Trump Signals CommitmentÂ to Further Strangling Public Education
Betsy DeVos, an anti-public school activist who has spent years advocating for school voucher programs that deplete tax dollars that should go to public schools, to be his Secretary of Education. DeVos, a conservative Republican active in Michigan politics, chairs the Windquest Group, and the American Federation for Children. She also is chair of the Dick and Betsy DeVos Family Foundation, a faith-based non-profit.
â€œThe status quo in education is not acceptable,â€ DeVos said in a statement announcing her nomination. â€œTogether, we can work to make transformational change that ensures every student in America has the opportunity to fulfill his or her highest potential.â€
She has donated millions to conservative politicians and causes.Â
DeVos has “zealously worked” to expand school voucher programs “on a state-by-state basis for decades,” education website Chalkbeat reported Tuesday.
“When Michigan lawmakers this year were considering a measure that would have added oversight for charter schools in Detroit, members of the DeVos family poured $1.45 million into legislatorsâ€™ campaign coffers â€” an average ofÂ $25,000 a dayÂ for seven weeks. Oversight was not included in the final legislation.”
The DeVos influence is one reason that Michiganâ€™s charter sector is among the least regulated in the country. Roughly 80 percent of charters in Michigan are run by private companies,Â far more than in any other state. And state authorities have done little up to now to ensure that charter schools are effectively serving students, eliciting concern from current federal authorities.
â€œThere are a lot of schools that are doing poorly and charter authorizers do not seem to be taking the necessary actions to either improve performance or close those underperforming charters,â€ current U.S. Secretary of Education John KingÂ told ChalkbeatÂ about Michigan last month.
The DeVos family fortuneÂ â€“ the family is among the wealthiest in AmericaÂ â€“ comes from Amway. Her husband, Dick DeVos, is an heir to the DeVos billions, which various membersÂ of the family have used to oppose the civil rights of LGBT people.
Raw Story reports “Betsy and Dick DeVos also led the effort to place an anti-marriage amendment on the Michigan ballot and gave more than $200,000 to the successful effort to change the state constitution.”
Here’sÂ a map of the DeVos family and their relationship to groups like the anti-gayÂ Focus On The Family and the ultra-conservative FreedomWorks andÂ American Enterprise Institute.
UPDATE I: 3:28 PM STÂ â€“
Joe.My.God. notes that Betsy DeVos’ “family is one of NOMâ€™s most massive contributors.” He points to this 2012 ABC News article that reports Betsy’s husband Dick’s parents’ foundation “donated $500,000 to the National Organization for Marriage (NOM), an anti-gay marriage group that was one of the leading advocates against same-sex marriage initiatives in eight states.”
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Christian Nationalist GOP Nominee Doug Mastriano Calling for ‘40 Days of Fasting and Prayer’ to Help Campaign
The far-right Christian nationalist and state lawmaker who is the Republican Party’s nominee to become governor of Pennsylvania is so extreme and has been performing so poorly in the polls it took the media two days to learn of his latest plan to win election: 40 days of fasting and prayer.
State Sen. Doug Mastriano, who led a Zoom meeting days before the January 6 insurrection praying his fellow Trump supporters would “rise up” and overthrow the government, on Monday posted to Facebook a call for “40 Days of Fasting and Prayer.”
To date it has received little attention, a mere 10 comments, 46 shares, and 156 various likes. That’a after one news outlet, The Philadelphia Inquirer, published an article on Mastriano Wednesday afternoon.
“The Republican gubernatorial candidate is losing some support among GOP allies as his cash-strapped campaign turns to Twitter memes and, apparently, divine intervention,” the Inquirer reports.
A mere “few dozen supporters joined the Republican state senator on the steps of the Capitol building in Harrisburg — some of them members of a local militia group,” for campaign rally last weekend, adding that “Mastriano hasn’t run or booked any TV ads in response. He doesn’t do interviews with most media outlets, and won’t agree to a standard format debate.”
Mastriano recently made headlines over previously unreported remarks showing he supports criminal murder charges for women who violate a 6-week abortion ban.
It seems likely Mastriano will lose the election. FiveThirtyEight gives the far right Republican state lawmaker just seven chances in 100 to win the governorship. His opponent, Democrat Josh Shapiro, has spent millions more that Mastriano, who the Inquirer notes has spent just $6300 on TV ads.
Some are highlighting bigger, more longterm concerns, noting that Mastriano is helping to expand the Christian nationalism and fascism his ideologies represent.
Media Matters for America’s Eric Hananoki on Wednesday reveals: “Mastriano announced that he’s holding a rally with Jack Posobiec this weekend. Posobiec has collaborated with white nationalists and neo-Nazis and has targeted Jewish people with antisemitic hate.”
Doug Mastriano announced that he’s holding a rally with Jack Posobiec this weekend. Posobiec has collaborated with white nationalists and neo-Nazis and has targeted Jewish people with antisemitic hate, as the @splcenter has documented. https://t.co/V4xQeohozl
— Eric Hananoki (@ehananoki) September 28, 2022
“Mastriano is a QAnon conspiracy theorist and a January 6 insurrectionist,” Media Matters report adds. “He has also shared toxic commentaries about Muslims; abortion; and gun safety; along with making other inflammatory remarks.”
“He has surrounded himself with numerous extremist media figures in his campaign for Pennsylvania governor. They include: antisemitic Gab CEO Andrew Torba; QAnon and antisemitic conspiracy theorists Allen and Francine Fosdick; “prophet” Julie Green, who has promoted an antisemitic conspiracy theory; and QAnon supporter and 9/11 conspiracy theorist Toni Shuppe. Mastriano also recruited Jenna Ellis, who has a history of anti-LGBTQ remarks and election denialism, as a senior adviser.”
The New York Times last month reported Mastriano “speaks almost exclusively to far-right podcasters like Stephen K. Bannon, conservative talk radio hosts and Fox News. On a recent swing through northwest Pennsylvania, he brushed off a Pittsburgh TV station that sought to interview him, and even the small-circulation Meadville Tribune.“
Don’t Call Us ‘Fascists’: Marjorie Taylor Greene Blasts News Media After Criticism Over Her Feral Hog Hunting Stunt
U. S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) is furious at the entire news industry, and especially HuffPost, after it published a report highlighting her latest stunt: a video portraying her as some kind of lighting-powered superhero with a helicopter and an AR-15 shooting a feral pig and criticizing Democrats.
In the video, posted to Facebook, she claims there is “skyrocketing inflation, high diesel fuel, and America last policies.”
“Democrats aren’t the only ones destroying farmers’ ability to put food on the table. We’ve got wild hogs destroying farmers’ fields,” says Greene, who has nearly no responsibilities as a Member of Congress. “So we decided to go hog hunting.”
Greene takes a large AR-15-styled assault weapon into a helicopter so she can shoot and kill a feral hog from the air. She later poses with the dead carcass on the ground.
Her stunt does nothing to help farmers, but it does help her image with the pro-gun right and serves as a fundraising stunt — she uses the video to announce a contest for supporters to join her in a helicopter hog-shooting trip.
Wednesday morning HuffPost published a story titled, “Marjorie Taylor Greene Likens Dems To Hogs, Wants Help Shooting Them Dead.”
The report notes Greene had “been stripped of her House committee assignments over her use of violent rhetoric, including toward Democrats,” and says the “extremist Republican’s announcement of a competition to hunt feral pigs did not go over well.”
Greene was outraged.
In a seven-part Twitter thread directed at HuffPost she writes, “I demand you change this headline and your lies about me immediately. Your freedom of press is not freedom to lie about me. I NEVER said anything like this and did NOT call for violence on Democrats.”
She calls for the reporter and editor to be fired, and then goes off on the entire news media.
“You don’t get to lie about me and many of my colleagues calling us Nazis, fascists, and any other nasty label you type up and get away with it,” she tweeted.
“There is not one single Republican that has ever aligned with Nazism, fascism, Marxism, socialism, communism, or any other awful political ideology,” she says in carefully-chosen rhetoric.
There are Republicans today exhibiting fascistic behaviors and promoting fascistic ideology. President Joe Biden has clearly criticized the ideology of “MAGA Republicans” as “semi-fascism.”
In late August the White House singled out Greene to defend President Biden’s “semi-fascism” criticism, saying: “Rep. Marjorie Taylor Green has publicly expressed support for shooting prominent democratic elected officials and suggesting physically assaulting transgender school officials.”
Greene this week celebrated Italy’s election of a new neo-fascist prime minister.
On Wednesday, in her indictment of the entire news media, across all points of view including the right, she asks: “Does America have any journalist of such high character and moral ethics that can resist the powerful temptation to lie, abusing their power of freedom of the press, in order to serve their political party?”
“Tragically, we do not,” she concludes.
Watch Greene’s video below or at this link:
Trump Sarcastically Prayed for Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Health – Before Asking ‘How Much Longer’ She Had: New Book
Donald Trump has bragged about how installing Supreme Court justices was one of the greatest things a President can do. By the end of his one term he had placed three far right wing jurists on the nation’s highest court.
As Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s health was failing, Trump apparently was looking forward to nominating yet another justice to the bench.
The Washington Post, citing New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman’s new book, says Trump derisively prayed for the 87-year old liberal icon.
“When Ruth Bader Ginsburg was dying in 2020, the book says, Trump would sarcastically raise his hands to the sky in prayer and say: ‘Please God. Please watch over her. Every life is precious,’ before asking an aide: ‘How much longer do you think she has?'”
Justice Ginsburg was far from the only woman Trump spoke ill of.
The Post reports “Trump was often crass and profane about world leaders and others in his orbit. He referred to German Prime Minister Angela Merkel as ‘that b—-,’ according to the book.”
When Trump met British Prime Minister Theresa May, he brought up the issue of abortion.
“Some people are pro-life, some people are pro-choice,” Trump said, according to Haberman’s book. “Imagine if some animals with tattoos raped your daughter and she got pregnant?” Trump reportedly asked.
Haberman’s book, “Confidence Man: The Making of Donald Trump and the Breaking of America,” is 607 pages long and chronicles Trump’s time in the White House and in New York, going back as far as the 1980’s.
Among many other topics it also reveals Trump’s rarely discussed homophobia and transphobia. The Post says Haberman “reports [Trump] frequently made comments that were homophobic, particularly toward gay men, and washed his hands immediately after meeting someone who had AIDS.”
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