Tag Archives: betsy devos

2019 in Review

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For the last episode of the year we review some of the good things the house did, talk about Obama national security advisor and speechwriter Ben Rhodes’ memoir, celebrate some 2019 victories, and make wishes for 2020. Here’s to lots more freedom fighting and lots more freedom. Happy new year!


Congressional Oversight Claimed Important Victories in 2019. Here Are the Top 5.

Mass Surveillance SOS (E42)

We discuss the reauthorization of the warrantless surveillance program, Section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act; using Newt Gingrich’s Congressional Review Act for good instead of evil, the latest garbage from Betsy DeVos, and rant about Trump’s attempts to make American education worse.

Continue reading Mass Surveillance SOS (E42)

Comcast is lying to you (E32)

Who is Anthony Scaramucci, Trump’s new communications director? We talk about his history in finance, the long con we think he’s playing, and how much money you needed to go to his SALT conference.

ALSO: In April, the Trump administration and GOP congress killed one of Obama’s most important achievements: Federal Communications Commission regulations that would have barred internet service providers like Charter and Comcast from selling your sensitive information without your consent. State lawmakers from both parties in nearly thirty states leapt into action, introducing bills to fill the gap. We’ll talk about how Comcast is lying in order to stop these bills, debunking the dishonest arguments they and other ISPs are making as they try to kill these bills, and how we can fight back against this particular part of the corporate takeover of the US government.

Betsy DeVos has continues to be up to no good, giving garbage speeches and pursuing bad policy. But many people are fighting back, including one of our awesome listeners!

And finally, since it’s the summer and maybe you’re fortunate enough to get to travel, we’re going to talk about airport security.

Suing Betsy DeVos (E31)

Betsy DeVos just keeps getting sued!  We talk to Eileen Connor from the Project on Predatory Student Lending at Harvard Law about just ONE of their lawsuits against Education Secretary Betsy DeVos. We will also talk about the very strange and Kafkaesque story of how Boston law enforcement officials used a warrantless surveillance order to try to unmask a government critic, and then pressed to keep that order COMPLETELY SECRET for more than five years. The ACLU of Massachusetts recently sued to crack the secrecy around the case.

And we also have some special BONUS content for Patreon-ers! Kade discusses learning to love Crossfit (again). If you want access to this bonus audio, you can nab it on Patreon for as little as $1 a month. You’ll help us keep the show going!


 (Image via Gage Skidmore (CC BY-SA 2.0))

Suing Jeff Sessions (E29)

If you want to support the show, you can do so on Patreon for as little as $1 a month. You’ll get access to bonus content each month and help us keep the show going!

You may be familiar with the many times the ACLU has sued the president, but today we’re going to cover two lawsuits against the Trump Administration you may NOT have heard of. We interview Glenda Aldana Madrid, Staff Attorney at the the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project about their lawsuit against Jeff Sessions. We also discuss a couple of lawsuits against Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, and some awesome Listener Mail about the UK election.


Hat tip to @jenesaiswha for the recommendation of the BBC 4 News Quiz Extra show.

America’s Hidden H.I.V. Epidemic – The New York Times

Betsy DeVos lost the first part of a a court battle when a California federal judge ruled that her Department’s effort to delay addressing a defrauded student’s claim for loan relief was “both frivolous and in bad faith.”

The Mass. Attorney General on DeVos’s latest move: “I’m going to sue them.”

Mass. Dismisses 21,000 Tainted Drug Convictions (E23)

If you want to support the show, you can do so on Patreon for as little as $1 a month. You’ll get access to bonus content each month and help us keep the show going! 

We discuss Betsy DeVos’s latest move in her war on students: undoing protections for student loan borrowers put in place by the Obama admin. Kade breaks down the news that district attorneys in Massachusetts dismissed over 21,000 tainted drug convictions, the most in one day in US history. We talk about what led to those dismissals, and what they mean about the current legal system. Finally, we also give you an update on the latest Tsarnaev related chicanery. A Boston based journalist has a new book out, and some of what she’s documented will shock even the most cynical observers.

Image credit: University of Michigan School of Natural Resources @ flickr.com (CC BY 2.0)

Ivanka Trump is Fake, Betsy DeVos’s Mess, and James Comey gets pwned (E22)

If you want to support the show, you can do so on Patreon for as little as $1 a month. You’ll get access to bonus content each month and help us keep the show going! 

We debrief on the House of Representatives vote to let Internet Service Providers (ISPs) sell our personal data. We talk about two troubling actions by Betsy DeVos and the Department of Education that has the potential to seriously screw Americans with student loans — and those about trying to get them. Finally, we’ll laugh at James Comey, and Alexis will discuss the Queer Dance Party she attended outside of Ivanka Trump’s house, and ask WTF has Ivanka Trump actually done for LGBTQ rights.


  • Call the Capitol Switchboard, (202) 224-3121, and ask for your Senators, and tell them: I am concerned that Betsy DeVos will not obey the law and grant Public Service Loan Forgiveness to borrowers who’ve dutifully paid their loans and worked in public service for ten years. I want to know what you are doing to protect the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program? Has the Senator signed a letter or otherwise spoken out? This is a priority for me. 

Image credit: @lpritchard8 on Twitter

Trump’s Cabinet of Horrors, Boston Spying, and the Electoral College (E16)

Humorless Queers tackle the horror show that is Trump’s choices for the cabinet, including Jeff Sessions for the Department of Justice, Steven Mnuchin for Treasury Secretary, and Betsy Devos for the Department of Education. We also discuss the Boston police department’s plan to spend $1.4m on social media spying software. And finally, we’ll have an interview with the co-founder of DemocrEC.org, who are demanding that Republican members of the Electoral College honor the popular vote.




  1. Devil in the Grove: Thurgood Marshall, the Groveland Boys, and the Dawn of a New America
  2. Taylor Branch: Parting the Waters. America in the King Era, 1954-1963

Credit where due:

The theme for this show is the song “Missing You” by Jahzzar, also know as Javier Suarez. You can find his work at betterwithmusic.com.