The Disaster That Is Betsy DeVos

There’s a reason that living under the Trump Administration is so exhausting;  citizens don’t know where to look first. We wake every morning with the same question: which of Trump’s incompetent/corrupt Cabinet members is doing the most damage today?

The EPA is headed by a former coal lobbyist who is busy eviscerating environmental protections. The  Secretary of the Treasury is refusing to honor a request for Trump’s taxes, despite a statute that specifically requires him to do so. At Commerce, Wilbur Ross was (fortunately) too incompetent to follow the rules for adding questions to the Census. Mike Pompeo is using the State Department to further fundamentalist Christian interests. Alex Acosta has joined the exodus of Trump Administration officials ousted for improper/corrupt behaviors….

And speaking of corrupt, don’t get me started about William Barr.

However, we can’t allow these scandals to obscure Betsy DeVos and her continuing effort to cripple the Department of Education and sabotage public education.

Recently, DeVos installed Diane Jones, a veteran of “for-profit organizations that operate low-quality education programs,” as chief architect of her education policy.

“President Trump’s Department of Education is stacked with former for-profit executives whose companies got rich by ripping students off,” said Charisma L. Troiano, the press secretary for Democracy Forward, a government watchdog organization that has accused Ms. Jones of several conflicts of interest. “For decades, Diane Auer Jones has advocated for this predatory industry.” (Link unavailable)

DeVos  is the first Secretary of Education to come to that post having zero experience with public schools. She has never worked in a public school, has never been a teacher, a school administrator, nor a member of a public board of education. Not only that, she didn’t attend public schools herself, and she didn’t send her children to public schools. In Michigan, she’d been an implacable foe of public education and a generous funder of vouchers and for-profit charters.

When she was nominated for the position, the Washington Post ran an article titled “A sobering look at what Betsy DeVos did to education in Michigan.” It documented the troubling decline in student achievement in the private and religious schools she supported.

Her confirmation hearings were a disaster, revealing her monumental ignorance of DOE’s mission and legal responsibilities, and lack of familiarity with important education policies. It took Mike Pence’s vote to confirm her–the first time in history a Vice-President had to cast a deciding vote for a cabinet nominee.

And what has she done since she was (barely) confirmed?

  • rolled back protections for transgendered students.
  • proposed a nine billion dollar cut in education funding
  • repealed federal protections against predatory for-profit colleges
  • rescinded college-level sexual assault guidelines
  • stripped DOE employees of collective bargaining rights
  • endorsed a plan to place guns in schools, and to purchase them with federal grant money intended for academics and student enrichment
  • eviscerated the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program, which allows public workers to apply for forgiveness of their student loans after 10 years of service and on-time loan payments.
  • pushed to expand federal vouchers by $50 billion dollars over ten years
  • refused–and  continues to refuse–to enforce laws requiring that federally funded services be provided only by public employees or by contractors independent of private schools and religious organizations. (It is unprecedented for a federal agency to announce it won’t enforce the law as written.)

There’s more at the link.

Even if Democrats sweep this abysmal crew out in the 2020 elections, it will take decades to repair the damage.

It turns out that handing the government over to people who know absolutely nothing–either about government in general or the work they are being asked to do in particular–is a really bad idea.


  1. And lets not forget about the Brain damaging chemical just approved for our FOOD this week
    It never ends

    FRIDAY, JULY 19, 2019
    This week Environmental Protection Agency chief Andrew Wheeler announced the agency’s decision to allow farmers to keep spraying a dangerous brain-damaging pesticide on fruits and vegetables. The pesticide, chlorpyrifos, has been shown to harm a child’s brain even at low levels of exposure.
    It never ends

  2. What’s a BAD IDEA to us, is a GREAT IDEA to them. It’s white supremacy gone wild. It’s a “political wildfire.” Like Sheila has said, “Even if Democrats sweep this abysmal crew out in the 2020 elections, it will take decades to repair the damage.”

    But “never forget,” they’re going to heaven and we are not. Why should we be surprised? Have we forgotten that 60% of the churches in Germany VOTED to be Nazified?

  3. President Reagan wanted to do away with the Department of Education, so he nominated a guy to carry out that task. Well, the guy was not only not a complete neophyte – he was qualified to run the department. When he got in and “looked around,” he decided the department was doing a good job and a necessary one. So he didn’t do anything to impede its mission. I don’t remember how long he stayed before being replaced, but the department persisted.

    Unfortunately, Trump was more efficient, in that he nominated someone with lots of money and no common sense, so we can only hope that the department can outlast her, and him.

  4. According to Steve Bannon the whole point of this administration is the deconstruction of the administrative state. The job of every appointee is to dismantle the department he or she leads.

  5. Peggy,

    What Steve Bannon describes as the “administrative state” has another name it’s called DEMOCRACY. It shouldn’t be that difficult to deconstruct since we have never been a true democracy.

    To many in the African-American community, fascism would be a better description of America than democracy.

  6. Peggy and Marv are correct…the points of the department heads are to obliterate the administrative state. Laws be damned!

    They are corrupt, so laws mean very little. Who does follow the rules in Washington?

    It’s become a joke for decades. Our state isn’t much better. Corporations pay good money for these politicos and want to reap the rewards for as long as possible. Remind me again how many Wall Street bankers were jailed by a 100% Democratic administration. 😉

    With power comes the ability to snub your nose at the laws. The laws are only appropriate to maintain order within the ordinary people. You know, laws preventing us from chopping off the heads of our leaders. 🙂

  7. I’m afraid we’re past the point of no return. The only logical thing we can do at this point in time is to, at least, file a damage report, before the ship of state, finally, submerges, either by our own hands or our enemies.

  8. We have Pence to blame for many of the destructive cabinet members. He has recommended Devos, Pompeo, Azar. He also placed Seema Verma in CMS to speed up the destruction of Medicaid and Medicare.

  9. Yes, Betsy DeVos epitomizes the Republican party of today: If you can’t make a profit off of it, get rid of it. Those 62 million fools who thought that Trump and the Republicans would represent their interests are now being shown what real corruption looks like, what real Nazification looks like and how unregulated capitalism will destroy itself from within. Wait. Didn’t somebody named Marx say that in 1850?

    Did these pathetic people ever ask the questions: “Why do we want to dismantle the administrative state?” Where is the harm? If we already have the strongest economy in the world, why destroy that which makes it so? Remember the conversations between Roger Ailes and Steve Bannon? Even a creepy bastard like Ailes though Bannon was off his rocker.

    I agree that the repair work will take a relatively short time to at least get back to a functioning government. In fact this will be a good time to implement obvious fixes to struggling departments. The hardest part, I think, is going to be to talk all those competent, moral and ethical people who fled this Nazi regime to come back and put Humpty Dumpty back together.

  10. Part of any damage report, which I previously mentioned, would be the cost of what looks like to me, at this point in time, an unavoidable civil war. We’re not talking about billions, but trillions.

  11. Donald Trump, whether you want to believe it or not has wide appeal. He understands his followers. Eliminating the competition is money in their pockets. It is that simple.

    When they finally can calculate the FINAL COST of following that ASSHOLE, they will change direction. The sooner that calculation can be made, we and the rest of the world might still have a chance for a peaceful future, maybe not.

  12. I wish it wasn’t so, but it usually comes down to $$$$$$. They represent financial security. In most minds, ideas such as personal freedom, ethics, brotherhood are just for the few fools, like me, that still now exist.

    A day or so ago, I mentioned the breaking of the color barrier in college football in the 1961 Gator Bowl at Jacksonville. I also mentioned that I was my father’s strategist. The strategy was simple: I advised my father that he go back and tell his “buddies,” the 100 men on his committee, that if they didn’t integrate the Gator Bowl this year, then Memphis would do it next year with the Liberty Bowl and they would be out of luck.

    Jacksonville didn’t have anything more than the Gator Bowl. It was the only national exposure that they had. By beating Memphis “to the punch” they solidified themselves for national recognition on TV for almost a decade, since the northern teams remembered that they were welcome in Jacksonville. To quote JoAnn, “It’s all about the $$$$$$$.” The decision to integrate, surely, wasn’t about fairness, justice, or anything like that.

    Trump is all about $$$$$$$. Cut off the dream of $$$$$$ by his followers and he will be the ultimate “emperor without clothes.”

  13. The Gulf Oil States are President Agent Orange’s and Pastor Pence’s dream – Absolute Power, no human rights, no free press and a Theocracy.

    President Agent Orange has no real political agenda, to have an agenda you would need to have cogent thoughts.

    President Agent Orange is at his core Narcissistic personality as defined as follows:
    It is a mental condition in which people have an inflated sense of their own importance, a deep need for excessive attention and admiration, troubled relationships, and a lack of empathy for others. But behind this mask of extreme confidence lies a fragile self-esteem that’s vulnerable to the slightest criticism.

    Among the signs of a Narcissistic personality:
    Have an exaggerated sense of self-importance
    Have a sense of entitlement and require constant, excessive admiration
    Expect to be recognized as superior even without achievements that warrant it
    Monopolize conversations and belittle or look down on people they perceive as inferior
    Expect special favors and unquestioning compliance with their expectations
    Take advantage of others to get what they want

    For President Agent Orange, the presidency must be a supreme ego trip. Imagine how his ego is fed by the 1% and big corporations coming on bending knees seeking favors and executive orders. Then there are the crowds hooting and hollering his every word.

    The Democrats need to constantly attack President Agent Orange give him no relief.

  14. The Chaos can only lead to disaster. Look at the Democratic Party(!) And I want to believe, that we all know what the dismantling of the Education system is leading to. It is happening all over government – and NO ONE is stopping it. We scream we cry we write we march we stomp our feet and not one is listening close enough to stand up to the man face to face and tell him to LEAVE because he is unworthy of the office and is a Traitor to our Country. Until our voice is heard and heard in a way that RIPS the pocketbook from their hands! We will continue with this klown show – remember Jon Stewart’s name for him? Even if he loses – I bet he will refuse to leave. That is how bad it has gotten, we have milktoast for representatives of our voice sopped and steeped in Corporate monies!

  15. Just so you know:
    Democratic presidential contender Pete Buttigieg has hired a former Goldman Sachs vice president and Google executive to run his policy shop, his campaign announced Thursday.

    Sonal Shah, now executive director of the Beeck Center for Social Impact and Innovation at Georgetown University, will be the campaign’s national policy director.

    Shah worked at Goldman Sachs from 2004 to 2007 as a vice president, according to her LinkedIn page. She then worked for Google as its head of global development initiatives from 2007 to 2009.

    In early 2017, Shah cheered President Donald Trump’s hiring of Goldman executive Dina Powell, first as an economic assistant and later as deputy national security adviser.

    “Great choice. Dina Powell will be great. Trump hires another executive from Goldman Sachs,” Shah wrote in a Twitter post.

  16. “I skate to where the puck is gonna be, not where it has been.”
    ~Wayne Gretzky, National Hockey League great

    What we are experiencing now is not going to be anything like the future. The sooner that Trump’s followers can understand that future, the better off we will all be. We are all headed toward what might be best called: FUTURCIDE. Unfortunately, we aren’t dealing with this phenomenon any better than the Jews did with Genocide. As a matter of fact, both have the same starting point.

  17. So, Rev, what would you have law-abiding citizens do to stop Trump? Hmmm? If we’re allowed to have it, an election is due to happen in November, 2020. If it isn’t allowed to happen there will be a civil war.

    What are YOU doing to motivate the 92 million sloths who didn’t vote in 2016?

  18. Monotonous,

    “The Democrats need to constantly attack President Agent Orange give him no relief.”

    Ditto. Who in their right mind would give any relief whatsoever when being attacked?

  19. I can understand the Reverend’s frustration. It’s like Trump is playing tackle football and his opponents are playing touch or flag football. I wonder who is going to win?

    What a recipe for disaster.

  20. Manuel,

    “We scream we cry we write we march we stomp our feet and not one is listening close enough to stand up to the man face to face and tell him to LEAVE because he is unworthy of the office and is a Traitor to our Country.”

    I agree with you, especially with your statement: “no one is listening close enough to stand up to the man face to face……..”

    Nothing positive will happen until that happens. I’m 100% sure of that. It certainly won’t occur inside of the Democratic Party. Bill Clinton made sure of that with his “triangulation strategy.” However, what should we have suspected from a draft dodger?

  21. DEMOCRATIC LANDSLIDE CONSOLIDATES LIBERAL POWER IN 2020…Senate, House and Presidency Go Democratic.

    Doable; possible? Sure. But so what? Little to nothing in regard to democratizing our nation will get done, and that which is done will not last two years.

    Unless the new Democratic President is one fearless bastard…and one who has a proven record of going to war against big money, big oil, big weapons, big crime, big banks and big killers. Why. Because that is who will go to war against every repair the new administration attempts to make. Because that is who will buy the votes, intimidated the votes, blackmail the votes, and, if need be, kill the voters as well as kill the leaders in order to block reform.

    The new President will need to be one hell of a charismatic leader, too. Merely having great policy credentials will not be enough. Not even getting great policies enacted will be enough to empower reform that exceeds the nominal. Democratic leadership must be able to plant its policy ideas so deep into the American soul as to nullify sell-outs, chicken-outs, lazy outs, and acquiescent peace-outs.

    The new president also will need to be an offensive juggernaut with staying power. The New administration must crush the Nazi movement, ruthlessly prosecute the criminals of the present administration, and restore the traditional Republican Party.

    Of the present Democratic candidates for president, ONLY KAMALA HARRIS has a resume that includes big battles against the corporate giants of national intimidation. It’s even good that she has lost a few battles, because it proves she doesn’t quit after a loss. Kamala Harris is the closest thing we are going to find to a new Bobby Kennedy, and a new Bobby Kennedy is what this country needs. Right now.

    Stop searching for candidates who agree with your own policies (after all, if your thinking so brilliant, you’d be President) and choose a candidate who has the political and charismatic power to lead the new American reformation.

  22. To most of us wealth is a product of labor. To some it is not. They merely invest the wealth that they inherited in ways that grow it through the labor of others. That’s the basis of aristocracy.

    History is replete with revolutions brought about by too many of the products of labor being diverted to aristocracy from the creators of it.

    That’s where we are headed once again but we have one opportunity to avoid revolution that ends up costing everyone everything. 2020 elections.

    The odds of accomplishing the resurrection of freedom and opportunity depend on one thing only: our ability to unify behind leaders who will manage all the politics that will replace what we would otherwise have to revolt from.

    It is exactly true that we united we will stand or divided we will fail.

  23. Fuck Betsy De Louse.
    Get in the streets and overthrow, Mango Mussolini’s corrupt regime. Regime change starts at home. The chickenshits have come home to roost and loot.

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