Thursday, September 7, 2023

Last Call For Fani, Flagged In Georgia, Con't

Fulton County, Georgia DA Fani Willis clapped back at House Republicans trying to intimidate her into dropping her case against Donald Trump today, responding to accusations of election interference by pointing out what The US Constitution actually says.

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis Thursday blasted a congressman who has pledged to investigate her handling of an indictment of former President Donald Trump and others.

U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan, an Ohio Republican and chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, recently demanded records of Willis’ communication with Justice Department officials who have also indicted Trump for his role in an alleged scheme to overturn the 2020 presidential election.

Jordan suggested Willis is attempting to interfere with the 2024 election – Trump is the front-runner for the Republican nomination. And he said her investigation could infringe on the free speech and other rights of Trump and other defendants.

On Thursday, Willis fired back, saying Jordan’s Aug. 24 letter included “inaccurate information and misleading statements.” She accused Jodan of improperly interfering with a state criminal case and attempting to punish her for personal political gain.

“Its obvious purpose is to obstruct a Georgia criminal proceeding and to advance outrageous misrepresentations,” Willis wrote of Jordan letter. “As I make clear below, there is no justification in the Constitution for Congress to interfere with a state criminal matter, as you attempt to do.”

Jordan’s letter came 10 days after a Fulton County grand jury indicted Trump and 18 others for their roles in an alleged scheme to overturn the 2020 presidential election.

A spokesperson for Jordan’s office did notrespond to a request for comment.
Jim Jordan got his sound bite last month, but Willis has the law on her side and she's well aware of it.  Jordan and the GOP know they can't do anything about the case, and Gov. Kemp hates Trump so much that's he's scuttling state GOP attempts to stop her.
Anyone who thought Willis was not going to be able to handle the pressure at this level of politics was clearly wrong, and that included me when this investigation was first announced.  I've since leared how formidable she is.

Trump's going to find out, that's for sure.

Vote Like Your Country Depends On It, Con't

Vice President Kamala Harris is leading the charge for the Democrats getting out the vote in 2024 with a college tour starting next week in Virginia.
Vice President Kamala Harris will soon be hitting the road for a monthlong college tour, traveling to more than a dozen campuses across eight states. The trip underscores both the value Democrats are placing on younger voters and the more forceful role Harris is seeking to play on key issues like abortion access ahead of the 2024 election, after weathering two years of scrutiny and low approval ratings.

The vice president's "Fight for our Freedoms College Tour" begins on Sept. 14 at Hampton University in Virginia. It will focus heavily on mobilizing young voters -- some of whom have expressed less than favorable views of President Joe Biden -- in states including Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, North Carolina, Nevada, Wisconsin and Virginia, with additional campus visits and details to come.

News of the tour, first reported by ABC News, comes as students return to school for the fall semester.

Young voters proved to be a key constituency for Democrats, boosting candidates in the last midterm and presidential election cycles. In 2020, for example, Biden became the first Democratic presidential candidate to win Georgia in nearly 30 years -- with voters younger than 30 accounting for 21% of the returns, up from 15% in 2016 and backing Biden by more than 10 points, according to exit polls.

This year, however, Biden has faced low favorability marks from younger voters, according to ABC News/Ipsos polling.

In her tour, Harris is expected to visit a broad range of campuses, from four-year state schools to community colleges, technical colleges, apprenticeship programs and historically black colleges and universities, or HBCUs.

"This generation is critical to the urgent issues that are at stake right now for our future," Harris said in a statement.

"It is young leaders throughout America who know what the solutions look like and are organizing in their communities to make them a reality," she added. "My message to students is clear: We are counting on you, we need you, you are everything."

As vice president, Harris has more recently been leading the administration's work on reproductive rights, reducing gun violence, addressing climate change and voting access -- issues that advisers expect to be central to her message as she meets with the students across the country.
This is a very, very smart move by the Dems here to tap VP Harris as the face of their college GOTV efforts, and especially making sure that tour is going to HBCUs like Hampton U.

There's a reason why red states are doing everything they can to keep college kids from voting at all.

Ron's Gone Wrong, Con't

As I warned months ago, the entire point of Florida GOP Gov. ROn Desantis picking a fight directly with the College Board and AP Black History classes was to serve as cause for evicting all of the College Board's products from Florida schools and universities, including the SAT college entrance exam, and to replace it with the right-wing Christian Dominionist version.
The Classic Learning Test is the college admissions exam that most students have never heard of. An alternative to the SAT and ACT for only a small number of mostly religious colleges, the test is known for its emphasis on the Western canon, with a big dose of Christian thought.

But on Friday, Florida’s public university system, which includes the University of Florida and Florida State University, is expected to become the first state system to approve the Classic Learning Test, or CLT, for use in admissions.

“We are always seeking ways to improve,” said Ray Rodrigues, the chancellor of the State University System of Florida, noting that the system, which serves a quarter million undergraduates, was the largest in the country to still require an entrance exam.

It’s the latest move by Gov. Ron DeSantis to shake up the education establishment, especially the College Board, the nonprofit behemoth that runs the SAT program.

Governor DeSantis, a Republican presidential candidate, has already rejected the College Board’s Advanced Placement course on African American studies, and sparred over content on gender and sexuality in A.P. Psychology.

Now, at a time when the College Board faces a dwindling number of students taking the SAT, Governor DeSantis is giving a big lift to an upstart competitor.

Jeremy Tate, the founder of Classic Learning Initiatives, the company that developed the test, insisted that the CLT is apolitical. It’s an effort, he said, to avoid educational fads and expose students to rich intellectual material.

The company, however, describes the CLT as part of “the larger educational freedom movement of our time” — language that echoes that of conservative supporters of private-school vouchers and tax credits for home-schoolers. The “end goal,” the company says, is “promoting a classical curriculum.”

After a century of dominance by the College Board and the nonprofit ACT — which administers the test of the same name — the emergence of an alternative is “healthy and overdue,” said Frederick Hess, director of education policy at the American Enterprise Institute, a center-right think tank. “It’s all for the best if this becomes a more vibrant marketplace.”

There has been pushback. The College Board and ACT say that there is little research that shows that the CLT can accurately assess college readiness. Some classics scholars say that the CLT’s vision of classical education is too narrow; others say it’s too expansive.

While there is no single definition of classical education, the CLT celebrates canonical works from Western civilization, with an emphasis on Greek, Roman and early Christian thought. Memorization, logic and debate are considered important skills.

The test has three sections: verbal reasoning, grammar and writing, and quantitative reasoning (math). Its English sections, like the SAT and ACT, ask students to read dense passages, demonstrate their comprehension via multiple-choice questions and spot grammatical errors.

But in sample materials, there is more religious thought, with passages from Thomas Aquinas; Jonathan Edwards, the Great Awakening preacher; and Teresa of Ávila, a 16th-century saint.
"We need a more vibrant marketplace" in college admissions testing, bleats the AEI think tank toad, but Florida doesn't want a vibrant marketplace of ideas, it wants the CLT to be the only game in town for Florida universities period, and it wants to banish the textbooks and knowledge and ideas that might stand in opposition to what the CLT tests for.

And pretty soon in Florida it will be the only game in town.

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