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For all their risks, opioids had no pain-relieving
advantage in a yearlong clinical trial

Los Angeles Times, by Karen Kaplan

Original Article

Posted By:MissMolly, 3/7/2018 5:01:11 AM

For years, doctors turned to opioid painkillers as a first-line treatment for chronic back pain and aches in the joints. Even as the dangers of addiction and overdoses became more clear, the drugs´ pain-relieving benefits were still thought to justify their risks. Now researchers have hard data that challenges this view. In the first randomized clinical trial to make a head-to-head comparison between opioids and other kinds of pain medications, patients who took opioids fared no better over the long term than patients who used safer alternatives. "There was no significant difference in pain-related function between the 2 groups over


Post Reply  

Reply 1 - Posted by: lakerman1, 3/7/2018 5:48:17 AM     (No. 11564497)

The writers chose to collapse two sets of data into one sentence.
First, 115 deaths per day is almost completely
caused by junkies injecting heroin boosted with fentanyl.
Second, we don´t know what a 4 fold increase in hydrocodone means, since the writers cleverly failed to include the numbers.
(If one person died from an rx drug overdose, and next year, 4 people die from ex overdose, that is a fourfold increase.e.
The article is fundamentally dishonest. But, hey! Everyone is writing dishonest articles about opiods.

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Reply 2 - Posted by: gijohn, 3/7/2018 5:57:42 AM     (No. 11564500)

I didn´t see what the trial was using as opioid med. Kind of dishonest if they were prescribing hydrocodone with acetaminophen. I was given acetaminophen after bypass surgery one time and it worked well. I think it was when they were still getting my BP under control. The trouble with those meds is of course the effect on the liver.

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Reply 3 - Posted by: paperpuncher, 3/7/2018 6:49:48 AM     (No. 11564530)

I´m sorry but, there is a significant difference between surgical pain and "back and joint pain". After major back surgery it is not jut take two Tylenol and call me in the morning.

I certainly can´t see a medic giving Tylenol rather than morphine to a wounded soldier in the field.

The problem with the addictions is the meds are used too often and prescribed to too long a period of time for relatively minor pain.

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Reply 4 - Posted by: Udanja99, 3/7/2018 6:55:49 AM     (No. 11564533)

Acetaminophen is just Tylenol. Hydorcodone is the opioid and, according to my orthopedic surgeon, contains synthetic codein.

I beg to differ on the advantages. If you’ve ever had bone surgery or an abcessed tooth in need of a root canal, you know that opioids are the only thing that really stops the pain. I have had numerous surgeries and there have been moments when I thanked God for oxycodone.

The key is to use them as prescribed and to stop using them as soon as possible. I do find that doctors tend to prescribe more pills than you need. I was once given 30 oxycodone for an abcessed tooth when I had a root canal scheduled 2 days later. Eight pills would have been enough.

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Reply 5 - Posted by: Truthfetish, 3/7/2018 6:57:30 AM     (No. 11564535)

#1, half those junkies got on heroin because they can´t get oxy scripts renewed by that doctor who prescribed them to keep his own NPS numbers high enuf for Obamacare beancounters.

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Reply 6 - Posted by: earlybird, 3/7/2018 6:59:49 AM     (No. 11564537)

I am among those who cannot take opioids because of their side effects. Faced with a fractured pelvis a few years ago, I tried my regular Aleve and it dealt with the pain very successfully. The doctor gave me the option of taking it a little more often than the usual 12 hour intervals specified on the label. As needed. As soon as I didn’t need so much, I tapered it off.

Pain and painkilling are very individual matters, IMO. I can’t see how one opinion on can fit all.

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Reply 7 - Posted by: GO3, 3/7/2018 7:05:36 AM     (No. 11564542)

I too needed something stronger than tylenol after major surgery. However, I think there is a difference between pain relieving and a drug which makes you not care about the pain. Maybe that´s what they are talking about.

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Reply 8 - Posted by: crunchycon, 3/7/2018 7:07:32 AM     (No. 11564544)

Came here to agree with #4. Like others here I have had surgery. I took my pain meds exactly as prescribed and transitioned off at the end of my prescription. I did, of course, experience some pain, particularly during the last hour before the next dose, but II managed it like a tough gal.. Everyone’s story is difficult fly, but my method kept me outof trouble and may work for otherwise.

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Reply 9 - Posted by: citizen, 3/7/2018 7:41:08 AM     (No. 11564581)

Doctors aren´t John Kerry and cannot feel your pain..the pain scale of 1-10 is a useless way to determine an individual´s pain Also this study was done by the VA? Yikes.

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Reply 10 - Posted by: ladydawgfan, 3/7/2018 7:53:10 AM     (No. 11564601)

I am not supposed to take narcotics due to side effects and the fact that they cause my migraines to go out of control. However, I also have a knee that is severely damaged from a fall and because I am a fluffy woman, I cannot find an orthopedist to correct it surgically. Instead, they keep hitting it with cortisone shots and the latest which was Supartz, none of which did any good (although the Supartz did give me some LOVELY migraines!).

The prescription that I am on for pain is a mild narcotic called transfer, which has been in the news lately for other things as well. It controls the pain in my knee and allows me to function. However, it also aggravates my migraines, makes me tired and occasionally gives me double vision. The sooner I am rid of it, the better.

Now if I could just find someone to really listen to me about my knee....

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Reply 11 - Posted by: ladydawgfan, 3/7/2018 7:54:55 AM     (No. 11564604)


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Reply 12 - Posted by: Rather Read, 3/7/2018 7:59:31 AM     (No. 11564615)

I´ve been given opioids after two operations and a wisdom tooth extraction. They never really relieved pain, but I didn´t care that I hurt. I ditched them after two days and went on ibuprophen and that actually relieved the pain.

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Reply 13 - Posted by: greggojo, 3/7/2018 8:11:31 AM     (No. 11564636)

For those concerned about the LATimes cookies:


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Reply 14 - Posted by: Nevadadad46, 3/7/2018 8:30:24 AM     (No. 11564668)

My surgery and pain meds experience proves there can be no substitute for the proper (I said Proper!) dosage of opioids. Wow! You can go from absolute agony to instant nirvana with the right dosage. But, an emergency operation is over in hours, a few days of pain relief and you are on your way home with a hand full of pills to get you through. Then stop it. That process is a "Repeat as often as needed". But, then long term use on a maintenance prescription of opioids (Oxy and hydro)for control of background pain is off the charts insane. If your pain is that bad, you needs much more than the max legal dose (usually 20 mg) of that stuff. Because in almost no time, a month or two, the "maintenance" dose is useless, and your pain is back but you take the damn pills because now stopping them is not an option! And the bad part is, ask for help getting off them from your insurance and they will tell you real quick- "Not part of the plan, baby!" I had to go cold turkey- What a nightmare! Later Wife did, too. And she had a much rougher time of it. No help, but lots of interference and threats from the Dr. over them- Yes. Threats! (nuther story)

Opioids? No thanks. I now know how to use them. But, had to learn the hard way.

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Reply 15 - Posted by: joew9, 3/7/2018 8:58:24 AM     (No. 11564700)

For me, after surgery and another time during an abscessed tooth I got no pain relief from the prescribed opioids. My family got some relief in that I was too drugged up to complain and moan. So from their perception they believed I got relief.
The side effects were so bad that after two days I quit. It took longer to recover from the opioid side effect than from the surgery. And the abscessed tooth had no pain the very instant they drilled into it and relieved the pressure.

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Reply 16 - Posted by: Jethro bo, 3/7/2018 9:02:20 AM     (No. 11564706)

Well, gee weez, another lie from the fake news. The study was specific and it included hip and knee pain from osteoarthritis, not as, this liar ´journalist´ states in the first sentence (designed to mislead from the start0, ´aches in the joints´. Oseteoarthritis is very differnt from aches i the joints. Why is this misleading? Because osteoarthritis is commonly treated (first line therapy) with non opoid drugs. So there is a selection bias in the design of the study that favors non opioid drugs. The other major red flag is this was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, a well known liberal poltical advocacy group. It publishes significant political studies disguised as ´science´. Back pain is a hard problem to treat and there is little that has ever been shown consistantly effective so this isn´t a valueless study. But the conclusons are skewed and further stuies are needed.

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Reply 17 - Posted by: Madinmaryland, 3/7/2018 9:05:44 AM     (No. 11564711)

I too had a similar response to opioids. Still had pain, but didn´t care. Give me 800mgm ibuprofen any day for pain relief

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Reply 18 - Posted by: TexaTucky, 3/7/2018 9:56:06 AM     (No. 11564763)

God blessed me with getting really itchy if I take hydrocodone, so I hope I never have any severe pain that can´t be handled by other means.

Since both parents died of overmedication (one accidentally at home, the other negligently by hospital employee), I shun medications anyway, but I believe in the power of appropriately prescribed ones.

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Reply 19 - Posted by: Ribald1, 3/7/2018 10:31:26 AM     (No. 11564814)

A big part of the problem is that people take no personal initiative in learning how to deal with pain anymore.
Pain, emotional and physical, is part and parcel to human life and experience.
There is no need to concern oneself, though as there will come a day when you will feel no more pain. I do not long for that day.

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Reply 20 - Posted by: mildred, 3/7/2018 10:34:50 AM     (No. 11564818)

Why would a doctor prescribe an opioid for a pain level of 3.5-4? At that level the pain is the same as stubbing your toe while wearing heavy boots. When my pain reached about 20 on that scale, I needed everything they had in their power to give relief. Live with stage 4 cancer and then do a study. Tylenol alone does not give any relief to those of us who are really suffering. Doctors also prescribe the opioids because it´s easier for faster results. Then the biggest problem is dealing with the side effects. It´s time that the medical field try alternative pain treatments. Big pharma needs to sell drugs to survive so the patients have to suffer.

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Reply 21 - Posted by: kono, 3/7/2018 10:36:58 AM     (No. 11564820)

The bias is obvious early in the piece, when the words "hard data" are underlined in a tabloid-esque manner not consistent with erudite, professional reporting. Note how many times numbers are included when they support the anti-opioid position, but generalized hand-waving verbiage is employed to tiptoe around contradictory elements.

In addition to the doozie pointed out by #1, it includes qualifiers out the wazoo - "over the long term" being a handy way to dismiss what could be significant short-term differences.

It admits that anxiety was improved more for study participants taking the opioids; but seems uninterested in following that point up.

I´d file this under "The Anatomy of a Hit Piece"...

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Reply 22 - Posted by: earlybird, 3/7/2018 11:12:05 AM     (No. 11564847)

Re #21, that underlined bit is a link to this - not emphasis:

March 6, 2018

Effect of Opioid vs Nonopioid Medications on Pain-Related Function in Patients With Chronic Back Pain or Hip or Knee Osteoarthritis Pain
The SPACE Randomized Clinical Trial

Erin E. Krebs, MD, MPH1,2; Amy Gravely, MA1; Sean Nugent, BA1; et al Agnes C. Jensen, MPH1; Beth DeRonne, PharmD1; Elizabeth S. Goldsmith, MD, MS1,3; Kurt Kroenke, MD4,5,6; Matthew J. Bair4,5,6; Siamak Noorbaloochi, PhD1,2
Author Affiliations
JAMA. 2018;319(9):872-882. doi:10.1001/jama.2018.0899


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Reply 23 - Posted by: agrunt, 3/7/2018 12:45:41 PM     (No. 11564918)

Why would a doctor prescribe an opioid for a pain level of 3.5-4?
I have long term pain. I use pain meds to get down to the 4 level. Further all of this numeric level of pain stuff is subjective, My feeling of a level 4 may be the next guy´s 5. No dishonesty here just how you measure the subjective level of pain in your body. I just do not understand how they an use this "number system" to go between differing folks.

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Reply 24 - Posted by: Chuzzles, 3/7/2018 2:29:28 PM     (No. 11565013)

I have been reading Lucianne´s site since the early days of the Clinton presidency and the blue dress. I know how many very intelligent and diverse people comment here from all professions and walks of life.

I have long considered the commenters on this site to be much more informed about any subject than any media writer out there.

I suspect this article is meant to play into the hands of the Feds and their war on opioids. They just cannot leave Doctors alone. Lawyers should get their own medical licenses and stay out of the medical profession. They have no idea how much harm they are doing to law abiding citizens.

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Reply 25 - Posted by: Rumblehog, 3/7/2018 3:10:47 PM     (No. 11565026)

I suspect very much as #24 states.

I´ve had more than 6 back surgeries, and even had an electronic stimulator implanted into my spine to offset nerve damage pain to no avail. The only thing that helps me deal with chronic pain are two VERY expensive medications, one of which is categorized as "opioid-like." Most of my surgeries were straightforward and I never even took the post-surgery pain meds. One major back surgery however, was extremely debilitating and the only way to make it through the recovery period (3 months) was with moderate levels of Hydrocodone. Trust me, this article is B.S.

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Reply 26 - Posted by: toodles3956, 3/7/2018 3:21:28 PM     (No. 11565035)

Lets give the author of this piece a double knee replacement, then ask her if Tylenol works for her.

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Reply 27 - Posted by: GardenGal, 3/7/2018 3:29:32 PM     (No. 11565041)

I live with pain every day of my life. I, along with everyone else on coumadin, cannot take NSAIDS (aspirin, ibuprofen, etc). Tylenol is useless as a pain reliever for me since it never helped at all with any sort of pain. So I use Voltaren ointment (on some joints I am able to), lidocaine cream, and Norco 5/325 or even 2.5/175 often. I am not the problem Opiod user and these studies are idiotic. I have RA, not OA, and many other problems that are painful. I do not medicate for 3 or 4. That is my every day normal and what I try to aim for if my pain gets worse. But when I broke a rib, the only thing that helped was the Norco.

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Reply 28 - Posted by: Doctorfixit, 3/7/2018 4:53:29 PM     (No. 11565104)

One of the more dishonest pieces of propaganda I´ve seen lately. Why is the corporate propaganda machine pushing this hysteria so hard?

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Reply 29 - Posted by: msjena, 3/7/2018 6:05:59 PM     (No. 11565137)

Hydrocodone(Vicodin,etc.) has the advantage of causing drowsiness, which helps the patient tolerate pain after surgery (by falling asleep). Some surgery causes little pain and some a lot. It all depends. I certainly don´t think opiods are necessary for everyday pain, like headaches. But I remember when I had a shoulder injury, the pain was so great that Vicodin didn´t work. The doctor gave me Tramadol,a different narcotic, which helped. People shouldn´t have to suffer if pain relief is available.

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Reply 30 - Posted by: skedaddle, 3/7/2018 6:41:52 PM     (No. 11565162)

Dear Lord, this war on opiates (war on American public suffering pain) is really making me mad and scared.

I was just diagnosed with a Stage 4 cancer. Will I be left to writhe in pain if treatment fails? It seems like the "doctors" who did this study and most of our elected officials would be just fine with me suffering any level of pain when perfectly good medicines exist to relieve suffering.

I´ve recently been given fentanyl three times for quick pain relief during surgical procedures that didn´t require full anesthesia. It worked and I came out of it quickly - the nurses said that´s why they like to use it. I´ve also had Tylenol with codeine for torn ligaments, a broken bone and root canal in the past.

After all that, I´ve never once been tempted to drive down to the bad part of town to buy heroin. That´s because I´m not a drug addict and my doctors were careful with their instructions and quantity prescribed. Opioids works for me. They made my dad see spiders on the walls and you wouldn´t believe how hard it was to get doctors to give alternate pain meds during recovery from joint replacement surgeries.

There´s a lot of blame to go around for people dying from opiates but our government is punishing the innocent and leaving the guilty to go about their business as usual.

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Reply 31 - Posted by: kono, 3/7/2018 7:06:01 PM     (No. 11565178)

I´m grateful for #22´s info. I was not inclined to click, since the underlined text was not colored like a link on the page I read.

That it wasn´t the only element of apparent bias in the article inclines me to stand by the ´hit piece´ characterization, though.

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Reply 32 - Posted by: peeps, 3/7/2018 8:22:42 PM     (No. 11565217)

Agree with #30. After cancer meds, radiation, and surgery, in my case the Hydrocodone helped me relax and heal better without pain. A body without pain and stress is a body that can focus on healing. This may not work in everyone´s case, but I bless the manufacturers of this drug that helped me heal. Not a drug addict.

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Daily Mail [UK], by Nikki Schwab    Original Article
Posted By: Attercliffe- 3/18/2018 3:42:20 PM     Post Reply
Hillary Clinton provided an explanation for some recent comments she made that she understood ´upset or offended´ some Americans – statements that drew criticism from fellow Democrats and the Trump White House alike. ´I understand how some of what I said upset people and can be misinterpreted. I meant no disrespect to any individual or group,´ she said in a Facebook post. ´And I want to look to the future as much as anybody.´ Clinton, on a trip to India, had talked about how her voters came from economically advantaged places in comparison to Trump voters, and also noted how white women

Hillary Clinton’s ‘Deplorables 2’ moment
and why it matters for America’s future

33 replie(s)
Fox News, by Steve Hilton    Original Article
Posted By: Pluperfect- 3/18/2018 4:34:59 AM     Post Reply
First there was the casual sexism: the reason white women didn’t back her when she ran for president, Hillary Clinton believes, is “a sort of ongoing pressure to vote the way that your husband, your boss, your son, whoever, believes you should.” Have you noticed that her sneering always seems to take the same form? She’s become the queen of the contemptuous listicle that tails off into a snarling “whatever.” Remember the formulation in the speech where she came up with the term “basket of deplorables?” “You could put half of Trump´s supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables,” Hillary said.

Republican Lindsey Graham says firing
Robert Mueller would be ‘beginning of
the end’ of Donald Trump’s presidency

33 replie(s)
Independent [UK], by Clark Mindock    Original Article
Posted By: Ribicon- 3/18/2018 10:36:05 PM     Post Reply
A prominent Republican says that Donald Trump would doom his presidency if he fires special counsel Robert Mueller. Sen Lindsey Graham, during an appearance on CNN’s “State of the Union”, said that Mr Mueller is following the evidence where it takes him as he investigates Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election. Getting rid of Mr Mueller, the senator said, would be a step too far. “If he tried to do that, that would be the beginning of the end of his presidency, because we´re a rule of law nation,” Mr Graham said. ”I think it´s very important he be allowed to do

The Coming Collusion Bloodbath
33 replie(s)
Townhall, by Kevin McCullough    Original Article
Posted By: Pluperfect- 3/19/2018 4:38:27 AM     Post Reply
The firing of Andrew McCabe, the discovery of his “private notes,” the ill-tempered response by other Obama loyalists and a yet to be disclosed Inspector General’s report on an investigation that began before Donald Trump had come to office are all pieces of a story that dwarfs the still absent evidence of anything Trump and company did to cooperate with Russians in changing votes in Michigan and Wisconsin. So many Democrats and Republicans have asserted the lack of evidence in the Russian collusion issue its become comical if not annoying to endure as the uninformed continue to argue otherwise. But few have

Democrats offer to hire
Andrew McCabe so he
could qualify for his pension

30 replie(s)
Washington Examiner, by Kimberly Leonard    Original Article
Posted By: happywarrior- 3/17/2018 7:17:54 PM     Post Reply
Democratic lawmakers have offered to hire fired former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe so that he can qualify for his pension. McCabe´s employment was terminated by Attorney General Jeff Sessions less than 48 hours before he would have qualified for his pension, a day that was also his 50th birthday. Rep. Mark Pocan, D-Wis., asked McCabe on Twitter to "call him." "I could use a good two-day report on the biggest crime families in Washington, D.C.," he wrote. Pocan was responding to a tweet by MSNBC journalist Andrea Mitchell, who said if a member of Congress were to hire him

Jeff Flake In New Hampshire:
I'm An Endangered Species Of
Conservative; "Americanus Never-
Trumpus, Subgenus RINO"

29 replie(s)
Real Clear Politics, by Tim Hains    Original Article
Posted By: Hooverdog- 3/17/2018 8:12:40 PM     Post Reply
Republican Jeff Flake delivered a speech Thursday at the annual ´Politics and Eggs´ event at Saint Anselm College in New Hampshire. Flake said that during the administration of President Donald Trump, conservatives were an endangered species and the Republican Party had surrendered to a "propaganda-fueled dystopian view." Flake, who recently called for a 2020 Republican primary challenger against President Trump, is in the group of people who might do just that. "I haven´t ruled it out," he told CNN later in this same day. "I stand before you today the rarest of species," the retiring moderate Republican

When the Shooting Starts, Would You Go In?
29 replie(s)
Aspen Times, by Glenn Beaton    Original Article
Posted By: Big bopper- 3/18/2018 10:35:10 AM     Post Reply
Armed sheriff´s deputies appeared on the scene of the recent school massacre in Florida while kids were still being murdered inside. But the deputies failed to storm the building to apprehend the killer, to rescue the assaulted, to stop the bleeding and to comfort the dying. They failed to do their jobs. Instead, they cowered behind their patrol cars waiting for, well, apparently waiting for the shooting to stop. Some 150 bullets and 17 lives later, it finally did and the killer walked away. Only then did the deputies enter the building. About that, President Donald Trump characteristically said what he thought. He

´I don´t like the way it happened´ says
Sen. Marco Rubio of Andrew McCabe firing
- as former FBI deputy director gets axed
a day before he was set to retire

27 replie(s)
Daily Mail [UK], by Nikki Schwab    Original Article
Posted By: Ribicon- 3/18/2018 8:45:39 PM     Post Reply
Sen. Marco Rubio, a Florida Republican, said he was uncomfortable with how the FBI´s former deputy director, Andrew McCabe, was fired on Friday. ´I don´t like the way it happened,´ Rubio said Sunday on Meet the Press. ´He should´ve been allowed to finish through the weekend.´ Attorney General Jeff Sessions decided to fire McCabe a little over 24 hours before his 50th birthday, which was the day he planned to officially retire from government service and would be eligible for his pension. (Snip) Rubio suggested that if the report would have indicated ´wrongdoing or something that was actionable´ than actions could have

Jeff Flake says Trump firing Mueller
‘massive red line that can’t be crossed’

27 replie(s)
Washington Times, by Tom Howell Jr.    Original Article
Posted By: Ribicon- 3/18/2018 9:15:41 PM     Post Reply
Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona said Sunday he hopes the White House’s sparring with key figures at the FBI doesn’t turn into an attempt to fire special counsel Robert Mueller, calling it a “massive red line that can’t be crossed.” Mr. Flake, a Republican and frequent critic of Mr. Trump, said he would expect GOP leaders to push back against attempts to undermine Mr. Mueller, who is probing Russian meddling into the 2016 campaign and its potential ties to the Trump campaign. “He can’t go there,” Mr. Flake told CNN’s State of the Union.(Snip) “We have confidence in Mueller. I

McCabe turns his memos on
Trump over to Mueller investigation

25 replie(s)
Associated Press, by Eric Turner    Original Article
Posted By: happywarrior- 3/17/2018 8:22:20 PM     Post Reply
Andrew McCabe, the onetime FBI deputy director long scorned by President Donald Trump and just fired by the attorney general, kept personal memos detailing interactions with the president that have been provided to the special counsel’s office and are similar to the notes compiled by dismissed FBI chief James Comey, The Associated Press has learned. The memos could factor into special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation as his team examines Trump campaign ties to Russia and possible obstruction of justice. McCabe’s memos include details of his own interactions with the president, according to a person with direct

Self-Driving Uber Car
Kills Arizona Pedestrian

25 replie(s)
New York Times, by Daisuke Wakabayashi    Original Article
Posted By: KarenJ1- 3/19/2018 1:16:46 PM     Post Reply
SAN FRANCISCO — A woman in Tempe, Ariz., died after being hit by a self-driving car operated by Uber, in what appears to be the first known death of a pedestrian struck by an autonomous vehicle on public roads. The Uber vehicle was in autonomous mode with a human safety driver at the wheel when it struck the woman, who was crossing the street outside of a crosswalk, the Tempe police said in a statement. The episode occurred overnight, although the authorities did not specify whether it was late Sunday or early Monday. The woman was not publicly identified. An

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