Tuesday, February 07, 2017

Melania In The News Again-- And Then There's Jim O'Neill: Sex And Drugs, No Rock'n'Roll


Trump's lawyers threatened to sue DWT if we didn't take down our Melania-was-a-hooker post-- so we did. Oddly enough, the Russian version of DWT still has it up, something we don't understand, although, as that O'Reilly character on Fox said-- and Trump tacitly acknowledged-- "Putin is a killer." In any case, this week all the papers were reporting that Melania is suing UK newspaper, the Daily Mail again. It's her third suit against them for the prostitution accusations. This one though, has a distinctly Trumpian twist.

The New York Daily News report starts with a paragraph reminding readers about the controversy: "Melania Trump's 'fitness to perform her duties as First Lady of the United States' has been undermined because the Daily Mail wrongly smeared her as an 'elite escort' in an article last August, a new $150 million lawsuit alleges. Melania claims the Aug. 19 article titled 'Naked photoshoots, and troubling questions about visas that won't go away: The VERY racy past of Donald Trump's Slovenian Wife,' contained bogus and defamatory claims-- hurting both her reputation and many business interests."

The new series of newspaper reports wasn't about her exploits as a hooker in Slovenia or as a high priced call girl once she left her homeland, but about how the Daily Mail ruined her business opportunities. No, not the call girl business, obviously-- everyone acknowledges she doesn't do that since marrying Trumpanzee-- but the business she intended to set up selling garbage and trinkets to fans of President Trump. "Melania Trump," reported the New York Post, "filed her third defamation suit against the Mail Online over an August 2016 article that accused her of having once been a prostitute, arguing for the first time that it ruined her 'once-in-a-lifetime opportunity' to cash in on the presidency. Can you imagine a story like this about Nancy Reagan, Barbara or Laura Bush or Michelle Obama? This is the kind of garbage milieu that Trump brings with him to the presidency!

The suit, filed in a Manhattan court by her attorney-- Charles Harder, who won Hulk Hogan a $140 million verdict against Gawker in a Florida case financed by billionaire Trump supporter Peter Thiel, the guy who recommended Jim O'Neill to head the FDA-- states that "Mail Online’s conduct was extreme and outrageous in falsely making the scurrilous charge that the future First Lady of the United States worked as a prostitute... Plaintiff had the unique, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, as an extremely famous and well-known person… to launch a broad-based commercial brand in multiple product categories, each of which could have garnered multi-million dollar business relationships for a multi-year term during which plaintiff is one of the most photographed women in the world. These product categories would have included, among other things, apparel, accessories, shoes, jewelry, cosmetics, hair care, skin care and fragrance."

Originally, The Mail reported-- and then, in the face-off a law suit retracted-- that "the future First Lady masqueraded as a model in New York in the 1990s, when she really worked for an escort agency that catered to wealthy men." she denies she was ever a prostitute.
“As a result of defendant’s publication of defamatory statements about plaintiff, plaintiff’s brand has lost significant value, and major business opportunities that were otherwise available to her have been lost and/or significantly impacted,” the suit says.
As for Thiel's pick to run the Food and Drug Administration, Jim O'Neill, he's as loony as the rest of Team Trump-- maybe more so. First, take a look at this report from Rachel Maddow on this freak Monday night:

The Boston Globe was as concerned about the FDA pick as Maddow was, although less about the quirkiness of the prospective head and more about the quirkiness of the prospective head's dangerous ideas. O'Neill's claim to fame-- aside from being a crony of Thiel-- is that he insists "companies should not have to prove their drugs work in clinical trials before selling them." You know how hypocritical Republicans in the pockets of Big PhRMA are always opposed to drug re-importation from Canada because they claim it wouldn't be safe for American consumers? Check this out:
If the most significant proposals are adopted-- many would require an act of Congress-- they would reverse decades of policy and consumer protections dating to the 1960s. Congress toughened drug approvals after a worldwide crisis over thalidomide, which caused severe birth defects in babies whose mothers had taken the drug in pregnancy. Since then, the FDA has come to be viewed as the world’s leading food and drug safety watchdog.

Trump’s most recent statements have reverberated in the medical and pharmaceutical industries. Supporters of deregulation have long wanted to reduce bureaucracy and lessen oversight of drugs and devices, while critics say the market for drugs could be destabilized and the door opened to unproven products.

“Everyone depends on the agency, from the drugs in our medicine cabinet to the food on our dinner table, to our blood supplies,” said Dr. David Kessler, FDA commissioner during the presidencies of George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton. “We are the envy of the world because our honey is our honey. Our foods are not laced with pesticides. Our drugs work.”

Trump said he was close to naming a “fantastic” person to lead the agency. In addition to O’Neill, candidates whose names have surfaced include Dr. Scott Gottlieb, a former FDA official with longstanding ties to pharmaceutical and biotech companies, and Dr. Joseph Gulfo, a former biotech and medical device executive.

All three have called for streamlining drug approval, but O’Neill’s stance has drawn the most attention. He is a managing director of Mithril Capital Management, an investment firm Thiel cofounded, and previously led the Thiel Foundation, Thiel’s philanthropic organization.

In the George W. Bush administration, O’Neill held roles at Health and Human Services including principal associate deputy secretary, where he worked on policy, according to his LinkedIn profile.

In 2014, O’Neill advocated something he called “progressive” approval, in which drugs that were proved safe-- but not effective-- could be allowed on the market. “Let people start using them, at their own risk,” O’Neill said. “Let’s prove efficacy after they’ve been legalized.”

Companies have been required to prove that their drugs work since 1962. Laws force companies to rigorously test their products, running them through a gantlet of clinical trials whose results are then vetted by the FDA. Ninety percent of drugs that enter clinical development fail these trials. (The FDA also regulates medical devices, but they undergo a separate approval process.)

As a result, drugs can take years to reach the market.

“When you have a drug, you can actually get it approved if it works, instead of waiting for many, many years,” Trump told pharmaceutical executives. “We’re going to be cutting regulations at a level that nobody’s ever seen before, and we’re going to have tremendous protection for the people.”

“We’re not selling Coca-Cola and Pepsi, where patients can taste the Coca-Cola and decide if they like it,” said John M. Maraganore, CEI of Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, a Massachusetts biotech firm. “Our products are lifesaving medicines.”
Resist! Trump isn't making America great again; he's already turning the country into a hellhole in his own perverse, tawdry image.

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At 5:09 AM, Anonymous Hone said...

Well, we certainly have slid down the rabbit hole. What a crackpot. Unbelievable. Floating countries on the sea! Where do they find these awful people? Incompetent crazies. Reality testing is gone. This is all a huge joke on the USA that will ruin us. Is anyone telling the Republicans this is not funny?

At 6:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, if pussy grabber didn't meet her in a beauty contest, then he probably had to meet her as his paid dick warmer. Honestly, I don't care. Her strategy to be a white house profiteer is maybe more honest than $hillbillary's. Selling junk to rubes is more honest than selling lies to rubes while selling your soul (assuming there IS a soul there) to wall street.

Turning DC into one big cathouse? Well, whoring is nothing new there. Maybe the absence of any façade will allow unfathomably stupid voters to see a sliver of light through their own sphincters finally.

At 5:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jim Oneil is a pro-marijuana advocate. This is the guy who will put a stop to the "war on drugs" that Nixon started. If you want marijuana regulated like tobacco and liquor and taxed...this is your man.

At 8:32 PM, Blogger Roger said...

Good lord. "On a seastead people would have much more incentive to keep themselves healthy ... and fed ..." So he thinks people are unhealthy because they are incentivized to be unhealthy? Because they lack incentives to be healthy? They lack incentives to be well fed???? This guy is not only a loathsome bigot, he's crazy. I really, really wonder how people as dumb as this get to be so wealthy. Maybe it's evidence that Satan is real and is walking up and down the Earth with God's permission. The upside of that is it means there really is a Hell that people like Thiel will be sent to.

At 7:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Roger, the reason you think this means the devil is active is proof of the REAL problem.

Human brains have this tendency toward profound delusion in the face of that which defies easy explanation. It's the reason we don't all just take a leap off a cliff when the unfathomable and uncontrollable random acts do us harm.

We delude ourselves that random good shit is from a benevolent god and random bad shit is from his alter-ego, the devil. And we even craft a story about how the latter was created by the former ... and all that shit.

Our power of delusion, however, is also one of the profound psycho-emotional flaws that guarantees that humanity's time on this earth is bounded. We'll kill ourselves with our delusions... or our delusions will prevent us from taking all necessary steps to deal with things that will kill us -- nookyuler war, climate change, pollution, denuding the earth of sustaining species...

Or maybe another asteroid will hit and snuff out all life. Another divine act?


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