We Resist: Day 271

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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: Weinstein Made Us Pay Attention. What Next?

[Content Note: War on agency] AP/USNWR: Bill Bars UW Employees from Working at Planned Parenthood. "University of Wisconsin employees would no longer be allowed to work part-time at Planned Parenthood under a bill supported by anti-abortion advocates that's up for a public hearing. ...The measure would prohibit UW employees from performing abortions or providing training at facilities where abortions are performed, other than hospitals. It targets an arrangement between Planned Parenthood and UW in which faculty members work part-time at the organization's Madison clinic."

As Eastsidekate, who sent me this item, said (which I'm sharing with her permission): "They're specifically trying to prevent med students and young doctors from obtaining training on reproductive health. There was a bill this Spring prohibiting UW from teaching abortion, this is meant to close the loop."

This is another part of the "chip away at Roe" strategy: Anti-choicers don't need the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade if they render it an empty statute by eroding abortion access the nation. And what better way to erode access to abortion than to make sure no doctors are trained to terminate pregnancies?

This puts me in the mood to tell you a story.

Once upon a time, a hundred million years ago during the Bush Era, there was a movement on the feminist blogs to teach women how to perform abortions. And a bunch of people (progressive dudes) were all WHAT A BUNCH OF HYSTERICAL ALARMISTS ALSO YOU ARE TERRIBLE ABORTIONS SHOULD BE DONE BY PROFESSIONALS YOU CREEPS, and we were all, uh, yeah, we agree, but what about when that's not an option? We're planning for that. And people (progressive dudes) were like SHUT UP THIS IS WHY WE HATE FEMINISTS. The end.

Now I'm just an ancient feminist harpy who doesn't know how politics work and you should definitely never listen to me, but I think this is a very compelling case study in how often the most intransigent barriers to feminist work aren't conservatives but progressive men.

It wasn't right-wingers who were raising hell about feminists trying to disseminate information about how to perform abortions. To them, it was just like, of course that's what feminists are doing because they love abortion and are demons.

It was the progressive bros who were SLIPPERYSLOPE!-ing us and telling us that we were the problem with the left and all the usual horseshit, silencing us under the auspices that we were going to "hurt the movement" with our alarmism and extremism, instead of listening to us and understanding that we were sounding alarms with good fucking reason.

Instead of taking us seriously and allying with us, they pushed back against us, doing the work of our opponents. And now here we are. Again.

Way back when, a hundred million years ago, Shakesville used a different commenting system, which is now defunct, and that is sad, because I wish I could link to a thread that reached 500+ comments and was about disseminating abortion instructions and followed this exact dynamic. Aphra_Behn and I were just recalling how TERRIFIC that thread was; some of you longterm readers may remember it, too — as a libertarian dude now famous for his Hillary hatred was a prominent participant.

I literally had progressive dudes screaming at me that I was the reason Bush was reelected because I supported sharing information about how to perform abortions, in the event access was completely eroded in some or all parts of the country.

And now here we are. It turns out that we were not the worst threat to the progressive movement, but ahead of the fucking curve. Again. And the people shouting at us that we were the worst threat to the progressive movement misdirected their energies. Again. And conservatives just marched right on to enact the agenda we were trying to tell you was their agenda in the vacuum of inattention caused by the progressive dudes who are convinced that feminists are their worst enemy. Again.


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Here is a clip of Donald Trump just boasting about his malice (specifically, destroying the Affordable Care Act):

At best you could say it's in its final legs. The premiums are going through the roof; the deductibles are so high that people don't get to use it.

Obamacare is a disgrace to our nation. And we are solving the problem of Obamacare, okay?

Thank you all very much. Thank you.
"Obamacare is a disgrace to our nation" may be the ultimate statement of projection.

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Matt Shuham at TPM: Trump: I've Called 'Virtually' All Gold Star Families. "Donald Trump on Tuesday said he had called 'virtually' every family of service members who have died during his presidency. The White House did not answer TPM's questions about whether 'virtually everybody' included the families of the four Green Berets who were killed in Niger on Oct. 4. On Monday, Trump acknowledged in an impromptu press conference that he had not yet contacted the families, 12 days and counting after the ambush that left their loved ones dead. ...Trump also baselessly accused former President Barack Obama and other former presidents of not calling the loved ones of fallen service members, an accusation that multiple former Obama administration officials swiftly denied." This fucking guy.

Rachel West, Katherine Gallagher Robbins, and Melissa Boteach at the Center for American Progress: This Is How Much Average Americans Will Pay for Trump's Tax Cuts for the 1 Percent. "According to analysis by the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center, under Trump's plan, the average household in the bottom 99 percent would see its taxes decrease $343 in 2027, the final year of the conventional 10-year budget analysis. Meanwhile, the average household in the top 1 percent would see a tax cut of $207,060 — more than 600 times larger. And while ultrawealthy households would reap huge benefits, by 2027, 1 in 4 households would actually see their taxes increase under Trump's plan."

Jason Zengerle at the New York Times: Rex Tillerson and the Unraveling of the State Department. This whole thing is quite a read, but woo this shit right here:
But building a good rapport with the head of state of his own country has, so far, proved to be beyond Tillerson's formidable abilities. According to some people who are close to Trump, his disappointment with Tillerson is as much personal as it is professional. "Trump originally thought he could have a relationship with Tillerson that's almost social," says one Trump adviser, "the way his relationships are with Wilbur Ross and Steve Mnuchin."

But unlike Trump's commerce and treasury secretaries — plutocrats who, like Trump, are on their third, younger wives — Tillerson, who is 65 and has been married to the same woman for 31 years, has shown little interest in being the president's running buddy; instead of Saturday-night dinners with Trump at his Washington hotel, Tillerson favors trips home to Texas to see his grandchildren or to Colorado to visit his nonagenarian parents.

(The White House, provided a detailed list of questions relating to Tillerson and his relationship with Trump as described in this article, responded with the following official statement: "The president has assembled the most talented cabinet in history and everyone continues to be dedicated towards advancing the president's America First agenda. Anything to the contrary is simply false and comes from unnamed sources who are either out of the loop or unwilling to turn the country around.")
I love (ahem) how that authoritarian garbage is just a parenthetical in the story. The normalization is extraordinary.

Speaking of which, this is such a good observation:

[Content Note: White supremacy] Lois Beckett at the Guardian: Florida Governor Declares State of Emergency Before White Nationalist's Speech. "Governor Rick Scott of Florida has declared a state of emergency ahead of a speech by a white nationalist leader this week at the University of Florida, in order to free up resources to prepare for possible violence. Richard Spencer's speech on Thursday in Gainesville is part of a national campaign to use outrage over racist events on university campuses to draw attention to white nationalist ideas. The tour is also designed keep fringe provocateurs like Spencer in the media spotlight." But one million thinkpieces on how progressive snowflakes are ruining college campuses.

Craig Silverman at BuzzFeed: Outbrain Is Investigating Whether Russian Trolls Used Its Platform for Election Propaganda. "The content recommendation ad network Outbrain, whose clicky content sprawls across the web, is investigating whether Russian ads or other forms of election tampering took place on its service during the 2016 election. Outbrain claims to reach more than 550 million visitors per month via content recommendation modules it places on websites of publishers such as CNN, People, and ESPN. Outbrain is 'currently conducting a thorough investigation specific to election tampering and continue[s] to monitor our index,' the company said in a statement to BuzzFeed News."

I'd argue that, at this point, any content network shouldn't be asking "if" Russia used its platform for election influence, but "how."

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

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