Trump Education Secretary Nominee Delivers Disastrous Testimony in Senate Confirmation Hearing
Betsy DeVos does not agree with the federal law mandating that children with disabilities receive aÂ â€œfree appropriate public educationâ€ or that they deserve equal protection in schools. In a stunning and extremely disturbing exchange with Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA), President-electÂ Donald Trump‘s nominee to become Secretary of Education proved herself adept at side-stepping questions and excellent at delivering partial answers but Sen. Kaine refused to allow her tactics to get in the way of his questions.Â
By the end of Kaine’s questioning, Americans learned that Betsy DeVos not only doesn’t think children with disabilities deserve equal protection in schools, but that schools, regardless of typeÂ â€“ public, private, charterÂ â€“ should not have to meet the same standards of accountability. She also doesn’t believe schools should have to report the same information regardingÂ harassment, discipline or bullying.
Add all that to the fact that DeVos is opposed to public schools in general, has made anti-LGBT statements, and she and her family have donated large sums to anti-LGBT groups and causes.
â€” Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) January 18, 2017
“Do you think K-12 schools that receive government funding should meet the same accountability standards, outcome standards,” Sen. Kaine asked, referring to kindergarten through 12th grade schools.
“All schools that receive public funding should be accountable, yes,” responded DeVos, a charter schools activist and billionaire who has zero experience with public schools.
“Should they meet the same accountability standards?” Kaine pressed.
“Yes, although you have different accountability standards between traditional public schools and charter schools,” DeVos noted.
“But Iâ€™m really interested in this: Should everyone be on a level playing field? So public, public charter or private K-12 schools, if they receive taxpayer funding they should meet the same accountability standards?” Kaine responded, digging in deeper.
“Yes, they should be very transparent with the information and parents should have that information first and foremost,” DeVos said.
“And if confirmed, will you insist upon that equal accountability in any K-12 school or educational program that receives federal funding whether public, public charter or private?” Kaine asked.
“I support accountability,” DeVos responded, clearly attempting to not answer Kaine’s question fully.
“Equal accountability for all schools that receive federal funding?” he again was forced to press.
“I support accountability,” was Devos’ response.
Frustrated with DeVos’ repeated refusal to answer his questions , Kaine pointedlyÂ asked: “Is that a yes or a no?”
DeVos again repeated herself: “I support accountability.”
Kaine, unwilling to play games, asked point-blank: “Do you not want to answer my question?”
DeVos responded, “I support accountability.”
Kaine, frustrated with the nominee’s disrespect, pushed. “Let me ask you this,” he offered. “I think that all schools that receive taxpayer money should be equally accountable. Do you agree with me or not?”Â
“Well they donâ€™t. Theyâ€™re not, today,” was DeVos’ response.
“I think they should,” Kaine said. “Do you agree with me or not?”
“Well no because â€“” DeVos, cornered, finally stated.
This was how, for over three minutes, the Q&A between Kaine and DeVos went. Here’s the rest of the exchange:
Kaine: You donâ€™t agree with me. Let me move to my next question. Should all K-12 school receiving governmental funding be required to meet the requirements of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act?
DeVos: I think they already are.
Kaine: Iâ€™m asking you a â€œshouldâ€ question. Whether they are or not, weâ€™ll get into that later. Should all schools that receive taxpayer funding be required to meet the requirements of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act?
DeVos: I think thatâ€™s a matter thatâ€™s best left to the states.
Kaine: So some states might be good to kids with disabilities and other states might not be so good, and then what? People can just move around the country if they donâ€™t like how their kids are being treated?
DeVos: I think thatâ€™s an issue best left to the states.
Kaine: What about the federal requirement. Itâ€™s a federal law, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. Letâ€™s limit it to federal funding. If schools receive federal funding should they be required to follow a federal law whether they are public, public charter or private?
DeVos: As the Senator referred to â€“
Kaine: Just yes or no, Iâ€™ve only got one more question.
DeVos: Thereâ€™s a Florida program. There are many parents that are very happy with the program there.
Kaine: Let me state this: I think all schools that receive federal funding, public, public charter or private should be required to meet the conditions of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. Do you agree with me or not?
DeVos: I think that is certainly worth discussion and I would look forward to.
Kaine: So you cannot agree with me. And finally, should all schools receiving governmental funding be required to report the same information regarding instances of harassment, discipline or bullying? If they receive federal funding.
DeVos: I think that federal funding certainly comes with strings attached.
Kaine: I think all such schools should be required to report equally information about discipline, harassment or bullying. Do you agree with me or not?
DeVos: I would look forward to reviewing that provision.
Kaine: If it was a court I would say to the court, â€œlet the judge direct the witness to answer the questionâ€. Itâ€™s not a court, youâ€™re not under oath or youâ€™re not under a subpoena, but youâ€™re trying to win my vote. Thanks, Mr. Chair.
Before this exchange, Sen. Kaine called DeVos out for having previously said that public schools are a “dead end,” and “government really sucks.”
Transcript via Augusta Free Press
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Gunman Threatens and Tries to Break Into FBI Field Office in Ohio – Armed Suspect on the Loose: Reports
An armed man tried to break into an FBI field office in Cincinnati, Ohio Thursday morning, and is still on the loose. Ohio State Highway Patrol troopers are in pursuit, according to the Wilmington News Journal.
“Troopers in Wilmington area in pursuit of man who tried to break into FBI building in Cincinnati,” the Journal adds.
“Unconfirmed reports say his [sic] now firing at police from a corn field,” reports NBC 15 News.
The “police pursuit and ongoing police situation in Clinton County has shut down two highways and prompted an area lockdown. It all started after a potential threat was made at a FBI building in Cincinnati,” WLTW reports. “Officials with the Cincinnati FBI field office confirmed the situation began after a potential threat was made at an FBI building in Cincinnati.”
The Ohio suspect’s motivation is unknown but the news comes just days after the FBI executed a search warrant on the Mar-a-Lago home of Donald Trump, drawing massive right wing outrage including calls for “civil war.”
This is a breaking news and developing story. Details may change.
Image via Shutterstock
DOJ Served Trump With Grand Jury Subpoena for Classified Documents Months Before FBI Raid: Report
The U.S. Dept. of Justice served Donald Trump with a grand jury subpoena months before the FBI raided the former President’s Mar-a-Lago home Monday, according to a right wing media outlet.
News of the existence of the grand jury subpoena being served on Trump months ago comes from Just the News, a website created by John Solomon. Solomon is a longtime journalist who in 2019 was labeled by The Daily Beast as “the Trumpian right’s favorite ‘investigative reporter,'” and the “Trump-friendly scribe” whose “Biden-Ukraine conspiracies were cited multiple times in the whistleblower memo.”
“Many of his co-workers are ashamed to be associated with him,” The Daily Beast reported, citing “his questionable reporting, which often seems specifically tailored to stoke the flames of right-wing paranoia.”
Solomon on Thursday writes: “Two months before his Florida home was raided by the FBI, former President Donald Trump secretly received a grand jury subpoena for classified documents belonging to the National Archives, and voluntarily cooperated by turning over responsive evidence, surrendering security surveillance footage and allowing federal agents and a senior Justice Department lawyer to tour his private storage locker, according to a half dozen people familiar with the incident.”
If accurate, that’s news.
“Very clearly not the intention of that John Solomon article, but it inadvertently reflects very well upon the Justice Department,” NBC News Justice reporter covering the DOJ, Ryan J. Reilly observes. “A subpoena was issued to the former president of the United States and it held for nearly three months, until Trump’s own team publicly disclosed it!”
National security and civil liberties journalist Marcy Wheeler adds: “Here’s what propagandist John Solomon says FBI had reason to believe Trump didn’t turn over in the original 15 box collection of stolen documents: Correspondence with foreign leaders.”
She points to this section of Solomon’s article:
“The subpoena requested any remaining documents Trump possessed with any classification markings, even if they involved photos of foreign leaders, correspondence or mementos from his presidency.”
According to multiple news outlets, FBI agents carted away an additional 10 to 12 cartons on Monday, in addition to the 15 the National Archives was forced to travel to Mar-a-Lago to retrieve earlier this year.
Even Rupert Murdoch’s Trump-friendly New York Post on Tuesday reported a “showdown over the materials first erupted back in January when the National Archives said it had retrieved 15 boxes of White House records — including classified information — from Mar-a-Lago that Trump should have turned over when he left office. The feds took another 12 boxes of material on Monday.”
Watch: Beto O’Rourke Swears at Heckler for Laughing at Uvalde Deaths: ‘It May Be Funny to You … But It’s Not to Me’
Just like his speech in a sweltering Cleburne, Texas gymnasium Wednesday morning, it was also standing room only Wednesday night when Beto O’Rourke, positioned in the center of the room and surrounded by hundreds of people at a town hall in Mineral Wells, Texas, swore at a heckler who laughed when the former U.S. Congressman mentioned the Uvalde, Texas elementary school mass shooting.
“It may be funny to you, motherf—er,” shouted O’Rourke, a former Democratic Party presidential candidate now running to unseat GOP Governor Greg Abbott, “but it’s not funny to me.”
The tall 49-year old father of three shared his profane remarks to massive standing applause, cheers, and the waving of black and white signs that matched the candidate’s black Levi’s and white long sleeve woven shirt.
He didn’t miss a beat.
O’Rourke had passionately reminded the audience that it’s now been “eleven weeks since we lost 19 kids and their two teachers, shot to death with a weapon originally designed for use in combat, legally purchased by an 18 year old who did not try to obtain one when he was 16 or 17, but followed the law that’s on the books ladies and gentlemen, that says that you can buy not one, you could buy two or more if you want to. AR-15s, hundreds of rounds of ammunition and take that weapon that was originally designed for use on the battlefields in Vietnam to penetrate an enemy soldier’s helmet at 500 feet and knock him down dead up against kids at five feet.”
Out of nowhere, a laugh from someone in the audience, apparently near where a few people were holding up signs for Gov. Greg Abbbott.
“It may be funny to you, motherf—er,” the Democratic nominee shot back, “but it’s not funny to me.”
“We’re gonna make sure that our kids who are starting their school year that they don’t have to worry about somebody walking into their school with a weapon like this,” he continued amid the applause and cheers, “that we take common sense steps we find the common ground, Democrats or Republicans gun owners non-gun owners alike.”
Watch below or at this link:
.@BetoORourke to a Greg Abbott supporter who laughed when the gubernatorial candidate mentioned the mass school shooting in Uvalde, Texas: “It may be funny to you motherfucker, but it’s not funny to me.” #txlege
— Shannon Watts (@shannonrwatts) August 11, 2022
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