We Resist: Day 418

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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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Earlier today by me: This Is What It Looks Like When Your President Is Owned by Russia and Trump's Personal Assistant Fired and Removed from White House and Women Bring Class Action Lawsuit Against Microsoft.

Here are some more things in the news today...

Luke Harding at the Guardian: Russian Exile Nikolai Glushkov Found Dead at His London Home. "A Russian exile who was close friends with the late oligarch Boris Berezovsky has been found dead in his London home, according to friends. Nikolai Glushkov was discovered by his family and friends late on Monday night, aged 68. The cause of death is not yet clear." Russia is doing the most to break apart the US-UK alliance and start a world war. We must be clear on this point, no matter how terrifying it is to process.

And, because I am clear on that point, I ask: Chuck Schumer, what are you even doing?

Trump said in full (according to the New York Times' transcript of the brief press avail):
I've worked with Mike Pompeo now for quite some time. Tremendous energy, tremendous intellect. We're always on the same wavelength. The relationship has been very good. That's what I need as secretary of state.

I wish Rex Tillerson well. Gina, by the way, who I know very well who I worked very closely, will be the first woman director of the C.I.A. She is an outstanding person who also I have gotten to know very well. So I've gotten to know a lot of people very well over the last year and I'm really at a point where we're getting very close to having the cabinet and other things that I want.

But I think Mike Pompeo will be a truly great secretary of state. I have total confidence in him. And as far as Rex Tillerson is concerned, I very much appreciate his commitment and his service and I wish him well. He's a good man.

...Rex and I have been talking about this for a long time. We got along actually quite well. But we disagreed on things. When you look at the Iran deal. I think it's terrible. I guess he — it was O.K. I wanted to either break it or do something. And he felt a little bit differently.

So we were not really thinking the same. With Mike, Mike Pompeo, we have a very similar thought process. I think it's going to go very well.
The important takeaways: 1. Trump wants a yes-man as Secretary of State. 2. Trump doesn't want anyone at State challenging him, especially on Russia. Also note Pompeo's agreement with Trump that "the Iran deal [is] terrible." 3. Trump says he's "getting very close to having the cabinet and other things" he wants. It's unclear what those "other things" are, but it's clear that the cabinet he wants is one full of deferential sycophants who will aid and abet his authoritarianism.

So there is literally no reason for Schumer to be pretending at this point — and every reason to stop pretending — that there is any good faith to be found among Trump's cabinet. They are not going to do the right thing. There will be no "new leaf" for Mike Pompeo, no more than there has ever been a "pivot" for Trump.

To insist otherwise is to indulge the utterly false narrative that this administration is something other than profoundly abnormal, subversive, disloyal, and intent on undermining our democratic institutions, norms, and laws.

It is to further pretend that the rest of the Republican Party hasn't colluded with this coup every step of the way, despite the fact that they have, openly and shamelessly. Here is another piece from Trump's presser:
We're very happy with the decision by the House Intelligence Committee saying there was absolutely no collusion with respect to Russia. And it was a very powerful decision, a very strong decision.

Backed up — I understand they're going to be releasing hundreds of pages of proof and evidence. But we are very, very happy with that decision. It was a powerful decision that left no doubt. So I want to thank the House Intelligence Committee and all of the people that voted so strongly.
I'll bet. I'm sure Donald Trump is incredibly grateful to his helpers in Congress, who refuse to acknowledge his collusion, because that might shine a spotlight on theirs.

I understand the Democrats are in the minority and there is not a whole lot they can do to stop Trump as long as Republicans are in charge, having abandoned their patriotism and duty to provide checks and balances on the executive branch. But the one thing Democrats can do is stop talking about this in a way that ignores or soft-pedals reality. That only helps Trump.

Be honest. Even if the honesty is difficult for people to hear and accept. Especially when it is.

That's the reality about Mike Pompeo. New leaf, my fat fucking ass.

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Aaron Rupar at ThinkProgress: Nunes Justifies Ending Russia Probe with Talking Point That Was Debunked 8 Months Ago. "'If you look at the one example of which was I think bad judgement which is where they met with a Russian lawyer, but it had to do with Russian adoptions,' Nunes said, after he was asked to explain how the House Intelligence Committee arrived at its conclusion that there was no collusion." As has been well documented, "adoptions" is code for "sanctions."

Greg Sargent at the Washington Post: The Republican Coverup for Trump Just Got Much Worse.
House Republicans may have the power to prevent important facts about [Donald] Trump and Russia from coming to public light. But here's what they don't have the power to do: prevent important facts about their own conduct on Trump's behalf from coming to public light.

...In an interview with me this morning, Rep. Adam B. Schiff — the ranking Democrat on the Intel Committee — confirmed that Democrats will issue a minority report that will seek to rebut the GOP conclusions.

But here's the real point to understand about this minority report: It will detail all the investigative avenues that House Republicans declined to take — the interviews that they didn't conduct, and the leads that they didn't try to chase down and verify. And Schiff confirmed that the report will include new facts — ones that have not been made public yet — that Republicans didn't permit to influence their conclusions.
Sargent is right, and I'm hugely appreciative that Schiff continues to say and do the right thing, but what will any of this matter as long as the Republicans remain in charge? Who is going to make it matter?

I wish I thought that any of this was going to matter, to the people empowered to hold these traitors accountable.

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Get this dude outta there, Pennsylvania 18! Good luck, Democrats. I'm rooting for ya from the other side of the state.

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[Content Note: Chipping away at abortion rights. Covers entire section.]

Rolling back abortion access, and the very right to access abortion at all, continues apace across the country, as Republican legislatures pass anti-choice laws in a vacuum of inattention and with a newly-sympathetic Supreme Court majority:

1. Mississippi passed a "blanket ban on abortion after 15 weeks gestation."

2. Kentucky's House passed a ban on the 'dilation and evacuation' procedure, "the most commonly-used method for second trimester abortions."

3. Tennessee's House passed legislation "seeking federal approval to ban TennCare payments to abortion providers, including Planned Parenthood, for non-abortion services."

4. Idaho's House passed legislation that "would require the state Department of Health and Welfare to provide individuals seeking abortions with information about reversing a medication-induced abortion. It would also require the agency to publish information on its website about the reversal procedure, which according to Planned Parenthood, has 'no basis in science.'"

So, everything is going great for women and others who can get pregnant and thus need access to a full state of reproductive healthcare options.

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[CN: Nativism; reproductive coercion] Layidua Salazar at Rewire: Activist's Detainment Reminds Us Immigration Is a Reproductive Justice Issue.
Ale has talked about her decision to have an abortion and why she feels having a family under this administration would be unsafe. "When I first found out I was pregnant, I was conflicted," she said earlier this year on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade. "For a minute or two I smiled at the idea of being a mother. I quickly had a reality check and knew I couldn't start a family here, right now. I do not want to be a mother because families are under attack."

She added that, "The same people who would force me to continue my pregnancy are the same people who would rip my baby from my arms and deport me because of my immigration status. I can't ignore the irony of lawmakers whose only mission is to control a woman's body, and refuse to support us in accessing childcare and livable wages for our families. The president is a known racist and encourages police to keep killing us instead of working towards a country that can begin transforming itself to be a place that truly is the best country in the world."

[CN: Death penalty] Alfonso Serrano at Colorlines: Death Sentence: Trump Considers Capital Punishment for Drug Dealers. "An opioid overdose crisis that killed nearly 64,000 people in 2016 has proved more deadly than the AIDS epidemic at its peak and has played a significant role in reducing life expectancy in the United States for the second straight year. As morgues overflow with bodies and children pour into the foster care system, states are scrambling to stop the hemorrhaging via high tech solutions, ramped up addiction services, and lawsuits targeting drug makers. But [Donald] Trump has recently floated a different approach, inspired by some Asian countries: death sentences for drug dealers. During a rally in Pennsylvania on Saturday (March 10), Trump said that drug dealers might deserve the death penalty. It's the second time he has voiced the idea in two weeks."

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

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