We Resist: Day 495

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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: Where's Melania? and Trump Suggests the Midterms Will Be Compromised.

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

The Clinton women continue to demonstrate that they have things to say worth listening to, and that we should have been listening to them all along.

Hillary Clinton: "Right now we are living through a crisis in our democracy. There are certainly not tanks in the street, but what is happening today goes to the heart of who we are as a nation. And I say this not as a Democrat who lost an election, but an American afraid of losing a country."

Chelsea Clinton: "I think one of the big mistakes was, for so long, we focused on tolerance, which I just think is insufficient. People tolerated casual misogyny, but casual misogyny is maybe the gateway drug. We have freedom of speech, which I do think is hugely important — and yet people thought you couldn't dispute hateful things, because they're like, well, it's freedom of speech. Well, freedom of speech doesn't mean there is freedom of consequences. Sure, you should not be in prison because you said something racist. But you also shouldn't be able to run for president. And yet here we are."

Both articles also continue to demonstrate that coverage of the Clinton women is absolute garbage.

Related to what both of these smart ladies are saying:


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[Content Note: Racism] Lauren Etter and Michael Riley at Bloomberg: Inside the Pro-Trump Effort to Keep Black Voters from the Polls.
Bannon's deployment of the psychological-operations firm Cambridge Analytica in the 2016 campaign drew fresh attention this month, when a former Cambridge employee told a U.S. Senate panel that Bannon tried to use the company to suppress the black vote in key states. Carter's story shows for the first time how an employee at Bannon's former news site worked as an off-the-books political operative in the service of a similar goal.

Carter's recollections and correspondence, which he shared after a falling-out with his fellow Trump supporters, provide a rare look inside the no-holds-barred nature of the Republican's campaign and how it explored new ways to achieve an age-old political aim: getting the right voters to the polls—and keeping the wrong ones away.

"If you can't stomach Trump, just don't vote for the other people and don't vote at all," Carter, 47, recalls telling black voters. It's the message he says the Trump campaign wanted him to deliver. "That's what they wanted, that's what they got."

The work Carter says he did, and the funds he was given to do it, also raise questions as to whether campaign finance laws were broken.

The group Carter founded, Trump for Urban Communities, never disclosed its spending to the Federal Election Commission—a possible violation of election law. In hindsight, Carter says, he believed he was working for the campaign so he wouldn't have been responsible for reporting the spending.

His descriptions of the operation suggest possible coordination between Trump's campaign and his nominally independent efforts. If there was coordination, election law dictates that any contributions to groups such as his must fall within individual limits: no more than $2,700 for a candidate. One supporter far exceeded that cap, giving about $100,000 to Carter's efforts.

Another potential issue is whether the unusual role played by the Breitbart reporter amounted to an in-kind contribution.

"There are some real problems here," says Lawrence Noble, who served as general counsel at the FEC during Republican and Democratic administrations and is now senior director and general counsel at the Campaign Legal Center, a nonpartisan advocacy organization. "I would think this is more than enough evidence for the FEC to open an investigation."
It certainly is. But even if an investigation were opened, would it ever get anywhere? Would it ever matter?

Zack Ford at ThinkProgress: Ivanka Trump's Suspiciously-Timed Chinese Business Deals. "Ivanka Trump's business recently secured five more valuable trademarks from China (with a sixth given trial approval), allowing her to expand her business there to the tune of millions of dollars in profits. The timing of the approval suspiciously overlaps with [Donald] Trump's own dealings with China. The new trademarks were approved on May 7, just days before Trump promised on Twitter to help save the Chinese phone company ZTE. ...Ivanka's trademarks are not the only way the Trump family seems to have conspicuously benefited from Trump's support for one of China's biggest telecom companies. In the days before that public promise, China also loaned $500 million to an Indonesian theme park that will include a Trump-branded golf course and hotels." JFC.

Andrew Perez at Fast Company: Chris Christie Blocks Release of His Office's Emails with Jared Kushner's Company. "Christie, whose eight-year administration spent almost $1 million battling to keep public records secret, issued a letter in his last week in Trenton that declared any requests involving his office's electronic records would be handled by his private lawyer, rather than by state employees. ...Flavio Komuves, a partner at the Zazzali Fagella law firm in New Jersey, said that OPRA requires government officials to review records requests and determine whether to release documents. Under Christie's letter, Komuves said, 'that decision is being made by his personal lawyer who owes an obligation to him personally, and not by someone who has sworn an oath of office to look after the public interest. That is a very disturbing aspect of what's happened here.'" Fucking hell.

This administration is just unfathomably corrupt. As is everyone who's ever been associated with it. Goddammit.

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[CN: Nativism. Covers entire section.]

Tina Vasquez at Rewire.News: By Painting Asylum Seekers as 'Violent Animals,' Trump Unlocked a School-to-Deportation Pipeline. "The president and his administration often conflate gang members, of which there are about 2,000 on Long Island, and asylum-seeking migrant children. ...Stories from immigrant children and their lawyers suggest the administration is crying wolf. An internal Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) review found that less than 2 percent of children in its care have direct gang ties. Many of the other children it appears have been falsely accused of gang ties for things as trivial as wearing shoelaces of a particular color, holding up a peace sign in a photo posted on their personal social media, or giving a classmate the finger."

On a related note, there is a viral Twitter thread going around admonishing people not to share stories or worry about "lost children" in the U.S. immigration system, because they're not even really lost. I'm not going to get into a whole detailed rebuttal, but, although that thread makes an important distinction between the Department of Health and Human Services not knowing where around 1,500 unaccompanied minors are, and the policy of the Trump administration to separate parents and children at the border, then declaring those children unaccompanied minors, there's a lot that I find problematic about the thread.

Chiefly, I have a problem with the argument that the kids aren't "lost" when, in many cases, their own parents (whose parental rights haven't been severed) cannot find them, because they've been released to other relatives while separated from their parents. That makes them fucking lost. To their parents.

Is the contention that children cannot be "lost" as long as someone knows where they are? Because that's a pretty terrible definition of lost.

Anyway. I'll leave it there.

HHS put out a very terrible rebuttal to the concerns being raised, which includes the passage I highlighted on Twitter:

That is some innocuous-sounding language about real estate acquisition, when what they're actually talking about is housing for detained immigrant children which they forcibly separate from their parents.

And finally on this subject: Danielle McLean at ThinkProgress: U.S. Border Patrol Changes Its Story About Why Its Officer Killed an Unarmed Woman. "Initially, the federal agency claimed a group of undocumented immigrants started hitting the officer with 'blunt objects' during an unprovoked attack while he patrolled a residential street searching for 'illegal activity.' Claudia Patricia Gómez González, who was shot and fatally wounded by the agent, was named as 'one of the assailants,' of that attack according to the New York Times. But in an updated statement on Friday, the agency now says they were told by the officer that a group of immigrants 'rushed him' instead of complying with demands to get on the ground. CBP no longer refers to the deceased woman as an assailant, but merely as a 'member of the group.'" Rage seethe boil.

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[CN: War on agency] Not good. Not good at all.

[CN: Addiction; deadly corporate greed] And finally:

My god. Breathtaking.

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

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