Tuesday, September 19, 2017

The Truth About Trump's Judges


Finally, a piece that is not, how to put it, defamatory.  As usual, Scott Jennings nails it for CNN.

Sitting atop the Frazier History Museum in downtown Louisville on Monday morning was the who's who of Kentucky's legal community, all gathered to witness the investiture of John Kenneth Bush, President Donald Trump's latest appointee to the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
Overlooking the banks of the Ohio River, 6h Circuit Chief Judge R. Guy Cole, Jr. pointed out that the limited number of cases taken by the Supreme Court each year makes appointments to the circuit court -- the level just below the high court -- among the most important any president makes.
Scott Jennings
On that score, President Trump has hit home run after home run by appointing conservative lawyers to the various circuit court vacancies. In Bush, he found a highly qualified, Harvard-educated lawyer dedicated to the US Constitution and the nation's founding principles (he even named his dogs after Founding Fathers). During his confirmation, liberals expressed outraged that Bush had once written that America's two "greatest tragedies" were "slavery and abortion."Imagine that -- a pro-life, Republican president nominated a pro-life judge.
    A few weeks before Bush was nominated, the 6th Circuit received from Trump another Kentuckian, Amul Thapar, previously appointed federal district judge by President George W. Bush. My advice: take Thapar in the first round of your fantasy future Supreme Court Justice draft. You won't regret it. Thapar is a rock solid conservative judge whose name is on the lips of every Federalist Society member in Washington. He's close to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and well-thought of by key White House lawyers.
    Trump is driving liberals nuts with his circuit court nominations. Notre Dame law professor Amy Barrett, nominated by Trump for the 7th Circuit, was pilloried in a committee hearing by California Sen. Dianne Feinstein for being -- gasp -- a Catholic. Feinstein has come under criticism (including from the presidents of both Notre Dame and Princeton) since she had a melt down over Barrett's faith, further exposing just how out-of-touch today's Democratic Party is with Americans who still take their faith seriously.
    I suspect Feinstein was just as worried about Barrett's age and resume as she was her Catholicism. Barrett is in her mid 40s and counts a clerkship with the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia among her past jobs. She's a strong conservative who will fill an important seat for a very long time. The same can be said of Michigan Supreme Court Justice Joan Larsen, who Trump nominated to yet another vacancy in the 6th Circuit.
    Young, Scalia-trained additions to the federal bench have Democrats pulling their hair out.
    President Trump has made 14 nominations for current or future circuit court vacancies, with three already confirmed (Kevin Newsom of Alabama, another strong conservative, was confirmed last month). Trump is outpacing President Barack Obama in circuit court confirmations and overall judicial nominations at this point in their presidencies. Sources in the White House tell me to expect more waves of conservative judicial nominations this fall.
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    While Trump faces trials and tribulations on other policy matters, he's absolutely nailing his judicial appointments. Obama appointed about 40% of the federal judiciary by the time he left office, while Bush 43 appointed just over one-third of it. Obama's appointees were, in many cases, extremely liberal, ideologically driven people who dragged their circuits drastically to the left. Presidents have enormous impact on the judiciary, especially if their party controls the Senate for some part of their term.
    If President Trump's first year in office is any indication, conservatives should be very happy with this reshaping of the federal bench, particularly at the appellate level. Undoing the damage done to the appellate courts by Obama is a key reason why Trump must do everything he can to maintain Republican control of the US Senate in the 2018 midterm election.
    If Feinstein's reaction to Barrett is any indication, Democrats would love nothing more than to shut down the Trump Train's drop-offs at the federal courthouse.

    Wednesday, August 23, 2017

    Imports Factor In to Opioid Crisis


    As Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer tries to fight the opioid crisis by suing Big Pharma, keep in mind the effect that Sen. Bernie Sanders's efforts to increase pharmaceutical importation could have on the crisis. Plainly, Sanders's approach would make a bad situation much worse.

    Barry Denton  discusses it in the News-Enterprise:

    Drug overdoses are skyrocketing in Kentucky.

    Staff at the St. Elizabeth hospital system in the northern part of the state revive six opioid overdose victims every day. Twice as many Kentuckians are dying of overdoses as car accidents.

    Incredibly, politicians in Washington are pushing a bill that would make the crisis even worse.
    The proposed law, introduced by Sen. Bernie Sanders, would legalize the importation of medicines from Canada.

    Proponents argue the bill would save patients money by allowing them to buy cheaper prescription drugs from abroad.

    In reality, those “cheaper” medicines could come at the price of hundreds of Kentuckians’ lives. Many unscrupulous pharmacies will jump at the chance to make a few bucks by sending painkillers to Americans without requiring prescriptions. The bill also would seriously strain law-enforcement’s ability to intercept illegal drugs.

    Kentuckians’ drug addictions often begin with prescription pain pills.

    In the last three months of 2016, Kentucky residents filled prescriptions for more than 17 million doses of oxycodone and 36 million doses of hydrocodone. In just one year, Clay County residents filled enough prescriptions to provide every resident – including children – with 150 doses of hydrocodone and oxycodone.

    Many of these pills wind up on the black market, fueling people’s addictions. And when addicts can’t find or afford prescription painkillers, they often turn to heroin.

    Heroin is dangerous enough on its own — but now, drug dealers are lacing heroin with fentanyl, a deadly synthetic opioid that’s 100 times more potent than morphine. Some strains of fentanyl are so potent that Narcan, a lifesaving shot used to resuscitate overdose victims, doesn’t work.
    One-third of Kentucky overdose deaths involve fentanyl.

    Legalizing prescription drug importation would make it easier for dealers to obtain massive quantities of illicit pain pills, heroin and fentanyl.

    Even though it’s illegal, some Americans already import prescription drugs.
    Many order from online Canadian pharmacies, some of which don’t even require prescriptions. Authorities sometimes are able to intercept these shipments, which often contain spoiled, counterfeit or illegal substances.

    If the bill passes, many Americans would start ordering medicines from foreign pharmacies without realizing those drugs lack the gold standard of approval from the Food and Drug Administration.
    There’d be little stopping a drug dealer from buying opioids in bulk to resell to vulnerable addicts.
    The sheer volume of shipments makes it unlikely law enforcement would be able to stop this trafficking.

    Legalized importation wouldn’t result only in pain pills flooding into Kentucky. It also could allow drug dealers to bring in pure fentanyl.

    Canadian authorities have warned that they don’t inspect drugs imported from abroad, routed through Canada and reshipped to America.

    The FDA also has no way to inspect or vet these imports.

    In other words, fentanyl- producing labs in China could ship large quantities of the drug to America via Canada. It’d be difficult for health authorities and law enforcement to distinguish between packages containing legitimate prescriptions and those containing deadly opioids.

    Kentucky’s police and first responders already are stretched thin dealing with overdoses. The last thing they need is for federal lawmakers to make it even easier to obtain dangerous drugs.
    Sen. Sanders sincerely may believe importation would help lower drug costs. But the price paid in human lives would be far too steep.

    Wednesday, August 9, 2017

    No, Trey is Not Running



    Rumors have been circulating that former Kentucky Secretary of State Trey Grayson plans to primary Rep. Thomas Massie for Kentucky's 4th Congressional District.

    Trey is unequivocal:  it's not happening.

    He's looking at several interesting opportunities, but that Congressional seat is not one of them.

    Wednesday, August 2, 2017

    Andy Barr Might Have a Real Race


    Check out the campaign ad from Democrat Amy McGrath, who is running for Kentucky's 6th Congressional District against Andy Barr. McGrath is a retired Marine -- and the first woman to fly an F-18 in combat. Her personal story is compelling.

    She's a much better candidate than those the Dems typically put up here, like Jack Conway and Allison Lundergan Grimes.

    Although Barr won comfortably his last two elections, his first one was tight (five points). So I would not count McGrath out.

    McGrath's ad suggests that saving Obamacare will be her primary issue.  In that sense, Republicans' failure to pass a repeal and replace may actually work to Barr's advantage. That, of course, is contrary to the notion that Republicans will get shellacked for not having kept the promise to repeal and replace Obamacare. Unless it actually happens, McGrath is running on a hypothetical.




    Wednesday, July 26, 2017

    Guest Post From Dr. Barry Denton on Drug Importation


    Washington is Poised to Make Kentucky's Opioid Crisis Worse

    Drug overdoses are skyrocketing in Kentucky. Staff at the St. Elizabeth hospital system in the northern part of the state revive six opioid overdose victims every day.[1] Twice as many Kentuckians are dying of overdoses as car accidents.[2]

    Incredibly, politicians in Washington are pushing a bill that would make the crisis even worse.

    The proposed law, introduced by Senator Bernie Sanders, would legalize the importation of medicines from Canada.[3]

    Proponents argue that the bill would save patients money by allowing them to buy cheaper prescription drugs from abroad. In reality, those "cheaper" medicines could come at the price of hundreds of Kentuckians' lives. Many unscrupulous pharmacies will jump at the chance to make a few bucks by sending painkillers to Americans without requiring prescriptions. The bill would also seriously strain law enforcement's ability to intercept illegal drugs.

    Kentuckians' drug addictions often begin with prescription pain pills. In the last three months of 2016, Kentucky residents filled prescriptions for more than 17 million doses of oxycodone and 36 million doses of hydrocodone.[4] In just one year, Clay County residents filled enough prescriptions to provide every resident -- including children -- with 150 doses of hydrocodone and oxycodone.[5]

    Many of these pills wind up on the black market, fueling people's addictions. And when addicts can't find or afford prescription painkillers, they often turn to heroin.

    Heroin is dangerous enough on its own -- but now, drug dealers are lacing heroin with fentanyl,[6] a deadly synthetic opioid that's 100 times more potent than morphine.[7] Some strains of fentanyl are so potent that Narcan, a lifesaving shot used to resuscitate overdose victims, doesn't work.[8]

    One-third of Kentucky overdose deaths involve fentanyl.[9]

    Legalizing prescription drug importation would make it easier for dealers to obtain massive quantities of illicit pain pills, heroin, and fentanyl. 

    Even though it's illegal, some Americans already import prescription drugs. Many order from online Canadian pharmacies, some of which don't even require prescriptions.[10] Fortunately, authorities are sometimes able to intercept these shipments, which often contain spoiled, counterfeit, or illegal substances.

    If the bill passes, many Americans would start ordering medicines from foreign pharmacies without realizing that those drugs lack the gold standard of approval from the Food and Drug Administration There'd be little stopping a drug dealer from buying opioids in bulk to resell to vulnerable addicts. And the sheer volume of shipments makes it unlikely that law enforcement would be able to stop this trafficking.

    Legalized importation wouldn't just result in pain pills flooding into Kentucky -- it could also allow drug dealers to bring in pure fentanyl. Canadian authorities have warned that they don't inspect drugs that are imported from abroad, routed through Canada, and then reshipped to America.[11] The FDA also has no way to inspect or vet these imports.[12]

    In other words, fentanyl-producing labs in China could ship large quantities of the drug to America via Canada. It'd be difficult for health authorities and law enforcement to distinguish between packages containing legitimate prescriptions and those containing deadly opioids.

    Kentucky's cops and first responders already are stretched thin dealing with overdoses. The last thing they need is for federal lawmakers to make it even easier to obtain dangerous drugs. Senators Sanders may sincerely believe importation would help lower drug costs. But the price paid in human lives would be far too steep.

    Dr. Barry D. Denton
    Retired Police Sergeant – Louisville Metro Police Department



    [3]https://www.sanders.senate.gov/newsroom/press-releases/affordable-and-safe-prescription-drug-importation-act-introduced-to-help-lower-skyrocketing-cost-of-medicine
    [4] http://www.chfs.ky.gov/NR/rdonlyres/C32BB010-C430-4261-B285-2E308E5FB6F1/0/KASPERQuarterlyTrendReportQ42016.pdf
    [5] https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2017/02/kentucky-opioids/515775/
    [6] http://odcp.ky.gov/Pages/The-Heroin-Epidemic.aspx
    [7] https://www.drugabuse.gov/drugs-abuse/fentanyl
    [8] http://www.richmondregister.com/kentucky/news/northeast-kentucky-responders-leery-of-new-drug-that-could-be/article_bcce99c3-1ca3-58a5-907e-5a60d4ff0669.html
    [9] http://www.kentucky.com/news/state/article83770067.html
    [10] https://www.yourcanadianmeds.com/
    [11] https://www.fda.gov/drugs/resourcesforyou/consumers/ucm143561.htm
    [12] https://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Testimony/ucm113635.htm

    Imagine Taking A Cancer Drug That is Fake!


    This piece on the issue of deregulating prescription drugs comes from two former attorney generals. That begs the question:  what does Kentucky's Attorney General say about this?

    Hat tip to the Sun-Sentinel on an issue that all of us who take prescription meds -- or have friends or family who do -- should watch.

    By the way, for anyone who thinks this is not an issue in Kentucky, recall that a few years ago there was an issue in Louisville with fake Botox.

    As former state attorneys general, we are keenly aware of how stretched local
    law enforcement budgets are and how law enforcement officials already
    struggle to contain the flood of illegal drugs flowing into the United States
    from other countries. That job could get a lot harder if we have to start
    tracking prescription drugs, too.

    Bills before Congress would end a longstanding ban on the import of
    prescription medicines not previously cleared by the Food and Drug
    Administration. The proposals were floated to curb rising drug prices, but the
    potential drawbacks are daunting.

    Americans have access to safe and effective prescription drugs due in large
    measure to the strict safeguards the FDA has established to approve new
    treatments and monitor the manufacturing and distribution of existing
    medicines. Meanwhile, patients in many other countries are exposed to
    substandard medicines produced and sold with less-rigorous oversight by the
    local government. Those conditions have spawned an already massive — and
    still growing — market for counterfeit drugs all over the world.
    Those dangerous knockoffs are starting to infiltrate the U.S. market. The FDA
    website lists a number of counterfeit drugs seized in the United States that
    were sold as popular biopharmaceutical products. These imitations include
    fake Botox, fake Cialis and a number of fake cancer drugs that either lacked
    the active ingredients required to be effective or had different compounds
    entirely.
    Counterfeit drugs are often sold by unlicensed suppliers who are not
    authorized to sell or distribute prescription drugs in the United States. The
    FDA has long warned that these products are unsafe and should not be used
    because the agency cannot confirm that the makers and distributors of these
    drugs adhered to U.S. standards when they manufactured or distributed
    them.

    Other countries have been inundated with these fake drugs for years. For
    example, the World Health Organization estimates as many as 20 percent of
    the drugs sold in India are counterfeit. The WHO started warning doctors and
    other health care professionals years ago about the dangers of these
    counterfeit drugs, and the organization issues frequent reports to spotlight
    massive seizures of fake pills and other medicines that were intended for sale
    to patients all over the world.

    “Health experts believe such operations have only scratched the surface of a
    flourishing industry in counterfeit medicines that poses a growing threat to
    public health around the world,” the WHO declared in an official bulletin
    back in 2009. In 2014, Interpol warned, “Pharmaceutical crime poses a grave
    danger to public health.”

    Organized-crime syndicates have established sophisticated networks to
    produce and sell these counterfeit drugs in other countries. They have already
    started working through doctors and medical clinics in the United States, but
    U.S. import restrictions are a big reason the FDA, U.S. Customs and Border
    Protection and the Drug Enforcement Agency have been able to contain the
    problem.

    The bills before Congress would remove many of the license and oversight
    requirements on the drugs imported into the United States by lifting those
    barriers, inviting an influx of bogus pharmaceutical products from the same
    crime rings that are selling these drugs in other countries around the world
    that would love better access to the U.S. market.
    Law enforcement would inevitably be tasked with policing the problem, at a
    time when most prosecutors and law enforcement officials have their hands
    full with the growing opioid crisis. One of the biggest killers is fentanyl, a
    potent, synthetic opioid pain medication that is being laced into counterfeit
    pills.

    Just last year, the DEA issued a report sounding alarm bells about these
    synthetic opioids. There were more than 700 deaths attributed to fentanyl
    between late 2013 and 2014, and the numbers are climbing rapidly. The DEA
    report lists a number of specific cases involving counterfeit opioids, including
    the seizure last year of 500 pills in Lorain County, Ohio, that included a
    synthetic “that caused at least 17 overdoses and several deaths.”

    Opening the door to increased prescription drug importation will just make it
    easier for smugglers to ship this dangerous opioid into the United States. For
    years, we have asked police officers and prosecutors to do more with less.
    There are few signs that austerity will end. Changing laws to encourage
    importation of drugs would only add to that burden.

    Thurbert Baker is a former attorney general of Georgia. Bill McCollum is a
    former attorney general of Florida. They wrote this for InsideSources.com.

    Tuesday, July 25, 2017

    More Liberals Wage War on Women


    I'm waiting for Feminists to come running to the defense of Sarah Huckabee Sanders. Sanders was recently promoted to White House Press Secretary. This mother of three has been attacked for her appearance. Ira Madison, of the Daily Beast, referred to her as a "Butch queen first time in drags at ball."  I'm not going to link to him because that would just reward bad behavior.

    This is an abhorrent way to refer to a woman, any woman. But because Sanders is a conservative, she is fair game. The hypocrisy is sickening.

    And how about the reference to transgender? Imagine if a Republican had said that about a liberal; Dems would call it a hate crime.



    Thursday, July 13, 2017

    Senate Judiciary Committee Votes Yes!


    The Senate Judiciary just voted in favor of John K. Bush's nomination to the U.S. Court of  Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.

    Thanks, everyone, for all the prayers