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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Rep. Greene Files Bill to Eliminate ATF Then Attacks Biden Over Drug Cartels – Which ATF Targets and Investigates
U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) on Thursday announced she has filed a bill that would eliminate the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). One hour later in a spottily-attended press conference Greene angrily attacked President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, whom she falsely accused of allowing the U.S. southern border to be “wide open” to allow drug trafficking.
“President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris are in business with the cartels,” Greene declared, lying to reporters. “They are in business with the criminals. Because their border policies, of ripping our southern border wide open is allowing the cartels to get rich beyond their wildest dreams, as they traffic humans and drugs across our border.”
— Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (@RepMTG) June 17, 2021
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives works to target, investigate, and prosecute cartels that traffic in illegal guns – and drugs.
Earlier this month, for example, the Dept. of Justice published a press release announcing “Eight Members of Armed Drug Trafficking Organization Charged by Federal Indictment.”
“This case,” DOJ says, “was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office, and the Lake City Police Department.”
The indictment charges “eight individuals in Florida with conspiracy to distribute and to possess with the intent to distribute MDMA, also known as ‘ecstasy’ or ‘molly’, and α‑Pyrrolidinopentiophenone, also known as ‘alpha-PVP’ or ‘flakka.’ If convicted, each faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison. The indictment also notifies the defendants that the United States intends to forfeit property that was used to facilitate the offense or that is traceable to proceeds of the offense, including approximately $185,000 in cash, a 2015 BMW 550i, a 2015 Lexus IS 250, a 2013 Audi A8 L Quattro, a 2020 Ryker Rally Edition motorcycle, two Rolex watches, numerous pieces of jewelry, and five firearms.”
It’s the forfeiture of the firearms that Greene has a problem with.
“I just introduced the bill to eliminate the ATF,” Greene says in her recorded video Thursday, during which she mispronounced the word “introduced.”
“The war on gun owners’ rights has been waged long enough and it’s time to stop it.”
Just moments ago I introduced legislation to ELIMINATE the ATF (H.R. 3960).
The ATF’s unconstitutional war on gun owners and our Second Amendment rights must end. pic.twitter.com/dTOVkxuh2Q
— Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (@RepMTG) June 17, 2021
Those eight individuals captured by federal authorities, including by the ATF, are U.S. citizens, gun owners, living and operating in Florida, who “were part of an armed drug trafficking organization that distributed illegal narcotics, primarily out of a ‘trap house’ on 14th Street in Jacksonville, beginning in July 2018 and continuing until April 13, 2021, when six of the defendants were arrested,” the DOJ statement says.
That investigation is far from the only one that makes Greene’s desire to eliminate ATF problematic if she actually is concerned about drug trafficking and cartels.
A few headlines:
It is a joint effort– the Unified Narcotics Enforcement Team aims to stop the trafficking of illegal drugs in South Dakota, comprised of Pennington County Sheriff’s deputies and Rapid City Police officers, they work with the State Division of Criminal Investigations, Highway Patrol, and federal agencies like the DEA, ATF, and Homeland Security to fight illegal drug distribution, from the top down.
If Greene wants to get rid of illegal drugs getting rid of the agency that gets rid of illegal guns isn’t going to help.
GOP Congressman: FBI ‘Participated’ in Insurrection to ‘Entrap’ Harmless Protestors and ‘Frame the MAGA Movement’
U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) is demanding the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Dept. of Justice tell Congress what they know about their own alleged “participation” in Donald Trump’s January 6 insurrection, which led to at least seven deaths. Gohmert falsely claims the attack on the U.S. Capitol – which in reality was an attempted coup designed to overturn a free and fair election – was instead a “monumental entrapment scheme used as a pretext to imprison otherwise harmless protestors” and used to “frame the entire MAGA movement as potential domestic terrorists.”
News organization The Recount calls Gohmert’s assertions “a bullshit baseless conspiracy theory.”
Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) spews a bullshit baseless conspiracy theory blaming the FBI for organizing the January 6th insurrection to “frame the entire MAGA movement as potential domestic terrorists.” pic.twitter.com/LZI5bQfx65
— The Recount (@therecount) June 17, 2021
The Texas Republican congressman, explained on Thursday on the floor of the House that his “friend,” Fox News white supremacist host Tucker Carlson “covered this last night,” called the conspiracy theory “really disturbing… because we don’t like to see government agents stirring up trouble or find that there are criminal acts that would not likely have occurred had not the federal government been participating.”
Having no evidence that January 6 was an “inside job,” which is what Gohmert is asserting, he goes on to make up possible scenarios, again, without any basis in fact.
“Whether they were actual agents, or an undercover agents, or informants that were working for the federal government. But this is scary stuff this is, This is kind of third world stuff, this is not only third world stuff but this is like Putin-like kind of activity. So, if there were federal agents that were involved on January 6, we really need to know what the FBI knew and when they knew it, and not only that, we need to know how much participation did any of our federal friends either at DOJ, FBI, or any of the Intel Community, what kind of role were they playing?”
Gohmert, on the House floor, suggests federal agents were involved in Jan. 6: “We don’t like to see govt agents stirring up trouble… This is not only third-world stuff, this is like Putin kind of activity.” pic.twitter.com/Tku3tDIjbI
— Andrew Solender (@AndrewSolender) June 17, 2021
It’s almost like he is demanding Speaker Pelosi form a Special Committee to investigate the January 6 insurrection.
Trump Supporter Who Was ‘Heavily Armed’ Pleads Guilty After Firing Gun Into Car Full of Black Girls
A supporter of former President Donald Trump has pleaded guilty to intimidation with a dangerous weapon and willful injury after he fired multiple shots into a car filled with Black girls last year.
Local news station KCCI reports that 26-year-old Michael McKinney is now admitting to “causing the occupants to fear serious injury from my action” and also seriously injuring a 15-year-old girl whom he shot in the leg.
McKinney shot into the car while attending a pro-Trump rally at the Iowa Capitol building in December, exactly one month before the deadly January 6th pro-Trump riot that took place at the United States Capitol building.
“McKinney was wearing body armor and heavily armed when he participated in a pro-Trump parade of slow-moving vehicles through Des Moines on Dec. 6,” reports KCCI. “Police say he had a pistol, another firearm in his vehicle and was carrying two loaded magazines.”
Witnesses say that the girls’ car was surrounded by Trump supporters after they drove by and began taunting them. The car’s driver put the vehicle in reverse to escape the Trump supporters and struck a pickup truck, at which point McKinney drew his weapon and started firing at them.
McKinney faces a maximum of 10 years in prison for both charges he’s pleading guilty to, although in exchange prosecutors are dropping the more serious charge of attempted murder.
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