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:
I covered a bunch of big news items that broke over the weekend here.
Tierney Sneed at TPM: White House Thinks It Has the Votes for House Obamacare Repeal Vote This Week. "The director of Trump's National Economic Council, Gary Cohn, and White House chief of staff Reince Priebus expressed optimism Monday on CBS's 'This Morning' that they could get the 216 House votes to pass the bill, the American Health Care Act, after Republicans moderates were initially skeptical of the latest round of changes to the legislation. 'Do we have the votes for health care? I think we do,' Cohn said Monday, adding, 'We're convinced we've got the votes and we're going to keep moving on with our agenda.' ...According to a report by Politico published Sunday evening, White House officials have been clamoring for a vote this week, suggesting that Congress should be kept in town through the weekend if need be to bring it to the floor. 'This is it,' an administration official told Politico. 'We get it done now, or we don't get it done ever.'"
@ASlavitt Reporting they are withing 6 votes now! We must take a ton of action today. Bombard the Reps with calls, emails and visits. Tell the NO!— Scott Miller (@scottmills11) May 1, 2017
KEEP MAKING THOSE CALLS. Especially if you've got a Republican rep, make sure you call to register your opposition to this legislation. I just called my GOP rep, and, last time, he was equivocating, but, this time, he's a firm NO. I hope that's a good sign. KEEP CALLING!
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Louis Nelson at Politico: Trump on Obama Surveillance Claims: 'I Don't Stand by Anything'. (No shit.) "Donald Trump said his allegation that he was illegally surveilled by former President Barack Obama has 'been proven very strongly' and that that surveillance has negated the relatively warm relationship that the two presidents developed in the weeks following Trump's victory last year. 'Well, he was very nice to me. But after that, we've had some difficulties. So it doesn't matter,' Trump said in an interview..." Huh! I wonder why that could be. Just another mystery lost to the sands of time, I guess! (I seriously doubt that Obama's disposition toward Trump was anything more than politeness in the first place, but wevs.) Trump had more to say, because of course he did.
Trump raised the allegation in his interview without prompting, but then appeared unwilling to discuss it further when CBS anchor John Dickerson asked him whether he stood by the accusation.This fucking guy.
"I don't stand by anything. I just — you can take it the way you want. I think our side's been proven very strongly. And everybody's talking about it. And frankly, it should be discussed," Trump said. "That is a very big surveillance of our citizens. I think it's a very big topic. And it's a topic that should be No. 1. And we should find out what the hell is going on."
When Dickerson pressed Trump for further details, the president replied that "you don't have to ask me" because "I have my own opinions. You can have your own opinions." Dickerson followed up that he wanted Trump's opinion as president, prompting Trump to say "OK, it's enough. Thank you," and abruptly end the interview.
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Kelsey Snell at the Washington Post: Congress Reaches Deal to Keep Government Open Through September. That is largely good news, especially since the deal includes zero funding for Trump's garbage border wall, though it does include "$1.5 billion more for border security requested by Republican leaders in Congress," which cannot be earmarked for the wall. It also, however, includes "$61 million to reimburse local law enforcement agencies for the cost of protecting Trump when he travels to his residences in Florida and New York." I don't begrudge those states the money they're owed; I am just filthy angry at Trump for necessitating taxpayers fund it.
[Content Note: Carcerality; violence] Adam K. Raymond at New York Magazine: Sheriff David Clarke's Inmates Are Dying But Trump Reportedly Has a Job for Him Anyway. "Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke, a thin-skinned conservative provocateur who likes to dress up as a cowboy, is close to landing a job in the Trump administration, Politico reports. The controversial lawman is in line for an appointment to serve as assistant secretary of the Department of Homeland Security's Office of Partnership and Engagement. In that role, Clarke would serve as DHS's liaison between state and local police forces, and while the prospect of him working for the federal government will make some want to puke, at least it would mean he's no longer in charge of a jail where four people died last year." How about no jobs for him anywhere in which he has the power to affect people's lives? LET'S MAKE THAT AN OPTION.
David Nakamura at the Washington Post: Amid Immigration Setbacks, One Trump Strategy Seems to Be Working: Fear. "In many ways, [Donald] Trump's attempts to implement his hard-line immigration policies have not gone very well in his first three months. ...But one strategy that seems to be working well is fear. The number of migrants, [documented and undocumented], crossing into the United States has dropped markedly since Trump took office, while recent declines in the number of deportations have been reversed. Many experts on both sides of the immigration debate attribute at least part of this shift to the use of sharp, unwelcoming rhetoric by Trump and his aides, as well as the administration's showy use of enforcement raids and public spotlighting of crimes committed by immigrants. The tactics were aimed at sending a political message to those in the country illegally or those thinking about trying to come. 'The world is getting the message,' Trump said last week during a speech at the National Rifle Association leadership forum in Atlanta."
(Remember what I've been saying for two months? "It's a feature of authoritarian regimes to make statements precisely like this one to keep people in line. The threat of coming after people who thought they were safe. This is also a message sent to people considering immigrating to the U.S. And that message is: Don't." For someone whose administration is mired in chaos, Trump is very predictable. If you're really paying attention.)
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[CN: Violence] David Mack at BuzzFeed: A Trump Supporter Allegedly Attacked Students at a Kentucky University with a Machete. "A former student of Kentucky's Transylvania University was arrested Friday after he allegedly stormed a campus café with a machete and a bag of knives, quizzed students on their political affiliations, and injured two women. ...Witnesses told local media the suspect shouted 'The day of reckoning is here!' as he began his attack. 'He asked the first girl if she was a Democrat or a Republican. She said Republican. He said okay, then asked some other girl,' Michael Soder told Lex 18. ...'He asked somebody what their political affiliation was, they said 'Republican,' and the guy said, 'You are safe,'' campus newspaper editor-in-chief Tristan Reynolds told the Lexington Herald-Leader. 'And then I realized what was going on and started getting people out.'" Again I wonder: How did he get radicalized?
Meanwhile, because university students have protested radical rightwing speakers on campus, we're still having to deal with shit like this:
Marginalized people know the weakness of their arguments long before college. They've shouted those "weak arguments" at us all our lives. pic.twitter.com/1YYxIDHpp0— Melissa McEwan (@Shakestweetz) April 28, 2017
Even as M1l0 has started a "new, ugly, for-profit troll circus" which will, in his own words, be dedicated to "making the lives of journalists, professors, politicians, feminists, Black Lives Matter activists, and other professional victims a living hell."
Read those words and consider why it is that people might object to supporting these folks in any way. This isn't a "free speech" issue, but a defense of our right to fucking exist with a modicum of safety.
When you urge me to be more tolerant of people who want to destroy me, you're asking me to participate in my own marginalization. I won't.— Melissa McEwan (@Shakestweetz) April 28, 2017
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Kevin Liptak at CNN: Trump Administration Ending Michelle Obama's Girls Education Program. "The Trump administration is discontinuing a signature girls education initiative championed by former first lady Michelle Obama, according to officials. The 'Let Girls Learn' program, which she and President Barack Obama started in 2015 to facilitate educational opportunities for adolescent girls in developing countries, will cease operation immediately, according to an internal document obtained by CNN. While aspects of the initiative's programming will continue, employees have been told to stop using the 'Let Girls Learn' name and were told that, as a program unto itself, 'Let Girls Learn' was ending."
Sameer Rao at Colorlines: Digital Equity Groups Explain How FCC Chair's Net Neutrality Rollback Will Hurt Communities of Color. "Pai specifically proposed, via a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking described in the speech and published today (April 27), to remove the internet's classification under Title II of the Communications Act of 1934, which defines online access as a public good and gives the FCC authority to prevent ISPs from blocking web traffic or offering prioritized access to entities and customers who can afford to pay more for it. ...Various digital advocacy groups immediately denounced Pai's proposal, saying that his market-driven approach will give wealthy ISPs too much power and threaten net neutrality and free speech for disadvantaged populations, including people of color living in low-income communities who depend on equitable high-speed Internet to tell their stories."
Joanna Walters at the Guardian: Brand Ivanka: Inside the Tangled Empire of the President's Closest Ally. "Ethics experts are increasingly concerned that despite removing herself from the management of her eponymous Ivanka Trump fashion company and becoming an unpaid government employee in March, her political and business interests are still so closely linked that she is deep in an ethical 'danger zone' over conflict of interest laws. ...As a private company, the Ivanka Trump brand does not release financial figures and there is limited information disclosed by the various companies that hold the licenses to produce her products. ...It is not known how sales are going since Ivanka Trump walked away from her brand earlier this year to move to Washington, putting her company into a trust, and the overall unavailability of figures make it impossible to assess the detailed financial health of the brand." Or, crucially, whether/how much she's profiting from her elevated role in her father's administration.
In good resistance news...
Lots and lots and lots of people marched to demand action on climate change this weekend:
In maybe good news... Kristen Welker, Alexander Smith, and Dafna Linzer at NBC News: Trump Aide Sebastian Gorka May Leave White House. "National security aide Sebastian Gorka may leave the White House, an administration official told NBC News on Monday. Gorka may move from the White House to another federal agency—or leave altogether—but no final decision has been made, the official said." Sean Spicer says he's staying put. We'll see. LEAVING ALTOGETHER would be good news.
What have you been reading that we need to resist today?