We Resist: Day 496

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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 Fannie: Roseanne, Silverman, and the Trump-Supporter Anthropology Series. And by me: Trump Asked Sessions to Un-Recuse Himself from Russia Investigation and Even Trey Gowdy Isn't Buying "Spygate".

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

[Content Note: Disablism] What the actual fuck is this.

I loathe him so fiercely and vastly, y'all.

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WHOA! Andrew Roth at the Guardian: Ukraine Reveals It Staged 'Murder' of Russian Journalist Arkady Babchenko as Part of Investigation into Death Threats.
On Tuesday, Ukrainian police had said Arkady Babchenko, a Kremlin critic and veteran Russian war correspondent, was shot three times in the back as he left his apartment in Kiev to buy bread. A government official told the media that Babchenko, 41, had died in the ambulance to the hospital.

But on Wednesday, officials said Babchenko staged his death in coordination with Ukrainian police as part of an investigation into threats made against his life. The plan had been in place for more than a month.

Police said they had made one arrest in connection with the operation.

Speaking to journalists, Babchenko apologised, saying: "I have been forced to bury my friends and colleagues many times and I know the sickening feeling. ...Special apologies to my wife, Olechka, there was no other option," Babchenko said to a room of visibly stunned journalists. "The operation was under preparation for two months."

It was not immediately clear how Babchenko faking his death led to the apprehension of the suspect.

According to Gritsak, Russian authorities had recruited a former fighter in east Ukraine by offering him $30,000 for the killing.

Wearing a black hoodie and shuffling slightly as he spoke, Babchenko concluded: "I've done my work. I'm still alive for the moment."

Babchenko fled Russia in 2017 after receiving threats over a post he made on social media. A number of journalists and other dissidents have been killed in recent years in Kiev in murders that remain unsolved.
Unbelievable. I don't think this will, unfortunately, halt the killings, but at least Babchenko is safe for now. And if it manages to slow the assassinations even for awhile, that would be something.

Courtney Kube, Ken Dilanian, and Carol E. Lee at NBC News: CIA Report Says North Korea Won't Denuclearize. "A new U.S. intelligence assessment has concluded that North Korea does not intend to give up its nuclear weapons any time soon, three U.S. officials told NBC News — a finding that conflicts with recent statements by [Donald] Trump that Pyongyang intends to do so in the future. Trump is continuing to pursue a nuclear summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un even though the CIA analysis, which is consistent with other expert opinion, casts doubt on the viability of Trump's stated goal for the negotiations, the elimination of North Korea's nuclear weapons stockpile. 'Everybody knows they are not going to denuclearize,' said one intelligence official who read the report."

Philip Bump and Mark Berman at the Washington Post: Federal Prosecutors Poised to Get More Than 1 Million Files Seized from Michael Cohen's Phones.
Federal prosecutors investigating [Donald] Trump's personal lawyer Michael Cohen are poised to receive on Wednesday 1 million files from three of his cellphones seized last month, according to a filing submitted to the court Tuesday night by special master Barbara Jones.

In her update to the court, Jones said investigators from the Office of the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York have already been given access to nearly 300,000 pieces of potential evidence seized from Cohen's office and residences in an April raid.

...In their initial request for a special master, Cohen's attorneys said thousands of the seized documents might be covered by attorney-client privilege.

But in her update Tuesday to the court, Jones noted that so far only 252 items have been flagged by Cohen's or Trump's attorneys as privileged. She is set to make a recommendation to the court about that material by June 4.

An additional 292,006 items that were not designated by Cohen or Trump as privileged or highly personal were turned over to prosecutors on May 23.

Jones is set to release 1,025,063 more items from three of Cohen's phones on Wednesday, pending her final verification, according to the filing. Material released to Jones this month from two other phones has not yet been scheduled for release.
Good grief!

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In case anyone has managed to forget for two fucking seconds that Donald Trump's administration is full of white supremacists tasked with implementing a white supremacist, nativist, Christian Supremacist agenda, here are some vile reminders...

[CN: Islamophobia] Kate Riga at TPM: Bolton's New NSC Chief of Staff Served as VP of Gaffney's Anti-Muslim Hate Group. "National Security Adviser John Bolton's new pick to be the National Security Council chief of staff has served for the last five years as the Senior Vice President for Policy and Programs at the Frank Gaffney-founded Center for Security Policy, a Southern Poverty Law Center-designated hate group that espouses anti-Muslim conspiracy theories. ...The Center for Security Policy's website features a congratulatory post published Tuesday, confirming Fred Fleitz's tenure. 'Center for Security Policy alumnus Fred Fleitz has been named Executive Secretary and Chief of Staff of the National Security Council under John Bolton,' it reads. 'Fleitz served as the Center's Senior Vice President for Policy and Programs from 2013-2018.' ...Fleitz is also a former CIA analyst and frequent guest on Fox News."

[CN: Anti-Semitism] Spencer Ackerman at the Daily Beast: Mike Pompeo to Huddle with Anti-Semite's Envoy. "Viktor Orban won reelection as Hungary's prime minister last month through a blood-and-soil campaign that married anti-Semitism with Islamophobia. Donald Trump's secretary of state is about to reverse years of U.S. policy and receive Orban's chief diplomat at Foggy Bottom. Current and former State Department officials expressed alarm that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is giving facetime to an envoy for the demagogic and authoritarian Orban, who also happens to be Vladimir Putin's best European friend. 'I'm fucking disgusted,' said a State Department official speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the press. The official considered Pompeo 'cozying up to individuals like Orban' part of a broader pattern of the Trump administration ignoring human-rights abuses and democratic backsliding."

[CN: Nativism; child abuse] Nick Miroff at the Washington Post: Trump's 'Zero Tolerance' at the Border Is Causing Child Shelters to Fill Up Fast.
The number of migrant children held in U.S. government custody without their parents has surged 21 percent in the past month, according to the latest figures, an increase driven by the Trump administration's "zero tolerance" crackdown on families who cross the border illegally.

Although the government has not disclosed how many children have been separated from their parents as a result of the new measures, the Department of Health and Human Services said Tuesday that it had 10,773 migrant children in its custody, up from 8,886 on April 29.

Under the "zero tolerance" approach rolled out last month by Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, anyone who crosses into the United States illegally will face criminal prosecution. In most cases, that means parents who arrive with children stay in federal jails while their children are sent to HHS shelters.

Those shelters are at 95 percent capacity, an HHS official said Tuesday, and the agency is preparing to add potentially thousands of new bed spaces in the coming weeks. HHS also is exploring the possibility of housing children on military bases but views the measure as a "last option," according to the HHS official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the agency's preparations.
A "last option" that the HHS is already pursuing: "According to an email notification sent to Pentagon staffers, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will make site visits at four military installations in Texas and Arkansas during the next two weeks to evaluate their suitability to shelter children."

[CN: Nativism; transphobia; torture; sexual violence; death] Adolfo Flores at BuzzFeed: A Transgender Woman Who Was Part of the Migrant Caravan Has Died in ICE Custody. "Roxsana Hernandez, 33, died in the custody of US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) at a hospital in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She had been taken to another hospital in New Mexico more than a week earlier with symptoms of pneumonia, dehydration, and complications associated with HIV. Hernandez asked for asylum at the San Ysidro port of entry on May 9, according to Pueblo Sin Fronteras, which organized the caravan. The group said she was first detained by US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) in holding cells known as 'iceboxes' because of how cold they are. In addition to being cold, Pueblo Sin Fronteras said, Hernandez lacked adequate food and medical care and was held in a cell where the lights were turned on 24 hours a day." Hernandez died on May 25.

[CN: Neglect; death]

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

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