Michael Hiltzik

Michael Hiltzik Columnist
Novartis and the fixer: New details on a big drug company's deal with ex-Trump lawyer Michael Cohen

You know something is deeply wrong with a corporate transaction when the company’s defense boils down to: “We’re not crooked, just stupid.”

That’s the case with the big drug company Novartis and its $1.2-million contract with President Trump’s former self-described fixer, Michael Cohen.

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Angels pitcher Garrett Richards' stem cell treatment failed. That should help dispel the stem cell hype

The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim announced the other day that the stem cell treatment that pitcher Garrett Richards underwent in 2016 to avoid Tommy John surgery has failed, and Richards will now undergo the procedure.

There are three takeaways from this news.

1. It’s terrible for Richards.

2. It’s bad for the Angels, who need an ace in their rotation to compete for the post-season.

3.

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Whistleblowers need help. This tech entrepreneur wants to provide it

Public esteem for whistleblowers reached its high water mark in 2002. That’s when three whistleblowers were named Time’s Persons of the Year.

The three women on Time’s cover were hailed as heroes for exposing corporate fraud and shining a light on the critical gaps in America’s national security apparatus — their employers were the corrupt companies Enron and WorldCom and the pre-9/11 FBI.

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Pfizer doesn't deserve any credit for 'rolling back' its price increases at Trump's demand. Here's why

The giant drug company Pfizer seemed to hand President Trump a big win Tuesday when it announced it would roll back a slate of price increases that took effect July 1.

Trump, naturally, took credit for the move and tweeted it out as “great news for the American people.”

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In another act of sabotage, Trump slashes Obamacare outreach funding to the bone

President Trump’s devoted Affordable Care Act saboteurs took another swipe at the program late Tuesday, slashing funds for outreach programs to a bare $10 million for 2019.

Just two years ago, before Trump took office, the funding for the so-called Navigator program was $63 million. Last year, Trump cut that sum to $36 million, while also slashing the ACA’s marketing and advertising budget by 90%.

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Employers will do almost anything to find workers to fill jobs — except pay them more

UPDATE, July 12: In its latest report on wages, released Thursday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said that earnings for all employees were unchanged in June from June 2017. Real average hourly wages increased 0.1% in June from May, because half of a 0.2% increase in average hourly earnings was eaten up by a 0.1% increase in the Consumer Price Index.

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