We Resist: Day 484

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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: Trump to Launch New Assault on Abortion Access and Shooting at Texas' Santa Fe High School.

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

[Content Note: Gun violence. Covers entire section.]

Nicole Lafond at TPM: Trump on Santa Fe High Shooting: 'This Has Been Going on Too Long'. "This has been going on too long in our country. Too many years. Too many decades now. We grieve for the terrible loss of life and send our support and love to everyone affected by this absolutely horrific attack to the students, families, teachers, and personnel at Santa Fe High. We're with you in this tragic hour, and we will be with you forever. My administration is determined to do everything in our power to protect our students, secure our schools, and to keep weapons out of the hands of those who pose a threat to themselves and to others."

This is one of the most heartbreaking interviews I have ever seen (transcript below):


Paige (shaken and looking down, shaking her head): I managed to keep calm through it all; there was another girl who was just freaking out; they were struggling really hard to keep her calm. It was really — it was really scary.

Male reporter, offscreen: Was there a part of you that was like: "This isn't real; this isn't — this would not happen in my school"?

Paige (smiling bitterly and chuckling mirthlessly): No. There wasn't. Um.

Reporter: Why so?

Paige: It's been happening everywhere. I felt — I've always kind of felt like eventually it was going to happen here, too.

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Melanie Schmitz at ThinkProgress: What You Should Know about Trump's Latest 'Spy' Claim. "In a tweet Thursday morning, [Donald] Trump claimed that the Obama administration and the FBI had 'spied' on his campaign during the 2016 presidential race, [tweeting]: 'Wow, word seems to be coming out that the Obama FBI 'SPIED ON THE TRUMP CAMPAIGN WITH AN EMBEDDED INFORMANT.' Andrew McCarthy says, 'There's probably no doubt that they had at least one confidential informant in the campaign.' If so, this is bigger than Watergate!' The president appeared to be referring to a column published in the conservative-leaning National Review last week, which claimed that the FBI had placed a spy or 'human source' inside the Trump campaign to pass information to federal authorities."

Kate Riga at TPM: Trump: 'If True' FBI Informant Is 'All Time Biggest Political Scandal'. "Donald Trump on Friday morning ratcheted up the intensity of his desire to hunt down the FBI informant who reportedly met with Trump campaign aides before the 2016 election, [tweeting]: 'Reports are there was indeed at least one FBI representative implanted, for political purposes, into my campaign for president. It took place very early on, and long before the phony Russia Hoax became a 'hot' Fake News story. If true — all time biggest political scandal!' Trump has been stuck on the topic since a Wednesday New York Times report, prompting the FBI to set up precautionary measures to protect the source, should Trump's efforts unmask him or her."

Every day, it's some fresh new fuckery from the paranoiac tyrant. Meanwhile, I can think of at least one political scandal that would be bigger than the false claim that the FBI planted a mole in a presidential campaign.


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Fredreka Schouten at USA Today: Millions Flow to Fast-Growing Lobbying Firms with Ties to the Trump Administration. "Lobbying firms managed by former campaign aides, fundraisers, and others with ties to [Donald] Trump and [Mike] Pence have collected at least $28 million in federal lobbying fees since Trump assumed the presidency, a USA TODAY analysis found." DRAIN THE SWAMP!

David Smith at the Guardian: Bill Gates: Trump Twice Asked Me the Difference Between HIV and HPV. "In both of those two meetings, he asked me if vaccines weren't a bad thing because he was considering a commission to look into ill-effects of vaccines and somebody — I think it was Robert Kennedy, Jr. — was advising him that vaccines were causing bad things. And I said no, that's a dead end, that would be a bad thing, don't do that. Both times he wanted to know if there was a difference between HIV and HPV so I was able to explain that those are rarely confused with each other."

I find it difficult to believe that Donald Trump was truly confused about the difference between HIV and HPV for a couple of reasons. (Not that I think Gates is lying, mind you; I just think Trump might have been fucking with him.)

Reasons #1 and #2:

Then again, maybe Trump's brain has been eaten by syphilis. The U.S. did lose the Vietnam War, after all.

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[CN: Gun violence] Adam Peck at ThinkProgress: Evidence Suggests Las Vegas Shooter Stephen Paddock Was Motivated by Pro-Gun Conspiracy Theories.
[O]n Wednesday, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department released 1,200 pages of police reports, witness statements, and other evidence, for the first time shedding new light on the man responsible for the shooting.

Just days before the massacre, at least two people told police that a man they believed to be Paddock ranted to them about federal government efforts to impose gun control measures. Another witness recounted how a man thought to be Paddock shared his belief that a "camp" set up by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) after Hurricane Katrina in 2005 was in fact "a dry run for law enforcement and military to start kickin' down doors and…confiscating guns."

The widespread seizure of guns by the federal government — specifically through FEMA — is a popular conspiracy theory amongst extremist gun nuts, and one that was heavily promoted by the National Rifle Association.

On the 10th anniversary of Katrina's landfall in New Orleans, an NRA article published in the Daily Caller vastly overstated the degree to which authorities were disarming gun owners during rescue and evacuation efforts in the city. Even other pro-gun groups criticized the NRA's portrayal of the situation as inaccurate and overblown.

One of the Las Vegas witnesses recalled Paddock telling him that "somebody has to wake up the American public and get them to arm themselves," during a conversation less than a month before the shooting. "Sometimes sacrifices have to be made."
Let's be clear: The NRA isn't just standing in the way of preventing mass shootings; it's promulgating disinformation that underwrites gun violence.

[CN: Homophobia; transphobia]

[CN: Disablism] Robyn Powell at Rewire.News: For People with Disabilities, Earning Pennies Per Hour Is Only Part of the Problem. "Supposedly, the goal of sheltered workshops is to train people with disabilities to work in integrated settings, earning typical wages. However, that is rarely what happens. In fact, only 5 percent of employees who work in sheltered workshops transition to a job in the community, according to an investigation by the U.S. Government Accountability Office. Of course, subminimum wage is only one of countless ways in which people with disabilities continue to face substantial barriers to finding and keeping meaningful employment. Indeed, the same archaic beliefs about the productivity of people with disabilities that led to Section 14(c) rear their ugly head in every aspect of employment, resulting in abysmal employment rates."

[CN: Carcerality] Samantha Melamed at the Philly Inquirer: Pennsylvania's Newest, Most Expensive Prison Is Finally Ready — and Inmates Are Dreading It. "In a memo drafted by eight of those inmates last September, the men pleaded for better communication about their future living conditions, counseling for inmates distressed by the move, and supports for elderly or infirm inmates who worried about possible top-bunk assignments or other physical challenges. 'The horror stories about where we will live build by the day. This is very stressful,' they wrote, citing rumors about sinking and flooded buildings and broken plumbing at Phoenix. [Nancy Wolff, a professor at Rutgers University who has been volunteering 20 hours a week at Graterford and whose implemented mindfulness-based stress reduction programs, trauma-focused therapy groups, volunteer training, and music and yoga programs were abruptly canceled] said there was no response." Seethe.

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

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