Rep. Omar on Obama's drone strikes!

MONDAY, MARCH 11, 2019

Sarah Jones makes a strong point:
Has Rep. Ilhan Omar been making some actual sense?

We can't offer a view on that. Last Wednesday, Kevin Drum cut Omar some provisional slack regarding the recent comments for which she's drawn a world of hurt.

Then, Rep. Omar piped up again. New York magazine's Sarah Jones offers a brief description:
JONES (3/8/19): Whatever you think of Ilhan Omar, you have to admit she’s fearless. In an interview with Politico’s Tim Alberta, the freshman Democratic representative from Minnesota criticized the insufficiencies of Barack Obama’s “hope and change,” pointing to the former president’s “caging of kids” at the border and his “droning of countries around the world” as proof. “We can’t be only upset with Trump,” she said. “His policies are bad, but many of the people who came before him also had really bad policies. They just were more polished than he was. And that’s not what we should be looking for anymore. We don’t want anybody to get away with murder because they are polished. We want to recognize the actual policies that are behind the pretty face and the smile.”

It’s one of the bolder criticisms a Democrat has leveled at Obama, and it’s even more remarkable considering the source...
Does it make sense to describe Obama's "droning of countries around the world" as involving acts of "murder?" That's a question you won't see debated on anti-Trump cable news channels, which now devote virtually all their time to the "true crime" thrill of The Chase.

In truth, you'll see almost nothing discussed on those channels unless it connects to the thrill of The Chase. Public schools? Health care spending? Topics like these don't exist.

Do Rep. Omar's new claims make sense? We don't know, but it's worth considering a possible reason for her pungent remarks.

Jones has been a valuable "progressive"-leaning addition to the American press corps. In this passage, she authors a potent speculation:
JONES: A critical re-examination of Obama’s record is inevitable; in fact, it’s probably overdue. Omar’s latest point, about the darker aspects of his presidency, should be uncontroversial. The congresswoman taped her own interview with Politico, and though the recording she released after the publication of the piece doesn’t substantively change her quotes, it does capture her saying “that what is happening now is very different,” a clear distinction between the Obama and Trump presidencies. Nor did she conflate the Democratic Party, categorically, with the GOP...Instead, she accurately pointed out that Obama authorized drone strikes overseas and detained unaccompanied minors at the border in chain-link cages, and that these policies that did not provoke a proportional amount of outrage from Democrats because of Obama’s personal charisma...

Omar is a Somali-American and a former refugee. The most recent Democratic president’s Middle East and immigration policies are probably of more immediate and personal interest to her than they are to many of her colleagues. Despite professing to be the party more sympathetic to her concerns, the Democratic Party has failed individuals like her in certain specific ways.
Put aside, for now, the question of whether Omar's statements about those drone strikes make sense. Instead, consider the possible reason why she's the one speaking up.

"Omar is a Somali-American and a former refugee," Jones says, stating the obvious. Then comes the important speculation about the possible reason for Omar's remarks concerning the drone strikes:

Rep. Omar is a Somali-American and a former refugee! For these reasons, it may be that she actually cares, in a personal way, about drone-related deaths overseas, in a world where not everyone does.

Truth to tell, our public discourse is characterized by a great deal of tribal posing and a startling lack of real concern about a range of matters. Does anyone actually care about low-income American kids? About the looting of the public through our astonishing health care costs? About the deaths of innocents overseas?

Concerning the third item on that list, it's possible that Omar cares in a way no one else does. Consider a similar matter:

Way back in October 1999, did Mary McGrory care about our ridiculous health care system when she devoted two columns about the initial Gore-Bradley debate to mocking remarks about Candidate Gore's funny clothes?

The debate had focused on health care issues; McGrory focused on Gore's hilarious wardrobe. Did McGrory give a flying fig about the uninsured?

We reported in real time. You've had twenty years to decide.

24 comments:

  1. "Has Rep. Ilhan Omar been making some actual sense?"

    Of course she is making sense, perfect sense. Not because she is Somalian or former refugee, but just because she actually knows what she's talking about, and is not (so far) afraid to say it.

    But then - who cares? She would've made a good alternative journo, but as a politician she is completely useless. She will talk, and she will apologize, and in the end she will achieve nothing.

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  2. Does anyone care that 6 people overdose and die on opioids every hour of every day in this fucked up mental hospital we call a country?

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    Replies
    1. Perhaps this is poetic justice for British-American opium trade in China, back in the 19th c. What goes around comes around.

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    2. Nice try zombie dembot.
      The opioid deaths are a symptom. The Trump Presidency is poetic justice for the British-American opium trade in China.

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    3. No one is being forced to take opioids. This is not a mental hospital of a country because people can come and go and do pretty much what they please, including abstain from taking addictive drugs. People who become addicted to drugs and alcohol have a world view that includes the belief that they should not suffer even slight discomfort and that life should be painless. You can see where that belief leads. A world view that life includes inevitable suffering and that adults don't whine about it is much less likely to lead to addiction. I wonder why Somerby never talks about the Epicurean philosophers. If we made these kinds of choices more explicit perhaps people wouldn't become addicts and overdose.

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    4. "People who become addicted to drugs and alcohol have a world view that includes the belief that they should not suffer even slight discomfort and that life should be painless."

      Not all addicts are Democrats.

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    5. 7:31, your views on opioids and pain management are medieval. There are people who cannot relieve their chronic pain without opioids. Many are being denied the medicine they need to deal with chronic pain, and in some instances go to the street to find what they need. Aside from big Pharma intentionally flooding the markets in the past, this has led to many un-needed deaths.

      Your reference to Epicurean philosophers is only a mask for your ignorance.

      Leroy

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    6. Fuck off Leroy.

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    7. Michael Jackson is pop king of fucked up country.

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    8. LINK

      [QUOTE]

      REVEALING THE BAD SCIENCE BEHIND OXYCONTIN

      A recent Los Angeles Times investigation focused on the pharmaceutical company Purdue and their opioid pain medication OxyContin. They found that Purdue pushed OxyContin on patients and physicians in ways many would find unethical, if not illegal.

      Additionally, the company helped convince Americans that opioid medications weren’t just for those in agony from cancer or major surgery – but that drugs like OxyContin could be used for much more manageable forms of short-term as well as chronic pain.

      Still, Purdue needed to show that its drug was the best. While short-acting opioid medications like Vicodin and Percocet lessen pain for four to five hours, OxyContin was marketed as longer-lasting, with doses required only once every 12 hours. Hence, it was touted as a miracle pill, supposedly allowing those suffering from chronic pain to function without paying constant attention to taking medication.

      It was even advertised as being less addictive than other opioids, a claim that was later shown to be false.

      ...While the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) did approve OxyContin for 12 hour daily use, new information has surfaced that makes it clear Purdue knew there were issues with the dosing, and that their marketing strategy didn’t conform to safe practices for pain medication.

      ...In 1990, Purdue’s drug MS Contin – a powerful opioid primarily used for cancer patients – was about to lose its patent (and millions of dollars of business with it). In turn, the company devised a plan to create a new medication from similar chemical compounds.

      ...Purdue’s first study, conducted in Puerto Rico, showed that the medication lasted around 12 hours; however, this research was later revealed to have had flaws.

      In follow-up studies, many patients needed “rescue medication” between doses. In other words, additional opioid pain medication was needed in-between patients’ 12-hour doses of OxyContin.

      In fact, up to 95 percent of all patients on OxyContin didn’t regularly achieve pain relief for the full 12 hours the drug promised.

      continued...

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    9. ...Briefly after OxyContin prescriptions began, doctors faced complaints from their patients about the hours between doses. For many patients, the medication wore off in as few as six hours, leaving them in more agony than before.

      In turn, physicians began prescribing the medication every six to eight hours, against the FDA-approved dosing instructions. That, coincidentally, was the same length of time many other opioids were prescribed, defeating OxyContin’s intended purpose, as well as threatening its market power.

      When Purdue became aware that doctors were prescribing for every six to eight hours, the company’s representatives demanded this practice end. Instead of prescribing OxyContin for a short duration, Purdue began pressuring doctors into increasing doses.

      The theory was that if patients could not take the medication more than once every 12 hours, they could at least achieve pain relief by taking a more potent prescription.

      There was a major problem with this reasoning: A dose increase doesn’t necessarily provide longer relief. It’s merely more powerful over the same (short) period of time. And because the effect of the drug is stronger, it creates a greater risk of dependency and even greater discomfort from withdrawal.

      Unfortunately, many physicians followed Purdue’s directions....In 2004, the West Virginia Attorney General did accuse Purdue of “deceptive marketing” – i.e. lying about the 12 hour pain relief.

      Yet Purdue’s legal team, led by future U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, managed to settle with the state for $10 million in funding for drug prevention programs, offering little consolation to the many who had become addicted to OxyContin or families who had lost loved ones due to the drug.

      In 2007, the federal government made some headway against Purdue’s false advertising, forcing the pharmaceutical company to settle for around $600 million regarding their claims that OxyContin was less addictive.

      These claims were made to physicians, based on the theory that the long-lasting pain relief meant the medication was less likely to be misused – a theory that was never verified and proved to be tragically wrong for many families who lost loved ones to overdose on these and other medications.

      Three of Purdue’s executives were charged with felonies in the case as well, resulting in individual fines of up to $19 million. .

      ..Yet for all the fines and regulations, OxyContin continues to generate revenue of about $3 billion a year. And it is still marketed as long-lasting pain relief and remains an important driver of the opioid epidemic. [END QUOTE]

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    10. LINK

      [QUOTE]

      Drug companies shipped nearly 21 million opioid painkillers to a town with 2,900 people
      The statistic gives a good glimpse at how America’s opioid epidemic got so bad.

      If you want to know how the opioid epidemic got so out of control, it’s hard to do better than this statistic: Between 2006 and 2016, out-of-state drug companies shipped nearly 21 million opioid painkillers to two pharmacies in Williamson, West Virginia, population 2,900.

      That comes from a report by Eric Eyre at the Charleston Gazette-Mail, citing a new congressional investigation into massive shipments of the opioid painkillers oxycodone and hydrocodone in West Virginia by drug wholesalers Miami-Luken and H.D. Smith.

      Previously, Eyre had found in an award-winning investigation that from 2007 to 2012, drug firms poured a total of 780 million painkillers into the state — which has a total population of about 1.8 million. The small town of Kermit had a population of 392, but a single pharmacy there received 9 million hydrocodone pills over two years from out-of-state drug companies.

      We know the consequences. West Virginia suffered by far the highest drug overdose death rate out of any state in 2016, the latest year with full data. The state’s overdose death rate was 48.3 per 100,000 people that year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

      In comparison, the state’s homicide rate in 2016 was 5.9 per 100,000, and its rate of fatal car crashes was 15.

      The opioid epidemic goes back to the 1990s, with the release of OxyContin and mass marketing of prescription painkillers, as well as campaigns like “Pain as the Fifth Vital Sign” that pushed doctors to treat pain as a serious medical problem.

      Doctors subsequently prescribed opioids in droves, leading to a proliferation of pills that eventually ended up not just with patients but also teens rummaging through their parents’ medicine cabinets, other family and friends of patients, and the black market.... [END QUOTE]

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    11. The poor agonizing dembot @7:26 PM should try the preferred lib-zombie solution:

      1. tax cigarettes...
      2. hire bureaucrats...
      3. broadcast "helpful" messages...
      4. ..........
      5. Ta-Da!

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    12. CMike, your quote doesn't explain why some people become addicted and others do not.

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  3. Does it make sense to elect someone who is diverse and then complain because their views are divergent? The point of diversity is that people will have different life experiences and thus different ways of looking at things. You don't have to agree with her but those who are being critical seem to be missing the point of why she was elected and why diversity is a good thing.

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    Replies
    1. The point of thinking diversity means people of different colors will have different ways of looking at things is also the point of racism.

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    2. No, racism means that people assume that they know what others are like solely because of their race.

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    3. Assuming "diversity" will mean people with different ways of looking at things is assuming you know what others are like solely because of their race.

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    4. @9:27 AM, yes, exactly. Lib-zombies assume that two factory workers doing the same work standing next to each other are completely different creatures if their skin tones are different.

      Lib-zombies are the ones essentializing "race", and therefore they are racists.

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    5. Every Right-wing accusation is a confession.

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    6. 9:56 Spot on

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    7. Of course Trump will get-elected. He's a self-admitted sexual predator. What kind of Republican won't drag themselves out of their death-beds to vote for that?

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  4. I find Omar refreshing. If Iran had been dropping missiles from drones on US soil (only on those who are hostile to Iran of course) for the past 18 years I think the word murder might come up. What a great privilege we have that three Presidents can remotely blow up brown people across the globe without being at war. For eighteen fucking years and counting. Bush, Obama, and Trump should all be tried at the Haugue.

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