We Resist: Day 74

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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:

Derek Kravitz and Al Shaw at ProPublica: Trump Can Pull Money from His Businesses Whenever He Wants—Without Ever Telling Us.
When [Donald] Trump placed his businesses in a trust upon entering the White House, he put his sons in charge and claimed to distance himself from his sprawling empire. "I hope at the end of eight years I'll come back and say, 'Oh you did a good job,'" Trump said at a Jan. 11 press conference. Trump's lawyer explained that the president "was completely isolating himself from his business interests."

The setup has long been slammed as insufficient, far short of the full divestment that many ethics experts say is needed to avoid conflicts of interest. A small phrase buried deep in a set of recently released letters between the Trump Organization and the government shows just how little separation there actually is.

Trump can draw money from his more than 400 businesses, at any time, without disclosing it.

The previously unreported changes to a trust document, signed on Feb. 10, stipulates that it "shall distribute net income or principal to Donald J. Trump at his request" or whenever his son and longtime attorney "deem appropriate." That can include everything from profits to the underlying assets, such as the businesses themselves.
I highly recommend reading the whole thing. Definitely the must-read piece of the day.

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#Gorsuch. At the moment, Democrats are one vote away from the 41 votes they need to successfully block him with a filibuster. *bites nails*

[Content Note: Rape culture; sexual assault] Donald Trump has proclaimed April 2017 as National Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month. "My Administration, including the Department of Justice and the Department of Health and Human Services, will do everything in its power to protect women, children, and men from sexual violence. This includes supporting victims, preventing future abuse, and prosecuting offenders to the full extent of the law." Signed, A President Who Is Himself a Confessed Serial Sexual Abuser. I will never stop being enraged about this. Never ever.

[CN: Nativism] Meanwhile, Trump also decided that, this being National Crime Victims' Week, it would be a good time to remind us, as promised during his address to the joint houses of Congress, that his administration is establishing an office within the DHS called VOICE, Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement, which will "assist victims of crimes committed by criminal aliens."

Nolan D. McCaskill at Politico: Trump Revives Clinton Criticisms in Early Morning Tweets. LOL! That's a very polite way of saying that Trump doesn't know how to govern and he's feeling the pressure from investigations closing in on him and he is a big sad baby because everyone hates him, so he's trying to distract from being the woooooorst by pretending anything he has to say about Hillary Clinton actually matters.

Ellen Nakashima at the Washington Post: New Details Emerge About 2014 Russian Hack of the State Department: It Was 'Hand to Hand Combat'. "Over a 24-hour period, top U.S. cyber defenders engaged in a pitched battle with Russian hackers who had breached the unclassified State Department computer system and displayed an unprecedented level of aggression that experts warn is likely to be turned against the private sector. Whenever National Security Agency hackers cut the attackers' link between their command and control server and the malware in the U.S. system, the Russians set up a new one, current and former U.S. officials said. The new details about the November 2014 incident emerged recently in the wake of a senior NSA official's warning that the heightened aggression has security implications for firms and organizations unable to fight back."

This, of course, is why we need a meaningful independent investigation into Russian interference in the election. Despite the caterwauling of TrumpCo and anti-Clinton lefties, this ain't about sour grapes. It's about protecting the nation.

Ellen Mitchell at the Hill: Trump Makes Little Headway Filling Out Pentagon Jobs. "Trump so far has only seen one Pentagon nominee—Defense Secretary James Mattis—make it through the confirmation process and has 52 additional positions to fill. Many in the defense world are bothered by the holdup. One defense consultant told The Hill there are rumblings that the slow pace of the process is causing the Pentagon 'to kind of grind.'" And, contrary to Trump's oft-repeated assertion that the Dems are holding up his nominees, the issue is that he isn't nominating people in the first place: "The top lawmakers on the House Armed Services oversight subcommittee this week sent a letter to Trump urging him to fill the existing vacancies at the DOD Office of the Inspector General and Office of Special Counsel."

I guess Jared Kushner can just do all those jobs, too, while he's also being a senior advisor and running a task force to make the federal government run more like a business.

Speaking of which! Maggie Haberman at the New York Times: Jared Kushner Visits Iraq on Invitation from Joint Chiefs Chairman. Cool.

Yessenia Funes at Colorlines: Indigenous and Environmental Groups Sue Federal Government on Keystone XL. "The Indigenous Environmental Network and the North Coast Rivers Alliance first sued the federal government—more specifically, the State Department, the Fish and Wildlife Service and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke—on Monday (March 27) in the U.S. District Court of Montana. Their suit claims that the federal approval of the presidential permit violates four principal environmental laws: the National Environmental Policy Act, the Endangered Species Act, the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and Eagle Act. ...The second lawsuit was filed yesterday (March 30) in the same court on behalf of the Northern Plains Resource Council, Center for Biological Diversity, Sierra Club and others. They, too, targeted the federal government."

Chris Liedle at KATU News: Immigration Lawyer Shortage Nearing Crisis. "Amid the current political climate, the demand for immigration lawyers is skyrocketing. It's creating a significant shortage of experts qualified to represent immigrants, families and employers. Lewis & Clark law professor Juliet Stumpf says supply of immigration lawyers, however, has remained level, and non-profit organizations and advocacy groups are already overwhelmed or overextended."

What have you been reading that we need to resist today?

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