News Releases

After Trump-Netanyahu Meeting: What Kind of One-State Solution?

Untitled pictureALI ABUNIMAH, aliabunimah [at] mac.com, @AliAbunimah
Abunimah is co-founder of the Electronic Intifada website. His books include One Country: A Bold Proposal to End the Israeli-Palestinian Impasse.

He just wrote the piece “Trump-Netanyahu meeting lays ground for one-state solution,” which states: “U.S. President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held a joint press conference at the White House on Wednesday morning, before going into their much-anticipated bilateral meeting.

“Asked about whether the U.S. was still wedded to a two-state solution, Trump broke with longstanding orthodoxy.

“’I am looking at two states or one state, and I like the one that both parties like,’ the president said. On settlements, Trump reaffirmed to Netanyahu, ‘I’d like to see you hold back on settlements for a little bit.’ …
“Conventional opinion views any Trump abandonment of the two-state solution as capitulation to Israel’s far right wing that is pressuring Netanyahu from within his coalition to annex the West Bank outright.

“The annexationists may hope that the Palestinians could eventually be pushed out, or forced to live under some form of Jordanian jurisdiction — the so-called Jordanian option.

“That may even be the motivation of the anti-Palestinian extremists in the Trump administration, but the analysis fails to take into account the growing support amongst Palestinians for a democratic one-state solution.

“Trump has at least acknowledged that Palestinians must agree to the terms of any agreement. And Palestinians will not submit voluntarily to Netanyahu’s conditions.

“Israel could not just annex the West Bank on its own terms. Pressure would escalate — as it did on South Africa — to end openly declared apartheid. Indeed there could be no greater boost to the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement.

“Even the Israeli president recognizes this. Speaking at a conference on Monday, Reuven Rivlin argued for annexation of the West Bank, but said it must mean full citizenship for Palestinians.

“‘Applying sovereignty to an area gives citizenship to all those living there,’ Rivlin said. ‘There is no [separate] law for Israelis and for non-Israelis.’

“‘It must be clear: If we extend sovereignty, the law must apply equally to all,’ Rivlin added.” See from The Times of Israel: “Rivlin backs annexation with full rights for Palestinians.”

Netanyahu’s “Blatant” Violations of International Law Now Becoming “Unhinged”

Netanyahu trump

See from AlterNet’s Grayzone project: “Benjamin Netanyahu Is in Bed with the Trump Administration — Almost Literally” and “Trump’s Nominee for Ambassador to Israel Is More Right-Wing Than Netanyahu.”

RAMZY BAROUD, ramzybaroud [at] gmail.com, @RamzyBaroud
Baroud is founder of PalestineChronicle.com, which features a steady stream of articles on the realities of Israeli politics, like the recent “Palestinian Teens Detail Their Torture at the Hands of Israeli Authorities.” Baroud is a veteran journalist and former producer for Al Jazeera. He is also author of several books including Searching Jenin, The Second Palestinian Intifada and, his latest, My Father Was a Freedom Fighter: Gaza’s Untold Story.

He said today: “Within days of U.S. President Donald Trump being sworn in, the Israeli government announced the approval of around 2,500 new housing units.

“Within the first two weeks of Trump’s presidency, the number of new housing units, all to be built illegally on Palestinian land, was raised to 5,500, including the first brand new government-sanctioned colony in years.

“In response, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tweeted: ‘We are building — and we will continue to build’ — a statement which clearly expresses Israel’s blatant disregard for and violation of international law. What is clear is Israel’s determination to continue its ravenous expansion of illegal colonies, which is unprecedented in the least eight years.

“It is true that the colony-building activities accelerated after the signing of the so-called Oslo Peace Accord, but in recent years Israel realized that every decision to approve constructing more units in illegal colonies came at the price of international criticism and condemnation.

“Now that Trump is in power, Israel, controlled by right-wing, ultra-nationalist and religious zealots is rapidly moving to further ratify a new, irreversible political reality.

“The total number of Jewish colonists now stands at 750,000, nearly three times the number of colonists in 1992 (shortly before the Oslo Accord was signed).

“These numbers have all accompanied the continuous ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from their land and homes, and the revocation of residency permits for Palestinians in the occupied Jerusalem area.

“According to the UN report, 250,000 Palestinians have been exiled from the occupied territories since the war of 1967. (This number does not include those who were ethnically cleansed during the war itself)

“Thus, the recently announced massive expansion of Jewish colonies will have not only considerable political consequences, but humanitarian ones as well.

“Israel’s hankering after more land has been a persistent motive, but the advent of the Trump presidency has given the Israeli right the needed confidence to move forward with its plans, unhinged.”

ImpeachDonaldTrumpNow.org

impeach trump nowCATHERINE J. ROSS, @catherinejross_, cross [at] law.gwu.edu
Ross is a law professor at George Washington University and author of Lessons in Censorship: How Schools and Courts Subvert Students’ First Amendment Rights. She will be participating in a news conference on Thursday with groups organizing ImpeachDonaldTrumpNow.org that features a petition of 850,000 signers urging Congress to initiate an impeachment investigation into President Trump’s corrupt business dealings.

She said today: “President Trump has likely been violating the Constitution since the moment he was inaugurated because he refused to divest himself of ownership of the Trump Organization and all of its businesses and properties. Profits from those business interests, we learned a week ago, are expressly being held for him. This arrangement appears to violate Article II, Section 1 (7) of the Constitution, known as the domestic emoluments clause, which is squarely aimed at preventing presidential corruption, and which has not received sufficient attention in the last few weeks.

“President Trump has challenged the rule of law by saying laws about ethics and corruption don’t apply to him — but he can’t say that about the domestic emoluments clause because its language is clear. It applies only to the President. It says that the President ‘shall not receive’ any ‘Emolument’ from the federal government or the government of any state during his term in office, thus limiting the material benefit of his office to his salary.

“Emoluments were defined broadly by the dictionaries at the time the Constitution was written. Emoluments are not just payments, profits or bribes, though all of those are emoluments that have been known to flow to office-holders. Emoluments also include advantages, opportunities, and what today we would call sweetheart deals.

“The Trump hotel lease in D.C., and the federal government’s planned lease of space in Trump Tower in New York both implicate the domestic emoluments clause, as does the Trump Organization aggressive plan for expansion within the U.S. that will entangle the company with every level of government as they seek zoning, construction and environmental permits, approvals or waivers, as well as tax breaks that often accompany development plans.

“The bar against domestic emoluments is mandatory — Congress cannot waive it. Who is to enforce the constitutional mandate? It is not clear who could sue for enforcement. Impeachment is not to be undertaken lightly, but it is the remedy the Constitution provides.”

Less than a month since President Donald Trump took office, Free Speech For People and RootsAction.org are “delivering a petition with more than 850,000 signers to Congress calling on the House of Representatives to initiate an impeachment investigation into President Trump’s corrupt business dealings, including violations of the U.S. Constitution’s foreign emoluments and domestic emoluments clauses and other federal law.” For more information on the petition, visit: ImpeachDonaldTrumpNow.org.

The press conference at the National Press Club at 9:45 a.m. on Thursday will be followed by presentation of the petition at the U.S. Capitol at 12:15 p.m.(details to follow). Speakers will include Ben Clements and Ron Fein of Free Speech For People and Norman Solomon of RootsAction.

See from Norman Solomon (who is also executive director of the Institute for Public Accuracy): From The Hill: “The House should start impeachment against Trump now“; and “The Long Road To Impeach Trump Just Got Shorter.”

AP recently reported that “New documents confirm that President Donald Trump retains a direct tie to his business interests through a revocable trust now being overseen by one of his adult sons and a longtime executive of the Trump Organization.”Trump is the sole beneficiary of the Donald J. Trump Revocable Trust, which is tied to his Social Security number as the taxpayer identification number, according to documents published online by the investigative nonprofit ProPublica. And Trump can revoke the trust, which was amended three days before his inauguration, at any time.”

 

Did “Intelligence Community” Take out Flynn?

Michael FlynnGARETH PORTER, porter.gareth50 [at] gmail.com, @GarethPorter
Porter is an investigative journalist and author of Manufactured Crisis: The Untold Story of the Iran Nuclear Scare. His most recent piece is “Ignore the tough talk – Trump’s Iran policy will be much like Obama’s.”

He said today: “Flynn is a figure with a dark side, but hype regarding an ‘illegal’ meeting with Russian ambassador never made sense. I’m glad he’s gone, but the leaks hinting Logan Act treason should be recognized as ‘intelligence community’ political manipulation. The Logan Act is a dead letter and even if it were not, the facts of this case don’t support its application. If it would apply to anything recent, the Logan Act would apply to the letter organized by Tom Cotton regarding Iran in 2015, but hawk Cotton never paid any price.”

Glenn Greenwald tweets this morning: “In January, Chuck Schumer warned Trump not to criticize the intelligence community because of all the ways they have to destroy people.” See video in The Hill: “Schumer: Trump ‘really dumb’ for attacking intelligence agencies,” said Schumer: “Let me tell you, you take on the intelligence community, they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you.”

Amnesty International “Stokes Syrian War”

RICK STERLING, rsterling1 [at] gmail.comno fly zone
Sterling is an independent investigative journalist who just wrote the piece “Amnesty International Stokes Syrian War” for ConsortiumNews.com — which states: “On Feb. 7, Amnesty International released a new report titled ‘Human Slaughterhouse: Mass Hangings and Extermination at Saydnaya Prison,’ which accuses the Syrian government of executing thousands of political prisoners, a set of accusations that has received uncritical treatment in the mainstream news media.

“Like the Iraq/Kuwait incubator story and the Libyan ‘mercenary’ story, the ‘Human Slaughterhouse’ report is coming at a critical time. It accuses and convicts the Syrian government of horrible atrocities against civilians — and AI explicitly calls for the international community to take ‘action.’ But the AI report is deeply biased and amounts to a kangaroo-court conviction of the Syrian government. …

“The Amnesty International report violates the organization’s own research standards. As documented by Professor Tim Hayward here, the Secretary General of Amnesty International, Salil Shetty, claims that Amnesty does its research ‘in a very systematic, primary, way where we collect evidence with our own staff on the ground. And every aspect of our data collection is based on corroboration and cross-checking from all parties, even if there are, you know, many parties in any situation because of all of the issues we deal with are quite contested. So it’s very important to get different points of view and constantly cross check and verify the facts.’

“But the Amnesty report fails on all counts: it relies on third parties, it did not gather its information from different points of view, and it did not cross-check with all parties. The report’s conclusions are not based on primary sources, material evidence or AI’s own staff; the findings are solely based on the claims of anonymous individuals, mostly in southern Turkey from where the war on Syria is coordinated. …

“While the Amnesty report makes many accusations against the Syrian government, AI ignores the violation of Syrian sovereignty being committed by Western and Gulf countries. It is a curious fact that big NGOs such as Amnesty International focus on violations of ‘human rights law’ and ‘humanitarian law’ but ignore the crime of aggression, also called the crime against peace. …

“The co-author of this Amnesty International report is Nicolette Waldman (Boehland), who was uncritically interviewed on ‘Democracy Now’ on Feb. 9. The background and previous work of Waldman shows the inter-connections between influential Washington ‘think tanks’ and the billionaires’ foundations that fund ‘non-governmental organizations’ — NGOs — that claim to be independent but are clearly not.

“Waldman previously worked for the ‘Center for Civilians in Conflict,’ which is directed by leaders from George Soros’s Open Society, the Soros-funded Human Rights Watch, Blackrock Solutions and the Center for a New American Security (CNAS).

“CNAS may be the most significant indication of political orientation since it is led by Michele Flournoy, who was expected to become Secretary of Defense if Hillary Clinton had won the election. CNAS has been a leading force behind neoconservative and liberal-interventionist plans to escalate the war in Syria.”

See response to Amnesty International from Syrian dissident Nizar Nayouf — posted on As’ad AbuKhalil’s “Angry Arab” blog.

See on-the-ground journalist’s Patrick Cockburn’s recent piece on misreporting on Syria and Iraq in the London Review of Books: “Who supplies the news?

See: Ian Sinclair’s new piece “Why Is the Media Ignoring Leaked U.S. Government Documents About Syria?” from AlterNet: “In summary, the leaked information wholly contradicts the popular picture of Western benevolent intentions let down by President Obama’s ineffective leadership and inaction. Instead the evidence shows the U.S. has been sending an ‘extraordinary amount’ of weapons to the armed insurgents in Syria … They did this understanding that sending in weapons would escalate the fighting and not ‘end well for Syrians.’ Furthermore, the U.S. has long known that its regional ally Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states have been supporting extremists in Syria. And, most shocking of all if true, both Kerry and the DIA report seem to show the U.S. allowed forerunners to ISIL and/or ISIL itself to expand and threaten the Syrian Government as this corresponded with the US’s geo-strategic objectives.”

See James Peck — author of Ideal Illusions: How the U.S. Government Co-Opted Human Rights — on 2011 Institute for Public Accuracy news release: “Libya and Syria: Humanitarian War is a ‘Monstrous Illusion.’

Price at HHS: Is Trump Undermining Medicare and Medicaid?

GettyImages-461442712CAROL PARIS, M.D., via Mark Almberg, communications director, Physicians for a National Health Program, mark [at] pnhp.org, @pnhp 
Dr. Paris of Nashville, Tenn., is president of Physicians for a National Health Program. This morning, in response to last night’s Senate vote to confirm Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., as secretary of health and human services, she said the following:

“The Senate’s confirmation of Tom Price as health secretary is a body blow to the health and welfare of all Americans. According to this week’s Monmouth University poll, Americans’ biggest concern today is with their mounting health care costs, more so than their job security, taxes or other household bills. With Price at the helm of HHS, this concern is only going to escalate.

Price’s vision for reforming U.S. health care would result in millions of Americans losing existing health insurance coverage, and millions more having to make do with bare-bones policies that offer little to no meaningful protection. He can also be expected to push high-deductible health plans, which already result in millions of people forgoing needed care, and to undermine Medicare, the Medicaid program and safety-net hospitals.

“If Price’s policies come to pass, the free-market ideologues who supported them will no longer be able to hide behind false promises like ‘universal access.’ The results will be laid bare for everyone to see, and elected officials will have to answer to the poor, working-class, elderly, and chronically ill Americans who will suffer needlessly as a result. Studies show that about 43,000 people will die each year if such policies are implemented.

“Congress urgently needs to reverse course and embrace the obvious solution: an improved Medicare for all.”

For more background, see: pnhp.org/stoprice.

Also see, from David Leonhardt in the New York Times: “Tom Price, Dr. Personal Enrichment.”

Trump’s Terrorism

strategic terrorTrump recently claimed that terrorist attacks have “gotten to a point where it’s not even being reported.” PolitiFact and other outlets have taken issue with this: “Donald Trump wrong that media is not reporting on terrorism any more.”

Meanwhile, Trump and Sen. John McCain are making headlines since “Donald Trump took to Twitter on Thursday morning to attack John McCain following the Arizona senator’s criticism of the White House’s characterizing of a recent raid in Yemen as as a ‘huge success,’ despite the death of a Navy SEAL.” (USA Today)

However, a leading expert on terrorism takes issue with the entire political and media discussion on the subject.

BEAU GROSSCUP, bgrosscup [at] csuchico.edu
Grosscup is author of several books including The Newest Explosions of Terrorism and, most recently, Strategic Terror: The Politics and Ethics of Aerial Bombardment.

He said today: “Trump is only focused on media under-reporting of terrorism of the ‘other.’ He doesn’t consider U.S. a terrorist state. For his statement about media under-reporting of terrorism to be correct would take a re-interruption of his ‘we kill people’ admission to mean the U.S. commits acts of terrorism too. There is a plethora of evidence it does so.

“Media have been silent on U.S.-backed Saudi terror bombing in Yemen, on U.S.-backed Iraqi Shiite militia terror in its anti-ISIS campaign. Moreover, when the U.S. government does ‘kill,’ such as hitting hospitals, wedding parties (Afghanistan, Yemen) etc., the corporate media does report it reluctantly and in doing so gives immediate credence to the various Pentagon explanations as to why it doesn’t qualify as terrorism (not intentional, accident, technological failure, ally did it, fog of war, chain of command confusion). Media also accept totally the Pentagon claim of ‘precision bombing’ equals smart, if not ‘brilliant,’ weapons. Trump is correct that, for example, media don’t report U.S. ‘double tap’ policy (sending in a second missile to kill enemy ‘first responders’), nor the policy that ‘human shields’ are considered military targets.”

See from Ben Norton: “How U.S.-backed Saudi war has decimated Yemen.”

From the Bureau of Investigative Journalism: “Nine young children killed: The full details of botched U.S. raid in Yemen.”

From Noam Chomsky: “Obama’s Drone Assassination Program Is ‘The Most Extensive Global Terrorism Campaign The World Has Yet Seen.'”

From Glenn Greenwald: “Obama Killed a 16-Year-Old American in Yemen. Trump Just Killed His 8-Year-Old Sister.”

Robert Parry writes that “Trump says much that is untrue, but he draws some of Official Washington’s greatest opprobrium when he speaks the truth, such as noting that senior U.S. officials have done a lot of killing, see: “Castigating Trump for Truth-Telling.”

 

Sessions Nomination: McConnell Stops Warren from Reading King’s Letter

2017.14.1_Cohn_origNBC News reports: “Senate Republicans voted to silence the Democrats’ Elizabeth Warren after she read from a letter by the widow of Martin Luther King that criticized the civil rights record of Trump’s nominee for attorney general, Jeff Sessions.

“The debate on the confirmation of Sen. Sessions came to a screeching but temporary halt Tuesday night when Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, objected to a speech that the Massachusetts Democrat was giving.

“Warren quoted from a letter that Coretta Scott King wrote in opposition to Sessions, a Alabama Republican, during his attempted confirmation for a federal judgeship 30 years ago.

“The letter said that Sessions, who was then U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Alabama, had used the ‘the awesome power of his office to chill the free exercise of the vote by black citizens in the district he now seeks to serve as a federal judge.’

“McConnell and other Republicans said Warren violated Senate rules. The rule, No. 19, says senators cannot ‘directly or indirectly, by any form of words impute to another Senator or to other Senators any conduct or motive unworthy or unbecoming a Senator.'”

The New York Times reports: “Capping a strikingly contentious confirmation process, the Senate is expected to vote as soon as Wednesday evening on the nomination of Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama to be attorney general.”  See accuracy.org/calendar for upcoming events.

Rev. GRAYLAN S. HAGLER, gshagler [at] verizon.net, @graylanhagler
Hagler is senior pastor at the Plymouth Congregational United Church of Christ in Washington, D.C. and chairperson of Faith Strategies. He has been an leading opponent of many of Trump’s policies, including his nomination of Sessions for attorney general.

King’s letter states: “Mr. Sessions has used the awesome powers of his office in a shabby attempt to intimidate and frighten elderly black voters. For this reprehensible conduct, he should not be rewarded with a federal judgeship.”

Background on Sessions: See by Marjorie Cohn “Smooth-Talking Jeff Sessions Can’t Hide Disturbing Record,” which states: “Sessions is notorious for calling a Black attorney ‘boy’ and prosecuting three civil rights organizers, including a former aide to Martin Luther King Jr., for voter fraud in 1985. The bogus prosecution of the ‘Marion Three’ was designed to discourage voting rights for poor and elderly people in several ‘black belt’ Alabama counties. The three were acquitted by a jury after just three hours of deliberation. Their charges could have garnered them 100 years in prison.”

Also, see from Dennis Bernstein: “Sessions’s Old-Time Contempt for Civil Rights,” which states: “In 1996, I traveled through Alabama and Mississippi with fellow journalist Ron Nixon as we investigated a wave of arson against black churches. …

“However, Alabama’s Attorney General at the time was Sessions, who was in a close race for the U.S. Senate. Sessions’s approach to the burning of some 40 black churches over 18 months from late 1994 into 1996 was to turn the investigation into a joint probe linking the church burnings to an investigation of black voter fraud through alleged misuse of absentee ballots. The connection supposedly was that black voting-rights activists tried to cover up the fraud by burning down their own churches.”

Billionaire DeVos “Ignorant of the Most Basic Federal Programs”

Devos ProtestCNN reports: “President Donald Trump’s selection for education secretary, billionaire mega-donor Betsy DeVos, appears to be his most embattled Cabinet pick, but Senate Republicans have largely held tight in their support. Senate GOP leaders are confident they can squeak DeVos through the Senate with the support of 50 Republican senators Tuesday afternoon, plus a historic tie-breaking vote from Vice President Mike Pence.”

Pete Tucker on Huffington Post reports in “Growing Resistance Says No to Betsy DeVos” that: “’When it comes to American education, teachers’ voices aren’t heard,’ Shayna Tivona, a pre-K D.C. public school teacher, said as she walked the Senate hallways. ‘Essentially everyone thinks they know more than teachers.'”

KEVIN KUMASHIRO, kkumashiro [at] yahoo.com@kevinkumashiro
Kumashiro stepped down as the dean of the University of San Francisco School of Education last month after serving in the position since 2013. He is the founder of Education Deans for Justice and Equity and is the author of Bad Teacher! How Blaming Teachers Distorts the Bigger Picture. He just wrote the piece “How to Pick a Better Ed. Secretary Than Betsy DeVos.”

DIANE RAVITCH, gardendr [at] gmail.com, @DianeRavitch
Ravitch is author of many books, including Reign of Error: The Hoax of the Privatization Movement and the Danger to America’s Public Schools and The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education. She is a research professor of education at New York University and served as Assistant Secretary of Education and Counselor to the Secretary of Education from 1991-1993 under the George H. W. Bush administration. She now blogs at dianeravitch.net.

She said today: “There are many reasons for the Senate to reject Betsy DeVos.

“First, she showed during her Senate hearing that she is ignorant of the most basic federal programs and laws.

“Second, DeVos is a fervent advocate for privatization of public education through privately managed charters and vouchers.

“Third, she opposes the fundamental principle of separation of church and state.

“Fourth, she refuses to divest herself of financial conflicts of interests, most notably her multimillion dollar investment in Neurocore, a dubious enterprise that sells expensive biofeedback methods to parents of young children.

“Fifth, she gave the Senate a misleading and inaccurate account of the for-profit online charter industry, which researchers have determined obtains terrible results.

“Sixth, under the influence of DeVos millions, Michigan has taken her advice and its national test scores on NAEP have plummeted.

“Seventh, the Detroit Free Press has written that DeVos has no regard for facts or evidence and it opposes her nomination. [See “What you need to know about Betsy DeVos.”]

“Last, for all the reasons above,  she would do irreparable harm to the public schools of the U.S.”

DeVos’ Education Agenda: “Privatize, Monetize, Weaponize”

CNN reports: “Senators are expected to vote Tuesday on the nomination of Betsy DeVos for education secretary. She is expected to be confirmed, with Vice President Mike Pence casting the tie-breaking vote. All 48 members of the Democratic caucus and two Republicans — Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins — oppose DeVos, but Pence would give Republicans the one extra vote they need.”

MITCHELL ROBINSON, mrob [at] msu.edu
Robinson is chair of music education at the Michigan State University College of Music and has written extensively about Betsy DeVos and her history in Michigan.

In “Privatize, Monetize, Weaponize: How the DeVos family devoured Michigan’s schools,” Robinson writes that while some were surprised by Trump’s nomination of Devos, “public school teachers and supporters in Michigan weren’t surprised at all. They saw Ms. DeVos’ ascendancy to this lofty position as the final piece in an elaborately constructed jig saw puzzle that the DeVos family has been patiently working on, at their opulent vacation homes and on their luxury yacht, for the last couple of decades. And now that the final piece has been added, we will all soon see the ‘big picture’ of the DeVos’ vision for the future of American education: Privatize, Monetize, Weaponize.

“As Michiganders know, Betsy and Dick DeVos are religious and school privatization/choice/voucher zealots. They were humiliated by the twin failures of voucher legislation in 2000 and Dick’s loss in the Michigan governor’s race to Jennifer Granholm in 2006, and these dual humiliations resulted in the development of the DeVos’ ‘long-game’ strategy to achieve their goals of privatizing public education:

1. Destroy the Democrats biggest single source of financial support by gutting teacher unions via Right to Work legislation.
2. Capitalize on the elimination of the charter school ‘cap’ to explode the number of non-regulated and for-profit charter schools in the state.
3. Use charter schools as the mechanism to ‘blur the lines’ between public and private/religious schools.
4. Use this ‘blurring’ of boundaries between church and state to build public support for the redistribution of public funds to religious and private schools.”

In “Trump names Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education: It’s Game, Set, Match for public education,” Robinson writes that DeVos’ goal is a “a two-tiered educational system:

“One, a system of elite private and religious schools for well-to-do, mostly white parents with the means to afford expensive tuition payments, staffed by qualified, certified teachers, with a rich curriculum based on face-to-face instruction in clean, safe, well-maintained schools…

“The other, a parallel system of ‘fly-by-night’ virtual and online ‘schools’ that open and close seemingly at random, and for-profit charters operated by scam artists like Northern Michigan’s Dr. Steve Ingersoll, with little to no state or federal regulation or oversight, and a bare bones, ‘back to the basics’ curriculum delivered by unqualified and uncertified ‘teachers.'”

In “Betsy DeVos is not just unqualified, she’s dangerous,” Robinson writes: “The news that Betsy DeVos will not divest her financial interest in Neurocore, a Michigan ‘biofeedback’ company, should alarm anyone who cares about the health and safety of our children. Because this is not simply a financial issue; it’s part of a disturbing trend in Ms. DeVos’ involvement and activism in education, and her potential confirmation as Secretary of Education.”

Also see from Jezebel: “Someone Is Paying Strangers Online to Beg For Betsy DeVos’s Confirmation.”

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