We Resist: Day 449

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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: F#@k James Comey and Trump to Pardon Scooter Libby.

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

Nicole Lafond at TPM: Trump Responds to 'Pee Tape' Claims: 'It Was My Great Honor to Fire James Comey!' "Donald Trump responded to former FBI director James Comey's 'pee tape' claims with a rage-filled round of tweets Friday morning, calling Comey a 'LEAKER,' a 'LIAR,' and an 'untruthful slime ball' and saying it was 'my great honor to fire' him. 'James Comey is a proven LEAKER & LIAR. Virtually everyone in Washington thought he should be fired for the terrible job he did-until he was, in fact, fired. He leaked CLASSIFIED information, for which he should be prosecuted. He lied to Congress under OATH. He is a weak and...untruthful slime ball who was, as time has proven, a terrible Director of the FBI. His handling of the Crooked Hillary Clinton case, and the events surrounding it, will go down as one of the worst 'botch jobs' of history. It was my great honor to fire James Comey!'" Wow. WOW.

Carol E. Lee, Julia Ainsley, Kristen Welker, and Hallie Jackson at NBC News: Trump, Mueller Teams Prepare to Move Forward without Presidential Interview.
Special counsel Robert Mueller's office and [Donald] Trump's legal team are now proceeding with strategies that presume a presidential interview will likely not take place as part of the Russia investigation, after months of talks between the two sides collapsed earlier this week, according to multiple people familiar with the matter.

...Prior to Monday's raid, Mueller's team had been aiming to finalize a report on its findings on whether the president has tried to obstruct justice in the Russia investigation in the coming months, as early as May or as late as July, three sources said. That timeline hinged in part on reaching a decision on a presidential interview, these people said. One person familiar with the investigation described a decision on an interview as one of the last steps Mueller was seeking to take before closing his investigation into obstruction.

Now, according to two sources, Mueller's team may be able to close the obstruction probe more quickly as they will not need to prepare for the interview or follow up on what the president says.

Steve Dent at Engadget: Trump Follows Amazon Jabs by Ordering U.S. Postal Service Review. "Trump has said that the USPS loses $1.50 for every Amazon package it delivers. However, experts have countered that the while the service does lose money delivering first class mail, e-commerce package deliveries are profitable. In 2017 they brought in $19.5 billion, up 11.4 percent over the year prior. Trump ordered the task force to look at how the USPS does package deliveries with companies like Amazon, and also at declines in mail volume. 'A number of factors, including the steep decline in first-class mail volume, coupled with legal mandates that compel the USPS to incur substantial and inflexible costs, have resulted in a structural deficit,' the order states. 'The USPS is on an unsustainable financial path and must be restructured to prevent a taxpayer-funded bailout.'" Ridiculous.

Gregory Korte at USA Today/Journal Sentinel: White House Sees Continued Exodus of National Security Officials as Rick Waddell Departs. "[Donald] Trump's deputy national security adviser will step down from his position at the White House, continuing the exodus of national security officials as Trump turns to a more hawkish team. Army Maj. Gen. Rick Waddell was a key lieutenant to former national security adviser H.R. McMaster, who departed the White House last week. The White House said Thursday that Waddell would soon step down from that post, although the exact date is not set. ...Waddell is the fourth high-ranking National Security Council official to announce his departure in the past week."

Kate Riga at TPM: Former AMI Editor Says CEO Routinely Killed Negative Trump Stories. "A former senior editor at American Media Inc. told CNN that Chairman and CEO David Pecker has a long history of killing negative stories about President Donald Trump to curry his favor. Per CNN, the editor, Jerry George, worked for AMI, publisher of The National Enquirer, for 28 years before being laid off in 2013. He said that while he has no personal knowledge of the recently reported episode where AMI allegedly bought and killed former Trump Tower doorman Dino Sajudin's story about Trump's illegitimate child, it fits the broader trend at the company. George reportedly said that Pecker, a longtime friend of Trump's, would routinely quash any story that cast the then-businessman and reality television host in an unflattering light."

[Content Note: Class warfare] Erin Shields and Lucia Martinez at Colorlines: Broadcasting Hate: How Trump Used the FCC to Punish the Poor.
In early February 2017, as chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), Ajit Pai, without warning or provocation, issued an order that made it harder for people with low incomes to access the internet. The order ripped at the heart of the Lifeline program — an initiative designed to provide a federal subsidy to help the poor afford internet access.

Since its inception in 1985, Lifeline is one of those rare federal government programs that has received bipartisan support. Created during the Reagan administration to support landline phone access, the program was codified by the Gingrich/Dole Congress in 1996, then expanded under President George W. Bush to include wireless service, and then modernized during the Obama administration to explicitly allow broadband options. Now, after decades of work, the Lifeline program will be all but destroyed by the Trump administration.

Limiting participation in the Lifeline program was just the first shot fired in this unjust theater of battle where the wounds and causalities run deep among single mothers, seniors, people with disabilities, people of color, and children. Since then, this racist, elitist, and classist administration has used the FCC to invigorate a culture of economic exploitation to wage war against the poor.
If you are wondering whether the juxtaposition of the previous two items was intentional, yes — yes it most certainly was.

[CN: Nativism]

[CN: White supremacy; racist violence; guns] Fox 2 Michigan: Black Teen Misses Bus, Gets Shot at After Asking for Directions in Rochester Hills.
A 14-year-old missed his bus and it nearly cost him his life.

Things took a dangerous turn when Brennan Walker went looking for help at a Rochester Hills home Thursday morning and was confronted by a man with a gun. Walker was trying to walk the bus route to Rochester High School after he woke up late and missed his bus. His mom had taken his phone away, so he didn't have that with him to get directions. So he knocked on a stranger’s door for help — and almost paid for it with his life.

"I got to the house, and I knocked on the lady's door. Then she started yelling at me and she was like, 'Why are you trying to break into my house?' I was trying to explain to her that I was trying to get directions to Rochester High. And she kept yelling at me. Then the guy came downstairs, and he grabbed the gun, I saw it and started to run. And that's when I heard the gunshot," he says.

Thankfully, the man missed. Brennan kept running, hid, then cried.

"My mom says that, black boys get shot because sometimes they don't look their age, and I don't look my age. I'm 14; but I don't look 14. I'm kind of happy that, like, I didn't become a statistic," he says in retrospect.
I hate all the reporting on this, and this is about the best of the bunch, so much of which implies that Walker's mother is somehow more to blame than the white assholes who responded to a child knocking on their door looking for help by shooting at him. GODDAMMIT. I am so glad that Walker was not physically harmed.

[CN: Environmental racism]

[CN: White supremacy; terrorism] Kelly Weill at the Daily Beast: Suspected White Supremacist Died Building ISIS-Style Bombs. "Benjamin Morrow was found dead with white supremacist literature and the ingredients for a notorious bomb known as the 'Mother of Satan.' Morrow, 28, died in an explosion in the kitchen of his Beaver Dam, Wisconsin, apartment on March 5. His home was filled with bomb-making substances so volatile that firefighters chose to destroy the 16-unit apartment block in a controlled blaze, rather than let Morrow's neighbors continue to live in the building. A search warrant unsealed last week revealed that Morrow kept white supremacist literature in his home. Investigators' application for a second warrant suggests that Morrow had plans, announcing that he was clearing out a rented storage locker just hours before his death." Fucking hell.

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Let's end with some GOOD RESISTANCE NEWS today!

Esther Yu Hsi Lee at ThinkProgress: Federal Judge Rules Against DOJ Policy That Rewards Police for Cooperating with ICE. "A federal judge in Los Angeles ruled this week that the U.S. Department of Justice cannot withhold public safety, policing grants in so-called 'sanctuary cities' where local law enforcement officials can choose not to turn over suspected undocumented immigrants in custody over to federal immigration authorities. U.S. District Judge Manuel Real issued a 'permanent, nationwide ban against a Justice Department policy that gave an edge to obliging police departments applying for a community policing grant program,' the Los Angeles Times reported." Yay!

Allegra Kirkland and Alice Ollstein at TPM: Voters Take the Wheel on Fixing Gerrymandering. "Days after the November 2016 election, a coordinator at a recycling non-profit wrote a Facebook post asking if her fellow Michigan residents were interested in coming together to 'take on gerrymandering.' Katie Fahey's casual social media request ended up morphing into a statewide, all-volunteer movement to draft a ballot proposal to overhaul how the Great Lake State's congressional and state legislative district lines are drawn. The push by that group, which came to be known as Voters Not Politicians, ended up gathering over 100,000 more signatures than the 316,000 needed to get the measure on Michigan's November 2018 ballot. Across the country, voters are engaging in similar mobilizations at the state level to take the wheel on the seemingly unsexy issue of redistricting reform." Yay!


Nicole Knight at Rewire: Judge Blocks Montana Law Prohibiting Nurses From Performing Abortions. "Two nurses challenging the constitutionality of a Montana abortion law were handed a temporary win in court last week. A Montana district court judge temporarily blocked a state law barring highly skilled nurses from providing abortion services under threat of criminal prosecution. The preliminary injunction allows plaintiffs Helen Weems, an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN), and an unidentified certified nurse midwife, to complete their training to provide abortion services in the state, according to a statement by their attorneys." Yay!

Andy Towle at Towleroad: Maryland Elementary School to Be Named for Gay Civil Rights Icon Bayard Rustin. "Bayard Rustin Elementary will be the name of Montgomery County, Maryland’s first school named for an openly gay individual after the Board of Education voted 6-2 to name the school after the civil rights icon who advised Martin Luther King Jr. and was a lead organizer of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom in 1963." Yay!

And finally, this is just awesome women being awesome, and who couldn't use some of that in their lives?


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

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