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First Betsy DeVos Came for Transgender Students, Then for the Disabled, Now She’s Targeting Minority Children

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‘It Seems Betsy DeVos Is on a Mission to Decimate Basic Protections for Students at All Levels’

Just weeks into her tenure as Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos infamously rescinded guidance from the Obama administration detailing how schools could and should protect the civil rights of transgender students. At a far right wing conference one day later, the charter schools advocate who had never stepped into s public school until this year told supporters the guidance was an example of “huge overreach” by the Obama administration. 

DeVos then targeted children with disabilities, rescinding 72 documents designed to help explain to administrators how to protect the civil rights of those students. They also served to help parents and other laypeople understand what their children’s rights actually are. That move was made in early October, but not announced until last Friday.

Of course, DeVos attacking the civil rights of transgender students and students with disabilities should surprise no one. During her confirmation hearing DeVos refused to say children with disabilities deserve equal protection in schools, and in fact admitted she was “confused” by the federal laws.

In June she told the Senate she would not work to prohibit discrimination against LGBTQ students.

And now, DeVos has a new target: Black and Native American students.

The Education Secretary has been mulling over an Obama-era rule that is scheduled to go into effect next year, designed to ensure minority students are not place in special education classes at a disproportional rate to other students. Historically, Black and Native American students have been put into special education classes at much higher rates, and the Obama administration rule is designed to address that.

The rule is also designed to ensure that schools are funding special education classes appropriately.

The Obama Dept. of Education in 2016, as Politico reports Thursday, “noted that minority students — ‘particularly African-American and American Indian youth — are identified as students with disabilities at substantially higher rates than their peers.’ Minority students with disabilities are more likely than white students to be disciplined and pushed out of regular classrooms, the agency stressed. The rule sought to ensure that states are using a uniform approach to ensure minority students aren’t overrepresented in special education. It was supposed to take effect in July 2018.”

DeVos, according to Politico, is debating whether to delay the rule, change it, or scrap it, as Politico’s Caitlin Emma first reported Wednesday afternoon:

Some responses by Democrats to the news:

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GRIFTERS

Busted: Marjorie Taylor Greene Caught Illegally Claiming a ‘Big Tax Break’ in Georgia

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Local press in Georgia caught Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) illegally claiming a major tax break.

“A Channel 2 Action News investigation has found that Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene and her husband have two active homestead exemptions, which is against Georgia law. A homestead exemption is a big tax break any Georgia homeowner is entitled to for their primary residence. It is against the law to file for more than one,” WSB-TV reported Friday.

“But Channel 2 investigative reporter Justin Gray pulled records showing that the Greenes are getting the tax break on two different homes in two different counties,” the network reported.

WSB-TV had a fascinating interaction when it called the controversial Republican’s office.

“In a statement, Greene’s office told Gray to mind his own business and called it a ‘pathetic smear’ when he asked them about the homestead exemptions,” the network reported. “Greene still owns a North Fulton county home, but also bought a $610,000 house in Floyd County last year in the 14th Congressional district, which she represents.”

 

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Bombshell Report on Matt Gaetz Is Just the Beginning: ‘This Is the Start of a Long Road’

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One of the reporters who broke the bombshell Daily Beast report on Matt Gaetz doing cocaine with an escort who had a no-show state job said the story is just the first in many to come.

MSNBC’s Chris Hayes interviewed Jose Pagliery on Friday about the report.

“When Rep. Matt Gaetz attended a 2019 GOP fundraiser in Orlando, his date that night was someone he knew well: a paid escort and amateur Instagram model who led a cocaine-fueled party after the event, according to two witnesses. The Florida congressman’s one-time wingman, Joel Greenberg, will identify that escort to investigators as one of more than 15 young women Gaetz paid for sex, according to a source familiar with the investigation,” The Beast reported.

“But what distinguishes this woman, Megan Zalonka, is that she turned her relationship with Greenberg into a taxpayer-funded no-show job that earned her an estimated $7,000 to $17,500, according to three sources and corresponding government records obtained by The Daily Beast. On Oct. 26, 2019, Gaetz attended the “Trump Defender Gala” fundraiser as the featured speaker at the Westgate Lake Resort in Orlando. Two witnesses present recalled friends reconvening at Gaetz’s hotel room for an after-party, where Zalonka prepared lines of cocaine on the bathroom counter. One of those witnesses distinctly remembers Zalonka pulling the drugs out of her makeup bag, rolling a bill of cash, and joining Gaetz in snorting the cocaine,” The Beast reported.

“It seems to me, should this all be true, I just feel like there’s not going to be real shortage of witnesses here,” Hayes said. “Has a real open secret vibe to me right now.”

“This was an afterparty, we have identified at least half a dozen people who were there and saw this take place,” Pagliery said. “The reason that we decided to break this news and start with this one is that there are lots of other parties like this. There are more young women, more locations and more actions and bad behavior on the part of Gaetz and Greenberg that we’re going to be exposing.”

“This is the start of a long road,” he added.

Watch:

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RIGHT WING HYPOCRISY

Boebert, Cawthorn, Greene on List of 101 ‘Pro-Life’ and ‘Pro-Family’ GOPers Who Just Voted Against Pregnant Workers

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The U.S. House of Representatives on Friday passed the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, a bill to protect the rights of pregnant workers, but 101 Republican members of Congress who claim to be both “pro-life” and “pro-family” voted against the legislation.

The bill, sponsored by New York Democrat Jerry Nadler, was first introduced 9 years ago. It passed Friday in a 315-101 vote. All the no votes were from Republicans. No Democrat voted no.

The bill was supported by the right wing U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which called it “a balanced approach that clarifies an employer’s obligation to accommodate the known limitations of employees and job applicants that accompany pregnancy.”

The website Motherly put it even more simply: “No one should have to choose between their paycheck and a healthy pregnancy.”

Democratic Rep. Val Demings of Florida:

Apparently, 101 Republican lawmakers disagree.

Among the more notable Republicans voting “no” were Lauren Boebert (CO), Kevin Brady (TX), Mo Brooks (AL), Ken Buck (CO), Madison Cawthorn (NC), Liz Cheney (WY), Scott DesJarlais (TN), Virginia Foxx (NC), Louie Gohmert (TX), Paul Gosar (AZ), Marjorie Taylor Greene (GA), Jody Hice (GA), Thomas Massie (KY), and Chip Roy (TX).

Here’s the list of all the lawmakers who voted against pregnant workers:

Aderholt (Alabama)
Allen (Georgia)
Armstrong (North Dakota)
Arrington (Texas)
Babin (Texas)
Baird (Indiana)
Banks (Indiana)
Barr (Kentucky) NAY
Bishop (North Carolina)
Boebert (Colorado)
Brady (Texas)
Brooks (Alabama)
Buck (Colorado)
Budd (North Carolina)
Burchett (Tennessee)
Cammack (Florida)
Carl (Alabama)
Carter (Georgia)
Carter (Texas)
Cawthorn (North Carolina)
Cheney (Wyoming)
Cline (Virginia)
Cloud (Texas)
Clyde (Georgia)
Crawford (Arkansas)
Davidson (Ohio)
DesJarlais (Tennessee)
Donalds (Florida)
Duncan (South Carolina)
Dunn (Florida)
Fallon (Texas)
Fitzgerald (Wisconsin)
Foxx (North Carolina)
Franklin, C. Scott (Florida)
Fulcher (Idaho)
Gibbs (Ohio)
Gohmert (Texas)
Good (Virginia)
Gooden (Texas)
Gosar (Arizona)
Graves (Missouri)
Green (Tennessee)
Greene (Georgia)
Grothman (Wisconsin)
Guest (Mississippi)
Harris (Maryland)
Harshbarger (Tennessee)
Hern (Oklahoma)
Herrell (New Mexico)
Hice (Georgia)
Higgins (Louisiana)
Jackson (Texas)
Johnson (Louisiana)
Jordan (Ohio)
Joyce (Pennsylvania)
Keller (Pennsylvania)
Kelly (Pennsylvania)
LaHood (Illinois)
Lamborn (Colorado)
LaTurner (Kansas)
Letlow (Louisiana)
Long (Missouri)
Loudermilk (Georgia)
Luetkemeyer (Missouri)
Mace (South Carolina)
Mann (Kansas)
Massie (Kentucky)
Mast (Florida)
McClain (Michigan)
McClintock (California)
McHenry (North Carolina)
Miller (Illinois)
Miller (West Virginia)
Moore (Alabama)
Nehls (Texas)
Norman (South Carolina)
Palazzo (Mississippi)
Palmer (Alabama)
Pence (Indiana)
Perry (Pennsylvania)
Pfluger (Texa)
Posey (Florida)
Reschenthaler (Pennsylvania)
Rice (South Carolina)
Rodgers (Washington)
Rogers (Alabama)
Rose (Tennessee)
Rosendale (Montana)
Rouzer (North Carolina)
Roy (Texas)
Scott, Austin (Georgia)
Sessions (Texas)
Smith (Nebraska)
Smucker (Pennsylvania)
Steube (Florida)
Taylor (Texas)
Timmons (South Carolina)
Van Duyne (Texas)
Walberg (Michigan)
Weber (Texas)
Westerman (AR)

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