Big Pharma bought/intimidated enough of our government to halt law enforcement on opioids

❝ Newly unsealed documents in a landmark civil case in Cleveland provide clues to one of the most enduring mysteries of the opioid epidemic: How were drug companies able to weaken the federal government’s most powerful enforcement weapon at the height of the crisis?

The industry enlisted members of Congress to limit the powers of the Drug Enforcement Administration. It devised “tactics” to push back against the agency. And it commissioned a “Crisis Playbook” to burnish its image and blame the federal government for not doing enough to stop the epidemic.

❝ The Post has twice investigated the industry’s battles with the DEA, first in 2016 and again in 2017 with “60 Minutes.” But the full story has never been told because so few of the people involved will talk about it. The list of people who have declined to be interviewed includes former congressman Tom Marino (R-Pa.), who first proposed the bill; former acting DEA administrator Chuck Rosenberg, whose agency surrendered to the pressure; former attorney general Loretta E. Lynch, whose department did not stand in the way of the legislation; and, finally, then-President Barack Obama, who signed it into law.

What? Did you expect our gallant elected officials to stand up for freedom, civil liberties and The American Way? RTFA and reflect upon the phony inability of Congress or the White House to get anything done. I’d suggest you start with throwing 80/90% of officeholders out the damn door!

new fossil fuel sources + overproduction = bankruptcy for greedy developers

❝ For decades, elected leaders and corporate executives have chased a dream of independence from unstable or unfriendly foreign oil producers. Mission accomplished: Oil companies are producing record amounts of crude oil and natural gas in the United States and have become major exporters…With a global glut driving down prices, many are losing money and are staying afloat by selling assets and taking on debt…

❝ In the last four years, roughly 175 oil and gas companies in the United States and Canada with debts totaling about $100 billion have filed for bankruptcy protection. Many borrowed heavily when oil and gas prices were far higher, only to collectively overproduce and undercut their commodity prices. At least six companies have gone bankrupt this year, and Weatherford International, the fourth-leading oil services company, which owes investors $7.7 billion, is expected to file for bankruptcy protection…

❝ One concern is that the industry will be forced to leave oil and gas in the ground as climate change prompts environmental restrictions on drilling or a shift to alternative fuels.

As usual, the fossil fuel barons relied on their political bubbas in the White House and Congress to stand in the doorway to blockade any changeover to cleaner and cheaper energy generation. Climate change deniers from both parties were doing their share. Trump was elected and pledged to continue his own variety of populist ignorance to support backwards as the only true American direction.

A funny thing happened on the way to the bank, though. The rest of the world ignored our crooks and hustlers. As did a number of state governments. Not the majority. Just the states that understand that science and engineering, progressive policies result in cleaner, forward-looking economies.

Doesn’t mean problems are all solved. “Backwards” still includes a lot of federal flunkies calling themselves Democrats and Republicans. Change is only coming in the fullest sense of the word if all the deadwood is cleared out of the way.

If Jamal Khashoggi was murdered, will our fake president do anything?

❝ …if what is alleged about the disappearance on Oct. 2 of Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi is true — that he was lured into the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, then murdered and dismembered by a team dispatched by the Saudi royal court — it would be in a category of depravity all its own.

What makes Khashoggi’s alleged murder so chilling is its sheer brazenness…

❝ There is much we don’t know. Even if the intent was merely to abduct Khashoggi and not to kill him, how is it possible that Saudi Arabia — a vital U.S. ally that claims to be a responsible actor on the global stage — could consider such an action? Perhaps the reason is that those who use violence and repression to censor the media rarely face significant consequences.

Trump and the papier mache Congress will do little more than prattle about our “standards” and perhaps delay shipments of weapons and armaments to the Saudi royals a couple of months. Imperial comrades-in-arms rarely separate longer than is needed to impress a few conservative editors.

“FEAR” already “Sold Out!” at Amazon – Woodward’s book about the Trump White House

Amazon.com said it is working to restock shipments and fulfill orders for Bob Woodward’s “Fear” after the book sold out shortly after its Tuesday release.

Company officials said the title, which details a chaotic Trump administration in which staffers undermine the president, will be available through Kindle and audio books while they wait for new shipments of hardcovers. According to the website, shoppers can get it as early as Sept. 26.

Har! Trump will mess his shorts when he hears this on Faux News.

United States of Amnesia

❝ “The United States of Amnesia.” That’s what Gore Vidal once called us. We remember what we find it convenient to remember and forget everything else. That forgetfulness especially applies to the history of others. How could their past, way back when, have any meaning for us today? Well, it just might. Take the European conflagration of 1914 to 1918, for example…

❝…in Europe, a hundred years ago, war had become politically purposeless. Yet the leaders of the world’s principal powers — including, by 1917, U.S. president Woodrow Wilson — could conceive of no alternative but to try harder, even as the seat of Western civilization became a charnel house…

❝…similarities between the Great War as it unspooled and our own not-in-the-least-great war(s) deserve consideration. Today, as then, strategy — that is, the principled use of power to achieve the larger interests of the state — has ceased to exist. Indeed, war has become an excuse for ignoring the absence of strategy…

❝ Congressional midterm elections are just months away and another presidential election already looms. Who will be the political leader with the courage and presence of mind to declare, “Enough! Stop this madness!” Man or woman, straight or gay, black, brown or white, that person will deserve the nation’s gratitude and the support of the electorate.

Until that occurs, however, the American penchant for war will stretch on toward infinity. No doubt Saudi and Israeli leaders will cheer, Europeans who remember their Great War will scratch their heads in wonder, and the Chinese will laugh themselves silly. Meanwhile, issues of genuinely strategic importance — climate change offers one obvious example — will continue to be treated like an afterthought.

As for the gravy train, it will roll on.

RTFA. The military-industrial complex President Eisenhower warned of – lives better than a top-shelf Wall Street hedge fund manager. Politicians roll over easy-peasy – rotund from pockets stuffed with their share of the proceeds.