Chris Wallace Calls Out Betsy DeVos For Threatening To Defund Schools

Good for Fox News’ Chris Wallace for calling out so-called Education Secretary Betsy DeVos.

Wallace asked DeVos about a threat she and Donald Trump have issued saying they plan to cut off funding for schools that don’t agree to re-opening schools this fall during the coronavirus pandemic.

“Both you and the president have threatened to cut off funding for schools systems that don’t open fully in the fall,” Wallace explained. “Are you and the president unilaterally going to cut off funding that’s been approved by Congress — and most of the money goes to disadvantaged students or students with disabilities?”

First of all, many school systems do intend on delivering classes online at the very least. So those teachers and administrators ARE trying to do what they can safely.

Second, the idea that the re-opening of schools is only about students is ludicrous. Schools need adults – teachers and staff – to operate. Children could be bringing the coronavirus to school and infecting those adults. OR passing it on to other students who could then infect their grandparents…#smh

Watch below.

News Round-Up: May 14, 2020

The cast of Queer Eye heads to Philadelphia this June on Netflix

Some news items you might have missed:

Netflix: Who’s ready for the season of brotherly love? Grab your oars, a life vest, and an extremely absorbent box of tissues because Queer Eye Season 5 (above) is arriving in Philly, June 5th!

• NewNowNext: A new queer-centric concert series: Outloud: Raising Voices, a 10-episode benefit show featuring livestreamed performances from LGBTQ and allied artists, will kick off May 26 with performances by Kesha, Betty Who and more. Funds raised during the epic five-week affair will benefit local Pride organizers impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

OUT: Under the veil of secrecy, legislators have crafted and rushed through a new civil code for the island of Puerto Rico. Having passed both the House of Representatives and the Senate, the legislation is awaiting the signature of Governor Wanda Vázquez Garced. But, advocates warn that amendments to the bill made without public debate and adequate time for analyzing could roll back LGBTQ+ rights.

The Hill: Donald Trump went without a mask during a visit to a Pennsylvania medical equipment distribution center (again) even as other government officials in his party wore face coverings around the facility.

Yahoo News: Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is being sued for her revised federal guidelines on how sexual assault allegations should be handled on college and K-12 campuses. Plaintiffs say (and they are right) the changes would “inflict significant harm” on victims and “dramatically undermine” their civil rights.

Fox News: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell admitted he lied when he said the Obama administration did not leave behind any “game plan” for responding to a pandemic.

News Round-Up: May 6, 2020

The original and new casts of Queer Eye will compete on Celebrity Family Feud

Some news items you might have missed:

HRC: On the 8th anniversary of former Vice President Joe Biden’s endorsement of marriage equality, the Human Rights Campaign announced its endorsement of Biden for President. HRC’s Board of Directors, comprised of 26 community leaders from across the nation, unanimously and enthusiastically voted to endorse Biden. “Vice President Joe Biden is the leader our community and our country need at this moment,” said HRC President Alphonso David.

NY Times: Education Secretary Betsy DeVos on Wednesday issued final rules for how public and private schools must address allegations of sexual misconduct locking in protections for accused students and faculty. The new regulations narrow the definition of sexual harassment and require colleges to hold live hearings during which alleged victims and accused perpetrators can be cross-examined to challenge their credibility.

Out: On Sunday, May 31 Celebrity Family Feud is set to host the casts of the old and new iterations of Queer Eye (above) in a face-off for charity. The full, original cast will play for The Trevor Project and the new squad (with Karamo Brown swapped out for a featured guest from season 4) will compete for GLSEN.

Daily Herald: Two Utah County businesses told staff to not follow quarantine guidelines and required staff who had tested positive to report to work resulting in 68 positive cases.

Variety: For the past seven decades, the show has always gone on for the Tony Awards, which honor the best Broadway performances and productions. But with the 74th edition being postponed from its planned June 7 date due to the coronavirus, there’s a real chance that the ceremony will be scrapped altogether this year.

CBS News: At an event marking National Nurses Day at the White House, Donald Trump contradicted Sophia Thomas, the president of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners who works at a community health center in New Orleans, who said the availability of personal protective equipment has been “sporadic.”

News Round-Up: March 25, 2020

Dan Tai (via Instagram)

Some news items you might have missed:

InstaHunks: Woofy Dan Tai (above) asks, “So, you ever just have those days when you’re super productive? It was one of them! How was your day?” How about you, readers? Amid all this self-isolation, do you feel like you’re getting some of those tasks you’ve put off accomplished?

Outsports: Denis Finnegan is a champion. A national champion. And he’s been a national champion 10 times over. That’s some real dominance. Few people in the world, in any sport, can claim that many titles over a decade. Finnegan also happens to be gay.

CBS News: As unemployment claims surge, Starbucks CEO and President Kevin Johnson announced this week his commitment to pay all workers in the U.S. and Canada for the next 30 days, regardless of whether they come into work or the stores they work at temporarily close.

Song of the Day: For some reason, this song by Barbra Streisand, released in 1981, has been “coming in and out” of my mind as we all self-quarantine. Gorgeous vocals and it reminds we’ll all be back in each other’s lives in real person soon. Please take a moment to hit play and chill.

People: In his new book, The Bachelor star Colton Underwood revealed that he questioned his sexuality through his teen years, after relentless bullying from teammates. Underwood says he remembers searching online “Am I gay?” as far back as Elementary School.

BBC: The Prince of Wales has tested positive for coronavirus, Clarence House has confirmed. Prince Charles, 71, is displaying mild symptoms “but otherwise remains in good health.”

Hollywood Reporter: In 2018 and 2019, booking Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos was a top priority for producers at Fox News. So much so that one Fox News producer sought to reassure Devos’ press secretary that host Maria Bartiromo would go easy on the Secretary if she sat for an interview, which she did six days later. “Ps remember any question she doesn’t feel comfortable answering — she can choose to not answer and pivot the topic. This will be an easy interview and enjoyable.”

Gaily Grind: President Trump used his daily White House coronavirus briefing on Wednesday to rail against the press and Democrats, arguing that the main reason they oppose his idea to potentially reopen businesses by Easter is that they want the economy to fail to hurt his reelection prospects. #srsly Check out the exchange with CBS News journalist Paula Reid below.

News Round-Up: April 10, 2019

Some news items you might have missed:

• InstaHunk Dan Tai gets up close to a mama elephant. If that’s not enough elephant action for you, check this baby elephant pretending to be brave. #ElephantsRock

• Following an overall trend of increased hate crimes since Donald Trump took office, a Colorado transgender man was attacked on his own front porch for “acting gay.”

• It’s National Siblings Day, so here’s a shout out to my brother, Gary, who I fought with throughout my childhood. But, as adults, we found common ground – wonder what that was…? #MoreWine

Happy Siblings Day to my big bro, Gary

• A gay guy wrote an essay titled, “Why Pete Buttigieg Is Bad For Gays,” and he’s wrong.

• Hollywood powerhouse producer/director Ryan Murphy announced he will make the hit Broadway musical The Prom (about a high school girl asking another girl to the prom) into a Netflix movie.

• Testifying before Congress today, Education Secretary Betsy Devos admitted she knew rolling back Obama-era guidance that protected trans students would lead to lower attendance and depression for those students.

News Round-Up: April 3, 2019

Some news items you might have missed:

• Here’s a t-shirt (modeled by InstaHunk Ramses Principe) that I can totally relate to 😉

• The governor of Utah has signed into law the state’s new, tougher hate crimes law with stricter punishments for those who commit crimes specifically due to bias. Yes – Utah!

• Even though Netflix cancelled the terrific One Day at a Time reboot, the streaming giant may be standing in the show’s way of finding a new home.

• Starting out at a bus stop as young boys, James Corden and Tony Award winner Ben Platt tell the story of a life-long friendship using 9 different sets and 12 carefully curated songs all captured in one take.

• Investigators on Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team say the four page letter by Attorney General William Barr didn’t adequately portray the findings of their investigation.

Stoning gays to death officially became the law of the land in Brunei today. Even Ellen DeGeneres has joined the boycott of hotels owned by the Sultan of Brunei.

• Donald Trump’s choices for ambassadorships has been, interesting, to say the least. Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates — a wealthy real estate developer with no diplomatic experience. Ambassador to Morocco? A well-heeled car dealer. For Iceland? While well-traveled, the nominee had never even been to the Nordic country.

• The brilliant satirist, Randy Rainbow, offers his parody of the Disney classic, “Cruella DeVille,” with a nod to our current clueless Education Secretary Betsy DeVos.

Ed. Sec. Betsy DeVos Doesn’t Know If LGBTQ Students Should Be Discriminated Against

Betsy DeVos and Rep. Mark Pocan

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos continues to be a simply hideous person.

There are many, many reasons, but here’s just a few via the Human Rights Campaign:

Within days of taking office, she revoked the Obama-era guidance on protections for transgender students under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972.

In 2017, she withdrewTitle IX guidance on addressing sexual harassment in schools (including sexual violence) which affects LGBTQ kids disproportionately.

As chair of the Federal Commission on School Safety, she recommended rescinding nondiscriminatory school discipline guidanceprotecting students of color.

The list goes on and on.

This week, while answering questions about the Trump administration’s education budget, she was unable to give a straight answer to a question on whether or not she feels it’s okay for LGBTQ students to be discriminated against.

This isn’t really hard, you know…

Following up a question on school suspensions, openly gay Rep. Mark Pocan asked her, “Do you think it’s alright for a school to discriminate based on someone’s sexual orientation or gender identity?”

DeVos’ word-salad of an answer went like this:

“Um, we have laws that cover discriminatory efforts, and, um, our office for civil rights has continued to be very diligent in investigating any allegation of, um, discrimination and will continue to do so,” she stammered.

“So is that a yes or is that a no?,” asked Pocan. “I’m trying to get a yes or no, I guess, on that.”

Pocan also touched on DeVos’ continued support for charter schools even though 25% of her beloved charter schools are failing.

Insert more word salad here…

When Pocan asked about proposed cuts to the tune of $17.6 million from the Special Olympics(which gives people with intellectual challenges the opportunity to compete in athletic contests), DeVos was flummoxed yet again.

Pocan inquired how many students those cuts would affect.

“We had to make some difficult decisions with this budget,” the secretary sputtered.

“How many kids?”

“I don’t know the number of kids…”

“Two hundred and seventy-two thousand – no problem, I’ll answer it for you,” said Pocan.

After running down more and more cuts to education for challenged students (including his two nephews with autism), the congressman kept trying to get an answer as to why so many programs for these students are being cut.

You got it – more word salad.

Devos would deflect, Pocan would readdress the question and topic at hand.

Credit the congressman for being tenacious.

Pocan wrapped up with a question as to how, when cutting 12% across the board from education budgets she could justify a 15% INCREASE for ‘executive salary appropriations?’

In the end, the super-wealthy DeVos weaved, dodged and changed subjects until Pocan’s time ran out.

Hideous.

Study Of 12,000 LGBTQ Teens Shows Only 26% Feel Safe In Classrooms

After interviewing over 12,000 LGBTQ teenagers, the HRC Foundation and the University of Connecticut has released the largest-of-its-kind survey detailing the anxiety and challenges so many of them face going regarding their daily lives at home, at school and in their communities.

With teens ranging in age from 13 to 17, and from all 50 states and Washington D.C., the survey reveals teenagers are not only experiencing stressful levels of apprehension and angst, but only a small minority (26%) feel unsafe in their own school classrooms.

The researchers found that:

• 79% of LGBTQ teenagers surveyed report feeling depressed or down over the past week

• 95% of LGBTQ youth report trouble sleeping at night

• LGBTQ youth of color and transgender teenagers experience unique challenges and elevated stress — only 11% of youth of color surveyed believe their racial or ethnic group is regarded positively in the U.S., and over 50% of trans and gender expansive youth said they can never use school restrooms that align with their gender identity

• More than 70% report feelings of worthlessness and hopelessness in the past week

• A scant 5% say all of their teachers and school staff are supportive of LGBTQ people

• 76% report that they’ve heard family members make negative comments about LGBTQ people

To protest the harmful effects the Trump/Pence administration is having on young LGBTQs, artist Robin Bell and HRC projected a message on the U.S. Department of Education building (above).

The projection read, “Betsy DeVos, How do you sleep at night when only 26% of LGBTQ youth always feels safe in class?”

You can read the full survey from HRC and the University of Connecticut here.

SNL: Kate McKinnon Kills With Spot-On “Betsy DeVos”

Is there anything Kate McKinnon can’t do?

I guess it was just a matter of time before McKinnon turned her talents on Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, and after DeVos’ disastrous 60 Minutes interview the time was sure right.

Trying to explain her public embarrassments, McKinnon’s “DeVos” shared that she does indeed have innovative ideas that are based on state-by-state needs such as schools for bears in Wyoming, and that “in North Carolina, stop being trans, and that’s what’s best for them.”

She also seems to know why the 60 Minutes interview veered off-course: “I think it’s because I do not do a good job, and I can’t, because I don’t know how.”