Everyone Wants to Reduce Drug Prices. So Why Can’t We Do It?

The pharmaceutical and health products industries spent $145 million on lobbying for the first half of 2017, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

Drug makers gave $4.5 million to congressional campaigns in that period, including six-figure donations to House Speaker Paul Ryan; Representative Greg Walden, a Republican of Oregon who heads the House Energy and Commerce Committee; and Senator Orrin Hatch, Republican of Utah and chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, a Kaiser Health News analysis found.

The drug lobby has spent $28 million so far this year to air six ads depicting heroic researchers about 4,600 times on national TV, according to iSpot.tv, an ad tracker.

The industry hired the former F.B.I. director Louis Freeh to study the impact of importation. He concluded that it would “leave the safety of the U.S. prescription drug supply vulnerable to criminals seeking to harm patients.” Import proponents argue the Food and Drug Administration could easily ensure safety by licensing and inspecting Canadian suppliers.

.. Mr. Trump’s feud with congressional Republicans, especially the Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, means “you’re not going to get any strong direction or leadership out of the White House” on drug prices

Fighting the Politicized, Evidence-Free ‘Collusion with Russia’ Narrative Read more at: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/447915/trump-russia-collusion-john-brennan-testimony-how-fight-politicized-narrative

If police believe bank robbers were hoping for inside help on a heist, they don’t hold a press conference to smear the bank manager with their suspicions about “collusion.” They go about the quiet police work of building a conspiracy case.

.. Brennan’s story can be summed up as follows: The Russians are insidious, and they plot to manipulate Americans into helping them, wittingly or unwittingly. The Russians interfered with the American election by orchestrating the publication of unflattering information (mainly, Democrat e-mails), hoping either that Donald Trump would win, or that the likely winner, Hillary Clinton, would be badly damaged. While carrying out this plan, Russian operatives reached out to some people who were connected to the Trump campaign. Brennan supposes that the Russians must have attempted to “suborn” those people because . . . well . . . um . . . that’s “what the Russians try to do.” But he can’t say whether they actually did.

.. That’s a weasel’s way of saying he’s got nothing.

.. the president cannot resist the bonehead moves that make him look culpable: the alleged effort to persuade his then–FBI director, James Comey, to drop the investigation of Trump’s friend and former national-security adviser Michael Flynn

.. Trump’s foolish meeting with Russian diplomats, right after firing Comey, during which he allegedly cited pressure from the Russia investigation as the rationale for Comey’s dismissal

.. In each instance, Trump’s behavior can be explained by exasperation and amateurishness rather than consciousness of guilt.

.. the real collusion here: between Democrats and the media.

.. stress that the probe is a counterintelligence investigation, not a criminal investigation.

.. First, the subject of the investigation is the foreign power (in this case, Russia), not those Americans whom the foreign power may seek to trick, coopt, or recruit. If those Americans were suspected of criminal wrongdoing, they would be made the subject of a criminal investigation

.. It may be called a “counterintelligence investigation,” but the objective is to undermine Trump, not Russia.

  1. .. First, the Justice Department should appoint a special counsel to investigate the potential abuse of government surveillance powers for the purposes of political spying and leaks to the media. The investigation should scrutinize all unmasking of Americans to determine whether it conformed to court-ordered restrictions.
  2. .. Second, the appropriate committees of Congress should convene hearings on whether the Obama Justice Department sought to influence the outcome of the 2016 election, and whether it colluded with the Clinton campaign toward that end.   .. The committees should examine, compare, and contrast the Justice Department’s treatment of the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s mishandling of classified information
  3. .. Third, the appropriate committees of Congress should convene hearings on collusion between the Clinton Foundation and Russia, focusing especially on payments by Russian interests to Bill Clinton and to the foundation, and actions taken by then–secretary of state Hillary Clinton that benefited Russia (including approval of the sale to a Kremlin-tied energy company of major U.S. uranium assets). The committees should compare and contrast the concrete evidence of Clinton Foundation collusion with Russia versus unproved suspicions of Trump campaign collusion with Russia.

John Brennan: as a national-security official throughout the Obama years, his principal job was to appease Islamist regimes and organizations. He wanted to engage the “moderate elements” of Iran and Hezbollah, while airbrushing the concept of jihad (“a holy struggle, a legitimate tenet of Islam, meaning to purify oneself or one’s community”) and purging agent training materials of background information of sharia-supremacist ideology.