We Resist: Day 466

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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: Well, I'm Back and Trump Will Attend NRA Convention and American Conservative Union Chair Says Journalists Shouldn't Report When President or His Staff Are Lying.

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

[Content Note: War; bombing] Ali M. Latifi at ThinkProgress: Attacks in Afghanistan Kill 29 People, Including 10 Journalists.
A series of coordinated back-to-back bombings in Kabul and a targeted killing in Khost province have contributed to the deadliest day for Afghan journalists in 16 years, with at least 29 people — including 10 journalists — killed in the attacks.

Early Monday morning, a suicide bomber belonging to the so-called Islamic State group traveling on a motorcycle detonated his explosives near the headquarters of the National Directorate of Security, the Afghan intelligence agency. Within minutes of the first attack, as Afghan journalists for international and local media, gathered at the attack site, another bomber struck.

According to security officials, the second bomber, reported to be carrying a camera in his hand, detonated his explosives as journalists from several outlets gathered to document the scene of the initial explosion.

Knowing that journalists often convene at the site of an attack, the bomber purposely carried a camera with him, likely to give his claim of being a journalist more credence. The move could lead to more troubles for the nation's press, as cameras are often seen as a sign of legitimacy for journalists by the Afghan National Security Forces, who often ask print and online journalists who arrive at press scenes, "Where's your camera?"
Awful. My condolences to the families, friends, colleagues, and neighbors of the people who were killed, and my sympathies to those who were injured in the attacks. Fucking hell. I'm so angry and so sad.

[CN: Reference to self-harm] Andy Towle at Towleroad: South Korean President: Trump Should Get Nobel Prize. Lindsey Graham: Liberals Would 'Kill Themselves.'
South Korean President Moon Jae-in has told reporters in Seoul that Donald Trump should get the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts brokering peace between North and South Korea, Reuters reports.

Said Moon: "[Donald] Trump should win the Nobel Peace Prize. What we need is only peace."

Senator Lindsey Graham agreed, speaking with FOX News anchor Maria Bartiromo on Sunday: "[Donald] Trump, if he can lead us to ending the Korean War after 70 years and getting North Korea to give up their nuclear program in a verifiable way, deserves the Nobel Peace Prize and then some… I want to be there. It may be the first time the Nobel Peace Prize was given and there was mass casualties because I think a lot of liberals would kill themselves if they did that… But the bottom line is, by any objective measure what [Donald] Trump has done is historic."
First of all, fuck off, Lindsey Graham. I'm not going to "kill myself" if Trump gets a prize he doesn't deserve. He already has a presidency he doesn't deserve, and that's a lot more important. Secondly, fuck off twice, Lindsey Graham, because this is definitely "historic" all right, but not because Trump is some kind of foreign policy genius:

All of that said, even if Trump were secretly a reverse-psychology foreign policy savant who brought us to the brink of nuclear war to forge a lasting peace (sounds legit), maybe he doesn't need a prize for peace while shit like this is also happening on his watch: [CN: Sexual violence; genocide] Beth Schlachter at Rewire: While Rohingya Refugees Are Being Raped, the U.S. Has Pulled Needed Funding.
Since August 2017, almost 700,000 Rohingya refugees have fled from Myanmar (also known as Burma) into Bangladesh. The government of Myanmar — which views the Rohingya as foreigners and refuses to recognize them as citizens — has engaged in a campaign of terror defined as ethnic cleansing by both the United Nations and the U.S. State Department. The United States historically has been a world leader in responding to humanitarian situations. But the Trump Administration has decided not to fund UNFPA, the agency most prepared to help.

Most of the Rohingya refugees now in Bangladesh are women and children. Again and again they tell the same horror story: Myanmar soldiers arrived in their villages, guns bristling. Houses were torched. Men were beaten and killed. Women and girls were gang-raped and tortured. Babies were ripped from their mothers' arms and clubbed to death, or hurled onto fires. Shattered survivors grabbed what they could and fled, staggering through miles of forests and rice paddies to cross the border into Bangladesh.

...The Rohingya crisis, arguably among the greatest human tragedies of our lifetime, is a gendered disaster. Many of the woman and girls are pregnant — and many of those pregnancies are unwanted.

...The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) is the United Nation's lead agency for maternal and reproductive health and provides an essential lifeline for women and girls in humanitarian situations. In the Rohingya camps, as in refugee camps around the world, UNFPA is on the ground with desperately needed essentials.

[But in] March 2017, the administration withdrew funding to UNFPA — approximately $70 million to $80 million annually — citing a spurious and long-disproved claim that UNFPA supports coercive abortion and forced sterilization in China.
And that's just the tip of the horrendous iceberg of U.S. foreign policy failures under Trump in just over a year.

Peace prize, my fat ass.

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More on Michelle Wolf and the White House Correspondents' Dinner...

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Zoe Tillman at BuzzFeed: The Justice Department Deleted Language About Press Freedom and Racial Gerrymandering From Its Internal Manual. "Since the fall, the U.S. Department of Justice has been overhauling its manual for federal prosecutors. In: Attorney General Jeff Sessions' tough-on-crime policies. Out: A section titled 'Need for Free Press and Public Trial.' References to the department's work on racial gerrymandering are gone. Language about limits on prosecutorial power has been edited down. The changes include new sections that underscore Sessions' focus on religious liberty and the Trump administration's efforts to crack down on government leaks." Authoritarianism-a-go-go.

[CN: Disablism] Katherine Riga at TPM: Paralympic Games Fired Back After Trump Called Them 'Tough to Watch'. "At a photo-op for Olympic and Paralympic athletes Friday evening, Trump seemingly deviated from his prepared remarks. 'What happened with the Paralympics was so incredible and so inspiring to me,' he said. 'And I watched—it's a little tough to watch too much, but I watched as much as I could.' Some are criticizing the president for his remarks, while others have rushed to his defense, claiming that he meant that he lacks time to watch television." LOL sure. The president who does nothing but golf and watch Fox News and has famously mocked disabled people meant that he doesn't have the time to catch the Paralympics. Talk about Occam's Big Paisley Tie! JFC.

E.A. Crunden at ThinkProgress: Pruitt Is Facing at Least 10 Ethics Investigations as EPA Watchdog Announces New Probe. "Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) head Scott Pruitt is now the subject of at least 10 federal investigations. The agency's internal watchdog said Friday that it had opened yet another line of inquiry into Pruitt's spending habits. In a letter shared with ThinkProgress and other news outlets, EPA Inspector General Arthur A. Elkins Jr. told Reps. Don Beyer (D-VA) and Ted Lieu (D-CA) that an investigation is being opened into Pruitt's $50-a-night rental of a Capitol Hill condo owned by a lobbyist couple."

[CN: Video may autoplay at link] Jarrett Renshaw and Chris Prentice at Reuters: EPA Grants Biofuels Waiver to Billionaire Icahn's Oil Refinery. "The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has granted a financial hardship waiver to an oil refinery owned by billionaire Carl Icahn, a former adviser to [Donald] Trump, exempting the Oklahoma facility from requirements under a federal biofuels law, according to two industry sources briefed on the matter. The waiver enables Icahn's CVR Energy Inc to avoid tens of millions of dollars in costs related to the U.S. Renewable Fuel Standard program. The regulation is meant to cut air pollution, reduce petroleum imports, and support corn farmers by requiring refiners to mix billions of gallons of biofuels into the nation's gasoline and diesel each year."

[CN: Class warfare] Bryce Covert at Rewire: As Republicans Attach Work Requirements to, Well, Everything, They're Driving People Deeper into Poverty. "When HUD Secretary Ben Carson unveiled a proposal on Wednesday to allow housing authorities to implement work requirements, he claimed the current system 'discourages these families from earning more income and becoming self-sufficient.' This comes after the 2017 House Republican-authored budget claimed putting work requirements in programs that don't have them will 'promote work and self-sufficiency.' But the truth is that we've tried this experiment in TANF, and it's instead proven that these requirements utterly fail to help people secure jobs and financial independence. Much of the decline in people who are enrolled in TANF since it was reformed has been because they were kicked off, not because they found better jobs."

E.J. Dionne Jr. at the Washington Post: The Steep Price of the Trumpian Circus. "Nothing is significant for long, everything is episodic, and old scandals are regularly knocked out of the headlines by new ones. It's a truly novel approach to damage control. And governing? It seems almost beside the point. Thus does the unraveling of regulatory protections for workers, the environment, and the users of financial services rush forward with little notice. This is where the Trumpian circus benefits the Trumpian project. If there are too many scandals for any one of them to seize our attention for long, all of them taken together allow what are potentially very unpopular policies to take root without much scrutiny."

In addition to the obvious concerns about individual suffering here, surely it's not a good idea, to put it mildly, to send soldiers with brain damage to war, for a whole host of reasons.

[CN: Anti-Semitism] Matt Shuham at TPM: Army Probes Dismissal of Jewish Lay Leaders at Fort Campbell. "Jewish lay leaders serving the Army's 101st Airborne Division at Fort Campbell, Kentucky were reportedly dismissed without cause, leading to an investigation of what the dismissed leaders allege is religious discrimination, Army Times reported over the weekend. 'There was no explanation why I was fired,' said Jeanette Mize, who, along with her husband and son, had organized Shabbat and high holiday services for Jewish soldiers at Fort Campbell since 1999. Those services have now been effectively discontinued, Army Times reported."

And finally... [CN: Sexual harassment] Sarah Ellison at the Washington Post: NBC News Faces Skepticism in Remedying In-House Sexual Harassment. "Matt Lauer is not the only prominent anchor at NBC who allegedly sought inappropriate relationships with younger women. Linda Vester, a former NBC correspondent, told The Post that legendary anchor Tom Brokaw made unwanted advances toward her on two occasions in the 1990s, including a forcible attempt to kiss her. Vester was in her 20s and did not file a complaint. ...Another woman, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, also told The Post that Brokaw acted inappropriately toward her in the '90s, when she was a young production assistant and he was an anchor. ...NBC acted quickly to dismiss Lauer, but it is facing a wave of internal and outside skepticism that it can reform a workplace in which powerful men such as Lauer were known to pursue sexual relationships with more junior women." Fucking hell.

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

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