We Resist: Day 225

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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: What Is David Clarke Doing? and Trump Has Also Empowered Police Violence and The Trump Propaganda Machine.

Andrew Osborn and Dmitry Solovyov at Reuters: Putin Warns North Korea Situation on Verge of 'Large-Scale Conflict'. "President Vladimir Putin warned on Friday that the standoff between North Korea and the United States was close to spilling into a large-scale conflict and said it was a mistake to try to pressure Pyongyang into halting its nuclear missile program. Putin, due to attend a summit of the BRICS nations in China next week, said the only way to de-escalate tensions was via talks, and Sergei Lavrov, his foreign minister, said Washington not Pyongyang should take the initiative on that." So, not only is Putin warning about a war with North Korea, but he's publicly giving directives to his puppet Donald Trump to: 1. Ease off the pressure regarding nukes; and 2. Take the initiative on direct talks. Cool.

Interesting. Meanwhile...

Betsy Woodruff at the Daily Beast: Mueller Enlists the IRS for His Trump-Russia Investigation.
Special counsel Bob Mueller has teamed up with the IRS. According to sources familiar with his investigation into alleged Russian election interference, his probe has enlisted the help of agents from the IRS' Criminal Investigations unit.

This unit—known as CI—is one of the federal government's most tight-knit, specialized, and secretive investigative entities. Its 2,500 agents focus exclusively on financial crime, including tax evasion and money laundering. A former colleague of Mueller's said he always liked working with IRS' special agents, especially when he was a U.S. Attorney.

And it goes without saying that the IRS has access to Trump's tax returns—documents that the president has long resisted releasing to the public.

Potential financial crimes are a central part of Mueller's probe. One of his top deputies, Andy Weissmann, formerly helmed the Justice Department's Enron probe and has extensive experience working with investigative agents from the IRS.

"From the agents, I know everyone has the utmost respect for both Mueller and Weissmann," said Martin Sheil, a retired IRS Criminal Investigations agent.

And he said Mueller and Weissmann are known admirers of those agents' work.

"They view them with the highest regard," Sheil said. "IRS special agents are the very best in the business of conducting financial investigations. They will quickly tell you that it took an accountant to nab Al Capone, and it's true."
I'm still not remotely convinced that this investigation will conclude with even minimal consequences for Donald Trump, but it would be great if it did and even better if he got caught out because of the tax returns he refused to release during the campaign — and probably figured he could breathe a sigh of relief about whatever's in them once he was elected.

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You may recall how I've repeatedly outlined my concerns about what is effectively dueling coups between the Trump administration and the national security bureaucrats, warning that the intelligence community is not necessarily on We the People's side, even if our interests are aligned against Trump.

To that point: Josh Meyer at Politico: FBI, Homeland Security Warn of More 'Antifa' Attacks. "Federal authorities have been warning state and local officials since early 2016 that leftist extremists known as 'antifa' had become increasingly confrontational and dangerous, so much so that the Department of Homeland Security formally classified their activities as 'domestic terrorist violence,' according to interviews and confidential law enforcement documents."

Perhaps the reason that antifa, whose name literally derives from "anti-fascist," has become increasingly confrontational is because of the rise of fascism in the country, care of Donald Trump.

There is legitimate debate to be had about antifa's tactics, as well as the replication of systems they claim to oppose within some of their own chapters, but these concerns don't change the fact that antifa is a group resisting domestic terrorist violence, not perpetrating it.

Specifically, the domestic terrorist violence of white supremacy and toxic masculinity that the FBI and Homeland Security generally stubbornly refuse to formally classify as domestic terrorist violence, and which Trump removed from the purview of a federal counterterrorism program earlier this year.

Again, I'll just caution against believing that the intelligence community is progressives' ally.

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Caitlin MacNeal at TPM: Trump Cries 'Rigged System!' Amid Claims Comey 'Exonerated' Clinton Early.
Donald Trump was quick to pounce on Republican senators' claim that former FBI Director James Comey started to draft his statement about not pursuing criminal charges against Hillary Clinton before the FBI had completed its investigation into her use of a private email server as secretary of state.

...Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), the chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) sent a letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray on Wednesday asking for more information on Comey's decision-making process in clearing Clinton. In the letter, the senators cited redacted transcripts of interviews with FBI officials who said that Comey began drafting a statement 'exonerating' Clinton in May 2016, before the FBI interviewed Clinton and other key aides for its probe.

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[Content Note: Nativism and white supremacy]

Tina Vasquez at Rewire: What Happens When DACA Goes Away? Immigrant Youth Share Their Stories. "In their own words, ten young adults share their experiences with being protected by Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA): What it has meant and where it has fallen short. 'DACA may end, but our focus to protect our community will not,' 19-year-old Samuel Cervantes told Rewire."

Sam Levin at the Guardian: A Judge Ruled This Veteran Is a US Citizen; Now He Faces Deportation to Mexico. "George Ybarra, who was honorably discharged after serving in the Persian Gulf war and earning numerous badges and medals, is facing deportation due to a criminal history that his family says is tied to mental health struggles and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) from his service. While there have been growing concerns about the removal of veterans and the harsh policies of deporting people for minor crimes, Ybarra's case is particularly troubling to immigrant rights' advocates given a judge's acknowledgement that he is US citizen."

[CN: Islamophobia; "bro" troll politics] Atossa Araxia Abrahamian at BuzzFeed: This Teen Troll Fled to the US for Political Asylum; Now He's Stuck in a Detention Center. This is not a very likeable kid, but, irrespective of his politics, this is fucked up: "The Chicago immigration judge assigned to his case, Samuel Cole, agreed with their assessment and granted Yee asylum on March 24, calling Yee a 'young political dissident.' The next day, though, ICE informed Grossman and Keeler that Yee would not be released until the judge's order was finalized — a minimum of 30 days. 'Interestingly, they made the decision not to release him after the judge granted asylum without a pending appeal,' said Keeler. ...Then, the [U.S. government's] lawyers argued that letting Yee into the country would set a worrisome precedent." So the kid still sits in detention, almost nine months after he arrived seeking asylum.

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

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