We Resist: Day 470

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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: Junot Diaz Accused of Sexual Assault.

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

That's not really a resistance item, but I wanted to put it at the top of this post, because I fear — and hope I am wrong — that any need and expectation of federal recovery will turn into a resistance item.

For now: I'm thinking of you, Pahoa. I hope y'all are safe, and I desperately hope the damage, to your property and all the sentimental items held within, is minimal. ♥

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This ain't good:

Rachel Weiner at the Washington Post: Federal Judge in Virginia Grills Special Counsel on Manafort Investigation.
A federal judge in Virginia on Friday grilled lawyers from the office of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III about the motivations for bringing a bank and tax fraud case against former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort.

"You don't really care about Mr. Manafort's bank fraud," Judge T.S. Ellis III said during a morning hearing. "You really care about getting information Mr. Manafort can give you that would reflect on Mr. Trump and lead to his prosecution or impeachment."

Manafort was seeking to have the bank and tax fraud charges against him dismissed in federal court in Alexandria, with his lawyers arguing that the alleged crimes have nothing to do with the election or with [Donald] Trump.

Ellis agreed, but he made no immediate decision on the defense motion. He said even without such a connection the special counsel, which is investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election, may well still have the authority to bring the charges.
Um, yeah. Because that's what happens when someone breaks the law: They may have criminal charges brought against them. JFC.

Judge Ellis also said: "We don't want anyone in this country with unfettered power. It's unlikely you're going to persuade me the special prosecutor has power to do anything he or she wants." NO ONE IS ARGUING THAT OMG.

The wheels may be truly coming off the cart. (And I'm not sure they were ever properly screwed in to begin with.)


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And then right on cue... Ben Jacobs at the Guardian: Donald Trump Says Giuliani Yet to Get His 'Facts Straight' on Stormy Daniels. "Speaking to reporters on the south lawn of the White House on Friday morning, Trump said Giuliani 'started yesterday…he'll get his facts straight.' He added that 'virtually everything said has been said incorrectly' about the payment to Daniels."

It's all wrong, so no one can possibly tell what the truth is. More helpful chaos.

This is the same play, over and over and over. It's honestly embarrassing that the U.S. media keeps falling for this same fucking trick again and again.

It's also very perilous for all the rest of us, for the reasons I detailed yesterday:

Donald Trump isn't interested in anyone having their "facts straight." Trust that.

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Susan B. Glasser at the New Yorker: Donald Trump's Pursuit of an Oval Office Meeting with Vladimir Putin.
This coming Monday, Putin, already Russia's longest-serving leader since Joseph Stalin, will be inaugurated to a new six-year term. In March, Trump defied his own advisers to congratulate Putin in a post-election phone call, then surprised them again by inviting Putin to Washington for a summit meeting. It seems implausible and politically [foolish] to imagine that Trump would even consider a chummy one-on-one with Putin now, especially when the risks to Trump from the special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation of Trump's Russia ties appear so significant. And yet the invitation, I'm told, was real, and reflects the President's strongly expressed personal preference.

Will Trump follow through with it — and add yet another high-drama plotline to the already oversubscribed Trump show? I asked an array of current and former U.S. and European officials about it over the last few weeks, and the answers, as always when it comes to the mystery of Trump and Russia, are surprising, contradictory, and frustratingly incomplete.
Cool. Meanwhile...

Cassandra Pollock and Alex Samuels at the Texas Tribune: Hysteria over Jade Helm Exercise in Texas Was Fueled by Russians, Former CIA Director Says. "A former director of the CIA and NSA said Wednesday that hysteria in Texas over a 2015 U.S. military training exercise called Jade Helm was fueled by Russians wanting to dominate 'the information space,' and that Texas Gov. Greg Abbott's decision to send the Texas State Guard to monitor the operation gave them proof of the power of such misinformation campaigns. Michael Hayden, speaking on MSNBC's Morning Joe podcast, chalked up people's fear over Jade Helm 15 to 'Russian bots and the American alt-right media [that] convinced many Texans [Jade Helm] was an Obama plan to round up political dissidents.' Abbott ordered the State Guard to monitor the federal exercise soon after news broke of the operation. Hayden said that move gave Russians the go-ahead to continue — and possibly expand — their efforts to spread fear. 'At that point, I'm figuring the Russians are saying, 'We can go big time,'' Hayden said of Abbott's response."

Trump should be less concerned about soybean tariffs and more concerned about mercenaries, if he really wants to put "America First." (I know he doesn't.)

Billy House at Bloomberg: House Republicans Prepare to Endorse Trump's Military Parade. "House Republicans are preparing to endorse [Donald] Trump's plan for a military parade in the nation's capital, with warfighting vehicles rolling down city streets and planes flying overhead. The display in Washington would be authorized under the Republican-proposed draft for the annual defense policy measure... The parade would look back 'on a century of military service and focuses on the men and women who sacrificed to secure America's freedoms,' according to the summary released by committee chairman Mac Thornberry, a Texas Republican. 'Far too many American veterans and their families believe their sacrifices have not been given the public recognition that they deserve.'"

Jon Swaine and Julian Borger at the Guardian: Trump Set to Benefit as Qatar Buys $6.5m Apartment in New York Tower. "The government of Qatar bought a $6.5m apartment in one of Donald Trump's New York towers soon after the dismissal of a lawsuit that tried to stop the president benefiting from such deals. Qatar's mission to the United Nations signed a deal for the condominium at Trump World Tower on 17 January, according to city records. The purchase means that the Middle Eastern state now owns four units in the building, for which it paid $16.5m. ...Qatar's new acquisition at Trump World Tower, which is in Manhattan's Midtown East section, coincided with an intense lobbying campaign in Washington by the Qatari government amid a regional crisis that has pitted the Gulf monarchy against Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates."

Authoritarianism, corruption, military parades... It's all happening.

Like it or not.


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[Content Note: Misogynoir; disablism] Tia Berger at the Atlanta Black Star: Woman Says She Was Treated 'Like an Animal' and Thrown Off Flight on Claims She Was 'Contagious'. "Jeanne Lehman was recently diagnosed with shingles but received the green light from her doctor that was not contagious and could fly back to Edmonton. Upon her flight with Air Canada on April 22, Lehman asked to be seated near a window due to insecurities of the rash on her face and the flight attendant agreed. However, the airline employee came back wearing a mask with gloves and told Lehman she was being escorted off the plane. 'No one talked to me… No one listened to me,' the passenger told Insider. 'She [flight attendant] said to me, 'You're contagious.' She was practically screaming it in front of everyone… I told her: But I am not contagious! And even if I was, this is not the way to say it. Please don't say this in front of everyone.'" Lehman says a white woman would not have been treated that way, and I absolutely agree.

[CN: Racism] Dakin Andone and Hollie Silverman at CNN: A Mom on a College Tour Called the Cops on Two Native American Teens Because They Made Her 'Nervous'. "The teens saved their own money to take the family's only car and drive 7 hours from New Mexico to Fort Collins, Colorado, to visit the campus Monday, their mother told reporters with CNN affiliates KOAT and KRQE. 'This was their dream school, and I wanted to give them that opportunity,' the mother, Lorraine Kahneratokwas Gray, said. By the time they showed up, the tour had already begun. 'A parent participating in the tour called campus police because she was nervous about the presence of two young men who joined the tour while it was in progress,' the school said. Officers responded and pulled the young men aside while the tour continued on ahead without them." FUCK THIS. [Related: On Sitting with Fear.]

[CN: Misogyny]

[CN: Homophobia] Zack Ford at ThinkProgress: Kansas and Oklahoma Vote to Allow Adoption Agencies to Discriminate Against Same-Sex Couples. "Lawmakers in Kansas and Oklahoma passed bills this week chipping away at marriage equality, approving legislation that would allow child-placement agencies to refuse placements based on their religious beliefs — such as discriminating against same-sex couples — without endangering state funding. ...Proponents of bills in both states argue that they have nothing to do with discriminating, but are just about protecting religiously affiliated adoption agencies." LIARS.

[CN: Misogynist violence] And finally, I guess we're still discussing Kevin Williams because news outlets keep giving him space:

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

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