We Resist: Day 386

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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.

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Here are some things in the news today:

Earlier today by me: The Government Shut Down Overnight; Is Back Open and This Is a Constitutional Crisis.

Ayana Byrd at Colorlines: What the Budget Deal Means for Puerto Rico. "According to The New York Times, 'The deal includes $4.8 billion to replenish dwindling Medicaid funds, $2 billion to restore the shredded power grid, and $9 billion for housing and urban development projects.' It gives the island a total of $16 billion of the $90 billion allocated for disaster relief in Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Florida, and Texas — all of which are still recovering from hurricanes Irma, Maria, and Harvey. The $16 billion, notes The Washington Post, is only a fraction of the $94 billion that Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rossell√≥ said was necessary for recovery, which includes $17 billion to repair the electrical grid alone." What will matter most is the management of these funds and whether Congress is willing to give Puerto Rico additional funds in future as required.


[Content Note: Domestic violence] Caitlin MacNeal at TPM: White House Officials at First Blamed Porter Abuse Allegations on His Enemies. "Two White House officials told Sen. Orrin Hatch's (R-UT) office that a forthcoming story from the Daily Mail with abuse allegations was the product of a 'smear campaign' against Porter. The officials laid some of the blame on former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski and claimed that he had been researching Porter's past, per the Daily Beast. Porter is dating White House Communications Director Hope Hicks, according to CNN and CBS News. Lewandowski also reportedly dated Hicks."

But since blaming Lewandowski hasn't taken the heat off John Kelly, now the administration has decided to blame...Hope Hicks!


Meanwhile, in Russia investigation news...

Kyle Cheney at Politico: FBI Surveillance of Carter Page Might Have Picked up Bannon. "The FBI was monitoring Carter Page when the former Trump campaign adviser says he spoke with Trump adviser Steve Bannon about Russia in January 2017, raising the strong possibility that the FBI intercepted a conversation between the two men. Page told Congress in November about the call. But it has been cast into a new light by last week's release of a Republican memo revealing that the FBI was monitoring Page's communications at the time. ...The significance of a possible FBI recording depends on the exact content of the conversation between Bannon and Page, about which Page has been vague. But it means the FBI's surveillance of Page — which has been the subject of intense partisan anger in Washington — may have touched one of the highest-ranking figures in Trump's incoming administration just days before inauguration."

Over at TPM, Allegra Kirkland takes note of something I've been observing (and which has led me to speculate that Pence has been quietly cooperating with Mueller): 'A Bit of a Mystery': Why Is Mueller Keeping His Distance from Pence? "[I]t's puzzling that Mueller appears to have made no attempt to talk to the administration's second-highest-ranking official. Pence's lawyer met with Mueller last year to offer Pence's full cooperation. 'It's a bit of a mystery to me that Pence's name hasn't really surfaced at all,' Michael Zeldin, a former federal prosecutor who worked closely with Mueller in the Justice Department's criminal division, told TPM. 'There are things that Pence seems to be relevant to. So I'm surprised.' ...Notably, public reports have offered little indication that Pence is a target of the obstruction of justice, collusion, or money laundering arms of the Russia investigation. 'The reporting so far has revealed not much detail about Pence's involvement in key events,' Bob Bauer, White House Counsel under President Barack Obama, told TPM in an email."

That last bit is certainly very troubling. If Mueller is actually disinterested in Pence because the political press has failed utterly to connect the dots on this guy, that might legitimately make my head explode into a million pieces.

Which is why I am so grateful that reporter Ashley Parker, at least, seems to be catching on:


In other Pence news... Melanie Schmitz at ThinkProgress: Pence Criticizes North Korea for Throwing Military Parade; Praises Trump for Doing the Same. Of course he did.

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[CN: Nativism. Covers entire section.]


Alfonso Serrano at Colorlines: Is ICE Punishing Immigrant Rights Activists for Their Political Activity? "Immigration advocates say the Trump administration has unleashed a wave of vengeance against activists vulnerable to deportation. Besides Ragbir, other cases include the initiation of deportation proceedings by ICE against Maru Mora Villapando, a Mexico native and prominent immigration activist in Washington state who has organized protests at the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma. ...On January 11 ICE detained Eliseo Jurado in Westminster, Colorado, citing 10-year-old driving infractions as reasons for his arrest. A native of Mexico, Jurado is the husband of Ingrid Encalada Latorre, a Peru native who is claiming sanctuary at a Boulder, Colorado church to avoid deportation." There is much more at the link.


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[CN: White supremacy; Nazism; police misconduct] Sam Levin at the Guardian: California Police Worked with Neo-Nazis to Pursue 'Anti-Racist' Activists, Documents Show. "California police investigating a violent white nationalist event worked with white supremacists in an effort to identify counter-protesters and sought the prosecution of activists with 'anti-racist' beliefs, court documents show. The records, which also showed officers expressing sympathy with white supremacists and trying to protect a neo-Nazi organizer's identity, were included in a court briefing from three anti-fascist activists who were charged with felonies after protesting at a Sacramento rally. The defendants were urging a judge to dismiss their case and accused California police and prosecutors of a 'cover-up and collusion with the fascists.'" Rage. Seethe. Boil.

Not incidentally, this story is a perfect example of why I absolutely refuse to tolerate shit-talking about "flyover states" in this space. There is, regrettably, collusion with fascists all over this country.

[CN: War on agency] Christine Grimaldi at Rewire: Trump Administration's Global Gag Rule Review 'Ignoring the Evidence' on Policy's Danger. "Under the global gag rule, also known as the 'Mexico City Policy,' foreign nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) that receive money from the United States can't provide or even discuss abortion care. Past Republican administrations applied the rule to about $575 million in U.S. family planning aid, according to Human Rights Watch figures. [Donald] Trump, however, expanded the policy to all U.S. foreign aid, to the tune of $8.8 billion. Trump's version even extends to George W. Bush's previously excluded President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), to the consternation of at least one former Bush-era official who surmised that the overall expansion was a backlash to the Women's March. ...The U.S. Department of State's six-month review of the anti-choice 'global gag rule' elevates political ideology over evidence-based public health, according to advocates working in the arena."


[CN: Racism] Christopher Brennan at the New York Daily News: White House Misspells Frederick Douglass in MLK Niece Nomination. "The White House misspelled the name of Frederick Douglass, and continued a string of awkward moments around the famed 19th century abolitionist. A release from administration said that [Donald] Trump had nominated three people, including Martin Luther King Jr.'s niece Alveda King, to be members of the Frederick Douglass Bicentennial Commission. However, the name of Douglass was misspelled as Douglas. The Frederick Douglass Bicentennial Commission, created in a bill passed by Congress last year, will create programs to celebrate the 200th anniversary of his birth."

As Parker Riley noted at NewsOne: "Also, no word on why Alveda King received this 'nomination,' outside of being a Trump worshiper. She was the same person claiming Trump wasn't a racist on MLK day."

[CN: Sexual assault]


[CN: Christian Supremacy; white supremacy] Rose Hackman at the Guardian: The Michigan Town Where Only Christians Are Allowed to Buy Houses. "In Bay View, only practicing Christians are allowed to buy houses, or even inherit them. Prospective homeowners, according to a bylaw introduced in 1947 and strengthened in 1986, are required to produce evidence of their faith by providing among other things a letter from a Christian minister testifying to their active participation in a church. Last summer, a dozen current and former resident members filed a federal lawsuit against the town, its ruling Bay View Association, and a real estate company, claiming the Christian litmus test was illegal and unconstitutional. Is Bay View a religious community simply seeking to practice its own beliefs, in peace, as it has always desired? Or is it, as the lawsuit claims, a community in clear violation of constitutional, civil, and religious rights — to say nothing of federal housing rights?"

[CN: White supremacy; image of man pointing gun at link] Breanna Edwards at the Root: White Man Told Police That 2 Black Men Tried to Rob Him at Gunpoint; Surveillance Footage Told Another Story. "It took one particularly insistent mother — and the surveillance video she pushed police to review — to stop her sons from being jailed on false robbery charges after they were set up by a white man whom cops chose to believe over them. According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Patrick John Owens was the one who lied to police, telling them that the two brothers, Christopher and Jerry Tate, had robbed him at gunpoint last summer. It is instead Owens who was finally charged on Wednesday as the culprit in the armed robbery. ...Before, it had looked grim for the brothers, who believe that their story would not have been taken seriously if not for their mother, who pushed for police to look over surveillance footage. 'My mother kept telling them that there was video all through that area,' Jerry Tate, 23, recalled. It was thanks to that video that a case was built against Owens, 29. Owens has since been charged with attempted robbery, armed criminal action, second-degree assault. and making a false report — three felonies and a misdemeanor, respectively."

Good news in the end. But goddamn if it weren't for a tenacious mom!

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

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