We Resist: Day 285

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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 Is Angry and I Am Scared and Facebook: 126M May Have Seen Russian Propaganda. And by Fannie: The Russia Reversal: Misogyny Is a National Vulnerability.

Lachlan Markay and Asawin Suebsaeng at the Daily Beast: Steve Bannon Tells Trump to Bring in New Lawyers as He Looks for Ways to Kneecap Mueller. "Multiple sources close to Bannon told The Daily Beast on Monday that he is 'advocating a much more aggressive legal approach short of firing Mueller,' as one source put it, and has been mulling options that would effectively curtail the special counsel's investigation into 2016 Russian election-meddling and alleged Trump campaign connections to it. He's being tight-lipped about the strategy so far — and it is unclear how robust an effort he'll actually try to mount — but options are available to him."

Rebekah Entralgo at ThinkProgress: Paul Manafort and the Privilege of Being a White Collar Defendant. "[Neither Paul Manafort nor Rick Gates had] to see images of themselves in handcuffs plastered all over the media; rather, the two were able to portray themselves as calm, cool, and collected. This is a privilege awarded to white collar criminals who allegedly commit serious crimes, yet are spared from the embarrassment other criminals face. ...Additionally, Manafort did not have to pay cash upfront for his release... Meanwhile, a half a million people sit behind bars because they are unable to afford bail, according to the Justice Policy Institute."

Julia Ainsley, Tom Winter, and Carol E. Lee at NBC News: Sources: Podesta Group, Mercury Are Companies 'A' and 'B' in Indictment. "The lobbying firms the Podesta Group and Mercury Public Affairs are the unnamed companies in the grand jury indictment of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and his deputy, Rick Gates, according to three sources with knowledge of the investigation. The indictment, unsealed Monday, refers to 'Company A' and 'Company B' as the firms Manafort and Gates solicited in 2012 to lobby on behalf of the Ukrainian government. Company A is Mercury Public Affairs and Company B is the Podesta Group, the sources said."

Anna Palmer at Politico: Tony Podesta Stepping Down from Lobbying Giant Amid Mueller Probe. "Democratic power lobbyist Tony Podesta, founder of the Podesta Group, is stepping down from the firm that bears his name after coming under investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller. Podesta announced his decision during a firm-wide meeting Monday morning and is alerting clients of his impending departure." Note: Tony Podesta is the brother of Clinton campaign chair John Podesta. He was once a part of the Podesta Group, but left many years ago to work for President Obama. He is not implicated in this probe at all.

[For more on Devine's work with Manafort and Yanukovych, see here and here.]

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I will never understand why anyone ever thought John Kelly was going to be some sort of savior, when he had been a complete dirtbag at DHS, but I hope that anyone who was harboring illusions of his decency has learned their lesson by now. Surely by now. I mean:

Fuck that guy.

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[Content Note: Reproductive coercion, covering this entire section]

Tina Vasquez at Rewire: Federal Agency Director Admits to Interfering in Immigrants' Reproductive Health Choices.
The head of the federal agency charged with caring for unaccompanied immigrant minors has confirmed that he tries to persuade pregnant girls not to seek abortion care.

While testifying at a U.S. House of Representatives subcommittee hearing on Thursday, Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) Director Scott Lloyd refused to answer questions about whether he visited pregnant minors in custody to persuade them to carry unwanted pregnancies. But one day later, Lloyd confirmed the reports in an exclusive interview with Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN), a Catholic television network.

Lloyd told the network that a "tiny minority" of those in ORR custody are pregnant. The agency lost its fight to keep Jane Doe—a teen whose abortion care was delayed for weeks because of court proceedings—from making her own reproductive health-care decisions.

When asked by EWTN if he would try to convince pregnant teens in his custody to "choose life," Lloyd first said his goal is to make sure kids in ORR custody "have everything they need and know they have everything they need." He's willing, he added, to "deliver that message in person" when necessary.

When pushed about whether he has told pregnant minors in ORR custody to "choose life as opposed to abortion," Lloyd said, "I've presented options to a few folks who were pregnant, and I wanted them to know that we were there to help them with their situation, and we wanted them to know as fully as they could what was available to them."
Rage seethe boil. That is not his place. It is not the government's role to engage in reproductive coercion. Pregnant people know what they want. The only role for the government in this situation is to help pregnant people access the care they need, whether that is prenatal care or termination.

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[CN: Sexual violence; police brutality] AP/Guardian: Two NYPD Detectives Charged with Handcuffing Woman, 18, and Raping Her. "Two detectives threatened an 18-year-old woman with arrest over a bottle of prescription pills, handcuffed her, drove her around in their police van, and then raped her, authorities said Monday in announcing charges against the two. The detectives, Eddie Martins and Richard Hall, were arraigned Monday on a 50-count indictment that included rape and kidnapping counts, said the acting Brooklyn district attorney, Eric Gonzalez. He said DNA recovered from the woman matched both defendants." Next time you see some shitbird demanding to know why women don't report sexual assaults, send them this story. For fuck's sake. Is it any wonder that people are reluctant to report being assaulted when we read stories like this on the regular?

[CN: Racism] Miriam Zoila Pérez at Colorlines: What Does the FBI's New 'Black Identity Extremist' Label Really Mean to Black Organizing? "Malkia Cyril is the founder and executive director of the Center for Media Justice, an organization best known for its leadership in the fight for net neutrality. But Cyril, who uses the pronouns 'they' and 'them,' is now embroiled in a related but distinct fight — one they call 'protecting Black dissidents from the FBI.' It's a fight they've been preparing for since they were born to parents who were members of the Black Panther Party. Colorlines talked to Cyril about revelations that the FBI has created a new designation for contemporary Black activism, 'Black Identity Extremism' (BIE)."

[CN: Othering] Matt Wilstein at the Daily Beast: Bernie Sanders Warns Democrats Not to Hang Their Hopes on Robert Mueller.
Meyers asked Sanders if he worries at all that stories like the Mueller indictments "can to the left provide an excitement of, 'Oh, this is almost over,' when in fact it will probably go on forever and they need to focus on the ballot box as opposed to Mueller."

"Yes. I mean, I think we've got to work in two ways," Sanders answered. "No. 1, we have got to take on Trump's attacks against the environment, against women, against Latinos and Blacks and people in the gay community, we've got to fight back every day on those issues. But equally important, or more important: We have got to focus on bread-and-butter issues that mean so much to ordinary Americans."
So, three things: 1. Bernie Sanders doesn't think equality under the law is a "bread-and-butter issue." 2. Bernie Sanders doesn't seem to think that women, people of color, and/or members of the LGBTQ community are "ordinary Americans." 3. Bernie Sanders doesn't think that the dismantling of the American democracy by an authoritarian leader and his corrupt party, aided by a foreign adversary, is something about which "ordinary Americans" do and should care. Oh.

Jonathan Capehart at the Washington Post: Democrats Must Not 'Go Down This Rabbit Hole' If They Want to Retake Washington. Writing about the Inside American Politics conference at New York University this month, Capehart quotes pollster John Anzalone, who worked on both of President Barack Obama's campaigns and Hillary Clinton's 2016 campaign: "And that, to me, is the destructive part of someone like Bernie Sanders, who I actually don't believe cares about the Democratic Party, and I don't think he wakes up every day and says that unifying the Democratic Party and making us successful and getting the House and the Senate and the presidency is what he wants to do. And so, in that sense, the schism is very difficult. He's very much like Bannon. Bannon doesn't give a shit about the Republican Party. He wants to destroy it. Bernie, I don't think, quite frankly, gives a shit about the Democratic Party. He only cares about himself, and he's not interested in building it. He's interested in making a bunch of points and principles, and I think that is detrimental to the Democratic Party." Yup.

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

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