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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The news today is overwhelmingly about the "healthcare reform" legislation, and whether it will pass the House. That's taking up a lot of my attention, too, so this will be a shorter compilation than usual.
On that subject, I want to take a moment to address that THIS IS NOT NORMAL. This entire process. The way the legislation has been proposed, the way it's being rammed through Congress, the way it's being covered, the way constituents are being ignored—none of it is normal.
If you, like me, are feeling particularly despondent in this moment, it's probably in no small part because of this stark divergence from normalcy. Not only is this bill utterly vile, but the process by which it (appears it) will be passed is obscene.
That is the thing that's making the most significant negative difference for me right now. This isn't normal. It's seriously fucked up. And if Congressional Republicans and the Trump administration are successful with this "healthcare" package, this way, it will set a precedent for the annihilation of the entire welfare state, such as it is in the US.
In a private conversation, Eastsidekate said (which I am sharing with her permission):
I keep checking the websites of CNN and the big 3 networks, and the coverage is disorienting. It's mostly about the excitement of who can get the win. Zero sense of what hangs in the balance.We are (potentially, likely) witnessing a history being made that will have far-reaching ramifications, even beyond the already massive number of people whose health and very lives will be sacrificed upon this altar of greed and gamesmanship.
Like, aside from 20 M+ people losing coverage, it totally rewrites the laws covering a massive chunk of the economy. They're acting like it's a Jets game.
I am really struggling to process that. It will change the face of our resistance, and it will change the nature of our political process, and it will change this nation.
Even in a time of extraordinary political upheaval, this feels colossal. I feel something beyond fear. I feel panic.
I still hope, by some miracle, the GOP House caucus doesn't have the votes. I still hope the GOP Senate caucus will do the right thing, if it passes the House.
I don't have any reassuring words to offer, but these: You are not alone.
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A couple of things to read are below:
[Content Note: War on agency] Laura Bassett at the Huffington Post: Pence: Trump 'Has Literally Filled This White House' with Anti-Abortion Leaders. "Vice President Mike Pence declared victory for the anti-abortion movement Wednesday night, boasting that [Donald[ Trump has 'literally filled' his administration with politicians who oppose reproductive rights. 'Life is winning in America,' Pence said at a gala for the anti-abortion group Susan B. Anthony List."
[CN: War on agency] Christina Cauterucci at Slate: Trump Will Tap Woman Who Thinks Birth Control Doesn't Work to Lead U.S. Birth Control Program. "Teresa Manning will be named the Department of Health and Human Services' deputy assistant secretary for population affairs, putting her in charge of more than $286 million in Title X family-planning grants. Manning has a history of spreading lies about reproductive science and advocating against women's access to health care. Like another one of Trump's HHS picks, Charmaine Yoest, Manning insists against established medical fact that abortion causes breast cancer. ...Manning has called abortion 'legalized crime' and family planning 'something that occurs between a husband and a wife and God' that 'doesn't really involve the federal government.' At a stop on her book tour in 2003, she told WBUR that 'contraception doesn't work' because 'its efficacy is very low,' so sexually active women who use a birth control method might still get pregnant."
[CN: Transphobia; disablism; dehumanization] Teddy Wilson at Rewire: Trump's HHS Spokesperson Had a Blog Full of Transphobic Slurs. "Charmaine Yoest, the anti-choice activist recently appointed to a top government agency post by [Donald] Trump, has made a career out of disparaging and smearing transgender people and the LGBTQ community. Blog posts published on a website co-authored by Charmaine Yoest and her husband Jack Yoest, a business and economics professor at the Catholic University of America, include transphobic language and referred to transgender people as 'crazy,' labeled transgender people 'creatures,' and referred to medical care for transgender people as 'a joke.' ...Yoest, who will serve as the assistant secretary for public affairs at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), was among Trump's most loyal supporters during the 2016 presidential campaign and was named to Trump's 'pro-life advisory council' designed to woo anti-choice hardliners."
[CN: Homophobia] Mike Cason at Alabama.com: Bill Allowing Adoption Agencies to Turn Away Gay Couples Signed into Law. Gov. Kay Ivey today signed into law a bill allowing adoption agencies in Alabama to follow faith-based policies, such as not placing children with gay couples. 'The elected legislature of this state overwhelmingly approved House Bill 24. Having served as President of the Senate for more than six years, I appreciate the work of the legislature, and I agree with it on the importance of protecting religious liberty in Alabama,' Ivey said." Fuck you.
[CN: Misogyny] Jamiles Lartey at the Guardian: Woman Who Laughed at Jeff Sessions Hearing Convicted for Being 'Disorderly'. "A jury in Washington has convicted a woman who was arrested after laughing during a confirmation hearing for the attorney general, Jeff Sessions. Desiree Fairooz, an activist with the leftwing NGO Code Pink, was found guilty of engaging in 'disorderly or disruptive conduct' with the intent to disrupt congressional proceedings, as well as 'parading, demonstrating, or picketing.' The charges stem from the hearing on 10 January, when Sessions' then colleague, fellow Alabama Republican Senator Richard Shelby, said Sessions' record of 'treating all Americans equally under the law is clear and well-documented.' Fairooz laughed out loud twice at this claim."
What have you been reading that we need to resist today?