An excellent editorial in the Tufts student newspaper…

… which the university will ignore.

[T]he Tufts administration still has not openly acknowledged the [opioid merchants] Sacklers’ role in fueling the opioid crisis. In light of the recent exposés, Tufts should publicly recognize its own complicity in receiving money tainted by the epidemic, resolving to take an active stance against it. In order to align its values, Tufts should change the name of its biomedical school to better reflect the mission of the institution. With any remaining funds from the Sackler family, Tufts should fund research grants for the opioid crisis and further support outreach programs for its victims.

[President] Monaco and the Tufts Board of Trustees should revoke the honorary degree conferred on Raymond Sackler posthumously. There is past precedent for this. Bill Cosby, although never found guilty of sexual assault, had his honorary degree revoked by Tufts. Someone the university has honored has committed an egregious moral, if not illegal, offense, and the university must withdraw its support.

Tufts won’t ignore the, er, Sackler problem forever. But, like Yale, it will hem and haw and harrumph as long as it possibly can.

Will it, like SUNY Buffalo, still burdened with the risible Kapoor School of Pharmacy, decide (Buffalo will probably decide – especially if their man goes to jail) to desacklerize (Clever, UD. Why is it clever? Because it’s very close to desacralize, see.) its biomed school?

Probably. The Sacklers are still dumping their opioids all over Asia. But the decision will be long in coming. From Yale and from Tufts we will hear a long involved contradictory emotional story about what a blessing opioids have been for the world though unfortunately… I mean, to be sure…

This year’s Corporate Sensitivity Award Goes to…

… Insys.

[The former vice president of sales at Insys told a national sales meeting that] the cancer market [for fentanyl] was “small potatoes. That’s nothing.

From Carmen Puliafito on Up, the Ethos at the University of Southern California Medical School is Lie, Lie, Lie, Lie, Lie, Until You Absolutely Incontrovertibly Cannot Lie Anymore.

His sins trickled from his lips, one by one, trickled in shameful drops from his soul, festering and oozing like a sore, a squalid stream of vice. The last sins oozed forth, sluggish, filthy. There was no more to tell. He bowed his head, overcome.

Sluggish. It’s kind of like that at USC, only it’s not sins – it’s lies. The president, the provost … sluggishly, sluggishly, sluggishly, they begin to ooze the truth about their protection – nay, their celebration – of a (probable) drug addict, a man for quite some time notoriously disengaged from the responsibilities of his $1.1 million a year job. They seem more or less to have let Carmen keep doing his drug- and sex-addled thing and ignoring his job until those extremely annoying Los Angeles Times reporters couldn’t be brushed off anymore.

So okay. Okay! You wanna know what really happened? Not the blahblah we told you last week, but the actual stuff that happened? OKAYOKAYOKAYOKAYOKAY. The Times should be grateful, by the way. If it weren’t for our stonewalling, its reporters wouldn’t be getting a Pulitzer for investigative reporting this year. So you’re welcome.

The president’s letter was released hours after The [LA] Times provided USC with findings about Puliafito’s behavior during his tenure heading the medical school.

Fine. We’ll only stop lying when totally cornered. We’re totally cornered. So here’s the deal. Here’s the letter where the soon be to ex-president of USC finally coughs it up. (Not that ol’ UD thinks that even now he’s entirely coughed it up. Ol’ UD is sure there’s more even than this. But this is certainly something.)

[The prez] revealed late Friday that the university had [in fact] received complaints and imposed disciplinary measures against the then-dean of its medical school…

… Puliafito had [in fact] been the subject of “various complaints” during nearly a decade as the dean of the Keck School of Medicine. … Puliafito [had in fact] received [obviously toothless] “disciplinary action and professional development coaching.”

Nikias also provided new details about Puliafito’s final months in the job before he resigned in the middle of the Spring 2016 term.

In 2015, USC Provost Michael Quick put Puliafito “on notice for being disengaged from his leadership duties,” the president said.

UD would have loved to be in the room for the professional development coaching. CARMEN PUT DOWN THE BUTANE TORCH …

Oh, read the article. Feast your eyes on the USC receptionists, committees, provosts, and presidents who couldn’t be bothered checking up on whether the person in charge of medicine – you know, patient care, doctor education – at the university was as fucked up as he, well, yes, now that I look at him, certainly seemed to be. Consider an entire university leadership treating the local newspaper of record like a worthless piece of shit.

And sit tight – the producers of the film probably haven’t even starting thinking about casting it yet — they’re waiting out the story before they do that. Al Pacino should be finished doing Joe Paterno by then; he’d make a great Carmen Puliafito. For prez: John Waters.

Once they’re dead, you can stick with the “No Comment” business.

So when eminent Stanford med school professor John Borchers staggered onto his private plane and flew himself into the side of a mountain in 2008, Stanford could get away with saying nothing when reporters tried asking the school about the fact that the body of the busy teacher/clinician was loaded down with so many drugs it took like a page and a half to list them all. He’d been a known addict for ten years.

In addition to cocaine and Prozac, toxicology tests by the FAA turned up opiates, mood stabilizers and anti-psychotic drugs. One of the drugs, buprenorphine, was among those Borchers prescribed to patients suffering from heroin addiction, according to his own online business profile.

John Borchers didn’t know how to fly very well, and he was maybe finally close to losing his license to practice medicine, so this was arguably a carefully prepared (#1: swallow the medicine cabinet; #2: pilot your plane alone at night through mountains) suicide. Yet Stanford has never said a word about having maintained this dangerous wreck of a man in a responsible and visible position on its faculty, though given his long record of addiction and attempted detox Stanford must have known about him.

UD drags up this ancient history because if you put aside the difference that Carmen Puliafito is still alive (though from his total silence in response to all efforts to talk to him you wouldn’t know it), his is a similar story of pretty overt fuckedupness determinedly ignored by a university that already has quite the history of ignoring fucked up high-level people.

USC faculty members I’ve been in touch with are incensed that a doctor was allowed to take patients for more than a year after his drug-fueled behavior was reported to the university, and they’re not buying the administration’s claims of ignorance.

Puliafito engaged in behavior (partying with meth-head friends in his campus office) that seemed designed to dare the University of Southern California to do something about him. Even after the LA Times told USC’s president that Puliafito had spent an evening lying through his teeth to the police about his relationship to a young woman found overdosed beside him in a Pasadena hotel room littered with drug paraphernalia (if you enjoy this sort of thing, you can listen to the police interview), the president simply wouldn’t hear what he was being told. In effect, he still won’t.

What we have here is a cover-up. Systematic cover-ups, as Steve Lopez notes. And you know what? Cover-ups exist to cover up not just a specific triggering event (Puliafito/Pasadena/Police), but, one has to assume, related, and possibly worse, stuff. What is USC hiding?

Alfred E. Puliafito

What?

Me worry?

“I Could Have Done Better”

Sing it.

I could have done better with a boy like you
But I loved everything that you do
Wish I knew, hey hey hey, wish I knew

Whoa, oh, I never realized you were smoking meth
Never knew you loved Megadeth
What a mess what a mess

So now I tell you that I hate you, oh
Because you make me look so baaaaaad
And when our patients start to sue: Oooh!
That’s gonna make me feel so sad

So I should have realized a lot of things before
The LA Times is feeling pretty sore:
“Give me more, hey hey hey, give me more.”

‘USC’s leaders never responded to the inquiries. Numerous phone calls were not returned, emails went unanswered and a letter seeking an interview with USC President C.L. Max Nikias to discuss Puliafito was returned to The Times by courier, unopened.’

Only after The Times published its report Monday did USC address the matter publicly.

The University of Southern California not only ignored – for a year – well-sourced questions from the Los Angeles Times about deadhead supreme Carmen Puliafito; the office of its president went to the trouble of returning by courier, unopened, a letter requesting an interview.

Kids, can we think of a better way to say fuck you? I don’t think we can.

And now USC is trying to make us believe that they’re just getting wind of Carmen’s… uh… is there one word into which we can bundle what the $1.1 million a year head of the Keck medical school has been up to after hours – during hours – for years?

*********

How can we explain USC’s suicidal behavior? Carmen’s almost certainly gonna bring down the president and some trustees. Probably lots of USC patients are going to be suing the school, since – I don’t know – if you found out that your suspicions about the madman checking your eyes – the guy everybody told you was fine – the dean of the med school for chrissake! – were in fact accurate, wouldn’t you be a little pissed? How much money did you spend to get treated by a meth head?

USC sure likes to make fools of people – reporters, patients. On the other hand, it serves and protects people like Carmen Puliafito.

*********

Again, then: Why? Why did President Nikias and his provost, the wonderfully named Quick, not only do nothing as their million dollar man drugged his way into oblivion on screen, but ignore and insult anyone who tried to tell them what was going on?

Well, remember they did the same thing with the last high-level highly-compensated, high-profile, high-as-a-kite campus hero: Steve Sarkisian. So we’ve got a pattern here; we’ve got a culture here. Let me suggest what that culture is.

USC is Hollywood. The school is in (roughly speaking) and of Hollywood. School song:

Nothing is real and nothing to get hung about

Living is easy with eyes closed
Misunderstanding all you see
It’s getting hard to be someone but it all works out
It doesn’t matter much to me

Marc Kasowitz Update: Desperately Seeking Warmth

Amidst the brouhaha surrounding Kasowitz Benson Torres’ representation of Trump, the firm is losing partner Charles Miller, who after 11 years is leaving for the 70-attorney firm Tarter Krinsky & Drogin. Miller, who will be a partner leading Tarter Krinsky’s new securities and financial services litigation group, didn’t address the turmoil at Kasowitz but said he’s looking for “something smaller” with “a little more warmth.”

Kasowitz is out as the president’s lawyer, and has been spotted taking it easy on a Clearwater beach.

Highest Salary. Highest Profile. Highest.

Their football coach reportedly showed up to practices and games stinking drunk; at a major fund-raising event, he gave a speech so rambling and foul-mouthed that institutional attention finally had to be paid to Steve Sarkisian’s drinking problem. He doesn’t work at the University of Southern California anymore, but his memory lingers on in a massive lawsuit he filed against the school for wrongful termination.

While the school grapples with the lawsuit and the ongoing bad publicity, the head of USC’s medical school, whose shady past and ongoing meth-fueled insane behavior the university appears to have been treating with the same avoidance it treated Sarkisian, finally erupted into public view two days ago, with a big LA Times story.

So, these are the two sexiest positions at any university – the massively overpaid and overpraised football coach; the similarly celebrated med school dean. Even when they’re not drunks and meth heads, these people tend to present schools with problems having to do with justifying their outsized compensation, anticipating outsized legal bills when the schools try to fire them, and just generally attempting to handle people who know damn well they make far more than the school’s president and indeed may have more institutional clout.

So at USC you had this hopeless, intimidated president gazing with horror upon a coach and a dean who may have been highly effective fund raisers and all but were also imploding or threatening to implode from addictions and addiction-generated naughtiness. The understandable impulse is to control the situation, to quietly make it go away, to avoid at all costs an award-winning press exposé of staggering corruption and hypocrisy at the top of a major American university.

To make matters even worse than this, both “coach” and “med school dean” are clean-limbed, healthy-living type things, allowing the school to lecture the student body and indeed the country about teamwork and exercise and the whole mens sana in corpore sano thing. USC had two rampant substance abusers coming out with this shit, which means they found themselves solidly planted in farce territory.

There’s yet another wrinkle with the Carmen Puliafito thing. Unlike Sarkisian, who became visibly fucked up due to his drinking, ol’ Carmen had been, far as we can tell, functioning at a very high level as dean even while snorting up everything in sight in every luxury hotel room in Pasadena. The guy was only exposed because the police got called by a hotel where Puliafito’s girlfriend overdosed. Word of it got to USC’s president, and then to the press, which ran with it.

Franchement, UD has trouble believing the guy was in fact managing to run the med school smoothly while spending most of his time drugging. UD’s gonna predict that as this story develops we will discover Puliafito’s behavior had been deteriorating for some time, and that people on his staff were increasingly doing his $1.1 million a year job for him.

Oh, one more thing. Expect Pugliafito to sue USC, just as Sarkisian did. For… I don’t know. For not curing him.

“Southern Cal Cements Epic Party-School Status With Ecstasy-Popping Meth-Head MEDICAL SCHOOL DEAN”

University of Southern California goes tabloid.

Morning Singalong: The Little Policeman from Pass-a-Dean-a

The Little Policeman from Pass-a-Dean-a

[Pasadena police did not write a report on the (USC medical school dean Carmen Puliafito) incident. After The Times made repeated requests for information, the department acknowledged that an officer at the scene should have prepared a report, and he was belatedly ordered to do so…

No arrests were made, and (a witness) told The Times that Pasadena police never interviewed her.]

The little policeman from Pass-a-Dean-a
(Snort Carmen, Snort Carmen, Snort Carmen, Snort)
Is very unlikely to intervene-a
(Snort Carmen, Snort Carmen, Snort Carmen, Snort)
If you’re rich white overdosed and close to death
He’ll leave you alone with your crystal meth.

They don’t file reports in Pass-a-Dean-a.
(Snort Carmen, Snort Carmen, Snort Carmen, Snort)
They’re very good sports in Pass-A-Dean-a.
(Snort Carmen, Snort Carmen, Snort Carmen, Snort)
For a med school dean in a luxe hotel
The policy is: Don’t ask, don’t tell.

We’ve enjoyed following family friendly, spring break friendly, gun massacre friendly, Myrtle Beach on this blog.

Latest headline:

Three shootings in 8 hours. Eight wounded. Some tourists say they won’t be back.

Others, however – bikers, boozers, gunnies – are beginning to think their usual vacation spot – Panama City Beach – lacks the je ne sais quoi of the pride of South Carolina.

Ladies, UD can’t think of a more perfect synergy than taking your semesters at rape-friendly Baylor (located in biker-friendly Waco) and your semester breaks at pop-pop-pop-pop-pop-pop-POPPIN’!!! (watch that way-viral video NOW – start at 1:44 to go RIGHT to the fun stuff – for the amazing spray of bullets!) Myrtle Beach.

Or you could skip the long trip and just attend Coastal Carolina University.

**********************

“We’re gonna send a message to do everything that’s humanly possible to stop this violence in our city,” [the city’s Mayor] said.

But you’re not going to, are you? Because the simple stuff you have to do in order to stop attracting large numbers of violent criminals to your beach involves getting merchants to stop pandering to them. But this is America, and we don’t fuck with the free market.

“[A] multitude of ads [in Myrtle Beach] tout the excitement of shooting machine guns in nearby Conway…”

The thing you do, which is turn the city into a police state during the warm months, doesn’t seem to be interrupting the flow of bullets.

*****************

WOW! Myrtle Beach managed to find time to squeeze in a fourth shooting on Sunday night!

******************

SUPER wow! A fifth one!!

After a fifth shooting Monday night, Gov. Henry McMaster also asked State Law Enforcement Division Chief Mark Keel to meet with local law enforcement and address the spate of violence.

With five, you get a concerned governor thrown in.

‘During the worst year of the HIV/AIDS crisis, 43,000 Americans lost their lives to the virus. In 2015, 52,000 died of a drug overdose. Never in recorded history had narcotics killed so many Americans in a single year; the drug-induced death toll was so staggering, it helped reduce life expectancy in the United States for the first time since 1993.’

West Virginia has been the hardest hit.

The proximate responsibility for this grotesque overprescription of opioid painkillers lies with West Virginia’s doctors. But no conscientious wholesaler could look at how many painkillers they were shipping to low-population areas of the state — and at how many people were dying from overdoses in those areas — and not realize that they were enabling a deadly epidemic.

Bernie’s calling for an investigation.

But it’s good. It’s all good. The worst of the wholesalers – McKesson – has a CEO who sits on the distinguished board of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, shaping the political thinking of America’s best and brightest. The same man will soon be lecturing us on health care policy. Arizona State University has bestowed its Executive of the Year award on him.

All of this cuz, you know, he made sooooooo much money.

What’s his corporation’s secret? Here ’tis:

[Y]ou can make a lot of money selling dope to addicts.

******************

Yes, sadly, addicts die. You just advertise for more.

A message from John H. Hammergren, one of our trustees here at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Wyoming, McDowell, and Boone, and Mingo:
These four no-count hollers all add up to… BINGO!
Get set for a lesson
From Mr McKesson
America’s greediest chairman, by jingo.

Shipping oodles and oodles of Oxy
To the poor and defenseless takes moxie.
While they die addicted
From what I’ve inflicted
I’m hoarding my bucks from the proxies.

Let’s toast West Virgina, my friends!
Let’s toast my obscene dividends!
And thank-you to the villagers
From our “most rapacious pillager”
Your trustee, John H. Hammergren.

*******************

[UD thanks Dirk.]

“[Whitney] Howard’s criminal history includes arrests in June and August on suspicion of driving under the influence, both being drug-related.”

On the road again! UD trusts the courts of Athens Georgia will once again very quickly put Whitney Howard behind the wheel. So far she’s only killed one person, whereas it’s obvious she’s got the potential to produce far more carnage than that.

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