We Resist: Day 385

a black bar with the word RESIST in white text

One of the difficulties in resisting the Trump administration, the Republican Congressional majority, and Republican state legislatures (plus the occasional non-Republican who obliges us to resist their nonsense, too, like we don't have enough to worry about) 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.

* * *

Here are some things in the news today:

Earlier today by me: The White House Knew About Rob Porter's Abuse, Russians Hacked U.S. Voting Systems, and Bush Says Russia Meddled; Still Silent on SCOTUS Meddling.

Alice Ollstein at TPM: Shutdown Showdown Fizzles as Pelosi Declines to Whip Dems Against Budget.
In a press conference Thursday morning, about 14 hours before a potential government shutdown, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) reiterated that she plans to vote against the budget bill when it comes back to the lower chamber Thursday afternoon. But when pressed by reporters on whether she will whip her Democratic caucus to vote against the bill, which would imperil its passage, she demurred, saying only that she has told them she personally will vote no even though she views it as "a good bill."

"I fought very hard for many of the things in there," she said, pointing to the increase in domestic spending that mirrors a hike in the cap on the military's budget. "It's unfortunate that it's taken shape in such an insulting way for those of us who are trying to protect the values of our country."

The main insult for Pelosi and other House Democrats is Speaker Paul Ryan's refusal so far to pledge to hold a vote on the DACA program, which [Donald] Trump terminated last year, putting about 700,000 young immigrants at risk of deportation. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), in order to end the government shutdown a few weeks ago, promised Senate Democrats an immigration debate with an open amendment process.

...So the decision by Pelosi — who spoke for eight hours straight on the House floor Wednesday in protest of Republicans' intransigence on immigration — not to fully use Democrats' leverage to threaten a government shutdown is likely to anger the party's progressive base. Because DACA effectively expires on March 5, advocates for those enrolled in the program have few opportunities left to pressure the GOP-controlled Congress to act to protect them.
I mean, yes, I am angry about this — but not at Nancy Pelosi. Yesterday, she did something truly extraordinary, something historical, to try to convince her Republican colleagues to give a fuck about DREAMers, and, if they still don't give a fuck about them, that's on them, it's not on Pelosi, whose party is still, after all, the legislative minority.

The Democrats can force a shutdown from here to kingdom come, but the fact is that the Republicans don't care. They'll let the government shut down and blame the Democrats for it, and laugh all the way to November as support for Democrats tanks over a shutdown the Republicans will allow to last indefinitely.

That's the reality in which Nancy Pelosi exists. If progressives are angry at her because the Republicans are cruel, nativist fuckers, their anger is wildly misdirected. Period.

And right on cue...

James Hohmann at the Washington Post: Improving Poll Numbers Give Republicans Hope That the Midterms Might Not Be So Bad. "If it felt like a tsunami was headed for Republicans at the end of the year, now it's looking more like a normal wave. Under the radar, a flurry of new public polls points to incremental improvements in GOP fortunes and challenges the narrative that has been gelling in most of the media's campaign coverage. There has been a small but significant rise in [Donald] Trump's approval rating over the past month and a shrinking Democratic advantage in the generic congressional ballot, which is moving closer to a level where Republicans could hold onto the House."

And, I mean, no matter how much anyone might want "bipartisan solutions," this is what Congressional Democrats are dealing with...

[Content Note: Video may autoplay at link] Olivia Victoria Gazis at CBS News: House Intel Republicans Plan to Wall Off Their Aides from Democratic Staffers. "In a sign of increasing partisan hostilities, Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee plan to construct a wall — a physical partition — separating Republican and Democratic staff members in the committee's secure spaces, according to multiple committee sources. It's expected to happen this spring. For now, some Republican committee members deny knowing anything about it, while strongly suggesting the division is the brainchild of the committee's chairman, Devin Nunes, R-California. ...While acknowledging a wall might not be constructive for the committee's work, [Rep. Mike Conaway, R-Texas] said, 'The level of trust and the level of everything down there is — it's poison. It's absolute poison down there.'"

That, my friends, is not the fault of Nancy Pelosi.

* * *

[CN: Nativism; abuses of power] Betsy Woodruff at the Daily Beast: ICE Wants to Be an Intelligence Agency Under Trump. "Officials at Immigration and Customs Enforcement are actively exploring joining the U.S. Intelligence Community, The Daily Beast has learned. ...Internal advocates for joining the America's spy agencies — known as the Intelligence Community or the IC — focus on the potential benefits to the agency's work on counterproliferation, money laundering, counterterror, and cybercrime. ...But civil liberties advocates and government watchdog groups — as well as some current and former U.S. officials — are concerned at the prospect of the nation's immigration enforcers joining the ranks of America's spies. 'The idea that ICE could potentially get access to warrantless surveillance is frankly terrifying,' Jake Laperruque, senior counsel at the Project on Government Oversight, told The Daily Beast." Yeah, this is a terrible, chilling idea.

[CN: Christian Supremacy] Sarah Pulliam Bailey at the Washington Post: Trump's National Prayer Breakfast Speech Infused with God-and-Country References. "Trump delivered a god-and-country infused speech Thursday at the National Prayer Breakfast, appealing to Americans who believe in Christian nationalism — the belief that God has a uniquely Christian purpose for the United States. 'We can all be heroes to everybody and they can be heroes to us,' Trump said, 'as long as we open our hearts to god's grace, America will be free, the land of the free, the home of the brave, and the light to all nations.' ...'America is a nation of believers, and together we are strengthened by the power of prayer,' Trump said." Incorrect. Atheists exist.

The National Prayer Breakfast has always been a gross spectacle for a nation in which we are meant to have a separation of church and state, but it's even more alarming now that we've got an authoritarian sitting in the Oval Office with a dominionist for his vice-president.

[CN: Homophobia] Zack Ford at ThinkProgress: Pence Keeps Lying About Supporting Ex-Gay Therapy as His Feud with Gay Olympian Escalates. "The feud between Vice President Mike Pence and gay Olympic skater Adam Rippon escalated again Thursday when Pence tweeted directly at the athlete, describing his history of supporting ex-gay conversion therapy as 'fake news.' ...Pence's repeated denials that he supported ex-gay therapy can easily be disproved. His 2000 congressional campaign website clearly said that he would only support funding for HIV treatment through the Ryan White Care Act if money stopped going to organizations that 'celebrate and encourage the types of behaviors that facilitate the spreading of the HIV virus.' Instead, he argued, 'Resources should be directed toward those institutions which provide assistance to those seeking to change their sexual behavior.'" Mike Pence is trash. 🚮

* * *

[CN: Sexual harassment and assault. Covers entire section.]

Jeremy Gorner and Annie Sweeney at the Chicago Tribune: Woman Accuses Retired Chicago Cop of Repeated Sexual Assaults Decades Ago.
Trina "Kim" Townsend, 50, walked to the microphone and asked permission to read her statement into the record. In a steady voice, she publicly shared details of a secret she said she had closely guarded for the most part for three decades.

As the hushed crowd of about 50 residents and police officers looked on, Townsend accused a now-retired Chicago cop by name of repeatedly raping her over several years after she had turned to him for help because she was already being molested by a family member.

He "sexually assaulted me on a near monthly basis," she said. "He was always on duty. He was always in the patrol car. Always in uniform. And he always took me to the same area."

...As a result of Townsend's public accusations, the Police Department's Bureau of Internal Affairs has launched a criminal investigation, said spokesman Anthony Guglielmi, though any legal avenues would seem closed because of the passage of time and the statute of limitations.
Another wrenching story for the "Why Many Women Don't Report" files.

I take up space in solidarity with Kim Townsend. ♥

Zachary Cohen at CNN: Air Force Academy Mismanaged Sexual Assault Program, Pentagon Says. "The U.S. Air Force Academy mismanaged its sexual assault prevention and response program during the 2017 academic year and failed to comply with the military's victim assistance and advocacy policy, according to the Department of Defense's annual assessment of service academies released Wednesday. Overall, the Pentagon's Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office's assessment found that reporting of sexual assault at the service academies increased in the 2017 school year — documenting a total of 112 reports of sexual assault, up from 86 reports received in the prior year. ...But while it concluded that the U.S. Military Academy and U.S. Naval Academy were in compliance with Pentagon policies that 'govern sexual assault and sexual harassment prevention, victim assistance and advocacy, investigation, accountability, and assessment,' the report determined that the mismanagement of victim response programs at the Air Force Academy did not meet that standard."

Olivia Messer at the Daily Beast: Team USA World Champ Ariana Kukors: U.S. Swim Coach Sexually Abused Me. "Ariana Kukors, a world swimming champion and 2012 Olympian, went public late Wednesday with claims that former USA Swimming National Team Coach Sean Hutchison sexually assaulted her when she was 16 years old. Hutchison first became Kukors' coach when she was just 13, at King Aquatic Club near Seattle. It was then that he began 'grooming' her with the goal of sexualizing the relationship, she said in a press release. Kukors, the 2009 world champion in the 200-meter individual medley, is now 28. 'I never thought I would share my story because, in so many ways, just surviving was enough,' Kukors said. 'I was able to leave a horrible monster and build a life I could have never imagined for myself. But in time, I've realized that stories like my own are too important to go unwritten.'"

[CN: Video may autoplay at link] Alexia Fernandez at People: Charles in Charge's Alexander Polinsky Accuses Scott Baio of Physical Assault and Mental Abuse. "New allegations against Scott Baio surfaced Wednesday from another one of his Charles in Charge costars: Alexander Polinsky. Polinsky, 43, provided a statement to The Talk which was read out while Nicole Eggert was on the show to talk about her sexual abuse allegations against the actor. Eggert said on the show that Polinsky, who played Adam Powell on Charles in Charge, went with her to file to the police station when she filed a report against Baio and Polinsky also made his own police report supporting her allegations. In addition to supporting the actress' claims, Polinsky alleged he was physically abused by Baio, 57."

Jamiles Lartey at the Guardian: Kate Upton Accuses Guess Executive of Sexual Harassment When She Was 18. "Supermodel Kate Upton has accused a high-ranking Guess fashion executive of repeatedly groping and sexually harassing her on photo shoots when she was 18, in an exclusive interview with Time published on Wednesday. 'Despite doing everything I could physically do to avoid his touch throughout the meeting, he continued to touch me in a very dominating and aggressive way, grabbing my thighs, my arms to pull me closer, my shoulders to pull me closer, my neck, my breasts, and smelling me,' Upton, 25, said. 'I was extremely shaken, surprised, and scared.' The allegations directed at the brand's co-founder and creative director, Paul Marciano, are perhaps the most high-profile ones to come out of the fashion industry since the #MeToo movement began in earnest late last year."

Marlow Stern at the Daily Beast: When Michael Bay Degraded Megan Fox — Then Tried to Sabotage Her Career. "In Hollywood, rumor-mongering is a precious form of currency; a fresh slice of gossip can, with trade winds at its back, sink or float careers. If the #MeToo movement has taught us anything, it's to take industry rumors about women — particularly those circulated by men — with a pinch (or shaker) of salt. She's difficult. She's a nightmare to work with. Stay away from her. The provenance and/or motive for these pernicious bits of hearsay may be viler than you can imagine. ...Which brings us to Megan Fox. The 31-year-old actress has long been saddled with the 'difficult to work with' label, owing to a puzzling episode during the press tour for 2009's Jennifer's Body." (NB: It isn't that puzzling. She was just honest about what a terrible person Michael Bay is.)

[CN: Video may autoplay at link] Natalie Stone at People: Gabrielle Union: PTSD from Being Raped Was Triggered After Speaking with Sexual Assault Victims. "Sharing her own story of sexual abuse was both healing and painful for Gabrielle Union. ...During her recent book tour for her best-selling memoir We're Going to Need More Wine, the 45-year-old actress listened to countless stories from fans who shared their own sexual assault stories, which triggered PTSD from her own sexual assault more than two decades ago. 'On my book tour, a lot of cities felt like a revival — there were so many disclosures of abuse during the Q&A portion of talks and during the book signing; even as I was driving away people were flagging down my car in tears,' she says in her March Redbook cover interview, which hits newsstands Feb. 13. 'I didn't realize how big the need was for so many people to just get it out, to have someone look them in the eye and say, 'I believe you.' I cried a lot.' Adds Union: 'I Skyped a lot with my therapist, because the horrors that I was taking in triggered my PTSD.'" I can relate.

* * *

Finally, with a hat tip to Eastsidekate, this story about Oklahoma public schools and educators is absolutely incredible — and a horrifying glimpse into the consequential grotesquery of Republican governance:

And, if you click through to the original reporting at the Economist, this is the final line: "Meanwhile some Republicans, intent on cutting more spending, have an eye on the state's Medicaid programme."


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

Shakesville is run as a safe space. First-time commenters: Please read Shakesville's Commenting Policy and Feminism 101 Section before commenting. We also do lots of in-thread moderation, so we ask that everyone read the entirety of any thread before commenting, to ensure compliance with any in-thread moderation. Thank you.

blog comments powered by Disqus