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WHO AM I? WHY AM I HERE?


If you weren't reading The Economist and watching your C-SPAN Tuesday night like a proper political nerd, you might have missed the Senate confirmation hearing for Donald Trump's insane nominee to head the Department of Education, Betsy DeVos, whose only qualifications for the post seem to be that her mega-rich wingnut family literally shits million dollar gold bricks into the coffers of the Republican party and other conservative causes, and also just that she's a complete know-nothing wingnut. She doesn't believe in public schools, her family fights for the wholly discredited and harmful practice known as "conversion" therapy for gays, oh, and did we mention that her brother is unhinged nutcase Erik Prince, head of the demonic death squad mercenary firm what used to be known as Blackwater?

All the Senate Democrats on the committee came prepared, but whoa holy shit, when we say they came prepared, we mean like WHOA HEY WHOA HEY.

Ready for your enjoyable Wednesday morning video time? Yes, you are!

Let's start with Al Franken, because if you only watch one of these videos, you need to watch our good old friend You're NOT Good Enough, You're NOT Smart Enough, And Doggone It, I Don't Think Anybody On This Panel Would Piss On You If You Were On Fire, Not Even A Russian Hooker. Yep, he Reverse Stuart Smalley-ed her! In the first half, Franken exposed that DeVos has no idea what the difference is between measuring students based on "proficiency" or "growth," noting that it's an argument that's been going around in the educational community for years and years, and adding, "It surprises me that you don't know this issue." He later added, "I'm not surprised that you did not know this issue." DANNNNNNNG!

Then Franken swiftly pivoted to the DeVos family's long support for anti-gay causes and "conversion" therapy, and oh by the way, called her out on lying about the increase in student debt. LOL!

How's about some Elizabeth Warren? She's always fun! Warren began by saying all her nice colleagues had done a very nice job showing everybody how DeVos knows nothing about K-12 schools, so she figured she'd show everybody what a moron DeVos is when it comes to higher education. Warren noted that the secretary of Education has a responsibility for overseeing a "trillion-dollar student loan bank," as well as $30 billion in Pell Grants, then asked the following questions, RAPID FIRE:

  • "Do you have any direct experience in running a bank?"
  • "Have you ever managed or overseen a trillion-dollar loan program?"
  • "How 'bout a BILLION-dollar loan program?"
  • "Have you ever taken out a student loan from the federal government to help pay for college?"
  • "Have any of your children had to borrow money in order to go to college?"
  • "Have you had any personal experience with a Pell Grant?"

Warren's responses to all DeVos's bad answers were "Uh HUH!" and "OKAY!" and we bet Ms. DeVos was thinking in her brain, "WHAT A NASTY WOMAN!"

AND WARREN WASN'T DONE. We're actually going to transcribe this bit:

WARREN: Let's start with the basics. Do you support protecting federal taxpayer dollars from waste, fraud and abuse?

DEVOS: Absolutely.

WARREN: Oh good, so do I! Because now we all know that President-elect Trump's experience with higher education was to create a fake university, which resulted in his paying $25 million dollars to students that he cheated. So I'm curious how the Trump administration would protect against waste, fraud and abuse at similar for-profit colleges. So here's my question: How do you plan to protect taxpayer dollars from waste, fraud and abuse by colleges that take in millions of dollars in federal student aid?

DEVOS: Senator, if confirmed, I will certainly be very vigilant ...

WARREN: Yeah, I'm asking HOW.

And Elizabeth Warren actually did the gesture where you rotate your hand quickly like "GET TO THE POINT QUICKER, SO I CAN SHOW EVERYBODY HOW STUPID YOU ARE."

Just freaking watch it:

After the hearing, DeVos tried to shake Warren's hand, and Warren was all "PSYCH!" and wouldn't do it!

Hey look, it is Sen. Tim Kaine, who was supposed to be your vice president, until Russia and Wikileaks and the FBI decided to make a different choice for America. Kaine asked a very simple series of "yes" or "no" questions, about whether disabled kids should be equally protected in schools, or should they be treated like shit? BETSY DEVOS AIN'T KNOW!

What about guns in schools? Should they be there? Sen. Chris Murphy of Connecticut wanted to know! YES, DeVos said, you probably do need guns in school sometimes, TO PROTECT CHIRRENS FROM GRIZZLE-BEARS IN WYOMING! Sen. Murphy responded by essentially daring her to come to Connecticut (COUGH NEWTOWN COUGH) to talk about how awesome guns in schools are.

Want to watch Bernie Sanders go ape-crackers on Betsy DeVos? Of course you do! He just wants to know whether she even thinks she would be sitting there if she wasn't a mega-gabillionaire whose family has given $200 million to the Republican party. MEOW.

There are probably many more videos we missed, and you can share them in the comments! (As if comments are even allowed.)

The point is that the Democrats were SO FUCKING MEAN to Betsy DeVos and we are kind of in love with them right now, and this is how we expect them to act the entire time Donald Trump is president, and also after that.

MOAR LIKE THIS PLEASE!

Evan Hurst

Evan Hurst is the senior editor of Wonkette, which means he is the boss of you, unless you are Rebecca, who is boss of him. His dog Lula is judging you right now.

Follow him on Twitter RIGHT HERE.

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It started with them damn hats. (Image: Wikimedia Commons)

A guest post by "Knitsy McPurlson," which we suspect is not a real name.

Yr Wonkette is not the only website run by brilliant peoples unafraid to poke people with sharp, pointy sticks. Ravelry.com – a website for knitters, crocheters, and other folks interested in textiles and fiber arts – is poking people with knitting needles, which are very sharp indeed.

This past weekend, Ravelry.com's founders showed the world how easy it is to de-platform white nationalists and racists when they banned all "support of Donald Trump and his administration" from their website, concluding they "cannot provide a space that is inclusive of all and also allow support for open white supremacy." Seems like people smart enough to decode a knitting pattern are also smart enough to decode Trump's not-so-hidden message of racism and white nationalism.

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One day, God willing, my grandchildren will click open their history textbooks and read about the Central American migrant internment camps. They'll learn about sick kids, locked in cages, kept hungry and dirty and cold for weeks on end, and they'll be horrified.

"Bubbie," they'll say, "how could this happen in America? How could there be toddlers sleeping on the ground without blankets, without soap or toothbrushes to clean themselves?"

"I don't know. I wish I had done more. I'm ashamed," I'll say. We will all have to answer for this atrocity. But some of us will have to answer more than others. Not just the archvillains like Stephen Miller and John Kelly, but the people who kept right on doing their jobs, even as those jobs morphed into defending concentration camps.

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