Quick Takes: What Would Republican Health Care Cost You?

A roundup of news that caught my eye today.

* Here is a great ad that is simply titled, “The Price.”

* Here’s the plan: if Republicans can’t repeal Obamacare, at least the Trump administration can make it as difficult as possible to sign up.

* You’d think that if Trump were as rich as he claims to be that he could pay his own legal bills.

President Donald Trump’s attorneys in the probe of Russian election interference are being funded in part through a Republican Party account with a handful of wealthy donors—including a billionaire investor, a property developer seeking U.S. government visas and a Ukrainian-born American who has made billions of dollars doing business with Russian oligarchs.

The Republican National Committee, through an account typically used for its own legal bills, paid more than $300,000 last month to help cover Mr. Trump’s private legal fees, according to filings with the Federal Election Commission.

The fund has also paid another nearly $200,000 to lawyers for the president’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., according to a person familiar with the payments.

* Ryan Lizza has a roundup of the dizzying week of Trump-Russia revelations.

But this week was a good one for Trump-Russia-conspiracy theorists. The Times reported major developments about the seriousness with which Mueller is pursuing a potential obstruction-of-justice case against the President. And the possibility that Russian entities had help in targeting voters using Facebook ads became a major part of the congressional investigation. But it was news about Manafort this week that gave a boost to two theories that close watchers of the Russia investigation have been hyping as potentially earth-shattering.

* Betsy DeVos is at it again. This time she is weighing in on the side of those who have been accused of sexual assault on college campuses.

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos announced Friday she was rescinding Obama-era guidance on school sexual assault, effective immediately. The agency issued a question-and-answer document to help schools navigate the highly contentious issue while a formal review is conducted.

The document allows schools to use a higher standard of proof in campus disciplinary proceedings related to sexual violence, altering one of the most hotly debated elements of the Obama-era guidance. Instead, schools can opt to use a higher standard of proof — known as “clear and convincing evidence.”

Attorneys for the accused have said too often that the Obama-mandated standard, known as “preponderance of evidence,” or “more likely than not,” undermined the due process rights of the accused. That standard is lower than the “beyond a reasonable doubt” standard common in criminal trials.

* Here is your good news story of the day.

The Jesuits are returning more than 500 acres in South Dakota to the Rosebud Sioux. The formal return of the property is expected to be complete sometime in May.

The property had been given by the U.S. government to the Jesuits in the 1880s for use for churches and cemeteries, according to remarks in a YouTube video by Jesuit Father John Hatcher, president of St. Francis Mission…

“It’s now time to give back to the tribe all of those pieces of land that were given to the church for church purposes,” Father Hatcher added. “We will never again put churches on those little parcels of land. But it’s an opportunity to return land that rightly belongs to the Lakota people,” of which the Rosebud Sioux are a part.

* Finally, I’ll go out with something that I hope will put a smile on your face.

Nancy LeTourneau

Nancy LeTourneau is a contributing writer for the Washington Monthly. Follow her on Twitter @Smartypants60 .