Today's program from our podcasting affiliate, The Bob Cesca Show:
Andrew Cuomo Has To Go-Mo -- [Explicit Language] It's a feisty show today as we discuss Andrew Cuomo's sexual harassment allegations; The Adults in the Room; Overruling the Senate parliamentarian; The $15 minimum wage; The COVID relief checks; Why Red Rose progressives are wrong about all of it; The Voting Rights Act is about to be further eroded; Georgia law that rolls back voting rights because of Trump; Republicans love fake controversies; New sanctions on Russia; Trump's CPAC speech canceled a bunch of Republicans; Trump's target list; Attack planned for the State of the Union; With Buzz Burbank; and music by Divided Heaven and Pasha Black; and more!
Not sure where to slot this among the growing list of Fox News pseudo-scandals. Is this glaring omission worse than Barack Obama’s tan suit? That hardly seems possible. The tan suit affair nearly ended us. Our enemies saw our commander in chief arrayed in fine raiments of effete ecru and the gates of hell were flung wide open. Our national credibility was tarnished—one might even say tan-suited—for all eternity.
But that was then. After witnessing the stalwart, uber-patriotic leadership of Donald John Trump—who only launched one full-on insurrection attempt during his entire four-year term—we’re forced to endure this disgrace.
Are you ready?
Joe Biden didn’t mention Dr. Seuss in his statement on Read Across America Day.
The arrests and indictments in the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol are now up to 257 and counting. And as they continue to mount and the evidence in these cases becomes public, we’re starting to get a clearer picture of what happened that day—both the larger picture of who participated in the assault, as well the more detailed story of how they conspired to make their invasion plans work.
George Washington University’s Program on Extremism compiled data from all 257 cases and assembled a detailed analysis of the event based largely on information from the court filings. The details contained therein are telling and important, but its broader conclusion—namely, that the universe of domestic right-wing extremists who came together on Jan. 6 has grown massive, is constantly expanding, and now poses a greater threat to American society than overseas jihadists—may be the most significant takeaway.
The Space Race but between the US government trying to vaccinate everyone and the Texas government trying to spawn a vaccine-resistant variant through aggregate cases. https://t.co/tvu2vxpmvt
— Zeddy (@Zeddary) March 2, 2021
Abbott *really* wants to be the next Trump, only worse, doesn’t he?
Gov. Abbott (R-TX) announces all businesses in the state can reopen and ends the statewide mask mandate. pic.twitter.com/3RyGdMVXvD
— The Recount (@therecount) March 2, 2021
Here goes a domino effect: Gov. Tate Reeves (R-MS) just ended the mask mandate and opened all businesses in Mississippi. pic.twitter.com/ye9IWmOW84
— The Recount (@therecount) March 2, 2021
BIG DEAL HE STAYED ON THE TRACKS SO WHAT OUR CONDUCTOR PROBABLY COULD HAVE DONE THAT IF HE WANTED ANYWAY THE DVD LIBRARY IN THE ENTERTAINMENT CAR SUCKS HAVE YOU THOUGHT ABOUT THAT HUH
— kilgore trout, ted’s travel agent (@KT_So_It_Goes) March 2, 2021
The post Tuesday Evening Open Thread: Good News, Except in Texas / Mississippi appeared first on Balloon Juice.
Senator Sheldon Whitehouse did not come to play at today's Judiciary Hearing. Most Democrats on the committee wanted to ask FBI Director Chris Wray about the intelligence failures of the MAGA sedition riot of January 6, and the dangers of white supremacist violence (many and dire.) Most Republicans wanted to ask him about how many Antifa the FBI has rounded up as suspects in the insurrection (zero, and are you f*cking kidding me?)
Senator Whitehouse wanted to know, before he bothered to even ask about the intelligence leading up to the attempted overthrow of our government, why the hell the FBI seems to think it doesn't need to answer any of Congress' questions for the record. He began, "Before we get to the business of this hearing, we've got some, in fact, a lot of unfinished business. Do you know how many questions for the record the FBI failed to answer in the last four years?"
Wray's answer was, of course, that he didn't. Sen. Whitehouse informed him, "Well, I'll tell you. There were nine hearings in in committee, in which the FBI was a witness, and in seven of them they got exactly zero questions for the record. Seven. Zero questions. Can you explain that?" Wray's answer was, of course, that he could not.
And, we were off.
When my husband Sheldon gets going, there is no stopping him.
If you’ve been listening to House Republicans (aka the Coup Klux Klan), you might be thinking that the $1.9T Amero Trump-Virus Relief Bill is a sneaky bill to bail out Blue States and those nefarious Anarchist Jurisdictions like Seattle.
“Early Saturday morning, Kansas’ three Republican U.S. House members voted against the massive Biden administration pandemic relief package that will send an estimated $1.6 billion to the state.
“Rep. Jake LaTurner, who represents the Topeka area, ripped the measure earlier this month as a “liberal state bailout.” Freshman GOP Sen. Roger Marshall is one of the $1.9 trillion bill’s most outspoken critics in the Senate, which will now take it up.”
So how are the Dawg-fearing, family-values Red States planning on spending those lovely federal dollars coming their way?
Fire-up the ol’ hypocrisy generator:
Their GOP counterparts in the Kansas Legislature? They’ve effectively spent much of it already.
¡GASP! You mean… a BAILOUT?!
A Bit of Historical Perspective On the Responses By Republicans In Congress To FBI Director Wray’s Testimony On the 6th January Insurrection
FBI Director Christopher Wray testified today before Congress on the violent insurrection at the US Capitol on 6 January, what the FBI did in advance of it, and what it has been doing since then. You can find a synopsis of his testimony at The Associated Press. During the question and answer portions of his appearance today, the usual Republican suspects decided to continue to muddy the water, make the clear confusing, change the subject, push the now branded big lie that the presidential election was stolen, and blamed the insurrection on leftist extremists instead of the actual perpetrators on the extreme right, which I would call the other big lie. Senator Grassley (R-IA), long known as the most experienced county commissioner to serve in the US Senate, provides a great example of the lies and falsehoods:
Wray says repeatedly no anarchists on Jan 6 – it was all militia and white supremacist – and yet @ChuckGrassley stays on Antifa threat. It’s another case of literally no information and no answer can alter the messaging.
— Jim Sciutto (@jimsciutto) March 2, 2021
I’d like to say that what the Republicans participating in the hearing did today was something new and unusual, but I can’t. I’ve been studying domestic and foreign extremism, terrorism, and low intensity warfare and political violence since I was doing my first masters in 1994. As far back as I can remember some Republican members of Congress have been doing this exact thing whenever a major domestic terrorist attack is perpetrated by someone on the extreme right. In the early 1990s two Republican members of the House of Representatives ran point on this. Helen Chenoweth-Hage and Larry Craig of Idaho. Craig latter would eventually take his show to the Senate after 18 years in the House. Chenoweth-Hage died in a car accident in 2006. Craig got run out of the Senate by his Republican colleagues not because he was a conspiracy mongering nut, but because he was alleged to be soliciting illicit homosexual sex in airport restrooms. However, before they left Congress they were the leading members in what was referred to as the Black Helicopter Caucus, which included a number of other Republicans.
Chenoweth-Hage was actually featured by the Militia of Montana. Their Fall 1994 catalogue – think Sears & Roebuck, but for white supremacists and anti-government extremists – featured videos of one of Congresswoman Chenoweth-Hage’s speeches about the New World Order. While Congresswoman Chenoweth-Hage’s spokesperson stated the video was being sold without her permission, the reality is that as far as the Militia of Montana was concerned she was not just a fellow traveler, but a political visionary whose message they wanted to promote. Her obituary in The Washington Post includes this interesting bit (emphasis mine):
Ms. Chenoweth-Hage, who served from 1995 to 2001 as an unabashed opponent of laws that limited personal freedom, attracted much support from the militia fringe movement that found a home in the interior West during the 1990s.
In turn, she scolded Congress after the Oklahoma City federal building bombing for not trying to understand anti-government activists. She also held hearings on “black helicopters,” which militia members believed were filled with United Nations-sponsored storm troopers eager to swoop into the broken-down ranches of the rural West and impose international law.
Chenoweth-Hage, along with Craig, turned the hearings into the incidents at Ruby Ridge and Waco into a circus. James Ridgeway*, the long time Village Voice reporter who documented the extreme right and passed away two week’s ago, described their antics this way at the time in August 1995:
Meanwhile, Helen Chenoweth in the House and Larry Craig in the Senate continue to run wild, attacking the effrontery of federal agents and invoking the specter of the dreaded black helicopters.
The Waco hearings have provided little substance. Unlike Watergate, or even the Iran-contra investigation, there has been little or no effort by the Republican chairmen to figure out why the raid was staged, and the hearings have largely omitted the ludicrous attempts of the ATF to woo the press that played a major role in the timing of the first raid. From start to finish, the hearings have been a PR move, basically an effort to publicly attack the ATF in order to revoke the assault-weapon ban. More subtly, the hearings have played to the Christian right, key supporters of the Republican majority, and an entity everyone in Congress fears. But more than anything, the hearings have provided a dazzling display of farce and hypocrisy. Republicans who had been slashing away at the Fourth Amendment on the House floor earlier this spring in their determination to pass a tough crime bill have now been portraying themselves as feel-good liberals, invoking the rights of the Constitution on behalf of Koresh and the other “individualistic” Christians within the compound.
Aside from the desire to pander to Christian conservatives and the gun lobby, the Waco hearings are also an attempt to play to the libertarian-anarchist wing of the party. Behind the attack on the ATF is anarchist frothing for the role of county sheriff in government. In Waco, the sheriff was on friendly terms with Koresh and clearly had no intention of challenging the Davidians, despite the accusations made against the group. Indeed, various Republicans at the hearings came awfully close to suggesting that the sanctity of private property should have acted as a barrier against any federal intrusion. The argument that what Koresh was doing was his business and nobody else’s will get any politician, Christian right or other, firmly clobbered in the polls.
As we’ve seen in the past five weeks, the only thing that has changed since the mid 1990s and today is that today the majority of the House Republican and at least a third, if not more of the Senate Republican caucuses are now behaving like Congresswoman Chenoweth-Hage, Senator Craig, and a small handful of their Republican colleagues in the House back in the 1990s. When you see Senators Grassley and Johnson pushing the completely fact free and repeatedly debunked lies that the attack on the Capitol was a false flag conducted by extreme leftists like Antifa and Black Lives Matter in order to create a casus belli for American Federal law enforcement to go after white, at least nominally Christian Republicans, Republican leaning Independents, and conservatives or Senator Hawley suddenly very concerned about just how the FBI is going about collecting evidence from the cell phones and smart phones and social media accounts of those involved in the 6th January attack, and Senator Cotton unequivocally stating he would like MS13 to be arrested, all you’re seeing is the 2021 version of Chenoweth-Hage’s and Craig’s mid 1990s canine and equine extravaganza.
There are a couple of differences between then and now. Social and digital media is one. Fox News and its even more fact free and more extreme competitors in conservative “news” media is another. The sheer numbers of Republican elected and appointed officials at the Federal, state, and municipal levels of government that have all embraced the fact free, conspiracy driven empirically sealed information system that undergirds modern conservatism – to both drive the information and to benefit from it – is a third. We are now fully in a place where the ideological extremists who operate within the system (elected and appointed Republican officials, conservative movement leaders, conservative “news” media personalities, conservative religious leaders, etc) are leveraging the threats of and actual acts of domestic terrorism by the violent extremists to achieve the same objectives. This too is not new in the US or in other places. In the US this occurred to both overthrow Reconstruction and to then implement, expand, and consolidate Jim Crow and to keep it place for almost a hundred years. It was used in Germany, Italy, and Spain to bring fascists to power either before or during World War II. It was used in Vichy France and Quisling’s Norway as excuses to capitulate to and collaborate with the NAZIs.
It is important to use a fine brush to ensure that an appropriate distinction is made between the actual domestic extremists who are domestic terrorists, promote domestic terrorism, and support domestic terrorism and Americans who do not. However, we can’t let being empirically accurate in defining, delineating, and conceptualizing this problem and problem set blind us to the fact that the objectives of the ideological extremists in Congress like Senators Hawley, Cruz, Johnson, Lee, and Cotton and Representatives Greene, Boebert, Gaetz, Cawthorne, Jordan, and far, far too many others in their caucuses, as well as their counterparts at the state and local levels, and the people that support them as long as they support Trump’s America First agenda are the exact same objectives as the domestic extremists who seek to overthrow the small “l” liberal self-governing democratic-republic established by the US Constitution and replace it with a revanchist, white Christian herrenvolk. The real problem facing America is that if the ideological extremists working within the system have the same objectives as the domestic extremists seeking to use violence to achieve those same goals, how do you protect against the latter without destroying the constitutional order in trying to contain the former? That’s what makes this a very wicked problem.
* I highly recommend Ridgeway’s 1991 documentary Blood In the Face.
It’s difficult to gauge the success of any movement aimed at affecting widespread and systematic change. That’s especially true for the Black Lives Matter movement, which has what can feel like the insurmountable aims of eradicating white supremacy and fighting police brutality in Black communities. But as difficult as it is to quantify the movement’s success, it’s just as difficult to ignore its impact. A new study cited in the Scientific American found that in cities where Black Lives Matter protests had been staged, police killings dropped an estimated 20% between 2014 and 2019.
Travis Campbell, the author of the study and an economist at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, concluded in his research that Census areas with Black Lives Matter protests saw about 300 fewer police homicides. "BLM protests also increase the probability of a police agency having body-cameras, expand community policing, and reduce the number of future property crime-related arrests, which may partially explain the lethal force reduction," Campbell said in the study. Aldon Morris, a sociologist at Northwestern University, posed the question before the Scientific American of whether Black Lives Matter protests have been generating change. It’s an “inescapable” yes based on the study, Morris said, adding that “protest matters—that it can generate change.”
This seems important…
After a decade of hyping up Georgia and its status as a demographically purple state, the state finally came through this past election cycle, giving its Electoral College votes to Joe Biden and electing two Democratic senators. On the other side of the country, Arizona did the same (though it staggered its new Democrats by two years). Now all eyes are on Texas, the obvious next red state to come our way. Twelve years ago, Republican John McCain won the state by nearly 12 points. Hillary Clinton lost it by nine points in 2016. Joe Biden lost it by less than six.
But I have another state identified on my long-range scanners, one that is obvious to painfully few others, but should demographically be a purple state—Mississippi. Yes, Mississippi. Today, on The Brief, we talk to Mike Espy, the Democratic candidate for Senate in the Magnolia State the last two cycles, about what it will take to bring his state into the Democratic fold.x x YouTube Video
Mississippi seems to be a silly state to focus on. Donald Trump won the state by over 16 points last year, and Bill Clinton in 1996 was the last Democrat to crack 44% of the vote. Yet demographically, the state should be far more competitive. It has the largest Black population of any state, almost 38%, giving Democrats a solid potential starting base. Another 3-4% are Latino, Asian, American Indian, or multiracial. Of course, these nonwhite voters aren’t monolithically Democratic, but even with the expected defections, you’d only need around 20% of the white vote to achieve purple status. The problem? Only about 10% of Mississippi whites vote Democratic; they are a solid, monolithic, and racist conservative vote. You compound that with poor nonwhite turnout, systemic disenfranchisement of that nonwhite vote, and a feeling of hopelessness among core Democratic voters, and the end result is the strong partisan Republican performance we have come to expect out of Mississippi.
But it doesn’t have to be that way, just like we saw in formerly solid Republican states like Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, and Virginia. Every state has different challenges and dynamics. For example, Mississippi is heavily rural—49%, the fourth largest percentage in the country. There is only one city in the state with a population over 100,000 (Jackson). Only two other cities have a population over 50,000 (Gulfport, Hattiesburg). Only 32% of the state is suburban, the third lowest in the country (behind only Vermont and West Virginia). Democratic gains around the country (particularly in the suburbs) have been driven in large part by education. Mississippi is dead last in the country in bachelor degrees.
That said, it really is demographically purple. So how can we win it? Expect me to keep talking about it over the next decade, as the pieces come in place to seriously contest it, if all goes well, by the end of the decade.
BONUS SEGMENT: Catch the great interview we did with never-trumper Sarah Longwell about the future of her Republican party.
"It's been two weeks and I know families with infants who don't have water. The city needs help. I'm thankful my water is trickling out enough to flush my toilet but dang. This just needs to be fixed at this point. It just needs to be fixed."
That's what Jamario Townsend, a resident of Jackson, Mississippi, recently posted on the city's Facebook page, according to reporting by The Daily Beast. Tens of thousands of people in Jackson have lacked reliable access to running water for roughly two weeks and remain under a boil-water alert since a pair of mid-February winter storms damaged the capital city's outdated water system, prompting renewed calls for major investments in upgrading infrastructure.
As The Washington Post reported Monday night:
On Feb. 15, residents across Mississippi woke up to a blanket of ice, uncommon in this part of the South. The ice trapped many residents in their homes and rendered roads impassable. Days later, another winter storm made its way through the state, leaving residents in central Mississippi without power and ultimately resulting in six deaths.
This big article at the NYT raises some questions for me:
Anna Ruch had never met Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo before encountering him at a crowded New York City wedding reception in September 2019. Her first impression was positive enough.
The governor was working the room after toasting the newlyweds, and when he came upon Ms. Ruch, now 33, she thanked him for his kind words about her friends. But what happened next instantly unsettled her: Mr. Cuomo put his hand on Ms. Ruch’s bare lower back, she said in an interview on Monday.
When she removed his hand with her own, Ms. Ruch recalled, the governor remarked that she seemed “aggressive” and placed his hands on her cheeks. He asked if he could kiss her, loudly enough for a friend standing nearby to hear. Ms. Ruch was bewildered by the entreaty, she said, and pulled away as the governor drew closer.
“I was so confused and shocked and embarrassed,” said Ms. Ruch, whose recollection was corroborated by the friend, contemporaneous text messages and photographs from the event. “I turned my head away and didn’t have words in that moment.”
Before we get into the article, let me state first and foremost that I have said for years, and continue to believe, that it is a national priority to keep Andrew Cuomo out of the White House. He is, in my opinion, an authoritarian and a bully, and like Bloomberg, that means sometimes his more liberal positions makes me find common cause with him, but he is still a fucking fascist. That was particularly clear during the covid early days, when his authoritarianism was appreciated in the leadership vacuum created by the White House. Second, there is ZERO doubt in my mind about the accuracy of the two previously reported allegations of sexual harassment, and I have no doubt there will be many more of them coming out in the next weeks and months.
Having said all that, I don’t know why this story is being pushed other than add to the narrative. Ruch was not his subordinate, he was not in a position of power, and he asked her if he could kiss her. That’s asking for consent. That’s what you want men to do. Obviously it made her feel uncomfortable and awkward, and he’s a cad for doing so, but asking someone if you can kiss them and then not doing anything when they say no strikes me as EXACTLY what you want men to do these days.
Am I out in left field on this?
The Biden White House has brokered a highly unusual deal among two would-be corporate competitors in an effort to substantially increase COVID-19 vaccine supply across the nation, according to The Washington Post.
The deal involves pharmaceutical behemoth Merck helping to manufacture the newly approved vaccine made by Johnson & Johnson. White House officials told the Post they began looking to supercharge production of the one-shot vaccine after they learned in the early days of the administration that Johnson & Johnson was faltering on its ability to deliver to the vaccine. Merck had already failed in its own efforts to engineer a vaccine, making it the perfect company with sizable enough capacity to be a potential game-changer in the supply chain.Tuesday, Mar 2, 2021 · 10:42:56 PM +00:00 · Kerry Eleveld
UPDATE: President Biden announces the country will have enough vaccine supply for 300 million Americans by the end of May—an acceleration of 2 months over its prior estimate.
Another day, another piece of anti-trans legislation moving through our systems of government. This Tuesday, Republican lawmakers introduced a bill in Wisconsin that would, like so many others, bar transgender youth from participating in girls’ sports. The Wisconsin bill focuses on sports from both public and private schools from kindergarten through college. And, similar to the hysteria when anti-trans bathroom bills were all the Republican rage, lawmakers are arguing that this issue isn’t about harming transgender folks (which it of course is) but rather about protecting [cisgender] girls and women.
"If the governor is truly for women, why would he not sign something like this?" Republican Rep. Barb Dittrich, who introduced the measure, said in reference to Democratic Gov. Tony Evers, as reported by local outlet WISN. "It is wholly unfair for a woman to be competing and think she's only competing against other females." Creating a false divide between cisgender and transgender youth is not only an enormous waste of time and resources during a literal global pandemic, but deeply harmful for transgender kids and teenagers who are already more vulnerable. Let’s break down the details of this measure and the bigger picture issue with these legislations below.
Seth takes a closer look at former President Donald Trump making his first post-presidency public appearance at the Conservative Political Action Conference, where he and his fellow Republicans continued to repeat their deranged lies.
When I was at the zoo last year the sky was mostly overcast. However, the sun came out for a bit in the afternoon and produced this very contrasty picture of a male exclamatory paradise whydah. He has sort of a peacock style tail, apparently grown to absurd lengths in an arms race to attract the attention of the female whydah. But he can still fly!October 9, 2020 — San Diego Zoo, San Diego, California
Scientists working out of Yale University and Japan’s Sapporo Medical University have been able to successfully repair spinal cord injuries using stem cells. Using intravenous injections to deliver mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) pulled from the patient’s own bone marrow, scientists report that there was “substantial improvements in key functions -- such as ability to walk, or to use their hands” in more than half of the subjects of the study. Senior study authors and Yale professors Jeffery D. Kocsis and Stephen G. Waxman, who worked with researchers at Sapporo Medical University in Japan, have many miles to go on this journey but told reporters that they are optimistic about the future. "The idea that we may be able to restore function after injury to the brain and spinal cord using the patient's own stem cells has intrigued us for years. Now we have a hint, in humans, that it may be possible."
The researchers’ hopes are pragmatic. Trying to bring back some function, even if it is just a little, to the lives of those people who have suffered a paralyzing trauma can make a world of difference in the quality of their lives. As Waxman told the Yale School of Medicine in 2009, “We won’t be making somebody into a ballet dancer, but imagine telling somebody who’s confined to a wheelchair that they could take ten labored steps—enough to get from their wheelchair into a car. Or giving somebody who has no function below the shoulders just enough function in their spinal cord so they can grasp and use a pencil.”
On Tuesday morning, the Senate Judiciary Committee questioned FBI Director Christopher Wray concerning the Jan. 6 insurgency and the threats posed by domestic terrorism. Right from the beginning, the hearing was marked by a remarkable video of Jan. 6 events, using first-person testimony from members of the Capitol Police as well as congressional staffers. Then came a opening statement from committee chair Sen. Dick Durbin, who made it clear that events on Jan. 6 were not just connected to the incitement produced by Trump’s “Big Lie” about the election, but were the latest example of a specific form of domestic terror.
“The hate on display that terrible day is not a new phenomenon in our country. The nation’s first domestic terrorism organization, the Klu Klux Klan, was born in the aftermath of the Civil War to terrorize formerly enslaved African Americans.”
Durbin drew what should be a bold line in the sand making it clear that there is a distinct difference between that particular class of threats and everything else that falls under the category of domestic terror. “Let's stop pretending that the threat of antifa is equivalent to the white supremacist threat,” said Durbin. “Vandalizing a federal courthouse in Portland is a crime. It should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. But it is not equivalent to a violent attempt to overthrow the results of elections, nor is it equivalent to mass shootings targeting minority communities."
And then, Republicans went on to ignore this.
Here’s today’s Republican Party in a nutshell: Arizona Republicans censured Cindy McCain for endorsing Joe Biden for president. When Rep. Paul Gosar spoke at a white nationalist conference, the Arizona Republican Party was silent.
Gosar showed up at the America First Political Action Conference on Friday night, serving as its surprise keynote speaker at the same time as the House was debating COVID-19 relief. At that event, he was followed by conference organizer Nick Fuentes, who called the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol “awesome” and “light-hearted mischief.”
Authorities are slowly coming down on members of the extremist organization Proud Boys. As investigations into the Capitol riots continue, members of the violent right-wing group, including those who were not involved in the riots, are slowly facing justice for their violent and racist ideology. Last year, Tacoma Public Schools in Washington announced an investigation into a newly hired teacher after concerns from the community. The teacher was said to be affiliated with the Proud Boys, a group both the Anti-Defamation League and the Southern Poverty Law Center have deemed as a hate group.
According to The Tacoma News Tribune, district personal records from the school’s Board of Directors meeting on Feb. 25 confirmed that the teacher will resign from First Creek Middle School once his contract expires on August 31. A records request for documents related to the investigation is pending, but a spokesperson for Tacoma Public Schools confirmed his resignation.