We Resist: Day 505

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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: The Collusion Is Right Out in the Open and DREAMer Manuel Antonio Cano Pacheco Killed After Deportation.

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

Damian Paletta, David J. Lynch, and Heather Long at the Washington Post: France's Macron Threatens Rare Rebuke of U.S. at G-7, Trump Fires Back.
French President Emmanuel Macron on Thursday threatened to join with other world leaders to issue a rare rebuke of the United States at a global summit here this weekend, drawing immediate and sharp replies from [Donald] Trump.

Macron said Trump could be excluded from joining with other leaders in a joint declaration of unity at the end of a global summit here, a very unusual move that was meant to isolate Trump's recent burst of trade threats aimed at numerous U.S. allies.

"The American President may not mind being isolated, but neither do we mind signing a 6 country agreement if need be," Macron wrote on Twitter. "Because these 6 countries represent values, they represent an economic market which has the weight of history behind it and which is now a true international force."

Trump appeared unmoved, accusing Macron and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of hurting the United States with unfair trade practices.

"Please tell Prime Minister Trudeau and President Macron that they are charging the U.S. massive tariffs and create nonmonetary barriers. The EU trade surplus with the U.S. is $151 Billion, and Canada keeps our farmers and others out. Look forward to seeing them tomorrow," Trump wrote.

He followed it up with another tweet targeting Trudeau. "Prime Minister Trudeau is being so indignant, bringing up the relationship that the U.S. and Canada had over the many years and all sorts of other things ... but he doesn't bring up the fact that they charge us up to 300% on dairy — hurting our Farmers, killing our Agriculture!" he wrote.

Later, Trump tweeted that he would raise undisclosed tariffs against Canada and European Union countries if they don't lower theirs. "Take down your tariffs & barriers or we will more than match you!" he wrote.

The exchanges cast an immediate shadow over the summit before it even began.
To put it mildly. And as if that weren't enough, Trump is also planning to make an early exit from the G7 summit: "By pulling out early, Trump will skip sessions focused on climate change, the oceans, and clean energy. He will also miss the traditional group-photo opportunity among fellow heads of state. The president may also miss the opportunity to host a summit-ending news conference, something world leaders traditionally do."

It's honestly time for everyone, inside the U.S. and outside, to acknowledge that Trump simply isn't a world leader. He's a destructive puppet with immense power which he uses to subvert what little and precarious global stability there is. And he's a deeply fear-driven man who masks his cowardice with fatalism, which makes him unfathomably dangerous.

Susan B. Glasser at the New Yorker: Under Trump, "America First" Really Is Turning Out to Be America Alone.
Ever since Trump took office, America's allies have desperately sought to avoid this moment. Over the last year and a half, though, many of them have come to realize, with growing dread, that it was inevitable. The rift between the world's great democracies that Trump's election portended is coming to pass, and it is about far more than Iran policy, obscure trade provisions, or whether Germany spends two per cent of its G.D.P. on nato. Many senior European officials speak of it, as one Ambassador to Washington did to me recently, as nothing less than a "crisis of the West."

...Nowhere in Europe has that subconscious been more rocked than in Germany, where its close relationship with the United States has defined the country's remarkable resurrection after the Second World War. "It took Germany the longest of all partners to come to terms with someone like Trump becoming President," the senior German official told me. "We were very emotional, because our relationship with America is so emotional—it's more of a son-father relationship—and we didn't recognize our father anymore and realized he might beat us."

Only in recent weeks, he said, after Trump reorganized his foreign-policy team, replacing his Secretary of State and national-security adviser with the more like-minded Mike Pompeo and John Bolton and launching his trade war, did they finally get that "this is real. And still many people haven't come to grips with the idea that Trump is not considering us an ally and as a son but maybe even as adversary."

...A year ago, after Trump returned from his first Presidential trip overseas with deeply unsettled allies in Europe, his national-security adviser, H. R. McMaster, and his chief economic adviser, Gary Cohn, teamed up to write a reassuring op-ed in the Wall Street Journal. "America First is not America alone," they promised. Neither of the two men still works for Trump.

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Amy Goldstein at the Washington Post: Trump Administration Won't Defend ACA in Case Brought by GOP States.
The Trump administration said Thursday night that it will not defend the Affordable Care Act against the latest legal challenge to its constitutionality — a dramatic break from the executive branch's tradition of arguing to uphold existing statutes and a land mine for health insurance changes the ACA brought about.

In a brief filed in a Texas federal court and an accompanying letter to the House and Senate leaders of both parties, the Justice Department agrees in large part with the 20 Republican-led states that brought the suit. They contend that the ACA provision requiring most Americans to carry health insurance soon will no longer be constitutional and that, as a result, consumer insurance protections under the law will not be valid, either.

The three-page letter from Attorney General Jeff Sessions begins by saying that Justice adopted its position "with the approval of the President of the United States."
Jessica Mason Pieklo at Rewire.News: Congress Couldn't Kill Obamacare, But Trump Is Still Trying. "In its brief, the Justice Department argues two main points. First, it claims that the individual mandate, which the U.S. Supreme Court upheld in 2012, is unconstitutional. Second, the administration argues that because the individual mandate is unconstitutional, other key provisions of the law should be struck down on the ground that they can't be severed, or removed, from the unconstitutional mandate. The provisions the Justice Department wants the court to invalidate are central to the ACA, or Obamacare, and would gut protections for those with pre-existing conditions."

screen cap of tweet authored by me, featuring an old tweet of mine reading 'Fuck every single person who said or implied there was no difference between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.' to which I've added new commentary reading 'G7, Affordable Care Act, and literally just every goddamned thing edition.'

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Justin Glawe at the Daily Beast: John Bolton's New Top Aide Is a Russia Truther. "National Security Adviser John Bolton's top aide hire said last year that U.S. intelligence reports on Russia's election meddling were 'rigged.' That's just one of the conspiracies Fred Fleitz espoused before he was hired last week as Bolton's chief of staff. Fleitz has also said it's 'impossible' to know if Russia was responsible for election-related hacks, and speculated that the Obama administration manipulated intelligence about Russia and that it schemed to 'trap' Trump officials by sanctioning Moscow. Fleitz even said that [Donald] Trump should 'pardon everyone' under investigation in the Russia matter.

Kira Lerner at ThinkProgress: North Carolina Tries to Revive Its Discriminatory Voter ID Law as Constitutional Amendment. "Two years after federal courts struck down North Carolina's discriminatory voter ID law, Republican lawmakers are trying to revive their strict requirements by passing an amendment to the state's constitution [despite the fact that the Supreme Court said last year that the law] targeted 'African-Americans with almost surgical precision.' ...Brandi Collins-Dexter, the senior campaign director for Color of Change, noted that House Speaker Tim Moore, the lead sponsor of the new bill, and the other Republicans pushing it left the details 'intentionally vague' — the bill does not specify which forms of photo ID would be accepted under the new law. 'To us, that's even more alarming,' she told ThinkProgress."

And finally, more horrendous news from the United States' deadly war on immigrants...

[Content Note: Nativism; self-harm; death] Staff at the Daily Beast: ICE Deportee Killed Himself En Route to Native Country. "A 34-year-old Eritrean killed himself while being deported back to his home country, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement announced Friday. Zeresenay Ermias Testfatsion was being held in Egypt's Cairo International Airport when authorities found him 'deceased in a shower area.' His body was then transported to a local hospital and en route to Eritrea's capital Asmara. Testfatsion was apprehended by immigration authorities last year at the Hidalgo Texas Port of Entry when he attempted to illegally cross the southern border, and was ordered to be deported by a federal immigration judge in October."

What are we doing? Shame on this nation. Shame on us.

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

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