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TODAY: Everything Is A Racket

LEADS

Corporate America gives out a record $1 trillion in stock buybacks
https://www.cnn.com/2018/12/17/investing/stock-buybacks-trillion-dollars/

Sears Adds Further Insult to Its Workers -- Bankruptcy Bonuses for Execs
https://prospect.org/article/sears-adds-further-insult-its-workers-bankruptcy-bonuses-execs

In Trump’s America, Bosses Are Accused of Weaponizing the ICE Crackdown
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2018-12-18/in-trump-s-america-bosses-are-accused-of-weaponizing-the-ice-crackdown

How One Company Is Making Millions Off Trump’s War on the Poor
https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2018/12/how-one-company-is-making-millions-off-trumps-war-on-the-poor/

Big Pharma Fights Proposal to Keep It From Looting Medicare
https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/12/17/big-pharma-fights-proposal-to-keep-it-from-looting-medicare/

Feds want to dismiss lawsuits alleging nurse educator programs are kickback schemes
https://www.statnews.com/pharmalot/2018/12/17/feds-lawsuits-nurse-educators-kickbacks/

J&J moves to limit impact of Reuters report on asbestos in Baby Powder
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-johnson-johnson-cancer-impact/jj-moves-to-limit-impact-of-reuters-report-on-asbestos-in-baby-powder-idUSKBN1OG2HH

An Epidemic Is Killing Thousands Of Coal Miners. Regulators Could Have Stopped It
https://www.npr.org/2018/12/18/675253856/an-epidemic-is-killing-thousands-of-coal-miners-regulators-could-have-stopped-it

California Knew the Carr Wildfire Could Happen. It Failed to Prevent it.
https://www.propublica.org/article/california-carr-wildfire-failed-to-prevent-it

The Governor and the Oil Lobbyist: Report Blasts Jerry Brown’s Friendship With Lucie Gikovich
https://capitalandmain.com/the-governor-and-the-oil-lobbyist-report-blasts-jerry-browns-friendship-with-lucie-gikovich-1217

France’s Gas Tax Protests Should Be a Warning for California
https://www.citylab.com/perspective/2018/12/france-yellow-vest-protest-gax-tax-california-climate-policy/578344/

The Southwest May Be Deep Into a Climate-Changed Mega-Drought
https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2018/12/us-southwest-already-mega-drought/578248/

Climate gentrification: Is sea rise turning Miami high ground into a hot commodity?
https://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/environment/article222547640.html

This is exactly what families must earn in each state to afford housing, child care and food
https://www.marketwatch.com/story/this-is-exactly-what-families-must-earn-in-each-state-to-afford-housing-child-care-and-food-2018-12-18

Amazon Is Paying People $20 an Hour to Deliver Packages Using Their Own Cars — And the Competition Is Cutthroat
http://time.com/money/5478747/amazon-is-paying-people-20-an-hour-to-deliver-packages-using-their-own-cars-and-the-competition-is-cutthroat/

General Motors To Add 2,700 Factory Jobs For Workers Slated To Be Laid Off
https://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2018/12/15/general-motors-new-jobs-workers-laid-off/

GM, Bailouts, and the Importance of Bankruptcy in Market Economies
https://fee.org/articles/gm-bailouts-and-the-importance-of-bankruptcy-in-market-economies/

Ex-president of only bank charged with fraud in US crisis bailout program gets 6 years prison
https://www.bostonglobe.com/business/2018/12/17/president-only-bank-charged-with-fraud-crisis-bailout-program-gets-years-prison/KKkChuDgZXkxXYWrY7rTTL/story.html

As Goldman's 1MDB scandal deepens, insiders doubt the firm's rogue banker defense
https://www.cnbc.com/2018/12/17/as-goldmans-1mdb-mess-deepens-insiders-doubt-the-firms-rogue-banker-defense.html

Finance’s Lengthening Shadow
https://www.city-journal.org/nonbank-lending-risks

POLITICS and FLEAS

Why the Texas ruling on ACA is on shaky legal ground
https://www.register-herald.com/opinion/editorials/why-the-texas-ruling-on-aca-is-on-shaky-legal/article_0cd4a9fa-483f-5911-82dd-1195c61c9a8d.html

Republicans worry Obamacare ruling will drag them down in the 2020 elections
https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/policy/healthcare/republicans-worry-obamacare-ruling-will-drag-them-down-in-the-2020-elections

GOP lawmakers distance themselves from ObamaCare ruling
https://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/421790-republicans-distance-themselves-from-obamacare-ruling

Judge's Obamacare ruling: Advantage Democrats: COLUMN
https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/judges-obamacare-ruling-advantage-democrats-column/story?id=59872316

FOREIGN ENTANGLEMENTS

America Must Defend Free World From China and Russia, Report Warns
https://www.newsweek.com/us-must-rise-challenge-china-russia-save-free-world-report-warns-1262550

President Xi warns ‘no one will dictate to Chinese people’
http://www.atimes.com/article/president-xi-warns-no-one-will-dictate-to-chinese-people/

In locked compound, minorities in China make clothes for US
https://www.apnews.com/99016849cddb4b99a048b863b52c28cb

PANDORA'S BOXCUTTER

The Story of Dyngo, a War Dog Brought Home From Combat
https://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-culture/story-dyngo-war-dog-home-combat-180971003/

An Officer Placed a Retired Police Dog in a Shelter. Now He’s Been Demoted.
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/17/us/mississippi-police-dog-shelter.html

Deer Poacher Ordered to Watch Bambi Once a Month Throughout Year-Long Jail Stay
https://lawandcrime.com/crazy/deer-poacher-ordered-to-watch-bambi-once-a-month-throughout-year-long-jail-stay/

Wisconsin predator-killing contests: Killing for the thrill of killing
https://madison.com/ct/opinion/column/patricia-randolph-s-madravenspeak-wisconsin-predator-killing-contests-killing-for/article_5e548641-a9c7-5176-a557-2786e5974532.html

Should Zoo Workers and Veterinarians Kill Healthy Animals?
https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/animal-emotions/201812/should-zoo-workers-and-veterinarians-kill-healthy-animals

Would Human Extinction Be a Tragedy?
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/17/opinion/human-extinction-climate-change.html

THE MEDIA SCRUM

From ‘Masturbatory Gestures’ to Wild Misogyny: Here Are the Cable Pundits That Were Fired or Resigned This Year
https://www.mediaite.com/tv/from-masturbatory-gestures-to-wild-misogyny-here-are-the-cable-pundits-that-were-fired-or-resigned-this-year/

Tucker Carlson's Show Is Losing Advertisers After Comment that Immigrants Make the U.S. 'Dirtier'
https://theslot.jezebel.com/tucker-carlsons-show-is-losing-advertisers-after-commen-1831163907

Roger Stone Admits to InfoWars Lies to Settle $100 Million Defamation Suit by Chinese Billionaire
https://www.thewrap.com/roger-stone-admits-to-infowars-lies-to-settle-100-million-defamation-suit-by-chinese-billionaire/

Shade For Now: Les Moonves Didn't Do Right By Janet Jackson. Now, He Won't Receive $120 Million Severance.  
https://thegrapevine.theroot.com/shade-for-now-les-moonves-didnt-do-right-by-janet-jack-1831170776

Woody Allen's Secret Teen Lover Speaks: Sex, Power and a Conflicted Muse Who Inspired 'Manhattan'
https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/features/woody-allens-secret-teen-lover-manhattan-muse-speaks-1169782

ODDS, ENDS

The New York Times Just Published An Unqualified Recommendation For An Insanely Anti-Semitic Book 
https://www.tabletmag.com/scroll/277273/the-new-york-times-just-published-an-unqualified-recommendation-for-an-insanely-anti-semitic-book

Why Western elites now can’t resist conspiracy theories
https://nypost.com/2018/12/17/why-western-elites-now-cant-resist-conspiracy-theories/

Conspiracy Theorists Are Obsessed With the Wrong ‘New World Order’
https://www.thenation.com/article/conspiracy-theory-climate-change-globalists-exxon-mobil/

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