Trump is obsessed with Barack Obama. He tried to reverse whatever his predecessor did. In the wake of the FBI seizure of classified documents from Trump’s residence, Trump insisted that Obama took 33 million documents and no one complained. This became a talking point on rightwing Trump talk shows.

The National Archives issued a statement refuting Trump’s lie:

The National Archives and Records Administration issued a statement Friday in an attempt to counter misstatements about former president Barack Obama’s presidential records after several days of misinformation that had been spread by former president Donald Trump and conservative commentators.

Since the FBI search of his Florida home and club this week for classified documents, Trump has asserted in social media posts that Obama “kept 33 million pages of documents, much of them classified” and that they were “taken to Chicago by President Obama.”

In its statement, NARA said that it obtained “exclusive legal and physical custody” of Obama’s records when he left office in 2017. It said that about 30 million pages of unclassified records were transferred to a NARA facility in the Chicago area and that they continue to be maintained “exclusively by NARA.”

Classified records from Obama are kept in a NARA facility in Washington, the statement said.
“As required by the [Presidential Records Act], former President Obama has no control over where and how NARA stores the Presidential records of his Administration,” the statement said.

The Lincoln Project draws a historical parallel.

Watch it and worry.

Jewish leaders, both in synagogues and in public life, are taking a prominent role in opposing the abortion restrictions imposed by Governor DeSantis and the Republican-dominated legislature. Soon after Roe v. Wade was overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court, a synagogue filed a lawsuit claiming that the state’s abortion restrictions violated their religious liberties. Now, DeSantis has suspended Andrew Warren, the Hillsborough County attorney, for saying that he would not enforce the abortion laws; Warren is Jewish.

The purpose of the First Amendment—which protects freedom of religion and forbids an “establishment” of religion—is to ensure that every American may practice his or her own faith (or none at all), and that no faith may use government to impose its beliefs on others.

Unfortunately, the current Trumpist Supreme Court takes the position that freedom of religion may be wielded to enable some to impose their views on others. The abortion issue is an example of that: Catholics, evangelical Christians, and fundamentalists of other religion oppose abortion. The Supreme Court’s recent decision overturning Roe V Wade imposes the religious views of these groups on others who don’t share their views.

A just resolution would be to allow every woman to make decisions with her doctor. Those who oppose abortion should not have one. Those who disagree should follow their doctors’ advice.

In Florida, Jewish groups have actively fought for their beliefs, which are violated by the Dobbs decision.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis ratcheted up the fight over the state’s looming 15-week abortion ban Thursday when he suspended a Tampa-area state attorney who had vowed not to prosecute violations.

The move also vaulted yet another Jewish figure into the fight’s foreground.

Andrew Warren, the state attorney for Hillsborough County, had joined more than 90 other attorneys nationwide in pledging not to prosecute individuals who seek or provide abortions in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in June to overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 ruling that had guaranteed abortion rights.

“Criminalizing and prosecuting individuals who seek or provide abortion care makes a mockery of justice,” the letter said. “Prosecutors should not be part of that.”

Warren, who has said that his Jewish identity has shaped his government career, joins other Florida Jews in prominent positions in the fight to protect access to abortion: A South Florida synagogue making a religious freedom argument spearheaded the first lawsuit filed against Florida’s abortion ban, and a Jewish political activist who came to prominence by protesting against DeSantis’ pandemic rules has signed on to represent the congregation.

DeSantis is betting that his alienation of Florida’s large Jewish population and its large LGBT population will be overcome by courting evangelicals, Catholics, and rednecks.

The sheriff of Madison County, North Carolina, reacted to the massacre of students in Uvalde, Texas, by putting an AR15 in every one of the six schools in the district. The guns will be locked in a safe, and breaching tools will be nearby. So don’t come into one of those schools to kill little children!

Imagine the scenario. A gunman with an AR15 shoots his way into the school, as the deranged killer at the Sandy Hook school did a decade ago. He blasts through the door, kills everyone he sees. Meanwhile, the designated defender goes to the safe, breaks it open with the breaching tool, and takes out the AR15.

By that time, the killer has had enough time to mow down the children in at least two classrooms.

The problem in Uvalde wasn’t the lack of weapons. Dozens of heavily armed officers hung out in the corridor outside the classrooms for over an hour. They had guns. What they lacked was courage, brains, and leadership.

This is a fabulous video of a rally for Beto O’Rourke, the Democratic candidate for Governor of Texas. He was in West Texas, which is red red red. He is explaining why he thinks the gun laws for purchasing an AR15 are too lax. The Uvalde mass murderer bought two of them as soon as he turned 18.

That video is the whole rally. If you want to see the crucial one-minute e crept, it’s here.

Someone in the crowd laughed as Beto talked about the lethal power of an AR15 turned on children.

Beto let him have it. Verbally.

“You May think it’s funny, motherf—-er, but I don’t.” The crowd went wild.

A must-see.

In North Carolina, charter operator Baker Mitchell plans to go to the U.S. Supreme Court to appeal a court decision barring him from requiring girls to wear skirts to school.

The nonpartisan organization “In the Public Interest” reports:

A charter school which lost a case in federal court recently over its mandatory rule that girls wear skirts is going to take the case to the U.S. Supreme Court. Baker Mitchell, the owner of the school, “said the ruling could change the landscape of charter schools. He said in the newsletter he believes it undermines the foundation charter schools were created on, taking away parental right to choose the education their children receive. Mitchell said he believes the ruling is creating a slippery slope, and in the future courts could allow states to govern what is taught in charter schools and how.” But “experts say dress codes can and do discriminate based on sex, and this ruling proves that. Wendy Murphy, an attorney and adjunct professor at New England Law Boston, said even though parents can choose whether to send students to charter schools, that’s not the point of the ruling: regardless, if a school receives federal funding, it cannot discriminate based on sex. ‘The statute itself is very simple,’ Murphy said. ‘You cannot discriminate on the basis of sex, period.’”

In 2014, Baker Mitchell’s for-profit charter chain was investigated by the U.S. Departnent of Education for financial issues. Mitchell, who is not an educator, won a fourth charter. “Mitchell has collected in the neighborhood of $16 million in taxpayer funds over the past five years for managing three other charter schools in southeastern N.C. Brunswick County Schools Superintendent Dr. Edward Pruden is locked in a battle with Mitchell, hoping to convince State Board of Ed members to scrutinize his management practices and hold off awarding him more charters to open up schools.”

North Carolina teacher-blogger Stuart Egan called out Baker Mitchell in 2019 after Mitchell wrote a defense of charters in the Wall Street Journal. Egan pointed out that Mitchell’s Roger Bacon Academies are highly segregated and do not outperform public schools.

ProPublica wrote a report about Baker Mitchell and his charter school profiteering.

Mitchell is a member of the board of the libertarian John Locke Foundation and sat on the state charter school advisory board.

Best of all the Baker Mitchell is the pledge that students recite daily, as reported by Charlotte Magazine:

“Try to forget for a minute the outrage of wealthy businessman Baker Mitchell using North Carolina’s nascent charter school system to funnel millions of public dollars through four Wilmington-area charter schools he runs to private companies he controls, as detailed in an outstanding piece of reporting by ProPublica this week.

“Set aside the obvious conflict of interest in that arrangement, and Mitchell’s none-of-your-damn-business attitude about it: “It’s so silly. Undue influence, blah blah blah.” (He actually said that.)

“Look past his service with Art Pope on the John Locke Foundation board, and the world of symbolism in this paragraph:

To Mitchell, his schools are simply an example of the triumph of the free market. “People here think it’s unholy if you make a profit” from schools, he said in July, while attending a country-club luncheon to celebrate the legacy of free-market sage Milton Friedman.

“Turn your attention to the pledge that students, faculty, and staff at his schools are required to recite every morning just after the Pledge of Allegiance. The pledge contains these lines:

I pledge to be truthful in all my works,

guarding against the stains of falsehood from

the fascination with experts,

the temptation of vanity,

the comfort of popular opinion and custom,

the ease of equivocation and compromise, and

from over-reliance on rational argument …

I pledge to be obedient and loyal to those in authority,

in my family,

in my school, and

in my community and country,

So long as I shall live.

“The stains of falsehood … from over-reliance on rational argument”? What? The philosophical basis for this bizarre statement—which, again, adults and children are required to recite every day—is the example of Roger Bacon, the medieval scholar and Franciscan friar who lends his name to the company that manages Mitchell’s charter schools.

“You can read here about Bacon’s extensive study of the science of alchemy, and here about his view of the relationship between insight and science: “Of all kinds of experience, the best, he thought, was interior illumination, which teaches many things about Nature which the external senses could never discover, such as the transubstantiation of bread.”

“Students are being taught this superstitious garbage, with taxpayer money, which then lines the pocket of the provider. What the hell have we let happen to education in this state?”

Dr. Michael Hynes is the Superintendent of Schools in Port Washington, Long Island, New York.

He writes:


My daughter Sadie has taught me more in her 9 years of life than I have learned in my past 52 years of existence. My wife Erin and I had no idea that our daughter had Down Syndrome when she was born. Sadie had to stay in the newborn intensive care unit for a few weeks and we met some of the most compassionate and amazing professionals in the world. Unfortunately, we also met others who were much better off keeping their thoughts to themselves.


I remember a doctor at the hospital telling me he was “sorry” after Sadie was born. On another occasion, a family member shared with my wife and I that “Mongoloids can be nice people.” She didn’t mean to upset us; it was her mental model about Down Syndrome. Initially, as parents we were surprised with the multitude of closed-minded comments we came across. As Sadie grew and we brought her to restaurants, stores or in public, people would stare at her longer than one should.

I’m sharing this with you not to complain; but doing so because we began to learn how the world can perceive others without knowing anything about them whatsoever, except through the lenses of their biases and assumptions. Little did they know our little Sadie has the best sense of humor and can read on grade level like here peers. She enjoys music and hanging out with her best friends like all children do. As parents, we began to advocate for more programs in her school and for the school districts we served in.


I probably should have started off this reflection by sharing both Erin and I are school Superintendent’s. She is an Assist Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction and I have served as a Superintendent of Schools for the past 11 years. Here are the lessons we learned from our personal lives that now transcend to our professional ones.

  1. You never know what others are going through. I have a much deeper respect for parents who have children with autism, Down Syndrome, ADHD, OHI, etc. They have incredible stories to share, and we need to support them as much as their children.
  2. Never place limits on your child or students. Don’t accept what professionals say at face value all the time. If Erin and I listened to what some professionals believed Sadie would never be able to do, her life would be so much more unfulfilled. She is flourishing.
  3. In the education system I have served in for over 25 years, we need to remove the word “special education”. This word places a label on a child that never leaves them and carries a negative connotation with it. Yes, the children are “special”, but they are certainly not less than “typical children”. By the way I loath that phrase as well.
  4. Inclusion is important. Integration however is critical. It’s great to be included but to be fully integrated is where the secret sauce is. Separating and segregating children is not the answer. Teach them to become independent and watch them soar!

Sadie is now in 4th grade. She continues to surprise people with her intelligence, humor and at times stubbornness. We are so fortunate to have her in our lives. There are other “Sadie’s” in every school in America. Are we as school leaders doing everything in our power to make our school system more inclusive and integrated? That’s for you to answer and my hope is that you strive to make that a reality. Every child will benefit from it.

Perhaps you thought the voucher fight was over in Arizona in 2018 when voters rejected vouchers by a decisive margin of 65-35%.

But no, the clear and overwhelming decision of the state’s voters did not deter the Christofascists who are determined to destroy public schools by transferring funding away from them to any form of non public schooling, be it religious, private, homeschooling or a business run by a fraudster.

Governor Doug Ducey signed a law creating a universal voucher plan on July 6. The new law will subtract $1 billion from the state’s public schools.

SOS Arizona is once again leading the fight against universal vouchers, led by Governor Ducey and championed by the Republican legislators. The dark money behind the voucher campaign comes from the usual suspects: the Koch machine and the Betsy DeVos combine.

If Save Our Schools Arizona and its supporters can secure 118,823 valid signatures before September 24, the voucher expansion law will be placed on hold until November 2024, when voters get a chance to express their views, as they did in 2018.

The stakes could not be higher – this is a referendum to decide the future of education in Arizona and across the nation.

You can see more about the SOS Arizona signature drive here: teamsosarizona.com.

Beth Lewis, the director of SOS Arizona, wrote to provide the context for the battle over vouchers:

Universal voucher expansion is the KEY issue driving right-wing politics in the US, and hardly anyone is talking about the well-moneyed, dangerous forces driving it. The AZ legislature’s myopic focus on pushing private school voucher expansion over any other piece of legislation for the past 6 years is enough to tell us that — not to mention the massive focus FOX News has placed on vouchers since the bill’s passage here in Arizona. Recently, Christopher Rufo admitted he created the CRT furor in order to advance universal vouchers.

We desperately need folks to plug in – people all over the state can get petitions at our hubs: teamsosarizona.com or sign up to volunteer: bit.ly/SVEvolunteer.

As you know, we are truly the tip of the spear when it comes to privatization. Betsy DeVos’ American Federation for Children is mobilizing (somewhat ineffectively) against our efforts, and the battle lines are drawn. It is evident that universal voucher expansion will become a pattern across the US, as Republican Governors are all declaring that every red state should adopt this policy. We have seen the dangers of private school vouchers first-hand here in Arizona, and our public school system has been starved in order to give credence to those who wish to privatize our public education system.

Charlie Kirk is partnering with an incredibly rightwing Evangelical church (Dream City Church) to open Turning Point Academies across Arizona. Here is the June article from Newsweek describing their plans to proliferate campuses across AZ and then the nation. It is no coincidence this plan was announced the same month the AZ state legislature passed universal vouchers.

Kirk recently spoke at Freedom Night hosted by Dream City Church, and this expose in the AZ Republic shows the hateful ideology against LGBTQ and trans youth Kirk and the Church spread. It’s terrifying – and infuriating to think this is where our taxpayer dollars are headed.

It is abundantly clear that special interests who favor extremist Christian Nationalism are driving the bus on these issues – and it makes sense. Private school vouchers are the perfect solution for building a long-term, endlessly replenishing base of voters who also favor Christian Nationalism.

We only have 42 more days to collect the signatures to put this bill on the 2024 ballot. We expect massive legal battles, as dark money will pour in and the usual suspects will challenge every signature. We are confident we will push back successfully and get the measure on the ballot – we must, as goes Arizona, so goes the nation.

You can help these fearless, intrepid volunteers by sending a contribution to: sosarizona.org/donate.

Chalkbeat reports that the Center for Disease Control is easing up on its COVID recommendations:

Schools can end quarantines and regular screening tests for COVID, but students and staff should keep masks on in areas with high levels of COVID spread, according to guidelines released Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The new, more limited recommendationscome as districts across the country are starting a new school year — and in many cases reflect decisions to ease up on COVID precautions that schools have already made. Almost no districts are starting the year with a mask mandate, and in-school quarantine rules are on the retreat.

“This latest guidance from the CDC should give our students, parents, and educators the confidence they need to head back to school this year with a sense of joy and optimism,” Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona said in a statement. “While COVID continues to evolve, so has our understanding of the science and what it takes to return to school safely.”

George Conway doesn’t like Donald Trump. Conway is a lawyer and a conservative. He is married to Kellyanne Conway. I think it’s fair to say that George hates Trump. I would love to be a fly on the wall at their dinner table.

George regularly mocks Trump on Twitter. He attacks him in opinion pieces in the Washington Post. He slams him on TV news shows.

He was interviewed yesterday on “Morning Joe.”

Raw Story reported:

“I think the walls are closing in on him,” Conway said. “There are so many different investigations. There’s also civil suits that are chasing him down. I think, bit by bit, we’re finally going to see the processes apply to him. He had his deposition taken yesterday by the New York attorney general. There are some civil depositions coming up, and he is being forced, essentially, to put up or shut up in these investigations. Yesterday, he, you know, took the Fifth 440 times, which is basically the most respect I think he’s ever shown for the Constitution of the United States.”

“But the Georgia case, I think, is particularly one to keep looking out for,” Conway continued. “It’s the one that sort of seems to be moving ahead the most quickly, but I think this documents investigation is one that we haven’t heard the last of. I mean, [Washington Postcolumnist] David [Ignatius] is absolutely right about the innate cautious and by-the-book nature of Merrick Garland. I think that he is handling this absolutely perfectly. I don’t think the Justice Department should be saying anything more than it already has said, which is basically nothing about this, because that’s what the rule of law requires. That is what grand jury secrecy requires.”

“The whole point of this exercise is that nobody is above the law,” he added. “The law applies equally to you and I, to the rich and the poor, to ex-presidents and just regular citizens. One of those protection people have is grand jury secrecy and the presumption of innocence. The reason why the Justice Department does not say anything about ongoing investigations, except in unusual circumstances or when indictments are there, is to protect the reputations of those that are the subject of investigation. If he really thinks that there is a witch hunt going on with these documents that were at Mar-A-Lago, he should tell us exactly what happened. Show us the search warrant. What was the government looking for? What did they take? He has a list of what they took, or should have a list, and that would tell us a great deal. But he doesn’t want to say anything because he knows it’s not going to be helpful to him, I’m sure. Just as actually answering questions from Letitia James yesterday wasn’t going to be helpful to him.”