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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GOP Congresswoman Saying She Would ‘Do Anything’ to Protect Her Grandchildren, Even ‘Shooting Them’ Sets Internet on Fire
U.S. Congresswoman Debbie Lesko (R-AZ) in a speech denouncing a House bill on gun safety, appears to inadvertently have declared that to protect her five grandchildren, she would “do anything,” even shoot them.
“I rise in opposition to H.R. 2377,” Congresswoman Lesko says in the video. “I have five grandchildren. I would do anything, anything to protect my five grandchildren, including as a last resort shooting them if I had to, to protect the lives of my grandchildren.”
NCRM has verified the video is accurate. Congresswoman Lesko made the remarks on June 9, according to C-SPAN, while she was opposing a red flag law.
The Congresswoman presumably meant she would as a last resort shoot someone threatening her grandchildren.
One Twitter user, Ryan Shead, posted the previously ignored video to Twitter, where it has gone viral and is trending.
Lesko, who some social media users note is running for re-election unopposed, went on to say: “Democrat bills that we have heard this week want to take away my right, my right to protect my grandchildren. they want to take away the rights of law-abiding citizens to protect their own children and grandchildren. and wives and brothers and sisters,” which is false.
“This bill takes away due process from law-abiding citizens. Can you imagine if you had a disgruntled ex or somebody who hates you because of your political views and they go to a judge and say, ‘oh, this person is dangerous,’ and that judge would take away your guns?”
Lesko’s hypothetical claims are false. Red flag laws are designed to protect both gun owners and those around them.
Allow me to introduce you to Congresswoman Debbie Lesko of Arizona, who is currently running for office unopposed in her district.
She would like America to know she loves her grandchildren so much she would shoot them if necessary. 😳
But liberals are the problem, right? 😏 pic.twitter.com/qk5BT9FDLw
— Ryan Shead (@RyanShead) July 5, 2022
Some social media users noted that Congresswoman Lesko reportedly “attended meetings about overturning the election,” while others are having fun with the Arizona Republican’s remarks:
Anybody check on Debbie Lesko’s grandkids?
— Sam Youngman (@samyoungman) July 6, 2022
Or maybe one of Debbie Lesko’s grandchildren gets rabies and she has to put it down before it attacks the other four! All sorts of things can happen.
— Ron Hogan (@RonHogan) July 6, 2022
The most probable interpretation is that @DebbieLesko meant she would shoot someone to PROTECT her grandchildren and garbled it. However, it’s the GOP, and it’s 2022. So . . . /1 https://t.co/KVWir9t8te
— CyborgSlavesOfPopehat (@Popehat) July 6, 2022
/3 Anyway, bottom line, good luck and best wishes to Debbie Lesko’s (for now) five grandchildren.
— CyborgSlavesOfPopehat (@Popehat) July 6, 2022
/4 But seriously it’s VERY unlikely that a GOP member of Congress was casually advocating shooting her grandchildren. I mean they’re white.
— CyborgSlavesOfPopehat (@Popehat) July 6, 2022
Since Debbie Lesko is trending for threatening to ::checks notes:: shoot her grandkids, now is the perfect time to revisit this recent thread/story on her very shady past. https://t.co/90xkhzrWny
— TrumpsTaxes (@TrumpsTaxes) July 6, 2022
Lauren Boebert is crazy and unqualified
Louie Gohmert is an idiot and unqualified
Marjorie Taylor Greene is dangerous and unqualified
Trump is mentally ill and unqualified
Debbie Lesko = hold my beer
— Jimmy (@JimmyStreich) July 6, 2022
This is the same Debbie Lesko who would shoot her grandchildren to own the libs. 😬
Arizona has better to offer. 💯 https://t.co/oXd9o3ucbo
— Ryan Shead (@RyanShead) July 6, 2022
I don’t think she meant the thing she said. I think she’s just dumb. She was trying to make some overblown dramatic point and she screwed up the script. https://t.co/aKzzocabim
— Tom Nichols (@RadioFreeTom) July 7, 2022
Watch Congresswoman Lesko’s remarks above or at this link.
Separation of Church and State Is a ‘Fabrication’ Says Far Right Activist Charlie Kirk: They Should Be ‘Mixed Together’
Far-right religious activist, conspiracy theorist, and founder of the right-wing organization Turning Point USA Charlie Kirk has falsely declared that separation of church and state, a bedrock principle on which American society is based, is a “fabrication” not in the Constitution.
Kirk is a member of the secretive theocratic Council for National Policy., a close friend of Donald Trump, Jr., and spent years promoting President Trump – even interviewing him at one point. Turning Point USA has had repeated challenges. The New Yorker’s Jane Mayer in 2017 write a piece about TPUSA titled, “A Conservative Nonprofit That Seeks to Transform College Campuses Faces Allegations of Racial Bias and Illegal Campaign Activity.”
Former TPUSA communications director Candace Owens has praised Hitler, saying “the problem” with him was that he wanted to “globalize.”
On Wednesday Kirk declared, “There is no separation of church and state. It’s a fabrication. It’s a fiction. It’s not in the Constitution. It’s made up by secular humanists.”
The claim separation of church and state is not in the Constitution is a religious right belief that has been debunked by countless legal experts.
“Of course we should have church and state mixed together,” Kirk continued. “Our Founding Fathers believed in that. We can go through the detail of that. They established – literally – a church in Congress.”
That too is false.
“It’s a good thing Charlie Kirk doesn’t go to Wheaton because he would fail my Constitutional Law class,” writes Dr. Miranda Yaver, PhD, a Wheaton College professor.
As most public school students know, Kirk’s claims are belied by the First Amendment to the U.S., Constitution, which states:
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
It’s the Establishment Clause, legal experts say, that debunks Kirk’s falsehood.
In reviewing the Supreme Court’s recent rulings, Reuters last month noted: “It was President Thomas Jefferson who famously said in an 1802 letter that the establishment clause should represent a ‘wall of separation’ between church and state. The provision prevents the government from establishing a state religion and prohibits it from favoring one faith over another.”
Jefferson is also considered the principal author of the Declaration of Independence.
Watch Charlie Kirk below or at this link.
Charlie Kirk: “There is no separation of church and state. It’s a fabrication. It’s a fiction. It’s not in the Constitution. It’s made up by secular humanists” pic.twitter.com/R4dkUSxGwI
— Jason Campbell (@JasonSCampbell) July 6, 2022
Pat Cipollone Is ‘A Greatest Hits Package of Crazy Statements’ by Donald Trump: Legal Expert
Former White House Counsel Pat Cipollone has agreed to speak to the House Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on Congress on Friday.
Former Assistant Deputy Attorney General Harry Litman told CNN that Cipollone has carefully negotiated the testimony and he will likely “steer around down the middle” of the attorney/client privilege. However, former President Donald Trump is not the client of a White House counsel, the White House is. President Joe Biden has waived executive privilege for anything involving Jan. 6 or the 2020 election.
“He is a greatest hits package of crazy statements by Donald Trump,” Litman said of Cipollone. “He is the one who says to Mark Meadows, ‘You know, if you do this, you’ll have blood on your effing hands.’ He’s the one who says to Mark Meadows about [Mike] Pence, ‘You’ve got to stop it’ and Meadows says, ‘You’ve heard him. He thinks the rioters are right.’ He’s the one who has to go to Cassidy Hutchinson, a 25-year-old, and plead with her because Meadows won’t speak to him. ‘Please try to keep him from going to the Capitol.’ He’s the one who says, ‘if I go to the Capitol, it will be every effing crime imaginable.'”
“Now, they’ve negotiated it up, and probably what he wants is to say he’s not piercing attorney/client privilege. But all these statements I’ve said to you, Trump’s nowhere around. So, attorney/client has to be with the client for the purpose of getting legal advice, so he’s got tons to say without that.”
As Litman explained, Cipollone is in “everything.”
See the discussion below.
Image: Official White House Photo by Andrea Hanks via Flickr:
President Donald J. Trump and First Lady Melania Trump talk with Supreme Court Associate Justice Amy Coney Barrett, her husband Jesse Barrett, Supreme Court Associate Justice Clarence Thomas, his wife Virginia Thomas, White House Counsel Pat Cipollone, and Deputy White House Counsel Kate Comerford Todd in the Blue Room of the White House Monday, Oct. 26, 2020, after attending Barrett’s swearing-in ceremony as Supreme Court Associate Justice.
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