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WATCH: Betsy DeVos Refuses to Say Children With Disabilities Deserve Equal Protection in Schools

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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 a “free appropriate public education” or that they deserve equal protection in schools. In a stunning and extremely disturbing exchange with Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA), President-elect 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. 

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 type – public, private, charter – should not have to meet the same standards of accountability. She also doesn’t believe schools should have to report the same information regarding 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.

Watch:

“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 I’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 pointedly 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?” 

“Well they don’t. They’re not, today,” was DeVos’ response.

“I think they should,” Kaine said. “Do you agree with me or not?”

“Well no because –” 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 don’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: I’m asking you a “should” question. Whether they are or not, we’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 that’s a matter that’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 don’t like how their kids are being treated?

DeVos: I think that’s an issue best left to the states.

Kaine: What about the federal requirement. It’s a federal law, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. Let’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 –

Kaine: Just yes or no, I’ve only got one more question.

DeVos: There’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, “let the judge direct the witness to answer the question”. It’s not a court, you’re not under oath or you’re not under a subpoena, but you’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.”

RELATED STORIES:

WATCH: Bernie Sanders Asks Betsy DeVos if She Would Be Education Secretary Nominee if She Hadn’t Donated Millions to GOP

REPORT: Unprecedented Number of Top Trump Administration Jobs Being Doled Out to Top Donors

Trump Names Anti-Public School Activist Betsy DeVos to Become Secretary of Education

You can respond directly to Betsy DeVos by sending your comments to her on Twitter: @BetsyDeVos or to her via her website.(Why are we including this information?)

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Transcript via Augusta Free Press

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OPINION

‘This Is for the People to Decide’: Jaw-Dropping CNN Supercut Lays Bare the GOP’s Stunning Hypocrisy on SCOTUS

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As the battle over replacing Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg — who died Friday from complications of pancreatic cancer — takes shape in Washington, D.C., Republican senators who previously refused to hold a vote on former President Barack Obama’s Supreme Court pick are now having their words thrown in their faces.

CNN anchor Anderson Cooper on Saturday played a devastating supercut that features Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) explaining why they would not vote on Obama’s nominee to replace Justice Antonin Scalia in 2016.

“I want you to use my words against me,” Graham said in 2016 — laying out what Cooper described as an “eerily similar” situation as the one currently playing out in Congress. “If there’s a Republican president in 2016 and a vacancy occurs in the last year of the first term, you can say, ‘Lindsey Graham said let’s let the next president, whoever it might be, make that nomination,’ and you could use my words against me and you would be absolutely right.”

“We’re setting a precedent here today, Republicans are, that in the last year, at least of a lame duck eight-year term, I would say it’s going to be a four-year term, that you’re not going to fill a vacancy of the Supreme Court based on what we’re doing here today,” he added. “That’s going to be the new rule.”

In his own floor speech on the matter in 2016, McConnell likewise urged Congress to give the American people a say in the Supreme Court pick.

“The next justice could fundamentally alter the direction of the Supreme Court and have a profound impact on our country. So, of course, of course the American people should have a say in the court’s direction,” McConnell said.

Cruz — who was shortlisted by Trump as a potential SCOTUS pick earlier this month — also insisted in 2016 that Congress should not move to replace Scalia until after the election.

“I don’t think we should be moving forward on a nominee in the last year of this president’s term, Cruz said. “I would say that if it was a republican president.”

“President Obama is eager to appoint Justice Scalia’s replacement this year,” he continued. “But do you know in the last 80 years we have not once has the Senate confirmed a nomination made in an election year and now is no year to start. This is for the people to decide. I intend to make 2016 a referendum on the U.S. Supreme Court.”

Of course, all three men have now signaled they’re much more likely in 2020 to jam a conservative Supreme Court justice down voters’ throats on the eve of an election. After President Donald Trump on Saturday tweeted that the Senate has an “obligation” select a replacement for Ginsburg, Graham said he “fully” understands where the president is coming from.

In case that statement seems vague, the Senate Judiciary Committee chairman added: ”I will support President [Trump] in any effort to move forward regarding the recent vacancy created by the passing of Justice Ginsburg.”

And McConnell has also insisted “President Trump’s nominee will receive a vote on the floor of the United States Senate.”

And in perhaps the least surprising flip-flop of all, Cruz on Saturday wrote an opinion piece for Fox News that outlined 3 reasons why the Senate must confirm Ginsburg’s replacement before election day. In it, he touted Trump’s “list of extremely qualified, principled constitutionalists who could serve on the Supreme Court” — which, of course, included himself — and argued that going into an election with an 8 person bench could trigger a constitutional crisis in the event of a contested election.

Amazing how now of the senators were concerned with such a problem when Obama appointed his nominee.

Watch the video below to see the blatant hypocrisy for yourself:

 

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISTS

‘You Don’t See Any Hypocrisy?’ Chris Wallace Filets Tom Cotton by Replaying His Merrick Garland Speech

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Fox News host Chris Wallace accused Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) of hypocrisy on Sunday after he vowed to push forward with a vote to replace Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in an election year.

“Why the rush to judgement?” Wallace asked Cotton after the senator promised a swift vote on President Donald Trump’s eventual nominee.

“We’re not going to rush,” Cotton insisted. “We not going to skip steps. We’re going to move forward without delay.”

Wallace reminded Cotton that President Barack Obama named Judge Merrick Garland as his nominee after Justice Antonin Scalia died in 2016.

“Senate Republicans blocked the choice of Garland,” Wallace noted before playing a clip of Cotton defending the move at the time.

In the clip, Cotton notes that the country will have a new president “in a few short months.”

“Why would we cut off the national debate about this next justice?” Cotton says in the clip. “Why would we squelch the voice of the people, why would we deny the voters a chance to weigh in on the make up of the Supreme Court?”

Wallace continued following the clip: “Garland was nominated nine months before the election and you were saying then, nine months before the election, it was wrong to deny voters a chance to weigh in. So if it was wrong then nine months before the election, why is it OK now six weeks before the election?”

For his part, Cotton argued that Republicans won the Senate in 2014 to stop President Barack Obama’s judicial nominations, and then he claimed that the current Republican Senate is in power to uphold nominations by President Donald Trump.

“You really don’t think there is any hypocrisy at all,” Wallace pressed, “in saying, we need to give voters — because you can parse the 2014 election, the 2018 election any way you want — but you stated a pretty firm principle in 2016 about Merrick Garland: It’s wrong to deny voters a chance to weigh in.”

“You don’t see any hypocrisy between that position then and this position now?” the Fox News host wondered.

“Chris, the Senate majority is performing our constitutional duty and fulfilling the mandate that the voters gave us,” Cotton opined.

Watch the video below from Fox News.

 

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News

Trump Says He Will Make SCOTUS Nomination Next Week – Appears He Will Use Seat to Strengthen Where He Is Weak in Polls

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President Donald Trump says he will announce his nominee to replace Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg “next week.”

He made clear his primary deciding factors will be to help him in the polls.

Trump told reporters Saturday afternoon “most likely” he will choose a woman.

CNN reports he is leaning towards choosing a woman mostly because he is doing poorly in the polls with women.

Trump spoke about two women judges. He talked about Barbara Lagoa, noting she is Hispanic and from Florida. He is struggling in the polls with Hispanics and in Florida.

Reporters also asked about Amy Coney Barrett, a far right wing anti-choice, anti-LGBTQ extremist. Trump spoke positively about her as well. Reports say she is the current frontrunner.

This is a breaking news and developing story. Details may change. This story will be updated, and NCRM will likely publish follow-up stories on this news. Stay tuned and refresh for updates.

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