UPDATING: Trump Names Anti-Public School Activist Betsy DeVos to Become Secretary of Education
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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Extremist Group Targets Florida High School’s Yearbook Over Inclusion of LGBTQ Students Section
The publication of a Florida high school yearbook that included an LGBTQ section has drawn rebuke from a conservative group, The Orlando Sentinel reports.
Lyman High School’s 256-page yearbook includes two pages that highlight the school’s LGBTQ students and features gender identity terms such as “genderfluid” and “nonbinary.”
The Seminole County Public Schools in response to the criticism is offering to issue refunds or reprint the yearbook without the LGBTQ section that the conservative Seminole County Moms for Liberty claims is offensive.
“They shouldn’t have any sexual definitions in a yearbook,” the group’s chapter chair Jessica Tillmann told The Sentinel.
“This is a yearbook that goes to every student as young as 14.”
The school’s yearbook is stirring controversy for a second straight year after the district in 2022 considered putting stickers over photos of a student walkout protesting the so-called “don’t say gay” law, the report said.
The Sentinel’s Skyler Swisher reports that “An LGBTQ+ section in this year’s yearbook includes a picture of members of the student’s Gay-Straight Alliance, definitions of key LGBTQ+ terms, a passage on the evolution of pronouns and a profile of a student who advocates for the LGBTQ+ community.”
Danielle Pomeranz, the school yearbook’s faculty advisor, isn’t on board with the district’s decision to remove the LGBTQ content.
“They are definitions,” Pomeranz told The Sentinel.
“They are not teaching anything about sex at all. … Nobody is teaching anybody about sex acts. It is ridiculous.”
Pomeranz has since resigned from her position in the district, citing in part the Sunshine State’s political climate and an unsupportive district, the report said.
“We’ve always had the LGBTQ+ spread in there,” she said.
“Our job as journalists and members of the yearbook staff is to provide coverage of the entire school and that includes all of the communities, including the LGBTQ+ community.”
Image via Shutterstock
RIGHT WING EXTREMISM
‘No Longer the Lord’s Chicken’: ‘Christian Woman’ Says She’s ‘Grieving’ Over ‘Woke’ Chick-fil-A Hiring a Diversity Officer
A self-described “Christian woman” who is a contributor to the far-right wing students organization Turning Point USA, is being widely mocked for posting a video attacking Chick-fil-A over claims the conservative, privately-owned, faith-based fast food restaurant chain recently hired a diversity officer.
“So I’m grieving,” the video, apparently by Morgonn McMichael (below), begins. “It’s lunchtime. I’m here with Aubrey. And we really wanted some Chick-fil-A but because they decided to hire a diversity, equity and inclusion corporate position, and also bow down to the woke lord because their ESG scores, and also I found out do you know their chicken is funded by BlackRock and Vanguard? Yeah their farms, they use Tyson and this other farm, BlackRock and Vanguard funded chicken.”
If you think that’s a mouthful just wait, there’s more.
“Chick-fil-A,” Morgonn continues, “you are no longer the Lord’s chicken. You’re actually the woke chicken and I’m really upset about it as a Christian woman. All we wanted was some good fried chicken so now we’re gonna go to Cane’s, we’re going to try it out.”
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Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers is a Louisiana-based fast food restaurant with 600 locations in the U.S. and Western Asia.
“This is really difficult because there’s a Chick-fil-A is across the street. Now eating chicken fingers instead of chicken nuggets. I know, first world Christian woman problems, but no one will ever understand the love that I had for Chick-fil-A.”
“You know, we’re taking this boycott Chick-fil-A thing seriously, and it’s really difficult.”
The video was posted to Twitter by the anonymous group PatriotTakes, which has been described as a liberal political action committee. It quickly went viral, garnering over 2 million views in just eight hours. Late Friday afternoon Morgonn tweeted, “sarcasm and satire are things the left doesn’t seem to understand.”
For those who don’t know, Turning Point USA, a far-right Christian nationalist organization, was founded by the ultra-MAGA Charlie Kirk, now a member of the highly-secretive Council for National Policy.
CNP’s membership list also includes former Trump attorney, ally, and advisor Cleta Mitchell, and Ginni Thomas.
“CNP members range from the leaders of the Heritage Foundation and the Federalist Society, to the Southern Poverty Law Center designated anti-LGBTQ hate groups Family Research Council and Alliance Defending Freedom,” Documented reported last year.
Turning Point USA was in the news last week after Rolling Stone reported: “Charlie Kirk’s TPUSA Teamed Up With a Registered Sex Offender.”
Meanwhile, over at TPUSA, Morgonn McMichael’s bio says she is “a Gen Z social media influencer from Texas whose effort to empower and inspire America’s next generation of young conservative female leaders through patriotic online video content has amassed over 100,000 unique social media impressions every week on Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, and more.”
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“Morgonn has dedicated the last year promoting freedom of speech, religious liberty, personal responsibility, and limited government both online and across TPUSA campus chapters. Morgonn has also reached tens of thousands of viewers of all ages with her articles and appearances on Newsmax, Real America’s Voice, OAN, and Breitbart, offering insightful cultural commentary into the most pressing issues concerning young conservatives today.”
Apparently, Chick-fil-A’s diversity officer (more on that next) is one of “the most pressing issues concerning young conservatives today.”
Morgonn did claim Chick-fil-A “decided to hire a diversity, equity and inclusion” officer.
Well, stunningly, the company – long known for its hate-filled attacks on same-sex marriage – did, over a year ago.
A USA Today fact check found Chick-fil-A hired Erick McReynolds, its vice president of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, more than a year and a half ago. The company even has a DEI page featuring him on its corporate website.
PatriotTakes also tweeted, “TPUSA Contributor Morgonn, who is now calling for a boycott of Chick-fil-a, previously said, Cancel culture is toxic’ and ‘needs to be canceled.'”
As some social media users pointed out, Cane’s Chicken Fingers is very pro-LGBTQ.
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“Since its inception in the early 2000s, Raising Cane’s has been a strong supporter of the LGBT community,” San Diego Gay & Lesbian News (SDGLN) reported in November. “The chicken chain was one of the first companies to offer domestic partner benefits to its employees and has been a vocal advocate for LGBT rights. In 2015, Raising Cane’s was named one of the best places to work for LGBT Equality by the Human Rights Campaign.”
In response to Morgonn’s video, Mississippi Free Press editor Ashton Pittman posted this screenshot from a Raising Cane’s tweet:
Does she know? https://t.co/JWFCMZmdYB pic.twitter.com/sjyvvKRMPL
— Ashton Pittman 🏳️🌈 (@ashtonpittman) June 2, 2023
Over at TPUSA, Morgonn has written content including a piece titled, “Disney’s Male Employee in a Dress Sparks Outrage,” that begins, “At Disney, anyone can be a princess — even a grown man.”
Also, “Disney in Decline: Company Loses Billions Due to Woke Agenda.”
Noted actor and activist George Takei weighed in, tweeting simply, “They’ve lost their goddamned minds.”
Watch Morgonn below or at this link.
A TPUSA Contributor learned Chick-Fil-A has a diversity, equity and inclusion officer:
“Chick-Fil-A you are no longer the Lord’s chicken. You’re actually the woke chicken and I’m really upset about it as a Christian woman.…We’re taking this boycott Chick-Fil-A thing seriously.” pic.twitter.com/oFMCSeR2ie
— PatriotTakes 🇺🇸 (@patriottakes) June 2, 2023
Watch Live: President Biden to Deliver Rare Address to the Nation on Bipartisan Debt Ceiling Agreement
President Joe Biden will make a rare address to the nation Friday evening, to share with the American people the results of successful negotiations with Republicans to avert what could have been not only a national but global economic disaster had the debt ceiling crisis not been averted.
Biden is being credited for smart and savvy negotiations while keeping out of the public eye and allowing Republicans to control the narrative, while steering the agreement to one best for the American people.
Even Speaker Kevin McCarthy “conceded that he had been impressed with Biden’s negotiating team during the talks, calling them ‘very professional, very smart’ and ‘very tough at the same time,'” HuffPost reported Wednesday.
Many extremist House Republicans were hoping for a default, and over the past several weeks they made clear they did not understand what the consequences would have been.
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Watch President Biden below at 7 PM ET, or at this link.
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