Betsy DeVos Knows Who Needs More Education Moneys, And It Is The NRA!


As if we needed more proof that Betsy DeVos doesn't understand the value of a dollar or a good education, the New York Times reports that the Education department is thinkering up a very fine plan to use federal grant money to buy guns for teachers. Leave it to Betsy DeVos to watch "The Magic School Bus" and think, "Ms. Frizzle REALLY needs to teach those brats a lesson..."

Using money from the $1 billon Every Student Succeeds Act, DeVos's scheme would upend longstanding policies about guns in schools and give her the ability to pick and choose school districts eligible for firearms or firearms training. Since it's not her kids or her money, DeVos clearly doesn't care if that $1 billion -- money set aside for educational access, improving school conditions, and digital literacy -- is used to help poor kids and at-risk schools. Kids can't read if they're dead, right? Checkmate, libs!

DeVos might be able to pass out Saturday Night School Specials thanks to loose language in the ESSA. Back in 2015, Congress rolled a number of school spending measures into one big grant so that it was easier for schools to get assistance for mental health, violence prevention, and bullying. Citing a couple of dubious field trips to rural red states and gun-free discussions about school violence, the Education department says its research found schools don't have immediate access to law enforcement officials, so teachers need hand cannons whenever some booger eater wants the class to say "Hello" to their daddy's little friend.

After the massacre at Parkland, Congress raced to pass the STOP School Violence Act, which provided $50 million to help schools beef up security, but specifically prohibited spending federal grant money to arm or train teachers. Though the bill remains stalled in the Senate, Sen. Chris Murphy just introduced an amendment that could put a safety lock on DeVos's itchy trigger finger.

Since we actually survived statistics class, we can say with absolute certainty that NRA-sponsored arguments like "good guys with guns" are garbage. While Trump and his conspirators like to say that arming teachers would be a great idea, there's even more data that shows teachers make terrible security guards. That's why they're teachers!

DeVo's plan is being panned by teachers unions and gun safety groups. This morning, American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten said that DeVos's plan is "beyond the recklessness we believed she was willing to pursue," adding...

Instead of after-school programs or counselors, programs that are critical for creating safe and welcoming schools and addressing the mental health needs of kids, DeVos wants to turn schools into armed fortresses and make kids and educators less safe," she said. “She wants to turn the U.S. government into an arms dealer for schools. That's insane.

At a time when teachers are taking to the streets to call out historically low wages and bare bones budget cuts, and students are rallying in the hundreds of thousands to protest gun violence, Betsy DeVos says "lock and load." My friends and I grew up cowering in fear during school lockdowns. After Columbine I wore an ID badge and a lanyard, as if nylon and plastic would suddenly stop the bullies and bullets. After 9/11 we learned to duck and cover. When Sandy Hook happened we got cameras, electronic locks, and shatter-proof glass. Before everyone forgot Umpqua, the schools hired security guards to look busy and collect paychecks. Now my friends are teachers living through their own school shootings, yet they still refuse to carry guns in their classrooms.

Maybe Trump was right to call her "Ditzy" DeVos.

[NY Times]

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Dominic Gwinn

Dominic is a broke journalist in Chicago. You can find him in a dirty bar talking to weirdos, or lying in a gutter taking photos.

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Image: Marriott Hotels

Great GOP wordsmith Frank Luntz, the guy who gave us the "death tax" and who urged the George W. Bush administration to talk about "climate change" since it was less politically motivating than "global warming," did some more of his characteristic word magic today! While staying at the Hotel Imperial in Vienna, Austria, Luntz offered this cautionary tale about the evils of socialism, as illustrated by the shoddy conditions in a 5-star luxury hotel owned by Dubai's "Al Habtoor" conglomerate and operated by Marriott:

Talk about your grim hellholes! Apparently, there's only one elevator in the entire building, and it's been broken for three days, proving that European-style socialism is a failure that should never be imported to the USA, where -- damn it! -- all buildings work!

As some smartass pointed out, now Luntz may have to take the STAIRS, like a common Bolshevik!

We're still trying to get our heads around how a delay in getting an elevator fixed in a luxury hotel owned by the United Arab Emirati proprietors of Dubai's

  • Habtoor Grand Resort
  • Waldorf Astoria Dubai Palm Jumeirah
  • Habtoor Palace, LXR Hotels & Resorts
  • V Hotel, Curio Collection by Hilton
  • Hilton Dubai Al Habtoor City
  • Metropolitan Hotel Dubai
  • Al Habtoor Polo Resort

as well as

  • Imperial Hotel, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Vienna (Austria)
  • Hilton London Wembley (United Kingdom)
  • Hilton Beirut Habtoor Grand (Lebanon)
  • Hilton Beirut Metropolitan Palace (Lebanon)
  • President Abraham Lincoln Springfield – a DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel (United States)
  • InterContinental Budapest (Hungary)
  • The Ritz-Carlton, Budapest (Hungary)

is an example of the horrors of socialism, but then, we don't earn the big bucks like Luntz does. Austria is among the 14 richest countries in the world, so we're fairly certain it's not a commie hellhole. Then again, there is a very strong social safety net, so maybe people in subsidized housing stole all the elevator parts. Or perhaps the elevator would have been fixed sooner if only Austria didn't have such strong unions. It's a mystery.

Or maybe it's that NATIONAL socialism that's the problem, seeing as it has socialism RIGHT IN THE NAME!

Adolf Hitler, once a day labourer outside the Hotel Imperial Vienna, returned as the Führer and "delivered a speech to a rapturous crowd from [the hotel] suite's balcony, on 14 March 1938", according to

We suppose it's worth noting that the Imperial is decidedly not owned or operated by the Austrian government, where a far-Right coalition has recently imploded -- although maybe Luntz is confused about that, since official state guests are traditionally housed there. In any case, the elevator's busted, it's in Europe, Europe is socialist, and Frank Luntz is homesick for America, where no elevator ever goes unrepaired for an entire weekend. It simply has never happened because of our efficient free market!

Still, Luntz's tweet inspired some valuable reflections on how economic theory shapes the reality of everyday life. This is the kind of Austrian economics we can support.

In conclusion, capitalism always allocates resources efficiently and fairly, although that still doesn't explain why Frank Luntz has a job. And now it would be your DOKTOR ZOOM'S BIRTHDAY PARTY OPEN THREAD, if only the socialists would fix the elevator, the end.

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