We Resist: Day 173

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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:

Earlier today by me: Tim Kaine: "This Is...Potentially Treason" and Um, This Doesn't Help You, Dude and We Must Take Back the White House from Putin NOW.


Lesley Clark at McClatchy: Republican Base Howls at Prospect of Congressional Failure on Obamacare. "The voters who elected Republicans to Washington on a promise to root out Obamacare are growing increasingly disillusioned. In Appalachian mountain towns that increasingly cater to well-heeled tourists and here in Canton, North Carolina, a blue-collar town in the shadow of a giant paper mill, are voters who have been staunch supporters of the Republican Party's push to repeal the 2010 healthcare law, believing that requiring Americans to obtain insurance is government overreach. Now, as Senate Republicans return to Washington this week still shy of the votes to make it happen, those people who say they've come through for the party are watching with mounting disbelief." This whole thing is worth a read, for a lot of reasons, not least of which is how successfully the GOP has misrepresented and demonized the Affordable Care Act.

Tierney Sneed at TPM: Obamacare Repeal's Latest Moving Target: A Cruz Idea to Push Stingy Plans.
As Congress enters its final stretch before the August recess—the deadline the Senate has imposed on passing its Obamacare repeal bill—the next round of negotiations appears to be focused a proposal being offered by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) that would put in jeopardy some of the Affordable Care Act's protections for pre-existing conditions.

At least one conservative senator, Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT), has drawn a hard line in support of including the proposal in the final package, and outside groups are amping up the pressure to see it added. However, Republican rank-and-file and even GOP Senate leadership has hinted that tweaks to the amendment may be needed to get the broader conference to swallow it, amidst the other side deals being offered to earn 50 votes in support.

Under the Cruz amendment, the Consumer Freedom Option, insurers would be allowed to sell stingy—albeit cheaper—plans that do not comply with Obamacare regulations as long as they sell at least one compliant plan that includes all of the ACA's pre-existing conditions protections. Such a system invites severe market segmentation and without a massive amount of government assistance, sick people who need the ACA-compliant plans may be priced out of the market entirely.

...The Cruz amendment has been sent to the CBO for analysis that leadership hopes to present in the days to come to determine whether the Senate GOP conference—with many Republicans wary of breaking their vows to protect pre-existing conditions—can stomach it.
Take note: Republican Senators are actively searching for a way to vote for this shit. And why? Because they spent so much time convincing their constituents that Obamacare was jobs-killing garbage that must be repealed (see story immediately above) that now their jobs are dependant on actually repealing it, no matter how many people they will harm in the process.

David Nather at Axios: What's Next If the Senate Health Bill Fails. "The health care storyline won't end. It will be like a season finale — with the next season beginning the next day. Here are the political realities: Conservatives will push for a repeal-only bill next. ...The ACA will be run by an administration that hates it. By now, HHS Secretary Tom Price and CMS administrator Seema Verma have spent so much time promoting the law's failures that they'd have trouble switching gears and trying to make the law work." There's more at the link.

Jen Ferris at Rewire: 'Aquatic Town Hall' Targets NC Senator's Lake Home to Protest ACA Repeal. "More than three dozen constituents of U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC) boarded boats and traveled en masse to the shore of his Lake Norman, North Carolina, home on Friday. Why? Because for many of them, their senator holds the key between life and death. ...'My daughter will die without the Affordable Care Act,' said Sheila Hamden, a Charlotte resident and captain of one of the boats. Hamden's daughter, who has a chronic illness that her family prefers not to disclose, floated in the warm lake water while her mother shouted through a megaphone at Tillis' house. 'Senator Tillis, don't let my daughter die,' Hamden called across the water toward Tillis' 4,000-square-foot home in one of Charlotte's ritziest suburbs."

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Lachlan Markay and Asawin Suebsaeng at the Daily Beast: Trump Aides Freaking Out Over Don Jr.'s Russia Email: The 'Sum of All Fears'. "In an email to Donald Trump Jr., a friend offered to connect the president's eldest son to a 'Russian government attorney' who could relay 'very high level and sensitive information' as 'part of Russia and its government's support for Mr. Trump.' 'I love it,' Trump Jr. responded in writing. He forwarded the email to campaign chief Paul Manafort and Jared Kushner, the president's son-in-law and one of his closest advisers. The revelation of these emails immediately sent shockwaves through the White House. 'This is sum of all fears stuff. It's what we've all been dreading,' said one White House official who is now exploring the possibility of retaining an attorney, a step described as purely precautionary."

To that point, Josh Marshall at TPM: Oh Boy. "Philip Bump at the Post just flagged this Trump speech from June 7th, four days after Don Goldstone's first contact with Don Jr and two days before the meeting at Trump Tower on June 9th. Trump promises big news about Hillary Clinton's crimes in a speech on 'probably' June 13th."

Meanwhile, veep Mike Pence is scrambling to distance himself, with his office putting out a statement reading: "The Vice President is working every day to advance the President's agenda, which is what the American people sent us here to do. The Vice President was not aware of the meeting. He is not focused on stories about the campaign, particularly stories about the time before he joined the ticket."

Pence is a lying liar, and he needs to be removed from office as swiftly and decisively as his boss.

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Ari Berman at the Nation: Meet the Vote Suppressors and Conspiracy Theorists on Trump's 'Election Integrity' Commission. "The Trump administration has assembled a who's who of discredited advocates of voter suppression, led by Kobach, who's lost four lawsuits to the ACLU in Kansas. He's joined by former Ohio secretary of state Ken Blackwell, who tried to disenfranchise countless voters during the 2004 election in Ohio, and by Hans von Spakovsky, a former official in the Bush Justice Department whom six attorneys in the department's voting section called 'the point person for undermining the Civil Rights Division's mandate to protect voting rights.'  The latest addition to the committee is J. Christian Adams, who served alongside von Spakovsky in the Bush Justice Department. ...Since he left DOJ, Adams has been suing states and counties to force them to purge their voting rolls, as Mother Jones reported — a preview of the types of suppressive tactics the Trump DOJ is prepping and the commission will no doubt recommend in its report."

Olivia Solon at the Guardian: 'First Amendment of the Internet': What Is Net Neutrality and Why Is It at Risk? "About 200 internet companies and activist groups are coming together this week to mobilize their users into opposing US government plans to scrap net neutrality protections. The internet-wide day of action, scheduled for Wednesday 12 July, will see companies including Facebook, Google, Amazon, Vimeo, Spotify, Reddit, and Pornhub notify their users that net neutrality — a founding principle of the open internet — is under attack. The Trump administration is trying to overturn Obama-era regulation that protected net neutrality, and there is less than a week left for people to object."

[Content Note: Nativism] Esther Yu Hsi Lee at ThinkProgress: Trump Administration May Make It Harder for International Students to Study in the U.S. "Donald Trump's restrictionist immigration policies could close the door on the best and brightest international students who want to study in the United States. International students may soon have to annually apply for permission to study in the country thanks to a preliminary proposal by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Washington Post reported. ...The proposed changes are necessary, officials say, because given national security concerns the government needs to more closely monitor foreign students." NOPE. That's a bullshit excuse invented to justify authoritarian, nativist, white supremacist policy. Period.

[CN: Abuse and harassment] Monica Anderson at Pew Research Center: Key Takeaways on How Americans View — and Experience — Online Harassment. "A new Pew Research Center survey finds that harassment is a common feature of online life for many adults. Most Americans say that such harassment is a major problem, and many look to a host of institutions — such as online companies and law enforcement — to curtail online abuse. Here are nine key takeaways from the report... 5. Americans are divided on the balance between free speech and making others feel welcome online. When asked which they feel is more important, 45% of Americans say it is more important that people are able to speak their minds freely online, versus 53% who say it is more important that people are able to feel welcome and safe online. At the same time, a slight majority of Americans (56%) agree with this statement: 'Many people take offensive content they see online too seriously.' By comparison, 43% agree with the statement, 'Offensive content online is too often excused as not being a big deal.'" There is much more at the link.

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

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