West Virginia Attorney General accuses Epi-Pen’s owner of Medicaid fraud

The state of West Virginia is investigating Mylan, the maker of EpiPen, a life-saving autoinjector used to treat severe allergic reactions, for possible anti-trust violations, including skyrocketing price increases.

Attorney General Patrick Morrisey announced the fraud investigation Tuesday against the company that was founded in his state. Mylan’s chief executive, Heather Bresch, is the daughter of West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin, a Democrat.

The state filed documents in Kanawha Circuit Court to force Mylan to provide documents related to its EpiPen. Morrisey issued Mylan a subpoena on Aug. 26. The company initially agreed to cooperate, but has since failed to respond to the majority of the subpoena…

The drug maker, which has a manufacturing plant near Morgantown, W.Va., acquired the rights to the drug in 2007, when it cost about $57 and it has since that time raised the price to $500 for a two-pack.

The court filing documents the price increases as well as “failed attempts to introduce an EpiPen competitor, litigation over intellectual property and dominance Mylan has over the epinephrine auto injector market,” according to the release.

The subpoena also asks about rebates Mylan paid to participate in the state’s Medicaid program…The petition suggests such conduct, if proven, could subject Mylan to a potential Medicaid fraud action under state law…

Hope the greedy creeps at the top of Mylan get what they deserve.

Trump settled legal claims against his businesses by using $258,000 from his charity — you’re not voting for crooks and liars, right?

❝ Donald Trump spent more than a quarter-million dollars from his charitable foundation to settle lawsuits that involved the billionaire’s for-profit businesses…

Those cases, which together used $258,000 from Trump’s charity, were among four newly documented expenditures in which Trump may have violated laws against “self-dealing” — which prohibit nonprofit leaders from using charity money to benefit themselves or their businesses.

❝ If the Internal Revenue Service were to find that Trump violated self-dealing rules, the agency could require him to pay penalty taxes or to reimburse the foundation for all the money it spent on his behalf. Trump is also facing scrutiny from the office of the New York attorney general, which is examining whether the foundation broke state charity laws.

More broadly, these cases also provide new evidence that Trump ran his charity in a way that may have violated U.S. tax law and gone against the moral conventions of philanthropy.

❝ “I represent 700 nonprofits a year, and I’ve never encountered anything so brazen,” said Jeffrey Tenenbaum, who advises charities at the Venable law firm in Washington. After The Post described the details of these Trump Foundation gifts, Tenenbaum described them as “really shocking.”

“If he’s using other people’s money — run through his foundation — to satisfy his personal obligations, then that’s about as blatant an example of self-dealing [as] I’ve seen in a while,” Tenenbaum said.

❝ The Post sent the Trump campaign a detailed list of questions about the four cases, but received no response.

No doubt there will be a new lie to answer to the newest charges,

Plenty of folks say they’re voting for Trump as a protest against the crooks and liars in Washington, DC. What’s the difference between a government crook and a business crook?

Syria and Iraq are clubhouses for DIY remote-controlled guns


Click on the photos for an alternative American TV version

The Syrian civil war is producing a multitude of remotely-operated, custom-made killing machines — sniper rifles and machine guns which a shooter can trigger remotely with the push of a button.

Remotely-operated guns are common in militaries around the world. The United States has thousands of them mounted on tanks and other armored vehicles. The U.S. Marine Corps is testing a smaller machine-gun robot called MAARS, and other gun-bots have appeared in South Korea, Israel and Russia.

But their adoption by rebel groups is an innovation arising from an intermingling of war, cheap personal computers and cameras. The devices typically use cables to hook up the guns to control stations. Aside from the gun, a complete setup only costs a few hundred bucks worth of off-the-shelf components and some technical skills.

After that, it’s just a matter of swiveling the now-teleoperated gun with a joystick, gamepad or a keyboard and triggering the firing mechanism…

While the weapons are hardly new to the Syrian battlefield, an August report published by the U.S. Army’s Foreign Military Studies Office listed 20 distinct teleoperated weapons spotted in Iraq and Syria which can be traced to specific armed factions.

The consequences extend beyond the battlefield, as it’s usually only a matter of time before weapons of war filter back to the civilian world.

…It’s hard to see insurgents matching the scale by which states can deploy teleoperated guns. The weapons in Syria and Iraq are custom made, not mass produced. And armies have a lot more money to spend on research and development.

Still, that insurgents are nonetheless crafting their own versions is something the U.S. military should worry about as an emerging matter of fact in modern warfare.

I imagine there are stores retailing drones which can be adapted for geek death squads in just about every country in the world. Add that to the mix.