School kids across America got a break from test taking when President Donald Trump announced the Department of Education would waive annual standardized test requirements.“We’re not going to be enforcing that,” Trump said Friday. “I think a lot of the students are probably going to be very happy,” but acknowledged that some of them would not.Education Secretary Betsy DeVos made the formal announcement in a news release Friday.“Students need to be focused on staying healthy and continuing to learn,” she said. “Teachers need to be able to focus on remote learning and other adaptations. Neither ...
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On Thursday, CNN reported that Justice Department investigators have interviewed Republicans in Georgia about whether they had any contacts with former President Donald Trump's campaign, as part of the growing probe into whether a crime was committed in the plot to submit slates of fake "electors" declaring Trump won states he did not win.
"In one case, FBI agents asked a prominent Georgia Republican whether he had direct conversations with Trump," reported Katelyn Polantz. "'They just asked who talked to me. If anyone from the Trump campaign had been in touch with me. Did Giuliani talk to me? Did Trump talk to me?' said Patrick Gartland, who was set to serve as an elector but dropped out. He recounted how two FBI agents visited his home in Marietta, Georgia, a few weeks ago."
"Investigators have sought answers this month from Gartland and others connected to the GOP in Georgia — both in FBI interviews and in grand jury subpoenas for documents and testimony," said the report. "Investigators are looking at whether the Trump campaign played a role in the submission of false election certificates, according to people approached by the Justice Department."
The fake electors plot was spearheaded by pro-Trump attorney John Eastman, who laid out a plan whereby then-Vice President Mike Pence would declare all the Biden-won states with "alternate" Trump electors to be disputed, not count their votes during the gaveling of the electoral college, and declare Trump the winner. Legal experts broadly considered this scheme to be illegal, as did Pence himself.
"The subpoenas issued to Gartland and others are seeking communications with 'any member, employee or agent of Donald J. Trump or any organization advocating in favor of the 2020 re-election of Donald J. Trump,' including his official campaign," said the report. "The subpoenas also seek any communications with more than two dozen named Trump campaign officials, attorneys and Georgia electors. CNN reported Wednesday that a recent subpoena related to the alternate electors sought communications with Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani, Trump campaign lawyer Justin Clark, right-wing attorney John Eastman and others."
According to the report, the case hinges on whether the fake electors truly believed Trump won and the election was in dispute, or if they knew they had lost and their scheme was an act of fraud — which could mean more obvious criminal liability for the actors involved.
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Ali Velshi held up a dark front page of the Uvalde Leader-News as he began anchoring MSNBC "Prime" from Texas on the dramatically shifting official accounts of the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School on Tuesday.
"In the aftermath of any horrific event, information is spotty. our understanding of what happens evolves over time, but even by those standards of breaking, and developing news, the inability of officials to give a consistent, and coherent account of a key portion of the timeline of attack is, frankly, confounding," Velshi reported.
He noted multiple official statements on whether an armed school resource officer engaged the gunman. And played two videos purported to show officers clashing with parents outside the school.
Velshi explained why examining law enforcement's response is important.
"Look, the point in raising all these questions about the law enforcement response is certainly not to pick on officers who may well have been very brave and doing their best in an unbelievably stressful and highly threatening situation," he said.
"But, law enforcement — more and more law enforcement — is really the only response to school shootings that have been proposed or allowed by the Republican officials who run the state of Texas," he noted. "After the Santa Fe High School shooting in Texas in 2018, the state passed multiple bills to, 'harden schools'. The Uvalde school district doubled its security budget, it created its own police force and threat assessment teams at each school. "
If that is the only answer that Texas has to the scourge of school shootings, — not to prevent them, but to guard and respond to schools better when they happen — well, they've got to show that plan works," Velshi said. "And tonight the people of Uvalde have a lot of questions about how well it worked."
Watch the clip below or at this link.
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Unseating U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert, a Republican from Silt who represents Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District, is a strong motivator for three Democratic primary candidates who spoke at a candidate forum in Grand Junction on Wednesday.
Boebert will first have to beat her primary challenger, Don Coram, a Republican state senator and former state representative from Montrose.
“I’m running as a father, businessman, local community activist, former city council member, and to make sure Lauren Boebert doesn’t win a second term,” said Aspen businessman Adam Frisch. “She’s an embarrassment and not fighting for the people who voted her in.”
“She did not win her home county,” he added.
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The candidate forum held at Colorado Mesa University also included Sol Sandoval, a community organizer from Pueblo, and Alex Walker, who runs a tech business in Grand Junction.
Approximately 140 people attended the event.
Sandoval shared that she didn’t sleep well the night before, with the recent school massacre in Uvalde, Texas, on her mind, and concern for own children attending school.
“I’m here today as a mother, and a daughter of courageous immigrants,” Sandoval said. “I’m from a pro-union working family. I’ve worked as a social worker and community organizer” and have been trained to listen to people’s issues, she said.
Sandoval, who announced her candidacy within a month after Boebert took office, has spent the last year-and-a-half traveling around Colorado visiting with both Republicans and Democrats who are struggling to make ends meet.
“We have to work across party lines,” she said. “As an organizer, my friends throughout the district will make a difference. I’m here because know I know we can win this district. I have $800,000 from voters in the district — that demonstrates my grassroots campaign.”
Walker, expressed anger at the Democratic Party for being too “polite” and occasionally used expletives as he conveyed his frustration with Democrats playing too nice.
“I’m running for my survival,” Walker said. “Since Lauren Boebert and Donald Trump were elected I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve been called a (slur for “gay”). They’ve emboldened a hateful streak in people. I’m here to work like hell for my survival. And for a future of clean jobs, real wages, basic human rights and accessible health care. We need people to stand up to Lauren Boebert.”
After mentioning “the two horrific acts in the past two weeks,” the forum moderator asked each candidate if they would support a ban on assault rifles. On May 14, a man killed 10 people in a Buffalo, N.Y. supermarket in an apparent racist attack.
The Second Amendment topic comes up a lot during his visits with people in the district, and there needs to be a respect for gun ownership, Frisch said. He said he’s not sure what the answer is to stopping America’s all-too-common mass shootings but that certain people should be restricted from accessing firearms.
Sandoval said she’s a gun owner and recognizes the importance of the Second Amendment for rural Coloradans. However, “there are practical things we can support in the bill in the Senate that addresses background checks,” she added.
The Bipartisan Background Checks Act would expand federal background checks required for gun purchases and ensure that individuals experiencing a mental health crisis would not be able to access guns, she said.
Walker said he would close the loophole for background checks, ban assault rifles, and send to prison people who bring guns to schools.
Candidates were also asked if they’ve considered the fate of oil and gas, as well as coal industry workers as Colorado moves toward achieving 100% renewable energy by 2040.
Walker responded that there’s a demand for clean energy and that people will actually earn more money in the renewable energy industry.
“Embracing clean technology is an incredible opportunity for Colorado’s future,” he said.
Sandoval, who mentioned growing up in poverty and is sympathetic to people’s fears about job losses, said she would support the training needed to transition away from fossil fuel development and into renewable energy.
Frisch said a lot of people working in the fossil fuel industry are aware of changes in weather, implying that workers are aware that the future will require learning new skills.
When asked about current federal legislation that would protect employees’ rights to organize and collectively bargain in the workplace, Frisch agreed that there must be protections for wages and benefits and that he would not stand in the way of workers who want to organize.
Sandoval contended that an entire region improves when there’s a union employer in the area.
“Pueblo is a union town,” she said. “Everyone’s lives improve. I know the importance of collective power and standing up to corporations.”
Candidates were also asked how they would protect Colorado during an era of unprecedented wildfires. Walker said he would protect Colorado with carbon tax incentives and reforestation. He also emphasized the importance of renegotiating the Colorado River Compact guidelines for sharing water with downstream users.
Sandoval mentioned the need for conserving water and protecting the water that originates in Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District, while Frisch added that Coloradans should not turn down funding that would help states deal with forest fires — a reference to Boebert, who voted against the bipartisan infrastructure bill and the Build Back Better Act.
Frisch said Democrats have a unique opportunity to beat Boebert if she wins the primary but that Democrats must build a coalition that includes unaffiliated voters.
“It would be a shame if this district blows this opportunity,” he said. “Lauren Boebert is more vulnerable than people realize.”
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