Guggenheim…

… calls time.

‘“Will we also see an interpretation of La Traviata in veils?” asked Federico Mollicone, a member of the parliamentary committee on culture, referring to the fact that Saudi women are required to wear a veil covering their faces in public.’

Well, “Traviata” makes perfect sense for the new Saudi-money-whore opera house La Scala, veils or no veils! And don’t forget Salome, which features SEVEN veils… Though La Scala’s new Saudi masters might not approve the dance sequence in that scene…

But ah shit ah fuck ah shaddup okay we’ll give back the money and we won’t let the Saudi guy buy himself a place on the board. Okay? Happy?

Desacklerizing: It Begins.

Now that you’ve addicted the poor and defenseless of America, you’re making aggressive plans to addict the poor and defenseless of China and India. The reward for that is cultural oblivion, which is exactly what you’re going to get.

‘There isn’t an abomination award going that you haven’t won.’

George, in UD‘s favorite play, is famous for having said this to Martha; but I think it does as well for the gathering storm that is Philip Esformes – a man who seems never to have seen a code law or rule he didn’t try to break.

And I’m sure Vanderbilt University’s not the only one.

Vanderbilt’s immune system worked: Scammers were unable to find anyone to bribe in order to admit the rancid rich.

Fact is, not all American universities are criminal in this way. Yale and University of Southern California certainly are: Both seem to offer multiple avenues of corrupt access. But there are other Vanderbilts out there, schools that avoid, among other things, hiring greedy shits to coach their students. (Along those lines: Did the University of Rhode Island not know why its new tennis coach was fired at Georgetown? How could they have hired the dude?) As this big-time story evolves, I think we’ll see more and more universities touting their … well, their legitimacy.

For the record: The more you monetize these non-profit settings – the more you look like, say, Yeshiva University, which spawned Madoff, Merkin, Rennert, and Wilf, the more bad actors you’re incubating across the entire system. People get the message, people! Look at the University of Louisville with its high-profile, highly-paid, low-lifes, from athletics to the office of the presidency. What do you think other people at the university, pondering this cast of characters, are going to conclude?

‘Otuonye posted a sign at the pharmacy telling customers that they had to have three non-narcotic prescriptions filled in order to have their narcotic prescriptions filled.’

So Mr UD and I went back and forth a bit on the meaning of this most unusual sign in the pharmacy owned by Steven Henson’s comrade in crime (Henson, an MD, was just sentenced to life in prison). Ebube Otuonye’s trial date has not yet been set.

UD‘s theory was all about money: Knowing he had a captive desperate audience for the oxys, Otuonye figured out a way to make a real killing by forcing Witchita’s addicts to cough up extra money for non-necessities. Mr UD disagreed: “The guy knows the DEA is watching for proportions of pain pills sold relative to non-pain pills. He’s trying to hide the numbers.”

‘The man said it took three weeks to sell the drugs “because Henson has so many patients that there were just too many pills on the street in Wichita…”‘

Fuckin up the local economy, man.

Criminal schools attract criminals.

Very simple principle, simply stated. You can add that criminal schools in deeply corrupt states attract lots of, er, bad actors, and indeed accumulate long non-glorious histories of the corrupt and criminal.

You’re thinking of the U of Smell — Louisville — I know, cuz we spend a lot of time on that swamp on this blog; but don’t forget its smelliforous competitor, the University of New Mexico. Read through these posts for the narrative of that school’s greedy-dolt presidents, sticky-finger ADs, lazy-dolt trustees, and desperately enraged students and faculty. Short version – jest ’bout anybody who attains a position of responsibility at UNM (i.e. access to funds) steals.

What’s truly distinctive about New Mexico is the stupidity of their academic removalists. Former vastly paid AD Paul Krebs not only robbed the school blind; he wrote about it in university-account emails to his fellow-traveler and current UNM professor wife. He took what some chump thought was a donation to the athletic department and instructed his wife — again, in an email – to put the check where the sun don’t shine.

[The] $25,000 check … “should not be traceable …” Authorities say his wife received these instructions on her university email: “delete everything I sent when done so nothing discoverable in IPRA (public records) request. Including your delete file. Thanks.”

Thanks? Not love? Not even a heart emoji?

“When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.”

In 1997, Richard [Sackler] was involved in discussion with employees of a Sackler-owned company in Germany over whether they could get regulatory authorities there to let them sell OxyContin as an uncontrolled drug. Though OxyContin developer Robert Kaiko warned that this was a terrible idea, Richard seemed supportive of the idea, asking in a subsequent message: “How substantially would it improve your sales?” But in his deposition, Richard insisted he was never a fan of the idea, arguing, “we were not in favor of this, but we were trying to be polite and solicitous rather than saying, this is a terrible idea, forget it, don’t do it.”

When the idea ultimately failed, Richard sent a message to an employee in Germany saying, “When we are next together we should talk about how this idea was raised and why it failed to be realized. I thought that it was a good idea if it could be done.”

In the deposition, Richard explained this by saying, “That’s what [my response] said, but I didn’t mean it. I just wanted to be encouraging.”

The Horror! The Horror!

A True Tale of Postmodern America

Nike has had $1.1bn (£844m) knocked off its stock market value after what is being called one of the most expensive apparel failures in history.

The company’s value tumbled by 1.7 per cent on Thursday as it was repeatedly blamed for a sprained knee to rising basketball star Zion Williamson, seen by millions live on TV.

Sports lovers across the US watched in horror as the teenager was crocked when his Nike trainer tore apart mid-shot during a high profile college match.

‘[During a meeting at one of his facilities, [Philip] Esformes told Gaby Delgado about a woman who had recently killed herself because she was facing legal problems related to health care. He said she did the right thing and that Delgado should do the same …’

Most of the meetings took place in Esformes’ swimming pool (you need to register for access to the linked site) – he was worried Delgado might be wearing a wire – but this bit of personal counseling went on in one of the defendant’s many Medicare/Medicaid money extraction locations…

Man, I told you this trial would be fun! I told you! The biggest health care fraud in the history of this country is the culmination of generations of effort by the pious, illustrious Esformes family,  whose patriarch’s name adorns a chair at the University of Miami medical school, and whose scion played basketball so well for the University of Pennsylvania that his coach is going to prison.

Hiding Miss Daisy

To cover up the scheme, … Esformes ordered his deputies to bribe Florida regulators to get advanced warnings of their inspections and would physically hide patients who didn’t qualify for government-funded care before inspectors arrived.

Hokay, now that we’ve wrapped up the Guzman trial…

it’s time to turn to the father of the most highly-bought-after player on the University of Pennsylvania basketball team! I promise you that the trial of the biggest Medicare fraudmeister in American history will be fun. Incredibly fun.

Wonder if Jerome Allen will follow it from his jail cell.

John Hammergren’s Best Friend Turns on Him

The FDA has stood back and watched proudly as its buddy John Hammergren [scroll down], head of drug distributor McKesson, pockets seven hundred million dollars for ten years of work — but he earned every penny of it, having engineered the distribution, for instance, of five million opioids to Kermit, WV, population four hundred.

Hammergren’s the sort of pusher-billionaire the FDA’s in the business of ignoring… ignoring? Nay, encouraging, as he finds and exploits bottomless wells of addiction in this nation’s hollers and thereby does his part to make America the economic miracle that it is. He’s honored everywhere: Arizona State University named him Executive of the Year; he sits on the board of the prestigious Center for Strategic and International Stupefacients… Because we want people like Hammergren setting policy for us, and for the world, China and India having much larger populations than Kermit, and awaiting McKesson’s ministrations…

Well, it’s all been a win-win arrangement, but now the butcher’s bill is really coming due on the whole opioid thing – ie it’s not just no-‘count West Virginians dying anymore, and even the FDA has today felt compelled to murmur a little demur or two…

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

The FDA’s his best friend. Wanna know who his lover is? The DEA.

Grapes of Wrath, by Lloyd Blankfein

I been thinkin’, long as I’m a outlaw anyways, maybe I could — Hell, I ain’t thought it out clear, Ma. Don’ worry me now. Don’ worry me…  I’ll be all aroun’ in the dark. I’ll be ever’where — wherever you look. Wherever they’s a prime minister so corrupt he’ll make us billions, I’ll be there. Wherever they’s a filthy leader taking all the money out of his country, I’ll be there.   I’ll be there in the way Malaysian children die in the hospital cuz they’re sick an’ they know Goldman and the prime minister took all the money out of the country . An’ when folks eat dirt and live in the streets — why, I’ll be there. See? 

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