In-Box Topics Which May Be of Interest

Each day, I get an array of emails in my In-Box offering up articles, what they think can be interesting reads, or junk. Some are hawking subscriptions too. I like to subscribe to news letters and magazines. The problem being, I never get a chance to finish reading them all.


Billionaire Gifts to Thomas: Generosity or Taxable Income?, Freddy Brewster, Lucy Dean Stockton, Katya Swank. If billionaires’ largesse was designed to keep the justice on the high court, experts say the money could be considered a taxable payment.

Court conflicted over Purdue Pharma bankruptcy plan that shields Sacklers from liability, SCOTUSblog, Amy Howe. AB: Puzzled by this. It was widely apparent what Purdue was doing with the introduction of OxyContin in 1996 through the use of the Jick and Porter letter as medical support. Fraud and deception for profit. This was not a mistake.

Round-up SCOTUSblog, Various issues before SCOTUS.


Increasing Deficit Can Be Traced to GOP Tax Cuts, Americans For Tax Fairness, Press Release. The CAP study finds over half (57%) of the growth in the federal deficits during the 21st century are tax cuts. Most are benefiting the wealthy and corporations passed by Republican Congresses and signed into law by Presidents George W. Bush and Donald Trump.

U.S. Billionaires Now Worth a Record $5.2 Trillion, Americans For Tax Fairness, Press Release. Wealth Has Grown 78% Since 2017 Trump-GOP Tax Cuts; Historic Support in Congress for Taxing Billionaire Wealth Growth as Senate and House Democrats Introduce Bills This Week.

The Pernicious Myth of Meritocracy (Why American capitalism is so rotten, Part 5, Robert Reich. The nation’s largest banks have saved an estimated $21 billion a year since Trump’s tax cuts went into effect in 2018. Some of which went into massive bonuses for bank executives.

November Core-Cast Post-PCE: What Made the Fed Dovish a Week Ago Becomes More Visible to The Public, employ america, Skanda Amarnath. Core-Cast is our nowcasting model to track the Fed’s preferred inflation gauges before and through their release date.

I Live in a Hotel Full Time and It’s Cheaper Than Renting,, Daniel George. It works out cheaper than renting.

The Democrats’ Grocery-Store Problem, The Atlantic, Gilad Edelman. What’s clear is that the biggest cause of America’s current economic discontent is the fact that prices are higher than they were before the pandemic. 

US antitrust enforcers release final version of new merger guidelines, Reuters. Mergers in markets where there are a few big players will receive tougher scrutiny under guidelines that were finalized on Monday and released by the Justice Department, which works with the Federal Trade Commission to enforce antitrust law.

Higher Education Issues

The University of Phoenixification of Elite Education, The American Prospect, Maureen Tkacik. University of Pennsylvania versus the University of Phoenix. Marc Rowan.

Can colleges afford class-based affirmative action? Brookings, Philip Levine and Sarah Reber. The SCOTUS ruling left open the possibility that colleges could substitute classbased “affirmative action” for race-based affirmative action.

Student Debt Relief’s Narrow Path, The American Prospect, David Dayen.

Why Kurt Vonnegut’s advice to college graduates still matters today,, Susan Farrell. If Vonnegut was, like the students’ fathers, a family man and a veteran, perhaps he also embodied the dad that students in 1969 dreamed their own fathers could be: funny, artistic, anti-establishment and anti-war.


The Fate of the West’s Water Crisis Rests With a 27-Year-Old, POLITICO, Annie Snider. To the waterway’s power players and intelligentsia, whose annual meeting convenes Wednesday in Las Vegas, Hamby has come to represent the hope for a new way to resolve the generations-deep conflicts over the Colorado River.

The Growing Debt Burdens of Global South Countries: Standing in the Way of Climate and Development GoalsCenter for Economic and Policy Research, Ivana Vasic-Lalovic and Lara Merling. The combined burden of the climate crisis and increasing debt, perpetuated by an unfair international financial architecture, is a recipe for economic and social devastation.

Counter Intelligence: Australia bans engineered stone, Carbon Upfront! Lloyd Alter. Caesarstone is now banned in Australia as of July 2024. When it is cut, it produces fine silica dust. Workers breathing it are dying of silicosis. 

Interesting Read

Archaeological Excavation Rewrites Roman Empire History,, Tim Newcomb. We found a thriving town adapting to every challenge thrown at it for 900 years.


Medicaid Enrollment and Unwinding Tracker, KFF.

As Extra Medicaid Funding Phases Out at Year’s End, States Must Still Report Data and Comply with Federal Renewal Requirements, Center For Children and Families,, Tricia Brooks. Starting in 2024, states will no longer receive extra federal funding associated with the Medicaid continuous enrollment requirement that was in place from March 2020 through March 2023. 

Medicaid Managed Care, Maternal Mortality Review Committees, and Maternal Health: A 12-State Scan – Center For Children and Families, Andy Schneider, Tanesha Mondestin, Ella Mathews, Eni Akinniyi. The United States is in the midst of an ongoing maternal mortality crisis and Medicaid, the health insurer for low-income Americans, has an important role to play in addressing it.

Three Million Fewer Children in the U.S. are Covered by Medicaid: CHIP Enrollment Isn’t Growing Much, Center For Children and Families, Joan Alker. Florida posted its November data which was fitting – as Texas and Florida account for over one million (of three million) of the children who have lost coverage. 

Emergency Department Care for Children During the 2022 Viral Respiratory Illness Surge. JAMA Network Open, Alexander T. Janke, Courtney W. Mangus, Christopher M. Fung. Cohort study of more than 2.7 million ED visits, prolonged wait times and lengths of stay were common at children’s hospitals.

Effect of Dietary Sodium on Blood Pressure: A Crossover Trial | Cardiology, JAMA Network, Deepak K. Gupta, Cora E. Lewis, Krista A. Varady. In this trial, the blood pressure–lowering effect of dietary sodium reduction was comparable with a commonly used first-line antihypertensive medication.

Association of Severe COVID-19 and Persistent COVID-19 Symptoms With Economic Hardship Among US Families. JAMA Network Open, Nicole L. Hair, Carly Urban. Study of 6932 families, the odds of reporting economic hardship were higher for families headed by an adult with persistent COVID-19 symptoms and, to a lesser extent, families headed by an adult with previous severe COVID-19 compared with families with no history of COVID-19.

Record number of Americans have signed up for Obamacare this year, HHS says, ABC News, Mary Kekatos. The HHS expects 19 million will sign up by the Jan. 17 deadline.


CDC COVID Data Tracker: Maps by Geographic Area

Track Covid-19 in the U.S.: Latest Data and Maps – The New York Times (