Purdue Pharma and the Justice Department Knew About Oxycontin in 2006

Purdue Pharma knew the dangers that Oxycontin presented, and so did the Justice Department, as early as 2006. But the George W. Bush Justice Department decided not to prosecute.

Based on their findings after a four-year investigation, [federal] prosecutors recommended that three top Purdue Pharma executives be indicted on felony charges, including conspiracy to defraud the United States, that could have sent the men to prison if convicted.

But top Justice Department officials in the George W. Bush administration did not support the move, said four lawyers who took part in those discussions or were briefed about them. Instead, the government settled the case in 2007.

Of course, current Purdue Pharma officials play down that something a decade ago could have anything to do with today’s opioid crisis.

“It would have been a turning point,” said Terrance Woodworth, a former Drug Enforcement Administration official who investigated Purdue Pharma in the early 2000s. “It would have sent a message to the entire drug industry.”

The Sackler family, who have endowed many museums, have been intimately involved in Purdue Pharma from the start. I’ll never feel the same about those museums.

A spokesman for Sackler family members involved with the company, Linden Zakula, declined to comment. Richard Sackler, who is now a director of Purdue Pharma, also declined to comment.

There were plenty of warnings. The article has much more detail – a long read. It’s the New York Times, but one of the places where they’ve done a good job.

And open thread!

143 replies
  1. 1
    TenguPhule says:

    But top Justice Department officials in the George W. Bush administration did not support the move, said four lawyers who took part in those discussions or were briefed about them. Instead, the government settled the case in 2007.

    Deja vu all over again.

  2. 2
    Mike in DC says:

    Massive class action lawsuit in 3..2..1..

  3. 3
    Baud says:

    The NYT is ok when not talking about Democrats especially the Clintons.

  4. 4
    TenguPhule says:

    Woop Ditty Scoop Poop
    @Johngcole
    HOW? HOW IS IT POSSIBLE?

    I sat in front of this computer for five hours right next to my phone, yet the moment my ass hits the toilet seat my mother calls.

    HOW DOES SHE DO IT?

    Good ole Cole.

  5. 5
    Mary G says:

    Open thread?

    If our reputation with other countries hasn’t hit rock bottom, this won’t help:

    scoop: A spokesman for the marijuana cryptocurrency PotCoin confirms that the group is currently in discussions with Dennis Rodman to support his trip to Singapore during President Trump’s talks with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un https://t.co/LKe4b7lUxL— John Hudson (@John_Hudson) June 7, 2018

  6. 6
    hitchhiker says:

    My brother-in-law, Nick, was one of the early victims of opioid overdose. He got the pain pills after a work injury in Seattle; within a few months he was addicted and a couple of years later he was dead. This wasn’t yet part of a big national story, and his family had many other issues, so I didn’t see it as part of an epidemic until I read Dreamland.

    If you want to get a feel for how this happened, that’s the book.

  7. 7
    M4 says:

    @Mary G:

    marijuana cryptocurrency PotCoin

    Sure, why not.

  8. 8
    TenguPhule says:

    @M4:

    Sure, why not.

    Seems legit.

  9. 9
    lollipopguild says:

    @TenguPhule: She has mom radar, John.

  10. 10
    M4 says:

    @TenguPhule: blockchain to the moon!

  11. 11
    VeniceRiley says:

    When Elizabeth Warren got all mad that zero bankers went to jail. That is how I feel about this.

  12. 12
    NotMax says:

    A tidbit for the already overstuffed Pruitt file.

    Scott Pruitt Asked To Lay Off Eating At The White House Mess So Much

  13. 13
    TenguPhule says:

    @NotMax:

    But Pruitt has overstayed his welcome. Per Politico, he racked up a $400 bill in one month, partaking in delicacies like beer-braised brisket tacos and “chocolate freedom,” a molten lava cake crafted with imported French chocolate.

    I want Pruitt spitted and grilled over an open fire. Basted as needed. Fucker.

  14. 14
    MattF says:

    @NotMax: So, um… where did Trump actually find Pruitt? Curled up under a bush in the Rose Garden?

  15. 15
    TenguPhule says:

    @M4:

    blockchain to the moon!

    It will revolutionize the paradigm by optimizing the revolution in quantum coding.

  16. 16
    Gindy51 says:

    @MattF: the Koch Brother’s stable of degenerates?

  17. 17
  18. 18
    Yutsano says:

    Open thread eh?

    Remember how ZEGS supposedly found his spine? Well he lost it just as quickly.

  19. 19
    TenguPhule says:

    @Yutsano:

    Remember how ZEGS supposedly found his spine? Well he lost it just as quickly.

    This is my surprised face. : |

  20. 20
    oatler. says:

    The Corporation Functions, as always.

  21. 21
    MattF says:

    @TenguPhule: Easy come, easy go. It’s the con, and Ryan never forgets that.

  22. 22
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @TenguPhule: Per Politico, he racked up a $400 bill in one month, partaking in delicacies like beer-braised brisket tacos and “chocolate freedom,” a molten lava cake crafted with imported French chocolate.

    I’m all against corruption and shit, and currently trying to stick to a rather strict diet, but… um…. where are these? I would like to investigate to be an informed voter and engaged citizen.

    Dammit, now I really do want tacos

  23. 23
    jl says:

    @TenguPhule: French chocolate?

    Why isn’t the WH mess a McDonald’s franchise already? Trump asleep at the switch, or what? Would turn a profit and serve real American food.

  24. 24
    Yutsano says:

    @MattF: @TenguPhule: The only reason, the ONLY reason, for Paulie Boy to still be sucking up to Dolt45 is because he’s going to try and get his Randian wet dreams passed during the lame duck session. And he needs a willing signer.

  25. 25
    TenguPhule says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    but… um…. where are these? I would like to investigate to be an informed voter and engaged citizen.

    From the article:

    The restaurant is run by members of the U.S. Navy and located next to the Situation Room in the West Wing.

  26. 26
    TenguPhule says:

    @Yutsano:

    The only reason, the ONLY reason, for Paulie Boy to still be sucking up to Dolt45 is because he’s going to try and get his Randian wet dreams passed during the lame duck session.

    Freedomcare!

  27. 27
  28. 28
    AThornton says:

    @TenguPhule:

    And authoritatively cloudify professional schemas, proactively maintain vertical strategic theme areas, and continually coordinate low-risk high-yield process improvements.

  29. 29
    TenguPhule says:

    @lgerard: So its at 99% approval now?

  30. 30
    trollhattan says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:
    It certainly explains why Scotty’s neck poofs out of his shirt collar like the Staypuff Marshmallow Man’s.

  31. 31
    Humdog says:

    Since it isn’t open thread, a story. As a long time guardian in multiple dog household, I knew there was only one good ball at a time, no matter how many balls are right there. Only one good bone. And dogs will wait in line to pee in the one good spot. I did not know until today’s walk, however, that there is only one good stick even when walking thru a forest. They tug of warred over that stick for 1.5 miles, with break outs when one got control and ran up the path with it, thwacking me in the back of my legs. A literal forest of sticks and they warred this one to a toothpick!

  32. 32
    Mai naem mobile says:

    Scott Pruitt’s spokesperson is an Indian American like Raj Shah. I am really embarrassed by the nbet of Indian Americans in this administration. Seema Verma, head of CMS and ofcourse Ajit Pai. Really disgusting . They know better and have sold their souls.

  33. 33
    rikyrah says:

    Sure, Hitler was a genocidal maniac, but the poor loved him!

    So, this is what passes for contrarian discourse on the Bernie left.

    Hitler merely “played upon” already-existing anti-semitism.

    No, Walker: Hitler didn’t play upon it. It was the entire raison d’etre of his political movement. His appeal wasn’t economic; it was cultural and xenophobic.

    ………………………………………..

    What the extreme left and right share is a disdain for the politics of compromise. Compromise produces tainted initiatives. Political life is a zero-sum game: both sides can’t win, there has to be a loser. This maximalist position has long been rampant among the right. What we’ve now seen is it taking hold among the extreme left. (Which really shouldn’t be surprising; Soviet Russia is a model, not a warning.)

    These people are not “allies”. They have no sympathy for the concerns of the Democratic base. To them, the Democratic Party is even more of a threat than the Republicans. Republicans they can understand, as they share the same dictatorial impulse. Democrats, with their insistence on democratic norms, are weak and beyond repair.

  34. 34
    rikyrah says:

    @Mai naem mobile:

    Every group has slave catchers….they think they’re ‘special’.

  35. 35
  36. 36
    Spanky says:

    @Humdog: The main thing I got out of your story is a deep envy for a walk in the woods. I’m stuck in a too-cold, windowless office until 4:30.

  37. 37
    Leto says:

    @Humdog: Hopefully you had really tired pups after that.

    Edit: as this is an open thread, let me add another voice to the “Please disable the auto play ads” crowd. Please? Thank you.

  38. 38
    Corner Stone says:

    @Humdog: It says Open Thread right in the category listing.
    I’m not one to stand on ceremony but when it says it in linked blue and all.

    ETA, or was that an autocorrect typo from “since it’s an open thread”? Probably. I blame this fucking god awful shithead doing a stupid fucking press thing with Abe.

  39. 39
    Corner Stone says:

    @Yutsano: I would have bet money the sun would not rise in the East before I bet against ZEGS doing exactly what anyone with an eyeball and two brain cells knew he was going to do.

  40. 40
    TenguPhule says:

    Donald Trump’s attorney, Rudy Giuliani, said Stormy Daniels’ claim she had sex with Trump in 2006 isn’t credible because she’s a porn actress with “no reputation.”

    I’m sorry I don’t respect a porn star the way I respect a career woman or a woman of substance or a woman who isn’t going to sell her body for sexual exploitation,” Giuliani said at a conference in Tel Aviv.

    Daniels’ work as an adult film actress “entitles you to no degree of giving your credibility any weight,” he said. He said people could “just look” at Daniels to know she wasn’t believable.

    Asshole gotta asshole.

  41. 41

    @Humdog: Sounds like fun. For the dogs.

  42. 42
    catclub says:

    @TenguPhule:

    a molten lava cake crafted

    I would possibly enjoy watching Pruitt try to eat real lava. Unfortunately, it is usually called molten chocolate cake.

  43. 43
    Corner Stone says:

    @TenguPhule: I read this story earlier and tried to understand what the problem was. He’s a Cabinet member so he has an opening. They chastised him for eating there 9 times in one month which is roughly less than half of business days. Even if there is limited seating, who cares? Is he running up bills and EPA is not paying? Anyone familiar with why this is a problem?

  44. 44
    TenguPhule says:

    @NotMax: And it gets even better.

    Pruitt enlisted security detail in picking up dry cleaning, moisturizing lotion

    Via Wapo. I think we may have found someone even more shitty then Trump. Which I didn’t think was possible.

    I mean, there haven’t been stories of the Secret Service being made to act like little gophers. So far.

  45. 45
    rikyrah says:

    Uh huh

    White Family Beats Down 2 Police Officers. Miraculously, No One Gets Shot
    Monique Judge

    This is one of those stories where, if I were writing it about a black family, it would have an entirely different headline and an entirely different outcome, because that’s how these things work in our society right now.

    A husband, wife, their son and an unidentified juvenile relative were all arrested in Middle River, Md., when a family gathering got out of control. WBAL-TV reports that police were summoned to respond to a domestic disturbance, and when they got there, all hell broke loose.

    When officers arrived on the scene, they encountered Beverly Davis—whom they described as being confrontational and aggressive. When her husband, Gary Davis, tried to intervene, she turned and began attacking him.

    When an officer tried to stop Beverly from assaulting Gary, Gary reportedly turned on the officer and held him in a choke hold until he fell unconscious.

    So of course the other officer pulled out her gun and started laying people down, right? Wrong.

    When the second officer tried to get her partner out of the choke hold that Gary was holding him in, the couple’s adult son, Scott Davis, reportedly attacked her.

    So now you have two police officers getting their asses whipped by three people. Police said that a third officer also tried to pull Gary off the officer he had in the choke hold, only to be jumped by Beverly and Scott.

    Somehow, some way, these officers obviously never feared for their lives even though they were getting the shit kicked out of them by the Beverly Hillbillies—so no one was shot multiple times as they charged at the officers and kicked their asses.

  46. 46
    catclub says:

    @Corner Stone: I thought the rail splitter died years ago.

  47. 47
    MattF says:

    @TenguPhule: Good ol’ Rudy. Just the man you always needed to set standards.

  48. 48
    Corner Stone says:

    @Yutsano:

    The only reason, the ONLY reason, for Paulie Boy to still be sucking up to Dolt45

    ZEGS needs influence and access after his term is over in Nov. That’s what he has to sell and if he pisses of too many MAGAs then his bankability goes down somewhat. His own caucus already doesn’t like him very much.

  49. 49
    rikyrah says:

    I.JUST.CAN’T.
    DA ENTIRE PHUQ?????

    Depressed Debbie Calls Police on Black Neighbors Because They Were Happy and She Was Sad

    Michael Harriot
    Yesterday 10:48am

    One day, hopefully soon, my dream of colleges and universities across America instituting doctorate-level programs on the study of white people will become a reality. When that day comes, certain elements will be required in the course curriculum to achieve a Ph.D. in wypipology, including:

    *the autobiography of Rachel Dolezal
    *a laboratory with unseasoned-chicken taste tests
    *an audio recording of the Starbucks 911 call
    *today’s video of an Oklahoma woman who called the police on black poolgoers because they wouldn’t talk to her when she was depressed

    This latest viral video in the ongoing series of white people calling the police on black people features a white woman who is either drunk, high, suffering a bout of mental illness or just white, making a 911 call while lounging poolside at an Oklahoma City apartment complex.

    When the first video posted to Facebook begins, the woman is already on the phone with the authorities. When Poolside Patty hangs up, a woman identified as Ja’Maya Burleson asks the woman why she called the police.

    “You know what?” the disgruntled white woman replies. “I nicely asked you if you would talk to me because I’m depressed.”

    …………………….

    And then, holding back tears, Pat the Crestfallen Pool Girl explains to the officer how much it hurt her to see the other black people laughing and taking pictures. Then she alleges that one of the black women threatened her (which the witnesses deny).

    ………………………………
    The officer interrupts the white woman and informs her that he has patrolled that apartment complex for three years and didn’t even know the pool existed until another man flagged him down and told him that “a short little blond lady” was at the pool causing a scene because she was “drunk or on something.”

  50. 50
    TenguPhule says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Anyone familiar with why this is a problem?

    It appears to be taxpayer subsidized, so the prices are really low for DC.

  51. 51
    Corner Stone says:

    @catclub: Well, both Abe and Abe are politicians so there’s that. The difference being the current one is about 18 inches shorter and corrupt AF. So ain’t no one calling this one “Honest” about anything.

  52. 52
    Calouste says:

    @rikyrah: Those “lefties” are so unaware that they don’t know that the first people that the Nazis put in concentration camps were the lefties. The arrests started while the Reichstag was still burning. Being sympathetic to right-wing authoritarians as a lefty is signing your own death warrant.

    ETA: Niemöller’s famous poem’s first line is “First they came for the Communists.

    Of course a lot of these Bernistas aren’t lefties, just Ron Paul fans looking for a new home.

  53. 53
    TenguPhule says:

    @rikyrah: So conflicted. They did the right thing, but only because the family was white.

  54. 54
    Humdog says:

    @Corner Stone: yup, autocorrect rearranged my meaning. Is an open thread!
    And Leto, the dogs were trying to get me to stop cleaning and go play ball an hour after we got back. Ah, to be my own dog!

  55. 55
    Shell says:

    @Humdog: Humans just dont understand these things!

  56. 56
    NotMax says:

    @Corner Stone

    It’s yet another example of his inflated sense of office and of entitlement. Like when the order for those pricey fountain pens referred to him not by the real name of his office, Administrator, but as the “leader” of the EPA.

    Zinke’s another case, with his flag obsession.

  57. 57
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @TenguPhule: the part when he defends trump’s… taste? or whatever he’s trying to say, by saying “Does he like women? He’s married three of them!” I bet if you watch old tonight shows from the 60s and 70s there are a thousand jokes like that about Mickey Rooney and Liz Taylor. But Carson was trying to be funny

    also, FP twitter is using words like “humiliating” and “terrifying” to describe trump’s press conference with Abe just now. I look forward for our resident Big Brains to weigh in.

  58. 58
    gene108 says:

    @Mai naem mobile:

    Scott Pruitt’s spokesperson is an Indian American like Raj Shah. I am really embarrassed by the nbet of Indian Americans in this administration. Seema Verma, head of CMS and ofcourse Ajit Pai. Really disgusting . They know better and have sold their souls.

    Don’t forget Neal Kashkari (MN Fed), and Nicki Haley (UN Amb)

    I don’t think they know better. The people the meet are the polished sorts, who hate blacks as much as they do* and figure the hate won’t turn on them.

    * Plenty of Indian Americans dislike blacks. Some of it is a cultural stigma against dark skin, some of it is the centuries old presentation of Africans as being prone to violence, lustfulness, etc., but that prejudice gets ingrained, and I guess you grow up meeting white guys, who (a) treat you well enough, and (b) share your dislike of blacks, so you join their club.

  59. 59
    HeleninEire says:

    @lollipopguild: Also, too, eyes on the back of her head.

  60. 60
    Spanky says:

    Looks like a little excitement out Cole’s way.

    No injuries were reported in a massive explosion from a newly installed natural gas line just south of Wheeling, W.Va. Thursday morning. The blast shot huge fireballs into the sky that could be seen miles away.

    “Thank God, nobody is hurt. Everything else can be taken care of,” said Larry Newell, 911 director for Marshall County, W.Va.

  61. 61
    Corner Stone says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    also, FP twitter is using words like “humiliating” and “terrifying” to describe trump’s press conference with Abe just now. I look forward for our resident Big Brains to weigh in.

    I didn’t watch it all because I was trying to dig a hole in my backyard to bury myself in for most of it. Humiliating it certainly was, but terrifying is an understatement.

  62. 62
    rikyrah says:

    Stacey Abrams’ Campaign Was the Hogwarts School for Black Girl Magic
    Jason Johnson
    5/24/18 5:52pm

    There was an idea, hatched back in 2017, of bringing together a group of remarkable people to see if they could be something more; to see if they could work together when we needed them; to fight the battles we never could. … They were the Stacey Abrams campaign for governor of Georgia ….

    Forgive me for pulling a Melania on Nick Fury’s Avengers speech, but essentially, the Stacey Abrams campaign was the most impressive collection of black female political power assembled in decades; black women as consultants, activists and elected officials all descended on Georgia to help. It was like the black women’s Avengers and sistergirl Voltron all signed up for the Hogwarts School of Black Girl Magic, and it worked.

    Abrams, a single, 44-year-old black woman and former Democratic Caucus leader, beat the brakes off her opponent, Stacey Evans, a 39-year-old married white woman and former state legislator. With over half-a-million votes cast in Tuesday’s primary, Abrams won, 76 percent to 24 percent. Abrams beat Evans so bad, “Karen” called the cops.

    Now the Democrats are left with a question: Will they repeat the success of Abrams’ campaign during the 2018 midterms, or is political Hogwarts for Black Girl Magic closed for the season?

    Forty-eight hours before the election, I was at a dinner reception put on by the New Georgia Project at Twisted Soul, a fantastic, modern soul food restaurant in Atlanta’s West Midtown area. Owners Deborah VanTrece and her wife and business partner, Lorraine Lane, mingled around the room serving drinks as other black women from California, Wisconsin, Missouri, Texas and all around the nation trickled in to share strategy, stories and enthusiasm for the Stacey Abrams primary campaign.

    “This is the most empowering experience I’ve had in a long time,” Tishaura Jones, the city treasurer of St. Louis, who came for the weekend to volunteer, told The Root.

    About 25 black women who were organizers and officials were there, and the vibe was like nothing I’d ever felt before in any campaign environment. For all of the “Trust black women,” “Listen to black women” rhetoric that has come out of progressive circles since the #Resistance started, the room was actually filled with black women who were making decisions in and around the campaign, not just showing up as window dressing.

    ………………………………..

    “When black women vote, they don’t vote alone,” said LaTosha Brown, co-founder of the Black Voters Matter Fund, who helped Doug Jones win his U.S. Senate seat in Alabama. “They bring their husbands, their kids, grandmas, aunties, everybody.”

    …………………………………………

    Consider the unique messaging the Abrams campaign developed around the revelation that she was more than $200,000 in credit card and tax debt. She wrote an op-ed in Forbes (ironically) that spilled all her financial tea in a way that would only work for a black woman:

    I’d love to say that was the end of my financial troubles, but life had other plans. In 2006, my youngest brother and his girlfriend had a child they could not care for due to their drug addictions. Instead, my parents took custody when my niece was 5 days old. Underpaid, raising an infant, and battling their own illnesses, my parents’ bills piled up. I took on much of the financial responsibility to support them, and even today, remain their main source of financial support.

    The Stacey Evans campaign thought this would be a home run attack against Abrams; instead, it backfired. It actually humanized Abrams to many voting women in Georgia. How many women, let alone black women, know the struggle of being the eldest daughter and the only one with a stable job? (That was literally a running theme through five seasons of Being Mary Jane!)

  63. 63
    Phylllis says:

    Scott Pruitt’s spokesperson is an Indian American like Raj Shah. I am really embarrassed by the nbet of Indian Americans in this administration. Seema Verma, head of CMS and ofcourse Ajit Pai. Really disgusting . They know better and have sold their souls.

    Don’t forget Neal Kashkari (MN Fed), and Nicki Haley (UN Amb)

    I beg to differ. I seriously doubt there has ever been any evidence of Nikki possessing a soul.

  64. 64
    Corner Stone says:

    @gene108: Kash N Kari has been a big money R sellout for a couple decades now. So he knows what he’s doing.

  65. 65
    Yutsano says:

    @Corner Stone: I’m not even sure he needs them. The media is already in love with his blue eyes and serious wonkish demeanor. He could make a killing as a CNN serious conservative.

  66. 66
    Leto says:

    @Humdog: Sounds like my little rascal; she lays down for a bit, then it’s like… hey, you want to go back outside don’t ya? We didn’t get enough outside time! You want to go back! Oh, you want me to wait… how about now? Now? Nao? NAO! Love that goof ball.

  67. 67
    Peale says:

    @TenguPhule: Just…I mean…Look I knew if she were filing suit alleging sexual assault or rape, there’d be a a lot of discussion about how “whores can’t be raped.” But porn stars now can’t be believed when they claim to just have sex with other people?

  68. 68
    NotMax says:

    @Corner Stone

    Wha hoppen? Curiosity is aroused.

  69. 69
  70. 70
    D58826 says:

    OT but after listening to the presser with Der Fuhrer and PM Abe, what has to be the hardest job in the world is translating what Der Fuhrer is saying into a foreign language. Second hardest job is translating it into English. And somewhere it that word salad it sounded like he was going to invite Kim to the White House.

    I will say that PM Abe slathered on the Trump praise with a very large shovel. He definitely knows his audience

  71. 71
    TenguPhule says:

    @Corner Stone:

    I didn’t watch it all because I was trying to dig a hole in my backyard to bury myself in for most of it. Humiliating it certainly was, but terrifying is an understatement.

    How badly did he taunt North Korea and China?

  72. 72
    🌷 Martin says:

    There were plenty of warnings.

    There are always plenty of warnings. It’s why my advice to my staff works too frequently – if you are having trouble solving a problem, make the problem bigger. Eventually it’ll get big enough for people to pay attention to.

    The US does not believe in prevention. There is no political action for prevention, and ironically, prevention is seen as risking resources when (fingers crossed) they may not need to be spent. That’s why gun control is such a poorly received message. That’s why regulation is such a vile word to so much of the electorate. Human life has no economic value (it does, but we ignore it) but the cost to reduce tailpipe emissions can be calculated to the penny.

  73. 73

    @gene108: As group they heavily vote D though. Around 80% Indian-Americans voted for Obama in 2012 and roughly similar percentages voted for HRC.
    We have our equivalents of Steve Millers, unfortunately. Plus grifters gotta grift, looking at you Dinesh D.
    India’s great Dalit leader and the framer of Indian Constitution Dr. Ambedkar was heavily influenced by the Harlem Renaissance when he was in Columbia getting his PhD.

  74. 74
    HeleninEire says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Hey M4
    When you move to Queens let me know.
    I lived there for 35 years. I know a fabulous real estate broker and along with that a fabulous real estate attorney.

    Also too? FOREST HILLS OR BUST!!

  75. 75
    Obvious Russian Troll says:

    @Peale: Look, *you* try making a case with what Rudy has to work with.

  76. 76
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @TenguPhule: he loudly and unconsciously announced his desire to be rolled, including dangling a White House invite for KJU if everything goes well

    Jim Acosta @ Acosta
    Trump on his preps for Singapore summit with Kim Jong Un: “I don’t think I have to prepare very much. It’s about the attitude.” Via WH pool

    ETA: He also seemed to take credit for a change in leadership that didn’t happen in Iran, but look to Facebook to see this trumpeted as a great success

  77. 77
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @HeleninEire: Don’t you know all the kewl kids live in Brooklyn?

  78. 78
    HeleninEire says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Stop it.

  79. 79
    TenguPhule says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    “I don’t think I have to prepare very much. It’s about the attitude.”

    We are so fucked.

  80. 80
    Peale says:

    @TenguPhule: I can’t believe that they are still doing that “replace French with “freedom”” b.s. from the Iraq war runup. Do they still serve “freedom fries” in the Capitol Hill commissary? LET IT GO!

  81. 81
    Peale says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: On the plus side, if they’ve convinced him that there’s already been “regime change” in Iran, maybe we won’t need to go to war with them to soothe neocon fee fees.

  82. 82
    Mnemosyne says:

    @rikyrah:

    She has caused a big buzz in the romance writing community — people were really excited to find out that she is one of us. 😍

  83. 83
    Leto says:

    @Peale: If they love their freedom so much, they should be using Hershey no flavor sugar chocolate.

  84. 84
    Formerly disgruntled in Oregon says:

    @rikyrah: This is such an inspirational story – I want to see much more of this! Go Stacey Abrams – let’s turn Georgia blue, with black women leading the way!

  85. 85
    Yutsano says:

    @HeleninEire: To be fair, most of the good Asian grocery stores and restaurants are in Brooklyn. So much so that Manhattan Asian eateries pale in comparison.*

    *Disclaimer: I know nothing about Queens.

  86. 86
    NotMax says:

    Kim will take one look at Dolt 45’s Florida enclave and launch into a disdainful Bette Davis “What a dump!”

    The Ryongsang Residence, known by locals as “Central Luxury Mansion,” is in Pyongyang, and is huge: 4.6 square miles. Facilities at the palace include an Olympic-sized swimming pool, banquet facilities, a running track and athletics field, a shooting range and stables. Satellite images show the house also has a giant waterslide.

    But Kim has plenty of alternatives to the Ryongsang palace, should he wish to leave the capital.

    In 2013, Kim Jong Un chartered a $7 million, 95-foot luxury yacht around the North Korean coastline during a tour. He also calls a palatial complex on the coast near Wonsan his home. Rodman described Kim’s life in Wonsan as a “seven-star party,” and that it’s like going to “visit Hawaii except [Kim] is the only one there.”
    [snip]
    A U.N. report in 2014 found that Kim likes luxury living. He buys bottles of alcohol which cost the state $30 million (£20 million), electronic goods costing $37 million and watches which cost another $8.2 million.

    In public, he dresses demurely in black or white overalls, smocks or military attire, but in private, it’s high-end fashion all the way. The report estimates that the total state spending on luxury goods rose from $300 million a year, under Kim Jong Il, to $645.8 million in 2012.

    In 2012, Kim Jong Un reportedly became so fat that he developed a cyst on his ankle and required surgery to remove it.

    And Kim’s love of cheese and wine is no secret. The U.K.’s Metro reported that Kim Jong Un had to retreat from public life after eating too much Emmental cheese, after a large shipment of it arrived from Switzerland. Source

  87. 87
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Peale:

    IIRC, the Congresscritter who came up with “freedom fries” is now like, Yeah, that was really dumb of me. I can’t believe I wanted something so silly.

  88. 88
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Yutsano: Sorry, but you are mistaken. Main St. in Flushing (Queens) is a real hotbed of Asian food. Tourists go to “Chinatown” (in Manhattan), those who know go to Flushing.

  89. 89
    Mnemosyne says:

    @NotMax:

    No wonder Trump is so convinced he can get a deal with Kim. They’re twinsies. 🙄

  90. 90
    NotMax says:

    @Yutsano

    Huge Asian presence for a long time in and around Bayside and Flushing, and more recently, I think, Jamaica.

  91. 91
    trollhattan says:

    @NotMax:
    Supposedly, his daddy’s love of Louis XIII cognac made him Rémy Martin’s biggest account.

    Must be nice, in a country with actual gulags.

  92. 92
    jl says:

    @gene108:

    ” Neal Kashkari (MN Fed) ”

    Kashkari may redeem himself at MN Fed. He went evidence based and made some good proposals. Recommended measures to break up too-large-to-frail banks, and argued against returning to pre Great Recession lax bank regulation. I haven’t followed him closely last few months, so don’t know whether he’s been backsliding.

  93. 93
    Corner Stone says:

    @NotMax: To be brief, Trump started out by humiliating Japan, then in between threatening NK and praising KJU he worked in that he had cause regime change in Iran. He also said a great outcome from the meeting was assured, or maybe a good one or maybe he would just walk away from the negotiations if he felt like it. Abe did his best to ball lick Trump at every opportunity using domestic Japanese policy issues as foundational to his strength at being seen with Trump. Trump capped it off with saying he would solve NK because no one else could (did).
    My takeaway is that either Trump sells the entire store for a bag of lollipops, the whole things ends disastrously and he’s forced to do something to salve his ginormous ego, KJU kidnaps and executes Trump, or best case, the entire region is set back diplomatically 30 or so years and they all hate our guts.

  94. 94
    mad citizen says:

    I hope this oxy-whatchamacallit doesn’t hurt Rush Limbaugh’s hearing/voice. I hear he is a user.

  95. 95
    TenguPhule says:

    @NotMax:

    And Kim’s love of cheese and wine is no secret.

    Trump is going to offer him American cheese and Five Buck Chuck in Singapore.

  96. 96
    TenguPhule says:

    @Corner Stone:

    My takeaway is that either Trump sells the entire store for a bag of lollipops, the whole things ends disastrously and he’s forced to do something to salve his ginormous ego, KJU kidnaps and executes Trump, or best case, the entire region is set back diplomatically 30 or so years and they all hate our guts.

    All of em, Katie.

  97. 97
  98. 98
    Yutsano says:

    @Gin & Tonic: @NotMax: As I noted, I know nothing of Queens. But there’s a large underground market and eatery in Brooklyn too.

  99. 99
    NotMax says:

    @TenguPhule

    Cheez Whiz (in a can) and Zima.

    :)

  100. 100
    Mnemosyne says:

    @jl:

    Kashkari is a little nuts — remember his ads when he ran against Jerry Brown? — but he doesn’t seem to be a total ideologue. Didn’t he do some stunt in Fresno where he lived homeless for, like, six months? And then developed some halfway decent ideas about improving homelessness based on his experience?

  101. 101
    Corner Stone says:

    I guess this is fine. NPR
    Feds, DOJ Prepare 3rd Secret Briefing On Confidential Sources For Hill Bosses
    “Department of Justice and FBI officials are planning another secret briefing for congressional leaders about investigators’ use of confidential sources in the early stages of the Russia investigation.”

  102. 102
    EBT says:

    @NotMax: Everything I hear about Pruitt makes him sound so cheap.

  103. 103
    TenguPhule says:

    @Corner Stone:

    “Department of Justice and FBI officials are planning another secret briefing for congressional leaders about investigators’ use of confidential sources in the early stages of the Russia investigation.”

    This Film’s script is terrible. Nobody would believe it.

  104. 104
    Mnemosyne says:

    @EBT:

    He’s cheap with his own money and extravagant with the government’s money. That’s how these assholes operate.

  105. 105
  106. 106
    TenguPhule says:

    Horrible thought of the Day.

    Running a campaign on the economy and not on confronting Donald Trump would risk coming around to bite us in 2019 when Trump crashes the economy and intense pressure comes on a Democratic majority to agree to some kind of compromise with the GOP to pass an economic rescue/infrastructure bill along the lines of 2009. The “DO SOMETHING” impulse needs to be innoculated against lest the wonks in the Senate decide that the Danes need to be bought off again.

  107. 107
    geg6 says:

    @Spanky:

    That’s actually my way, too. Wheeling is just across the border and down the road from me. I can be there in 20 minutes. When I was a teenager, the drinking age in WV was 18 (it was 21 in PA). So when we were going to go get drunk in the woods after buying booze in Wheeling, we’d always say we were going to get the Wheeling feeling. LOL!

  108. 108
    Anotherlurker says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Flushing it is. Wonderful mix of National styles. The Asian food, there was one of the reasons to work at Citi Field or if you got tired of craft services and $12.00 burgers while working the U.S. Open.

  109. 109
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @geg6: While I’ve never been to Wheeling, I remember many a late-night drive in a car with a crappy AM radio, when the strongest signal, even here in the northeast, came from WWVA.

  110. 110
    geg6 says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    Really? It wasn’t KDKA? That’s surprising!

  111. 111
    Peale says:

    @Anotherlurker: Yeah. The dim sum in flushing is much better than what you get in either sunset park brooklyn or canal street in manhattan.

  112. 112
    Jeffro says:

    Since this is an open thread: Floriduh Man ain’t got nothing on Virginia Armored Vehicle Stealing Man

    Authorities have charged a longtime National Guardsman who was struggling to mount an unlikely bid for U.S. Senate with taking an armored vehicle and leading police on a bizarre, 65-mile pursuit that ended in downtown Richmond near Capitol Square.

    Joshua Phillip Yabut, a 29-year-old first lieutenant in the Virginia Army National Guard who lives in Richmond’s Jackson Ward neighborhood, had an initial hearing Wednesday morning in Richmond General District Court on one count each of driving under the influence of drugs, felony eluding police and felony unauthorized use of a vehicle.

    No bond was set when he appeared in court by video link from the city jail, where he is being held.

    Remarkably, there were no injuries or collisions and no reports of property damage caused by the nearly 12-ton vehicle.

    Yabut, a company commander in the Petersburg-based 276th Engineer Battalion, was participating in his annual training at Fort Pickett in Nottoway County when he drove away in an armored personnel carrier just before 8 p.m., said Guard spokesman Maj. Cotton Puryear. The Guard said he has 11 years of service and deployed to Afghanistan from 2008 to 2009 with the Illinois National Guard.

    The vehicle, an M577, rolls on treads like a tank but is unarmed and essentially functions like a rolling office for command staff. It was one of several that had been set up for the training exercise that had begun a few days earlier. Puryear said he couldn’t say precisely how Yabut took the vehicle, but that it wouldn’t necessarily have been difficult in such a setting.

    Crypto AND drugs! Ya gotta be careful in this big ol’ world…

  113. 113
    NotMax says:

    @geg6

    Good times. Just across the border from PA (21), in NY (18) was a hamlet with a general store, an open for a couple of hours a day lunch counter, perhaps a handful of other shops in dilapidated wooden buildings and what now would be called a liquor SuperStore.

  114. 114

    I see this is marked open thread, so I have a question.

    On my website, people can fill in a Mail Chimp form to receive my newsletter. I can see the person’s preferred language when I click on their name in Mail Chimp. Over the last few weeks, I’ve had an increasing number from Eastern Europe and especially Russia. All four I had today listed Russian as their preferred language. I find it hard to believe I have a boom in readers from Russia.

    Should I just ignore these?

    What could people hope to gain from doing this? Jeez.

  115. 115
    Mandalay says:

    The US has reached a deal with Chinese tech firm ZTE that will remove a ban that prevented the company from buying parts from US suppliers, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross has said.

    The deal will involve ZTE paying a $1bn penalty and hiring a compliance team chosen by the US.

    To be clear, that $1bn penalty represents about three days of revenue for ZTE.

    Some not-so-serious swamp draining right there.

  116. 116
    catclub says:

    @TenguPhule: Given that Kim is pleading poverty on paying the bill for his hotel rooms at the summit, why not?

  117. 117
    trollhattan says:

    @Jeffro:
    Twenty-five years of hearing “Yeah, but…” jokes takes a toll on a man.

  118. 118
    NotMax says:

    @geg6

    KDKA, one of too many to mention here forward-looking ventures begun and backed to the hilt by the now forgotten innovator and business tycoon George Westinghouse.

  119. 119
    bemused says:

    @EBT:

    He’s got to be one of the most brazenly shameless persons I’ve ever seen and cheeto lavishly praised him this week. So tired of this insanity.

  120. 120
    Humdog says:

    @Dorothy Winsor: that is really odd, who knew you were gonna become a star in Russia? Do you think they want to learn idioms to better pass as trolls?

  121. 121
    trollhattan says:

    @Dorothy Winsor:
    “The emails are coming from inside the house!”

    Have no earthly idea but yeah, assume they’re probing for “real” contact info and ignore lest ye end on mailing lists galore..

  122. 122
    NotMax says:

    @Dorothy Winsor

    Trawling for your mailing list’s e-mail addresses?

  123. 123
    catclub says:

    @TenguPhule:

    KJU kidnaps and executes Trump, or second best case, the entire region is set back diplomatically 30 or so years and they all hate our guts.

    fixt

  124. 124

    @Humdog: Honest to god, I have no idea what they want other than the short story I promise to send if they sign up. So they do get some sort of email from me. Can they use that somehow to rip me off? I feel ridiculous worrying, but it’s all just odd.

  125. 125
    EBT says:

    @bemused: While I am sure DC is expensive just the fact he makes 200,000 a year from just being cabinet level makes me pretty deaf to his economic anxieties.

  126. 126

    @trollhattan: @catclub: Those could be. I’m moving in about a month and my home email will change then. I can access that email online. So I suppose I could respond from there.

  127. 127
    catclub says:

    @Mandalay: 1. I bet ZTE never pays the fine, but gets off the hook.
    2. The payoff is to the people who get picked to do the monitoring – friends of Commerce Sec’y.

  128. 128
    catclub says:

    @EBT: that $200k/yr COMBINED with not actually selling his house in OK.

  129. 129
    Mandalay says:

    @Dorothy Winsor:

    What could people hope to gain from doing this?

    Potential access to your server and/or your contacts. It’s not that you are special to them, or that there is necessarily anything wrong with your web site – you are just another potential target.

    Think of it their requests like an email from a Nigerian lawyer, but slightly more intrusive. And ignore them.

  130. 130
    NotMax says:

    @NotMax

    Trivia: It was some time before KDKA got a building from within which to operate. Prior to that they ran the station from a tent atop one of the Westinghouse factory buildings in East Pittsburgh. Supposedly the sounds of trains passing by below were clearly audible to listeners.

  131. 131

    @Mandalay: Thank you. I think I’ll just delete them. I’m glad to know I’m not being crazy.

  132. 132
    NotMax says:

    @Dorothy Winsor

    You could, I suppose, open a separate gmail account to be used only to deal with responding only to those queries.

  133. 133
    Mandalay says:

    @catclub:

    I bet ZTE never pays the fine

    You raise an interesting point. Is the payment of fines to the US government inherently public information? (i.e. Will it be easy to verify whether or not ZTE have actually handed over real $$$ to our government?)

  134. 134

    @NotMax: They’re signing up for a newsletter though, so they’d get that from same account as everyone else. I hate deleting people because I need more readers (don’t we all?) but I think I will.

  135. 135
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Jeffro:

    Shouldn’t the guy be facing a court martial? Or do they do the civilian charges first and then do the court martial?

  136. 136
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Dorothy Winsor:

    Yeah, I vote with the group — go with your gut and delete them. If they’re legitimate readers, they’ll email you through your contact form and ask why they never got the short story.

  137. 137
    Mandalay says:

    @Dorothy Winsor: You are probably just one of many targets in their fishing expedition. If anyone goes to the trouble of contacting you again asking why they aren’t getting your newsletter you might want to reconsider, but by default assume that they are up to no good.

    And resist the temptation to have a guilty conscience about it. If they don’t care enough to contact you again (regardless of their honesty) nothing has really been lost by anyone.

  138. 138

    @Mnemosyne: @Mandalay: Thank you. I’ve been worrying about this for a couple of weeks. I appreciate advice from people who know a lot more than I do.

  139. 139
    Mandalay says:

    @Dorothy Winsor: I don’t want to labor the point too much, but in this situation the downside for you (getting hacked) can be massive compared to the upside (gaining a few truly legitimate readers in Russia).

    It’s a low probability but high risk scenario, and there’s even a book (“The Black Swan: Second Edition: The Impact of the Highly Improbable“) about it that’s worth reading.

  140. 140
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Dorothy Winsor: they are trying to solve The Mystery of the Disappearing “A”

  141. 141
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Yutsano:

    I know nothing about Queens.

    Are we really doing this again?

  142. 142

    @Mandalay: I love your assurance on this. I need it!

    @Steve in the ATL: My true spy name is IOL. I’m sort of sorry that one’s gone.

  143. 143

    Is it just me? Am I overlooking something obvious?
    AP reports:

    “A Tesla SUV using the company’s semi-autonomous Autopilot driving system accelerated just before crashing into a San Francisco Bay Area freeway barrier, killing its driver, federal investigators have determined…
    …The SUV also was equipped with automatic emergency braking, which is always on in Tesla vehicles unless customers deactivate it by taking several steps on the vehicle touch screen….
    …Tesla wouldn’t say if the system performed as designed…
    …A Tesla spokeswoman pointed to passages in the company’s owners’ manual warning that automatic emergency braking is designed to reduce severity of a crash and isn’t designed to avoid a collision. It also may not work all the time, the manual say. “It is the driver’s responsibility to drive safely and remain in control of the vehicle at all times,” it says. “Never depend on Automatic Emergency Braking to avoid or reduce the impact of a collision.”

    Question: If a driver can NEVER depend on a vehicle’s alleged safety feature, what the hell good is it for? and why pay for it in the first place?

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