How One RX Drug Ignited Addiction Epidemic That Kills 60,000 Americans Per Year

Opioid drug-addiction in the US caused the death of 60,000 people in 2016.  Purdue Pharma, the maker of the painkiller, OxyContin, is owned by the Sackler family, worth an estimated $13 billion. Purdue has been accused of hooking the nation on opioids, because it overstates how long the effects last and downplays its addictive quality.  The Sacklers paid $635 million for false marketing of Oxycontin in 2007, and three Purdue executives have pleaded guilty to criminal charges, but no one has served prison time. According to medical professionals, Purdue Pharma collaborated with the national hospital accreditation agency to change its pain management standards in such a way as to drive doctors to prescribe opioids. Purdue’s profits from OxyContin topped $1.5 billion in 2001, a stratospheric rise compared its 1996 earnings of $48 million. –GEG

The national drug crisis, which is estimated to have claimed more than 60,000 lives in 2016, is expected to worsen this year and one family-owned company helped set the crisis in motion.

President Donald Trump declared the opioid epidemic a national emergency Aug. 10 on the advice of a White House commission that pointed out, “with approximately 142 Americans dying every day, America is enduring a death toll equal to September 11th every three weeks.” Purdue Pharma, the maker of the popular painkiller OxyContin, often faces the brunt of the blame for the crisis due to the role the company’s marketing played in hooking the nation on opioids.

Purdue Pharma is owned by the Sackler family, listed at 19th on the annual Forbes list of wealthiest families in the country at a worth of $13 billion. The family’s fortune largely comes from OxyContin sales, which their company branded and introduced as an extended release painkiller in 1995.

Purdue Pharma pleaded guilty in 2007 to felony charges for false marketing of OxyContin and paid $635 million as a result. The company overstated how long the effects of the medication lasted and severely downplayed the addiction risks of the drug. Three executives also pleaded guilty to criminal charges but dodged prison time.

Dr. Richard Sackler became president of Purdue Pharma in 1999 and co-chairman of the board of directors in 2003, formative times for the company during which it intensely marketed OxyContin and pushed doctors to prescribe opioids for nearly all forms of pain. Despite the company’s admission of guilt during the 2007 lawsuit, Virginia U.S. Attorney John L. Brownlee found no evidence linking Sackler to any misconduct.

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FBI Denies FOIA Request for Hillary Documents Due to “Lack of Public Interest”

After Ty Clevenger, a Texas attorney living in New York, filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for documents pertaining to Hillary’s illegal handling of emails with classified information, the FBI denied the request, saying that he failed to demonstrate that the public interest in those documents outweighs the personal privacy interests of Hillary. [Why is Trump’s Department of Justice allowing this? More to the point, why is Trump allowing the Justice Department to allow it?] –GEG

As reported by the Times, the FBI denied my FOIA request for records related to the Clinton email investigation because it decided — and I’m not making this up — that the email scandal is not a matter of public interest. Actually, the FBI first told me that back on August 8, 2017, so I sent them a response on August 12, 2017:

Frankly, I am stunned that I should have to explain why my request pertains to a matter of public interest. At the time of the perjury referral, Mrs. Clinton was the Democratic nominee for President of the United States, a former U.S. Secretary of State, and a former U.S. Senator. As one would expect, the referral made national news.

I have enclosed a copy of a July 11, 2017 Washington Post article titled “Congressmen ask U.S. Attorney’s Office to investigate Clinton for perjury.” One need only Google Chaffetz+referral+Clinton and a string of articles appears. Clearly, my request pertains to a matter of public interest.

As I wrote at the time, I seriously considered writing that letter in crayon. In retrospect, I should have. This morning I received a letter from the same FBI flunky informing me that the feds still did not consider it a matter of public interest. I wonder how much practice it took to get that stupid.

Meanwhile, Hillary’s hordes are calling me names and gloating because they think that I have been defeated and that evidence of Hillary’s guilt will never see the light of day. Obviously they don’t know me very well.

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Man Who Claimed He Was Stabbed over Neo-Nazi Haircut Admits He Lied

Sheridan, Colorado: Joshua Witt, 26, told police two weeks ago that he was getting out of his car at a restaurant when he was confronted by a man who asked him, “Are you one of them neo-Nazis?”  He said that the man lunged at him with a knife and inflicted a stab wound to his hand. When police showed him surveillance video footage, he confessed to making up the story.  If he is convicted on the charge of false reporting of a crime, he could face a fine of up to $2,650 and up to one-year in jail. –GEG

A man who claimed he was stabbed by a member of Antifa for having a neo-Nazi haircut on August 16 was arrested after he admitted to police he fabricated the entire story.

Joshua Witt, 26, told police two weeks ago that he was getting out of his car outside a restaurant in Sheridan, Colorado, when he was confronted by a man who asked him, “Are you one of them neo-Nazis?”

In Witt’s original account of the events, the unnamed man then charged at him and attempted to stab him, which Witt tried to deflect, causing him to sustain a minor hand injury.

Witt later took to Facebook to post about the incident, sharing photos of his bloodied clothing and bandaged hand, which he said needed stitches.

“Apparently I look like a neo-Nazi and got stabbed for it …” he wrote at the time. “Luckily I put my hands up to stop it so he only stabbed my hand … please keep in mind there was no conversation between me and this dude I was literally just getting out of my car.”

However, police allegedly became suspicious of Witt’s story after they reviewed surveillance videos from nearby restaurants and saw no one fleeing the scene, according to the Denver Post.

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Republican Governor Signs Bill to Make Illinois a Sanctuary State

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner, a Republican, signed a ‘sanctuary state’ bill into law that prohibits police from making an arrest based solely on the fact that they are in the country illegally. They must have a court order for that. The Governor says the bill is a two-page compromise from a 40-page bill filled with additional restrictions on police. Compromise or not, former supporters are saying that Rauner is the best Democrat Governor the state has ever had. –GEG