,000 Americans in the next decade. End update)
CBS News reported back in
that Marino (R-Pa.), who represents Pennsylvania’s rural 10th
District and who was among Donald Trump's earliest backers, was in the
stages of the paperwork process to be nominated to lead the Office of
Drug Control Policy.
CBS News noted that Marino campaigned
with Trump across
Pennsylvania — a state Republicans won for the first time since 1988 —
"and was awarded by the campaign with various chits, including a seat
the coveted VIP box during the Republican National Convention."
If, after reading the Post
Report and watching the 60 Minutes piece you are not absolutely
you may not be paying attention.
If, after reading the Post
Report and watching the 60 Minutes piece, you don't come away with a
feeling that Washington, DC is far more corrupt and insidious than you
imagined, you're definitely not paying attention.
new industry friendly law that sailed through Congress under the nose
everyone, according to the joint investigation, makes it virtually impossible
for the DEA to freeze suspicious narcotic shipments from the companies,
"According to internal agency and Justice Department documents and an
independent assessment by the DEA’s chief administrative law judge in a
soon-to-be-published law review article. That powerful tool had allowed
agency to immediately prevent drugs from reaching the street," says the
Both reports should be considered a
must read/see for every American. We suggest you get right on it.
Story tags: opioid epidemic, Drug Enforcement Administration, DEA, Congressman Paul Morino (R-Pa.), CBS News, Washington Post, opioid overdoses, Big Pharma, drug industry, lobbyists, campaign donations, corruption in Washington