We Resist: Day 216

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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: Trump Doubles Down in Phoenix and Deplorable Dispatches.

[Content Note: Video may autoplay at link] Kellie Hwang and Garrett Mitchell at AZ Central: Fake News? Trump Supporters Circulate Photo of Phoenix Rally Crowds...But it's Not. "Social media is a glorious place. You see something, it looks cool, and so you retweet it. And sometimes that gets you into trouble. Such was the case Tuesday night, when Tennessee Republicans and other supporters of [Donald] Trump started sharing an image of what was purportedly a massive crowd gathered in the streets of Phoenix ahead of his speech. Only problem? The photo is actually an aerial shot from the 2016 Cleveland Cavaliers parade. And frankly, anyone who is at all familiar with Phoenix should have known better. It's a desert, people."

LOLOLOLOLOL! The fake news is coming from inside the house!

Indeed, despite the caterwauling about the haters and losers of the fake news media concealing Trump's massive support in Phoenix, the crowd was startlingly sparse.

And as Jenna Johnson reports at the Washington Post: As Trump Ranted and Rambled in Phoenix, His Crowd Slowly Thinned.
Trump spent the first three minutes of his speech — which would drag on for 75 minutes — marveling at his crowd size, claiming that "there aren't too many people outside protesting," predicting that the media would not broadcast shots of his "rather incredible" crowd and reminiscing about how he was "center stage, almost from day one, in the debates."

...But as the night dragged on, many in the crowd lost interest in what the president was saying.

Hundreds left early, while others plopped down on the ground, scrolled through their social media feeds or started up a conversation with their neighbors. After waiting for hours in 107-degree heat to get into the rally hall — where their water bottles were confiscated by security — people were tired and dehydrated and the president just wasn't keeping their attention.
Come for the racism; stay for the fact that it feels safer to face shouting anti-racist protesters in a group if you leave all together.

One person who did love Trump's speech last night? Steve Bannon. Obvs.

And one person who, like all other people with a modicum of sense and decency, really didn't care for the speech is former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper. Rachel Chason at the Washington Post: James Clapper Questions Trump's Fitness, Worries About His Access to Nuclear Codes. (Someone at the Washington Post is killing it with their headline game!) Clapper questioned Trump's "fitness for office following his freewheeling speech in Phoenix on Tuesday night, which Clapper labeled 'downright scary and disturbing.' 'I really question his ability to be — his fitness to be — in this office,' Clapper told CNN's Don Lemon early Wednesday morning. 'I also am beginning to wonder about his motivation for it — maybe he is looking for a way out.'"

I don't think he's looking for a way out — he's far too egomaniacal and loath to admit failure for that — but I sure hope someone is fixing to give him a way out all the same. And soon.

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Eric Levitz at New York Magazine: GOP Mulls Paying for Tax Cuts Through Shameless Lying. "Permanent tax cuts are probably still out of the GOP's reach, regardless of their budgetary gimmickry. But if the Trump administration is to pass any major legislation, it will need to follow the lead of these House Republicans, and concentrate on their party's strengths: Passing tax reforms that disadvantage powerful interest groups isn't one of them; drafting fraudulent budgets is." Seethe.

Jessica Mason Pieklo at Rewire: Lawsuit: Trump's Election Commission Is Hiding Public Information. "Trump in May signed an executive order creating the 'Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity,' led by Vice President Mike Pence and Kris Kobach... The Brennan Center for Justice at NYU Law School and the Protect Democracy Project filed a lawsuit Monday in federal court in New York to compel the U.S. Department of Justice, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and the Office of Management and Budget to answer requests and disclose public information related to the commission. ...'This administration has a troubling pattern of keeping public information from the public—a pattern that is continuing with this commission,' Wendy Weiser, director of the Brennan Center's Democracy Program, said in a statement announcing the lawsuit. 'The government's obligation to share this information is especially important when there are so many reasons to be skeptical of this commission.'"


[CN: White supremacy; anti-Black racism; Nazism] Jay Dow at Kirstin Cole at PIX11: Nazi Propaganda and Jim Crow Graffiti on Building Terrifies Sunnyside Neighbors. "Residents say they will rally Wednesday because they are fearful and intimidated by Nazi propaganda, Jim Crow-era images, and a condo board president allegedly donning a [Donald] Trump mask. Elevator surveillance video allegedly shows Neil Milano, wearing a mask of the president, plastering the door with Trump stickers in a would be attempt to 'menace' his neighbors in Sunnyside at a building on 39th Place. ...Milano is the condo board president of a building around the corner, where he's put up other references to [Donald] Trump, and a lot more. From provocative Jim Crow-era images, to banners of Adolf Hitler, all framed around what Milano's lawyer calls a historical display." Fucking hell.

Haroon Siddique and Oliver Laughland at the Guardian: Charlottesville: United Nations Warns U.S. over 'Alarming' Racism. "A UN committee charged with tackling racism has issued an 'early warning' over conditions in the US and urged the Trump administration to 'unequivocally and unconditionally' reject discrimination. The warning specifically refers to events last week in Charlottesville, Virginia, where civil rights activist Heather Heyer was killed when a car rammed into a group of people protesting against a white nationalist rally. Such statements are usually issued by the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) over fears of ethnic or religious conflict. In the past decade, the only other countries issued with an early warning were Burundi, Iraq, Ivory Coast, Kyrgyzstan, and Nigeria." Welp.

Kenrya Rankin at Colorlines: A Rabbi Asked Paul Ryan If He Supports Censuring Trump for His Comments on Charlottesville. Here's What He Said. "[D]uring a town hall in Racine, Wisconsin, Rabbi Dena Feingold asked House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) what 'concrete steps' he would take to hold the president accountable 'when his words and executive actions either implicitly or explicitly condone — if not champion — racism and xenophobia. For example, will you support the resolution for censure?' Ryan's response: 'I will not support that; I think that will be so counterproductive. If we descend this issue into some partisan hack fest, into some bickering against each other and demean it down into some kind of political food fight, what good does that do to unify this country? We want to unify this country against this kind of hatred and this kind of bigotry.'" Asshole.

[CN: Sexual assault] Elizabeth McLaughlin at ABC News: Fort Benning Drill Sergeants Suspended Pending Sexual Assault Investigation. "The Maneuver Center of Excellence at Fort Benning, along with the Army's Criminal Investigation Command, were investigating a recent charge of sexual assault by a female trainee against a drill sergeant when [additional allegations of sexual misconduct between trainees and drill sergeants] were discovered, the center said in a press release Wednesday. Now, the drill sergeants under review have been suspended pending the expanded investigation. The Army said they will have no contact with trainees while the investigation is carried out."

Sexual assault in the U.S. military has long been a problem in desperate need of meaningful attention. Advocates were just beginning to finally make some headway when the nation decided to elect a confessed sexual abuser as Commander-in-Chief. So here we are.

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

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