HAPPENING NOW: Senate Democrats host a 24-hour marathon to stop Betsy DeVos.

With confirmation fast approaching, Democrats need to pick up one more vote against DeVos.

At noon on Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2017, the U.S. Senate will vote on President Donald Trump's secretary of Education nominee.

This is normal. What's happening in the 24 hours leading up to the vote, on the other hand, is not normal at all.

In an effort to win over one of their Republican colleagues, Senate Democrats are pulling an all-night filibuster as they take turns making the case against Betsy DeVos, Trump's choice to head the Department of Education. For 24 hours, Democrats plan to hold the floor in the run-up to a vote that may very well determine the future of America's public education system.


DeVos speaks during her confirmation hearing on Jan. 17, 2017. Photo by Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images.

Two Republicans have already indicated plans to vote against DeVos. It'll take at least one more vote to tip the scales.

Last week, Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) came forward to announce that they would not vote to confirm DeVos. With the 46 Democrats, two Independents, and now two Republicans lining up against DeVos, it looks like there are 50 votes for confirmation and 50 votes against.

Should the vote end up being a tie, Vice President Mike Pence has indicated that he will cast a tie-breaking vote to confirm DeVos as the next Education secretary.

There are a number of reasons to oppose DeVos' nomination that should have people on both sides of the aisle feeling a bit nervous.

For one, DeVos has never attended or worked in a public school, her children have all gone to private schools, and she has no experience working in government or education. There's also the fact that she's a proponent of shifting tax dollars from public schools to charter programs in an effort to "advance God's kingdom" through the education system.

And finally, there's the simple matter of her nomination being "pay-to-play" politics at its absolute worst. DeVos and her family have donated more than $200 million to Republicans through the years. In 1997, she even wrote, "I have decided to stop taking offense at the suggestion that we are buying influence. ... We do expect something in return. We expect to foster a conservative governing philosophy consisting of limited government and respect for traditional American virtues. We expect a return on our investment."

Additionally, DeVos had a pretty disastrous confirmation hearing in which she suggested that guns in schools might be a good idea because of bears, showed ignorance about a federal disability law, dodged questions about protecting LGBTQ students and victims of sexual assault, and made it abundantly clear why her confirmation appears to be the one cabinet nomination that may not meet the required 51-vote threshold.

So far, the filibuster is off to a strong start, as Democratic senators implore their colleagues to prioritize the welfare of America's students over party lines.

No matter how this vote goes, it's good to see the Senate living up to its potential as one of the world's great deliberative bodies.

If there's a case to be made against (or for) DeVos, it will most certainly be made between now and tomorrow's vote. The exchange of ideas and action that follows is democracy in action.

It's even better to know that elected officials take into account what constituents think. Sen. Murkowski indicated that her decision to vote "no" was influenced by "thousands of Alaskans who have shared their concerns about Mrs. DeVos as Secretary of Education, by phone, in person, by email and through petition."

Between now and when the Senate votes on DeVos, there's still time for constituents to take action — whether it's calling their senators to thank them for their vote against DeVos or trying to convince them to change their minds.

If you're interested in calling but aren't sure what to say? No worries. 5 Calls is a great resource for calling your elected officials on any topic.

Watch the 24-hour action from the Senate floor filibuster here:

LIVE: Senate Dems protest Betsy DeVos

WATCH LIVE: Democrats in the Senate will hold the floor all night to protest the nomination of Betsy DeVos to secretary of Education.

Posted by The Hill on Monday, February 6, 2017
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The world officially loves Michelle Obama.

The former first lady has overtaken the number one spot in a poll of the world's most admired women. Conducted by online research firm YouGov, the study uses international polling tools to survey people in countries around the world about who they most admire.

In the men's category, Bill Gates took the top spot, followed by Barack Obama and Jackie Chan.

In the women's category, Michelle Obama came first, followed by Oprah Winfrey and Angelina Jolie. Obama pushed Jolie out of the number one spot she claimed last year.

Unsurprising, really, because what's not to love about Michelle Obama? She is smart, kind, funny, accomplished, a great dancer, a devoted wife and mother, and an all-around, genuinely good person.

She has remained dignified and strong in the face of rabid masses of so-called Americans who spent eight years and beyond insisting that she's a man disguised as a woman. She's endured non-stop racist memes and terrifying threats to her family. She has received far more than her fair share of cruelty, and always takes the high road. She's the one who coined, "When they go low, we go high," after all.

She came from humble beginnings and remains down to earth despite becoming a familiar face around the world. She's not much older than me, but I still want to be like Michelle Obama when I grow up.

Her memoir, Becoming, may end up being the best-selling memoir of all time, having already sold 10 million copies—a clear sign that people can't get enough Michelle, because there's no such thing as too much Michelle.

Don't like Michelle Obama? Don't care. Those of us who love her will fly our MO flags high and without apology, paying no mind to folks with cold, dead hearts who don't know a gem of a human being when they see one. There is nothing any hater can say or do to make us admire this undeniably admirable woman any less.

When it seems like the world has lost its mind—which is how it feels most days these days—I'm just going to keep coming back to this study as evidence that hope for humanity is not lost.

Here. Enjoy some real-life Michelle on Jimmy Kimmel. (GAH. WHY IS SHE SO CUTE AND AWESOME. I can't even handle it.)

Michelle & Barack Obama are Boring Now www.youtube.com

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