Was George Santos The Dashing ATM Robber Gentleman Bandit?

Do you want receipts? Y / N

George Santos, who as far as we know may actually be Andy Kaufman [Dok, you say everyone is Andy Kaufman! — Rebecca], allegedly ran a credit-card-skimming operation in Seattle in 2017, according to the man convicted of the crime and deported to Brazil for it. Gustavo Ribeiro Trelha, who roomed with Santos at the time, sent a sworn declaration to US law enforcement agencies detailing the accusation, according to Politico, which obtained a copy of the declaration and also interviewed Trelha by phone.

At this point, we're ready to believe just about anything about Santos, including the possibility that he's actually an alien time traveler fucking around with us while he's on spring break from Tralfamadore Polytechnic.

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Oops, Small-Town Michigan Schools Forgot To Teach Deaf Kid For 12 Years, Now He Can't Communicate

There's a Supreme Court case, but it's not even about how to help him — yet.

When Miguel Luna Perez started school in Sturgis, Michigan, he was nine years old. His parents had immigrated from Mexico and he'd never learned sign language in Spanish, which means he missed out on much of the earliest language development that children, hearing or deaf, need from infancy. But once in an American school, he was eligible for all sorts of learning assistance, starting with instruction in American Sign Language (ASL).

He never got any of the help he was entitled to, and now, at the age of 27, he's unlikely to ever be able to communicate well enough to hold a job, as a perfectly infuriating Detroit Free Press story explains today. It's a subscriber-only piece, but Luna Perez's case, which was heard by the Supreme Court in January, has also been covered at Education Week and elsewhere. It's being watched extremely closely by folks involved in disability and special education law, since it could have major implications for schools going forward.

That said, the best thing for school systems to stay out of trouble is for them to actually live up to the legal requirement to make sure that all kids get a "free appropriate public education" — a phrase that ought to ring familiar to anyone who's set foot in a college of education because it's on the test. ("Public Law 91-142" might as well be tattooed on my brain from my own Bachelors degree in English Education, because it too was on the test. Both were on all the tests.) Do right by kids with disabilities, and the legal issues involved in Luna Perez's case won't even come up.

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State/Local Politics

AR Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders Psyched To Get The Government Out Of Child Labor Laws

New job, same Sarah.

Congratulations to Arkansas Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who joins the ranks of so many Republican leaders in protecting children from burdensome regulations which prevent them from being chewed up by the rapacious maw of capitalism before they're old enough to drive a car. Priorities!

This morning Governor Nepo Baby, whose greatest claim to fame was two years of lying for Donald Trump, signed HB 1410, dubbed the "Youth Hiring Act of 2023." The Arkansas bill ditches the requirement that employers get a work permit for kids under 16, with the signature of a parent or guardian and a description of the work to be performed, i.e. a certification that the child is not being employed in a dangerous or exploitative capacity. So congrats to all the kids under 16 in Arkansas who are now free to work eight hours a day, six days a week, all year long. Because children are our most precious resource, and there's no time like the present to begin exploiting them.

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Joe Biden Wants To Kick 13-Year-Old Slaughterhouse Cleaners Out Of Their Jobs

That's a tyranny!

As the US staggers through its Second Gilded Age, the legacy of decades of Republicans promising we'd all be better off if we just cut regulations on business while also gutting government agencies that only get in the way of prosperity, we're once more seeing problems that a lot of people thought had been left behind a century ago, like the horrors of child labor. Funny thing about capitalism: When you take away regulations that are supposed to keep people safe, the same old abuses come roaring right back.

Perhaps the one consolation is that we also have muckraking journalists who expose the abuses. As the New York Timesreported over the weekend (free gift link), the USA is seeing a wave of exploitation of migrant children who shouldn't be working in dangerous full-time jobs, but who are, thanks to failures in government systems meant to protect migrant children, chronic under-staffing of the agencies that are supposed to protect worker rights, and of course the tight post-pandemic labor market, in which there are too many job openings and too few adult workers willing to work for the low wages employers are offering. These kids aren't hiding out from immigration authorities, either: Most have been processed through the immigration system after surrendering at the border, and are in the US legally while their immigration cases move forward.

Also fortunate: There's a pro-labor Democrat in the White House, and outrage over the Times story has prompted the Biden administration to take action (another gift linky) to crack down on the abuses the investigation exposed:

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