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Alabama governor names public school-hating Christian fundamentalist to oversee public education

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Alabama’s governor has appointed a Christian conservative to the state’s Board of Education despite never having any involvement in a public school in his life.

Gov. Robert Bentley, a Republican, named 28-year-old Matthew Brown, a design engineer at the Baldwin County Highway Department, to the agency that oversees the state’s public education system, reported the Friendly Atheist blog.

Brown has never attended a public school and has vowed that his own children would not, either, according to a blog post by education activist Larry Lee.

The new school board member graduated in 2007 from Pensacola Christian College and graduated in 2011 from Cumberland School of Law at Samford University.

Brown worked earlier this year to defeat a school tax vote in his county — and the governor promised he would bring a “unique perspective” to the Board of Education.

Lee said the governor was aware that many experts objected to Brown as a candidate but he ignored those concerns.

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As for Bentley, he was appointed this week as vice chair of the National Governors Association’s education and workforce committee by Utah Gov. Gary Herbert, a Republican, and Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, a Democrat.

Bentley two years ago signed a law that diverts up to $30 million a year Education Trust Fund to “opportunity scholarships” — which are more commonly known as vouchers.

The governor also signed legislation to allow charter schools in Alabama, and the law also gives a state commission the power to overrule local school districts when they reject a charter application.

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‘Crosses a line’: New York Times publisher unleashes on Trump for accusing paper of ‘treason’

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On Wednesday, New York Times publisher A. G. Sulzberger wrote a blistering editorial in the Wall Street Journal, saying that President Donald Trump's latest attack on his paper "crosses a line."

First it was the "the failing New York Times." Then "fake news." Then "enemy of the people," wrote Sulzberger. "President Trump's escalating attacks on The New York Times have paralleled his broader barrage on American media. He's gone from misrepresenting our business, to assaulting our integrity, to demonizing our journalists with a phrase that’s been used by generations of demagogues. Now the president has escalated his attacks even further, accusing the Times of a crime so grave it is punishable by death.

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Trump’s Russian arms control negotiator failed to disclose ties to Russian agent’s boyfriend: report

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On Wednesday, the Washington Post reported that Andrea Thompson, a State Department official in managing U.S. arms control negotiations with Russia, had a years-long personal friendship with GOP operative Paul Erickson, the boyfriend of admitted Russian agent Maria Butina — and failed to disclose this either to the Senate during her confirmation hearings, or to her superiors at the State Department.

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The NRA hired a CFO who was caught embezzling: report

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Wilson "Woody" Phillips, Jr. once worked at an employee-benefits consulting firm that was supposed to pay $45,000 to a Texas company. Yet, somehow, the money was rerouted.

According to a report from The New Yorker, when the companies were going back and forth about where the missing $45,000 went, they realized it had been routed to an account in Maryland, under the name of Hughes.

“They gave me records saying who the account belonged to,” accounts-payable manager Mary Hughes recalled in an interview. “And, sure enough, it was Woody’s.”

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