Wednesday, September 23, 2015

1532 The Usual Suspects

1532 The Usual Suspects

It’s been a terrible week for terrible people.  And it’s only Wednesday.

Cars with bad breath:  Those clever Black Forest elves at Volkswagen figured out a way to cheat on emissions tests.  Attach the equipment to the tailpipe, and the car “knows” to adjust its breathing and get an “A.” Detach and the car goes back to its normal -- and over- the- limit belching of pollutants.  Recalls abound. And the automonster has stopped selling those models for now.  Germany has lots of experience in adjusting the components of gas.  This is the second greatest of their many accomplishments in this department.

What’s a little salmonella among friends?: Stewart Parnell, 68, has been sentenced to 28 years in jail for knowingly distributing peanut products that contained salmonella. His Peanut Corporation of America in effect poisoned its customers, killing several. PCA was found to have leaking roofs at its plant and other conditions that turned it into a breeding ground. He wouldn’t answer questions before or during his trial but managed to croak out an apology as they led him off in handcuffs.  He won’t get out of jail until he’s 96 years old. If he lives that long. Which he probably won’t.

Which came first, the chicken or the oil? The Greater Sage Grouse is a chicken-like bird that inhabits a great deal of land in from California to the Dakotas. The oil boom in the region appears to be threatening breeding grounds, which could mean the grouse is on its way to extinction.  It’s not a protected species yet, but it might soon be.  And you can bet that the petroleum industry is oiling up for a fight.

The workers’ friend: Let’s hear it for failed presidential hopeful Scott Walker, the governor of Wisconsin. He had the smarts to drop his bid for the republican nomination as his poll numbers tanked.  No worries, friends of labor, every remaining candidate will try to bust unions, only they won’t boast about it as Walker did.

Will travel porn return to National Geographic:  Back in the day, Geographic used to print pictures of bare chested women, mostly from Africa.  Very instructional.  Now, the Geo Society has sold a 70-plus percent interest in the magazine to NewsCorp, Rupert Murdoch’s print empire.  Chances are we’ll get that old school education again soon.  But the women will be blonde.

Take two Daraprim and call me in the morning… from the poor house: The drug company Turing bought this decades- old treatment for compromised immune systems and raised the price from $13.50 per pill to $750.00.  Why?  Because they could.  That’s 5000% overnight.  The company says the reported increase is “an overstatement.”  Oh. Sorry.

Eric Holder’s Justice Department declined to jail white collar miscreants.  Loretta Lynch has reversed that. So, can we expect a roundup of the usual suspects?  Probably not.  But it might give second thoughts to those who previously were too big to jail.

Note: the plagiarism checker has given this page a rating of 92% and cites two “plagiarized” phrases.  They are “presidential hopeful Scott Walker, the governor of Wisconsin,” and “ NewsCorp, Rupert Murdoch’s print empire.”  I can live with those if you can. --WR

I’m Wes Richards. My opinions are my own but you’re welcome to them. ®
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© WJR 2015

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