Tuesday Nov. 21

Millions of patients face pain, withdrawal as opiod Rx plummet Bloomberg
These are the millions of painkiller-dependent users inhabiting a vast gray zone somewhere between medical patient and drug addict, who are finding themselves suddenly abandoned in droves by the medical system. Under threat of lawsuits and government and insurance industry crackdowns, doctors have been cutting off the supply of painkillers, forcing many of their patients to quit cold turkey after years or even decades of dependence, sometimes with catastrophic consequences. Worst of all, those left suddenly without their meds often have nowhere to turn for help.

US move to block AT&T merger bodes ill for tech Wited
Even if the DOJ wins this case, it won’t necessarily be able to apply the same legal theories to tech companies. But the fact that the Justice Department is willing to break with recent precedent suggests a tougher line on antitrust enforcement and doesn’t bode well for Silicon Valley.

FCC -plans to nuke Net Neutrality The Hill
Why bother when in a few years a rational US leadership will only restore it?

Dubious contractor Whitefish claims Puerto Rico owes it $83 million CNN
Whitefish Energy is stopping its work on Puerto Rico’s broken electricity grid because the company says it is owed more than $83 million by the island’s power authority.

60,000 Haitians to be sent back by Feds AP

CBS, PBS darken Charley Rose show after allegations, apology AP
Two hours after the Washington Post story went online, one of its authors, Amy Brittain, tweeted that “sadly, my inbox is already flooded with women who have had similar, disturbing encounters with Charlie Rose.”

Trump fleeces suckers with new online store. NPR
… one born every minute, they say.

360,000 sign petition for legal pot in Michigan ClickOnDetroit
Once the signatures are verified, the proposal would go in front of Michigan’s Legislature which will have 40 days to make a decision. If the legislature approves the proposal, then it becomes law. If it denies the proposal, or does nothing, then voters will get to decide in November 2018.

Milwaukee-area brewery’s ‘free beer until Packers score’ gimmick backfires WXYZ-TV
The Bierhaus may be in for another long day Sunday night, as the Packers travel to Pittsburgh to face off against the Steelers – allowing just 16.5 points per game, good for second-best in the NFL.

Hundreds of Vegas shooting victims sue for damages Reuters
Hundreds of victims of the Oct. 1 mass shooting in Las Vegas filed five lawsuits on Monday in a California court against the operators of the hotel from which the gunman fired, the organizers of the country music festival he targeted and the killer’s estate.

Monday’s stories:

Murder of homicide detective caps bad week in Baltimore The Baltimore Sun
“Everywhere you walk now, you wonder, what’s going to happen? Are you going to be a victim of crime, or are you going to be hurt by mistake because of something that’s going on in a neighborhood?”

Border agents took away asylum seeker’s infant son Buzz Feed
> Jose Demar Fuentes, 30, said he and three other fathers crossed the US border through the Mexican city of Tijuana on Sunday with their children and requested asylum from US immigration authorities.
> Fuentes said that in three separate meetings, agents in dark green uniforms told him and the other fathers that if they didn’t agree to separate themselves from their children, their immigration cases would take longer and there would be problems. Fuentes said he believed the agents were with Border Patrol.
> “The last time they said we’d better agree because it was ‘better to do it the good way and avoid using force in front of the kids,’” Fuentes told BuzzFeed News. “That made us all agree.”

For $99, you can buy a device that hacks any public Wi-Fi Motherboard
Maybe think twice about doing your banking at the coffee house?

Deer in the headlights?
Study finds large mammals do use purpose-built road crossings
Eureka Alert

Florida statehouse “is on fire” with sex assault allegations Politico

Nebraska approves alternate route for Keystone Pipeline AP


Family values Republican pleads guilty in child sex case Newsweek

The Keystone pipeline just spilled another 210,000 gallons of oil Popular Science

This doc casts doubts on whether “bad” foods are really bad NPR

New Orleans elects first woman mayor in 300-year history The Independent

US pursues quiet troop buildup in Somalia Politico

General in charge of nukes says he’d refuse illegal order from Trump Stars & Stripes

Cops mistake hibiscus for pot, attack retired couple AlterNet

Earlier stories:

Former Defense Sec’y Perry:
Don’t count on Cabinet to stop Trump lunatic nuke strike Politico
He says nuclear war has “become more probable in the last year, partly because of President Trump,” and partly due to events beyond the president’s control. He thinks Trump doesn’t understand the North Koreans, and doesn’t understand what his rhetoric is doing.
That the president and his Cabinet secretaries are so often putting out conflicting messages makes the situation worse. And though Perry subscribes to the idea that Mattis and Tillerson are a “stabilizing influence,” he said that with this president, “I’m not really comfortable with anybody.”

Trump hiring lawyers to seize land for border wall Newsweek
It is not clear how many Americans will have their land seized, how long the process will take, or how much it will cost, according to a new report published by Democrats on the Senate Homeland Security Committee Monday. But the administration is gearing up for a fight nonetheless.
It is seeking $2 million to hire 12 land acquisition attorneys at the Department of Justice to mount an “initial surge” of land seizures from holdout landowners who aren’t willing to part with their property on the government’s terms.

Salt Lake County suing Big Pharma for “irresponsible” distribution of opiods KSL.Com
It’s not yet clear how much in damages Salt Lake County officials will be seeking or which companies they will be suing, but District Attorney Sim Gill said his legal team will be working through the specifics over the next two weeks while the suit is prepared for filing.

Sen. Menendez jurors can’t decide NY Times
This case gets very little traction nationally, perhaps because everyone assumes a Senator from NJ is corrupt?

> The jury in the federal corruption trial of Senator Robert Menendez, a Democrat from New Jersey, told the judge on Monday that it could not reach a unanimous decision on any of the charges in the case, raising the prospect of a mistrial.
> Menendez and a co-defendant, Dr. Salomon Melgen, a wealthy eye doctor from Florida, have been accused of bribery and conspiracy. Prosecutors say Mr. Menendez used his office to provide favors to Dr. Melgen in exchange for gifts, rides on his private plane and political contributions. Both men have denied the charges.

Trump gets a partial win on travel ban Courthouse News Service
> Exception to Trump ban:  “foreign nationals who have a credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States.”

Snopes takes on “news” of Clinton’s supposed uranium deal Snopes
Not that reality matters to Clinton haters …
> Among the ways these accusations stray from the facts is in attributing a power of veto or approval to Secretary Clinton that she simply did not have.

Analaysis: Senate bill would raise takes for more than 13 million AP
Promoted as needed relief for the middle class, the Senate Republican tax overhaul actually would increase taxes for some 13.8 million moderate-income American households, a nonpartisan analysis showed Monday.

Budweiser’s former marketing guru: Weed is the new craft beer Syracuse.com
> “This bud’s for you” has taken on a new meaning for Chris Burggraeve.
> The former chief marketing officer for Anheuser-Busch InBev NV, the brewer of Budweiser beer, is moving from barley and hops to cannabis as the alcohol industry casts its sights on the burgeoning market for state-sanctioned marijuana.
> “The same way that craft beer started and, for the longest time, was ignored and then exploded, there’s no reason why the same thing wouldn’t happen in this space,” he said. “There will be part supplementing and part complementing. The jury is out on how and where that will happen.”

Wikileaks urged Trump Junior to advise his father not to concede in case of loss. Newsweek
> The Atlantic broke this story but it is a slog of a read. Therefore, we’re linking to the Newsweek account.
> Basically, US intelligence has said that Wikileaks was doing the bidding of Putin and Julian Assange during the Clinton vs. Trump election. The implication here is that Trump Junior, who corresponded with Wikileaks, was therefore cooperating with Russian agents.
There’s also a simplified breakdown on Axios

Video leads to charging 26 in Penn State frat death Newser
> Newly recovered security camera footage from inside a Penn State fraternity house showed a pledge had been given at least 18 drinks in less than 90 minutes, investigators said Monday in announcing dozens of new charges related to the pledge’s death. Centre County District Attorney Stacy Parks Miller charged 10 new defendants, reinstated charges against two people whose cases had been dropped, and added counts against five who had previously been charged for actions surrounding the Feb. 4 death of Beta Theta Pi pledge Tim Piazza.

Fear of losing health care locks Americans into lousy jobs The Guardian
> Uncertainty surrounding the future of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), widely known as Obamacare, has left many people feeling too scared to risk leaving full-time employment to attempt something on their own. After several failed attempts to repeal the ACA, the current administration may, in its latest tax plan, get rid of the individual mandate that requires most Americans be insured.
> The cost of job-lock may, however, be more damaging than keeping people glued to full-time work: America may be becoming a less creative place – and a less attractive place for creative people.




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