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Cohen Testifies Trump Is Racist, Conman, Cheat

The Trump Organization's coming "proctology exam". Axios: "Near the end of Michael Cohen's testimony yesterday, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez asked the former fixer whether President Trump had ever run an insurance fraud. Cohen said yes, naming three Trump Organization executives: Allen Weisselberg, Ron Lieberman and Matthew Calamari. Over the next year, these men and their colleagues may become household names as they endure a far-reaching, multi-armed investigation into Trump's family business and personal finances. 'This organization has never had a proctology exam like it's about to get,' Bloomberg's Timothy O'Brien told me shortly after watching Cohen's testimony. 'It's going to surface records. That's going to become problematic for all of them to keep their stories straight.'"

Cohen Testimony Depicts Trump's Gangland Tactics

‘Much like a mobster would do.’ Michael Cohen’s testimony paints a picture of how Trump ‘operates.’. WaPo: "Cohen’s 20-page opening statement, in which he reflects on a decade in Trump’s inner circle, is perhaps most captivating for the portrait he paints of the man who now leads the country and his methods. In short, Trump’s longtime consigliere, who for years proudly played the role of his enforcer before getting into legal trouble, likens his old boss to a mobster. 'Mr. Trump called me a ‘rat’ for choosing to tell the truth — much like a mobster would do when one of his men decides to cooperate with the government,' Cohen says. He will open and close his testimony by expressing fear for his safety. “I have asked this committee to ensure that my family be protected from presidential threats,” he plans to say. In and of itself, that’s a remarkable statement — perhaps unprecedented — for a witness appearing on Capitol Hill."

Insurance Stocks Sink After Medicare For All Bill Introduced

Insurance stocks plunge as Medicare for All bill unveiled with major Democratic support. Common Dreams: "Support for Medicare for All is rapidly gaining momentum in Congress—and insurance investors are starting to get nervous. Health insurance stocks tanked on Wednesday as Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) introduced comprehensive Medicare for All legislation with the backing of more than 100 House Democrats and major progressive organizations, including America's largest nurses' union and national consumer advocacy groups. 'The S&P 500 Managed Health Care Index plunged as much as 4.9 percent, the most since Dec. 6, led by UnitedHealth Group Inc., Humana Inc., and WellCare Health Plans Inc.,' Bloomberg reported after Jayapal unveiled her bill during an event on Capitol Hill. 'Insurers UnitedHealth and Cigna Corp, which also own the country's largest pharmacy benefit managers, were both down about four percent.' Jayapal quickly made clear that she has no sympathy for the insurance industry, tweeting in response to the news, 'Sorry not sorry.'"

Judge Orders TX To End Voter Purge

Federal judge orders Texas to end 'flawed' effort to ID noncitizen voters. NPR: "A federal judge in Texas ruled that state officials "created a mess" when they questioned the citizenship of about 98,000 voters and mistakenly concluded that many of those voters were not eligible to cast ballots. The sharply written ruling by U.S. District Judge Fred Biery of San Antonio ordered Texas officials to halt the removal of any registered voter from state voter rolls. 'The evidence has shown in a hearing before this Court that there is no widespread voter fraud,' Biery wrote. In late January, Texas Secretary of State David Whitley issued an "advisory on voter registration list maintenance activity." He claimed that nearly 95,000 noncitizens were registered to vote and said that about 58,000 had voted in one or more Texas elections. Whitley also said going forward his office would cross-reference data from the state Department of Public Safety and voter registration rolls. If a noncitizen is discovered, local county officials will be notified. He also said that the suspect voters would be contacted and told that their registration status was under review. Whitley's action was met with immediate opposition. Civil rights groups said the list was largely made up of naturalized citizens who had applied for driver's licenses or state IDs when they were still legal permanent residents."

Why Wealth Equality Is Out Of Reach For Black Americans

Why wealth equality remains out of reach for black Americans. The Conversation: "Based on data from the Federal Reserve’s Survey of Consumer Finance, the typical black family has only 10 cents for every dollar held by the typical white family. While there is no magic bullet for racism, access to wealth, and the security to pass it down from one generation to the next, would go a long way toward changing the economic trajectory for blacks. It is important to note that it was never the case that a white asset-based middle class simply emerged. Rather, it was government policy, and to some extent literal government giveaways, that provided whites the finance, education, land and infrastructure to accumulate and pass down wealth. In contrast, blacks were largely excluded from these wealth generating benefits. When they were able to accumulate land and enterprise, it was often stolen, destroyed or seized by government complicit theft, fraud and terror. In our view, education alone cannot address the centuries-long exclusion of blacks from the benefits of wealth-generating policies and the extraction of whatever wealth they may have. The most just approach would be a comprehensive reparation program that acknowledges these grievances and offers compensatory restitution, including ownership of land and other means of production."

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