Wednesday

100 House Dems sponsor Medicare for all.
Here are the broad outlines of the bill
CNBC
— House Democrats introduced a plan Wednesday to insure all Americans through Medicare, as the push for a sweeping shift to universal health coverage gains more traction ahead of pivotal elections next year.
— The “Medicare-for-all” proposal, introduced by Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., will face backlash from critics who have warned about its potentially enormous cost — and Republicans who aim to cast Democrats as radicals drifting toward socialism.
— Here’s what Jayapal’s legislation would do:

  • It would create a single-payer, government-funded health-care program within two years, eliminating the age 65 threshold for Medicare eligibility.
  • It would not charge beneficiaries copays, premiums or deductibles.
  • The plan would cover prescription drugs, vision, dental, mental health, substance abuse and maternal care. It would also provide universal coverage for long-term care for people with disabilities.
  • The proposal notably does not include methods to pay for the health-care overhaul. Jayapal mentioned higher taxes on the wealthy or contributions from employers as potential ways to fund it.

Pakistani leader calls for talks
after 2 Indian warplanes shot down,
pilot captured

CBS News

— A Switzerland-based startup called CRISPR Therapeutics just used gene-editing name to treat someone with the blood disease beta thalassemia.
— That’s a big deal, because it marks the first time CRISPR gene editing has been used in a Western clinic — Chinese doctors have already tried using it to treat cancer — according to the MIT Technology Review.

“Tax cuts” screwing over 11 million in US
The Hill

“Robo umps” to make pro baseball debut
in Atlantic League games
Baseball America

Police in Canada Are Tracking People’s ‘Negative’ Behavior In a ‘Risk’ Database
Motherboard
— 
The database includes detailed, but “de-identified,” information about people’s lives culled from conversations between police, social services, health workers, and more.

Tennessee cops may face charges for Turning Off Body Cams
Local News/Memphis

California Reports Appalling Conditions in Immigration Detention Centers
Courthouse News Service
— Disturbing conditions – including women forced to go to the bathroom in biohazard bags and detainees confined to cells for up to 22 hours – prevail at immigration detention centers throughout California, though some facilities have begun to improve, a report released by California Attorney General Xavier Becerra found.

FTC takes on fake Amazon reviews
Gizmodo
… diet pill scammers hired the upbeat folks at amazonverifiedreviews.com.
Reporters prove anyone can cheaply buy fake reviews
NBC News
— To see how businesses may be purchasing fake reviews, NBC News created a gardening business on Facebook and paid $168 to websites that promised to post positive reviews. Within 24 hours, the business had 999 likes and a few days after that, more than 600 five-star reviews. The reviews came from apparently fake Facebook accounts –- the profiles spread out across the globe. The reviews even include generic descriptions of the work such as “really efficient and a pleasure to deal with” and “very polite, did a wonderful job.”

Phone polling keeps becoming less reliable
Pew Research
— Among the factors depressing participation in telephone polling may be the recent surge in automated telemarketing calls, particularly to cellphones. The volume of robocalls has skyrocketed in recent years, reaching an estimated 3.4 billion per month. Since public opinion polls typically appear as an unknown or unfamiliar number, they are easily mistaken for telemarketing appeals.
— In addition, new technologies sometimes erroneously flag survey calls – even those conducted for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – as “spam.” Numerous cellphone operating systems, cellular carriers and third-party apps block incoming phone numbers or warn users that incoming numbers are from potential scammers, fraudsters or spammers.

N. Carolina dufus indicted in election fraud
WaPost
dowless.jpg— Leslie McCrae Dowless, a political operative at the center of a Republican congressional campaign in North Carolina tainted by evidence of ballot fraud, was indicted by a grand jury on seven counts, a prosecutor announced Wednesday.
— Dowless, who worked for Mark Harris, the Republican nominee in the state’s 9th Congressional District, was arrested and charged with three counts of felonious obstruction of justice, two counts of conspiracy to commit obstruction of justice, and two counts of possession of absentee ballot, the Wake County district attorney’s office said.

simpleline

TEN VIEWS OF MICHAEL COHEN’S TRUMP
from HuffPo/NYT

— Michael Cohen testifies before Congress on Wednesday, but his opening statement was published by The New York Times late Tuesday.

— In it, the disgraced former attorney to President Donald Trump painted a picture of a “racist,” a “conman” and a “cheat” sitting in the Oval Office. Then, in scathing detail, Cohen listed examples of each in action.

— Here are some of the most stunning excerpts from the statement:

  • “Mr. Trump is a racist”
    “He once asked me if I could name a country run by a black person that wasn’t a ‘shithole.’ This was when Barack Obama was President of the United States. “While we were once driving through a struggling neighborhood in Chicago, he commented that only black people could live that way. “And, he told me that black people would never vote for him because they were too stupid.”
  • Trump has a very low opinion of his eldest son, Donald Trump Jr.
    “Mr. Trump had frequently told me and others that his son Don Jr. had the worst judgment of anyone in the world. And also, that Don Jr. would never set up any meeting of any significance alone – and certainly not without checking with his father.”
  • How Trump dodged service in Vietnam
    “Mr. Trump claimed it was because of a bone spur, but when I asked for medical records, he gave me none and said there was no surgery. He told me not to answer the specific questions by reporters but rather offer simply the fact that he received a medical deferment. He finished the conversation with the following comment. ‘You think I’m stupid, I wasn’t going to Vietnam.’”
  • Trump is not a patriot
    “The sad fact is that I never heard Mr. Trump say anything in private that led
    me to believe he loved our nation or wanted to make it better. In fact, he did the opposite.“When telling me in 2008 that he was cutting employees’ salaries in half ― including mine ― he showed me what he claimed was a $10 million IRS tax refund, and he said that he could not believe how stupid the government was for giving ‘someone like him’ that much money back.”
  • Trump ‘reveled’ in refusing to pay his bills
    “One of my more common responsibilities was that Mr. Trump directed me to call business owners, many of whom were small businesses, that were owed money for their services and told them no payment or a reduced payment would be coming. When I advised Mr. Trump of my success, he actually reveled in it.”
  • Trump knew about Roger Stone and Wikileaks
    “In July 2016, days before the Democratic convention, I was in Mr. Trump’s office when his secretary announced that Roger Stone was on the phone. Mr. Trump put Mr. Stone on the speakerphone. Mr. Stone told Mr. Trump that he had just gotten off the phone with Julian Assange and that Mr. Assange told Mr. Stone that, within a couple of days, there would be a massive dump of emails that would damage Hillary Clinton’s campaign. Mr. Trump responded by stating to the effect of ‘wouldn’t that be great.’”
  • One of Cohen’s biggest regrets: Lying to Melania Trump
    “He asked me to pay off an adult film star with whom he had an affair, and to lie to his wife about it, which I did. Lying to the First Lady is one of my biggest regrets. She is a kind, good person. I respect her greatly – and she did not deserve that.”
  • Trump repaid Stormy Daniels hush money with personal checks
    “I am providing a copy of a $35,000 check that President Trump personally signed from his personal bank 14 account on August 1, 2017 – when he was President of the United States – pursuant to the cover-up, which was the basis of my guilty plea, to reimburse me – the word used by Mr. Trump’s TV lawyer ― for the illegal hush money I paid on his behalf. This $35,000 check was one of 11 check installments that was paid throughout the year – while he was President.“The President of the United States thus wrote a personal check for the payment of hush money as part of a criminal scheme to violate campaign finance laws.”
  • Cohen warns Trump: I’m not your ‘fixer’ anymore
    “For those who question my motives for being here today, I understand. I have lied, but I am not a liar. I have done bad things, but I am not a bad man. I have fixed things, but I am no longer your ‘fixer,’ Mr. Trump.”
  • The identity of Individual #1
    “For the record: Individual #1 is President Donald J. Trump.”This article originally appeared on HuffPost.

COHEN’S OPENING STATEMENT VERBATIM
via Politico

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