We Resist: Day 510

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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: Department of Health and Human Services Considering Building a Tent City to Hold Thousands of Children and The Press Is Powerful; They Shouldn't Pretend Otherwise and Poor, Sad Michael Cohen: The Cheese Stands Alone.

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

Colum Lynch and Robbie Gramer at Foreign Policy: Trump Appointee Compiles Loyalty List of U.S. Employees at U.N., State.
A senior advisor to the State Department appointed just two months ago has been quietly vetting career diplomats and American employees of international institutions to determine whether they are loyal to [Donald] Trump and his political agenda, according to nearly a dozen current and former U.S. officials.

Mari Stull, a former food and beverage lobbyist-turned-wine blogger under the name "Vino Vixen," has reviewed the social media pages of State Department staffers for signs of ideological deviation. She has researched the names of government officials to determine whether they signed off on Obama-era policies — though signing off does not mean officials personally endorsed them but merely cleared them through the bureaucratic chain. And she has inquired about Americans employed by international agencies, including the World Health Organization and the United Nations, asking their colleagues when they were hired and by whom, according the officials.

"She is actively making lists and gathering intel," said one of the sources, a senior diplomat. Stull was named in April as a senior advisor to the State Department's Bureau of International Organization Affairs, which manages U.S. diplomatic relations with the United Nations and other international institutions.

Her probing, along with a highly secretive management style, has become so uncomfortable that at least three senior officials are poised to leave the bureau, according to the sources. Officials there have warned some Americans employed by the U.N. to sidestep traditional meet-and-greet sessions with the department's upper management to avoid drawing attention to themselves.

"She is gunning for American citizens in the U.N. to see if they are toeing the line," the diplomatic source added.
This is absolutely chilling. Loyalty lists. Signs of ideological deviation. Gunning for citizens who don't toe the line. This is straight from the Soviets' playbook. Fucking hell.

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As you may recall, I have been lamenting Special Counsel Bob Mueller's lack of urgency for some time, with my primary concern being that the longer he takes, the longer he gives the Republicans to consolidate power behind Donald Trump (and Mike Pence).

A secondary concern has been that all of this time gives Trump and his minions time to seize the dominant media narrative on Mueller as part of their campaign to discredit him.


Darren Samuelsohn at Politico: Poll Shows Mueller's Public Image at All-Time Low. "Special counsel Robert Mueller's public image has sunk to an all-time low since he began his probe into possible collusion between the Trump 2016 presidential campaign and Russia, according to a new POLITICO/Morning Consult poll. Months of sustained conservative attacks led by [Donald] Trump and his allies has harmed Mueller most among Republicans, with a record 53 percent now saying they view the lead Russia investigator in an unfavorable light. That's a 26-point spike since July, when the poll first started asking voters whether they viewed Mueller favorably or unfavorably."

It shouldn't matter what the public thinks of Mueller, but the fact that his approval ratings have precipitously dropped among their base is yet another excuse for Congressional Republicans not to respect his findings. And they hardly needed another excuse.

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This fucking guy:

The WaPo's Philip Rucker stated the obvious on Twitter in response to that mess: "Trump says 'there is no longer a nuclear threat from North Korea' — but North Korea still has nuclear weapons and Kim Jong Un is still supreme leader." Yeah. That about sums it up.

In other summit news, the National Security Council has claimed responsibility for that ridiculous fake movie trailer that Trump showed to Kim, depicting them both as heroes. So John Bolton and his crew were behind that wreck. Good grief.

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[Content Note: Nativism; white supremacy] Elizabeth Chou and Brenda Gazzar at the San Jose Mercury News: California Woman 'in Shock' After ICE Agents Detain Father, a Legal Resident, Outside Home.
Jose Luis Garcia, 62, was watering his lawn and having his morning coffee outside his Arleta home when ICE agents put him in handcuffs and detained him, according to his daughter, Natalie Garcia.

The arrest came as a shock to the 32-year-old Garcia, who said that her father is a law-abiding, legal permanent resident who came to the United States nearly 50 years ago when he was 13-years-old.

...Garcia said she was woken up at about 7 a.m. Sunday by the sound of her father yelling her name. She initially thought he was experiencing a medical emergency, but when she came out of the house, she saw eight agents who she did not yet know were from ICE, arresting her father.

Garcia tried to get more information and asked to see the arrest warrant and if they had read him his rights. She said the agents responded rudely, did not answer most of her questions, and told her they did not have to show her the warrant. They told her that it was not a criminal warrant, but an administrative one.

"I didn't know they were ICE at that moment," Garcia said. "It just happened so fast and there were so many of them. I was so confused."

After the agents had left with her father, it was only then that she saw the coffee cup that he had dropped when he was being arrested. She then looked down at the card the agents had given her and finally realized the agents were from ICE.

"I dropped to the floor in shock, because I didn't ever expect this," Garcia said.
Of course not. Jose Garcia's conviction was 18 years earlier. It was a misdemeanor conviction stemming from "a domestic violence dispute," for which he completed his sentence, including attending anger management classes.

Domestic violence is a serious issue. That's why I have been a vocal advocate against domestic violence for many years. Note, however, that ICE appears to be claiming that it's so serious Garcia must be removed from his home 18 years after a conviction, while Attorney General Jeff Sessions is simultaneously arguing it's so not serious that it's no longer grounds for asylum.

Those are fundamentally irreconcilable positions.

Further, a speeding ticket is a misdemeanor conviction. If this government will use misdemeanor convictions to deport legal residents, and also plans to eventually use misdemeanor convictions to justify revoking people's citizenships through their heinous new office, any legal resident or naturalized citizen who's ever gotten a speeding ticket is fucked.

Meanwhile, in Texas... Houston Chronicle/AP: Rights Group: Texas Racial Profiling by Sharing with ICE. "Civil rights advocates say Texas law enforcement officers providing immigration authorities with details of motorists who have been cited and are suspected of being in the country illegally could amount to racial profiling. The San Antonio Express-News reports the Department of Public Safety has shared the names of hundreds of people with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement over the past two years."

Like I said, speeding tickets are misdemeanor convictions. And police have been using municipal violations to justify killing Black people for years. This is a known strategy of oppression against one marginalized community, and it's now being leveraged against another.

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[CN: White supremacy]

[CN: Class warfare] Ryan Koronowski at ThinkProgress: Workers' Wages Fall After Passage of GOP Tax Cuts. "When [Donald] Trump was pushing Congress to pass his tax plan last year, which focused on lowering corporate rates and the income taxes of high earners, he pulled out a handy statistic: According to the president's Council of Economic Advisers, the average family would make $4,000 more under the new plan. Trump repeatedly used this figure to argue for the bill prior to its passage in December 2017, as well as directly after. ...Vice President Mike Pence has repeated that talking point, as have others in the White House. On Tuesday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics issued a new release detailing the 'real earnings summary' through May 2018. The true revelation was tucked away at the bottom of the release, in the 'Production and nonsupervisory employees' section: 'From May 2017 to May 2018, real average hourly earnings decreased 0.1 percent, seasonally adjusted,' it read."

[CN: Class warfare; healthcare access] Alice Ollstein at TPM: The Domino Effect of the Trump Admin Gutting Pre-Existing Conditions Protections. "The Trump administration’s new attempt to have key pieces of the Affordable Care Act struck down in federal court — particularly the ban on insurance companies turning people away or charging them higher premiums based on a pre-existing condition — could have a serious and damaging domino effect throughout the health care sector. Insurance trade groups, health care experts and lawmakers say the fallout is likely to extend beyond the individual market, impacting many of the tens of millions of Americans who get their health insurance from an employer." No one is safe from these radicals.

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

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