We Resist: Day 482

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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: Who Could've Guessed Kim Jong Un Would Be Erratic and Unreliable? and Don Jr: The Liar Doesn't Fall Far from the Tree and On Mike Pence's Destructive Ambition.

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

Lachlan Markay at the Daily Beast: Trump Formally Admits He Reimbursed Michael Cohen.
Donald Trump has officially acknowledged that he reimbursed his attorney, Michael Cohen, for a payment the lawyer made on Trump's behalf in 2017. The purpose of the payment is not named, but it was almost surely the one Cohen made to a porn actress with whom Trump allegedly had an affair.

"In the interest of transparency," reads a footnote in Trump's newly filed 2017 financial disclosure form, "while not required to be disclosed as 'reportable liabilities' on Part 8, in 2016 expenses were incurred by one of Donald J. Trump's attorneys, Michael Cohen. Mr. Cohen sought reimbursement of those expenses and Mr. Trump fully reimbursed Mr. Cohen in 2017. The category of value would be $100,001 - $250,000 and the interest rate would be zero."

That line almost certainly refers to the $130,000 payment that Cohen made to Stormy Daniels in October 2016 in exchange for her signing a non-disclosure agreement regarding her alleged tryst with Trump.
"Expenses were incurred." Oh, they were, huh? LOL this fucking criminal clown.

And there's the rub.


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Adrienne Mahsa Varkiani at ThinkProgress: Nikki Haley Walks out of U.N. Security Council Meeting as Palestinian Envoy Begins to Speak. "The Security Council was holding an emergency meeting to discuss the violence in Gaza. Israeli forces killed at least 62 Palestinians protesting along the border fence on Monday, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry in Gaza. That number included several children, one of whom was just 8 months old. More than 3,100 others were wounded. ...'I ask my colleagues here in the Security Council: Who among us would accept this type of activity on your border?' she said. 'No one would. No country in this chamber would act with more restraint than Israel has.' Haley did not mention the Israeli soldiers and snipers firing at the Palestinian protesters or the death toll from Monday. Less than two hours later, when Permanent Observer of Palestine to the United Nations Riyad Mansour began to speak, she walked out of the meeting." Wow. What a disgrace.

Michael Birnbaum at the Washington Post: E.U. Leader Lights into Trump: 'With Friends Like That, Who Needs Enemies?'
Even by the stressed standards of relations between Europe and the United States in the Trump era, European Council President Donald Tusk's Wednesday criticisms were unusually cutting.

At the outset of a summit of European leaders whose agenda items, point by point, have to do with the flames of crises that many Europeans see as ignited by [Donald] Trump, Tusk ripped into what he called "the capricious assertiveness of the American administration" over issues including Iran, Gaza, trade tariffs, and North Korea.

...Tusk, a former prime minister of Poland who now presides over one branch of E.U. policymaking, went full zen in his angry description of Trump's effect on Europe.

"Looking at the latest decisions of Donald Trump, someone could even think: With friends like that, who needs enemies?" Tusk told reporters in English ahead of a summit in Sofia, Bulgaria. "But, frankly speaking, Europe should be grateful by [Donald] Trump. Because, thanks to him, we got rid of all the illusions. He has made us realize that if you need a helping hand, you will find one at the end of your arm."
Just as a totally random (cough) reminder: President Obama hired Hillary Clinton as his Secretary of State because her reputation with leaders around the world was so stellar.


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The Democrats really failed on that one, in my estimation, but it's important to remember that, by and large, they are still fighting the good fight day in and day out, despite many forces working against them.

To wit: Eric Levitz at NYMag: The Democratic Party Has an 'MSNBC Problem'.
"The Democrats need to stop obsessing about Trump and Russia, and start talking about the bread-and-butter issues that matter to ordinary people." Since Donald Trump took office, that sentiment has been a refrain for the party's leading critics on both the left and right. It is also fundamentally unfair.

In truth, the Democratic Party is quite focused on promoting a progressive critique of the GOP's positions on taxes, health care, and social spending, because it knows that Republicans are deeply vulnerable on those issues. MSNBC, CNN, and the broader mainstream media, however, are obsessed with the White House's myriad scandals — because they know that a federal investigation into the American president's potential ties to the Kremlin (and/or porn stars and/or white-collar crime) is ratings gold — while daily broadcasts reiterating the regressive implications of the GOP's tax law and health-care plans would be anything but.

If you get your news from Democratic Twitter accounts, then you might well think that the biggest "scandal" in American politics right now is the Republican Party's war on the middle class.

But if you get your news from cable television — or secondhand from friends and family who watch cable news — then you will think that "Russia-gate" is the Democratic Party's central concern; because that is just about the only thing that cable news channels invite Democratic officeholders to go on television to discuss.

...It is not MSNBC's job to promote the Democratic Party's economic message. And the Mueller investigation is an important and fascinating story that's tailor-made for television news. It would not be realistic for Democrats to expect any for-profit media company to prioritize conveying its preferred political narratives over covering the most sensational events of the day.

And yet, Republicans do get that courtesy from the nation's most-watched cable news channel. Fox News puts the GOP's messaging needs ahead of maximizing eyeballs: When big breaking news about the Mueller investigation reflects poorly on the Republican president, Fox lets its competitors own the day's top story.

This puts Democrats at a profound structural disadvantage — especially in the war for the hearts and minds of working-class white voters in the deindustrializing Midwest.
There is much more at the link, and I highly recommended reading the whole thing.

Democrats are also at a disadvantage because the political press largely doesn't explain that foreign collusion is itself a "bread-and-butter issue." You know who cares even less about providing livable wages for working class Americans than the Republican Party? Vladimir Putin.

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[Content Note: Anti-Blackness; misogynoir; harassment] Blue Telusma at the Grio: 'Humiliated' Black Woman Strip-Searched by Macy's Clerk Because 'People Like You Have Been Stealing'. "Conteh Moore was shopping at a San Jose Macy's on May 8th when a sales associate accused her of stealing a bottle of cologne. Shortly thereafter, the employee performed an invasive strip search on her without her consent, but came up empty handed. 'They searched my purse and stripped my sweater off me,' Moore said. She also claims the employee made comments that demonstrated her suspicions about Moore being a thief were based on racial bias. 'She said, 'People like you have been stealing from Macy's, stealing stuff,'' Moore explained." JFC.

[CN: Self-harm; misogyny] Maggie Fox at NBC News: More Girls Are Attempting Suicide; It's Not Clear Why. "A new study out Wednesday finds that more kids are either thinking about or attempting suicide. 'When we looked at hospitalizations for suicidal ideation and suicidal encounters over the last decade, essentially 2008 to 2015, we found that the rates doubled among children that were hospitalized for suicidal thoughts or activity,' Dr. Gregory Plemmons of Vanderbilt University told NBC News. ...Girls made up nearly two-thirds of the cases. ...'I don't have any one magic answer that explains why we're seeing this,' Plemmons said. ...But there was a hint in Plemmons' data. The rate of hospital visits was much higher during the school year. ]On average, during the eight years included in the study, only 18.5 percent of total annual suicide ideation and suicide attempt encounters occurred during summer months,' the team wrote." Goddammit.

Mike Elk at the Guardian: North Carolina Teachers Join Wave of Strikes with One-Day Walkout. "Thousands of teachers and their supporters are set to rally at the state capitol on what will also be the first day of the session for the North Carolina general assembly. The walkout aims to highlight low wages and poorly funded public schools. Since 2009, real wages for teachers have fallen by 9.4% in North Carolina. Following a successful teachers' strike in West Virginia in March, union organisers in North Carolina began discussing what they could do. Then they watched teachers in several other states go on strike too. 'We saw Kentucky, Oklahoma, and Arizona, of course, and that momentum that has been building in these 'right-to-work states' is inspiring,' said Kristin Beller, a teachers' union leader in Wake County, North Carolina." Go get 'em, teachers!

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

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