Sally Yates is about to change the subject in Washington

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Sally Yates in a 2016 file photo. AP/J. David Ake

Former acting U.S. attorney general Sally Yates, a former federal prosecutor in Atlanta, will testify before U.S. senators this afternoon about warnings she gave to the Trump Administration that contacts with the Russian ambassador by national security advisor Mike Flynn, who was later sacked, had made the top advisor to President Donald Trump a security risk.

WSB Radio will be livestreaming her testimony here. We’re betting other outlets will do the same, or more. From an advanced look posted earlier this morning:

Yates’ blockbuster turn before the Senate Judiciary Committee is expected to rouse congressional inquiries into Moscow’s impact on the election. It will also give the Georgia native a national stage on which to tell her side of the story for the first time since she was fired by the Trump administration in January for refusing to defend the White House’s refugee policy in court.

 

 

Monday’s hearing, however, is expected to focus on an action of hers a few days before she was fired.

 

 

Yates had reportedly warned White House counsel Donald McGahn that Flynn had misled Vice President Mike Pence and others in the administration about his conversations with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak and that his contact could put him in danger of being blackmailed.

President Donald Trump is clearly not happy with the prospect of Yates’ testimony, which steps on continued celebration of last week’s House Republican passage of a measure to repeal and replace Obamacare. Exhibit A:

And Exhibit B:

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Here’s a headline you don’t see very often. From today’s Washington Post: A political boy wonder, Macron is France’s youngest leader since Napoleon Bonaparte

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Health Secretary Tom Price took his star turn on NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday to defend the House health care bill’s treatment of Americans with pre-existing conditions, calling the Obamacare repeal a “better way” to cover those illnesses.

Pressed by Andrea Mitchell on a coalition of health groups and other advocates who oppose the measure, Price said it said it would allow “for every single person to get the access to the kind of coverage that they want.” He continued:

Look, nobody wants folks who have a pre-existing illness or injury not to be covered. We want to make certain that we can do it at a lower price and [with] broader choices for patients. So that again, they’re able to see the doctor that they want to see. They’re able to go to the hospital that they want to go to, and to the clinic that they want to go to, not that Washington forces them to participate in.

Asked whether the plan would raise the “costs on the sickest people,” Price said the House plan would capture more of the 20 million or so who have sought to avoid Obamacare’s mandates. Said Price:

The fact of the matter is that if those individuals who are sicker, who are older, who are poorer, they will get larger subsidies so that they’re able to gain the kind of coverage that they need and want for themselves and for their family. Our desire is to make certain that we have a system that works for patients, not for government, not for insurance companies, but for patients. That’s the goal.

One critic of Price’s performance was the Washington Post, which awarded him four Pinocchio’s:

When you are reducing spending by more than $800 billion over 10 years, you can’t pretend you are boosting spending “every single year.”

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President Donald Trump plans to nominate Kevin Newsom today to the Atlanta-based 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, according to The New York Times.

Per the newspaper, Newsom is a Birmingham, Ala.-based lawyer who was previously the state’s solicitor general and as a law clerk to retired Supreme Court Justice David Souter. The National Review has a more detailed breakdown of Newsom’s resume.

The 11th Circuit encompasses Georgia, Florida and Alabama.

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It’s prom season. And so state Sen. Bruce Thompson, R-White, has freshened up his Facebook page:

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Since November, Erick Erickson, one of WSB Radio’s conservative provocateurs, has tried ever so hard to adjust his attitude toward President Donald Trump, whom Erickson actively opposed during the campaign. But Trump’s executive order on religious liberty has caused a relapse. From his website, The Resurgent:

Donald Trump wants to get rid of the Johnson amendment, but the logical fall-out of that will eventually be an end to the charitable deduction for churches and ultimately to churches paying taxes. There are few practicing Christian evangelicals in America who want their ministers engaging in politics from the pulpit. Those who do usually have one foot in hell fire already.

 

The eradication of the Johnson amendment may placate the minstrels, charlatans, and TV conmen clerics who have surrounded and embraced Donald Trump, but it will do nothing to help actual practicing Christians.

 

The eradication of the Johnson Amendment would not have helped Baronelle Stutzman save her florist shop. It would not have helped Sweet Cakes by Melissa keep its doors open. It would not have helped the Christians in America routinely targeted and harassed by gay rights activists. But there is other legislation and other executive orders that would.

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Former NBA star Shaquille O’Neal said he’s aiming to run for sheriff – he didn’t say where – in 2020. He told 11Alive it’s not about politics but “bringing people closer together.” Here’s more from the station’s website:

Shaq says he’s perfect for the job, because he can relate to everyone. “I can put on a suit and have a conversation with Bill Gates. I can go in the hood and talk to the homies, and talk to the children.”

He didn’t say where he might run — Henry County, where he has a home, is a possibility — but there could soon be an opening in DeKalb.

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A liberal advocacy group that’s looking to sink legislation sponsored by U.S. Sen. David Perdue plans to hand out more than 1,000 prepaid credit cards from the fake Swamp Bank on Capitol Hill today.

The First Beltway Swamp Bank cards include a fuzzy green swamp creature named John Q. Swampson with a tie and President Trump’s signature red “Make America Great Again” cap.

The D.C.-based progressive group Allied Progress is behind the cards. The organization has already sunk more than six figures into advertisements aimed at defeating the special legislation, which Congress would need to vote on this week before the window to kill the Obama-era regulation expires.

Perdue is looking to reverse the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s rulemaking on prepaid credit cards, which he said overreaches and would end up raising prices and limiting options for prepaid credit card customers. Opponents say the regulation would extend basic account protections to tens of millions of predominantly low- and middle-income customers. Read more here

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We have another candidate in the race to replace House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams, who last week began her campaign for Georgia governor.

Bee Nguyen, a nonprofit director and Democratic strategist, entered the race on Monday. She ran state Rep. Sam Park’s surprisingly victorious campaign for a Gwinnett statehouse seat in 2016. Her backers include Clarkston Mayor Ted Terry and state Rep. Renitta Shannon.

Atlanta attorney Sachin Varghese entered the race in April.

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Democrat Jon Ossoff didn’t vote in the 2012 presidential election while he was studying abroad in London, but he did make a series of donations around the same time he was overseas.

State and federal records show he gave to President Barack and to Steve Oppenheimer, a Democratic candidate for Public Service Commission, in 2012.

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The Gwinnett Republican Women will host a forum for the four candidates running for state GOP chairman at 7 p.m. today at the Gwinnett County GOP headquarters at the Gwinnett Place Mall.


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