DEMOCRATS STILL BITTERLY AT ODDS MORE THAN A YEAR AFTER SANDERS V. CLINTON: In a sign of a party deeply divided over everything except all-out opposition to Trump, Democrats in recent weeks have engaged in one fight after the next that shows just how raw the wounds of the 2016 battle between moderates and progressives remain. "The debates and issues are real -- Women's rights are fundamental human rights and not secondary concerns, and Wall Street's grip on elected officials has rigged the economy against workers," said Josh Orton, a progressive strategist. "But the closer any debate gets to touching the tribal primary divisions, the more likely it will become an unwinnable, never-ending comment section argument battling over false equivalencies."
24 HOUSE REPUBLICANS WILL BE TARGET OF TV AD CAMPAIGN ATTACKING TRUMPCARE: Save My Care says the campaign will include a mix of TV and digital advertising, costing more than a half million dollars. Among those being targeted are Tom MacArthur of New Jersey, the moderate Republican who helped revive the bill by authoring an amendment on pre-existing conditions, as well as Dave Brat of Virginia, a conservative Freedom Caucus member. The group says it will emphasize the lawmakers' support for a House bill that's estimated to reduce coverage for 24 million people over 10 years and let insurance companies charge more for older people. The campaign will run in congressional districts in 15 states.
SALLY YATES SET TO TESTIFY BEFORE SENATE PANEL INVESTIGATING TRUMP/RUSSIA TIES: Sally Yates, deputy attorney general under President Barack Obama, is expected to disclose details to a Senate Judiciary Committee panel about her warnings to White House officials in January that Trump's national security adviser, retired Army Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, had misled Vice President Mike Pence and other officials about his conversations with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak. Flynn was fired 18 days after Yates went to the White House, and only after news stories revealed the existence of a transcript of Flynn's telephone conversation with Kislyak, which was recorded as part of routine U.S. intelligence monitoring of foreign officials' communications.
BILL COBEY WANTS ACHIEVEMENT SCHOOL DISTRICTS BILL MODIFIED BEFORE IMPLEMENTATION: State Board of Education Chairman Bill Cobey would like to see "some tweaks in the legislation" before the board chooses which low-performing schools will be included in the state's new Achievement School District, he told WRAL News in an interview last week. The new district will take five struggling public elementary schools in the state and put them under new management. Outside entities, such as charter school operators, will take control of the schools and supervise, manage and operate them with the goal of improving their performance.
MACRON VICTORY CELEBRATED OUTSIDE LOUVRE IN PARIS: Fittingly, the centrist, independent candidate for the French presidency had picked the most central of venues: his victory bash was bang in the middle of Paris, on the majestic esplanade of the world’s most famous museum. Other grounds had reportedly been dismissed as too right-wing – think place de la Concorde – or too left-wing – the Bastille or place de la République – for the man who promised to usher in a new era for French politics on a “neither left nor right” platform. When the results were announced on large plasma screens at 8pm, a huge cheer echoed around the Louvre’s historic courtyard as the large and diverse crowd roared with delight and frantically waved the blue, white and red flags of France. There was Ben, a Briton who had come to the Louvre “to finally see a liberal win, somewhere in the world”. There were Basile and Patience, two Congolese refugees “relieved that Le Pen won’t send [them] back”. And there were French men and women of all ages chanting “Macron président !” Most were enthusiastic supporters of the 39-year-old political novice, who has climbed his way from virtual anonymity to France’s highest office through a combination of chutzpah, tactical flair and extraordinary luck. “I feel like this is one of those historic moments you only experience once in a lifetime,” said 22-year-old student Grégoire Collet, who travelled from the far-off Basque Country to savour the moment in Paris. “This is the first bit of really good news we have had in Europe in a long time.” Others, like Amira Belachebab, a 25-year-old hairdresser, had voted for Macron “only by necessity, to defend the French Republic” from his far-right opponent. In a sober speech, Macron had a word for the millions who backed him reluctantly, in order to keep out Le Pen. "I know that this is not a blank check," he said. "I know about our disagreements. I will respect them."