One of the difficulties in resisting the Trump administration, the Republican Congressional majority, and Republican state legislatures is keeping on top of the sheer number of horrors, indignities, and normalization of the aggressively abnormal that they unleash every single day.
So here is a daily thread for all of us to share all the things that are going on, thus crowdsourcing a daily compendium of the onslaught of conservative erosion of our rights and our very democracy.
Stay engaged. Stay vigilant. Resist.
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Here are some things in the news today:
Paul Wood at the BBC: Trump Russia Dossier Key Claim Verified. "The roadmap for the investigation, publicly acknowledged now for the first time, comes from Christopher Steele, once of Britain's secret intelligence service MI6. He wrote a series of reports for political opponents of Donald Trump about Trump and Russia. Steele's 'dossier,' as the material came to be known, contains a number of highly contested claims. ...But on this vitally important point—[Russian Foreign Ministry embassy economics chief Mikhail Kalugin]'s status as a 'spy under diplomatic cover'—people who saw the intelligence agree with the dossier, adding weight to Steele's other claims."
Peter W. Stevenson at the Washington Post: Here's What We've Learned from the Senate Hearing on Russia So Far. "The Senate Intelligence Committee held a rare public hearing on Thursday, a first look at its investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. ...The committee leaders also pointed out that, while Russia appears to have favored [Donald] Trump as a candidate, its overall strategy is more about destabilization than promoting one political party over another. 'Candidly, while it helped one candidate this time, they are not favoring one party over another,' [Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.), the vice chairman] said, 'and, consequently, should be a concern for all of us.'"
I understand Warner is saying that, in part, to try to avoid the appearance of "sour grapes," but FBI James Comey and Admiral Mike Rogers both explicitly confirmed during Congressional testimony that Putin's goal was not just to undermine faith in our democracy, and not just to help Trump win, but to hurt Hillary Clinton. I also understand that Russia isn't done, just because Clinton lost. So he's right that destabilization is their overarching goal. But in investigating Russian interference in the last election, they did favor one party over the other (see: DNC and Podesta email leaks, vs. no GOP leaks) and that matters.
[Content Note: War; drones] Spencer Ackerman at the Guardian: 'They're Going to Kill Me Next': Yemen Family Fears Drone Strikes Under Trump. "Every day, as they hear the whine of the drones overhead, the Tuaiman family waits for Donald Trump to finish killing them. The drones used to hover about once a week over al-Rawdah, the Yemeni village where the family lives, sending children running for cover. Now, according to Meqdad Tuaiman, the drones come every day—sometimes three or four times. Usually they arrive in the afternoon. Other times they come after sundown and linger until sunrise. The drones have not fired their weapons in four months, but their patrols have intensified since late January, when Trump took office. Meqdad, a 24-year-old used-car salesman and occasional pipeline guard, considers it no coincidence."
Maggie Haberman and Rachel Abrams at the New York Times: Ivanka Trump, Shifting Plans, Will Become a Federal Employee. "Ivanka Trump, the elder daughter of [Donald] Trump, is becoming an official government employee, joining her husband, Jared Kushner, in serving as an unpaid adviser to her father in the White House. ...Ms. Trump, 35, will be an assistant to the president; Mr. Kushner, 36, has the title of senior adviser."
This is a good place for a reminder that elevating adult children to leadership positions is a common feature of authoritarianism. https://t.co/WCivUd1APl— Melissa McEwan (@Shakestweetz) March 29, 2017
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[CN: War on agency, next four paragraphs. H/T to Adam Jones.] Shawn Setaro at Complex: Iowa House Committee Passes a 20-Week Abortion Ban. "On Wednesday night, Iowa's House Human Resources Committee passed a bill that, if it becomes law, would give the state some of the most restrictive abortion rules in the country. Iowa Republicans originally wanted a so-called 'fetal heartbeat' bill, which would have restricted abortions after as little as six weeks of pregnancy. When that was met with outrage, lawmakers decided to scrap that bill and introduce a new one in its place. That bill, which you can read here [pdf], restricts abortion at 20 weeks, with the barest of exceptions: only to save the life of the child, or if 'the pregnant woman has a condition which the physician deems a medical emergency.'"
Deborah Yetter at the Courier-Journal: Kentucky's Last Abortion Clinic Sues to Stay Open. "Gov. Matt Bevin's administration is seeking to shut down Kentucky's only abortion provider, prompting a federal lawsuit by the clinic to block the move it says would have 'a devastating impact on women.' Bevin's administration has ordered the EMW Women's Surgical Center in Louisville to stop providing abortions starting Monday, claiming it lacks proper agreements for patient care in the event of a medical emergency. EMW's lawsuit, filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Louisville, calls the order "blatantly unconstitutional" and asks a federal judge to bar the Bevin administration from revoking the EMW clinic's license. 'They've made it clear they won't stop until no woman can get an abortion in Kentucky,' said Donald L. Cox, a lawyer for EMW. 'It's just an attempt to ban abortion in Kentucky.'"
Tara Culp-Ressler at ThinkProgress: Arkansas Law Will Force Doctors to Investigate Abortion Patients. "A new law in Arkansas will force doctors to investigate their patients' medical records before providing them with a legal abortion—and represents the first provision of its kind across the country. Signed into law by Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) on Wednesday, HB 1434 is broadly focused on policing the reasons that people may seek abortion care. ...[O]ne particularly concerning provision of HB 1434 goes even further, requiring doctors to spend an unspecified amount of time investigating an abortion patient's background. The Center for Reproductive Rights, an organization that litigates anti-abortion laws across the country, interprets this medical records requirement as an attempt 'to investigate the woman's motives for ending her pregnancy.'"
Republican state legislatures are emboldened by the open seat on the Supreme Court. In anticipation of Trump filling that seat (along with more than 100 federal court vacancies), they are quickly passing anti-choice laws with the expectation that they are much more likely to be upheld by a Trump-shaped judiciary.
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[CN: LGBTQ hatred, next three paragraphs] Sabrina Siddiqui at the Guardian: 'Death by a Thousand Cuts': LGBT Rights Fading Under Trump, Advocates Say. "The latest missive arrived on Wednesday, when the US Census Bureau said a proposal to count LGBT Americans in its 2020 report and annual survey had been a mistake. The agency said it had 'inadvertently listed sexual orientation and gender identity as a proposed topic.' Last week, the Trump administration deleted questions on sexual orientation from at least two other government surveys. ...Separately, Trump signed into law on Monday a bill overturning a Barack Obama executive order that required companies seeking contracts with the federal government to show compliance with federal anti-discrimination laws."
Andy Towle at Towleroad: LGBTQ Rights Groups Slam Discriminatory Late Night Deal to Repeal HB2 Ahead of NCAA Deadline. "Lawmakers and North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper reached a deal to repeal HB2 ahead of a looming deadline from the NCAA that the organization would pull its sports events from the state until 2022 if the law wasn't repealed by Thursday. The deal was immediately slammed by a broad range of LGBTQ groups as well as Levi Strauss & Co. for doubling down on discrimination. Its provisions include an extension for the state to continue discriminating against LGBTQ people until 2020. Lawmakers are set to vote on the repeal deal today."
That Trump would be a friend to the LGBTQ community was always an obvious, damnable lie. He is not, nor will his judicial nominees be. And conservatives who have perfected their strategy of chipping away at reproductive rights will now replicate that strategy to erode LGBTQ rights. Seethe.
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Speaking of the courts... Amber Phillips, Darla Cameron, and Kevin Schaul at the Washington Post: How Many Votes Democrats Need to Block Neil Gorsuch's Supreme Court Nomination. A running tally on Democrats who have said they oppose Gorsuch's nomination, and those who haven't. MAKE YOUR CALLS.
And finally: In Scenes from the Resistance news... Kenrya Rankin at Colorlines: Activists and Advocates Plan 'A Day Without Immigrants' Strike for May 1. "[T]he national walk off action is led by Movimiento Cosecha, Fight For $15, Food Chain Workers Alliance, SEIU United Service Workers West, and the United States Student Association. Organizers report that thousands of workers have already pledged to strike, with the following demands: 'an end to the criminalization of Black and Brown communities, an end to raids and deportations, and an end to worker exploitation.'"
What have you been reading that we need to resist today?