We Resist: Day 76

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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:

Today I want to talk about the (adult) Trump kids, because they are the woooooooorst. And they have obliterated any sense of restraint I have maintained regarding going after politicians' kids, because they have: 1. Made their own politics abundantly clear; 2. Decided to participate in their father's administration.

Don Trump Jr. is a nightmare. He's not in the news today, so I just thought I'd mention that and get him out of the way.

Eric Trump, however, is in the news today. Alana Horowitz Satlin at the Huffington Post: Eric Trump Doesn't Care That He Was Hired Because of Nepotism. LOL I'm sure he doesn't! Sayeth Eric: "Nepotism is kind of a factor of life. We might be here because of nepotism, but we're not still here because of nepotism. You know, if we didn't do a good job, if we weren't competent, believe me, we wouldn't be in this spot."

Okay, first of all, nepotism is not a fact of life. Not for the vast majority of people, whose parents aren't in positions to assist them. It shows how insular and privileged this dipshit's life has been that he imagines nepotism is just a fact of life.

Secondly, just because Eric Trump says "believe me," in the same way his contemptible father does, does not, in fact, make his line of garbage any more believable.

Third, I can't imagine any sensible person believing for a nanosecond that Eric and his odious siblings have retained their positions because of their competency. Trump doesn't demand competency of his staff who aren't family members, so I find it highly unlikely that he would exact more rigorous standards for his own offspring.

Get to fuck with this horseshit, Eric.

Also in the news today is Ivanka Trump, who did an interview with CBS Morning, which was obviously terrific in its entirety, but I'm going to highlight just two bits.

First there was her supercool commentary on how she has her father's ear, and she disagrees with him on some stuff: "There are multiple ways to have your voice heard. In some cases, it's through protest and it's through going on the nightly news and talking about or denouncing every issue on which you disagree with. Other times, it is quietly and directly and candidly. Where I disagree with my father, he knows it. And I express myself with total candor."

Swell. The thing is, he obviously doesn't listen to her, so what the fuck difference does it make?

Then there was this:

GAYLE KING: When we talk about the Ivanka Trump brand you are no longer running the day-to-day.

IVANKA TRUMP: No, I'm no longer—

KING: What have you done with your business?

TRUMP: I have no involvement with any of it. I felt like proximity to my father and to the White House and, with my husband taking such an influential role in the administration, I didn't want to also be running a business. So I put it into trust. I have independent trustees. I have no involvement in its management, in its oversight, in its strategic decision making—

KING: But the trustees are family members, right? Your brother-in-law and your sister-in-law?

TRUMP: They are.

KING: So from the—

TRUMP: But they're completely independent. And I'm transparent about that.

KING: Can you see from the public point of view, yes, you put it in trust, but it's family members. They're thinking: Well, is she really not involved? Do you really not get on the phone and say, "What's going on?" Do you have no involvement whatsoever?

TRUMP: I take— I take a legal document very seriously, and I wouldn't go through the pains of setting this up if I intended to violate it.
Good grief. All the mirthless laughter in the universe.

Also in the news today is Ivanka's aforementioned husband, Trump's son-in-law and shadow president, Jared Kushner, the most talented and competent polymath in all the land!

Hannah Allam at BuzzFeed: Trump's Son-in-Law Secretly Met with Muslim Leaders Weeks Before the Travel Ban.
The goal was a candid talk about what kind of relationship the new administration might forge with American Muslims — a minefield of a topic given Trump's anti-Muslim remarks during the campaign.

The meeting, which has not been previously reported, went smoothly, but any optimism Muslims left with that day vanished within a couple of weeks as Trump took office and immediately set about turning his anti-Muslim rhetoric into policy.

And so fizzled one of the few attempts at dialogue between Muslim representatives and Trump's inner circle.

...Muslims' access to the White House is severely restricted, apparently now reduced to a back channel run by the president's son-in-law, at a time when Islam is the faith singled out in Trump's inaugural address, attacked by White House officials, targeted in travel bans, and subject to intense surveillance.
Gross. Every single time this guy's name is in the news, it's another story about how much is being delegated and how badly that's going.

Finally: Tiffany Trump, Donald's daughter with Marla Maples, has showed up to smile and wave at all the important times, but at least thus far has had the good sense not to join her father's administration. But she's only 23. We'll see if that sticks.

Once again, I will note that elevating adult children to leadership positions is a common feature of authoritarianism. Paranoid men who prioritize loyalty above all and feel that they can't trust anyone surround themselves with adult children, who they empower within the boundaries of a parent-child relationship, thus reducing the likelihood of being meaningfully challenged.

This is not a good thing for the country, in any way.

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Glenn Thrush and Maggie Haberman at the New York Times: Trump Suggests Susan Rice Committed Crime, Citing No Evidence. "Trump said on Wednesday that he thought that the former national security adviser Susan E. Rice may have committed a crime by seeking the identities of Trump associates who were swept up in the surveillance of foreign officials by American spy agencies and that other Obama administration officials may also have been involved. The president provided no evidence to back his claim. Current and former intelligence officials from both Republican and Democratic administrations have said that nothing they have seen led them to believe that Ms. Rice's actions were unusual or unlawful."

Relatedly: Tim Peacock details the genesis of the Rice conspiracy theory, which, like many of its predecessors, emerged from rightwing media.

[CN: Misogyny] Christine Grimaldi at Rewire: Republicans Prep Regulatory War on Women's Health-Care Benefits. "From their leadership perches in both the House and U.S. Senate, Republicans described a 'three-pronged approach' to repealing and replacing Obamacare. Even with a repeal bill potentially out of the picture, they still have two prongs left in play. House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) has delivered somewhat on prong three, passing a pair of insurance reform bills with varying degrees of bipartisan support that likely won't hold up in the Senate. The second prong leaves crucial rollbacks up to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). By HHS Secretary Tom Price's accounting, there are 1,442 citations in Obamacare providing discretion to the secretary. He pledged that HHS will 'look at every single one.'"

[CN: Homophobia] Andy Towle at Towleroad: Matt Baume Has the Goods on SCOTUS Nominee Neil Gorsuch, and We Should Be Worried. "With the Democrats amidst a filibuster of SCOTUS nominee Neil Gorsuch and the Republicans threatening to change Senate rules by using the 'nuclear' option, you might need a refresher on the expectations out there for Gorsuch and LGBT rights. Should we be worried? All signs point to yes."

[CN: Racism] Yessenia Funes at Colorlines: Standing Rock's Issues Extend Beyond the Pipeline. "As the crowds and media attention surrounding Standing Rock have lessened, there is also a marked decrease in attention to the tribe’s other problems. In a special report co-published with The Huffington Post today (April 4), InsideClimate News looked into life on the Standing Rock Indian Reservation, 3,600 square miles in North and South Dakota where almost half of the 8,200 population living below the poverty line. So while momentum around the tribe grew out of the Dakota Access Pipeline, that fight symbolized more for its people than environmental concerns."

[CN: White supremacy] Lois Beckett at the Guardian: White Nationalists' Latest Tactic to Recruit College Students. "Under cover of darkness, the groups put up posters with slogans like 'America is a white nation,' 'Let's Become Great Again,' 'Serve Your People,' or 'Our Destiny is Ours.' One group, which asks members to affirm their 'non-semitic heritage,' splashes its slogans over black-and-white photos of marble icons, such as Michelangelo's David, who is, of course, a famous Jewish hero. That group, Identity Evropa, tweets out photos of its paper conquests, proudly displaying the images it has deposited in the midst of advertisements for college improv performances, math tutors, Bible study groups, and open mic nights. The group calls the effort 'Project Siege.'"

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

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