While I try to avoid political discussions here, sometimes it is unavoidable in order to adequately address issues related to mental health.
I have written much, here and elsewhere for over 5 years about the opioid epidemic. As I have stated more than predicted, this crisis is not going to get better anytime soon. This is a rare situation where I am sad to have been correct in my predictions.
Take preliminary 2016 numbers from the Federal Government:
An estimated 50,000 Americans lost their lives to opioids in 2016.
To put that number in perspective, consider that number is greater than:
– The number of Americans killed in combat in Vietnam.
– The number of Americans that died during the worst year of the AIDS crisis.
– The number of Americans that die annually from car accidents.
– The number of Americans that die annually from gun violence.
CALL FOR ACTION & TRUMP ADMINISTRATION RESPONSE:
Public-health advocates have implored the Trump administration to mount a more comprehensive effort:
– In the Fall, there was a massive outcry to declare the opioid crisis a Public-Health Emergency, which he did in October.
– However, he still hasn’t appointed anyone to lead the Office of National Drug Control Policy.
– Nor has called for any additional funding, not one dollar to combat this crisis.
– Simultaneously, Trump and his party spent most of 2017 trying to slash Medicaid spending by $1 TRILLION, despite Medicaid being one of the top funders of addiction treatment in the US.
Interpret the above however you want, but in trying to be as objective as possible, I can’t in good faith say that this Administration (again, based on the above) cares deeply about reducing the suffering caused by the opioid crisis.
I try to remain open minded and it’s only been two days since Attorney General, Jeff Sessions announced that Conway would be assuming duties consistent with those of an opioid czar. In fairness, I have not seen a time table or any plans for this role, as well as whether or not Conway is going to be in this role full-time, with other roles and responsibilities within this administration passed on to others.
Sure, I’m glad that the czar is a high-profile individual, experienced with dealing with the press and strategizing major change and focus of public opinion, she has no background in public healthcare. Perhaps these days, the former skills and recognizability are more important in an age of celebrity and sound bites.
I can’t help but worry that the above mentioned lack of funding, both allocated and requested are really bad indicators as to the commitment to combating this epidemic. Equally as worrisome is again, as mentioned above, the fair to appoint a leader for the Office of National Drug Control Policy.
I hereby nominate Mr. Donald Duck. Despite the years of smoking crack and crystal methamphetamine, clearly damaging his vocal chords and with the track marks on his palmate webbed feet a thing of the past, he has maintained continuous sobriety for many years and knows the problems faced by addicts. Known to be argumentative or more fairly, not afraid to stand up for himself and others, his take no shit attitude makes him well aligned for the position. Despite this propensity for a short temper, he is famously known for his positive outlook on life.
Duck, has a long history of never backing down or running away from problems, famously doing battle with ghosts, sharks, other various predatory animals and even forces of nature. He’s also a World War II veteran, who served as Commando in the Navy, famously mortal enemies with Hitler.
All joking aside, the lack of a leader for the Office of National Drug Control Policy is a huge problem.
For more political issues peppered with satire….
MICKEY MOUSE TO BECOME SECRETARY OF STATE
The White House has developed a plan to force out Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson due to many factors related to his relationship with President Trump which is strained and left Tillerson largely marginalized over the past year for disagreeing with the President on many issues including:
– The Iran Nuclear Deal
– North Korea Confrontation
– Clash between Arab Allies.
It doesn’t help that it leaked that in a private meeting, he reportedly called Trump a “moron.” Trump has publicly criticized Tillerson for “wasting his time” diplomatically reaching out to N. Korea. Privately, Trump has reportedly spoken harshly about Tillerson in front of White House Aides as recently as yesterday and remains ambiguous in his comments regarding replacing him. White House insiders report the plan is to replace Tillerson with current C.I.A. Director, Mike Pompeo during the next several weeks.
White House Press Secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders has only said, “there are no personnel announcements at this time.” Even Heather Nauert, Spokesman at the State Department recently made the somewhat ambiguous statement of Tillerson, “He remains, as I have been told, committed to doing this job.”
Sounds like the writing on the wall is more Sharpee than Crayon.
There are concerns of diplomacy regarding Pompeo leading to rumors of Mickey Mouse being the front runner for the position. Pompeo is a former Republican Congressman from the tea party and is therefore speculated with reason to be more militarily aggressive than current Secretary Tillerson and others before him. Former diplomats consider Mr. Mouse to be more thoughtful and pragmatic of a problem solver especially in the high stake decision making Situation Room, which include decisions regarding Iran, North Korea, and more. Mouse is thought to bring more consistency to the Administration’s Foreign Policy which can often be a soup of contradiction between Trump, Tillerson, Nikki Haley (the US Ambassador to the UN), and Jared Kushner (when he talks).
WHY MICKEY MOUSE IS THE CLEAR CHOICE:
It goes without saying that Mr. Mouse significantly better qualified to hold the position. One only needs to consider just a few of his accomplishments and attributes such as:
– He has met every President since Truman (with the exception of Lyndon Johnson).
– He’s already International, splitting his time so equally between locations it appears as he is all over the globe simultaneously. Mouse maintains two main residences in the US, in Anaheim, California and Lake Beuna Vista, Florida, a main European Residence in Marne-la-Vallee, France, along with two residences in and about China in Penny’s Bay, Lantau Island, Hong Kong, and Pudong, Shanghai, China, as well as Urayasu, Chiba, Japan. Additionally, he has stays at other locations globally as well as traveling the international waters in one of his many cruise-liner sized yachts.
– Although he’s never formerly ran for office, despite this lack of campaigning it is well documented that he receives write in votes bearing his name. A practice that dates back to the 1932 New York City Mayoral Elections.
– His popularity is so great that a 2 foot tall, solid, 24-Karat Gold Statue made from 1,501 troy ounces of 24-Karat Gold named, “Celebration Mickey” was sculpted in 2001.
– He even has a museum in the ancient town of Myshkin, in Yaroslavl Oblast, Russia.
– On top of all of these tributes, Mr. Mouse is an Academy Award Winner, and has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame as well as serving as Grand Marshall of the Tournament of Roses Parade.
– Don’t let the above fool you, he is an expert criminologist as well as his tax returns indicate his occupation to be that of Detective.
Levitz, Eric. (2017) “Kellyanne Conway Is Now America’s Opioid Czar.” New York Magazine. Retrieved 11/29/2017 From: http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2017/11/kellyanne-conway-is-now-americas-opioid-czar.html
Baker, P., Haberman, M., & Gardiner, H. (2017). “White House Plans Tillerson Ouster From State Dept., to Be Replaced by Pompeo.” New York Times. Retrieved 11/29/2017 From: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/30/us/politics/state-department-tillerson-pompeo-trump.html?emc=edit_nn_20171201&nl=morning-briefing&nlid=73818431&te=1&_r=0
Mickey Mouse Archives. Retrieved 11/30/2017 From: https://d23.com/walt-disney-archives/#MickeyMouse