Friday News: Privatization mayhem


NC'S MANAGED CARE MENTAL HEALTH CEO RAKES IN HUGE UNAUTHORIZED SALARY: Cardinal Innovations Healthcare Solutions had been under fire from legislators and the former head of the state Department of Health and Human Services for paying its CEO Richard Topping more than $635,000 in salary this year. He makes more than leaders of the six other regional mental health offices and more than state policy allows. The report from State Auditor Beth Wood’s office said Cardinal decided on Topping’s pay without getting required approvals from the state Human Resources office. That office established about $187,000 as the maximum salary for that job in 2010, according to the audit.

TILLIS APPARENTLY JUST AS IRRITATING AS HE'S ALWAYS BEEN: The 56-year-old went to the ground and was treated by bystanders about 2 miles into the ACLI Capital Challenge race in Anacostia Park in the southeast part of Washington. An off-duty police officer administered CPR to him while other racers called 911 for help. Tillis said he recalls getting dizzy but disputed the reports that he had collapsed on the race course. "I actually went to the side and sat down and then fainted," he said. "I call it an impromptu power nap." He was taken to George Washington University Hospital, where cardiologists checked him out. "They did a full stress test. Literally after running 2½ miles on an inclined treadmill, proving that the heart was in good condition, I came back (to the office), took a shower and got to work," he said.

MASTER PROPAGANDIST AND SERIAL SEXUAL HARASSER ROGER AILES ALSO GAVE US MITCH MCCONNELL: Roger Ailes changed the way Americans see politicians — not only Donald Trump and Richard Nixon, but also Mitch McConnell. He brought America Fox News and helped Nixon soften his surly image in 1968 and Trump’s out-of-nowhere presidential bid last year. But before that, the media guru who died Thursday at age 77 played a big role in electing McConnell, now the Senate majority leader. In September 1984, McConnell, then the Jefferson County judge-executive, the top elected official in Kentucky’s most populous county, was polling 40 points behind his opponent, Democratic Sen. Dee Huddleston. That is, until he hired Ailes.

BURR WALKS BACK STATEMENT ABOUT FLYNN REFUSING TO COMPLY WITH SUBPOENA: Correcting his earlier statement, the chairman of the Senate intelligence committee said Thursday that ousted National Security Adviser Michael Flynn hasn’t responded to a subpoena from the panel in its probe of Russia’s meddling in the 2016 presidential election. Republican Sen. Richard Burr of North Carolina had said hours earlier Flynn’s lawyer had informed the panel he would not comply with the subpoena. Burr corrected himself by issuing a written statement saying Flynn’s attorneys “have not yet indicated their intentions” regarding the subpoena. “Consistent with the committee’s position since the beginning of or investigation, I welcome their willingness to cooperate,” Burr said.

SWEDEN'S RAPE INVESTIGATION OF JULIAN ASSANGE DROPPED, FOR NOW: The decision was taken after prosecutors concluded that “at this point, all possibilities to conduct the investigation are exhausted”, Sweden’s director of public prosecutions, Marianne Ny, said on Friday. “In order to proceed with the case, Julian Assange would have to be formally notified of the criminal suspicions against him. We cannot expect to receive assistance from Ecuador regarding this. Therefore the investigation is discontinued. “If he, at a later date, makes himself available, I will be able to decide to resume the investigation immediately.”