We Resist: Day 476

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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: Something Is Going on with Mike Pence and Michael Cohen Was Selling More Than Access.

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

Loveday Morris, Ruth Eglash, and Louisa Loveluck at the Washington Post: Israel Launches Massive Military Strike against Iranian Targets in Syria. "Israeli warplanes bombed dozens of Iran-linked military facilities in Syria, the Israeli military said Thursday, as tensions soared after Israeli positions came under fire from a barrage of rockets fired from Syrian territory. The army said in a statement that its fighter jets targeted Iranian intelligence and logistics sites around Damascus, as well as munition warehouses, observation and military posts. A top official said the strikes hit most of Iran's facilities in Syria. The attacks followed a wave of overnight rocket strikes directed at Israeli positions in the Golan Heights — all of them apparently intercepted — that Israel blamed on Iran."

Of course, Bibi just blamed Iran for having an active nuclear program, which was a lie. So I'm not sure what we're supposed to make of the blame levied here to justify this bombing. Maybe it's accurate, but that's the problem with publicly telling lies about other nations, even foreign adversaries. People lose trust. You earn suspicion. And already fraught relations get even more fraught.

This, combined with Donald Trump's withdrawal of the U.S. from the Iran deal, and bullying European allies to reinstate sanctions, is putting an awful lot of pressure on Iran. No good will come of that.

And it wasn't necessary. Progress was being made. Talk about people who just want to see the world burn, fuck.

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MAKE YOUR CALLS. Urge your reps to support the Women's Health Protection Act. Even if they're Republican. Especially if they're Republican. Tell them you want and expect their support for access to reproductive healthcare. They may say no, but don't let that stop you from making your voice heard. RESIST.

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Kate Riga at TPM: White House Intervenes in Escalating Conflict Between DOJ and House GOPers. "White House chief of staff John Kelly and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein are trying to run interference in an escalating conflict between House Republicans and the Department of Justice, according to a Wednesday Politico report. Kelly and Rosenstein reportedly had a call with House leaders on Tuesday, offering a meeting but not promising the documents Republicans, led by Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), are requesting. ...It is not clear exactly which documents Nunes is demanding, as much of his request is classified. However, the Department of Justice has refused on the grounds that the material would expose critical sources and endanger lives." Which is surely not a bug but a feature for Nunes.

Jake Sherman and Alex Isenstadt at Politico: Adelson Gives $30 Million to Help GOP Save the House. "Las Vegas casino mogul Sheldon Adelson has cut a $30 million check to the House GOP-aligned Congressional Leadership Fund, a massive cash infusion that top Republicans hope will alter the party's electoral outlook six months before Election Day. The long-sought donation was sealed last week when, according to two senior Republicans, House Speaker Paul Ryan flew to Las Vegas to meet with the billionaire at his Venetian Hotel. ...As a federally elected official, Ryan is not permitted to solicit seven-figure political donations. When Ryan (R-Wis.) left the room, [Norm Coleman, the former Minnesota senator who chairs the Republican Jewish Coalition] made the ask and secured the $30 million contribution." Shady AF.

Hadas Gold and Oliver Darcy at CNN: Salem Executives Pressured Radio Hosts to Cover Trump More Positively, Emails Show. "Executives at Salem Media Group, a conservative media company that syndicates some of the country's most recognized talk radio hosts and operates a batch of popular commentary websites, pressured some of their radio talent to cover Donald Trump more favorably during the 2016 presidential campaign, emails obtained by CNNMoney show. One former radio host employed by Salem is now speaking out on the record, claiming the company fired her because of her refusal to play along." Authoritarians are nothing without their propagandists.

Rebecca Morin at Politico: Grassley Tries to Nudge Supreme Court Justices into Early Retirement. "Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley on Thursday encouraged Supreme Court justices flirting with retirement to immediately step down, saying he would like to push through a nominee before the midterm elections. 'I just hope that if there is going to be a nominee, I hope it's now or within two or three weeks, because we've got to get this done before the election,' he told conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt. 'So my message to any one of the nine Supreme Court justices, if you're thinking about quitting this year, do it yesterday.' Grassley's blunt talk came as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is racing to fill a range of judicial vacancies with conservatives as a hedge against the chance that Republicans lose the Senate in November." JFC.

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MAKE YOUR CALLS. Urge your senators to act to preserve Net Neutrality. Again, even and especially if they're Republican. The Democrats only need one more Republican to agree. PERSIST.

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[Content Note: Guns; nativism; threats; image of gun at link] Andy Towle at Towleroad: Georgia GOP Candidate for Governor Brian Kemp Cocks Shotgun, Says He'll 'Round Up Illegals' Himself in New Ad. "Georgia Secretary of State and gubernatorial candidate Brian Kemp is trying to show conservatives he's a tough guy with a new ad that features him pumping a shotgun, setting off an explosion, and promising to 'round up illegals' in his pick-up truck if he needs to. Says Kemp in the ad: 'I'm so conservative, I blow up government spending. I own guns that no one's taking away. My chainsaw is ready to rip up some regulations. I got a big truck, just in case I need to round up criminal illegals and take 'em home myself. Yep, I just said that. I'm Brian Kemp. If you want a politically incorrect conservative, that's me.'" Fucking vile.

[CN: Nativism; reproductive coercion] Ayana Byrd at Colorlines: Trump Administration Using New Tactics to Block Pregnant Teen Immigrants from Abortion Access. "The Department of Health and Human Service’s Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) continues to push its agenda to prevent pregnant teens of undocumented immigration status from accessing abortions. On March 30, a federal judge issued a temporary injunction meant to block ORR from interfering with their rights to comprehensive care. ...'In response, ORR sent an email on April 20 to shelters nationwide ordering them to put up a notice next to the ACLU poster that says the agency will 'provide prenatal and medical care' or help plan for adoption. ...The email also requires the nationwide distribution of a controversial Texas anti-abortion booklet called 'A Woman's Right to Know,' which contains false claims linking abortion to breast cancer.'" Goddammit.

[CN: Racism; anti-blackness] Anne Branigin at the Root: A Black Yale Student Took a Nap in a Dorm Common Room; a White Classmate Called the Cops on Her. "Now, it looks like #NappingWhileBlack can be added to the list. On Monday, a black graduate student at Yale was interrogated by police for 15 minutes after a white grad student reported her for napping in a common room. As the Yale Daily News reports, Lolade Siyonbola says she was napping in a common room in the Hall of Graduate Studies when she was confronted by a white female grad student who told her she couldn't sleep there. The white Yale student then called campus police. ...Siyonbola says the white grad student had called the cops on a friend of hers earlier in the year for getting lost in her building." Seethe.

[CN: Sexual harassment] Bryce Covert at Rewire: Addressing Sexual Harassment in the Restaurant Industry Is Key to 'Solve Harassment in All Industries'. "One in three people in the United States begins their working lives in the restaurant industry, and half of the United States' workforce will work in it at some point in their lives. ...Restaurants are hotbeds of sexual harassment. About 80 percent of women in the industry report experiencing harassment from customers and co-workers, according to ROC research, while two-thirds say they were harassed by management. That means a huge number of women are likely to experience sexual harassment in their early careers, something that could stick with them throughout their working lives." And skew their perceptions of what's appropriate and acceptable.

Paul Voosen at Science: Trump White House Quietly Cancels NASA Research Verifying Greenhouse Gas Cuts. "Donald Trump's administration has quietly killed [NASA's Carbon Monitoring System (CMS), a $10-million-a-year research line], Science has learned. The move jeopardizes plans to verify the national emission cuts agreed to in the Paris climate accords, says Kelly Sims Gallagher, director of Tufts University's Center for International Environment and Resource Policy in Medford, Massachusetts. 'If you cannot measure emissions reductions, you cannot be confident that countries are adhering to the agreement,' she says. Canceling the CMS 'is a grave mistake,' she adds."

Naomi Larsson at the Guardian: U.S. Cities Losing 36 Million Trees a Year, Researchers Find. "Cities in the United States are increasingly seeing concrete in place of greenery as urban areas lose an estimated 36m trees annually, according to a study from the Forest Service. Tree cover in urban areas has declined at a rate of around 175,000 acres per year, while impervious cover — such as roads and buildings — has increased significantly across the country. An estimated 40% of new impervious surfaces were in areas where trees used to grow, the study found. The total loss of tree cover reached 1% across cities and surrounding areas in the five years between 2009-2014. As four-fifths of Americans live in urban areas, it has serious environmental, social, and economic ramifications, warned researchers."

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

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