We Resist: Day 454

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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: Trump Just Straight-Up Tweets That He's a Spy and This Video Is a Harbinger of Bad Things to Come.

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

Shane Harris, Carol D. Leonnig, Greg Jaffe, and David Nakamura at the Washington Post: CIA Director Pompeo Met with North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un over Easter Weekend. "CIA Director Mike Pompeo made a top-secret visit to North Korea as an envoy for [Donald] Trump to meet with Kim Jong Un, and plans for a possible summit between the two leaders are underway, Trump confirmed Wednesday. The extraordinary meeting between one of Trump's most trusted emissaries and the authoritarian head of a rogue state was part of an effort to lay the groundwork for direct talks between Trump and Kim about North Korea's nuclear weapons program. The clandestine mission came late last month, soon after Pompeo was nominated to be secretary of state." Oh.

(This is not normal.)

Helene Cooper at the New York Times: Mattis Wanted Congressional Approval Before Striking Syria; He Was Overruled. "Defense Secretary Jim Mattis urged [Donald] Trump to get congressional approval before the United States launched airstrikes against Syria last week, but was overruled by Mr. Trump, who wanted a rapid and dramatic response, military and administration officials said. ...Until this month, Mr. Mattis had a buffer at the White House in the former national security adviser, Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, who often deferred to the defense secretary, a retired four-star Marine general. The arrival of Mr. Trump's new national security adviser, John R. Bolton, means that buffer is gone." Oh.

(This is also not normal.)

Caitlin MacNeal at TPM: Trump Says He Didn't Fire Comey over Russia Probe, Contradicting Past Claim. "Donald Trump on Wednesday morning claimed that he did not fire James Comey as FBI director over his handling of the Russia investigation, even though the president admitted as much last year. [He tweeted: "Slippery James Comey, the worst FBI Director in history, was not fired because of the phony Russia investigation where, by the way, there was NO COLLUSION (except by the Dems)!"] Trump's tweet contradicts comments he made to NBC's Lester Holt in May of last year. The President said he was thinking about the Russia investigation when he decided to fire Comey and said he would have fired the FBI director regardless of any recommendation from the Justice Department. 'And in fact, when I decided to just do it, I said to myself, I said, you know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made up story, it's an excuse by the Democrats for having lost an election that they should have won,' Trump told NBC at the time."

Just a profligate fucking liar. Oh, and also corrupt AF, in case you'd managed to forget for two seconds (j/k I know you didn't).

Aaron Rupar at ThinkProgress: Trump Finally Tweets About Stormy Daniels, Accidentally Incriminates Himself. "On Wednesday morning, [Donald] Trump claimed that a composite sketch of the man Stormy Daniels says threatened her in a Las Vegas parking lot in 2011 is of 'a nonexistent man.' Trump retweeted a sketch of the man posted by a pseudonymous Twitter account, 'Deplorably Scottish,' and wrote, 'A sketch years later about a nonexistent man. A total con job, playing the Fake News Media for Fools (but they know it)!' ...But it's unclear how Trump could have knowledge of what did or didn't happen to Daniels in a Las Vegas parking lot in 2011 — particularly if, as he claims, he wasn't aware of Cohen's activities regarding Daniels." Whooooooooops!

Rebekah Entralgo at ThinkProgress: The Entire Island of Puerto Rico Just Lost Power Again. "Puerto Rico was hit with an island-wide blackout Wednesday morning, according to the government-owned electric power company. Puerto Rico has been consistently suffering from an unstable power grid since Hurricane Maria struck the island seven months ago. The island had been experiencing the worst blackout in American history and second worst in world history before Wednesday's blackout. According to government officials, it could take 24 to 36 hours to restore power." Goddammit.

[Content Note: Nativism] Rory Carroll at the Guardian: California Mudslides: As Wealthy Town Recovers, Undocumented Are Left Behind.
After wildfire and mudslides ravaged Montecito, the little California town had at least one consolation: the trauma united the community.

Everyone had suffered in some way. Flames scorched the hillsides last December in the biggest wildfire in California's modern history. Weeks later torrential rain unleashed huge mudflows, killing at least 21 people, destroying dozens of homes, and forcing thousands to flee.

..."We're going to come together and do what great Americans do all the time. We're going to help each other," said Oprah Winfrey, one of many celebrity residents.

Now, three months after the mudslides, normality is returning.

...One segment of the population, however, is struggling to recover: The largely Latino service workers — maids, nannies, gardeners, caregivers, cooks, waiters, busboys — who earn near minimum wages and live in the shadows, paycheck to paycheck.

Many recently returned to work after enforced layoffs and discovered they would not be paid for any lost time.

"Not a cent," said Zita Nevarez, 38, a barista and single mother who lost six weeks of work.

...Lacking legal status also bars them from seeking emergency relief from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
The undocumented service workers on whom the town depends for its own survival should and must be taken care of by the rest of the town. If you value someone's labor, you must equally value their humanity. Or you compromise your own.

[CN: Nativism] Esther Yu Hsi Lee at ThinkProgress: The Trump Administration Is Reportedly Denying Green Cards to Young Immigrants. "The Trump administration appears to have lowered the age limit for a legal immigration status granted to certain young people under the age of 21 who have been abused, abandoned, or neglected by their parents, the New York Times reported Wednesday. The publication found that several people between the ages of 18 and 21 have been unable to proceed with their petitions and are now ineligible for green cards." So, first it was women who have escaped domestic violence, and now it's children who have escaped domestic abuse. This fucking administration. Seethe.

[CN: Nativism] Layidua Salazar at Rewire: I'm an Undocumented Taxpayer: Here's How My Taxes Are Used Against My Values. "Our nation's budget — funded by federal, state, local, and sales taxes — is an indicator of our priorities. More and more it's clear that funding the military, artificial border walls, and jails are more of a priority for lawmakers than ensuring all U.S. residents have access to food, housing, education, and health care, including abortion." This is an important read, especially for folks who erroneously believe that undocumented residents don't pay taxes.

[CN: Environmental toxins; class warfare; racism] Fiona Harvey at the Guardian: More Than 95% of World's Population Breathe Dangerous Air, Major Study Finds. "More than 95% of the world's population breathe unsafe air and the burden is falling hardest on the poorest communities, with the gap between the most polluted and least polluted countries rising rapidly, a comprehensive study of global air pollution has found. Cities are home to an increasing majority of the world's people, exposing billions to unsafe air, particularly in developing countries, but in rural areas the risk of indoor air pollution is often caused by burning solid fuels. One in three people worldwide faces the double whammy of unsafe air both indoors and out."

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

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