We Resist: Day 88

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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:

Anna Fifield at the Washington Post: Pence Tells North Korea Not to Test American Resolve, Offering Syria and Afghanistan Strikes as Examples. "Vice President Pence warned North Korea on Monday not to test U.S. military might by pursuing its nuclear weapons program, citing recent strikes in Syria and Afghanistan as proof of American 'strength and resolve.' The stark warning, delivered in Seoul after the vice president went to the military demarcation line that separates the two Koreas, could revive speculation that the White House is considering military action against the regime in Pyongyang. Pence said the Trump administration wants to persuade North Korea to abandon its nuclear weapons 'through peaceful means,' but he repeated the administration's warning that 'all options are on the table.'"

Sarah Kendzior at the Globe and Mail: Trump Craves Praise. We Praise Him for Bombings. What Possibly Could Go Wrong? "When the media cheers Mr. Trump's bombing, seemingly forgetting the policy failures that preceded those explosions, we're all in danger. He is a man who craves praise—and if he receives it through brute force, he'll keep doing it. ...Mr. Trump does have a doctrine, but it is not about Syria: it's about Trump. The Trump Doctrine should alarm you not only because of what it means for the Syrian conflict, but because of how it will be applied to other countries—in particular, nuclear adversary North Korea."

The Japan News/Yomiuri via the Salt Lake Tribune: China, Russia Send Ships After U.S. Aircraft Carrier. "China and Russia have dispatched intelligence-gathering vessels from their navies to chase the USS Carl Vinson nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, which is heading toward waters near the Korean Peninsula, multiple sources of the Japanese government revealed to The Yomiuri Shimbun. It appears that both countries aim to probe the movements of the United States, which is showing a stance of not excluding military action against North Korea. The Self-Defense Forces are strengthening warning and surveillance activities in the waters and airspace around the area, according to the sources."

[Content Note: Video may autoplay at link] David E. Sanger and William J. Broad at the New York Times: A 'Cuban Missile Crisis in Slow Motion' in North Korea. "[T]he current standoff has grown only more volatile. It pits a new president's vow never to allow North Korea to put American cities at risk—'It won’t happen!' he said on Twitter on Jan. 2—against a young, insecure North Korean leader who sees that capability as his only guarantee of survival. Mr. Trump is clearly new to this kind of dynamic, as he implicitly acknowledged when he volunteered that Xi Jinping, China's president, had given him what amounted to a compressed seminar in Chinese-North Korean relations. He emerged surprised that Beijing did not have the kind of absolute control over its impoverished neighbor that he insisted it did last year. 'After listening for 10 minutes, I realized it's not so easy,' he said. 'It's not what you would think.'"

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[Content Note: Violence; homophobia; threats] Adam Taylor at the Washington Post: She Broke the Story of Chechnya's Anti-Gay Purge; Now, She Says She Has to Flee Russia.
In March, [Elena Milashina, a reporter for the Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta] had discovered evidence that gay men were being detained, tortured and even killed in an anti-homosexual purge in Chechnya.

After spending weeks checking the story with her sources, Milashina says they could confirm that hundreds of people had been detained; at least three are now thought to have died.

Despite corroborating evidence from nongovernmental organizations and Western publications, Chechen authorities have dismissed the allegations out of hand—not because the violence is wrong, but because they say gays do not exist in Chechnya.

...[Milashina has now] fled her home in Moscow because of threats. ..."Not just me, but all the people working at the newspaper are now in danger, because this was a clear jihad message. We will persecute you for tarnishing the honor of the Chechen nation, this nasty thing that you said. There are gays among Chechen people? We will persecute you until the last person at Novaya Gazeta dies. It's unbelievable."
At the link, there is an interview with Milashina, about the threats she and her colleagues are facing, as well as the Kremlin's refusal to do anything to stop the violence against the LGBT community they have documented or the resulting threats against them.

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Brooke Seipel at the Hill: Trump White House Officials Work Their Way Around Ethics Rules. "The Trump administration has secretly issued waivers to some officials who may have violated ethics rules, the New York Times reported Saturday. The Times, in collaboration with ProPublica, reported that after analyzing reports from lobbyists and interviews with ethics officials, it appears that at least two of Trump's appointees in the White House may have violated ethics rules. However, the newspaper said it is nearly impossible to determine the details of such violations, as the administration is reportedly issuing secret waivers to the rules."

Merrit Kennedy at NPR: White House Says It Will No Longer Release Visitor Logs to the Public. "The Trump administration says it will not make public the names of those visiting the White House, reversing the Obama administration's policy. White House communications director Michael Dubke said in a statement that the decision was due to the 'the grave national security risks and privacy concerns of the hundreds of thousands of visitors annually,' NPR's Scott Horsley reports. ...Watchdog groups immediately criticized the decision, with Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington calling it a 'massive step away from transparency.'"

Jonathan D. Salant at Towleroad: Trump Asks Garrett to Lead Agency the Ex-N.J. Congressman Wanted to Kill. "Donald Trump on Friday nominated ex-Rep. Scott Garrett to become president of the Export-Import Bank, an agency the former lawmaker once called 'the epitome of crony capitalism.' ...Like Garrett, a founding member of the House Freedom Caucus of conservative lawmakers, Trump opposed the Export-Import Bank during the campaign. But he told the Wall Street Journal earlier in the week that he would support the bank. Among the biggest beneficiaries of the bank is Boeing Co., which contributed $1 million to Trump's inauguration."

Gallup: Majority in U.S. No Longer Thinks Trump Keeps His Promises. "Donald Trump's image among Americans as someone who keeps his promises has faded in the first two months of his presidency, falling from 62% in February to 45%. The public is also less likely to see him as a 'strong and decisive leader,' as someone who 'can bring about the changes this country needs.' or as 'honest and trustworthy.'" Huh!

Kyle Griffin of MSNBC: "Paul Manafort reportedly advising a Chinese tycoon on how to win contracts for Trump infrastructure plans." That seems fine.

And finally: A couple of snapshots from the resistance.

Tina Vasquez at Rewire: 'Donald Trump, We Can't Be Living Like This': Youth Rally for Immigrants' Rights. "In the name of 'Black and brown solidarity,' children of color with different relationships to the U.S. immigration system gathered Wednesday in front of the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction to ask President Donald Trump and North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper (D) to stop separating their families and communities. Part of We Belong Together's Kids Caravan, a four-city tour from April 10 to April 13, the action highlighted experiences of youth of color who have had parents detained, deported, or targeted by the immigration system. The tour ends today in Washington, D.C., leading to a week of action in which advocates will ask elected leaders to speak out against policies that threaten immigrant communities."

Kenrya Rankin at Colorlines: Death Penalty Abolitionists Rally to Stop Arkansas Executions. "On Monday (April 17), Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson is scheduled to execute the first of seven people over the course of 11 days in an attempt to beat the expiration clock on a batch of midazolam, one of the drugs the state needs for lethal injections. ...Arkansas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty, American Civil Liberties Union of Arkansas, Murder Victims' Families for Reconciliation and other partners led a rally in opposition to the executions, and delivered more than 154,000 petition signatures to the state capitol, each of them asking the governor not to move forward."

Perry Stein at the Washington Post: The Tax March: Protesters Around the Country Call on Trump to Release His Taxes. "From Seattle to the District, protesters gathered in cities throughout the country Saturday calling on Trump to release his personal tax returns as part of a nationwide Tax March. ...In all, dozens of protests occurred throughout the country. The main march unfolded in the nation's capital, where protesters gathered for a rally in front of the Capitol and then marched west along Pennsylvania Avenue. In South Florida, activists marched to Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort, where the president is staying this weekend. Thousands more gathered at a large march in New York City, where activists, comedians and a state senator spoke. ...During the march in the District, the lineup of speakers included Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), and Rep. Jamie B. Raskin (D-Md.) and others. The speakers derided the president, and called on him to act ethically and read the Constitution."

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

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