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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


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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 Caller, by Rob Shimshock    Original Article
Posted By: KarenJ1- 3/19/2018 6:14:54 PM     Post Reply
Officials in a Minneapolis school district are trying to figure out why black students are suspended three times more often than their white peers, according to a Sunday report. Black students have a 338 percent higher chance than white students to be suspended at Justice Page Middle School in Minneapolis, Minn., according to The New York Times. Black students make up 41 percent of the Minneapolis school district’s student body, but 76 percent of its suspensions. The black students constantly tell the principal, “The teacher only sees me,” Justice Page Principal Erin Rathke said. She responds, “Yes, that’s probably true.”

Hillary on Ivanka Being President: ‘We
Don’t Want Any More Inexperienced
Trumps in the White House’

39 replie(s)
Breitbart Video, by Pam Key    Original Article
Posted By: JoniTx- 3/19/2018 3:43:53 PM     Post Reply
Last week on Dutch public broadcasting’s KRO-NCRV, Hillary Clinton shot down the notion of Ivanka Trump becoming the first female president of the United States. Partial transcript as follows: HOST EVA JINEK: Apparently Ivanka Trump wants to be the first female President of the United States. HILLARY CLINTON: That’s not going to happen. JINEK: No? CLINTON: No. JINEK: How come? CLINTON: No, we don’t want any more inexperienced Trumps in the White House. JINEK: I would think normally I would like to believe what you are saying but I also learned after these elections that things that we don’t except

Former FBI Director Goes On Record:
“Comey, McCabe, & Brennan All Corrupt
& Everything Leads Back To Obama” (VIDEO)

35 replie(s)
DCWhispers, by Staff    Original Article
Posted By: earlybird- 3/20/2018 5:41:40 AM     Post Reply
James Kallstrom is no joke. With nearly thirty years in the FBI, several of them as the Assistant Director, Kallstrom knows how the agency functions far more than most. So when he says there was a plot to protect Hillary Clinton from prosecution and to illegally influence the 2016 Election people should pay attention. Kallstrom goes on to call the entirety of the FBI investigation against Donald Trump completely phony. Maria Bartiromo’s own take appears very much to compliment Mr. Kallstrom’s assertions. The Deep State shenanigans run very deep and in 2016 are linked to the Obama White House. Barack Obama

McDonald’s customer turns violent after
receiving wrong breakfast order

34 replie(s)
Fox News, by Michael Bartiromo    Original Article
Posted By: mc squared- 3/20/2018 12:11:43 PM     Post Reply
Police in Glendale, Wis., are currently seeking the public’s help in identifying an irate McDonald’s customer who assaulted a teenage employee after receiving the wrong breakfast order. The suspect and a friend reportedly pulled up to the drive-thru of the McDonald’s just before 11 a.m. on March 18, where they placed an order for a breakfast sandwich with bacon, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. But upon receiving a breakfast sandwich with sausage instead, the woman became angry. “What the [expletive] is this? I didn´t order no sausage biscuit,” said the woman, who then threw the food back at the

An "Ashamed" Fox News
Commentator Just Quit
The "Propaganda Machine"

34 replie(s)
BuzzFeed News, by Tom Namako    Original Article
Posted By: danvillebill- 3/20/2018 6:06:59 PM     Post Reply
A retired United States Army lieutenant colonel and Fox News contributor quit Tuesday and denounced the network and President Donald Trump in an email to colleagues. "Fox has degenerated from providing a legitimate and much-needed outlet for conservative voices to a mere propaganda machine for a destructive and ethically ruinous administration," wrote Ralph Peters, a Fox News "strategic analyst." "Over my decade with Fox, I long was proud of the association. Now I am ashamed," he wrote.

U.S. Risks Return to Days of
Segregation, Says Lee in
DNC Fundraising Mailer

31 replie(s)
PJ Media, by Bridget Johnson    Original Article
Posted By: KarenJ1- 3/19/2018 2:28:15 PM     Post Reply
A fundraising email from the Democratic National Committee today featured a member of the Congressional Black Caucus vowing that the country could not go back to the days of segregated schools and lunch counters. The subject line of the email is Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) saying, "I boycotted Trump´s inauguration. Here´s why." (Snip) "After riding racism and fear to the White House, Trump is now pushing policies that harm people of color, immigrants, and working people. For many of us, his presidency represents an attack on our very existence," she said. "But we cannot afford to give up hope. There

The rage of President Trump
30 replie(s)
Washington Examiner [DC], by Editorial    Original Article
Posted By: MissMolly- 3/20/2018 5:07:53 AM     Post Reply
President Trump says he didn´t collude with Russia in 2016, promising something to a foreign country in exchange for his installation as president. That seems increasingly likely to prove true. Where they do not spring from simple malignancy, critics’ arguments that Trump used Russian intervention to win the election are mostly an excuse to avoid the plain truth that Hillary Clinton deservedly lost because she was an awful candidate. And the country is better for that result. We aren’t persuaded, either, that the Russians’ paltry $100,000 in Facebook spending had anything to do with Trump’s win, given that very little of it

Black Caucus members call
for action on Austin bombings

30 replie(s)
New York Post, by Chris Perez    Original Article
Posted By: mc squared- 3/20/2018 9:55:38 AM     Post Reply
Congressional Black Caucus members want the bombings in Austin, Texas, to be classified as “terrorist attacks” — and are calling on officials to determine whether they are “ideologically or racially motivated.” While the two young men injured in the most recent blast are both white, all of the other victims have been either black or Hispanic. “We cannot stand idly by while our communities are under attack,” reads a statement from the concerned Black Caucus members — which include Chairman Cedric Richmond, Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) and Homeland Security Committee Ranking Democrat Bennie Thompson, of Mississippi

Trump says he´ll meet Vladimir Putin AGAIN
after wishing him well for latest ´landslide´
election victory–but John McCain insists no
president should be ´congratulating dictators´

28 replie(s)
Daily Mail (UK), by David Martosko & Geoff Earle    Original Article
Posted By: JoniTx- 3/20/2018 2:57:37 PM     Post Reply
Donald Trump dialed up Vladimir Putin on Tuesday to offer congratulations on his suspicious but official landslide victory in a re-election bid for a fourth term.´I had a call with President Putin and congratulated him on the victory, his electoral victory,´ Trump told reporters at the White House, referring to a race that the Russian strongman won with 77 per cent of the vote.´We will probably get together in the not too distant future,´ Trump said in the Oval Office during a meeting with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman. White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders told reporters a few

‘It’s Not That Crazy’ — Hillary Clinton Defends
Offensive Comments About American Women

27 replie(s)
Breitbart Big Government, by Charlie Spiering    Original Article
Posted By: JoniTx- 3/19/2018 3:04:44 PM     Post Reply
Failed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton defended her controversial comment trying to explain why the majority of white women voted for her opponent Donald Trump.“As much as I hate the possibility, and hate saying it, it’s not that crazy when you think about our ongoing struggle to reach gender balance – even within the same household,” she wrote in an over 800-word Facebook statement defending her comments.Clinton drew fire from Republicans after she told an audience in India that white women did not vote for her in 2016 because they faced “ongoing pressure” from their husbands, male bosses, and sons to

Executive reach: President Trump catches
Melania after the First Lady takes a spill on
the White House lawn - and she thanks him *

26 replie(s)
Daily Mail [UK], by Chris Spargo    Original Article
Posted By: Harlowe- 3/19/2018 3:54:15 PM     Post Reply
Melania Trump took a bit of a tumble on Monday, with the First Lady losing her balance as she prepared to board Marine One on the White House lawn. She was able to avoid a catastrophic face plant however thanks to the helping hand of one special man, her husband, President Donald Trump. He already had his arm around Melania when she tripped, and afterwards the couple were both seen holding one another as they boarded the helicopter. It was one of the rare times the two have displayed public affection over the past few months.

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