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Betsy DeVos Using Pandemic To Strip Funding From Public Schools

This article was produced by Our Schools, a project of the Independent Media Institute.

As American deaths from COVID-19 surpassed 100,000, the New York Times reported that Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos declared her intention to "force" public school districts to spend a large portion of federal funds they're receiving through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act on private schools.

Going beyond the traditional practice of education secretaries to issue guidance on how states should interpret federal law, she now wants to write the laws herself.

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Exploiting The Pandemic, Betsy DeVos Epitomizes Kakistocracy

Charles Dickens, writing about the inequality and social turmoil leading to the French Revolution, noted, "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times."

So it is today, with the horrific COVID-19 killer both ravaging the globe and intensifying the inequality that was already rending social unity. Consider the experiences of one especially hard-hit group in our country: Native Americans. The Navajo Nation alone has become one of the worst of America's COVID hotspots, with a higher death rate than all but four states. Yet, in an example of the worst of times, Trump & Co. delayed disbursement of $8 billion in coronavirus relief funds that Congress had set aside for tribal governments. The disease raged through Indian Country for six crucial weeks while Trump officials sat on the money. People died.

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Trump Urges Michigan Governor To Make ‘Deal’ With Armed Mob

Donald Trump urged Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Friday to give in to the demands of the armed mob of protesters who stormed the state Capitol a day earlier.

"The Governor of Michigan should give a little, and put out the fire," he tweeted. "These are very good people, but they are angry. They want their lives back again, safely! See them, talk to them, make a deal."

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Gov. Whitmer Slams DeVos For Ties To Far-Right Lockdown Protests

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

Although the majority of Americans still support social distancing measures — 83 percent of Democrats, 72 percent of independents and 62 percent of Republicans, according to an Axios/Ipsos poll released this week — a minority of far-right extremists have been holding rallies, protests and rallies in opposition to shutdowns and stay-at-home orders. And in Lansing, Michigan, where one of those protests was held, some of the "organizational assistance" — according to Daily Beast reporter Scott Bixby — came from a "dark money group with close ties with Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos."

Reckless and dangerous behavior, Bixby reports, was not hard to find at the Michigan protest — for example, protestors "snarling local ambulances in traffic and handing out candy to children with ungloved hands." And Democratic Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is calling for DeVos (who is the sister of Blackwater mercenary Erik Prince) to condemn that type of recklessness.

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