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Big Pharma accused of fraudulently pushing painkillers to "a population of addicts"

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it's all about the money Big Pharma

Big Pharma is pushing deadly drugs and addicting my home state of California. Allegedly. Painkillers like OxyContin are involved in more than 16,000 deaths every year. Traffic accidents are now taking a back seat to meds when it comes to causes of deaths.  Per an article in the Los Angeles Times, two counties are now suing drugmakers for violating California laws against false advertising, unfair business practices and creating a public nuisance.

Big Pharma encourages patients, including veterans and the elderly, to request painkillers when they have everyday headaches, arthritis and back pain. Allegedly. The reason the headline includes the phrase "population of addicts" is that heroin use has also increased as a result of all the prescriptions, because it not only creates a similar high, but it's also cheaper, per the lawsuit.

The drug manufacturers say the narcotics they push are safer than they are.

not funny hahaha no

The L.A. Times:

Two California counties sued five of the world's largest narcotics manufacturers on Wednesday, accusing the companies of causing the nation's prescription drug epidemic by waging a "campaign of deception" aimed at boosting sales of potent painkillers such as OxyContin. [...] The companies employed tactics similar to those used by the tobacco industry to "conceal their deceptive marketing and conspiratorial behavior," the suit states.

One such tactic involved the use of leading physicians — known within the companies as "key opinion leaders" — to spread the message to their peers, it says. The drug makers allegedly recruited and paid those physicians to give speeches and write policy papers.

Another marketing ploy was to create and co-opt patient advocacy organizations and medical specialty societies, the suit says. The companies used these front groups to promote narcotic painkillers and to write treatment guidelines that expanded the market, it says.

It was the drug makers' "marketing — and not any medical breakthrough — that rationalized prescribing opioids for chronic pain and opened the floodgates of opioid use and abuse," the suit says.

it's all about the money 2

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MSNBC: Preen forward #OhButIKid

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msnbc shows

Oh, but I kid MSNBC. I watch it every single day, and despite it being the only major cable news outlet I can tolerate (or appreciate), there are a few observations that I can no longer keep to myself. Gotta vent. Here's my (satirical) take on MSNBC daytime:

MSNBC Host 1: So welcome to my very own show. So, today's guests are Goldie Taylor, Howard Fineman, David Corn, Joan Walsh, Michael Steele, Jonathan Alter, Michael Eric Dyson, Nicolle Wallace, Mark Halperin, Michael Isikoff, Jonathan Capehart, Kasie Hunt, Eugene Robinson, Ezra Klein, Dave Weigel, Steve Schmidt, and all my fellow MSNBC hosts who are all here to talk about their very own shows! Every single one of them. So have I told you guys what a great job you do? GOD you're good. You all excel at your jobs! To call you stellar doesn't do you justice! I'm so proud to call you "colleagues."

Chuck Todd, Steve Kornacki, Alex Wagner, Chris Hayes, Joy Reid, Ronan Farrow, Krystal Ball, Karen Finney, Melissa Harris-Perry, Ari Melber: So, thank you, my friend! So, congratulations to us! So, group hug to Camera Three!

MSNBC Host 2: So when we return, we'll explore why every MSNBC commentator begins each thought with, "So..." We'll be back in 15 minutes after these messages from Cialis, Cymbalta, Lipitor, Abilify, Celebrex, Humira, Nasonex, and Lyrica.

Chuck Todd, Steve Kornacki, Alex Wagner, Chris Hayes, Joy Reid, Ronan Farrow, Krystal Ball, Karen Finney, Melissa Harris-Perry, Ari Melber: So you forgot AT&T, BP, Exxon, Citibank, catheters, vaginal dryness meds, and Christian Mingle!

One hour later...

MSNBC Host 2: So here to help us make some sense of our top story is the host of [insert any MSNBC daytime show here]. Thanks for being here, Other Host.

Other MSNBC Host: So I'm honored, my friend. You are awesome.

MSNBC Host 2: So no, YOU are, my friend.

Other MSNBC Host: No, YOU! So.

Luke Russert: Um, hello? So did somebody forget to intro Tim Russert's trying-to-fill-his-father's-big-shoes son over here on the monitor? So I've got an exclusive I'm dying to break right here on your very own show, MSNBC Host 2!

MSNBC Host 2: So we could never forget YOU, Luke, my friend, my brother. What's your scoop? You always have the BEST scoops! GOD you're good.

Luke: So, so are you. You are a FABULOUS host, as are you, Other MSNBC Host. You two are superb at everything you do. Nobody does it better. So I'm in tears. Seriously. So how cool is it that we're all such good friends? So who knew being this incestuous could pay so well?

MSNBC Host 2: So tell us your scoop, Amazingly Adept Luke, my brother, my friend, MSNBC's own Sage of Washington DC, Our Capitol Hill Crusader! So don't you just love these obvious displays of public camaraderie? It's like our own private little club! So whatcha got, my friend?

Luke: Well crap. I forgot.

MSNBC Host 2: So we'll be back right after these words from Cialis, Cymbalta, Lipitor, Abilify, Celebrex, Axiron, Humira, Nasonex, Lyrica,  AT&T, BP, Exxon, Citibank, catheters, vaginal dryness meds, Febreze, Aleve, Verizon, Samsung, Cliffside Malibu Rehab Center, Christian Mingle, GE, financial groups you've never heard of, and endless promos of other MSNBC programming and the new MSNBC website!

One hour later...

MSNBC Host 3: So now for more repetitive analysis, welcome back to the hosts of all of our other fantastic shows. You all do such great work. Nobody does it better than you, my friends. GREAT reporting! You all look GREAT! Our audiences should be tuning into each of your shows every single day and night, no matter what effect that much exposure to redundant political infotainment has on their personal relationships!

Chuck Todd, Steve Kornacki, Alex Wagner, Chris Hayes, Joy Reid, Ronan Farrow, Krystal Ball, Karen Finney, Melissa Harris-Perry, Ari Melber: So Rachel has a very special Special coming up! Let's plug it! Over and over and over again!

MSNBC Host 3: I was just about to. But first, may I just say, you guys really set a high bar for journalistic standards. GREAT reporting, guys! But now it's time for the Tweet of the Day from Chris Matthews, MSNBC's very own god. But first: So when is Ezra Klein getting his own show already? He may put us to sleep in seconds, but he does such incredibly GREAT work! GREAT reporting! What a find! Am I right, my friends? Hey Farrow, stop giggling. So I'll get your responses to this and more on the other side of the commercial break. We have a new sponsor: ZzzKlein, er, Quil.

Fade out.

(Laffy Note: I didn't forget to include Lawrence O'Donnell, Chris Matthews, Ed Schultz, or Rachel Maddow in the Long Host List. While they do pop in on election nights or to promote a special or a book occasionally, they rarely guest on other shows as commentators/panel members.)

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Third Marlboro Man Icon Dies A Smoking Related Death

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MarlboroManw392h244

As a boy growing up and through my early adulthood, there were billboards galore that expounded the manliness of smoking. During later years, TV advertisements for cigarettes ultimately were banned, but the iconic images and slogans related to the smoking industry stayed with me. There was the Lucky Strike anagram on the bottom of each pack: LSMFT (Lucky Strike Means Fine Tobacco). And in trying to reach a female demographic, there was Virginia Slims campaign, "You've Come a Long Way, Baby."

When it came to cigarette slogans, the airwaves were filled with ads for Winston Cigarettes: "Winston tastes good like a cigarette should;" Camel Cigarettes:  "I'd walk a mile for a Camel;" or L&M: "Just what the doctor ordered."

But none of them were as iconic or enticing to men AND women as the lure of becoming or being or being made love to by the Marlboro Man. He was macho personified. Their commercials, their billboards, their slogan appealed to all: "Come to where the flavor is. Come to Marlboro country." It was the benchmark by which smoking itself was measured.

Over the years there have been a number of "cowboys" chosen to be the iconic face of this brand. During the 1970's it was Eric Lawson. He appeared in print and TV ads as “The Malboro Man.” In case you are too young or can't put his name to his face, here's one of his memorable commercials:

Eric Lawson, died yesterday from respiratory failure due to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), at the age of 72. In case you weren't aware, that's a most common smoking related cause of death, often reported as lung cancer. You might say his passing from smoking, which his wife claims he did heavily until his death, was coincidental.

I call it ironic. Especially when you factor in that two other Marlboro Men, Wayne McLaren, who appeared in Marlboro print ads, died of lung cancer in 1992, and David McLean, who appeared in print and television spots, died of lung cancer in 1995.

Make no mistake about it. cigarettes kill. Yet to draw an analogy from the NRA who claim guns don't kill, people do, we might be able to make the same argument that cigarettes don't kill, people do. But that's wrong. And even if you buy that, doesn't it make you wonder why cigarettes are so heavily regulated while guns aren't?

Come on. It does make you think, doesn't it?

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F-Word Beer: Cure For The New Years Hangover

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Exit 6 Pub

C'mon, if you didn't have one too many on New Years Eve, chances are you had a bit to imbibe yesterday on New Years Day with the Rose Parade. Maybe you wanted to sober up with a stop at Starbucks and grab a fresh Frappacino. But, maybe in your slightly inebriated state you missed your destination by a block and instead stopped at  Exit 6 Pub and Brewery, in Cottleville, Missouri. Luckily for you, when you muttered the word Frappacino, the attendant poured you a fresh one from the tap. Yikes, it was beer and not coffee. You looked around and realized you were in an unfamiliar small independent bar and not the standard, uniform confines of the huge Starbucks chain. Gone was the Starbucks green circle with the queen mermaid in it (or whoever she is). No one asked if you wanted a Vente or Grande. They just brought you a glass -- not a paper cup. Damn, you were taken. You were fooled. It's as if you had just crossed over the line and found yourself in a modern day episode of the TWILIGHT ZONE.

Starbucks frappacino

Well, as silly as this sounds, check out the attached video. It seems everyone's favorite coffee shop, the Mega huge Starbucks, took umbridge and issued a cease and desist letter to the owners of Exit 6 Pub and Brewery. This single location bar's response to the demand letter is nothing short of hysterical -- snarkiness to the "nth" degree. The entire correspondence can be found here, courtesy of HuffPo. The back and forth between both Starbucks' lawyers and Exit 6 Pub's proprietor is priceless.

From now on, Frappacino Beer at Exit 6 Pub will be henceforth be known as 'F-word beer' to avoid any confusion. And so there's no hard feelings and in a show of good faith, Exit 6 Pub returned the entire $6 profit made from the mistake. Now if that teaser has you wanting to know more, check out the hysterical news coverage of this brew-haha (intentionally misspelled)  below:

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A New Kind Of Erectile Dysfunction Ad (NSFW)

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Advertising icons

I love catching a fun ad on TV. Some of them are so creative that they actually sail over my head in their... cleverness. There's insurance company ads where fathers use hoses to bath their big as a house babies. There's an especially mind boggling commercial for a video game which features a post apocalyptic Las Vegas, burned out and smoking, with Sinatra singing in the background, and a lone car filled with survivors, armed to the gills, driving through the debris. I think if you're old enough to get the Sinatra/Vegas connection, you're way beyond playing Call of Duty or Grand Theft Auto, but hey, what do I know. I'm not Don Draper.

None-the-less, millions are spent in advertising dollars to get our attention, and then once they have that, selling us an item is secondary. It no longer seems that the commercial be pertinent to the product. Just grab our attention. A talking Gecko or a dancing hot dog or a red-headed clown will do, if it's cute enough. But when those gimmicks fail, there's always SEX.

Yes, the bottom line is that sex sells -- anything.

Here's an example. You've just lost grandma to old age. You can't keep her in the garage, so you elect, like most folks, to bury her. If you're handy, like those people on HG TV's Celebrity Home Coffin Makers, you can build your own pine box. But if you're not, you may need to purchase one.

What do you look for when buying something to last an eternity? The coffin industry thinks sex:

coffin ad 1

Perhaps that's a bit too subtle but not for the Polish coffin makers. Well, here's more from Cracked:

The owner of Lindner Coffins has fended off accusations of tastelessness by claiming that he wanted to "show the beauty of Polish girls and the beauty of our coffins," and insisting that a coffin is "furniture, the last bed you'll ever sleep in." According to the calendar's (not safe for work) promo page, the 2014 theme is "nature, which we express with perfect harmony between Lindner coffins and natural wood."

coffin ad 2

And speaking of "natural wood" how about this Thai commercial for fertilizer. I dare you to watch this commercial and not get the "hidden meaning," or get a rise out of it. Subtle it ain't. But hysterical it is.

Move over, Mad Men:

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Mitch McConnell's chief of staff: Senate conservatives "like a drunk who tears up every bar they walk into."

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i do not get drunk i get awesome

You think the far right is getting to us Democrats? Well, we're not alone, because they're getting to Republicans, too. Be careful what you wish for, GOP, because you are the ones who opened Pandora's Box, not us.

karma

Why, even Mitch McConnell's chief of staff is kvetching about them. Of course, Mister McM is being primaried by the tea-est of tea partiers, but who's counting?

TPM LiveWire:

Mitch McConnell's chief of staff -- currently assigned as a senior staffer at the National Republican Senatorial Committee through the 2014 election -- compared the Senate Conservatives Fund to a drunk making a raucous at a bar.

"S.C.F. has been wandering around the country destroying the Republican Party like a drunk who tears up every bar they walk into," said Josh Holmes said according to The New York Times. "The difference this cycle is that they strolled into Mitch McConnell’s bar and he doesn’t throw you out, he locks the door."

Holme's comments came in a report about how the NRSC warned a Republican advertising firm that it would not get contracts from the committee if it continued to target incumbent Republicans by working with the Senate Conservatives Fund.

The Senate Conservatives Fund Executive Director had a thing or two to say about that little quip. Follow the link for more.

hic!
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