We Resist: Day 487

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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: Today in Toxic Masculinity and Trump Makes Another Big Authoritarian Move and SCOTUS Deals Devastating Blow to Class Actions and Border Patrol Agent Detains Spanish-Speaking Citizens.

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

Andy Towle at Towleroad: Hillary Clinton Trolls Trump with Russian Hat During Speech to Yale Grads. "Yale University has a tradition of students wearing 'over-the-top' hats to one of its graduation events called 'Class Day.' Former Secretary of State and Trump opponent Hillary Clinton was asked to address the grads and decided to partake in the tradition. Said Clinton: 'I see, looking out at you, that you are following the tradition of over-the-top hats. So I brought a hat too: A Russian hat.'"

Hahahahaha! Although, as my friend Shaker SKM pointed out in a private conversation, which I'm sharing with her permission, it's not really Trump that she's trolling here: "It could credibly refer only to her own problem with Putin — she called out his crooked 2011 elections, and he set out to stop her. Trump was purely incidental. Sidelined. She's jabbing at Vlad." Indeed.

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Michelle Ye Hee Lee and Anu Narayanswamy at the Washington Post: RNC Paid Nearly Half a Million Dollars to Law Firm Representing Hope Hicks and Others in Russia Probes. "The RNC's $451,780 payment to Trout Cacheris & Janis adds to the mounting legal fees associated with the investigations by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III and several congressional committees of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential campaign. Hicks hired Robert Trout, founder of the law firm, as her personal attorney in September, according to news reports. The report of the payments for legal and compliance services, contained in the Federal Election Commission report filed Sunday, is the first public disclosure of RNC payments to the law firm since Hicks hired Trout." Swell.

Allegra Kirkland at TPM: How Trump's New Deep State Conspiracy Theory Emerged from the Fever Swamps.
If there's a dark conspiracy theory circulating about Deep State efforts to undermine Donald Trump, it's a safe bet that it started with Rep. Devin Nunes, the chair of the House Intelligence Committee.

That seems to be the case with the purported scandal du jour: That the FBI planted an informant in the Trump campaign in order to gain information about its possible ties to Russia. Such a move, Trump allies argue, would render the Mueller investigation into Russia's 2016 election interference illegitimate.

The source met with three different Trump campaign officials, the Washington Post reported Friday evening. And the source's name began circulating late last week in right-wing media. Still the nature of the intelligence the source provided, and exactly what prompted the FBI to seek to obtain intel from this person remain unclear.

As with previous Nunes-driven controversies, this one started weeks ago with the California Republican's efforts to disclose classified intelligence information, festered in the media fever swamps, and then percolated up to the president, who on Friday said it may be the "all time biggest political scandal!"
Nunes is toxic. If his party had a shred of integrity of patriotism, he would have been removed from office the moment he was discovered to be running interference for the Trump administration on a Congressional investigation being done by his own committee. Instead, he's been left to muddy the waters with rank conspiracy theories from his highest of profiles. Shameful.

Gregory Korte at USA Today: CIA Director Gina Haspel Sworn in as Trump Blasts Obama's CIA Director as a 'Disgrace'. "[Donald] Trump praised Gina Haspel as the seventh director of the Central Intelligence Agency at a swearing-in ceremony on Monday, just hours after accusing the fifth director of the CIA director of disgracing the office and engaging in a 'political hit job' against him." So former CIA director John Brennan is a "disgrace" for having national loyalty, and Gian Haspel, former torturer, is a tribute to the office. Cool calculations, as always.

A more honest headline would be: Pompeo lays out list of demands he knows will never be met in bid to make Trump administration look reasonable after completely unreasonable decision to withdraw from Iran deal.

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[Content Note: Nativism] Alfonso Serrano at Colorlines: Department of Justice Curbs Authority of Immigration Judges. "Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Thursday (May 17) issued a directive barring immigration judges from pausing deportation cases while immigrants await visa applications or appeals to criminal convictions, a commonly used tactic known as administrative closure that previously allowed judges to clear low priority cases. Widely used during the Obama administration, administrative closure gave judges flexibility on cases involving immigrants who had lived in the country for several years and whose children or spouses are United States citizens. It also freed up judges to focus on higher priority cases. Sessions, however, argued that judges don't have the authority to suspend cases." Asshole.

[CN: Clergy sex abuse] While everyone is once again singing Pope Francis' praises because he had the magnanimity to say that if a person is made gay by god then god probably doesn't hate them...

Never forget who Pope Francis actually is, folks.

And finally, still in the We Resist thread because who knows if federal aid will be forthcoming... AP/Guardian: Hawaii Volcano Fills Sky with Acid Plumes and Glass Shards as Lava Hits Sea.
White plumes of acid and extremely fine shards of glass billowed into the sky over Hawaii as molten rock from the Kilauea volcano poured into the ocean, creating yet another hazard from an eruption that began more than two weeks ago.

Authorities warned the public to stay away from the toxic steam cloud, which is formed by a chemical reaction when lava touches seawater.

Further upslope, lava continued to gush out of large cracks in the ground that formed in residential neighborhoods in a rural part of the Big Island. The molten rock formed rivers that bisected forests and farms as it meandered toward the coast.

The rate of sulfur dioxide gas shooting from the ground fissures tripled, leading Hawaii county to repeat warnings about air quality. At the volcano's summit, two explosive eruptions unleashed clouds of ash. Winds carried much of the ash towards Wood Valley, Pahala, Naalehu, and Waiohinu in the south-west of the island.

Officials said one small eruption produced an ash plume that reached about 7,000ft. The county of Hawaii issued a civil defense message early on Monday, warning those in affected areas to stay indoors with windows closed and to drive with caution.
I'm thinking about you, Hawaii.

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

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