From Sally Yates putting Ted Cruz in his place to Betsy DeVos being booed, this was a busy week in the resistance – but Trump scored some points, too
Points for the resistance:
When Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos signed up to give the commencement address at historically black Bethune-Cookman University, she was expecting yet another photo-op to prove against all evidence that she cares about minority students. But the class of 2017 had other ideas.
As soon as she began talking, the students booed and turned their backs on her, a fitting response to a woman who’s actively working to deprive everyone who’s not rich of their right to an education. It may also have had something to do with her absurdly ignorant touting of HBCUs as a pioneering example of “school choice.” It might not change her hideous policies, but each “boo” makes it harder for her to dress them up with a friendly face, which is something. –1 point
Since Trump signed his executive orders cracking down on undocumented immigrants, Ice agents have been going after people everywhere they can, including the heretofore Ice-free zone of schools. Because why settle for terrorizing adults when you could terrorize children, too?
But sanctuary cities are fighting back. On Tuesday, the Los Angeles school board passed a resolution reiterating that school employees are not to allow any Immigration and Customs Enforcement on campus until the superintendent and the district’s top lawyers have completed their review of the policy … so, hopefully never.
Patterned off the ACLU’s “safe schools” resolution and inspired by the Ice’s arrest of a father who was dropping his daughter off in the morning, it’s the third and strongest such policy passed by the LA board. With measures like this, cities across the country are doing their part to keep schools a literal safe space for all. -1 point
During a hearing before the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism ostensibly about Russian meddling in the 2016 election, Senator Ted Cruz took the opportunity to mansplain the law to former acting Attorney General Sally Yates. Arranging his unsettling features into an expression approximating “smug,” he asked Yates if she was familiar with the statute authorizing the president to suspend or restrict immigration to the US, should he deem it necessary.
Without skipping a beat, Yates cited a different part of the same law that explicitly bars visa discrimination on the basis of “race, sex, nationality, place of birth, or place of residence.” And the crowd (i.e. Twitter) went wild. We might have a monster president abetted by Putin, but at least it gave us a delightful video of Cruz getting owned by a woman. 1 point
Points for Trump
Mock the vote
Four months after claiming he only lost the popular vote due to massive voter fraud, Trump signed an executive order creating a “voter fraud commission” to investigate this imaginary problem. It will be chaired by VP Mike Pence and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, the latter of whom was dubbed “the Javert of voter fraud” by the Kansas City Star for his quixotic commitment to the non-issue. The White House even had the gall to say it would go after “voter suppression” as well.
Unfortunately, what civil rights groups say this commission will actually do is throw up even more barriers to voting for poor people and minorities in an effort to keep the Republican party in power. In related news, a recent study by Priorities USA found that Wisconsin’s strict voter ID law disenfranchised some 200,000 citizens in 2016. – 1 point
No further questions
On Tuesday, as Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price and sophist-in-chief Kellyanne Conway headed to a meeting in Charleston, West Virginia, they encountered one of their least favorite creatures: a journalist.
In an effort to ruin their day, Dan Heyman of the Public News Service asked the pair if domestic violence would be a pre-existing condition under the AHCA, and if so, whether they thought that was right. They didn’t answer. He asked again.
For his troubles, Heyman was arrested, handcuffed, and charged with “willful disruption of governmental processes,” a misdemeanor which could carry a penalty of up to six months in prison. (And don’t think the state won’t prosecute him.) The West Virginia ACLU chalked it up as yet one more “blatant attempt to chill an independent, free press,” adding that “freedom of the press is being eroded every day.” 1 point
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