Heated Exchange Ends With DeVos Refusing to Affirm She Will Protect Students From Anti-LGBT Discrimination
Betsy DeVos says her Dept. of Education will not work to protect LGBTQ students from discrimination nor will she establish a program to do so. TheÂ Secretary of Education appeared Tuesday morning before a Senate Appropriations subcommittee to discuss her education budget for 2018, when Democratic U.S. Senator Jeff MerkleyÂ of Oregon asked her about LGBTQ students.
Senator Merkley began by having Secretary DeVos agree all schools that receive federal funding must follow federal laws regarding discrimination.Â
“But those laws are somewhat foggy in that area, so I want to be absolutely clear about what you’re saying,” Sen. Merkley continued, asking DeVos if she were saying that private schools receiving federal funds would not be allowed to discriminate againstÂ LGBTQ students.
“Schools that receive federal funds must follow federal law,” DeVos responded, seemingly tossing out a rote response.
MerkleyÂ repeated that federal law on anti-LGBTQ discrimination is “foggy,” and asked her again if discrimination against LGBTQ students will be allowed.
“On areas where the law is unsettled, this Department is not going to be issuing decreesÂ â€“ ” DeVos began.Â
MerkleyÂ interjected, requesting she answer his question.
“That is a matter for Congress and the courtsÂ â€“ ” DeVos continued.
â€” CSPAN (@cspan) June 6, 2017
MerkleyÂ again interjected, asking her again to answer his question.
“On areas of unsettled law, Congress and the Supreme Court has to decide and settle.”
“Are you refusing to answer the question?” Merkley asked, as the exchange got heated.
“I’m going back to what I said earlier,” DeVos insisted.
“Well, what you said earlier didn’t help us,” MerkleyÂ noted. “But I think you just said is where it’s unsettled such discrimination will continue to be allowed under your program. If that’s incorrect please correct it for the record.”
But Senator Merkley wasn’t finished.
“How about discrimination based on religion? Will such discrimination be allowed with charter or private schools?”
As has become her pattern, DeVos stuck to her statement.
“Again, on schools that receive federal funds, federal law must be followed.”
MerkleyÂ asked again, insisting she “answer the question.”
“Schools that receive federal funds will follow federal law, period,” DeVos, with a somewhat defiant grin, responded.
“You’re refusing to answer the question. I think that’s very important for the publicÂ to know that today, the Secretary of Education Â before this Committee refused to affirm that she would put forth a program that would ban discrimination based on LGBTQ status of students, or ban discrimination based on religion.”
“Sir, that’s not what I said. Discrimination in any form is wrong,” DeVos offered, having noted previously she would take no action against it.
“Does your program ban discrimination?” MerkleyÂ pressed, referring to her charter and private school program.
“As I said before, and let me say again, schools that receive federal funds need to follow federal law. Period,” she said, again offering a grin.
During her last appearance before a Senate committee just two weeks ago, Secretary DeVosÂ said she has no problem with states that allow schools to discriminate against LGBT students while receiving federal funds, and believes that the federal government should not intervene. She also pointed to school choice as an opportunityÂ for parents to find schools that won’t discriminate against their children, if that’s something they want.
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Watch: Herschel Walker Says if Georgia Voters Don’t Elect Him They Won’t Even ‘Have a Chance to Be Redeemed’
Herschel Walker is now suggesting the souls of Georgians are in the balance, and if they don’t elect him to the U.S Senate they will not even “have a chance to be redeemed,” a Christian religious belief about being delivered from sin by God. Walker is also suggesting his right-wing son, who turned against him this week after reports he paid for an abortion, is a member of “the left.”
Appearing on Fox News Wednesday, Walker told host Brian Kilmeade, “If we vote for the people on the left, like the guy I’m running against,” Democratic U.S. Senator Raphael Warnock, “you’re not going to have a chance to be redeemed. He’s a minister and he don’t believe in redemption.”
“Right now, they’re trying to destroy America, they’re trying to destroy Georgia. It ain’t gonna happen on my watch,” the Trump-endorsed GOP nominee said.
Kilmeade asked the embattled Senate GOP candidate why his son, Christian Walker, is “doing tremendous damage to you.”
Walker served up a confusing claim, suggesting his popular right wing social media influencer son is actually a liberal.
“Well, the damage he’s doing is letting people know that the left will do whatever they can to win the seat.”
“I told you when I got into this race, I’m gonna win this seat,” Walker continued, as he played the religion card. “People see someone seated here in front of you right now that have been redeemed. And I want America to know, I’m living proof that you can make mistakes and get up and keep going forward. But you can only do it in this country right here. But you can only do it, if we get this election correct this coming November.”
Christian Walker, once his top supporter, this week blasted his father in several online videos and tweets after The Daily Beast reported the former NFL star turned Trump-endorsed MAGA politician had paid for an abortion for one of his girlfriends.
Kilmeade asked Walker if his son’s allegations – including forcing him and his mother to move to six different homes in six months, going out and sleeping with other women, and never being home to raise his own son – were true.
Walker never answered, instead, telling Fox News viewers he loves is son “unconditionally,” as Fox News repeatedly play a clip of Walker giving his son a hug and kiss at an event.
In a video posted to twitter Tuesday, Christian Walker blasted his father, saying, “I stayed silent as the atrocities committed against my mom were downplayed, I stayed silent when it came out that my father, Herschel Walker, had all these random kids across the country, none of whom he raised.”
“And you know, my favorite issue to talk about is father absence – surprise – ’cause it affected me. That’s why I talk about it all the time, because it affected me.”
“You have no idea what I’ve been through in my life,” Christian Walker added. “You have no idea what me and my mom have survived. We could have ended this on day one. We haven’t. I haven’t told any stories. I’m just saying don’t lie. Don’t lie on my mom. Don’t lie on me. Don’t lie on the lives you’ve destroyed and act like you’re some moral family man. Y’all should care about that, conservatives.”
“Family Values people: He has four kids, four different women, wasn’t in the house raising one of them,” Walker said about his father Herschel. “He was out having sex with other women. Do you care about family values? I was silent lie after lie after lie. The abortion card drops yesterday – it’s literally his handwriting in the card. They say they have receipts, whatever. He gets on Twitter, he likes about it. Okay, I’m done.”
Watch Herschel Walker’s Fox News interview below or at this link.
Herschel Walker again serves up a word salad but seems to imply his son, who is a far right social media commentator, is part of “the left.” pic.twitter.com/VAD1icdEHO
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) October 5, 2022
Experts Sound Alarm as ‘Urgent and Heated’ Threats of Civil War Ramp Up Before Midterm Election
According to a report from the New York Times, analysts and experts who follow online trends with regard to threats of political violence are warning the U.S. is moving into dangerous territory as the 2022 midterm election day grows closer.
As the Times’ Ken Bensinger and Sheera Frenkel wrote, there have been upticks in calls for a civil war since the FBI initiated a search of Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort seeking stolen government documents and then again when President Joe Biden called the former president and “MAGA Republicans” a threat to “the very foundations of our republic.”
Following the Mar-a-Lago search, “civil war’ talk on conservative social media platforms more than doubled and now “experts are bracing for renewed discussions of civil war, as the Nov. 8 midterm elections approach and political talk grows more urgent and heated.”
“Polling, social media studies and a rise in threats suggest that a growing number of Americans are anticipating, or even welcoming, the possibility of sustained political violence, researchers studying extremism say. What was once the subject of serious discussion only on the political periphery has migrated closer to the mainstream,” the report states before adding, “Social media platforms are rife with groups and boards dedicated to discussions of civil war. One, on Gab, describes itself as a place for ‘action reports,’ ‘combat vids’ and reports of killed in action in ‘the civil war that is also looking to be a 2nd American Revolution.'”
According to Robert Pape, a political science professor at the University of Chicago, “What you’re seeing is a narrative that was limited to the fringe going into the mainstream.”
Kurt Braddock, an American University professor who studies the recruitment techniques of fringe groups claimed the former president is not helping matters.
“Ideas go into echo chambers and it’s the only voice that’s heard; there are no voices of dissent,” he explained before warning, “The statements Trump makes are not overt calls to action, but when you have a huge and devoted following, the chances that one or more people are activated by that are high.”
You can read more here.
‘Oddest’: Legal Experts Mock Trump’s ‘Nutty’ and ‘Doomed to Fail’ Emergency Supreme Court Motion
It weighs in at 240 pages but legal experts are still mocking Donald Trump’s emergency petition to the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn an 11th Circuit Court ruling and allow the special master to continue to inspect the 103 classified documents retrieved from him Mar-a-Lago home.
“Oddest SCOTUS petition. Very technical and not terribly logical,” observed Andrew Weissmann, an NYU School of Law law professor and former DOJ official who served as the General Counsel for the Federal Bureau of Investigation and as special counsel to then-FBI Director Robert Mueller.
The motion was addressed to Justice Clarence Thomas, who oversees the 11th Circuit courts. His wife, Ginni Thomas, is an avowed supporter of Trump and his “Big Lie” claims he won the 2020 election.
“SCOTUS should send him packing,” tweets former U.S. Attorney Joyce Vance, now an MSNBC/NBC News legal analyst. “No surprise here, this was why he paid former Florida Solicitor General Chris Kise $3 million to sign on, no one else on his team could handle this.”
“Just watch SCOTUS turn Trump down 9-0. (Or 8-1 if Thomas dissents . . . ),” writes retired Harvard professor of law Laurence Tribe. “Will The Donald start calling ‘his’ three justices traitors? Will he say they have a ‘death wish’ as he did with McConnell?”
Weissmann took another hit at Trump’s Lawsuit, declaring it “nutty.”
“Trump argument to SCOTUS: 11th circuit had power to stay Cannon decision BUT it [could] not take the classified docs away from SM Dearie review. Nutty and if he won Dearie wd just say he won’t review the docs bc they are not Trump’s.”
University of Texas School of Law professor of law Steve Vladeck says that while the lawsuit is “not *entirely* laughable,” but he thinks “it’s both (1) doomed to fail; and (2) unlikely to accomplish much even if it succeeds.”
Former federal prosecutor Renato Mariotti says, “I would not be surprised if the Supreme Court decides not to hear it.”
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