We Resist: Day 75

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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:

[Content Note: War; death; images of injured people at link; video may autoplay at link] Kareem Khadder, Schams Elwazer, Elizabeth Roberts, Eyad Kourdi, and Jomana Karadsheh at CNN: Syria Gas Attack Reportedly Kills Dozens, Including Children.
Dozens of people, including at least ten children, have been killed in what is suspected to be one of the deadliest chemical attacks in Syria in years, multiple activist groups say.

Airstrikes hit the rebel-held city of Khan Sheikhoun in Idlib province on Tuesday morning, giving off a "poisonous gas," according to Anas al-Diab, an activist with the Aleppo Media Center (AMC).

The attack, which has been blamed on the Syrian regime by activists and condemned by international leaders, has reportedly left hundreds injured.

...[Dr.] Fares al-Jundi, lives in a nearby village and rushed to the hospital after the airstrikes.

He told CNN: "I've never seen anything like it, beyond description."

Al-Jundi estimated there were around 500 wounded people. They covered the floors of the entire hospital, from the patients' rooms to the operating rooms and the corridors.

The doctor, who was choked with emotion as he spoke, described how whole families were killed, mothers and their children. They died of asphyxiation, foam covered their mouths. Many died suddenly, he said.

"I believe this horrible memory will stay with me for the rest of my life."
Unbearably horrifying. I feel like I don't even have words to express my sadness and rage on behalf of the people of Khan Sheikhoun. I am so, so sorry.

CNN's Chief National Security Correspondent Jim Sciutto noted, quite rightly: "Keep in mind, if this is Assad regime, it did so under continuing protection of Russia."

And thus with the continuing refusal of the U.S. president to hold Putin to account for it.

And during that off-camera briefing, Spicer responded to questions about Russian involvement thus: "Yeah, I'm not going to get into— I know the president was briefed on this extensively this morning by his national security team, um, and I'm gonna let the statement speak for itself, because we feel very confident in the statement that we're making." A reporter pressed: "So that means no Russian involvement?" Spicer replied: "And that means that the statement is very clear as far as who we believe is to blame and how we believe we're reacting to it."

That statement, by the way, was to blame Assad—and Obama: "On Tuesday, the White House blamed the Syrian government for the attack, which it called a 'reprehensible' act 'that cannot be ignored by the civilized world.' The White House spokesman further told reporters that, 'these heinous actions by the Bashar al-Assad regime are a consequence of the last administration's weakness and irresolution.'"

Trump would rather blame a former U.S. president for this vile act than Vladimir Putin. That's where we are, friends.

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[CN: Video may autoplay at link] Brian Ross and Matthew Mosk at ABC News: Trump Campaign Advisor Carter Page Targeted by Russian Spies. "Two years before joining the Trump campaign as a foreign policy adviser, New York business consultant Carter Page was targeted for recruitment as an intelligence source by Russian spies promising favors for business opportunities in Russia, according to a sealed FBI complaint. Page confirmed to ABC News that he is the individual identified as 'Male-1' in a 2015 court document submitted in a case involving the Russian spies. ...Early in his campaign for president, Trump identified Page as one of his top foreign policy advisers during a Washington Post editorial board meeting. At the time, Page had almost no public profile in Washington foreign policy circles."

[CN: Anti-semitism] Lili Bayer at Forward: Controversial Trump Aide Sebastian Gorka Backed Violent Anti-Semitic Militia. "As a Hungarian political leader in 2007, Sebastian Gorka, [Donald] Trump's chief counter-terrorism adviser, publicly supported a violent racist and anti-Semitic paramilitary militia that was later banned as a threat to minorities by multiple court rulings. In a video obtained by the Forward of an August 2007 television appearance by Gorka, the future White House senior aide explicitly affirms his party's and his support for the black-vested Hungarian Guard (Magyar Gárda)—a group later condemned by the European Court of Human Rights for attempting to promote an 'essentially racist' legal order."

So, just to recap those last two items: One of Trump's foreign policy advisors was targeted for recruitment by Russians, and his chief counterterrorism advisor is basically a neo-Nazi.

[CN: Nativism] Esther Yu Hsi Lee at ThinkProgress: Trump Wants Visitors from Countries Like Germany and France to Hand Over Social Media Passwords. "The U.S. government is mulling whether to force foreign visitors to hand over their cellular phones so that officials can conduct social media screenings, check financial records, and ask 'probing questions' about ideology, according to Trump administration officials who spoke with the Wall Street Journal. Prompted by [Donald] Trump's campaign call for 'extreme vetting' to prevent foreign terrorists from entering the United States, the government is considering strict guidelines that would require embassies to spend more time interviewing visa applicants, the Journal reported. The vetting procedure could affect people around the world, including visitors from 38 countries that participate in the Visa Waiver Program, including France, Germany, and Australia. That program allows citizens from specific countries to travel to the United States for up to 90 days without having to get a visa."

[CN: Nativism] Olivia Solon at the Guardian: Spouses of US Immigrants on H-1B Visas Could Lose Their Right to Work. "Thousands of people—mostly women—working legally in the United States under Obama-era rules could be forced to stop working under Trump. Currently, if someone has an H-1B visa, which allows skilled workers to come to the US temporarily, and has applied for lawful permanent residence, their spouse can apply to work under an H-4 employment authorization. ...[T]he Trump administration wants to clamp down on the H-1B visa program and when the attorney general, Jeff Sessions, was a senator he opposed Obama's decision to allow H-4s to work, describing it as an immigration law change 'that hurts American workers.'"

[CN: Homophobia] Andy Towle at Towleroad: Trump's Pick for Army Secretary Is Main Sponsor of Anti-LGBT Legislation in Tennessee. "Tennessee state senator Mark Green is Donald Trump's pick for Secretary of the Army. He would succeed Obama's Army Secretary Eric Fanning, the first openly gay man to hold that position. And what a change it would be. The HuffPost reports that Green is the main sponsor of an HB2-like bill that targets LGBT people."

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

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