I got issues: with Betsy DeVos

When I use the word “issue,” I mean issue. Not problem. Nothing petty drives me nuts anymore, not when there’s so much large stuff abounding, but using the word “issue” in place of the word “problem” irritates me.

So I’m not doing it.

When I say issue, I mean issue. Issue, as defined by the Compact OED as “An important topic or problem to be discussed or resolved: environmental issues.” (I’m ignoring the second definition, “personal problems or difficulties,” because that’s precisely the issue with the word “issue” I griped about in the first paragraph.)

Because I read a lot of readers’ comments in newspapers, I’m sensitized to how crazy everyone is getting over the multitude of dreadful issues the Trump administration spurts every day, like horrible pods in “Invasion of the Body Snatchers.”

There are warnings not to forget something that offended us two weeks ago, just because at least ten other things offended us since.

Thing is, nobody is forgetting. I don’t mean simply us, the agonized audience to the apparently deliberate destruction of our government. We’re not forgetting, no, but neither are the many pro bono groups investigating, exposing, labeling and suing.

So, just to soothe everyone who thinks awful actions are flying under the radar, I’m going to do a regular, possibly even daily, report on the bad things happening, and a note about who’s doing what about it.

The front page of the Times is a good place to start. (I’m giving myself a pat on the head for keeping up with all this because the speed at which one headline is shoved downward by another is remarkable. I swear the top item below was on the front page earlier today.)

Today’s issue: How Betsy DeVos is poisoning the Department of Education.

WASHINGTON — Members of a special team at the Education Department that had been investigating widespread abuses by for-profit colleges have been marginalized, reassigned or instructed to focus on other matters, according to current and former employees.

The unwinding of the team has effectively killed investigations into possibly fraudulent activities at several large for-profit colleges where top hires of Betsy DeVos, the education secretary, had previously worked.

During the final months of the Obama administration, the team had expanded to include a dozen or so lawyers and investigators who were looking into advertising, recruitment practices and job placement claims at several institutions, including DeVry Education Group.

The investigation into DeVry ground to a halt early last year. Later, in the summer, Ms. DeVos named Julian Schmoke, a former dean at DeVry, as the team’s new supervisor.

WASHINGTON — Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, a lifelong advocate of Christian education, moved on Wednesday to loosen federal regulations on religious colleges and universities, after a Supreme Court decision that restricted states from denying some kinds of aid to religious institutions.

The measure is part of a sweeping deregulatory agenda for the Education Department announced on Wednesday by the White House budget office, which outlined several rules and regulations for the department to scrap or amend. Among those are rules that restrict faith-based entities from receiving federally administered funding.

And an UPDATE today: Betsy in New York!

I don’t need a spoon in order to gag.


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