Personal Libert Digest New

Money and drugs

The CDC is in bed with Big Pharma

And you should take its guidelines with a grain of salt

Pronouncements, guidelines and recommendations by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention set the standards for mainstream medicine in America and hold great sway with patients and around the world and with the World Health Organization because the CDC is considered independent and free of industry relationships. The organization even features the following disclaimer with its recommendations: “CDC, our planners, and our content experts wish to disclose they have no financial interests or other relationships with the manufacturers of commercial products … CDC does not accept commercial support.”

But that statement is blatantly false, as recent research by The BMJ (formerly the British Medical Journal) shows. In fact, the CDC gets millions of dollars annually from Big Pharma and then turns around and recommends testing and drugs created and marketed by those same companies, and this is often done upon the contributing company’s demand.

Congress authorized the CDC to accept “external gifts” from industry and private parties in 1983, and in 1992 passed legislation for the creation of a nonprofit foundation to encourage relationships between industry and the agency. In fiscal year 2014, the CDC Foundation raised $52 million, $12 million of that from Big Pharma. Also in 2014, the CDC received $16 million in direct funding from corporations, individuals and foundations, including the CDC Foundation, which makes the foundation nothing more than a pass-through organization.

As The BMJ reported, much of the funding from Big Pharma was conditional and earmarked for specific projects that turned out to be the promotion of the contributing company’s products.

One example is a $600,000 donation from Genentech to the CDC Foundation in 2012 which required the CDC to promote expanded testing and treatment of viral hepatitis. Genentech’s parent corporation is Roche, which just happens to manufacture test kits and treatment drugs for hepatitis C.

That same year, the CDC issued guidelines to physicians recommending that everyone born from 1945 to 1965 be screened for hepatitis C virus.

In 2010, the CDC Foundation created the Viral Hepatitis Action Coalition. The coalition’s purpose is to support research and promote expanded testing and treatment of hepatitis C globally. Members of the coalition, which has received $26 million in contributions from Big Pharma, include Abbott Laboratories, AbbVie, Gilead, Janssen, Merck, OraSure Technologies, Quest Diagnostics and Siemens. All of those companies produce products and tests for the diagnosis and treatment of hepatitis C.

On its website and in press releases and public pronouncements, the CDC recommends a person sick with the flu take an antiviral flu drug. It bases this recommendation on a study it claims is “independent.” But the study cited was sponsored by Roche, which manufactures the antiviral flu drug oseltamivir (known by the brand name Tamiflu). And the study’s four authors all had ties Roche, Genentech or Gilead (which holds the patent on oseltamivir).

In February, The BMJ reported that the CDC was claiming antivirals “save lives” even while the Food and Drug Administration was warning Roche that it could not make that claim in its marketing because oseltamivir “has not been proven to have a positive impact on the potential consequences (such as hospitalizations, mortality, or economic impact) of seasonal, avian, or pandemic influenza.” In other words, there was no evidence the drug worked, but CDC Director Thomas Frieden was publicly claiming otherwise.

This recommendation went to physicians who prescribed the drug to their patients, telling them it would “save” their “lives” or at least shorten the duration of their illness.

By the way, the FDA also promotes drugs based on bogus industry studies and payments from the drug manufacturers, as I told you in my report “Emails show pay-for-play scheme in drug trials.”

And Big Pharma uses a similar marketing technique with physicians. It pays physicians exorbitant fees to endorse its products in industry papers and in speeches on behalf of its drugs at conventions. Doctors also receive kickbacks for prescribing certain drugs over others, even if those drugs are prescribed for off-label purposes.

Lawsuits have revealed that more often than not that industry papers are ghost written by the pharmaceutical company’s PR hacks and the physicians just sign their name to them without reading or understanding the research in order to receive the fee.

The legal drug business is a multibillion-dollar scam on the people, and government has no interest in keeping people “safe.” I laugh when people claim government agencies are necessary to protect the people from drug makers and the other “greedy capitalists.” Many government agencies are funded by corporations and serve as revolving-door job programs between government and the corporations they supposedly oversee.

 

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When: Wednesday July 1ST @ 7PM
Where: Washington Township Hall/Senior Center 

57900 Van Dyke, Washington Twp.

****This event is free and open to the public****

www.unfairmovie.com

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Americans of all political stripes agree that government abuse of power is abhorrent and not acceptable to a free people. UNFAIR makes the moral and economic case for ending the Income Tax and abolishing the IRS, while ensuring the full funding of our government. The film reveals the truth about the abuses of power, the cover ups, and expose the IRS as a blatantly unfair and corrupt entity which is unable to be reformed and therefore must be abolished. Most importantly, the audiences will learn the history of the income tax and understand how we must return to the fair system of taxation designed by our founding fathers that will restore our liberties. UNFAIR will tell the stories of betrayal, corruption, intimidation and the harsh personal, economic and political realities of forced compliance upon the American way of life, as well present a unique ending featuring a real solution, not just another scary movie.

 

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Commentary By

In another midnight filing last week in the immigration lawsuit filed by 26 states against the Obama administration in the Southern District of Texas, the U.S. Justice Department admitted that the Department of Homeland Security had violated federal Judge Andrew Hanen’s Feb. 16 injunction against President Obama’s immigration amnesty plan.

This was not the first such admission by the government. It had previously filed an “Advisory” on March 3 informing Judge Hanen that between Nov. 20, 2014, when the president announced his immigration plan, and Feb. 16 when the injunction was issued, the Department of Homeland Security had begun implementing part of the president’s plan by issuing three-year deferrals to over 100,000 illegal aliens.

In other words, despite having told Judge Hanen both in court and in written pleadings that no part of the president’s plan was being implemented until late February at the earliest, government officials were doing exactly the opposite.

On April 7, Judge Hanen issued an order with a scathing analysis of the Justice Department’s misbehavior, finding that “attorneys for the government misrepresented the facts” to the court. He told the Justice Department that he expected all of the parties in the case, including the government, “to act in a forthright manner and not hide behind deceptive representations and half-truths.”

Hanen also gave the Justice Department lawyers a hard time over not having informed him immediately upon their discovery of this misrepresentation, saying that their claim that they took prompt, remedial action was “belied by the facts”—namely, that they waited over two weeks to tell the judge.

In the latest Advisory filed on May 7, the Justice Department informed Hanen that the Department of Homeland Security “sent three-year work authorizations after the Court had issued its injunction” to approximately 2,000 individuals. This time, the Justice Department lawyers assert they only found out about the violation of the injunction order the day before the filing.

They also say that Department of Homeland Security is in the process of converting “these three-year terms into two-year terms” and that Secretary Jeh Johnson has asked the “DHS Inspector General to investigate the issuance of these three-year [Employment Authorization Documents].”

In a separate, supplemental three-page order issued on May 8, Judge Hanen cites additional evidence to support his finding that the states have standing to challenge Obama’s immigration plan. In his Feb. 16 injunction order, Hanen referenced statements by Obama that there would be consequences for any Homeland Security employee who did not follow the requirements of the Nov. 20 amnesty plan. The Justice Department had tried to downplay the president’s statements.

However, Judge Hanen notes that while testifying on April 14—after the injunction was issued—before the House Judiciary Committee, Sarah Saldana, the director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, “reiterated that any officer or agent who did not follow the dictates of the 2014 DHS Directive would face the entire gamut of possible employee sanctions, including termination.”

Hanen said that “the president’s statements have now been reaffirmed under oath by the very person in charge of immigration enforcement.”

Thus, according to Hanen, the government “has announced, and has now confirmed under oath, that it is pursuing a policy of mandatory non-compliance (with the [Immigration and Nationality Act]), and that any agent who seeks to enforce the duly-enacted immigration laws will face sanctions—which could include the loss of his or her job.”

It is this “clear abdication of the law by the government—a law that is only enforceable by the government and outside the province of the states” that gives the states standing to bring suit.

The latest actions by the government may make it even harder for Justice Department lawyers to convince the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals to overturn Judge Hanen’s injunction.

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Transportation funding could hit a dead-end at the end of the month. On May 31, the Highway Trust Fund’s authorization to pay for the nation’s highway and mass transit projects will expire.

Even worse, the fund is running a $13 billion cash flow deficit this year and is expected to exhaust all its money sometime in July unless lawmakers take action.

Here’s a snapshot from Heritage’s latest Backgrounder on what you need to know about the Highway Trust Fund:

What is the Highway Trust Fund?

The Highway Trust Fund was established in 1956 to pay for the construction of the Interstate Highway System. Although it was intended to be temporary, it is now the primary federal mechanism to finance transportation projects across the country.

The fund is financed mostly by the gas tax—an 18.3 cent tax on gasoline and a 24.3 cent tax on diesel fuels. It spends over $50 billion every year on roads and mass transit, which includes rail, buses, streetcars and other forms of public transportation.

What’s the problem?

Like most federal programs, the Highway Trust Fund consistently spends more than it receives in revenues. Congress has constantly had to bailout the fund with money from the Treasury in order to keep its balance in the black, and has spent $62 billion covering the fund’s shortfalls since 2008.

This year, the Congressional Budget Office projected the Highway Trust Fund’s spending will top its revenues by $13 billion.

Why is the fund in such bad shape? 

Unable to relinquish the taxing and spending authority that should have expired when the Interstate Highway System was completed in the 1980s, Congress has expanded the Highway Trust Fund far beyond its intended scope.

The fund now spends more than ever and diverts billions from roadways to projects that should be left to states and localities. These boondoggles not only include unnecessary mass transit projects, but things like sidewalks, roadside landscaping and bike paths.

And spending increases have vastly outpaced fuel tax revenues, which have flattened as cars have become more fuel efficient. The result is a meandering, unsustainable fund that is plagued by special interests and unreliable for state transportation planning.

What should Congress do about it?

Some members of Congress are saying that they should just provide more money to the trust fund, either through a bailout or a gas tax hike, so that it can continue its profligate spending.

This is the wrong approach.

Congress needs to examine the inherent flaws in the way the nation invests in transportation infrastructure. The current system of taxing drivers and then redistributing their money through the federal government to projects unrelated to highways no longer makes sense.

Instead, Congress should end the top-down approach that breeds inefficiency and special interest handouts at the expense of prudent infrastructure investment.

The right approach would be to let states and localities—which are more in touch with the needs of their citizens—make their own decisions on transportation. Allowing them to tax and spend on infrastructure as they see fit without the interference of Washington would inject a much-needed degree of accountability and reliability into transportation investment.

For more information on the Highway Trust Fund and the upcoming deadline, see Highway Trust Fund Basics: A Primer on Federal Surface Transportation Spending.

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Jan deBeauclair

Her voice, her leadership, and her strength will be sorely missed and poignantly remembered….

 

It is with deep sadness that we inform you of our dear friend’s passing. Janet (Jan) deBeauclair was an inspiration to all who had the good fortune to know her. She never missed an opportunity to fight for a meaningful cause or champion a worthwhile endeavor. In 2010, Jan and her friend Jean Obrecht formed the Romeo Area Tea Party to offer a platform to us, the people, to discuss issues, analyze policies, and hold accountable our government. Growing from that first meeting of 40 people in Jean’s basement, the Romeo Area Tea Party has had the honor of hosting distinguished speakers like Ben Carson, Brigitte Gabriel, and Colonel Allen West with over 1300 people in attendance. It was Jan’s kind nature and sense of justice that drew people to her and led them to believe they could be part of a bigger cause. Her unfaltering willingness to help others gave us hope and courage to take on the challenges that surfaced when representing such a large, important group of patriots. It is with heavy hearts that we attempt to say goodbye to our friend, but we know she’s with us every time we speak the truth, every time we vote our conscience, every time we stand up for the underdog, every time we pursue liberty. We will continue to emulate this courageous woman and to be inspired by her legacy. We are better for having known her, and we are proud to carry on in her name.

official obituary and service times below:
( link to the funeral home)

Janet E. deBeauclair, age 77, a 40 year resident of Romeo and formerly from Ohio, passed away on Sunday, May 3, 2015 at her home. Jan was born May 5, 1937 in Chardon, Ohio, the daughter of Robert and Anne (Buschman) Fenwick. She graduated from Bowling Green University with a degree in Physical Education. In 1965 she married Ralph deBeauclair and moved to Michigan. They started their family in the Grosse Pointe area and later moved to Romeo. Janet was active with the Romeo Athletic Department, serving as the girl’s volleyball, basketball, assistant girl’s track coach, and volleyball referee for many years. She also was instrumental in starting the women’s volleyball program in Romeo. She loved just being around people, especially her family and grandchildren. Jan was a co-founder of the Romeo Area Tea Party. Janet is survived by her husband Ralph, children: Randall (Colleen) of Pinckney, Robert of Howell, and Kymberly, a Major in the US Army, currently stationed at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. Grandchildren include Tyler, Luke, and Zachary. Janet is also survived by two sisters: Sally (Bob) Richmond of Malta, Ohio and Judy Irvin of Wooster, Ohio. Memorial services will take place on Friday, May 15th, 2015 from 2- 7 PM at the Henry M. Malburg Funeral Home of Romeo. Donations to the Romeo Area Tea Party, the Special Olympics of Michigan, or Holt International, would be appreciated. There will be a celebration of Jan’s life on Saturday May 16th from 12:30PM to 3:30PM at The Palazzo Grande Banquet Center, 54660 Van Dyke Avenue, Shelby Township, MI 48315.

Visitation:
Friday, May 15, 2015 2 – 7 PM Malburg Funeral Home
11280 32 Mile Road Romeo Michigan 48065
Services:
Friday, May 15, 2015 7 PM at Malburg Funeral Home

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Join us for dinner on Mon May 11th 2015, with James Carafano. Doors open at 6PM. James will present a National Security & Foreign Policy Update

COST: $25

you can mail a check to Romeo Area Tea Party PO Box 88 Romeo MI 48065.    
You can also purchase tickets by credit card here

The Heritage Foundation is granted the right to reproduce this photograph in print and electronic formats, including reproduction by 3rd parties, excluding use in paid advertising space and book covers. Use in paid advertising space and book covers available by separate licensing agreement. Photograph © David Hills. All other rights reserved.

James Carafano

Jim Carafano is a leading expert in national security and foreign policy challenges, is The Heritage Foundation’s Vice President, Foreign and Defense Policy Studies, E. W. Richardson Fellow, and Director of the Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Institute for International Studies.

Carafano is an accomplished historian and teacher as well as a prolific writer and researcher whose most recent book is “Wiki at War: Conflict in a Socially Networked World” (Texas A&M University Press, 2012), a survey of the revolutionary impact of the Internet age on national security. He was selected from thousands to speak on cyber warfare at the 2014 South by Southwest (SXSW) Interactive Conference in Austin, Texas, the nation’s premier tech and social media conference.

Before assuming responsibility for Heritage’s entire defense and foreign policy team in December 2012, Carafano had served as deputy director of the Davis Institute as well as director of its Douglas and Sarah Allison Center for Foreign Policy Studies since 2009.

His recent research has focused on developing the national security required to secure the long-term interests of the United States — protecting the public, providing for economic growth and preserving civil liberties. (Many of his writings for Heritage appear below.)

He is editor of a book series, The Changing Face of War, which examines how emerging political, social, economic and cultural trends will affect the nature of armed conflict. From 2012 to 2014, he served on the Homeland Security Advisory Council convened by the secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Carafano, a 25-year Army veteran with a master’s and doctorate from Georgetown University, joined Heritage in 2003 as a senior research fellow in homeland security and missile defense. He worked with Kim R. Holmes, his predecessor as vice president and director of Davis Institute, to produce Heritage’s groundbreaking documentary film “33 Minutes: Protecting America in the New Missile Age.”

Carafano now directs Heritage’s team of foreign and defense policy experts in four centers on the front lines of international affairs: the Allison Center, the Asian Studies Center, the Center for Trade and Economics and the Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom. The Davis Institute also includes the Washington Roundtable for the Asia-Pacific Press (WRAPP).

Carafano also is president of a nonprofit organization, Esprit de Corps, which educates the public about veteran affairs. In this capacity he co-produced and co-wrote the documentary “Veteran Nation,” an official selection of the 2013 G.I. Film Festival.

Before coming to Heritage, Carafano was a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, a Washington policy institute dedicated to defense issues.

In his Army career, Carafano rose to the rank of lieutenant colonel. He served in Europe, Korea and the United States. His assignments included head speechwriter for the Army Chief of Staff, the service’s highest-ranking officer. Before retiring, Carafano was executive editor of Joint Force Quarterly, the Defense Department’s premiere professional military journal.

A graduate of West Point, Carafano holds a master’s degree and a doctorate from Georgetown University as well as a master’s degree in strategy from the U.S. Army War College.

He is an adjunct professor at Georgetown University, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, and the Institute of World Politics and has served as a visiting professor at National Defense University. He previously served as an assistant professor at the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, N.Y., and as director of military studies at the Army’s Center of Military History. He taught at Mount Saint Mary College in New York and was a fleet professor at the U.S. Naval War College.

He is the co-author with Paul Rosenzweig of Winning the Long War: Lessons from the Cold War for Defeating Terrorism and Preserving Freedom (2005). The authors, first to coin the term “the long war,” argued that a successful strategy requires a balance of prudent military and security measures, continued economic growth, zealous protection of civil liberties and prevailing in the “war of ideas” against terrorist ideologies.

Carafano also co-authored a textbook, Homeland Security (McGraw-Hill, second edition 2012), designed as a practical introduction to everyday life in the era of terrorism. The textbook addresses such key details as the roles of first responders and volunteers, family preparedness techniques and in-depth looks at weapons of mass destruction.

As an expert on foreign affairs, defense, intelligence and homeland security issues, Carafano has testified many times before Congress.

He is a regular guest analyst for the major U.S. network and cable television news organizations, from ABC to Fox to MSNBC to PBS, as well as such outlets as National Public Radio, Pajamas TV, Voice of America and the History Channel. From SkyNews to Al Jazeera, he also has appeared on TV news programs originating in Australia, Austria, Canada, China, Estonia, France, Great Britain, Greece, Hong Kong, Ireland, Iran, Japan, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Spain, Sweden and Vietnam.

Carafano’s op-ed columns and commentary are published widely, including the Baltimore Sun, Boston Globe, New York Post, Philadelphia Inquirer, USA Today and Washington Times in addition to the Washington Examiner.

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Fix Disparities in Public University Funding in Michigan

The way the state spends $1.5 billion on higher education is unfair

By Jarrett Skorup

Editor’s Note: This article first ran in Bridge Magazine.

There has been a lot of talk recently about closing the foundation allowance gap between K-12 school districts in Michigan. This gap effectively ranges from $7,251 to $8,099 per pupil.

But what about closing the funding disparity among Michigan public universities? The gap is huge: Funding for the state’s 15 public universities ranges from $2,747 to $11,561 per student.

The bulk of federal funding universities in Michigan receive is in the form of Pell Grants, which are awarded to students based on their financial need which they use for the school that they wish. Other federal funding comes via grants that universities have to apply and compete for.

The state, on the other hand, largely funds universities through an appropriation process that is largely arbitrary. And this is real money: Gov. Snyder’s budget calls for spending more than $1.5 billion on public universities next fiscal year.

Beginning in fiscal year 2012-13, the state did finally begin to consider some important factors when deciding how to allocate university spending. But much more needs to be done.

In 2013-14, universities received 50 percent of the appropriation based on what they’ve historically been given — which means half of state funding isn’t based on anything important. Of the remaining, 11 percent is based on graduating students in areas of “critical skills” (a wide range of areas). Roughly 6 percent of funding is for “research and development expenditures” (which leaves out eight public universities).

The remaining 33 percent of the state funding appropriated is based on four areas where Michigan universities are judged against their national peers. This includes the six-year graduation rate, total number of degrees, administrative efficiency, and the total number of Pell grant students.

While this is better than the totally random way funding was given out in the past, there are still problems. The formula is flawed, basing only a small percentage of state funding on things that actually matter.

Grand Valley State University scores second-highest on the state’s “performance funding” measurements and Wayne State University scores the lowest. By most objective measures, the former is doing a better job than the latter — but WSU still gets far more money from taxpayers.

Consider that Wayne State (20,108) and Grand Valley (20,825) have nearly the same number of resident full-time students — but the former receives more than three times as much money ($191.1 million compared to $64.4 million).

The six-year graduation rate at GVSU is 66 percent compared to 28 percent at WSU. The average student tuition paid per degree awarded at GVSU is $63,722 while Wayne State takes in over $108,000 in tuition per bachelor’s degree.

When the university the state says is doing the second-best in providing value to students is receiving among the least amount of funding per student, there’s something wrong with the formula.

The state currently does a poor job in determining how much money each university should get. A better path would be to simply give each Michigan student attending a public university a set amount of money to attend where they wish. This would be a much fairer system — each student, no matter which public university they choose to attend, will have the exact same level of taxpayer support. Attaching a performance kicker — a bonus if a student actually graduates — would be even better.

The college receiving the median amount from the state is Ferris State University which gets $4,121 per pupil in taxpayer funds. If Michigan funded its other public universities at this rate per students, it would save more than $600 million.

Universities always push back when the Legislature wants to base more of higher education on real performance measures. But when taxpayers are spending over $1.5 billion, there should be metrics in place that ensure it is being spent efficiently. The state has failed in this and it is time for a change.

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