Jeff Sessions' Plan to Put Strict Limits on Painkiller Manufacturers Will Only Make the Opioid Crisis Worse: Reason Roundup

Plus: Pompeo's secret trip to North Korea, Justice Sotomayor's skepticism over online sales-tax justifications, and Charleston tour guides' fight for free speech.

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Bartek Szewczyk Westend61/Newscom

Jeff Sessions proposes D.E.A. control country's supply of legal opioids. Once again misdiagnosing the problem entirely, Attorney General Sessions on Tuesday proposed to combat America's opioid-addiction issues by exerting extreme control over the inventories of legal painkiller manufacturers. Under Sessions' proposal, the federal government would force pharmaceutical companies to account for and justify all pills sold to medical providers.

"If D.E.A. believes that a company's opioids are being diverted for misuse, then they will reduce the amount of opioids that company can make," said Sessions.

Sigh. For all the well-deserved attention to opioid-related harm and deaths in this country, few manage to avoid mystifying the crisis or making it into a more complicated issue than it is. Surely it's true that some people are abusing heroin to fill existential voids brought on by economic hardships, just as some people got hooked on prescription opioids due to careless prescribing by pharma-bought doctors—though far fewer of the latter than many people suppose. But what makes "the opioid epidemic" so particularly dramatic and deadly at this current moment is more pharmacological than psychological. The market is flooded with fentanyl (or similarly strong synthetic opioids), and nobody outside a lab knows how to dose it right.

One of the simplest things the government could do to ease the pain of the fentanyl problem is to make it easier for people to test heroin and black-market pills to see what they really contain. At the very least, it could stop pushing people away from heroin alternatives by limiting access to detox-friendly drugs like methadone and making medical professionals afraid to prescribe opioids to people in serious pain. Instead, our authorities see shady drug cartels everywhere, and fantasize about busting up both Mexican ganglords and pharmaceutical companies alike.

For more on why Sessions has the wrong approach here, see Reasoners Jacob Sullum ("Don't Blame Pain Pills for the Opioid Crisis" and "Jeff Sessions' Cruel Prescription for Pain") and Ron Bailey ("Misdiagnosing Causes and Casualties in the Opioid War") and the Cato Institute's Jeffrey A. Singer ("Making the Case, Once Again, That the Opioid Crisis Is a Product of Drug Prohibition, Not Doctors Prescribing to Patients" and "Stop Calling it an Opioid Crisis—It's a Heroin and Fentanyl Crisis").

As Sullum has previously noted, strict limits on the number of pills people can legally sell or prescribe tends to mean more opioids sold through the black market (and a greater likelihood for harm to users). In January 2018, "Arizona became the 15th state since 2016 to impose a statutory limit on the length of initial opioid prescriptions for acute pain," wrote Sullum. "The rationale for such laws is that shorter prescriptions will mean fewer pills in circulation and less potential for abuse and diversion. But recent research suggests the opposite may be true, because patients tend to get refills when the initial prescription is too short."

FREE MINDS

Tour guides await federal court ruling on city-mandated quizzes. After hearing the case from Charleston, South Carolina, tour guides last week, U.S. District Judge David Norton said folks can expect an opinion from him by August. The Institute for Justice (IJ) helped several city tour guides file the federal suit challenging Charleston's requirement that all tour guides register with the city and be licensed by showing off historical knowledge. To obtain the license, tour guides—even those doing specialty tours not dependent on conventional Charleston history—previously had to pass an oral exam and a 200-question written test with a score of 80 percent. After the lawsuit was filed, the city relaxed these rules to nix the oral portion and only require a 70 percent score on the test.

FREE MARKETS

Sotomayor skeptical small businesses can afford new sales-tax regime. The Supreme Court heard oral arguments yesterday in the momentous sales-tax case covered here earlier this week. The case concerns whether states can order online merchants—including the likes of individual sellers on platforms like Amazon and eBay—to charge state sales tax even if the business or seller has no presence in that state. From that discussion:

Justice Sonia Sotomayor: So there's going to be a host of questions. What happens when the tax program breaks down, as it already has for the states who are using it, and merchants can't keep track of who they've sold to? All of these are questions that are wrought with difficulties.

What Sotomayor seems to be contemplating is whether state authorities are (or should be) prepared to start investing massive enforcement efforts into collecting sales tax. She also questioned "what are we going to do with the costs that [this would] put on small businesses?" and didn't seem impressed by South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley's insistence that it was "that small business on Main Street" being hurt under the current tax regime.

JUSTICE SOTOMAYOR: Actually, they're put at disadvantage … by the fact that there are massive discount sellers, not just on the Internet, but even in stores now. I—I'm talking about the added cost of doing business for the small businessman, someone—one of the briefs said it was a $250,000 cost to implement one of these sales programs, one of these sales tax programs?

MR. JACKLEY: That brief left out that it begins—it's to scale, and it begins at $12 a month for 30 transactions. When you look at the cost associated with collection, it -­ it really depends -­

JUSTICE SOTOMAYOR: That doesn't include auditing. It doesn't include integrating the program with the existing sales program of the company. It doesn't account for the maintenance of the program. There's lots of costs that are inherent in a process of this type.

You can read the full oral arguments here.

QUICK HITS

Pompeo spent Easter with Kim Jong Un in North Korea. Dress for the job you want, not the job you have? Over Easter weekend, CIA Director—and President Trump's pick for secretary-of-state—Mike Pompeo flew to North Korea at Trump's behest for a secret sit-down with Kim Jong Un. This morning on Twitter, Trump confirmed that Pompeo had met with Kim to pave the way for Trump's talk with Kim in the near future.

NEXT: Trump Should Bring Syrians to America, Not Dispatch American Missiles to Syria

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    1. Seriously, this is the most important news today.

      1. Exactly. After R. Lee Ermey and Harry Anderson, we have our three. You can all breathe a sigh of relief that Mrs. Bush took the hit for us.

        1. Also, Art Bell shuffled loose the mortal coil

          1. Art Bell is a real loss. Great story teller.

            1. Yeah, and truly a bringer of weirdness to the masses. When I worked late I used to listen to him so much.

              1. He was great. No matter how weird his interviewees got, after the most insane, out there, self-contradictory bizzarro thing they’d toss out, he’d give it a beat and then “Uh-huh. So, you have a book out…”

                Epitome of unflappable.

        2. Speaking of Ermey, I notice the NY Times obit section said.

          R. Lee Ermey, 74, Tormentor of recruits in Krubick film.

          1. Keep it classy NY Times. Keep it classy.

            1. I don’t know. Considering he improvised so much of that part, and did it so well that it’s rightly considered iconic, you could credibly say that was very much the man and worthy of prominent inclusion in an obituary.

              1. Ermey was originally just a consultant on the film, but he wasn’t satisfied with the performance of the guy playing the d.i., so he gave Kubrick a 20-minute shit-talking monologue in which he didn’t repeat a single insult once. Kubrick immediately gave him the role.

                The guy who was originally supposed to be the d.i. ended up as the door gunner who was shooting at Vietnamese civilians.

                1. The guy who was originally supposed to be the d.i. ended up as the door gunner who was shooting at Vietnamese civilians.

                  +1 “Just don’t lead ’em as much”

                  Ain’t war hell?

                  1. +1 “Just don’t lead ’em as much”

                    Ain’t war hell?

                    That movie is so awesome. What I love most about it is that it shows the truth that most war movies do not, that some people enjoy violence and like war. I fucking hate the reluctant warrior narrative that most war movies have. There is some of that but that is not all of it. Some people find that they are really good at killing people and that they enjoy it. And they also find that there is no other high in the world like combat. The dirty secret of war is that if you are lucky enough not to get killed or maimed, it is one hell of a rush and a life-changing experience. I think most veterans feel guilty over having enjoyed something that resulted in so much death and guilty about them surviving and some of their friends not than they ever feel guilty about killing people. I fucking hate the “veteran as victim” narrative with a passion.

                2. I love that story. My dad went through boot camp about a year after Ermey did. His response to watching Ermey in that film was “he is actually being pretty easy on them.” He said outside of the scene where Pyle shoots Heartman, something could never happen, it was a pretty good representation of boot camp. My dad’s other ding on the film’s portrayal was that Pyle would have been subject to the blanket party. Heartman would have literally thrown him over the fence and called the MPs and reported him for desertion. No kidding. Back then the DIs were incredibly competitive with each other. I assume their ratings were based on how their recruits performed. So, when they had a real non hacker like Pyle, they would just throw them over the wire and get rid of them. It was that brutal. He also said the DI’s at least in 1962 did not hit people like was shown in the film. They did things that were much worse such that you would have happily taken a good beating instead.

                  1. “”His response to watching Ermey in that film was “he is actually being pretty easy on them.” “‘

                    I like telling people that my problem with the boot camp squadbay scenes was there wasn’t just one, there was three of them running around doing that. Ermey did a great job of representing a Marine Corps DI. I have seen no better representation.

                    One of my favorite boot camp moments. Standing online in the squadbay.

                    DI is talking to a recruit and the recruit calls the DI “you”.

                    DI: You, did you just call me a you? Do you know what a you is? A you is a female sheep. Female sheeps have little hairy assholes, I bet you like little hairy assholes, Do you want to fuck me boy!!!

                    I literally had tears in my eyes trying not to laugh out loud.

                    1. I think DI’s used the “You” routine since the Revolutionary War. And my father said that after get over the shock of everything, eventually you kind of break you and you realize it is all a big game. After that, you laugh at things like that. If you didn’t, you would lose your mind.

                    2. In the Marine Corps boot camp you must address them formally, Sir (at start and end of your sentence) or Drill Instructor (could use last name afterwards). Anything else is an insult. To call them you is a grand insult and the wrath will follow. That one particular response was comic gold. You could see everyone else trying to do anything to keep from bursting out in laughter, which would have made you the next target.

                      They may call you a you, that’s ok.

                    3. Once you understand what it is, yeah you adjust mentally. It’s still one hell of a mind game for three months, and some people can’t handle it, break down and get sent home. About 1/3 of my class made it to graduation.

                    4. Yes, that’s pretty much the goal of all hazing (actual hazing, as opposed to what the occasional sadist does until those responsible catch on.) The point is to teach how to tune out the unessential and to focus only on what is necessary. Which, in the stress of combat, can be a life saver.

                    5. DI: You, did you just call me a you? Do you know what a you is? A you is a female sheep. Female sheeps have little hairy assholes, I bet you like little hairy assholes, Do you want to fuck me boy!!!

                      I literally had tears in my eyes trying not to laugh out loud.

                      I probably would have failed and busted a gut.

                      The funny thing is, when I read that, in my head it was in R. Lee Ermey’s voice.

            2. After that, you laugh at things like that.

              I wouldn’t last five minutes in that environment, let alone long enough to reach that stage. It’s definitely not for everybody.

              1. Nor my son. He once had a teacher with the unfortunate speech impediment of pronouncing “r”s as “w”. He finally got mad about being made fun of and blew up at a class my son was in, with the students, of course, struggling to hold in their laughter.

                The kid behind my son leaned forward and whispered “Do you find this…wisible?” and it was all over. To the principles’ office immediately for discipline, and no excuse for it.

      2. She seemed like a great lady. Sorry to see her go.

        1. Nancy Reagan would beg to differ.

          1. What did she do to Nancy?

            1. For one, Barbara Bush, according to Kitty Kelly’s biography of Nancy and Kelly’s book on the Bush family, pissed Nancy off with her regard to a number of issues, most of them having to do with decorum, style, etc.

              During the transition from Reagan to Bush and during the early days of 41’s administration, Barbara went out of her way to say things like the White House was going to be more comfortable and homey and that the decorations / style would be more understated. She didn’t knock Nancy directly, but Nancy seethed.

              Of course, its not as if the acrimony was one-sided. Apparently, Nancy did not once invite the Bushes to a private White House dinner during the entire Reagan presidency. Nancy also snubbed the Bushes from invites to several state dinners, including the one in 1985 at which Lady Di was the featured guest (the one in which there is a famous photo of John Travolta dancing with Di).

              There was also the time when Gorby came to Washington and Nancy insisted that instead of Barbara accompanying Raisa around DC, the wife of another cabinet member (I forget at the moment) was to do so. That pissed off Barbara Bush because the protocol was to have the VP’s wife do that thing.

              No question Nancy did not like the Bushes. Remember Reagan’s delayed and tepid endorsement of 41 in the winter of 1988? It was not as if Reagan came out in the fall of 87, when Bush announced his candidacy, and wholeheartedly said he’s for George. Barbara thought that was Nancy.

              1. Also, Barbara pinned Nancy in 7 seconds and told her to eat a sandwich.

                1. And she told Nancy that astrology was fake. More than once.

                  1. Then she was doing a damned good thing.

              2. Southern ladies have perfected “Nice/Nasty” to an art form. It is literally taught as part of their etiquette classes.

                1. If you hear in a conversation you’re not really paying much attention to, a Southern Lady close a statement with the phrase “Bless her heart”, try to find out what was said before, because that sweet sentiment often turns otherwise innocuous comments into pure venom.

                  “Well, she is friends with lots of his friends.” means someone knows their husbands’ friends.
                  “Well, she is friends with lots of his friends…Bless Her Heart.” means, she’s cheating on him with at least two of them.

    2. Hello.

      Serious.

      A former FL who was pretty dignified gets ignored?

  1. Your plane is going down. Do you put on an oxygen mask, or purchase wifi?

    I take control because I’m a go-getter.

    1. The answer seems to depend on whether “streaming live on Facebook comes naturally” to you. That most definitely leaves me out.

    2. Neither… I grope someone.

      1. Might be your last chance to grab some pussy.

  2. Once again misdiagnosing the problem entirely, Attorney General Sessions on Tuesday proposed to combat America’s opioid-addiction issues by exerting extreme control over the inventories of legal painkiller manufacturers.

    If it weren’t for mis-diagnoses, why, the federal government would have no diagnoses available to it at all!

  3. Jeff Sessions proposes D.E.A. control country’s supply of legal opioids.

    Is there anything nationalization can’t solve?

    1. PI

      1. Nobody needs more than 10 decimal places.

  4. Street food is finally legal in Los Angeles.

    Well, now I don’t want it.

  5. Louisiana has approved the state’s first medical marijuana pharmacy, to be located in New Orleans.

    With a Republican in the White house, soon to be hydroponically grown come hurricane season. Am I right?

  6. The Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts struck down the state’s ban on stun guns, saying it violates citizens’ Second Amendment rights.

    Just what the world needs: a bunch of Bahstonians with fackin’ tasehs.

    1. Honestly, I’m waiting for the ban on high capacity sticks and assault stones before too long.

  7. The Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts struck down the state’s ban on stun guns, saying it violates citizens’ Second Amendment rights.

    Too bad stun guns weren’t even invented when the Bill of Rights was written.

    1. I know, right?! This is so disappointing. I thought Massachusetts was one of the most progressive states. They should know that if the Second Amendment protects anything, it only protects the type of musket available in colonial America.

      1. I’m going to tweet that out. And no one better try to stop me. I have a 1st Amendment right.

        1. If by “tweet” you mean to utilize a carrier pigeon, then that’s acceptable use of technology in place at the time of ratification. Although pigeons really don’t tweet, they coo.

          1. The paper you attach to the pigeons is pretty small. The twitter character limitation is just a carry over from that.

          2. I suppose heliographs count.

            1. So Cooter would be the equivalent of Twitter, and when “Cooter was outraged in response to blahblahblah…” you’d want to make sure to stay out from under it.

  8. Denuclearization will be a great thing for World, but also for North Korea!

    MNKGA

  9. shorter prescriptions will mean fewer pills in circulation

    Yep. These are really heroin pills. People think they’re safe because they’re prescribed by a doctor. They’re actually very dangerous. Take one and you could be hooked for life. Which may not last long. Thank you Jeff Sessions and Trump. Another reason I’m glad I supported you guys and voted for you.

  10. Sotormayer skeptical small businesses can afford new sales-tax regime.

    Well, that seals it. We’re going to have a new sales-tax regime.

    1. “Sotormayer skeptical small businesses can afford new sales-tax regime.”

      Wait, that’s a valid reason for not paying taxes?

      1. If so, i’m’a file me some incorporation paperwork right quick.

  11. Remember the Trade War Apocalypse? It was only like a week ago.

    So far, it’s turning out to be the lamest apocalypse ever.

    “Beijing responded to U.S. calls for a level playing field in the world’s biggest auto market with a plan to phase out rules requiring foreign auto makers to share factory ownership and profits with Chinese companies by 2022. Regulations concerning electric-vehicle joint ventures will end this year, potentially aiding niche companies or market newcomers like Tesla Inc.

    Killing these rules, enacted in the early 1990s to enable fledgling Chinese car makers to learn from foreign market leaders, could bolster President Donald Trump’s assertions that his policy of pressuring China to modify its trade behavior is yielding swift results.

    Last week, Chinese President Xi Jinping, in an apparent attempt to defuse trade tensions, said tariffs on imported vehicles would be significantly reduced from the current 25%, another important concession to foreign vehicle makers looking to further tap China’s growth.

    —-Wall Street Journal

    http://www.wsj.com/articles/ch…..1523963345

    1. One of the worst features of our governing class is that it never occurs to them that other nations might not do something unless we give them a reason to do so. We always demand countries do what we think is the right thing assuming they should want to do so even if it is against their interests. Why should China give us access to their markets unless we give them a reason to do so? That question is never asked. Trump asks such questions and understands that if you want nations to do things, you have to give them a reason to want to do them, be that by offering them something positive or threatening them with something negative if they do not.

      1. You think it doesn’t occur to them?
        You’re far more charitable than I.
        I think they don’t really care and, to the extent that they do, it’s only regarding the kickbacks they receive from either side.
        We don’t have shitty deals because of sheer incompetence, we have shitty deals because the American People are literally being sold out (and some incompetence, but only on the rare occasions they actually try to get anything for the rest of us).

    2. Imagine if Tesla gets a good foothold in China, and captures significant market share. Think Trump would get any credit from greenies for helping reduce China’s carbon footprint?

      1. Well, China keeps building coal burning power plants at a remarkable rate.

        When China suspended the construction of 100 coal plants last year, it got a lot of coverage, but they’re still planning, building, and bringing hundreds of other new coal plants online.

        In southern California, you may be getting a lot of electricity from non-carbon sources–like Hydro from the Hoover Dam, etc. I suppose electric cars in China make powering them with clean energy possible, but you gotta roll that ball up a mountain of coal before you get to the part where Tesla makes a dent in their future CO2 emissions.

        1. China doesn’t care about the carbon footprint. Their motivation for electrification of their cars is about moving pollution sources from large population centers (cars in Beijing) to rural areas (coal plants outside of Beijing).

    3. The national conversation has moved on to how racist Starbucks is. Try to keep up.

      1. Why is Starbucks racist?

        1. I would rather poke an eye out with a coffee stirrer than attend one of their upcoming struggle sessions to find out why.

          1. struggle sessions

            That’ probably a fairly accurate description of what their bias training or whatever the fuck the PC term for listening to some lunatic tell you what a racist shithead you are for being born white is.

            I think I’ll casually refer to any future required diversity training as struggle sessions and see if I get fired.

        2. White people drink overpriced Starbucks coffee.
          Coffee is black.
          Starbucks adds cream/sugar/foam/milk to make the black coffee lighter.
          Male cishet racist patriarchy or something.

          1. I only have the power to change the first of those assertions, and have faithfully done so. #notallwhitepeople

  12. rely on trusted news sources

    “Listen to your betters in the msm, except for FNC, of course.”

  13. In regards to Pompeo meeting with Kim Jong Un ahead of Kim’s summit with Trump in June, I maintain that’s as good a weather vane as any (along with market signals)–if you want to know which way the wind is blowing.

    If China didn’t want that summit to happen, it wouldn’t happen. IF IF IF China is willing to do something serious on denuclearizing North Korea as a concession to Trump’s trade demands, then Trump was right and I was wrong.

    1. I am oddly optimistic about this. Ultimately, all the parties agree on the big issues. No one wants a war. No one wants North Korea to fall. The US, Japan, and South Korea do not want the North to have nukes. China doesn’t want that either. What people forget is that North Korea having nukes makes them harder for China to control. China just isn’t willing to do much to stop them. But they won’t be heartbroken if North Korea gives them up. Finally, North Korea only wants nukes as a means of survival. If they are convinced giving them up is the only way to survive, they will give them up.

      If you finally make China care enough to tell the North to give up its nukes and give the North a way to give them up and ensure its survival, you can do it. And that is difficult but not impossible.

      1. It was a counterweight to Taiwan, which isn’t such a big issue anymore either.

        1. The thing about Taiwan is that, while China could bomb the hell out of it, no way on earth could it invade and occupy it. People grossly underestimate the difficulty of amphibious invasions and supporting an army across even a small patch of ocean. It requires not just naval and air superiority, it requires naval and air supremacy to even have a chance. Even with that, you are still left with the problem of getting a large enough force ashore to defeat an enemy army with short supply lines fighting on its own turf. China is not doing that any time soon if ever.

          1. Not only that, but their treatment of Hong Kong hasn’t been as bad as feared. Part of that is because they want Taiwan to be reabsorbed into China–and mistreating Hong Kong would scare them away.

            It’s a legacy of the Cold War. China used to make North Korea rattle its sword every time the U.S. threatened to do something like recognize Taiwan or, God forbid, have a state level meeting.

            I don’t think there’s sufficient support among the American people to go to war over Taiwan anymore. It was one thing during the Cultural Revolution or when peasants were starving to death by the millions.

            It’s just not that big of an issue anymore, and the first rule of getting out of a flustercluck is to let go of whatever you’re holding onto. If we give up on Taiwan in exchange for them getting serious about North Korea, that’s a good trade for American security as far as I’m concerned.

            And IF IF IF Trump gets that because of the pressure he put on trade, that’s not what I would have done, but I won’t take credit away from him if the play he calls works as intended. And for the sake of the country, I sure hope he’s right. I’d rather be wrong and Trump eliminate North Korea’s nuclear threat through negotiation.

            1. Not only that, but their treatment of Hong Kong hasn’t been as bad as feared.

              Really? After they promised to more-or-less leave it alone but instead have installed puppet leaders loyal to Beijing? And let’s not forget that what freedoms they still have left expire in the not too disant future.

              1. It is turned out worse than advertised. And that fact makes reunification with Taiwan very unlikely. China is not going to be able to invade and conquer Taiwan. The only hope of reunification lies in wearing Taiwan down and convincing it to some kind of Hong Kong like arrangement. Taiwan no doubt sees the fate of Hong Kong and won’t be worn down or trust the Chinese.

                1. With China’s economic rise Taiwan is not the same prize it was previously. Now it’s mainly an ethnic unity thing. But don’t think that’s small beer to the mainlanders. The ethnic Chinese are about as racist as they come. We hosted a Taiwanese exchange student a couple years ago. In their minds they are Chinese. Nobody even bothers to teach Taiwanese now, it’s a dying language. They all learn Mandarin and English, speaking Taiwanese marks you as a hick from the sticks. Reunification is a purely political problem to them, and unless your particular situation would be directly affected many are indifferent to the prospect of rule from Beijing.

              2. The repression of the people of Hong Kong–has not been as bad as some feared–when they were handed over by the British.

                No, Hong Kong is not an independent democracy. They’re part of China. What did you expect?

                Some expected the Tienanmen Square Massacre on a regular basis. It hasn’t been like that.

            2. Taiwan is a very advanced country with a very good military. I do not think we have to go to war for them. As long as we are willing to sell them arms, I think they should be able to defend themselves fine. And China knows that. I really don’t think they would go to war with Taiwan unless they were absolutely certain to win. Trying and failing to take Taiwan would likely be fatal to the government. But I can’t see them being certain enough to try it.

          2. People grossly underestimate the difficulty of amphibious invasions and supporting an army across even a small patch of ocean. It requires not just naval and air superiority, it requires naval and air supremacy to even have a chance. Even with that, you are still left with the problem of getting a large enough force ashore to defeat an enemy army with short supply lines fighting on its own turf.

            Not to mention that even if you could overcome all those hurdles, you now have to occupy the country and deal with the inevitable insurgency.

            1. Unless you are willing to commit outright genocide, it is very difficult for one country to conquer and rule another if the population doesn’t go along. Look at Ukraine. It was all fun and games to charge in there and take off a piece of the country, but the Russians are finding out that holding onto that piece is expensive and a real pain in the ass and likely not worth the trouble. I imagine China would find the same with Taiwan. That is in addition to the fact that after China invaded and conquered it, the place would be so damaged that it wouldn’t be worth having even if the population went along with things.

              1. You’ve got the Ukraine example mixed up, John.
                Russia has 0 problems in Crimea (as one might expect given their overwhelming vote to join the RF).
                On the other hand, the Maidan coup government and their neoNazi paramilitaries are having a hell of a time trying to force the East (Donbass and such) to submit. Eastern Ukrainians don’t want a separate country, but they equally don’t want to be raped by the EU-aligned oligarchs in Kiev. A federal solution would probably work as well as anything, but Kiev – and McCain, Soros, Nuland, MI5, Graham, etc won’t sign off on it or pull support for the new oligarchs (who are turning out to be worse than the former, Russia-aligned ones). Thus Kiev keeps shelling neighborhoods in the East while our diplomats prattle on about fictional invasions and scold the evil Russkie.

  14. force pharmaceutical companies to … justify all pills sold to medical providers.

    “Well, Mr. Sessions, the providers requested and paid for all those pills.”

  15. The Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts struck down the state’s ban on stun guns, saying it violates citizens’ Second Amendment rights.

    So, citizens can keep stun guns in their houses until confiscation during the next Boston Strong episode?

  16. Re: the video.

    *Slap ass!!*

    1. I listened to KMFDM’s ‘Glory while watching that video:

      “War and slavery – exploitation
      The common basis of a western nation
      Official version – a falsified story
      The truth lies buried in a shroud of glory

      Influential people aren’t serving time
      For being involved in organized crime
      But stashed away in beautiful mansions
      Guess who provides for their generous pensions”

      1. KMFDM is a drug against war.

      2. KMFDM always seemed like a parody of an industrial band more so than an actual industrial band.

        That said, Lucia Cifarelli scares me in a way that i really, really like.

        1. I think that’s fair to say about some of their stuff.

        2. Yup. Just watch the “Drug Against War” video for evidence. It’s hilarious and fantastic at the same time – my favorite song of theirs.

  17. Mueller is ON it!

    “Russian sex guru and followers make Thai court appearance”
    […]
    “PATTAYA, Thailand? A Russian sex guru and his followers, one of whom claims to have evidence of Moscow’s interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election,…”
    https://www.sfgate.com/news/article/
    Russian-sex-guru-and-followers-
    make-Thai-court-12841734.php

    1. Looks like the Russians hacked your link.

      1. SEVO’s incomplete/broken links are part of the fabric of Hit’n’Run, along with Crusty’s low-rent depravity and John’s love of fat chicks.

        1. Why did i capitalize all of Sevo. Why did i do that.

          1. So SEVO could read it?

            You know, because he’s really old…

          2. Because you are a snob. Your implicit bias against the lower cases is painfully palpable.

            1. +1, case warfare

  18. Your plane is going down. Do you put on an oxygen mask, or purchase wifi?

    Neither. You order another cocktail, cheers to a good life lived, and hope the pilot crashes hard so you don’t have to limp away after.

    1. Perfect time to test if sex is better while oxygen deprived.

    2. This is what you’d do.

      Almost Famous

    3. You order another cocktail, cheers to a good life lived, and hope the pilot crashes hard so you don’t have to limp away after.

      Hit something hard, I don’t want to limp away from this piece of shit.”

  19. Louisiana has approved the state’s first medical marijuana pharmacy, to be located in New Orleans.

    In other, completely unrelated news, New Orleans is experiencing a shortage of Doritos.

    1. Silicone doesn’t talk back, so there’s that, I guess.

    2. I’m most upset by the phrase Randy Punters.

      1. I went to high school with Randy Punters. I think he owns a Hardees franchise now.

        1. You konw THE Randy Punters??

  20. WHY WON’T TREASONNN COVER THIS?!?!?!?!?!?!?!

    The Man Trying to Break the World Record for the Longest Time Spent Masturbating

    The “Masturbate-a-thon” bestows awards for various achievements: longest time, furthest ejaculation and so on. In 2009, Masanobu Sato won the endurance competition, clocking in at 9 hours and 33 minutes. Since then, according to Drake, the record has increased to 10 hours and 10 minutes.

    “I knew I could beat it,” Hardy says, asking that I pardon the pun. “Actually, I’ve beat the record, but by myself, without a witness. I figured there’s a world record for something I happen to be pretty good at, and have a chance of beating. Who hasn’t dreamed of being the best in the world at something?”

    1. We have been through this, Reason considers it a conflict of interest to cover the activities of their readership. They are not your PR firm Crusty.

      1. Don’t blame us for our elevated dopamine and testosterone levels.

    2. “I knew I could beat it,”

      Beat it, you did.

      longest time, furthest ejaculation and so on

      How do you judge longest time exactly? Does the contestant have to maintain a constant stroke with a constant pressured grip? Seems like it could be too subjective.

        1. What is your personal best, Crusty?

      1. “I knew I could beat it,” Hardy says, asking that I pardon the pun. “

        Jesus christ shitty commenter, your stupid fucking pun was already deemed too idiotic to bother with.

    3. 10 hours and 10 minutes? Shit, every male in the world has topped that at least a dozen times during the summer vacation between 9th and 10th grade alone.

      1. I saw a documentary of that Japanese guy it said was the previous record holder. It was truly depressing.

    1. Amazing how often experts are wrong.

    2. Is that even the reason people bathe? That was never the reason when I was a kid. It’s to not smell funky.

    3. Fucking Europeans always trying to get out of hygienic regimes.

  21. Jeff Sessions’ Plan to Put Strict Limits on Painkiller Manufacturers Will Only Make the Opioid Crisis Worse

    Predictable consequences are never unintended…

  22. #MeToo destroys another great American tradition: The Hill says goodbye to 50 Most Beautiful

    The annual 50 Most Beautiful issue even made its way onto the airwaves as part of a key plot line in HBO’s “Veep,” whose production crew reached out to The Hill to ensure a prop copy appeared authentic.

    In the 2016 episode, Jonah Ryan, a fictional executive branch staffer, became obsessed with not making the cut after one of his colleagues shocked the office by earning a position on the list.

    “How am I not on The Hill’s 50 Hottest Staffers list this year?” Ryan laments.

    “It’s the 50 Hottest Staffers, Jonah ? not the 50 people most likely to kill themselves before trial,” one of Ryan’s co-workers shoots back

    1. How long before feminists start demanding women wear burkas for their own safety and modesty?

    2. +1 supercalifragilisticexpialidickcheese

  23. Purely personal preference alert:

    Just shut the fuck up about opiates already.

    Every day there are 1-739 articles about opioids – who the hell cares?
    Anyone here invested in this issue? Do opioids affect any of our lives much?
    Sure, general principles and all that. Doesn’t require devoting 40% of Reason’s content to it.

    You know what might be interesting (if you’re unwilling to talk about any other issue): maybe talk about legalizing all drugs, or straight up opium, or it’s history in China, or it’s role in settling the American West, or correlation between use and foreign wars, or the place of pharmaceuticals and prescription writing in modern medicine. Any of those approaches might actually be insightful or interesting.

    We don’t need 20,000 words a day about “Oh no, there’s going to be some new rule about opiates and that might inconvenience a few people. Waaaaaaaah!”

    One wonders if the Kochs and Reasons other funders have some sort of financial stake in opioids and that’s why Reason is pathologically obsessed with this topic of extremely minor significance.

    I’m so F-ing sick of the topic and the dual alarmism/pity approach to users. We (I, but I assume I’m not alone) don’t care.
    Just stop.

    End rant

    1. “Oh no, there’s going to be some new rule about opiates and that might inconvenience a few people.

      1. It would inconvenience everyone as any new rule increases the size ans scope of the Leviathan.

        1. You’re exactly the asshole he was talking about, it’s like you fucking idiots don’t read the posts you engage with.

  24. Purely personal preference alert:

    Just shut the fuck up about opiates already.

    Every day there are 1-739 articles about opioids – who the hell cares?
    Anyone here invested in this issue? Do opioids affect any of our lives much?
    Sure, general principles and all that. Doesn’t require devoting 40% of Reason’s content to it.

    You know what might be interesting (if you’re unwilling to talk about any other issue): maybe talk about legalizing all drugs, or straight up opium, or it’s history in China, or it’s role in settling the American West, or correlation between use and foreign wars, or the place of pharmaceuticals and prescription writing in modern medicine. Any of those approaches might actually be insightful or interesting.

    We don’t need 20,000 words a day about “Oh no, there’s going to be some new rule about opiates and that might inconvenience a few people. Waaaaaaaah!”

    One wonders if the Kochs and Reasons other funders have some sort of financial stake in opioids and that’s why Reason is pathologically obsessed with this topic of extremely minor significance.

    I’m so F-ing sick of the topic and the dual alarmism/pity approach to users. We (I, but I assume I’m not alone) don’t care.
    Just stop.

    End rant

  25. One of the simplest things the government could do to ease the pain of the fentanyl problem is to make it easier for people to test heroin and black-market pills to see what they really contain.

    Or we could just – now hear me out on this – we could just simply stop making getting high illegal.

    I know… I know. That sounds radical. But let’s cut to the chase. It isn’t opiates that is the problem. It isn’t black markets. It isn’t uncertain drug concentrations. All of these are knock-on consequences of our desire to stop people from getting high.

    If getting high were suddenly a legitimate pursuit, this all would melt away.

    Doctors could advise people. Pharmaceutical companies could create formulations designed for safety, controlled doses, controlled duration….. There would be no need to test it yourself, you’d pick it up a name brand product at Walgreens or Total Wine and Spirits, confident in your purchase. Do you ever see anyone testing their Johnny Walker for alcohol content? Or their Mountain Dew for caffeine?

    I know…. this is way too simple and direct to ever be implemented. There are too many power structures at stake. But it seems easier to simply advocate for the direct solution instead of a bunch of band-aids.

  26. JUSTICE SOTOMAYOR: That doesn’t include auditing. It doesn’t include integrating the program with the existing sales program of the company. It doesn’t account for the maintenance of the program. There’s lots of costs that are inherent in a process of this type.

    A refreshing quote, especially coming from a SC Justice. Almost gives me hope for the future.

    … almost …

  27. The “Masturbate-a-thon” menganugerahkan penghargaan untuk berbagai pencapaian: waktu terlama, ejakulasi terjauh dan sebagainya. Pada tahun 2009, Masanobu Sato memenangkan kompetisi ketahanan, mencatat waktu 9 jam dan 33 menit. Sejak itu, menurut Drake, rekornya telah meningkat menjadi 10 jam dan 10 menit.

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  29. work a lot, workholic is not good for your health

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