We Resist: Day 452

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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, Part Two and On Trump's Syria Strike and An Observation.

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

[Content Note: Anti-Blackness; white supremacy] Damien Gayle at the Guardian: Arrest of Two Black Men at Starbucks for 'Trespassing' Sparks Protests.
About two dozen chanting protesters have entered a Philadelphia Starbucks where two black men were arrested after store employees called 911 to say the men were trespassing [despite the fact that the men were just waiting to meet a friend there, like countless people do in Starbucks franchises all over the world every damn day—Liss].

The protesters moved to the front counter shortly after 7 am on Monday and chanted "Starbucks coffee is anti-black" and "We are gonna shut you down."

...The arrests on Thursday were captured on video and circulated widely on social media. The footage shows police officers confronting two men seated at a table, before handcuffing and arresting them. Their friend, who is white, arrives just as the pair are being led outside.

Melissa DePino captured the incident on video and posted it on Twitter. She wrote: "The police were called because these men hadn't ordered anything. They were waiting for a friend to show up, who did as they were taken out in handcuffs for doing nothing. All the other white ppl are wondering why it's never happened to us when we do the same thing."

The police commissioner, Richard Ross, said officers went to the coffee shop after Starbucks employee reported the men were trespassing. Officers were told the men had entered and asked to use the toilet, but were refused because they had not bought anything. They then refused to leave. Ross, who is black, insisted that his officers "did absolutely nothing wrong."

Police have not released the names of the men. A spokesman for the district attorney's office said the two were released "because of lack of evidence" that a crime had been committed, but declined to comment further, citing a police investigation.

I have seen an awful lot of people arguing in defense of both the police and the Starbucks employee who called them, because the men were asked to leave, so neither the police nor the employee had any choice once they refused. That is bullshit. And it is bullshit that ignores the men probably never would have been asked to leave in the first place if they'd been white, and bullshit that ignores there was still no reason to call the police when they wouldn't leave as long as they weren't hurting anyone, and bullshit that ignores the police were there to protect property not people, including and especially the people they were arresting, which is not the job the police insist to us they do (despite all evidence to the contrary).

And one of the things that businesses like Starbucks need to be drilling into their employees' heads is that Black people — and brown people, and disabled people — are disproportionately likely to have fatal interactions with police, so the police should be called only if people, and especially people of color and/or disabled people, are causing some sort of serious problem. And "taking up a table for awhile without buying anything" isn't actually a serious problem.

For fuck's sake.

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Devlin Barrett at the Washington Post: Trump Wants to Review Material Seized from Personal Lawyer Before Federal Investigators. "[Donald] Trump asked a federal judge Sunday night to allow him to review documents that FBI agents seized from the office of his longtime lawyer before criminal investigators have a chance to see the material. The request underscores the high stakes in an ongoing legal fight in federal court in New York, where Michael Cohen, Trump's lawyer, is also fighting to get a chance to review material seized as part of a criminal investigation of his business dealings." Authoritarianism watch, part wev in an endless series.

Anita Kumar at McClatchy: Trump Businesses Made Millions off Republican Groups and Federal Agencies, Report Says. "[Donald] Trump's U.S. businesses have received at least $15.1 million in revenue from political groups and federal agencies since 2015, according to a new report to be released Monday. The money went to Trump's airplanes, hotels, golf courses, even a bottled water company during the presidential campaign and the first 15 months of his presidency, according to a compilation of known records of the spending by Public Citizen obtained by McClatchy. ...The total amount is likely to be much more. There is no single place to find out how much the administration is spending at Trump businesses, though federal agencies have started to disclose some records in response to public record requests. ...By comparison, in 2013 and 2014, political spending at his properties was less than $20,000." Fucking grifter.

Damian Paletta at the Washington Post: Trump Contradicts His Treasury Department, Accuses China and Russia of Currency Cheating. "Trump on Monday accused China and Russia of improperly manipulating their currencies in a way that gives them unfair trade advantages. 'Russia and China are playing the Currency Devaluation game as the U.S. keeps raising interest rates. Not acceptable!' the president wrote on Twitter. The accusation, delivered without any evidence or corroboration, directly contradicts a report issued Friday by Trump's Treasury Department, which did not accuse either country of artificially lowering the value of its currency. Instead, the report found that China's currency had recently moved in a direction that should benefit U.S. exporters." JFC.

screen cap of a tweet authored by @nycsouthpaw responding to a tweet published by Sarah Huckabee Sanders, showing a photo of the Situation Room and claiming to be on the night of the Syrian strike decision; nycsouthpaw has responded: 'This photo wasn’t taken last night. Pence was in Peru.'

Jon Swaine at the Guardian: Trump's Press Secretary Issues Clarification After Posting Misleading Photo. "Donald Trump's press secretary issued a begrudging clarification on Sunday after being accused of posting a misleading photograph of the president online. Sarah Sanders was criticised for a tweet on Saturday that appeared to show Trump busily directing missile strikes against Syria from the White House situation room, with Vice-President Mike Pence at his right hand. 'Last night the President put our adversaries on notice: when he draws a red line he enforces it,' Sanders wrote as a caption. ...Sanders on Sunday responded with a new installment from the Trump administration's series of prickly statements in which an inaccurate remark is simultaneously defended and amended. It said: 'As I said, the President put our adversaries on notice that he enforces red lines with the strike on Syria Friday night. The photo was taken Thursday in the Situation Room during Syria briefing.'" Sure.

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[CN: White supremacy] Alice Ollstein at TPM: Interior Officials Have History of Hostility to Native Concerns. "A scathing Inspector General's report released last week is raising new questions about last summer's mass reassignment of Interior Department (DOI) employees that disproportionately affected Native Americans. Now, current and former members of Congress and former department officials tell TPM that two top Trump political appointees at the department — at least one of whom played a key role in the reassignments — have long been hostile to Native concerns. Both officials, Deputy Secretary David Bernhardt, the department's second in command, and Associate Deputy Secretary Jim Cason, served in top DOI posts during the George W. Bush administration, at a time of intense conflict between the agency and Native American tribes."

[CN: Authoritarianism; white supremacy] Natasha Geiling at ThinkProgress: These States Want to Make Planning a Pipeline Protest a Crime.
As pipeline protests continue to delay and, sometimes, stop energy projects in their tracks, the fossil fuel industry and Republican lawmakers are looking for new ways to clamp down on environmental protest.

In the last few years, state lawmakers across the country have proposed bills that would impose harsh penalties on environmental protest, particularly protests aimed at delaying pipeline construction or shutting down existing pipeline infrastructure. In energy-rich states like Oklahoma and North Dakota, lawmakers have successfully passed bills prohibiting certain kinds of protest, from protests that block highways or traffic to protests that trespass onto property containing energy infrastructure.

But a new crop of bills proposed in Louisiana, Pennsylvania, and Minnesota — all states with controversial pipeline projects currently under consideration — take the criminalization of protest one step further.

If passed, the bills would make it illegal to conspire to protest in certain instances, like when a protest would require trespass or some other kind of civil disobedience. This means the act of simply planning a protest that includes a civil disobedience component, like trespass — regardless of whether or not you actually protest — would become illegal.
This is just authoritarianism run amok, and further evidence of what I say all the time: Donald Trump is not an anomaly of Republican politics, but its endgame.

[CN: White supremacy] Dan Balz and Scott Clement at the Washington Post: Poll: Democrats' Advantage in Midterm Election Support Is Shrinking. "Democrats hold an advantage ahead of the midterm elections, but a Washington Post-ABC News poll shows that edge has narrowed since January, a signal to party leaders and strategists that they could be premature in anticipating a huge wave of victories in November." And why? WHITE PEOPLE VOTING TO PROTECT WHITE PRIVILEGE.

And finally...

[CN: Climate change; video may autoplay at link] Allan Adamson at Tech Times: Atlantic Ocean Current Slowing Down Due to Global Warming: Here's What Could Happen. "Findings of two new studies have revealed that the Atlantic ocean current has significantly slowed down and is currently at its slowest pace in 1,600 years. The researchers attribute the slowing down of the current known as the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation to global warming. ...The so-called 'conveyor belt of the ocean' plays an important role in regulating global temperatures and the phenomenon is feared to have serious consequences. AMOC transports heat around the globe and if this movement stops, the heat would not be distributed."

That could lead to: More severe African droughts; more extreme winters and summers in Europe and North America; more severe storms in Europe; a faster rise in sea levels of the U.S. East Coast; fisheries devastated by warming waters, impacting jobs and creating food scarcity; and the ocean becoming "less effective at absorbing carbon dioxide [which] can lead to higher quantities of the greenhouse gas in the atmosphere worsening global warming." Fuck.

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

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