OxyContin makers avoid televised courtroom trial — Settle out of court for $270 million.


Click to enlargeJustin Lane/EPA

❝ Purdue Pharma, the maker of OxyContin, and its owners, the Sackler family, agreed to pay $270 million to avoid going to a state court trial over the company’s role in the opioid addiction epidemic that has killed more than 200,000 Americans over the past two decades.

❝ The payment, negotiated to settle a case brought by the state of Oklahoma, was far larger than two previous settlements Purdue Pharma had reached with other states. It could jolt other settlement talks with the company, including those in a consolidated collection of 1600 cases overseen by a federal judge in Cleveland.

❝ “Purdue appears to have concluded that it was less risky to settle the Oklahoma case than have the allegations publicly aired against it during a televised trial and face exposure to what could have been an astronomical jury verdict,” said Abbe R. Gluck, a professor at Yale Law School who directs the Solomon Center for Health Policy and Law.

Lock ’em up and throw away the key!

The Symbiosis of Stupid


Dumb and DumberEthan Miller/Getty

❝ The Symbiosis of Stupid between Donald Trump, American president, and the Fox News Channel has come to define our era in a way that rivals The Death of Shame. Now that pretty much every organization the president has ever run is under investigation—from the already shuttered Trump Foundation and Trump University, to the Trump campaign, the Trump inaugural committee, the Trump transition, and the Trump Organization—he has begun to sink deeper and deeper into the infotainment vortex. He has correctly identified that maintaining his grip on political power may be the best way to keep himself out of the slammer, as a sitting president cannot, according to current Justice Department doctrine, be indicted.

❝ He has also correctly ascertained that part of his strategy for maintaining that power must be to maximize the diameter of The Bubble. The president must rope as many people as possible into the void of Fox News and talk radio, where he is one of the great presidents ever—many people are saying the best, except maybe Abraham Lincoln—and all opposition to him is based in petty grievances from Liberal Snowflakes in The Fake News Media. He has, for years now, tuned into cable news for between four and eight hours a day. It is his primary source for information. More recently, he has taken to echo-tweeting whatever they say on Fox & Friends or Hannity, spreading The Gospel According to Meatheads to his nearly 60 million followers on the Tweet Machine.

RTFA for detailed analysis of the relationship between the quasi-fascist in the White House and his Goebbels equivalent.

Morgan Freeman Turns His Mississippi Ranch Into Honeybee Sanctuary

❝ Morgan Freeman has long been known for having a voice of gold, using his clout and vocal talents for such worthy causes as environmental conservationist group One Earth. But it has also become apparent that the beloved actor also has a heart of gold–especially now that he has devoted his ranch to helping save honeybees.

The 81-year old actor took up beekeeping on his 124-acre Mississippi ranch as a simple hobby in 2014, largely in reaction to the mass die-offs that were occurring and continue to this day.

❝ “There is a concerted effort for bringing bees back onto the planet … We do not realize that they are the foundation, I think, of the growth of the planet, the vegetation … I have a lot of flowering things, and I have a gardener too.”

“As she takes care of the bees too, all she does is figure out, ‘OK, what would they like to have?’ so we have got acres and acres of clover, and we have some planting stuff like lavender, I have got like, maybe 140 magnolia trees, big blossoms.”

❝ While Freeman’s efforts may not be enough on their own to turn back the tide of adverse factors facing bees, his example is an inspiring signal that people are beginning to grow more conscious of the winged pollinators’ importance to humanity.

An example to us all.

Thanks, UrsaRodinia