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:
Keri Geiger and Michael Riley at Bloomberg: Blackwater Founder Erik Prince Said to Have Advised Trump Team. "In the very public, post-election parade of dignitaries, confidantes, and job-seekers filing in and out of Donald Trump's marquee Manhattan tower, Blackwater founder Erik Prince was largely out of sight. And yet Prince was very much a presence, providing advice to Trump's inner circle, including his top national security adviser, Michael T. Flynn, according to people familiar with his activities."
That would be the same Erik Prince who had a secret meeting in the Seychelles with "a Russian close to President Vladimir Putin as part of an apparent effort to establish a back-channel line of communication between Moscow and [then] President-elect Donald Trump." By way of reminder, he is also Education Secretary Betsy DeVos' brother.
David A. Fahrenthold and Jonathan O'Connell at the Washington Post: Two Plaintiffs Join Suit Against Trump, Alleging Breach of Emoluments Clause.
Two new plaintiffs — an association of restaurants and restaurant workers, and a woman who books banquet halls for two D.C. hotels — plan to join a lawsuit alleging that President Trump has violated the Constitution's emoluments clause because his hotels and restaurants do business with foreign governments.Emphasis mine. This is very smart, and also has the added benefit of being totally true. That little thing.
The new plaintiffs will be added to the case on Tuesday morning, according to a spokesman for Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), a D.C.-based watchdog group.
CREW had originally filed suit against Trump in federal court in January, alleging that — by continuing to own his business, which rents out hotel rooms and meeting spaces to other governments — Trump had violated the constitutional provision that bans "emoluments" from foreign powers.
Legal experts had said that the case faced a serious hurdle: It wasn't clear that the watchdog group actually had standing to sue in the first place. What harm had it suffered, specifically, because of Trump's actions?
The new plaintiffs are intended to offer an alternative answer to that question. Both say that, as direct competitors of Trump's restaurants and hotels, they may lose foreign clients, who may book with Trump properties to curry favor with the president.
"It's damage to our members, both employers' bottom lines, and workers' loss of income and tips," said Saru Jayaraman, co-director of Restaurant Opportunities Centers United.
Speaking of the Trump family using the presidency to enrich themselves... Erika Kinetz and Anne D'Innocenzio at TPM: Ivanka Trump Cleared Hurdle for Chinese Trademarks Same Day She Dined with Xi Jinping. "On April 6, Ivanka Trump's company won provisional approval from the Chinese government for three new trademarks, giving it monopoly rights to sell Ivanka brand jewelry, bags, and spa services in the world's second-largest economy. That night, the first daughter and her husband, Jared Kushner, sat next to the president of China and his wife for a steak and Dover sole dinner at Mar-a-Lago." Welp.
David Smith at the Guardian: Donald Trump to Overhaul H-1B Visa Program That Admits Foreign Workers. "In a bid to court working class voters, Donald Trump will sign an executive order on Tuesday to revamp a temporary visa programme used to bring foreign workers to fill jobs in the US. The president will use a visit to a manufacturing company in Kenosha, Wisconsin, a crucial state he snatched from Hillary Clinton in the election, to promote his latest 'Buy America Hire America' offensive."
Hey, remember when I said that the Trump administration is sending a message "to people considering immigrating to the U.S. And that message is: Don't."? Yeah.
Sarah K. Burris at Raw Story: Trump Blames Obama for Allowing Violent MS-13 Gang to Form in the U.S.—Which Took Hold in the Early 2000s. The headline pretty much says it all, although I appreciate Burris' dry observation: "However, the new president's facts are lacking in accuracy." LOL indeed! The daily "Trump Blames Obama" Madlib is sure getting weird, y'all.
Speaking of weird...
Beautiful. pic.twitter.com/ARS3sbxIsW— Melissa McEwan (@Shakestweetz) April 18, 2017
That picture of Yuge Jesus hugging Deflating Trump is from a real post on Tiffany Trump's Facebook page, and is captioned: "Dear Lord, I pray in the Mighty name of Jesus, that you would give Donald J Trump wisdom and that you would protect him and fill him with Your Spirit and help him to withstand the fiery darts of the enemy." FIERY DARTS!
[Content Note: Rape culture] Lara Bazelon at Politico: The Landmark Sexual Assault Case You've Probably Never Heard Of. This is a real turd of an article, on which my friend Jess Luther has a succinct thread here. There are so many problems with it, I hardly know where to begin. But I will say this: The "rape accusations ruin men's lives" trope died when we elected a sexual predator president.
[CN: Violent homophobia] Andy Towle at Towleroad: UN Ambassador Nikki Haley: U.S. Will Not Ignore Plight of Gay Men in Chechnya. "We are against all forms of discrimination, including against people based on sexual orientation. When left unchecked, discrimination and human rights abuses can lead to destabilization and conflict." That would mean a lot more if it were coming from an administration that wasn't horrendously antagonistic toward marginalized people, including the LGBTQ community, and whose president wasn't a Putin puppet.
[CN: Nativism] Tina Vasquez at Rewire: Asylum Seekers Denied Day Before Supreme Court. "The U.S. Supreme Court, after more than a year of legal proceedings, has decided not to hear a case involving asylum-seeking mothers and children who may now be deported immediately." Seethe.
[CN: Racism] Kenrya Rankin at Colorlines: Jeff Sessions: Stop 'Handcuffing the Police Instead of the Criminals'. "In an essay published yesterday via USA Today, Sessions explained his policy for overseeing police departments, which he says needs to start with avoiding 'harmful federal intrusion into the daily work of local police.' Per The Washington Post's database, police have killed at least 136 people of color so far in 2017." Fume.
[CN: Nativism] Ingrid Melander and Philippe Wojazer at Reuters: 'I Will Protect You!' Le Pen Tells Voters Ahead of Presidential Election. "'I will protect you. My first measure as president will be to reinstate France's borders,' Le Pen said to wide applause and cheers from the crowd of about 5,000, prompting the National Front's (FN) traditional 'This is our home!' chant." Does that sound familiar? It should. Shiver.
What have you been reading that we need to resist today?