We Resist: Day 468

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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 Fannie: America Hates Honest Women. And by me: Yeah, We Know and Iowa Legislature Passes "Heartbeat" Abortion Bill and Trump Doesn't Want Us to Know How Many Civilians He Kills.

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

Let us begin with a real thing that the President of the United States tweeted this morning:

This is clearly a response to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein having said publicly yesterday, itself a response to Congressional Republicans drawing up articles of impeachment against him: "I can tell you there have been people who have been making threats privately and publicly against me for quite some time, and I think they should understand by now, the Department of Justice is not going to be extorted. We're going to do what's required by the rule of law. And any kind of threats that anybody makes are not going to affect the way we do our job."

Ben Jacobs at the Guardian explains:
The threat of impeachment is being used as leverage for Republican to get more information about the federal investigations into Russian interference in the 2016 election as well as Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server as secretary of state.

Earlier in April, the justice department handed over a redacted document about the origins of the Russia investigation to the House intelligence committee after its chair, Devin Nunes, publicly mused about holding law enforcement officials in contempt of Congress or even impeaching them for not cooperating.

Rosenstein said on Tuesday that "if we were to just open our doors to allow Congress to come and rummage through the files, that would be a serious infringement on the separation of powers."
So, to be clear, because the Deputy Attorney General of the United States (who is in charge of the Russia investigation as the Attorney General had to recuse himself since he is under suspicion of collusion) said that he would not allow partisan operatives in Congress to violate the separation of powers to assist the president in subverting the rule of law, now the president is publicly threatening to intervene with the Justice Department to stymie Rosenstein, in an extraordinary abuse of power and almost certainly illegal attempt to obstruct justice.

I don't even know what to say anymore. This is wanton authoritarian bullying, and Donald Trump was never going to behave any other way given the vast powers of the office of the U.S. presidency.

It was always reason #1 not to let him anywhere near the Oval Office.

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Nancy LeTourneau at Washington Monthly: Ukraine Stopped Cooperating with the Mueller Investigation to Appease Trump.
In addition to dropping the investigation into Manafort's dealings in Ukraine, the government has decided that it will not cooperate with Mueller's investigation and most importantly, allowed Konstantin V. Kilimnik to go to Russia, where he will be unavailable for questioning. You might remember that Kilimnik was the go-between who facilitated the communication between Manafort and Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska after he got the position as Trump’s campaign manager.

The government of Ukraine is being pretty transparent about why they are doing all of this.
The intention in Kiev to freeze cooperation with American investigators was readily acknowledged by Volodymyr Ariev, a member of Parliament who is an ally of President Petro O. Poroshenko.

"In every possible way, we will avoid irritating the top American officials," Mr. Ariev said in an interview. "We shouldn't spoil relations with the administration."
In other words, they need the support of the Trump administration and know that they won't get that if they cooperate with an investigation that he constantly rails about and calls a "witch hunt." So we have an American president who is under investigation for conspiring with a foreign country to influence an election, while other countries fear that cooperating with that investigation will hurt their own interests.
Yes, all of that. Plus, the fact that Trump is a stooge of Vladimir Putin is extremely relevant, given Putin's aggressive disposition toward Ukraine.

In related news, Jill Stein is still a cavernous asshole.

Nicole Lafond at TPM: Trump Lawyers Lack Security Clearance Needed to Discuss Some Mueller Questions. "Donald Trump's team of lawyers all currently lack the security clearance necessary to discuss sensitive issues related to a potential presidential interview with special counsel Robert Mueller, Bloomberg News reported Wednesday. According to two people familiar with the situation who spoke with Bloomberg, Trump's former lawyer John Dowd — who resigned over disputes with the rest of the legal team about whether Trump should sit for an interview with Mueller — was the only lawyer on the team who had a security clearance." What a complete shitshow.

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Here's one for anybody who still thinks Pence would be an improvement on Trump:

Hey, speaking of anti-choice shitbird Mike Pence... Amanda Michelle Gomez at ThinkProgress: Trump Policy Taking Aim at Planned Parenthood Threatens to Have Devastating Ripple Effects. "The Trump administration is expected to continue its assault on Planned Parenthood by reportedly going after the provider's federal family planning dollars — cutting the provider off to punish it for providing abortion services, even though Planned Parenthood doesn't use any federal funds for abortion. ...Federal officials are aiming to cut off Planned Parenthood from Title X family planning funding to fulfill a campaign promise to anti-abortion advocates, but the way the Trump administration would go about excluding Planned Parenthood would affect how all Title X clinics provide care to patients."

Cristiano Lima at Politico: Trump Touts Renewed 'Spirit' at State Department under Pompeo. "Donald Trump hailed newly-minted Secretary of State Mike Pompeo as a 'true American hero' while alluding to a boost of energy at the State Department during a ceremony marking the agency leader's swearing in on Wednesday. ...'I must say that's more spirit than I've heard from the State Department in a long time, many years,' the president said while speaking alongside Pompeo, Vice President Mike Pence, and other administration officials. 'We can say many years and maybe many decades. It's going to be a fantastic start a fantastic day. That spirit will only be magnified.'" BARF.

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[Content Note: White supremacy; Nazism]

[CN: Violence; nativism] Sarah Macaraeg at the Guardian: Fatal Encounters: 97 Deaths Point to Pattern of Border Agent Violence Across America. "The shootings are only part of a larger litany of Customs and Border Protection agency-related violence inside the U.S. Encounters have proven deadly for at least 97 people — citizens and non-citizens — since 2003, a count drawn from settlement payment data, court records, use of force logs, incident reports, and news articles. From Maine to Washington state and California to Florida, the deaths stem from all manner of CBP activity. Border agents manning land crossings and a checkpoint have used deadly force, as have agents conducting roving patrols — up to 160 miles inland from the border. Pedestrians were run over by agents. Car chases culminated in crashes. Some have drowned, others died after they were pepper-sprayed, stunned with tasers, or beaten. But the majority of victims died from bullet wounds, including shots in the back."

[CN: Misogyny; toxic masculinity] And finally: This opinion piece, "The Redistribution of Sex," by Ross Douthat for the New York Times is absolutely vile — so reverberatingly obscene that I debated whether to give it any attention at all. In the end, I decided I would mention it, just to condemn it in the strongest possible terms, and provide a space for others who may want to do the same, or seek commiseration that it was even published in the first place.

All I will say is this: It is outrageous that Douthat conflates the idea of challenging kyriarchal beauty standards to broaden sexual desirability with the idea that women owe shitty men sex to keep them from being violent. It's also deeply mendacious, twisted in a very particular way to serve his larger point in defense of violent, entitled men.

We are in a very bad place indeed when the "paper of record" is willing to publish a piece that essentially argues: Feminists wanted a sexual revolution but now they don't want to put out, so they shouldn't be too surprised when incels kill them. Shiver.

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

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