We Resist: Day 502

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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: Mueller Says Manafort Attempted Witness Tampering and Trump Disinvites Eagles from White House Because He Is a Petty Little Tyrant and Children Forcibly Separated from Parents Stuck at Border Facilities; HHS Contemplates Military Sites.

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

Will Bunch at the Philly Inquirer: When Trump Went Full Dictator and No One Tried to Stop Him.
The main reason that Trump violates long-standing norms and established rules, or tells so many easily disprovable lies from the presidential podium, is because he knows that no one will stop him. And that exercise of unchallenged power isn't just a weird quirk of the Trump presidency. It is, rather, its driving force.

...Trump is wearing down the American people, one lie at a time. He is chipping away at our notion of what constitutes American justice, one crony pardon at a time. And he is eroding the foundation of our democracy, to make it so weak that by the time he makes his inevitable moves to nullify the Mueller investigation, the remaining frayed house of cards may be too weak to fight back.

Trump is doing very little with his presidency but to dictate things. He wakes up every morning and dictates lies, then he dictates arbitrary justice, and then he dictates unilateral policies — trade wars with our allies in Canada or in Europe, requiring power plants to burn dirty fuels like coal, or ripping little kids from their mommies and daddies at the border — that could never win political or legislative support, because they lack common sense or morality, or both.

Hour by hour, lie by lie, dictate by dictate, Donald Trump is becoming an American dictator. And recent days have proved what many of us have long feared: That no one knows how to stop this.
Worse yet: That no one who has the power to stop this is willing to do it. (I'm looking at you, Congressional Republicans, you fucking cowards.)

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[Content Note: Child abuse] Rebekah Entralgo at ThinkProgress: United Nations Says U.S. Policy of Separating Families at the Border 'Runs Counter to Human Rights'. "Ravina Shamdasani, a spokesperson for the U.N. human rights office, said Tuesday that she had received information from U.S. civil society groups that indicated several hundred children had been separated from their parents at the border since October. 'The United States should immediately halt this practice,' she told reporters in Geneva. 'The practice of separating families amounts to arbitrary and unlawful interference in family life, and is a serious violation of the rights of the child.' She added, 'The use of immigration detention and family separation as a deterrent runs counter to human rights standards and principles.'"

[CN: White supremacy] Patrick Kingsley at the New York Times: Safe in Hungary, Viktor Orban Pushes His Message Across Europe. With the help of Steve Bannon. "In consolidating power in Hungary, Mr. Orban has recognized the huge power of media and now seems intent on trying to expand his sphere of influence. Last year, one of his closest advisers, Arpad Habony, met with Stephen K. Bannon, [Donald] Trump's former chief strategist, in Washington. The purpose of the visit, according to a person familiar with the meeting, was to discuss starting an outlet in Eastern Europe like Breitbart News, a platform often used to promote hard-edge nationalist ideas."

And, as I mentioned yesterday, this as Richard Grenell, the U.S. ambassador to Germany, gave an interview to Bannon's outlet Breitbart about how excited he is to empower the right-wing in Europe and announcing his plan to host a lunch with Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, whom Grenell called a "rock star." All of which is having the intended effect of sowing discord in Germany and further undermining the U.S.-German alliance — which, as I've been noting for more than a year, has been an explicit objective of the Krelim since WWII.

Staff at AFP: Calls Grow in Germany for Expulsion of Disputed U.S. Envoy. "'What this man is doing, is unheard of in international diplomacy,' Martin Schulz, former chief of the Social Democratic Party, told national news agency DPA. 'If a German ambassador were to say in Washington that he is there to boost the Democrats, he would have been kicked out immediately. I hope that the Kurz visit leads to Mr Grenell's short tenure as ambassador in Germany,' added Schulz... [T]he opposition far-left Linke party's chief Sahra Wagenknecht said Berlin would do better to immediately expel Grenell rather than invite him in for talks. 'Someone like U.S. ambassador Richard Grenell, who thinks he can lord over Europe and determine who is governing here, he can no longer stay in Germany as a diplomat,' Wagenknecht told Die Welt Daily. 'If the government takes the democratic sovereignty of our country seriously, then it shouldn't just invite Grenell to a chat over coffee, but expel him immediately,' she added."

And Putin smirks contentedly.

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First Lady Melania Trump made her first public appearance yesterday after being out of public view for over three weeks. At least, that's what we've been told, based on some crappy cell phone video and a photo which may be her or may be Walton Goggins in a wig, for all I can tell.

But let's concede it's her. Okay. So that's reason to now ignore that the First Lady wasn't seen for three weeks without reasonable explanation?! "There she is! Let's move on!" I disagree. Because I remain worried about her safety, and her son's.

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Joe Romm at ThinkProgress: Former Fox News Reporter Says Russians Colluded with Trump Campaign Through Roger Stone. No shit. "In a series of exclusive interviews, former Fox News Channel chief political correspondent Carl Cameron explained to ThinkProgress how the Russians coordinated their cyber attack on the 2016 election with the Trump campaign. 'Trump confidant Roger Stone's success was having the connections and creating the opportunities for [Russian intelligence officer] Guccifer2.0 and other Russian groups to really start taking advantage of social media and pounding these negative memes that Hillary's a crook, et cetera,' Cameron explained to ThinkProgress' Joe Romm — as related in the new book, How to Go Viral and Reach Millions." Okay.

[CN: White supremacy] Kelly Weill at the Daily Beast: Charlottesville Hate Marcher Elected by Republican Party. "An affiliate of a 'pro-white' group who marched in Charlottesville last year was elected to a Republican Party post in Washington state last week, part of his campaign to take over the GOP for the alt-right. James Allsup, 22, attended the 'Unite the Right' rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, where white supremacists chanted anti-Semitic slogans and one allegedly drove a car into a crowd, killing a protester and injuring more. Allsup was filmed marching with Identity Evropa, an anti-immigrant alt-right group. ...The piece of paper certified that Allsup was now a precinct committee officer for the Whitman County, Washington Republican Party. Allsup's certificate declares that he was awarded the post after his candidacy remained uncontested for four days."

[CN: Class warfare] Alice Ollstein at TPM: Arkansas Pulls the Trigger on Nation's First-Ever Medicaid Work Requirement. "This week, Arkansas becomes the first state in the nation, and in the nation's history, to require its non-disabled adult Medicaid expansion population to work or volunteer 80 hours a month to maintain their health care benefits. Starting Tuesday, Arkansans on Medicaid have to prove that they've worked 80 hours over the previous month or that they qualify for an exemption. If they fail to do so, they'll be booted from the rolls after three months. Health care advocates in the state say they expect thousands of low-income people to lose coverage — both those who can't find work and those who can't navigate the state's online-only system for documenting their hours." Rage seethe boil.

Lawrence Hurley at Reuters: [CN: Homophobia] Gay Adoption Fight Looms after Supreme Court's Cake Ruling. "A major legal fight similar to the blockbuster Christian baker case decided by the Supreme Court on Monday is already brewing in several U.S. states over laws allowing private agencies to block gay couples from adoptions or taking in foster children. ...Nine states have laws allowing state-funded, religiously affiliated adoption agencies to refuse to place children with gay people based on religious beliefs. Republican-governed Kansas and Oklahoma passed such laws this year. Alabama, Mississippi, Michigan, North Dakota, South Dakota, Texas, and Virginia all have similar laws. Legal challenges to those laws, some pending in lower courts, eventually could come to the Supreme Court."

[CN: Transphobia; child abuse]

More on that: Dispatches from the Conservative Legislation Lab.

By the way, that was one of the programs objected to by Democratic Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz, whose office then-Governor Mike Pence neutered in a gross abuse of power.

[CN: Guns] Anne Branigin at the Root: This Is America: Pennsylvania School Gifts Graduating 8th-Graders with Bulletproof School Accessories. "Nationwide, graduations are an opportunity to reflect and savor accomplishments and to brightly anticipate the future. One Catholic school in Chadd's Ford, PA, in the spirit of preparing and protecting their graduating students, went a more macabre route: Gifting eighth-graders with bulletproof inserts to help keep them safe in the event of a school shooter. According to NBC News, the removable ballistic shields given to Saint Cornelius Catholic School students could turn their backpacks into bulletproof vests." Fucking hell.

[CN: Swatting; violence; guns] Bryan Menegus at Gizmodo: Home of Parkland Survivor and Activist David Hogg Swatted. "The family home of outspoken Parkland shooting survivor David Hogg was the target of a 'swatting' hoax this morning when a caller falsely claimed the address was the site of a hostage situation. Emergency services responded to the call and found there was no hostage situation, a local ABC affiliate reports. Several sheriff's office units and a police helicopter were also reportedly sent to the scene. Hogg was in Washington, D.C. at the time to accept the RFK Human Rights award."

Staff at the Daily Beast: Hackers Stole 92M User Emails from DNA Testing Site. "Hackers obtained the email addresses and hashed passwords of more than 92 million users of a genealogy and DNA testing site last October, according to a company blog post. MyHeritage officials say they learned of the breach after a security researcher informed them Monday afternoon that he had found the file on a private server. As a result of the breach, hackers obtained the email addresses of everyone who signed up for the service before Oct. 26, 2017 — but the company took care to note that user passwords remained safe." How reassuring. Just another reason to not do one of these DNA tests: The companies who offer them can't even guarantee your DNA won't be hacked!

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

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