Wednesday, August 28th, 2019


A Deal With The Dealers

"The bulk of the funds would come from restructuring the company under a Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing ... In addition, the company would give its addiction treatment drugs to the public without cost." According to the NYT, the Sacklers would give up ownership of Purdue Pharma, and pay out billions "under terms of a settlement proposal to resolve thousands of federal and state lawsuits." The potential deal will provide more questions than closure. What price do we put on a scourge so widespread it lowered America's life expectancy? Is this just about money or should we be hearing evidence in a criminal court? Now that a far more deadly class of killer drugs is being shipped to consumers direct from China and elsewhere, will this deal have an impact on the current catastrophe? And how do we assess one company's responsibility for a sweeping public health crisis that was exacerbated at every step by a perfect storm of bad policy, corporate greed, and a medical establishment all too eager to get patients out of the office and into the queue at their local pharmacy? It was all a prescription for disaster.

+ A refresher from The New Yorker: The Family That Built an Empire of Pain.

+ The Guardian: How big pharma is targeting India's booming opioid market. "What began as a populist movement to bring inexpensive, Indian-made morphine to the ill has given rise to a pain management industry that promises countless new customers to American pharmaceutical companies facing a government crackdown and mounting lawsuits back home."



James Mattis says he 'did as well as I could for as long as I could' under Trump. But his warnings in an WSJ op-ed are about more than the president. "All Americans need to recognize that our democracy is an experiment—and one that can be reversed. We all know that we're better than our current politics. Tribalism must not be allowed to destroy our experiment."


Boorish Johnson

"With two months to go before Britain is due to exit the European Union, the country is mired in political dysfunction; its political leaders agree on little, if anything; and the terms on which Britain will leave the EU are yet to be agreed on. Now, then, seems like the perfect time for Boris Johnson to up the stakes even further." The Atlantic: Boris Johnson Is Suspending Parliament. What's Next for Brexit?

+ BBC: Brexit and suspending Parliament: What just happened?


Ransom Notes

"The FBI and security researchers say paying ransoms contributes to the profitability and spread of cybercrime and in some cases may ultimately be funding terrorist regimes. But for insurers, it makes financial sense, industry insiders said. It holds down claim costs by avoiding expenses such as covering lost revenue from snarled services and ongoing fees for consultants aiding in data recovery. And, by rewarding hackers, it encourages more ransomware attacks, which in turn frighten more businesses and government agencies into buying policies." ProPublica: The Extortion Economy: How Insurance Companies Are Fueling a Rise in Ransomware Attacks.


Land Ho

Rules have been broken. Norms have been done away with. And that was all before we got into the thick of election season ... when things could get really weird. WaPo: ‘Take the land': President Trump wants a border wall. He wants it black. And he wants it by Election Day. The president reportedly "told worried subordinates that he will pardon them of any potential wrongdoing should they have to break laws to get the barriers built quickly."

+ On a more festive (but still related) note: Attorney General William Barr booked Trump's hotel for a $30,000 holiday party. (We should all find a nice Trump property where we can get together and discuss emoluments clauses...)


Pedal Pushers

It's an exercise bike. I mean, it looks like an exercise bike, but it's really a movement, and it's about "technology, media, software, product, experience, fitness, design, retail, apparel, logistics ... [it's] a media company that changes lives, inspires greatness, and unites people." Unless you don't believe the spin. Then it's an exercise bike. NYT on Peloton's IPO: Peloton Is a Phenomenon. Can It Last?


Dorian Way

"It's a forecast that worries many in Puerto Rico because blue tarps still cover some 30,000 homes nearly two years after Hurricane Maria. The island's 3.2 million inhabitants also depend on an unstable power grid that remains prone to outages since it was destroyed by Maria, a Category 4 storm." AP: Dorian hits US Virgin Islands as Category 1 hurricane. Here's the latest from CNN.


Air Raid

"We're not merely lighting a match to the Amazon and imperiling everything that lives in it with extinction, but also summoning creatures long dead to return to Earth's surface and give up the ancient energy they took to the grave. This global industrial metabolism, this heedless combustion of the life at the planet's surface and throughout its history, is a new phenomenon on the face of the Earth. It is a forest fire of the eons." The Atlantic: The Amazon Is Not Earth's Lungs: Humans could burn every living thing on the planet and still not dent its oxygen supply. (But just in case, let's just not.)


Gridiron Fist

"It was never my dream to turn on the TV and hear entitled assh-les speculating about my health, my injuries, and devoting segments on their shows to discussing my medical file, guffawing their way through segment after segment about the hell I have endured. But that's what life becomes for NFL players: reciting tired sound bites through gritted teeth and long, sleepless nights, handfuls of pills, and early-morning rehab sessions, sideways looks from coaches who want you on that field, who need you on that field, or else your ass is gone." Nate Jackson: Football Doesn't Let You Leave.


Bottom of the News

"The most famous iteration, of course, is the corn dog, which first saw life as a sans-stick curiosity before the 1927 patent application for a 'combined dipping, cooking, and article-holding apparatus' allowed it to assume its final form." As summer draws to a close, Eater provides everything you need to know about food on a stick.

+ Some great sea (and see) level surf photos.