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Author: TriSec    Date: 10/01/2019 09:49:58

Good Morning.

Well, Winchester is no longer pretending. Wanna buy some military-grade ammunition?

Veteran ammunition-maker Winchester is now offering ammo specially developed for the Army's new handgun for broader use as training rounds.

The company announced the launch of its "Active Duty" 9mm training round line Monday.

"Winchester proudly developed M1152 to serve alongside the U.S. Warfighter and was selected as the sole source ammunition supplier for the United States Army Modular Handgun System (MHS) Program," the company said in the announcement. "Consumers can now use the same product selected by the US Military for their training needs."

Winchester was selected by the Army in 2017 to develop ammo for the 9mm MHS. It eventually released the M1152 full-metal jacket and M1153 special-purpose loads. The M1152 ball cartridge was designed for use against the enemy and in training, while the M1153, a jacketed hollow-point round, was suited for certain specialized and special operations-style missions.

The "Active Duty" ammo now being offered to consumers is the M1152.

While ALL ammunition is designed to kill people, that M1152 cartridge specifically states "for use against the enemy". You know military handlers of these weapons actually do follow the 'well-regulated' clause. Civilians? Well, who the hell knows.

Shifting gears, we'll look at healthcare this morning - specifically the "compounding" industry. You might have one of these pharmacies in your neck of the woods. They make custom mixes of painkillers, drugs, and homeopathic things, all completely unregulated. (Remember this?) But as it turns out, not only are the drugs unregulated, so is the billing and payment methodology.

For those who saw a loophole, it was easy money.

In 2013, a handful of pharmacy companies that make compounded medications -- personalized dosages or formulas normally crafted for patients who can't tolerate certain ingredients -- discovered they could make treatments such as pain and scar creams, wound ointments and erectile dysfunction drugs, and market them to patients enrolled in Tricare.

Then, they could bill the government a hefty sum, between $400 and $10,000 per prescription, making enough to cover the cost of beneficiaries' co-payments, provide kickbacks to participating physicians and middlemen, and generously pad their own pockets.

When the Defense Health Agency's losses caused by these specious prescriptions topped nearly $1.5 billion in the first half of 2015, the Pentagon moved to restrict its coverage of all compounded medications.

And the Justice Department began pursuing the unscrupulous pharmacists, doctors, marketers and salesmen involved, including military troops who saw the largest case of medical fraud in the Pentagon's history as a chance to make cash on the side.

As of May 2019, the Justice Department has indicted and sentenced 74 people, with 50 more convicted and awaiting sentencing in the nationwide scheme perpetrated by at least 100 pharmacies.

The criminals include at least five veterans, with more arrests of former service members possibly to come.

We'll finish up partway across the Pacific this morning. That wall is going to get built, come hell or high water, apparently. Money's got to come from someplace, and it looks like the island of Guam has drawn the short straw.

HONOLULU — President Donald Trump is raising a large chunk of the money for his border wall with Mexico by deferring several military construction projects slated for Guam, a strategic hub for U.S. forces in the Pacific.

This may disrupt plans to move Marines to Guam from Japan and to modernize munitions storage for the Air Force.

About 7% of the funds for the $3.6 billion wall are being diverted from eight projects in the U.S. territory, a key spot in the U.S. military's efforts to deter North Korea and counter China's growing military.

The administration has vowed it's only delaying the spending, not canceling it. But Democrats in Congress, outraged over Trump's use of an emergency order for the wall, have promised they won't approve money to revive the projects.

"The fact is, by literally taking that money after it had been put in place and using it for something else, you now put those projects in jeopardy," said Carl Baker, executive director of Pacific Forum, a Honolulu-based foreign policy think tank.

The Senate on Wednesday passed a measure blocking Trump from raiding the military construction budget for the wall. The Democratic-controlled House passed the bill on Friday, but Trump is expected to veto it as he did with an identical measure in March.

The tiny island of Guam holds a naval base with fast attack submarines and an Air Force base with bombers that rotate in from the mainland.

The U.S. currently plans to start moving 5,000 Marines there from Okinawa in southern Japan around 2025. This is part of a decades-long effort by Tokyo and Washington to relieve the congested Japanese island's burden of hosting half the U.S. forces stationed in Japan. The total cost of relocating the Marines is $8.7 billion, of which Japan is paying $3.1 billion.

The projects put on hold by the border wall are a small share of this total, yet critical to the relocation.


16 comments (Latest Comment: 10/01/2019 21:52:36 by livingonli)
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