by Countable | 3.20.17
It’s difficult to stay up-to-date on what’s happening in this country and to break through the clutter, so we’re here to make it easier. Here’s what we at Countable are reading today:
"Senate Democrats are planning a rare all-night talkathon to protest Betsy DeVos's nomination for Education secretary ahead of an expected vote on Tuesday. “Democrats will hold the floor for the next 24 hours, until the final vote, to do everything we can to persuade just one more Republican to join us, Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) said from the Senate floor Monday."
"Unless Democrats agree to yield back some debate time, a final vote on DeVos is expected for noon Tuesday, when Vice President Mike Pence will likely need to break a 50-50 tie. A spokesman for Murray confirmed that “Democrats plan to keep the floor open and there will be speeches over the night in this final push."
Read more at The Hill.
"North Carolina could lose NCAA sporting events for the next six years if its legislature fails to repeal a controversial anti-LGBTQ law passed last year, sports officials in the state warned in a letter to lawmakers on Monday. The letter states that the NCAA has told the association that “due to their stance on HB2, all North Carolina bids will be pulled from the review process and removed from consideration."”
"Further, the letter warns, the NCAA could pull any postseason events scheduled for 2017-2018 from the state. (The NCAA’s original decision only affected the current academic year.) North Carolina cities and schools, the letter says, have submitted a total of 133 bids to host various NCAA sporting events between now and 2022."
Read more at the Huffington Post.
"Donald Trump will be blocked from addressing Parliament on his state visit to the UK, the Speaker of the House of Commons has said. John Bercow, the Speaker, said he was “strongly opposed" to Mr Trump speaking in the Commons and that being invited was "not an automatic right" but “an earned honour.””
"In a dramatic intervention cited the Commons’ opposition to “racism and to sexism and our support for equality before the law and an independent judiciary" as his reasons.”
Read more at The Independent.
"China on Monday said it had "lodged representations" with the United States over Washington's new sanctions list targeting Iran, which includes Chinese companies and individuals. The sanctions on 25 people and entities imposed on Friday by President Donald Trump's administration, and came two days it had put Iran 'on notice' following a ballistic missile test."
"Those affected by the sanctions cannot access the U.S. financial system or deal with U.S. companies, and are subject to secondary sanctions, meaning foreign companies and individuals are prohibited from dealing with them or risk being blacklisted by the United States. The list includes two Chinese companies and three Chinese people, only one of whom the U.S. Treasury Department explicitly said was a Chinese citizen, a person called Qin Xianhua."
Read more at Reuters.
"The bungled rollout of his executive order barring immigrants from seven predominantly Muslim countries, a flurry of other miscues and embarrassments, and an approval rating lower than that of any comparable first-term president in the history of polling have Mr. Trump and his top staff rethinking an improvisational approach to governing that mirrors his chaotic presidential campaign, administration officials and Trump insiders said."
"One former staff member likened the aggressive approach of the first two weeks to D-Day, but said the president’s team had stormed the beaches without any plan for a longer war."
Read more at the New York Times.
— Erin Wright
(Photo Credit: tedeytan via Flickr / Creative Commons)
Written by Countable
Dear Sens. Boozeman and Cotton and Rep. Hill: I live in Little Rock and am a school psychology specialist. It is my job to protect the rights and needs of students with disabilities. As you know, IDEA is fundamental to helping students with special needs succeed. Betsy DeVos has a fundamental misunderstanding or dismissal of this incredibly important piece of legislation. Our children deserve more than someone with no experience in education to form policies that affect their futures. Besides being a school psychologist, I have two adopted children with special needs. They need public school. They need the therapies that are offered there (which are not offered with fidelity in charter schools) and need highly qualified teachers to help them learn. Not everyone can teach reading. Or math. Or science. Our kids need experts- not someone who thinks teaching might be a nice gig for a while and works in a charter. Charter schools (and many private schools for that matter) do not require licenses for their educators. I know because I have worked in one. Public schools are the backbone of our nation. We must improve them TOGETHER. Education is not a partisan issue. We must elect someone who is truly QUALIFIED for the job. Consider your vote carefully and actually think of the kids in Arkansas as you vote. We need you.
As a country we can NOT afford to jeopardize our future by nominating Betsy DeVos. I'm sure she's a good person and I'm sure she's given millions to the Republican campaign but we can't allow an unqualified person for this job! This is the time you need to step outside party lines and look at the candidate. You will see why there are so many concerns. Please vote NO!
Thank you for standing up for what is right, Senator Casey!Senator Toomey vote NO on DeVos. This is not a partisan issue, but one of common sense, critical thinking, and decency. Show us you cannot be bought and sold to billionaires who have no place in the cabinet. You know this is wrong for our country, Senator Toomey. Now show us you are listening and will represent the overwhelming amount of people in Pennsylvania and the country who are totally against DeVos. By the way, people trying to contact you are regular citizens like me who are greatly concerned for our country. I have never found myself so actively concerned for the people of the U.S. The election of the president and his alarming actions and lies have lit a fire in millions to stop the destruction of the values we hold dear. Stand with us to uphold our fantastic democracy and the freedoms our soldiers have defended for centuries, Thank you.
No to Devos. Being a donor does not qualify you to lead ANY organization, let alone the department of education.
To my Texas Senators John Cornyn and Ted Cruz: Gentlemen, it is time to get on the right side of history. Vote AGAINST the confirmation of one of the most unqualified, inept, inappropriate and uneducated of the president's cabinet nominations. You have only to look no further than the unmitigated and disastrous, Betsy DeVos train wreck of charter schools in the state of Michigan. PLEASE DO NOT let her do this to the great state of Texas, the rest of our magnificent country and our public educational system that is envied the world over. VOTE NO to Betsy DeVos and send your Texas constituents a resounding message that you will not just follow blindly with your vote, but will make sure that ALL Texas children receive a well-deserved, quality public education. If I have yet to persuade you to do the right thing, let me assure you that your political career is on the line with this crucial vote. If you do not vote no to this confirmation of such a ridiculously low-information person, Betsy DeVos (who had no business even being nominated to this Dept. of Education position), your constituency, Republicans, Democrats, et. al., will make sure that you will face fierce and powerful opposition in your upcoming election cycles. This is not a partisan issue! Texans will not forget if you don't vote NO. We will come together and force you out. Don't believe me. Maybe you should start paying attention to the unrest in your own state.
The Betsy DeVos vote isn't about politics - it's about the future of children in America. Please do not vote for a person who has zero knowledge of the American educational system and who is only up for a cabinet position because her family has donated millions of dollars to the Republican Party. What's more important - the nominee of an inept president or the education of millions of kids? No freethinking person could possibly choose the first option. Vote with your head and heart.
Stop DeVos! Thank you for all your hard work
Betsy DeVos has made some unprofessional and insensitive comments as to whether schools should provide accommodations for students with disabilities. She believes it should be left up to the states. This goes against the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, a 30-year-old federal civil rights law. She has done nothing for the schools in her state. She will do nothing for the country's schools. The schools in Michigan are producing extremely low test scores. This would be poor judgment on your part to choose DeVos!
Republicans, listen to the constituents across the nation! Everyone BUT you republican senators are saying no! Vote no to the secretary of education. She has not even attended to public school. Listen to the educators! They do not want her.
CORY GARDNER!! Vote NO ON DE VOS!! I know you know that your constituents do not want her!! If you vote yes we will know that you are NOT our representative but merely a republican puppet aligned with Bannon. We will vote you out of office if you prove time and time again that you don't care about us!!
DeVose is a disaster! Those who vote for her are selling out the children.
Please do not allow this woman (Devos) to be nominated. Republicans and democrats all have children and grandchildren. This is about our most cherished. Please don't allow this.
Please continue the good fight. No Devos. We can't run public school like business. We need to focus on making things better for all students not just a few. Vouchers do not help the poor. Please continue to find at least one more republican that will vote against her.
Yes senator Elizabeth Warren.
Hi, I really do not think that Betsy Devos is qualified to be the Secretary of Education. Please vote against her!
Whether you're a Republican or Democrat, no U.S. citizen wants DeVos. A vote for her is telling your constituents that her money is more important than representing our interests. If you vote for DeVos, we'll vote you out of office.
Education is quite literally the future of our country. Betsy Devos has provided ample evidence that she is neither qualified to manage this vital national interest, nor interested in an all inclusive education strategy. She has show her hand as an agent of an entrepreneurial family, pursuing an exclusionary and potentially catastrophic religious and class based agenda, which amounts to little more than thinly veiled segregation and a cash grab for her family and friends. SHE SHOULD NOT BE CONFIRMED.
Want someone to fix your car who's not a mechanic? Do surgery on you who's not a surgeon? Then, vote no. She has NO teaching experience. Money ≠ Experience. Why is this difficult? She favors charter schools, not public schools. If a level-headed Republican candidate for the office were actually experienced, I'd actually suggest to my representatives that he or she be confirmed for the position.
I am grateful to senators willing to take a stand on Devos' nomination. You can't die on every hill but this one is worth the effort. I will celebrate and remember the republican senators who stand up for reason and oppose Devos. Senator Ron Johnson help your colleagues out, vote NO on Devos!
Please, listen to your constituents. The tax payers pay you to represent us. We don't pay taxes so you can ignore us and accept bribes from a dangerously unqualified individual. Devos is not the future our children need. Vote no!