The DeSantis hostile takeover of New College of Florida is complete. The hard-right extremists the governor recently appointed to the school’s board of trustees, including anti-CRT propagandist Christopher Rufo and local Christo-fascist Eddie Speir, fired the college president yesterday and installed a placeholder until DeSantis lackey Richard Corcoran can take over as “interim” president next month.
I put scare quotes around “interim” because I suspect DeSantis’s edu-goons will sleaze Corcoran into the office permanently the way they corruptly placed former Republican Senator Ben Sasse at the University of Florida. The backstory: the board of governors overcame objections to the secretive process they used to pick candidates for the UF position by saying there would be a rigorous and sunshiny process applied to selecting the next UF president among the finalists. Then they presented one finalist, Sasse, and the next thing you know, that hack is watching his $300K pool being constructed.
Anyhoo, Corcoran has been in the market for a university president gig for a couple of years now. He basically got laughed out of contention for the presidency of Florida State University last year because that university’s presidential search committee refused to put him on the short list. They had good reason: Corcoran is a political hack who has a law degree from TV preacher Pat Robertson’s diploma mill.
Also, Corcoran’s entire record as a lobbyist and statehouse legislator makes it clear he is an enemy of public education, which is why DeSantis appointed him education commissioner. I suspect DeSantis will avenge Corcoran’s humiliating rejection by FSU by giving him the New College job. There’s probably no one left to stop him now.
After firing New College’s legit president, a triumphant Rufo vowed to ram through the governor’s agenda, which includes abolishing the school’s “department of excellence and inclusion, terminate the department’s four employees, ban diversity statements, prohibit mandatory diversity training and prohibit identity-based preference,” according to a Tampa Bay Times report. The school doesn’t have mandatory diversity training, but no matter — libs were owned.
Libs were owned not only at New College but elsewhere in the state’s public university system yesterday. The governor gave a press conference, which was covered by the Independent Florida Alligator, UF’s student-run newspaper:
Gov. Ron DeSantis announced he will completely defund diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives at Florida universities during a press conference Tuesday morning.
DeSantis addressed what he called “DEI bureaucracies,” or departments within universities that promote diversity, equality and inclusion, which he said impose a liberal agenda on university students and faculty.
DeSantis yammered about the state’s highly ranked public university system while vowing to transform it so decent white Christian snowflakes won’t encounter alarming ideas, a dissonate note that flew right over the intended audience’s head. DeSantis had a stooge on hand as usual:
UF sophomore Emily Sturge spoke at the press conference to attest to her experience. She has had professors tell her women have no rights, she said, and described classes as “how to be a leftist 101.”
“I’m proud to say that after two years of being on my college campus, I’m still a conservative, I still have faith in God,” she said. “I’ve survived the woke-ism at least for two years.”
Sturge, who’s an ambassador for far-right campus advocacy group Turning Point USA, according to her Instagram bio, said she’s been labeled a racist, xenophobe and misogynist for being a proud American.
Speaking of stooges, a Jeb-appointee judge ruled that even though so far he only dreams of being POTUS, DeSantis has executive privilege. This is a gambit that will enable DeSantis to consolidate power even more swiftly, not just across the university system but in all facets of government: (TBT):
In multiple lawsuits, DeSantis’ lawyers have claimed that the governor wields executive privilege, a special right invoked by U.S. presidents that shields them from disclosing information of their choosing.
Yet in a bombshell decision last month in an otherwise little-noticed lawsuit, a Tallahassee judge agreed with DeSantis’ attorneys that he, too, possesses executive privilege.
The case, which is being appealed, sets up a high-stakes test of Florida’s government transparency laws — widely considered among the most open in the country. If higher courts uphold that DeSantis has the right to shield certain records, it could dramatically hinder the public’s ability to pry information out of the state, open government advocates warn…
TBT also noted that the language in Dempsey’s order was “highly similar” to the proposal DeSantis’s lawyers submitted as a template.
This is one of the ways democracies die, friends — the slow-boiled frog method rather than a cataclysmic uprising by yahoos. Voters think they’re in still in charge while an authoritarian goon flatters their prejudices, all the while coopting agencies, intimidating opponents and whittling away at the electoral machinery until there’s nothing left but a sham.
Sorry to be Debbie Downer, but the news hasn’t been super uplifting where I sit. Open thread.
PS: Every time I post something about Florida’s shitty government, people pop up in comments to tell me I should leave and/or to express their deep, implacable, whole-body loathing for my subtropical shithole. Please proceed if that’s your jam, but do keep in mind that there are millions of people in the country’s third-most populous state who are appalled at what’s happening and have our reasons for staying.
As an alternative activity, I recommend contacting sportsball leagues, corporate retreat organizers, etc., and letting them know you believe they should refuse to hold events in Florida until its shitty government stops persecuting women, queer people and black people.
You should leave Florida.
Just wanted to get it out of the way.
uh uh uh
This is pitiful
No way, I’d send any kid I knew to anything in Florida.
@Baud: Agreed, too many flying cockroaches.
I don’t think a lot of FL will care about DEI. But I wonder if these yahoos will ruin Florida’s education system in ways that voters will care about.
I have been assured in the comments of this very blog that New College is unimportant and tiny, so I have no idea why anyone is concerned about this at all.
I guess we are in a race now to see which is going to sink Florida faster: Fascism or climate change.
They complain about ‘safe spaces’ but they’re trying to turn the entire country into one huge ‘safe space’ for themselves.
They already have, and no one cared. At least not enough to do anything about it.
The Moar You Know
Florida have term limits on governors? I’m just wondering when we’re going to get to enjoy having the Rage Munchkin in the United States Senate.
(he will not be president. Too short for the job, literally)
When the next black five-star football recruit publicly rejects Florida and Florida State because of DeSantis, voters will take notice. Until then, no. Most of ’em have kids already out of college and grandkids too young for it anyway.
And the grandkids almost certainly don’t live in Florida anyway.
@Kent: How have they in way that is noticeable to voters? I’ve heard about teacher shortages, but that’s a nationwide problem.
The AP board folded to DeSantis as well regarding the AP African American studies class (link is to FTFNYT)
AM in NC
How are local Florida papers and TV news shows covering this assault on public education, Betty? Is DeSantis getting a pass, or is there some pushback?
And I like your suggestion about those of us outside of Florida using our voices to pressure national organizations not to do business in states that are openly hostile to so many of us.
It worked here in NC with sportsball boycotting our state after the odious HB2 passed.
Working at UF, the DEI aspects are so intricately joined with employment in general, that I wonder how they will accomplish this. And please don’t break UF. 5th in the nation is a huge honor. Jeez. Where is the big orange doofus with his DeSatan information? Can’t that jackass be good for something?
Obvious Russian Troll
“How Ron DeSantis ruined public education in Florida” won’t get any traction but “How Ron DeSantis ruined Gator Football” might.
Many thanks to all my fellow jackals for your microwave advice !
News is that the Stockholm is sailing to the scrapyard
… some memories are recalled. Now, as I was fascinated by big boats ( In those days, you could pay a dime, walk with my father onto the Chester-Bridgeport Ferry, and ride back and fourth across the river for a summer afternoon, catching the breeze.). And Richardson Dilworth, then mayor of Philadelphia, was returning from a European vacation on the Andria Doria, so ’twas big story in the Bulletin and Inquirer
And the sinking of the Doria happened on my sixth birthday. So it’s basically the first ‘news happening in the big wide world’ that I remember…
NYC actually ad a bit of snow this morning. Not sure if ‘measurable’, but I think we did break the longest ‘snow drought’ record.
Hope you’re all havving a good day.
Mai Naem mobile
I feel for you. I don’t know what you do because your state Democratic party seems feckless. Florida just seems like a perfect storm. Ruthless GOP. Service economy with lots of low paying jobs which don’t need good educations. New immigrants who get taken in by the ‘dems are soshulists commies like your native country’ trope. Rich NE transplants moving down there for low/no taxes.
When I started teaching public school in Florida in 1989 after a decade working in “the real world”, I quickly got the impression based on the actions of my school’s administrators and the school board that it was almost is if they wanted the system to fail or if not exactly fail, at least not succeed. When I retired 28 years later, I was sure of it but had come to realize that the impetus for this attitude against free public education came from higher governing and political interests. Ron DeSantis is simply the logical outcome of that movement, just as was DJT.
@The Moar You Know: Rage Munchkin is good — gonna steal that. DeSantis can’t run for governor again. I wouldn’t be completely shocked if he chickens out of a contest with Trump and ran against Rick Scott in the US Senate primary in 2024.
Rumor has it that Navy Hat Nosferatu and Rage Munchkin despise each other, and a partial senate term would give the latter a place to park his ass while he awaits Trump’s death. He’s in his 40s so has time.
@lowtechcyclist: Literally passing laws banning curricula that might make any white kid feel bad/uncomfortable about Slavery. It really speaks volumes about their priorities and fucked up worldview.
No doubt there are more potential Democratic voters who just don’t vote. I have to hope the population of the state isn’t quite so tilted to rightwingnutz. How does one get these people to vote? I have no idea.
I see the DeSantis legislature is onboard with the crazy. Dress code for the ladies, including skirt length. I hope the anti-DeSantis population will start asserting itself more vocally.
@AM in NC:
That’s a challenge. It’s one thing to boycott a single state, but focus tends to get lost if there’s even two states being boycotted. In this case, we’d be boycotting probably twenty states or more.
Oh good grief! Also, how fitting that Pat Robertson was (is?) running a diploma mill.
@lowtechcyclist: True, but Florida is uniquely vulnerable because it relies on tourism and events more than most states that are implementing these odious laws.
I’m so sorry Betty. A buddy of mine just moved to Miami for a job and while he is white, male and doesn’t have kids, it still breaks my heart knowing all the bullshit he (and especially his long-time girlfriend) will have to endure. As with Texas, there are millions of good people and minorities who didn’t vote for and don’t deserve this shit :(
I grew up in Florida, and thought of moving back there many times over the years. Never again.
Dorothy A. Winsor
@Ken: I always assumed that the mandatory training we took was meant to protect the university if someone sued them. They could say we told them not to discriminate, see?
The elections figure filberts (ancient baseball term for stat nerds) have determined that Democratic turnout in Florida completely collapsed in 2022, accounting for Republican success far more than their own voters. That’s not an easy problem to fix, but it’s one Democrats can at least try to fix by themselves in the next election cycle.
I agree, but my point was that, on the one hand, there are so many newly insane states that it’s hard to justify boycotting just Florida.
But on the other hand, if Florida and Texas and Tennessee and Missouri and Alabama and a bunch of other states get boycotted, the fact that FLORIDA is being boycotted will get lost in the shuffle. Hell, the entire boycott probably would.
West of the Rockies
Yeah, some sort of pushback would be great, but if Charlie Crist is the best “Democrat” available, it’s hard to be hopeful. Are there any liberal newspapers down there whose editors challenge any of this
Can Jimmy Buffett or Carl Hiasan lampoon the glowering goombah DeSantis?
@Betty Cracker: And here we are in the Keys, tourists in Florida once again. I’d like to find a warm winter alternative. Maybe Georgia? Can’t drive to Mexico or South America. Or Provence!
I grew up in Florida, and thought of moving back there many times over the years. Never again.
Yeah, that’s my wife’s thinking too, thank goodness. (She was born and raised in Plant City.)
@mrmoshpotato: Yes, it’s Regents University, in Virginia Beach. They even have a law school. They also have a political network that swings some weight in Tidewater politics. Former Governor McDonnell was a product of it, and 2nd CD Rep Jennifer Kiggans probably had the network’s support when she ousted Elaine Luria from her seat.
Blue states, consider your teacher shortage SOLVED!
All you have to do is cut a few ads promoting your school systems and run them in Florida, offer to pay relocation expenses (over, oh, three years or so), and folks will flock to your sensible states.
@frosty: I was going to suggest Pensacola and Fort Pickens campground. But then I remembered that’s in Florida too.
It’s still a great camping spot, though.
We won’t be vacationing there until the insanity is over, that’s for sure.
Some perspective (or lack thereof) from someone who spent nearly 30 years teaching at a liberal arts college. I taught in a STEM field (you can guess which one) where most of our efforts were to recruit more women and underrepresented groups into the field. Fortunately, most of my colleagues were on board with this and we were able to invest departmental resources to these initiatives with some success. The college sponsored (non mandatory) workshops on how to make one’s class/office LGBTQ+ safe and some faculty in my department took advantage of that training. My take on this was that faculty should treat their student’s with dignity and respect and most were/are willing to do that: the training served to make us aware of issues that students had to deal with that might be outside of our own experiences. DEI issues really did not enter into the subject matter of most of our classes (e.g., non-Euclidean geometry), but were introduced when relevant, for example, in the History of Mathematics courses.
Now consider the issue at Hamline University that has garnered national attention. One student, promoting a view of one branch of her religion, succeeded in getting the administration to publicly criticize an adjunct professor of art history and renege on a verbal agreement to renew her contract. The professor handled the subject matter in accordance with DEI guidelines, but was released nonetheless. This gives conservatives an example of DEI “gone awry” that they can use to justify their attack on higher education when, in fact, it was a failure on the part of Hamline’s administration – and not the professor’s – to respect diversity and academic integrity.
I think the point I am hoping to make here is that the academic community is going to have to figure out how to make the case for DEI programs to the general public in a way that is accessible to non-academics. That is a hard job because it requires an appreciation of, well, diverse and nuanced perspectives. Conservatives don’t do nuance as far as I can tell.
This is going to come back to bite the UF system in so many ways. They’re not going to be able to recruit the best scientists and researchers, to say nothing of humanities scholars who want their work to speak to anything remotely relevant these days. How are grad programs going to recruit talented minority Ph.D students to come study or do research in a university system that clearly doesn’t want them there? If UF up to this point has been one of the top public university systems in the country, it’s headed for disaster now. Given the incredibly limited employment opportunities in higher ed (outside administration) these days, there are a lot of faculty and staff who *can’t* just pull up stakes and move at the drop of a hat, even if they may want to. Over the longer term, however, there will be a brain drain. It will be like what happened to Austrian and German universities when they banned all Jewish scholars and “Jewish” science (you know, stuff like relativity). They never recovered. When David Hilbert was asked by the Nazi minister of education whether firing all the Jews had had any effect on the Mathematical Institute in Goettingen, at the time the most prestigious math department in the world, he simply replied “Affected it? It doesn’t exist anymore.”
@Betty Cracker: When my daughter was younger we used to go there every several years to visit the Universal or Disney theme parks. She seems less interested in that now, but regardless, I know we don’t have any plans to go back, even though there’s a lot of new stuff to entice us (were it not for all this, I’d be more keen on it than she is).
She is going there to take a Disney cruise with extended family who are staying in Florida for the winter, a trip that was supposed to happen years ago but got repeatedly postponed because of the pandemic. If these things were being planned now, I don’t think any of them would even happen, and there may not be a repeat.
@JAFD: When the Andria Doria and the Stockholm collided, we were summering at our Minnesota lake cabin. The weather was terrible, rainy, and cold enough to have the heat on. Mom and I listened to the non-stop coverage on national radio…my little boy’s imagination went wild.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
@Alison Rose: I’d love to know the backstory on Our Brave Woke Survivor and the hardships she’s overcome. I’m betting she would remind me of the people I knew in college who claimed to totally get what it was like to be poor because their parents (or grandparents) were lower middle class before Grandpa’s army buddy offered to set him up with the Buick dealership.
Dorothy A. Winsor
Mr DAW worked in industry and they, too, had mandatory anti-discrimination training. I guess John Deere and Detroit Diesel must be woke
@Math Guy: The fact that the Hamline case is the one that everyone is complaining about is telling in itself–it seems to be an extraordinary case, and as we were discussing in another thread, lots of Muslim organizations and lots of liberals nationally voiced disagreement with the student’s and the administration’s actions.
But it’s exhausting to be in a situation where the other side gets away with so much egregious tyrannical behavior, and the pro-diversity, liberal side gets condemned for any individual slip-up.
Florida has been sliding in state education rankings since DeSantis. Not that anyone is noticing I guess.
You are missing the point. That is a FEATURE of what they are doing, not a bug.
@Matt McIrvin: It is exhausting. It takes a lot of time and resources to build and maintain a good program (or government, or transportation infrastructure) and so easy to misrepresent and attack it.
@jonas: Nothing to worry about, Ben Sasse has a really nice pool.
I refer to this as the “you don’t need ammunition, you need a ride” caucus.
James Fallows has a sad and reminds us that boiled frogs jump out. ;-D
It’s infuriating, and I’m sorry that you and the good people of Florida are going through that.
It’s another unfortunate reminder that it’s the people in office and those with responsibility that matter. Laws will not protect us, because monsters will find ways to ignore them or put their own spin on them. It’s the people that matter.
Here’s hoping that there are some good judges that will strike this nonsense down on appeal.
And here’s hoping that the various giant university systems around the country let DeSantis know that college degrees from Florida will become useless for getting into their graduate and professional schools if they don’t back off. The Department of Education should be looking into the goings on down there, also too.
Hang in there, and keep up the good fight!
Dorothy A. Winsor
@Kent: Research universities like UF draw a large part of their budget from research grants their faculty win from places like NSF. If things deteriorate enough, those will be affected, and now we’re talking money. As someone notes above, that kind of deterioration takes time though. If DeSantis’s actions are short lived (for whatever reason), things will settle down again.
SunBund is just so perfect.
Score, Betty Cracker.
I’m at the HS level and I do mostly long-term subbing for science classes in two different districts here in the Vancouver WA area. So I kind of bounce around doing a semester here and a semester there at about 10 different high schools for teachers out with cancer, long maternity leaves, etc.
I would say the MISAPPLICATION of DEI is becoming problematic. Hamline is an example. How it sometimes translates at the HS level is the erosion of standards. And kids are learning to play the game. If you skip school 20% of the time it is because “you didn’t feel it was a welcoming environment” not because you were lazy and didn’t want to get up in the morning.
Teachers are dialing back on grading standards or even grades because they can be “inequitable”. This is happening the most at poorer and more diverse schools. Meanwhile the kids across town in the wealthier schools (who they are competing with in the education and job market) are grinding away taking 10+ AP classes so the educational gulf between rich and poor seems to be widening. I don’t have the answers. But it does no one any good to lower standards for one group of kids when their competition so to speak is elevating theirs. And the pandemic definitely widened the gulf as well.
It really sucks being right here watching the governor and his crew turn one of the best public university systems into the very worst. And he doesn’t actually care – he’s doing it all to score political points; what happens to education is irrelevant to him. I get to ride right by New College every time I go to downtown Sarasota. Pretty depressing.
I’m so sorry, Betty. It’s like a slow-motion car wreck, only speeded up.
I am reminded somehow of the glass front on my oven, which shattered one day – without even being bumped by anything – I was stunned and it took a bit before I could make sense of what was happening – it was somehow raining tiny pieces of glass on me, inside my house as I stood in my kitchen.
Something almost incomprehensible happening, something awful, and you have no idea how to stop it or fix it.
What they are doing in Florida is not just enraging, it’s terribly sad. There has to be something that can be done, but I’ll be damned if i can figure out what it would be.
The point is that DeSanti’s fundie and MAGA base is actually happy if that happens. They are happy to tear down the universities because they are just a cesspool of woke liberalism that needs to be torn down.
“DeSantis yammered about the state’s highly ranked public university system,” knowing full well that within a few years (but after he’s run for President, so it won’t stick to him), Florida’s once-esteemed universities will be plummeting in rankings & high-quality student demand.
I’m reminded of my formative years in suburban Houston. Our school leaders thought they were hot shit because they had eight National Merit finalists in my class. While the principle was out of the room after being gathered for the announcement – and of course we all knew each other from our various honors classes – we checked in. We were all transfers into the district sometime in high school, mostly from New England or the West Coast. We all credited previous schools for 90% of our smarts.
Most of us GTFO’d Texas within a few years of graduation, too.
@Another Scott: DeSantis actually loses a lot of the fights that he starts in court, but it’s much easier for him to start them than for others to fight them–even if you eventually win, it can exhaust and bankrupt you, even leave your life in shambles after a stint in jail. The point is to grind people down and sow fear that leads to others “working towards the Führer” without even being told what to do.
It’s not enough to nullify this or that bad decision–this needs to hurt DeSantis politically somehow, and so far, it hasn’t.
Are you … are you a witch?
I’ve said this before in earlier threads about New College, but I’ll repeat it here: New College is what persuaded the child of the founder of Stormfront and godchild and step-child of David Duke that being a white supremacist nazi was wrong, so of course Rufo and de Santis want to destroy it:
I’m sorry, Betty, and I appreciate you keep us updated on the nightmare that is Florida’s governance.
It’s interesting that DeSantis’ small stature is considered a mark against him. America’s obsession with tall men is just another way we express our cultural misogyny, and the left is just as likely to do that as the right is; we loooove mocking short men. I prefer to work under the philosophy that if it’s something the person has no control over, then it’s not a topic for ridicule… BUT… I also think DeSantis is a terrible, terrible human being and if America’s ingrained misogyny works against this awful misogynist in his attempt for higher office, that’s fine with me. I don’t claim to be perfect. ;
ETA: Let me amend to say patriarchy, not misogyny, but it comes from the same wellspring.
Democratic voting was way, way down in 2022. I have to wonder how much that was because DeSantis loudly and publicly threatened to arrest minority voters if he could find any excuse to do so.
“Denial is the heartbeat of racism.” Amen!!! Here’s a good/fun clip of Ibram X. Kendi, Nic Stone and DL Hughley on the Daily Show discussing the challenge of having meaningful dialog with racists. I’m like DL, I get too angry. I don’t think I’ll ever be good at moving anyone who isn’t already interested in listening. If they ARE sincerely interested in listening and becoming more anti-racist, I am pretty good at aiding that process. But I just don’t have the patience for the totally clueless, racism-denialists.
The Moar You Know
@frosty: Puerto Rico. No passport or currency exchange required, and they could use your business.
@Kent: A lot of folks who are DeSantis supporters or lean that way just look at the undergraduate roles of state universities, e.g., whether the football team is good, the dorms are nice and their kid can get a degree that will get land them a job. They really don’t understand how research universities work. The irony is that a lot of research universities kind of suck at undergraduate education, but it’s not because of wokeness.
@Nicole: I don’t like to attack people in ways that will have splash damage affecting the innocent. We saw a lot of that, for instance, in some of the more misogynist or even transphobic attacks on horrible people like Ann Coulter or Sarah Palin–all the guys yukking it up about how they thought Coulter looked like a trans woman. Come on, trans women and women in general never did anything to you…
I think the only thing that can be done in Florida is that the Democratic Party needs to be rebuilt up from scratch, starting at the grassroots, beginning with local distracts, probably with the involvement of the kinds of groups we’ve been funding in other states. It can’t be top-down. It will be slow. Local issues, local races, step-by-step.
@ian: Everyone folds to DeSantis, which is why he keeps going.
But the AP board was especially upsetting.
@Princess: Not sure who needs to spearhead the Dem Fight for Florida, but it needs to happen.
Like WiscDems, money would roll in.
@Kent: But that is true of everything. Every rule, practice, system can be manipulated/abused/weaponized. We try and tweak them, figure out how to spot/avoid such abuses and move on. It’s not a justification for tossing them out entirely or abandoning the goal/concept (well, actually that IS the goal of Conservatives).
The thing that floors me about all this is how these people think that technological civilization is just the normal state of affairs. They can do whatever they want and life will go on as before, but without all those “woke”/liberal/boogie-man-de-jour things they hate. I’m not looking forward to the collapse of civilization, but the surprised looks on their faces when it all crashes down around their ears will be some compensation.
Get the NCAA to decertify all the Florida universities football programs. Desantis’s approval ratings will sink like a stone.
@Baud: No, good sir, I am not!
But it was freaky experience, that’s for sure.
Or perhaps I’m not really a muggle, and no one has thrown me out of a 2nd story window so my magic powers can come out of hiding?
The Moar You Know
@Jeffro: If it were only that simple. The truth is, being a teacher even in a blue state is an absolute shit job (the pay can be better) and the same psycho political shit is still going on. We just got over a two-year GOP reign of terror in my very blue San Diego district that, save for the background scenery, was indistinguishable from Florida or anything that would happen in Florida.
The average career of a teacher is now down to under five years, and that is true whether that teacher is in Florida or California.
@MazeDancer: Reminds me of the way national school textbook publishers would have to tailor everything to pass muster in Texas.
I am a Florida native who got out 25 years ago and every time I think about moving back, Florida does something that convinces me that nope, not retiring to my old home. I’ll move to New Mexico if it doesn’t run out of water. But South Fla also might be in danger of running out of water too, considering how development is draining the Biscayne Aquifer….
@Frankensteinbeck: Not to mention all hundreds of thousands of people who have been thrown off the voter rolls.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist: She’s willingly works with Turning Point USA. At minimum, she’s been training on which phrases to use and how to distort reality and shouldn’t ever be used as a source for anything.
But FFS, I would love for literally any newspaper to ask these fucks what actually happened. “In what class were you told women have no rights? Who specifically attacked you for being a ‘proud american'”, etc.
Because I entirely believe that someone told her that women’s rights are conditional and that some men ignore them and are trying to take them away (this is factual). I entirely believe that a student called her a racist shithead because she stood up in class and announced that brown people need to be put in cages at the border, and that police should be shooting BLM protestors.
But there’s literally never any followup into these assholes. Instead, the media just… regurgitates their carefully shopped narratives despite not standing up to 30 seconds of scrutiny.
@Matt McIrvin: It does.
Thing is no one cares unless it is affecting them personally. And all this horrible stuff is happening in the horrible South which doesn’t matter to anyone in DC and NYC,
Where everyone who has children, which is far from everyone, sends them to private school.
@Frankensteinbeck: “Democratic voting was way, way down in 2022. I have to wonder how much that was because DeSantis loudly and publicly threatened to arrest minority voters if he could find any excuse to do so.”
I suspect it was more a non-presidential election year with the add-on of a party apparatus completely unconcerned with GOTV, every Dem was running in one of highly gerrymandered majority Dem districts (only the primary mattered).
@MisterForkbeard: Arguing with dishonest people means you end up always on the back foot against the “Gish Gallop”–they can make dozens of statements in a short time and it takes far longer to research and refute them than it does to make them.
Rebecca Watson was just talking about this with regard to radio blowhards like Joe Rogan–Jon Stewart had insisted that we need to engage with people like Rogan, because he’d heard Rogan once actually look up a refutation of a statement he’d made and change his mind. Watson pointed out that this was a vanishingly rare occurrence, also one where he was talking to a straight white cis man who he respected in the first place–put a woman in there disagreeing with him and he’d just blow up and start yelling things in a threatening manner. Usually, it’s just some combination of Gish Gallop and primate threat displays. Basically once you agree to the debate you’ve already lost.
Wokedy woke woke. So grateful to the influential editorial writers and Substack millionaires who promoted the woke panic.
“You mean…he’s purging all the liberals? THAT’S not what we meant!”
The New College thing is just infuriating. I realize the enrollment is small, but it’s the symbolism of the whole thing by DeSantis. Suck it, libs – I can single-handled wreck any of your beloved institutions, and there’s nothing you can do about it.
On the plus side, my sister-in-law and her husband – good Democrats both – left Chicago for Sarasota. So that’s two more Democrats who routinely vote. Hey, everything helps!
@WaterGirl: I didn’t know that was possible and would have been confused too! What the heck?!? ;-)
Teacher here. It really isn’t nearly that easy. A lot of blue states have very protectionist certification standards that make it very difficult for out-of-state teachers to transfer their certification without undertaking a lot of additional coursework. MN makes it nearly impossible.
Most Florida teachers who quit teaching are going to stay right there and just move into a different career.
Gin & Tonic
@JAFD: The Andrea Doria still makes news from time to time in these parts, when the wreck claims another diver’s life (I think about 20 so far.)
Mai Naem mobile
This whole Emily Sturge thing sounded familiar to me but happening at a Nebraska University. I even thought the student’s name was Emily as well. I remembered listening to a podcast a while back that I found disturbing. Anyhow I found it. The students name is Katie but similar storyline.
When I did put the search terms in Google trying to find the podcast, the first gazillion search results were RW websites with their antiwoke takes on the story. Having more lefty websites to combat this crap might help. I don’t know if Google is getting paid for this or if these sites are just good with the SEO skills.
@Matt McIrvin: Oh, sure. But reporters don’t need to get into a debate. They just need to do basic research. Instead of saying “This person is an ambassador for Turning Point USA” they can actually describe what that means: “She has been trained by an anti-education and anti-democracy organization in propaganda and particular phrases designed to make her position look good, and her statements should not be taken at face value”.
And that’s if they report them at all
I never said it was a reason to toss out diversity efforts. What I said was that misapplication of DEI is contributing to the widening education gap in this country between rich and poor. Which I see as a real problem.
Because, what is conservative, if not being a selfish, self-centered muthaphucka.
A conservative group blocked student-loan forgiveness because 2 borrowers wanted more relief than they qualified for. Here’s why it thinks no one else should get to benefit from Biden’s plan.
Story by [email protected]
We have officially entered the month when the nation’s highest court will take on President Joe Biden’s student-loan forgiveness plan — and the groups opposing it are readying their arguments.
At the end of August, Biden announced his plan to cancel up $20,000 in student debt for Pell Grant recipients making under $125,000 a year, and up to $10,000 in relief for other federal borrowers within the same income cap. Just over a month later, on October 10, the Job Creators Network Foundation Legal Action Fund — a conservative organization — filed a lawsuit seeking to block the relief.
The group filed the suit on behalf of two student-loan borrowers: one who didn’t qualify for the full $20,000 in debt relief since he was never a Pell Grant recipient, and another who has commercially-held student loans that do not qualify for Biden’s loan forgiveness.
On Friday, it submitted its argument to the Supreme Court explaining why it thinks Biden’s debt relief plan is illegal and should be blocked — especially because the two borrowers it is representing cannot benefit fully from the route the administration took to enact this relief.
@ARoomWithAMoose: Voter intimidation probably had an effect on the margins, but yeah, the factors you cite were probably more consequential. Another factor that contributed to the 2022 catastrophe: national party groups bailed on FL. IIRC, national party orgs spent nearly $60M in FL in 2018 and less than $2M last year while Republican groups poured resources into the state. I understand why the national orgs see the state as a bad investment, but that definitely hurt.
@Betty Cracker: It was crazy. What I was seeing with my own eyes seemed impossible.
The big problem with engagement is that the unstated premise is that our side needs to respect their side in a way that is not reciprocated.
Frequent reader, seldom poster here. Also, I’m a New College alum, feeling nauseous, angry, depressed, sad, all of these things. Thanks Betty for highlighting this assault on what is (was?) a gem of a school, a community. Such intellectual energy, freedom, tolerance, and just good vibes. I hope somehow the faculty and students can endure in resistance.
@Mai Naem mobile: I thought maybe Emily is the new Karen.
@Betho: Seeing something you love destroyed is a terrible thing.
This guy is far worse than TFG. He’s American Putler.
@Betho: I’m so sorry.
Virginia Democrats intend to lean into the education issue in this fall’s legislative races. Political site Blue Virginia covered a news conference yesterday where House of Delegates members laid out their education platform, starting out:
Delegates described 11 Democratic education bills that will be stymied by the Repulicans’ two-vote House majority. I was glad to see that veteran lawmaker Ken Plum submitted one, and that he’s still kicking
The “defund education” line of attack was left wide open by Governor Youngkin’s Department of Education’s announcement that there would be a $200 million shortfall in K through 12 education funding this school year.
Evidently this resulted from some calculation error, but it puts Republicans in the invidious position of arguing, “We don’t favor defunding Virginia’s schools. We’re just incompetent. And that really has nothing whatsoever to do with our stocking the Department of Education with ideologues.
I have to confess, I didn’t know Florida’s public universities were that highly ranked. I’m pretty darn sure they weren’t when I attended UF back in the 1970s: it was known then as a “party school,” possibly because of the football program. I did have some excellent professors, and got a decent education, but it was very much hit or miss.
So when I hear about DeSantis fragging the colleges into insular, bigotry-ridden backwaters, it sounds more like a return to mean (in all senses of the word). When I was of college age, universities in Florida were never where you went to pursue a serious academic education; they were where you went when you were: a) a football player; b) weren’t sure anyone else would take you, or c) couldn’t afford to go out of state.
I’m not sure where the current neo-Nazi policies leave schools like FIU, which was a small community college when I worked there back in the 80s, but has since grown into a behemoth with an excellent reputation – and a student body drawn mostly from Latin America, SFAIK.
(As for Florida voters: this is what they want. They’ve made that very damn clear. The ones who don’t are hopelessly outnumbered.)
I recall Rick Scott was able to do any fucking thing he wanted there in answer to my question why DeSantis is allowed to run roughshod over the joint. Y’all are being held hostage and there seems to be no escape from their greedy, psychopathic clutches. See also, Texas.
That’s [does fancy cyphering] 17% of our population imprisoned by the Modern Republican Party. The good news: both states continue to grow. Whee!
@Betty Cracker: Do you think there’s potential to accomplish anything at the local level? State level seems completely verflucht, but I’ve been getting popups on my FB page from the Florida League of Cities touting something called Local Voices United. I don’t know whether they actually solicit input from shlubs like me or just want us as mouthpieces for their preferred policies, but I’m completely lost as to how to fight back against all this bullshit. I’m actually starting to think about going back to Philadelphia, and I never thought I’d do that.
That’s too bad. He was great in Chicago.
Paul in KY
@frosty: Gulf Shores has the same beaches as on the panhandle.
Purge the gay people! No one saw that coming, right?
What does a “complaint about the fact that two of the parents were gay” mean, anyway? They’re denyng gay people exist? Just sort of bitching and complaining about gay people?
West of the Rockies
No way the NCAA says adios to Florida cash.
I first moved to Miami in 1971 to go to college when there was a Democrat — Reuben Askew — in the governor’s office. I graduated in 1974, then moved back in 2001, while it was under Jeb’s rule but still not BSC and there was still a Florida Democratic Party. Twenty years later it’s gone way ’round the bend and the Florida Dems are a wisp of their former selves to the point they had to get a used Republican — Charlie Crist — to run against DeSantis in 2022 and got the snot beat out of him. I’m staying here because of inertia and a vow to vote the bastards out as well as do what I can to preserve what’s left of public education, where I’ve worked since 2002 as an administrator.
DeSantis carries on about “cancel culture” and then does his best to do it. February is Black History Month, but he’s calling it Passover.
@WaterGirl: Tempered glass, most likely–it’s got internal stresses in it that are intentionally introduced so that if it does break, it’ll shatter into tiny gravel-like pieces that won’t stab somebody like a knife. But that also means that any tiny structural flaw could lead to that happening, often under thermal stress.
Once I lived in a basement studio apartment whose “front door” was a double-glazed sliding glass rear door in a well below ground level. One frigid winter evening, I was out while the temperature dropped something like twenty degrees, and when I came home, I found that the outer pane of that door had shattered into these tiny pieces that were holding together like a saggy jigsaw puzzle! I couldn’t open the door until I had knocked them away. I almost wish I’d been there to see it, except that I might have been trapped inside.
@West of the Rockies: They get a good income stream from the Confederacy.
I’m so sorry to hear this, Betty. :(
I used to sell windows and doors, and it always irritates me when I’m watching a cop show and someone tries to unlock a door by breaking the window glass. Tempered glass is required by every building code, and nowadays it’s also laminated like windshield glass so it stays in place. Yeah, tempered glass is under high tension. I’ve seen it break when someone slams a door or just looks at it funny.
@Mustang Bobby: IIRC movie/teevee glass is hardened sugar–both windows and the bottles baddies break over one another’s heads in barfights. Accuracy, optional.
@Old School: Oh, fuck all those people. Every one of them.
@Betho: What’s happening really sucks, and I’m sorry.
I recently read an essay in New York Mag by X González, the Parkland survivor and activist who used to go by the name Emma. González expressed gratitude for how New College provided protection and a place to heal and notes it’s incredibly welcoming for queer people. Such a sad loss all around.
@Baud: I understand Jesus was quite the superstar in some musical in 1970.
@Kay: Awesome for all the kids in school with two moms or two dads. //
@Matt McIrvin: Yes, tempered glass. I couldn’t think of the right name when I was typing so I left that outl
I didn’t want my story to get too long, but after your story of the door, and speaking of getting stuck, I will share part 2 of my oven story.
So after the glass shower was over…
Tiny little piece of glass got stuck everywhere. I had a meatloaf baking in the oven at the time, and i couldn’t get the oven door open. I called the repair place, and the soonest they could get someone out was 7 days later!
I cooked it until it was a dry as I could get it, and then get to smell the rotting meatloaf for the next week.
Any kids who do make it through these schools after they’ve been corrupted by DeSantis et al. are in for one rude fucking “awakening” when they get out in the real world of business and find out diversity ain’t just a liberal buzzword.
@CaseyL: UF has changed a lot since I was there in the late 1980s too. The thing is, the changes at UF and other schools happened because a lot of people invested a ton of time, effort and money to build a quality system. It’s not some inherently Floridian entropy degrading the system — it’s deliberate and highly calculated vandalism to advance the political and financial ambitions of fascist scumbags. IMO, sadness and anger is therefore a more correct response than “shruggies.”
@trollhattan: I’d love to see them face reality, bust a window, and have Sgt. Tutuola call for a bus because of the bleeding and broken bones.
As an alumnus of both University of Florida and University of South Florida, who has had family and friends go to New College, Central Florida, and West Florida universities, I openly call to every undergraduate and graduate student of our state public universities to just walk the fuck out of classes and refuse to come back as long as DeSantis is pulling his partisan takeover of our once-proud institutions of higher education.
Just walk the fuck away. I know a lot of you are on college loans, but I would argue you’re better off starting GoFundMe drives to raise money to pay those off than stay another hour in college classrooms getting warped into Far Right nightmares of disinformation, racism, sexism, and worse.
@Kent: The misapplication of DEI is problematic.
Fudd’s 1st Law: if there is a system, someone will try to game it.
I am with Betty. UF in particular went from having the reputation of a Party College to being one of the top journalism, engineering, medical sciences, and humanities programs in the nation.
And now DeSantis is nuking all of that from orbit for his partisan Presidential hopes.
Every college student, for your own good, just walk the fuck away from Florida universities now. As long as DeSantis is degrading their very existence, your degrees will be worth shit to the rest of the world.
@schrodingers_cat: Six years in Florida and i have yet to see a single flying cockroach. In fact, I don’t recall seeing more than a half dozen “palmetto bugs.
This would explain why we are getting so many applicants from Florida for my very small campus of a major university. FL applicants are up university-wide, but we have more at my campus than I’ve ever seen before. Same for Texas applicants, though those had been increasing for the last couple of years. I had one set of parents who came here for a visit with their student who said they wanted to her to go to school in PA where she’d be safer.
Seriously???? I used to visit my sister in Stuart when she lived there. Every year for 12 years. The place is infested with disgusting bugs. Couldn’t drive a mile without the windshield getting splattered with giant bug guts.
Wonder what the guv plans for the Ringling. It is, after all, run under the auspices of FSU.
I wonder why all the anti-woke champions in the Republican Party aren’t trying to get their Ivy League alma maters to roll diversity and inclusion programs, gender studies, actual Critical Race Theory taught at the law schools they graduated from, etc.?
I feel like elected Republicans want to create an even more unequal and stratified society, where upward mobility becomes even harder.
They’ll send their kids to private schools, which prepare them for elite universities, while the 90% of the public that attends public schools will mostly be left even further behind.
So, I have two affinities for New College. One, they do some really interesting things related to student assessment, which was one of my expertise areas. So I had some interactions with them on that front, and I can’t see those interesting things surviving this crew who are committed to tearing down anything non-standard.
Two, is that New College reminded me a LOT of my alma mater. In the late 80s I picked a small private college because I really wasn’t going to survive a large university. I couldn’t afford it, but that was a future me problem. Once I got there I realized something – there was a HUGE LGBTQ community there. Probably half the school, maybe more? I was a minority in that it was 85% female, but what I didn’t know, and *couldn’t* know was that in the LGBTQ community, it was considered a safe school. The school transitioned from being a party school to one that catered to a community that really at that time needed safe places. Not being part of that community, in the 80s I had no way of finding out that the campus was considered an LGBTQ school. New School has that vibe – it’s a safe school for students that need a safe school. It’s small enough that everyone knows everyone else, so bad behavior becomes known everywhere. There’s lots of faculty/staff support for each student. It’s easy to shift a culture of that size, provided that the school can insulate itself enough from the community around it (my school was in a town of about 6,000 people – so easy enough).
New School benefitted from being off a lot of people radars due to its small size. This will destroy it. It’ll take a long time to recover.
If you could convince black football players they should not consider Florida Universities, you would have a lever to change this.
@jonas: It’s a downward spiral because they won’t be able to get athletes and that means money from alumni.
I suspect the president will be doing all kinds of stupid shit when it comes to professors and tenure as well.
I think we’re going to see the complete destruction of the education system. It’s too bad that the Democratic party is not very strong there.
@Betty Cracker: It’s not “shruggies.”
It’s great that so many people worked long and diligently to make Florida’s higher ed a standout. I wonder what happened between then and now to change that. Where are those people now? Are they all gone, retired, died?
I honestly and truly wish something could be done about DeSantis’ fascism, but if the national boards who are supposed to protect colleges won’t (I’ve just read that the College Board approved DeSantis’ changes to AP African American studies), and if the people who live in Florida keep voting the fascists into power, I’m not really sure what anyone who isn’t there can do.
Same goes for Texas.
Mai Naem mobile
This thread is kind of petering out….Maybe there’s a celebrity Democratic Floridian who could run for governor/senator next time around. I know I know – TFG, Tuberville, Schwarzenegger – but our side has better people don’t we? Is there no equivalent Floridian to a Bill Bradley/Alan Page type? It apparently can’t be an astronaut.
Mike in NC
If DeSatan is so hell-bent on turning his state into a tropical version of North Korea, he should get a haircut just like Kim’s.
@Betty Cracker: Republican rule sucks on every level…
@geg6: Seriously. Love bugs used to make a mess of windshield as you descibe. Haven’t been a problem for years here in Pasco County. Mosquitoes now are almost nonexistent. Yet I live surrounded by marshland. I am seriously concerned that this is the result of global warming. Haven’t seen a bat in a couple of years. No moths attracted to the porchlight either. Very weird.
@The Moar You Know: Yep, this is correct. The school district my wife works at has turned into maga land – and it’s a mostly non-white school district. Helmed by a BiPOC / Latino man. I’m still don’t understand why he keeps Lt. superintendents that ran from the previous school district after being accused of stealing
This superintendent is considered to be the ‘best’ in the country. I’m not impressed. The man insists that all teachers show up at the building and not do WfH. (the school paid for a new building, so it’s possible that they need to be seen using it)
NYC has a good public school system. My nephew graduated from it last year. My brother has the money to have sent him to private school, if he wanted to.
I don’t know about DC. I think what you wrote applies to Baltimore. The middle and upper middle class families, in the city, send their kids to private school. The public school system is disproportionately poor and minority as a result.
Mai Naem mobile
@gene108: that’s a feature not a bug. Less educated people with fewer critical thinking skills are easier to manipulate. Oh, and don’t forget the side effect of lots of people to compete for crappy cheap labor jobs that you can’t make enough money from to move ahead because you don’t have the luxury of a higher education.
@Kent: I agree – we shouldn’t be lowering standards – we should be helping get kids to meet those standards. Lower income folks have an incredible amount of stress in their lives – and everything is a negotiation but a lot of that stress bleeds into relationships between spouses and their kids. It’s tough. It’s hard to focus on school if you’re subject to domestic violence or do not have enough money to have meals – so on.
Our success as a nation is when we can have the largest middle class that we can get.
@WaterGirl: that is the best description of watching this country that I’ve heard yet.
@Manyakitty: wow, thank you, I’m glad it resonated with you.
@WaterGirl: yeah. It’s a sad but true situation, but I really think that’s what’s behind a lot of inaction. Like, “WTF did I just see? That can’t be happening!?” I remember it on January 6, (among too many other days) sitting in front of my TV with my mouth hanging open in utter shock and disbelief.
@Paul in KY: We’ve been to Gulf Shores. Nice park, great bike trails. But Alabama. Is that any better than Florida? Maybe it is, these days?
I think it’s good for Democrats if they can figure out a way to use it. Americans don’t like book banners. Polls really poorly .
@Mobile: It’s not global warming. It’s neonic ag pesticides that are wiping out insects and pollinators and birds who lost their food source.
@Mustang Bobby: And I think that the laminated glass in windshields isn’t tempered because if it does break, it becomes completely opaque–you wouldn’t want that. But the side windows generally are, right?
@Dorothy A. Winsor:
DeSantis has said that it doesn’t matter what grants require, no DEI if you want state funding at all. So this is going to be an interesting conflict. So depressing…
Steve in the ATL
The top players have been leaving the state for a while. Georgia and Alabama each sign more of them than the Florida “Big 3” do. That may not be related to this, however. We will know more as Florida State creeps its way back toward relevance.
Steve in the ATL
@frosty: it is not.
@Kent: When it starts to affect the medical schools and some of the high profile graduate programs it will start to screw over the MAGAT in ways they never considered. Like training and retaining doctors, nurses and administrators of the hospitals and nursing homes they will be living in. Not to mention the environment and infrastructure that they take for granted,
By all rights, both Texas and Florida (the states not the universities) should be absolutely dominant in college football, and they aren’t.
Florida and Texas teams have only won 5 national championships between them in this century: Florida State in 2013, Florida in 2006 and 2008, Texas in 2005, and Miami in 2001. And the last one was 10 years ago.
It’s not like the teams that are winning with FL and TX players are from any more progressive states. It is mostly Georgia, Alabama, LSU, Clemson, and Ohio State.
Cheryl from Maryland
@Geminid: Can we email offline? I was born in VA (now live in MD), and I think the upcoming 2023 elections in VA should not be forgotten in the rush to view 2024. Watergirl has asked me for research, and I’ve contacted Blue Virginia, etc., but any thoughts, esp regarding grassroots organizations that GOTV and do door knocking would be most helpful. With Youngkin et. al. proving to be incompetent and radical (no surprise there), there is a good chance that buyer’s remorse will lead to a Dem House in the General Assembly. Thanks.
@The Moar You Know: yes, 2 terms.
@trollhattan: actually the first 2 years he was vetoed a lot. Scott was a rich outsider with no political connections who bought the governorship essentially and in the beginning he pissed off the GOP legislature by being too out of step with politics. Unfortunately he learned.
@catclub: forget it. There are not enough spots. Football players are mostly poor and hungry. Now the best players with the most choices will choose blue states probably, but others won’t have as many choices and will settle.
And homesickness and wanting family to come to games plays a part too.
I imagine it is already tilting the choices some, but it won’t result in a boycott.
Paul in KY
@Mobile: Palmetto bug is the flying cockroach she’s mentioning. They can fly.
Paul in KY
@geg6: Agree. Not sure about ‘disgusting’, but it is bug infested.
Paul in KY
@Martin: Smith College? Oberlin?
Paul in KY
@frosty: I think it is. The Repub governor is not as evil & crazy as DeSatanis.