Today's news -- February 7, 2017



DeVos confirmation stalls as both sides dig in *

Tensions over President Trump’s nominations turned into a parliamentary game of chicken Monday, with Republican leaders vowing to keep the Senate in session, day and night, until lawmakers confirm four of his cabinet picks. After days of grasping at procedural hurdles, Democrats held vigil against Betsy DeVos, Trump’s polarizing nominee for education secretary, and promised to spend the final 24 hours before her confirmation vote today reiterating their objections. But as Democrats made clear they had no intention of yielding even a minute of their allotted floor time to debate Trump’s nominations -- a final act of parliamentary disobedience for a minority party that lacks the votes to block a nominee on its own -- Republicans stood their ground. Daring Democrats to keep their word at the expense of several sleepless nights, Senator John Cornyn of Texas, the chamber’s No. 2 Republican, said the Senate session would not end until lawmakers confirmed four of Trump’s nominees: DeVos, Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama as attorney general, Rep. Tom Price of Georgia to lead the Department of Health and Human Services, and Steven Mnuchin as Treasury secretary. The effort could last into Saturday and might involve burning “a little midnight oil,” Cornyn said. Short one critical but elusive Republican “no” vote against DeVos -- a billionaire philanthropist with little experience in public schools and a remarkably shaky showing at her confirmation hearing -- Democrats on Monday did the only thing they could: They talked. Sen.  Patty Murray of Washington announced that Democrats would occupy the floor until the vote on DeVos’ nomination, which is expected around midday today. Murray is the top Democrat on the committee that approved DeVos along a party-line vote, and one of her most strident opponents. Publicly, Democrats held out hope that they could woo one more Republican dissenter to join Senators Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska in voting against Ms. DeVos. Both announced last week that they would not support DeVos’s nomination. Their defections, combined with a unified vote from the Democratic caucus, set up a 50-50 tie on the nomination, which Vice President Mike Pence would have to break in his capacity as president of the Senate. Appearing later at a demonstration outside the Capitol, Murray urged protesters to pressure Republicans to oppose DeVos. “If we can persuade one more Republican to do the right thing, we can double down on the message we’re all sending to President Trump: The Senate stands with public education!” Murray said. A deluge of constituent calls and messages against Trump’s nominees and executive orders has overwhelmed some Senate offices and even the Capitol phone system in recent days, echoing demonstrations across the country. Energized by the opposition, Democrats seemed ready Monday to resort to sleeping bags if necessary.


Activists march at Rubio’s Tampa office, calling to reject DeVos


No, it’s not just unions that oppose DeVos. It’s much bigger than that.\


The idea of DeVos as secretary of education has shaken me out of complacency


The ethics case against DeVos


DeVos wants “choice” for special needs kids. In Asia, we saw what that can mean.


DeVos might not force vouchers on states -- but she could promote them


Her home-state newspaper: U.S. Senate must reject DeVos appointment


She had a message on DeVos. She sent her senator a pizza — with a note.


The grizzly truth: Trump’s competence problems are bigger than DeVos


Will new school leave some St. Johns teachers without a classroom? (Michelle Dillon quoted)


Plan to count computer coding as foreign language earns win in Senate committee


Lake schools above class limits by two students


State senator proposes financial incentive for teachers


New law failed to make it easier for kids to go to school across county lines


School on Saturday? Pinellas sees it as another way to reach struggling students


Santa Rosa, teachers locked on contract talks


New Nevada teachers won’t have to know U.S. Constitution if this bill becomes law


A Virginia principal on achieving equity amid poverty\\


Senators move forward with state college changes

A bill that would create a new governance board for state colleges and limit their ability to expand baccalaureate degrees cleared its first Senate committee Monday, although the measure drew plenty of questions. The most controversial aspect is a provision that would set limits on the ability of the 28 state colleges to offer four-year or baccalaureate degrees. The bill, which cleared the Senate Education Committee in a unanimous vote, would also create a new State Board of Community Colleges, which would oversee the 28-school system. The state colleges are now under the State Board of Education, which also oversees the K-12 system. The measure (SB 374) would also increase the time it would take for colleges to win approval for new baccalaureate programs, including a one-year notification to the new State Board of Community Colleges and allowing a 180-day period for state universities to react to the baccalaureate proposals. "This will enable more advocacy, accountability and independence for the college system," said Sen. Bill Galvano, R-Bradenton, who was handling the legislation for committee Chairwoman Dorothy Hukill, a Port Orange Republican who is recovering from a cancer treatment. Galvano defended the new limits on baccalaureate degrees, noting the legislation was re-emphasizing the state college's system primary role of awarding associate degrees and technical certificates, with bachelor degrees being a secondary function. He also noted the legislation would not eliminate baccalaureate programs now in place at the state colleges, which were traditionally known as community colleges.


Former legislator named FGCU president semifinalist


GOP reps want to take away cities' right to pay more to blue-collar workers


Kill renewed attack on public records law


Special commission to review Florida Constitution takes shape


Lawmakers back unanimous juries in death cases


The case against spending tax money on job incentives, tourism promotion


Poll finds Floridians disapprove of Trump’s performance


Justice Department urges appeals court to reinstate Trump’s travel ban


Three fronts in legal battle over Trump’s immigration order


Trump's lack of respect for judiciary\


Refugees are part of America’s fabric and its promise


Trump’s travel ban, aimed at terrorists, has blocked doctors


The Trump team’s list of 78 “underreported” terrorist attacks is a mess


White House, Fox join forces to undermine anti-Trump protests as violent and fake


Conway’s explanation for the “Bowling Green massacre” was also a lie


The massacre that wasn’t, and a turning point for “fake news”


In one Facebook post, three misleading statements by Trump about his order


Cotton and Trump plot crackdown on legal immigration


About 20 rabbis arrested during protest over Trump travel ban


Tech opposition to Trump propelled by employees, not executives


How attorneys general became Democrats’ bulwark against Trump


Why Trump wants to disempower institutions that protect the truth


ACLU: Miami-Dade mayor “duped” by Trump on immigration detentions


Dozens deliver petition to Buchanan's office


Trump, GOP lawmakers back off from immediate Obamacare repeal\


Defunding Planned Parenthood was a disaster in Texas


Obamacare helped the homeless, who now worry about coverage repeal


Women’s March organizers are planning a “day without a woman”


How a fractious women’s movement came to lead the left


Clinton in new video statement: “The future is female”


The delusion that openness has impoverished America


Here’s how the 2018 midterm elections could be fatally undermined


Dismantling Dodd-Frank: Trump's Valentine's gift to Wall Street


Gorsuch’s volunteer work questioned


Gorsuch seen as business-friendly on labor, workplace issues


What to watch in Congress: Confirmation votes, regulation rollbacks


Congress has the power to obtain and release Trump’s tax returns


Trump’s Labor pick admits to hiring undocumented maid


Puzder will be a disaster for workers. I know: He was for me.


All the evidence that Trump’s Treasury nominee lied to the Senate about his bank


Senate should reject Pruitt to head EPA


Price, Dr. Personal Enrichment


Trump’s State Department in cone of silence due to lack of staff


White House rattled by McCarthy's spoof of Spicer


Walker's Wisconsin could be a model for Trump on unions's-Wisconsin-could-be-a-model-for-Trump-on-unions?utm_campaign=SocialFlow&utm_source=Twitter&utm_medium=APBusiness


Labor leaders’ cheap deal with Trump


Govermpor to sign bill making Missouri 28th right-to-work state


Congress moves to roll back a sensible Obama gun policy


Trump administration is recklessly escalating tensions with Iran


Trump wants to push back against Iran, but Iran is now more powerful than ever


Trump seems to side with Russia in comments on Ukraine


Blaming America first


Unlike all previous U.S. presidents, Trump almost never mentions democratic ideals


Trumpism is all tantrums, all the time


It’s unusual that Trump’s approval ratings sagged this low.




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