Trump Celebrates ‘Lightweight’ Never Trumper ‘Liddle’ Ben Sasse’s Resignation From Senate

Donald Trump celebrated the news that “lightweight” Nebraska Republican Ben Sasse is set to resign from the Senate.

Reports surfaced Thursday that Sasse, an outspoken “Never Trumper,” was set to resign from his seat by the end of the year and would be accepting a job as the president of the University of Florida.

Sasse shared an article that listed him as a “finalist” for the position with the college.

He wrote that he is “delighted to be in conversation with the leadership of this special community about how we might together build a vision for UF to be the nation’s most dynamic, bold, future-oriented university.”

The university named him the sole finalist, citing his “intellectual curiosity” and his abilities as a “gifted public servant.”

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Trump Happy to Hear Ben Sasse Will Resign

Former President Donald Trump took to his Truth Social media platform to celebrate the “great news” that Senator Ben Sasse was poised to resign.

As one would expect, he added amusing nicknames and insults to his celebratory posting.

“Great news for the United States Senate, and our Country itself,” Trump wrote. “Liddle’ Ben Sasse, the lightweight Senator from the great State of Nebraska, will be resigning.”

He went on to state that he is looking forward to working with a real Republican, which, in his mind, is somebody not so weak as to cave to Democrat impeachment circus trials.

“We have enough weak and ineffective RINOs in our midst,” Trump said. “I look forward to working with the terrific Republican Party of Nebraska to get a REAL Senator to represent the incredible People of that State, not another Fake RINO!”

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Voted to Impeach

Trump’s ire, as it often does, comes from the fact that Sasse was one of just seven Republican senators to vote to convict the former President after the House of Representatives impeached him for his alleged role in the January 6 riot at the Capitol.

Sasse argued that by telling protesters to peacefully make their voices heard, Trump had “disregarded his oath of office.”

Explaining his vote to impeach, the Nebraska Republican claimed Trump’s words in denying the election results “had consequences” and brought the country “dangerously close to a bloody constitutional crisis.”

But Sasse had walked far down the Never Trumper path by that point already.

Prior to the Capitol riot, in October of 2020, audio leaked of Sasse absolutely excoriating then-President Trump for allegedly selling out America’s allies and ‘flirting’ with white supremacists.

“The United States now regularly sells out our allies under his leadership, the way he treats women, spends like a drunken sailor,” he said when a constituent asked why he criticizes Trump so much.

“The ways I criticize President Obama for that kind of spending, I’ve criticized President Trump for as well,” Sasse added before listing off several reasons why he deserves scorn.

“He mocks evangelicals behind closed doors. His family has treated the presidency like a business opportunity. He’s flirted with white supremacists,” he said.

The comments were nearly indiscernible from even the most rabidly anti-Trump Democrats.

Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts, a Republican, will now be tasked with naming a temporary replacement for the Senate seat left behind when Ben Sasse resigns.

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Democrats Support School Choice, But Only For Themselves, Not For You

The COVID-19 pandemic was a horrific thing. Millions died, businesses were shut down, many of them closed for good, and because of those lockdowns of society, American children lost precious education time.

But one good thing that came from the pandemic was the ability of parents to look over their kids’ shoulders to see what was going on in the classroom.

They got a first hand look at what was being taught, but also, what was not being taught.

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Private vs. Public Schools

Proponents of school choice say that things like school vouchers level the playing field and give children the opportunity to go to a better school.

Ideally, dollars can be used for charter schools, homeschooling, and other alternatives to public schools.

Opponents like the ACLU and teachers unions, which heavily donate to the Democrat Party, argue that taxpayer dollars should not go to funding private schools. Most Democrats are largely opposed to school choice.

But as is so often the case, what they say and what they do are two very different things. While Democrat elected officials deny low-income kids a chance at a better education, the nation’s pricy private schools are filled with the children of those officials.  

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OK For Me But Not For Thee

So who are these politicians that feel their children are entitled to a better education than yours just because they have “Rep.,” Senator,” or even “President” in front of their name and more zeroes in their bank account? Well, they are exactly who you might think they are.

Bill and Hillary Clinton sent daughter Chelsea to the exclusive and pricy Sidwell Friends school. Hillary flip-flopped on school choice.

Malia and Sasha Obama also attended school at Sidwell, while their father, President Barack Obama, opposed school choice.

President Joe Biden attended the also-exclusive Catholic prep school Archmere Academy in Delaware, and also sent sons Beau and Hunter there. Tuition runs in the $30,000 range.

Biden has expressly attacked the notion of school choice:

Vice President Kamala Harris’ stepchildren attended Wildwood School, also very private and very elite. Tuition fees there will set parents back roughly $44,000. As a Senator, Harris voted against Trump Education Secretary Betsy Devos’ confirmation as Secretary specifically because she supported school vouchers.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi attended an all-girls private Catholic high school growing up in Baltimore, and sent her son Paul to Episcopal High School in Virginia, a boarding school that runs almost $65,000 in tuition a year.

Pelosi voted against the Scholarships for Opportunity and Results Reauthorization Act in 2015.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren sent her son to a private school beginning when he was in the fifth grade. In 2019, she released an education plan that was staunchly anti-school choice, including ending school choice programs that largely assist low-income families.

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Fighting Back

Some parents, with the help of Republican Governors like Ron DeSantis of Florida, are fighting back against the elite hypocrisy. In May of 2021, DeSantis signed HB 7045. The bill makes more children eligible for school choice scholarships.

Once again, almost on cue, Florida Senate Democrats opposed the bill. In a statement, they stated, “By signing this bill into law, Gov. DeSantis is taking Floridians’ hard-earned tax dollars and diverting them out of public schools.” 

Well, yes, that’s the idea.

DeSantis responded saying the funds are “not going to any institution, it’s going to the parents, to give them the ability to make decisions about their children’s education.”

Parents will get to make a statement in November about what they think about Democrats who vote to deny their children the same education Democrats insist upon for theirs. 

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Anniversary of Capitol attack brings a dilemma for teachers in Republican areas

On Jan. 6, 2021, we saw history being made as the U.S. Capitol came under attack by insurrectionists intent on overturning a presidential election. On Jan. 6, 2022, after a year in which many Republicans have decided that those events were just fine, actually, teachers across the country will have to decide whether or how to engage with that recent history.

For teachers in heavily Republican areas where the political pressure is to deny the reality of what happened, it could be a tricky day.

Liz Wagner, an eighth- and ninth-grade social studies teacher in Iowa, told the Associated Press that last year, administrators warned teachers to be careful in discussing the attack, and students pushed back against her use of the (accurate) term “insurrection.” At the time, she turned to the dictionary definition of the word—but this year, she’ll be more cautious, instead having students watch video of the attack and write about what they saw.

“This is kind of what I have to do to ensure that I’m not upsetting anybody,” she said. “Last year I was on the front line of the COVID war, trying to dodge COVID, and now I’m on the front line of the culture war, and I don’t want to be there.”

Anton Schulzki, the president of the National Council for the Social Studies and a teacher in Colorado, will be teaching about Jan. 6, secure in a contract with academic freedom protections despite the recent election of right-wing school board members in his district. 

“I do feel,” he told the AP, “that there may be some teachers who are going to feel the best thing for me to do is to ignore this because I don’t want to put myself in jeopardy, because I have my own bills to pay, my own house to take care of, my own kids to take back and forth to school.”

And no wonder, with Republican-controlled states passing law after law targeting the teaching of race in schools, but often throwing in broad language prohibiting the teaching of basically anything any (white) parent decides to complain about. “On the face of it, if you read the laws, they’re quite vague and, you know, hard to know actually what’s permissible and what isn’t,” Abby Weiss, who develops teaching tools for the nonprofit Facing History and Ourselves, said.

One thing teachers could bring to their classrooms to frame discussion of the insurrection might be the words of some prominent Republicans. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, say.

“Jan. 6th was a disgrace. American citizens attacked their own government. They used terrorism to try to stop a specific piece of democratic business they did not like. Fellow Americans beat and bloodied our own police. They stormed the Senate floor. They tried to hunt down the Speaker of the House. They built a gallows and chanted about murdering the Vice President,” McConnell said on Feb. 13, 2021. “They did this because they had been fed wild falsehoods by the most powerful man on Earth—because he was angry he’d lost an election.”

Or House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, who on Jan. 13, 2021, said, “Some say the riots were caused by antifa. There’s absolutely no evidence of that, and conservatives should be the first to say it. ... Most Americans want neither inaction nor retribution. They want durable, bipartisan justice. That path is still available, but it is not the path we are on today. That doesn’t mean the president is free from fault. The president bears responsibility for Wednesday’s attack on Congress by mob rioters. He should have immediately denounced the mob when he saw what was unfolding.”

McCarthy, has, of course, changed his tune since in response to pressure from his conference and from Donald Trump. But he said that.

The Republican effort to sweep U.S. history under the rug has been most focused on the long ugly history of racism in this country. Unfortunately, though, the tools they’ve developed to keep teachers from teaching that set of truths will work just as well to keep teachers from teaching the truth about what Donald Trump supporters did just a year ago. Teachers in districts with right-wing school board members or in states with laws targeting critical race theory are right to be nervous—that’s the whole point. 

Judge orders Betsy DeVos to sit for three-hour deposition to explain rejecting loan forgiveness

Former Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has been ordered to sit for a three-hour deposition for lawyers handling a class-action lawsuit. The lawsuit, brought on behalf of around 160,000 student loan borrowers, came from the students defrauded by numerous for-profit colleges across the country. These were organizations like Trump University, where Trump settled a civil lawsuit for $25 million in November 2016. DeVos oversaw the 18-month delay and then rejection of student borrowers’ claims while she ran the Department of Education.

Judge William Alsup ruled that while it is very rare for a former Cabinet secretary to be deposed, “exceptional circumstances” in DeVos’ case—and the super shoddy and sketchy gaps in information—meant that she needed to be deposed. The judge agreed with the class-action lawsuit’s attorneys that DeVos had intimate involvement in the decision-making process surrounding these loans, and since there was “sparse” documentation left over from the previous administration, DeVos’ deposition was required.

This is an important decision because the previous administration, whether through incompetence or nefariousness, seems to have kept very weak records of their processes of running government. That’s unacceptable. In fact, that tends to be the reason that former Cabinet secretaries usually don’t get ordered into three-hour depositions—they usually can argue that the information they would be able to provide is documented and available. 

In February, Biden’s Department of Justice filed a defense of DeVos from deposition, citing of all things “harassment” and called the motion “part of a PR campaign that has been central to [the students’] litigation strategy from the outset. It should be rejected and the court should quash the subpoena.” The Department of Justice also put forth the argument that former Cabinet secretaries are generally immune from having to answer questions under oath about their official government work. Alsup did not agree with that assessment.

But Alsup maintained that Cabinet secretaries are still subject to the law. He cited a range of historical precedents for top executive branch officials being forced to respond to subpoenas, including President Richard Nixon having to turn over White House tapes as part of the Watergate scandal and President Bill Clinton having to sit for a deposition in the Paula Jones sexual harassment lawsuit that ultimately led to his impeachment.

Under the Trump administration, DeVos’ Department of Education put a hold on loan forgiveness resolutions for 18 months. During that time, DeVos had to be told by a federal judge that over 150,000 fraud victims’ loan forgiveness was being held up by her and her Department of Education. Even after that order, DeVos continued to block making a decision until finally, DeVos’ Department of Education made sweeping rejections of 94% of the borrower claims being held in abeyance. 

Alsup was overseeing that issue at the time and was justifiably furious with DeVos’ actions and explanation. For months, DeVos and her Department of Education said they were stuck in a backlog, lamenting how hard the work was and how much work they were putting into it all. Then, seemingly with very little explanation according to Alsup at the time, DeVos “charged out of the gate, issuing perfunctory denial notices utterly devoid of meaningful explanation at a blistering pace.”

This led to Alsup squashing the deal between Trump’s Department of Education and the student borrower claimants, and letting their class-action lawsuit go forward. And now here we are. DeVos, like everyone in the Republican swamp, did it to herself.

Judge Alsup left a two week frame within which DeVos’s team can appeal the decision.

Marco Rubio attempts to attack American Federation of Teachers and is demolished on Twitter

After toeing the Republican line that COVID-19 wasn’t a big deal, questioning mask mandates, promoting the false narrative that Dr. Anthony Fauci lied to the American public, and questioning stay-at-home orders, Florida coward Marco Rubio stepped up in front of everyone else—teachers, first responders, and the elderly—to grab a vaccine for himself. Rubio is recently remembered for saying an impeachment trial for a president who helped create, fester, and enact an attempted coup d’etat on the United States is “stupid.” He’s also seemingly only been able to muster up the work ethic of a toddler during nap time, trying and failing to attack real legislator, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

On Wednesday, probably unable to read clearly from underneath the boots he’s been licking for the last four years, and unable to find his Bible Quote of the Day calendar, Rubio tried to attack public school teachers, and more specifically the “National Teachers Union” on Twitter. Rubio wrote, “National teachers’ union (not teachers) are saying they won’t go back to work until 2022. We should not send a single taxpayer dollar in Covid funds to schools that aren’t going to reopen.” Yup. Guy has very little to say about an insurrection from within his own political party, but he’s got serious grandstanding to do when it comes to promoting bad public health safety and our children.

It’s hard to know exactly what Rubio was talking about; perhaps he was referring to the impasse that the Chicago Teachers Union and the city has come to over COVID-19 resources and the safeguards being presented to teachers for reopening schools. Maybe he’s talking about the American Federation of Teachers? Not sure. Marco needs to go back to school. Badly. In the meantime, the internet learned him a little.

First, American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten stepped in, to point out that Marco Rubio is a lying sack of shit.

Marco Rubio is lying. Our union has been talking about reopening since April, in fact I published an OpEd on it this week. The fact reopening safely costs money. Trying to withhold money from schools only slows down reopening. Stop lying Senator. https://t.co/PZnU7xxXGU

— Randi Weingarten (@rweingarten) January 27, 2021

Daily Kos’ own Mark Sumner called Rubio out as well.

Marco Rubio continuing the trend of using the Big Lie to spread hate and divisiveness. Tell me, Senator, is there an appropriate Bible verse for that?

— Mark Sumner (@Devilstower) January 27, 2021

Then a simple statement of facts.

You do realize that remote and hybrid learning require infrastructure, implementation costs, curriculum costs & personnel, right? Instead of threatening to make education MORE difficult, maybe you should listen to what educators say they need to meet the needs of their students.

— doesnotexist (@BrianFiddle) January 27, 2021

Those are big ideas for Rubio. This might be more his speed.

That's smart: They don't have the resources to get open, so the natural thing to do is: Cut their resources more. Thinking like this is proof of why kids need to be (safely) back in school. We've turned out too many stupid people already.

— Virgil Simpson (@HorseyDC) January 27, 2021

Maybe this approach will be easier for him to understand.

I’m of the opinion that we don’t pay legislators until they start focusing on Americans instead of trying to tear each other apart based on party politics.

— Elysabeth Britt (@ElysabethBritt) January 27, 2021

Maybe we can appeal to his Santa Claus-level understanding of Christianity and Catholicism?

does your jesus tell you to lie

— Atrios 🟨🟥 (@Atrios) January 27, 2021

But let’s be clear what is going on here.

Shame the National Teachers' Union dissolved the National Security Council's Pandemic Response Team in 2017 and then ignored their federal intelligence regarding an impending pandemic and then got on air to tell us 15 cases were going to zero and then told us to shoot up bleach.

— Gen X Army Brat (@GenXArmyBrat) January 27, 2021

The depths of Marco Rubio’s crapitude are just staggering.