We Resist: Day 473

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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: Someone Hired Black Cube to Collect Info on Obama Administration Officials and Malice Is the Centerpiece of Trump's Agenda: Access to Healthcare Edition.

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

[Content Note: Volcanic eruption; moving GIF at link] Amy B Wang at the Washington Post: 'This Is Heartbreaking': Lava Burns More Homes on Hawaii's Big Island as New Fissures Form. "Shortly after Kilauea erupted Thursday, the ground split open on the east side of Leilani Estates, exposing an angry red beneath the lush landscape. From the widening gash, molten rock burbled and splashed, then shot dozens of feet in the air. ...Soon, another such fissure had formed a few streets to the west. Then another, and another. From the vents, hot steam — and noxious gases — rose, before magma broke through and splattered into the air. ...As of Sunday night, at least 10 such fissure vents were reported in the neighborhood — including two that had opened anew late Saturday night — and at least 26 homes had been destroyed, according to the county civil defense agency."

As I mentioned on Friday, I'm including this continuing story in the We Resist thread because, although it is not a resistance item now, I fear that it may become one, based on how the Trump administration responds to this crisis. Maude knows I hope I'm wrong, and that affected Hawaiians get whatever federal aid they need.

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[CN: Nativism. Covers entire section.]

Ari Honarvar at Rewire: Caravan Asylum Seekers Let in, But Their Harrowing Journey Continues. "Until last night, the vast majority of asylum seekers had been camping outside of the port of entry on the Mexican side of the border. As of [Friday] afternoon, the remaining people from the caravan have been processed. But after traveling some 3,000 miles and several months, the final part of their journey remains just as challenging and uncertain. We already know the Trump administration is hostile toward asylum seekers. Trump has called on Congress to end 'loopholes' regarding laws that dictate children and families who arrive together move through the system together. 'It is a disgrace. We are the only Country in the World so naive! WALL,' Trump tweeted in April."

One point of clarification: Emily Nield was not jailed for driving with a Canadian license, but because she could not produce her passport upon request, after being pulled over for breaking the law by speeding. That's an important distinction, because the officer was technically within her rights to detain Nield, but that sort of thing never used to happen in the U.S., especially if you had a copy of your passport, if not your actual passport, with you. (Which Nield did.)

What this story highlights is that U.S. agents are becoming more militant toward immigrants and foreign visitors more broadly.

The issue is not that the police weren't allowed to detain her, but that they were allowed but never would have before. That signifies a major shift in policy, which is clearly being empowered and encouraged by this administration. The disposition toward immigrants and foreign visitors has changed, and it means we need to be examining all the precedents on the books of which law enforcement has not been making use, because the nation wasn't officially hostile to all non-citizens before now.

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Andy Towle at Towleroad: Trump Rages at 'Russia Witch Hunt's Unrevealed Conflicts of Interest,' Says He's Not Obstructing But 'Fighting Back'. "In a pair of Monday morning tweets, Donald Trump lashed out at Robert Mueller's team, claiming there are 'unrevealed conflicts of interest' and said he's 'fighting back' and not obstructing justice. Tweeted Trump: 'The Russia Witch Hunt is rapidly losing credibility. House Intelligence Committee found No Collusion, Coordination or anything else with Russia. So now the Probe says OK, what else is there? How about Obstruction for a made up, phony crime.There is no O, it's called Fighting Back.' He added: 'The 13 Angry Democrats in charge of the Russian Witch Hunt are starting to find out that there is a Court System in place that actually protects people from injustice…and just wait 'till the Courts get to see your unrevealed Conflicts of Interest!'"

FUCKING HELL. So that's just the President of the United States, who is under suspicion of colluding with a foreign adversary, threatening legal action against his ideological opponents who are also trying to hold him accountable based on mounting evidence of his treason.

And here's the newest member of Trump's legal team:

Meanwhile... Kyle Cheney at Politico: Trump's GOP 'Warriors' Lead Charge Against Mueller.
They have demanded thousands of documents central to special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation. They threaten to impeach Mueller's boss, who in turn accuses them of "extortion." One has even likened the Russia probe to a possible "coup d'etat."

[Donald] Trump calls them his "warriors": a band of four House Republicans defending Trump with a relentless counterattack against the Justice Department's Russia investigation that thrills the president even as it unsettles some House GOP colleagues who think they're going too far.

This crew of hard-charging conservatives, whom Trump singled out by name in late April, have emerged as some of Washington's most prominent Republicans, enjoying direct lines to the Trump White House and flights on Air Force One.

"Look, we have some absolute warriors," Trump told Fox News on April 26 when asked about his relationship with Congress, name-checking "Jim Jordan and Mark Meadows and Matt Gaetz and [Ron] DeSantis."

Their emergence underscores a reality of the Trump era: Power and prominence on Capitol Hill these days often flow not to the most senior lawmakers but to Republicans who display allegiance to a president who prizes loyalty. None of the four holds a powerful committee chairmanship, but they have something just as important: Regular airtime on Fox News.
This is what authoritarianism looks like.

And this is what they're hoping to accomplish, at least as the first part of their plan for the president (and their party) to evade accountability altogether...

Ian Millhiser at ThinkProgress: This Is the Man Who Will Supervise Mueller If Trump Fires Rosenstein. "Even before he became Donald Trump's top Supreme Court advocate, Solicitor General Noel Francisco was a magnet for Trumpian causes. ...In short, Francisco built his law practice as if his primary goal was to troll the libs. Flash forward a few years, and Francisco is now one of the most powerful and influential lawyers in the country. As Solicitor General, Francisco shapes the Trump administration's appellate litigation strategy and acts as one of the top advisers to the justices themselves. And, as one of the Justice Department's top officials, Francisco is next in line to supervise Special Counsel Robert Mueller if Trump fires Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein."

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David Morgan at Reuters: Republicans in Key Election Races Turn Down Volume on Trump's Tax Cuts. "Right after Republicans in the U.S. Senate passed their income tax overhaul in December, delivering tax cuts to businesses and most American taxpayers, Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell was buoyant. Surrounded by jubilant fellow Republicans, he told reporters, 'If we can't sell this to the American people, we ought to go into another line of work.' Four months later, McConnell's attempt at levity could prove prophetic. The most vulnerable Republican incumbents in the tightest congressional races in the November elections are talking less and less about the tax cuts on Twitter and Facebook, on their campaign and congressional websites, and in digital ads, the vital tools of a modern election campaign, a Reuters analysis of their online utterances shows. All told, the number of tax messages has fallen by 44 percent since January."

As I have said countless times: Republicans can't win on the issues. And so they lie about their records — and they cheat.

To wit: Allegra Kirkland at TPM: Republicans Make Moves to Crush Gerrymandering Reform. "With anti-gerrymandering efforts gaining steam, Republicans in some states are mobilizing to protect their ability to continue rigging election maps." Of course they are. Because they are Democracy Killers who don't believe in free and fair elections.

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[CN: Torture] Melanie Schmitz at ThinkProgress: Trump Brazenly Endorses the Use of Torture While Defending CIA Nominee. "[Donald] Trump defended the use of torture on Monday while tweeting his support for acting CIA Director Gina Haspel, his pick to officially head up the agency. 'My highly respected nominee for CIA Director, Gina Haspel, has come under fire because she was too tough on Terrorists,' Trump tweeted, referring to criticisms of Haspel's tenure overseeing a black site CIA prison in Thailand after 9/11, where detainees were subjected to brutal torture, including sleep deprivation and waterboarding. Haspel was later involved in the CIA's destruction of some 100 videotaped recordings of those interrogation sessions. 'Think of that, in these very dangerous times, we have the most qualified person, a woman, who Democrats want OUT because she is too tough on terror,' Trump added. 'Win Gina!'"

[CN: Racism; anti-Blackness] Angela Helm at the Root: #BlackWhileAirbnb-ing: 3 Filmmakers Checking Out of Rental Swarmed by Police, Including the Chopper. "Unfortunately, the spate of wypipo calling police on black folks simply living their lives — playing golf, working out, having coffee — continues. This time, the incident involves a group of three black filmmakers who were staying in an Airbnb home rental in the Golden State. A woman named Kells Fyffe-Marshall posted on her Facebook page last week that as she and two other black friends were leaving their rental in Rialto, Calif., they were met with a throng of seven police cars and a helicopter, because why not call in the whirlybird on this? This kerfuffle went down because a white neighbor took it upon herself to call said law enforcements on the friends, allegedly because they didn't 'wave to her' (did she know them?) and also because three black people taking luggage out of a home automatically means they're robbing the joint."

[CN: Anti-choice terrorism] Casey Quinlan at ThinkProgress: Trespassing at Abortion Clinics More Than Tripled in 2017. "Trespassing at abortion clinics more than tripled last year and death threats and threats of harm nearly doubled, according to a new report from the National Abortion Federation, a professional association of abortion providers. There were also more incidents of obstruction at clinics, from 580 in 2016 to more than 1,700 in 2017. Harassing phone calls and hate mail also rose 33 percent from last year. 'We know that hostile rhetoric, including rhetoric from anti-abortion elected officials, can incite some to take the law into their own hands by threatening abortion providers and committing acts of violence,' NAF President Vicki Saporta said in a press release on the report. '…The protesters are feeling emboldened by the political environment and seeing what they could get away with.'"

And finally, in good resistance news, this piece by Jamil Smith is a must-read:

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

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