New Education Secretary Says Protests Were Not ‘Spontaneous’ or ‘Genuine’
Betsy DeVos has been busy since making historyÂ last week by becoming the first cabinet nominee to ever have so few Senators supporting her she needed a tie-breaking vote cast by the vice president. The remarkably unqualified yet newly-confirmed anti-public schools Secretary of Education was temporarily prevented from entering a Washington, D.C. area public school last weekÂ â€“ possibly the first time she had ever been in oneÂ â€“ by parents, teachers, and activists protesting her visit. She responded by saying she will not be deterred.
But DeVos now has a few words to share with her opponents.
In an interview published Thursday at Town Hall with the far right wing political commentator Cal Thomas, DeVos calls the protests that surrounded her nomination notÂ “spontaneous” or “genuine,” but instead insists they wereÂ “sponsored and very carefully planned.”
Some of the most important protests this nation has ever seen were not spontaneous and were carefully planned (Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom comes to mind) but that certainly does not make them not genuine. (Do these photosÂ from an anti-DeVos rally in DC last monthÂ look like the protestors are not genuine?)
DeVos also says protestors “want to make my life a living hell.”
Well, given that’s what her policies will do to this nation’s children’s futures, can you blame them?
She adds, “They also don’t know what stock I come from. I will not be deterred from my mission in helping kids in this country.”
Unless those kids own stock in for-profit education companies, she’s not going to be “helping kids in this country.”
How do we know?
In a separate interview published Friday with Axios, the new right-leaning news site founded by Politico’s co-founders, DeVos revealed she sees higher education as vocational training, something people do in order to get a job, rather than embracing education and learning for their own sake. There’s no mention of teaching people to think or analyze.
“She and Trump believe many students aren’t well served by four-year college degrees, and they want to promote vocational training as a means of preparing them for work and reducing student debt,” Axios says. There’s nothing wrong with vocational training, just with many of the for-profit “schools,” like, say, Trump University, that defraud students who often are poor and find themselves robbed of their life savings, or run up credit card balances thinking they’re investing in their futures.
DeVos also says that during her tenure on the job, “I expect there will be more public charter schools. I expect there will be more private schools. I expect there will be more virtual schools. I expect there will be more schools of any kind that haven’t even been invented yet.”
The Washington Post notes, “The one thing she said she didnâ€™t expect more of was traditional public schools.”
And she says she would be fine if some day the Dept. of Education was entirely dismantled, if it no longer existed.Â
Does she think the federal government should have any role in education?
“I think in some of the areas around protecting students and ensuring safe environments for them, there is a role to play,” she told Axios. “I mean, when we had segregated schools and when we had a time when, you know, girls weren’t allowed to have the same kind of sports teams â€” I mean, there have been important inflection points for the federal government to get involved.”
But are there any remaining issues like that where the federal government should intervene? “I can’t think of any now,” she replied.
So, LGBTQ students and families should expect no help from DeVos’ Education Dept., not that that is any surprise.
And no other minority students or families should expect help from DeVos either. Apparently, as far as protecting children and ensuring they are in safe environments that help ensure learning, all the work the federal government needs to do has been done.Â
Including defending the Obama administration’s guidance to help protect transgender students, which Attorney General Jeff Sessions refused to do last week.
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Pelosi Delivers Brutal Response After McCarthy’s Acting Replacement Orders Her to Vacate Her Office Immediately
Within hours of Kevin McCarthy being ousted as Speaker of the House late Tuesday afternoon, his hand-picked acting successor, U.S. Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC), ordered Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi to vacate her Capitol Hill offices “by tomorrow.”
McHenry, whose title technically now is “Speaker Pro Tempore,” is a staunch McCarthy ally who worked diligently behind the scenes in January to help the now-former Speaker get elected on the fifteenth attempt, had an aide issue the order.
“‘Please vacate the space tomorrow, the room will be re-keyed,’ wrote a top aide on the Republican-controlled House Administration Committee,” Politico reported Tuesday night. “The room was being reassigned by the acting speaker ‘for speaker office use,’ the email said.”
Politico adds that “House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries’ staff helped Pelosi’s office make the move, according to a spokesperson for the former speaker.”
Pelosi, who was honored with the title “Speaker Emerita” in 2022 by the House Steering and Policy Committee in an effort to help unite the House, did not vote for or against McCarthy’s ouster. She remained in California to attend the funeral of her friend and colleague, the late U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein.
But Pelosi, the first and only woman Speaker of the House, who served from 2007 to 2011 and again from 2019 to 2023, did not take McHenry’s order lying down.
“With all of the important decisions that the new Republican Leadership must address, which we are all eagerly awaiting, one of the first actions taken by the new Speaker Pro Tempore was to order me to immediately vacate my office in the Capitol,” Pelosi said in a statement, according to Politico’s Nicholas Wu. “Sadly, because I am in California to mourn the loss of and pay tribute to my dear friend Dianne Feinstein, I am unable to retrieve my belongings at this time.”
“This eviction is a sharp departure from tradition. As Speaker, I gave former Speaker Hastert a significantly larger suite of offices for as long as he wished,” She noted.
“Office space doesn’t matter to me, but it seems important to them,” Pelosi added. “Now that the new Republican Leadership has settled this important matter, let’s hope they get to work on what’s truly important to the American people.”
‘Radical Left Marxists’: Trump Launches Attack Hours After Judge Imposes Gag Order
Just hours after New York Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron imposed a limited gag order and directed Donald Trump to remove his social media post targeting and attacking, by name, the judge’s law clerk, the ex-president Tuesday evening issued an attack targeting the legal system, and apparently, by extension, Attorney General Letitia James.
Judge Engoron’s Tuesday order barred Trump from “posting, emailing or speaking publicly about any of my staff,” as Politico reported. The judge’s gag order did not extend to any officer of the court, witnesses, or anyone else involved in Attorney General James’ $250 million civil fraud case against Trump.
“Consider this statement a gag order forbidding all parties from posting, emailing or speaking publicly about any of my staff,” Engoron said Tuesday afternoon. “Failure to abide by this order will result in serious sanctions.”
Judge Engoron had announced in court: “This morning one of the defendants posted to his social media account a disparaging, untrue and personally identifying post about a member of my staff.”
“Personal attacks on members of my court staff are unacceptable, inappropriate and I will not tolerate them in any circumstances,” Engoron added.
Politico described Trump’s social media post as “a message alleging [the law clerk] ‘is running this case against me.’ The message was pulled from an account on X with fewer than 200 followers. Trump then linked to an Instagram account for Greenfield’s campaign for a judgeship in Manhattan civil court.”
“’How disgraceful! This case should be dismissed immediately!!’ Trump added. He also posted a photo of her alongside Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and referred to her as ‘Schumer’s girlfriend.'”
And while the judge ordered the social media post taken down, there’s nothing that can be done about the email blast Trump sent to “millions” of his supporters that included the post, as The New York Times reported.
Tuesday evening, despite having already been given one gag order, Trump appeared to tear into the legal system and Attorney General Letitia James in a series of false claims.
After claiming James’ civil lawsuit against him was unconstitutional and election interference, Trump wrote the decision to apply that statute to him “was done by Radical Left Marxists design, and is not the America we know.”
“It is so unfair that I am being tried under Section 63(12), which is unconstitutionally being used to punish me because I am substantially leading Crooked Joe Biden in the polls,” Trump wrote on Truth Social. “It is a Consumer Protection Statute, and not meant, at all, for Election Interference purposes, which is what this is all about! Under this Section of the law, I am not even entitled to a JURY (there is no checking of a box alternative!).This was done by Radical Left Marxists design, and is not the America we know. MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!”
As The New Yorker reported last week, the law Trump is referring to was “passed at the behest of one of” James’ “Republican predecessors, Jacob Javits.”
‘Terrorist Attacks’: Murphy and Cornyn Slam House GOPers Over McCarthy Ouster
After U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) and seven of fellow far-right House Republicans voted to oust their own Speaker of the House for supporting a bipartisan vote to keep the federal government of the United States from a shutdown, a powerful Senate Republican and Democrat are both strongly denouncing the work of the few GOP extremists who toppled Kevin McCarthy.
U.S. Senator John Cornyn, a hard-core Republican of Texas and a former member of the Senate Republican leadership team, blasted the eight House Republicans for their “terrorist attack,” and warned it will happen again.
“We saw a similar thing happen to Boehner, Ryan, and now McCarthy. I’m sure the next speaker is going to be subjected to the same terrorist attacks,” Senator Cornyn said, according to HuffPost’s Igor Bobic.
Responding to a Texas radio talk show host from his official social media account, Sen. Cornyn added, “A handful [of] House members just want to blow up the institution and themselves in the process. Sad.”
U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) called the ouster “a deeply embarrassing moment for America. A consequence of a Republican Party that has become so radicalized that it can no longer function as an organized political party.”
“Nobody should be rooting for this circus,” added Sen. Murphy in video recorded as he watched the House voting to remove McCarthy as Speaker. He warned that the ouster of McCarthy will now take the House away from the critical work of keeping the government open after November 17, “instead of working on a budget.” And he warned that no new funds to help Ukraine defend itself against Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war have been authorized.
“These are life and death stakes,” Murphy said, lamenting this “makes us look so weak and foolish around the world.”
Let me tell you about the real world consequences of Kevin McCarthy’s ouster as Speaker. No one should celebrate this day. This level of dysfunction is terrible for America. pic.twitter.com/7NsQrz7Pro
— Chris Murphy 🟧 (@ChrisMurphyCT) October 3, 2023
Watch Sen. Murphy’s remarks above or at this link.
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