Hail, Hail, Estonia!

Hail hail Estonia!

We will not stand for anything that’s crooked or unfair
We’re strictly on the up and up so everyone beware
If anyone’s caught taking graft and we don’t get our share
We stand them up against the wall and pop goes the weasel!

“[W]e should not let drug companies buy the hearts and minds of researchers.”

Marcia Angell has follow-up thoughts on the latest medical research corruption case.

The cost of [the corruption] is high, and not just in drug prices. It means both doctors and patients believe prescription drugs are better and safer than they really are.

‘In 2004, the tanning-industry associations led Dr. Barbara Gilchrest, who then was head of Boston University’s dermatology division, to ask Dr. Holick to resign from the department.’

Ah, the vitamin D deficiency panic. I remember it well, having been told a few years ago to start taking supplements right away or risk god knows what. I ignored the directive.

Think of all the pointless money and D‘ed up piss I could have passed since then!

And: Read and learn.

The larger picture.

Oh – and not to be a broken record, but if you want to be Vitamin D deficient, here’s a really good way to get there.

Limerick.

Adorable mech engineers!
They tend to be naughty, the dears…
They act like a luv
And get grants from the gov
But then all the funds disappear.

‘In applying this excise tax to nonprofit executives, the Ways and Means Committee Majority Tax Staff also raised the idea in its summary that highly paid nonprofit executives actually divert resources from exempt purposes. It states that exemption from federal income tax is a significant benefit for tax-exempt organizations, making the case for discouraging excess compensation paid out to such organizations’ executives perhaps even stronger than it is for publicly traded companies.’

Zzzz… wha’?

How bout this.

In fact, an analysis of Forms 990 for approximately 100,000 organizations filing the annual report to the IRS in 2014 published recently by the Wall Street Journal found 2,700 nonprofit officials were paid more than $1 million. Although most were administrators at hospitals and universities, there were also many football coaches and executives at endowments like the Harvard Management Company. Nonprofit organizations respond that they are trying to attract the best candidates and are merely adopting compensation practices similar to those in the private sector.

Get it? See what happened? TAKE TO THE STREETS. FLOOD YOUR REPRESENTATIVE’S OFFICE WITH EMAILS. THIS IS A SERIOUS MISCARRIAGE OF JUSTICE.

 

Do I need to spell it out for you? Do you see what’s happening here?

You want to spend your kid’s tuition money on sky-rocketing multimillion dollar salaries for coaches and on twenty million dollar a year compensation for university money managers, and here comes the IRS to tell you that these aren’t appropriate non-profit expenditures! They even have the gall to say that giving all that money to coaches and money managers diverts tax-exempt money from students and shit! Whatever that means.

So they’re putting a crushing new tax on excess non-profit compensation, which means universities are likely to pull back on these amounts and you will have to pay the managers and coaches less.

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

I know. So far this is all numbers and abstractions. Here is an actual story, from the University of Kentucky, of how it will be.

“The excise tax that was levied in the new tax bill is big,” [UK athletic director Mitch] Barnhart said. “That will have an impact on every athletic department.”

A change in the tax code requires non-profit entities to pay a 21 percent excise tax on payments to its five highest-paid employees that are making more than $1 million a year.

For every dollar over the $1 million mark, UK must pay the 21 percent tax, which for UK Athletics includes the salaries of men’s basketball coach John Calipari, football coach Mark Stoops and women’s basketball coach Matthew Mitchell.

According to figures reported to the Chronicle of Higher Education in 2017, Calipari was the highest-paid person on campus that year at $7.24 million, followed by Stoops at $3.9 million and Mitchell at $1.28 million.

The university also will be paying the excise tax on the salaries of Phillip Tibbs ($1,195,600), a physician, and Michael Karpf ($1,123,179), who ran the medical center until recently, UK spokesman Jay Blanton told the Herald-Leader.

With the new salary bump and potential bonuses outlined in the new amendment to Barnhart’s contract, the UK athletics director might top the $1 million mark in the near future. His base salary will be $1,025,000 starting in 2020, per the amendment.

This year’s figures were a part of the $147.7 million dollar 2019 budget approved by the university’s Board of Trustees recently, simply noted as “escalating operating expenses.”

How will these escalating expenses be paid? The same way other expenses are.

“How we make up for it on the other side is really difficult,” Barnhart said. “We have to work at that.”

I know you can do it, guys! A grassroots campaign of outraged professors, students, and parents will take to the streets and have that punitive 21% rolled back before you can say Nick Saban.

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

Again, here’s the challenge, stated simply:

Every organization that pays a salary of more than $1 million per year to any of its top five earning employees will face a stiff new 21 percent excise tax. That means any nonprofit-designated charity, college, and hospital that routinely asks us for donations, or charges expensive tuition or medical bills will have to justify paying those high salaries against a hefty new tax.

Get out there and do what has to be done: justify.

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

Know your enemies.

In [a recent] email to me, [tax law professor John] Colombo wrote, “Big time college sports is already a cesspool of money, and the federal government doesn’t need to be subsidizing 50-yard-line seats or skyboxes at the University of Alabama or Notre Dame, or Michigan or anywhere else.”

Amazingly, both the House and the Senate now appear to agree with Colombo. A spokesman for Kevin Brady, the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee — and a Texan — told the Austin American-Statesman that the deduction is “the epitome of a special-interest loophole” and that it was forcing taxpayers to “subsidize front-row seats and luxury boxes for wealthy boosters.”

ALL HAIL RAMSES!

Er, I mean Ramsey. More terrific national publicity for America’s most deeply troubled (nice way of putting “corrupt”) university, the University of Louisville. See how the Great Man James Ramsey totally dominates all other university presidents in salary! No contest – he makes millions more!

Ramsey [$4.3 million] was the top earner in 2017 by a healthy margin. The second-highest-paid chief executive, Jay Gogue, president of Auburn University, received $1.8 million. Next on the list was William H. McRaven, chancellor of the University of Texas system, who earned $1.5 million. Gogue retired in 2017; McRaven stepped down this year.

Not sure a healthy margin is quite the way to put it, unless you consider Ramsey’s purchase of multiple Florida mcmansions healthy… Unless you consider appointing a president who transfers much of the wealth of the university to himself and his friends healthy…

Anyway. Jimbo’s down there in Florida, see, and he’s not getting any younger. Like his model, Bernie Madoff, he might be figuring he can out-die (opposite of out-live) his legal and criminal problems… And unlike Bernie, he’ll probably be right. Die snug in his mcbed, lawsuits swirling ’round his head…

Ira Rennert says: Yes? And what’s the problem here?

North Carolina’s Court of Appeals has rejected a Massachusetts woman’s plans to complete work on her 24-bedroom rental home on the Outer Banks.

A three-judge panel unanimously ruled against Elizabeth LeTendre of Needham Heights, reversing a trial court decision. Her attorney tells The Daily Advance of Elizabeth City he plans to appeal to the North Carolina Supreme Court.

LeTendre says the $4.6 million house north of Corolla is a single-family home…

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

So North Carolina doesn’t understand what a single-family home is?

Not only did he kill people for personal gain. He didn’t even stay for the sit-down dinner.

Fentanyl-pusher Insys Corporation rigged up pretend dinners where their top-prescribing docs gave pretend talks:

Insys funneled … illicit payments to the doctors through a sham “speakers bureau,” in which the doctors were paid for purportedly giving educational presentations about the drug that, in many cases, were mere social gatherings at high-end Manhattan restaurants.

One of the defendants … sometimes did not even stay for a meal at the programs where he was the featured speaker, instead ordering food from the restaurant and leaving with it, according to the indictment.

Before one program in 2014, the indictment added, [he] wrote to an Insys sales representative, asking, “Is dinner take out or we expecting peeps?”

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

What percentage of fentanyl prescriptions – a drug intended for late-stage cancer pain – comes from oncologists?

One. One percent.

You can never be too rich or too high.

Former MLB pitcher Esteban Loaiza was arrested in San Diego on Friday on three drug-related felony charges, including possession of more than 44 pounds of cocaine and/or heroin.

… According to Baseball Reference, Loaiza made more than $43.7 million over his career.

Ramming it Home.

If you hadn’t yet gotten the message about American football and postmodern capitalism, here’s your baby.

It’s a win/win.

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

Here’s the antidote. Ram tough. Watch the whole thing, from a guy who routinely gets money penalties for hits.

When a capitalist keeps enriching himself and enriching himself and enriching himself…

… we might feel a little disgusted by his greed and ostentation, but if the free market, plus a little, you know, is going to reward Steve Cohen with a $13 billion dollar personal fortune, there’s really not much we can say.

University presidents aren’t rapacious free market capitalists; they’re people who run non-profits. When they act like Steve Cohen, it attracts attention. Negative attention.

So for the many years Shirley Ann Jackson has been Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute’s president, her unstoppably greedy ways have attracted consistently negative attention. To put the matter as bluntly as possible: She. Loves. Money. Indeed one might conjure images of her in her office counting her many-millioned compensation, but she’s on so many corporate boards (lotsa funny money there) she’s rarely around.

Years and years of grandiose, autocratic, institution-destroying behavior on Jackson’s part have certainly generated high-profile anger among faculty and students, and each protest and no-confidence vote duly gets covered in the local press; but nothing happens, and Jackson keeps raking it in. Her compensation four years ago was at least seven million; UD’s figuring with raises and continued multiple board ass-coolings, she’s up around ten mill by now.

RPI’s financial picture is now so bleak that everyone’s again up in arms; but this time they are informed that they are sexists and racists for complaining, so that will shut them up.

Jackson’s no spring chicken, by the way; at 71, she’s got to be ready for retirement soon. UD assumes RPI is bracing itself for one last, long, hard pull at the money tap before she goes away.

UD thought the wife of the treasury secretary had cornered the market on…

… contempt for the lower orders while wielding luxury brands, but the ever-classy culture of the NFL has birthed Jacqueline Kent Cooke, much-cherished daughter of Redskins owner and “billionaire bully” Jack Kent Cooke.

Jacqueline’s years of psychotherapy (her mother started her on it when she was seven) seem to have helped her overcome any repressions she may have harbored about stealing, drinking, and driving. In 2008, a police officer

followed Cooke and her friend after they left [a] restaurant without paying around 5:15 a.m.

The police report said the officer saw Cooke’s keys to her BMW 325i fall out of her purse when she went back inside the restaurant to pay the bill, though she denied the car was hers.

The officer advised her to take a cab home, police said.

Police said Cooke pulled up her skirt to moon the officer, and then gave him the middle finger, before eventually getting into the BMW and starting the engine.

She was booked for a DUI, and, once in the police station, elaborated on the vileness of the lower orders, here embodied by the police.

In the ten years that have elapsed she has added anti-semitism and assault to the mix.

Cooke, 29, allegedly whacked Matthew Haberkorn, 52, outside the Upper East Side restaurant Caravaggio [yesterday] and left him with a bloody gash on his head …

Haberkorn [who – poor Jacqueline – is a high-profile personal injury lawyer] said he had just finished dining with his wife, mom and four daughters when the socialite started the encounter by hurling the slur at his mom on the way out of the eatery.

“I went to the bathroom as we were leaving,” Haberkorn told The Post. “She made a comment to my mother, ‘Hurry up, you Jew,’ as she was getting her jacket.”

When Haberkorn confronted the woman about the comment, that’s when she unleashed her bag attack.

Here’s the thing, though:

The purse appeared to be a Lulu Guinness Women Chloe Mirror Perspex Clutch, which normally costs more than $400.

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

And yes, of course it was all filmed. By one of Haberkorn’s daughters.

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

She’s in court. It’s being investigated as a hate crime.

Meanwhile, Deadspin, one of UD’s favorite websites, doesn’t disappoint in the comments department.

“Ahhh the Upper East Side. Finally, a place where I can feel comfortable voicing my anti-semitic views!”

********

Another good one, in Tablet magazine:

[T]his is why we stay on the Upper West Side, where the altercations are all among us Jews and usually involve the deli line at Zabar’s or the narrow aisles at Fairway.

********

Mel Gibson chimes in.

She forgot to mention the international relations angle.

The Kitsch of the Con

Conn, who started his law practice in a trailer in 1993, had portrayed himself as “Mr. Social Security.” He fueled that persona with outlandish TV commercials and small-scale replicas of the Statue of Liberty and the Lincoln Memorial at his office in eastern Kentucky.

Yes, his name’s even Conn.

Wow:

I could have had a

… malaria vaccine!

But I decided to take my 450 million dollars and buy a small poor quality Leonardo of uncertain provenance and stick it in a storage facility.

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

How quaint.

[T]he present commercialisation of the art world, at its top end, is a cultural obscenity. When you have the super-rich paying $104m for an immature Rose Period Picasso – close to the GNP of some Caribbean or African states – something is very rotten. Such gestures do no honour to art: they debase it by making the desire for it pathological. As Picasso’s biographer John Richardson said to a reporter on that night of embarrassment at Sotheby’s, no painting is worth a hundred million dollars.

Robert Hughes, 2004.

Sing …

it.

I own three Land Rovers, wear Place Vendome suits
I get all me money from Russkies and Ukes
It’s laundered in Cyprus and also Seychelle
But now I’m indicted, it’s all gone to hell

And it’s no nay never
No nay never no more
Will I overlook FARA
No never no more

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