We Resist: Day 529

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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: Patriots Protest Trump's Nativism; Trump Responds with Threat and Trump Seeks Authoritarian Trade Powers in FART Act.

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

Let us start today with the return of Mitt Romney, who continues to position himself as the moral leader of the Republican resistance (which advocates for nothing but a change in management), despite the fact that his morality includes the belief that people aren't entitled to food.

Having won Utah's Republican senate primary, Romney is now the belle of the ball, so of course MSNBC's Kasie Hunt immediately had to do a softball interview with him to give him free air time to broadcast his execrable views with zero pushback.

During the interview, she asked him if he was planning to support Donald Trump's 2020 reelection bid, and, if you know anything about the Great Politically Expedient Equivocator Mitt Romney, then I bet you can guess what he said!

Let us never forget that, even after Donald Trump instituted a "zero tolerance" policy against refugees seeking asylum from violence, ripped apart families, and put children in cages, Mitt Romney said there was still a chance he could support Donald Trump.

Fuck this guy. Forever.

He is a perfect example of why Trump is where he is and as powerful as he is and as reckless as he is. Because he is the inevitable outgrowth of a craven, cruel party whose members can't take the easiest stand for decency even when lives literally depend on it.

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[Content Note: Nativism; white supremacy; violence. Covers entire section.]

Today in this shit doesn't happen in a vacuum...

Melanie Schmitz at ThinkProgress: Stabbing Rampage at Idaho Apartment Complex Leaves 9 Refugees Injured. "Nine people, including six children, were injured after a man went on a stabbing rampage at an apartment complex housing refugee families Saturday night, police in Boise, Idaho said. Authorities responded to a call about a man with a knife at around 8:46 local time. Police say they arrested the suspect, a 30-year-old man just before 9 p.m., and are interviewing him to determine a motive. The man, a temporary resident at the complex, had been asked to leave the premises Friday. Police released no additional details, except to say that the suspect was not a refugee."

And, in a pointed juxtaposition highlighting the mendacity of "both sides are just as bad" rhetoric...

1. Rebekah Entralgo at ThinkProgress: Alt-Right Protesters Clash with Anti-Fascist Demonstrators in Portland, Oregon. "Bloody street fights erupted in downtown Portland, Oregon late Saturday, when more than 150 marchers with the right-wing protest group Patriot Prayer began beating antifascist protesters with flagpoles and other objects. Heavily armed police were called in to subdue the riot, which broke out after Patriot Prayer supporters arrived in Portland to attend a rally led by Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in Washington state Joey Gibson. Gibson, far-right activist, has a track record of organizing political rallies that have attracted counter-protests from anti-fascist groups. ...He also refuses to disavow the Proud Boys, an alt-right fraternity, who are his most ardent supporters."

2. Katelyn Burns at Rewire.News: Hundreds Arrested During Direct Action Opposing ICE in D.C.
Hundreds of people — and at least one member of the U.S. Congress — were arrested on Thursday when as many as 2,500 people took part in a direct action organized by Women's March and the Center for Popular Democracy Action in Washington, D.C.

The protests, which began at Freedom Plaza before moving to the Hart Senate office building's atrium, called for an end to the Trump administration's "zero-tolerance" immigration policy that has caused a migrant family separation crisis, and for the abolition of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Capitol Police told Rewire.News that 575 people were arrested and charged with "unlawfully demonstrating" during the protests. According to the Women's March, 630 people were arrested.

...Among those arrested were Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), who spoke about her experience in a video posted to her Twitter account on Thursday. "This is far beyond politics — this is about right and wrong and we have to stand up and we have to put ourselves on the line," she said in the video. "I'm proud to have been arrested with them. To put myself in the camp of people who believe that the United States of America is better and as a member of Congress I refuse to let this president and this administration do what they are doing to children, to parents, to asylum seekers in my name."

Several other lawmakers were also on hand for the action, including Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), who was not arrested. "I think it's amazing. This is what democracy looks like and women all across America are speaking out. They are not going to take this; they are going to be heard," said Gillibrand in an interview with Rewire.News prior to the arrests. "They're going to fight, they're going to speak out, they're going to speak back, and they're going to take a stand. That's what they're doing right now."
Both sides are not just as bad. Both sides are not "the same." And anyone who espouses that shit as though they're some kind of neutral, objective observer in this moment is a piece of shit. There is no neutral in this battle. There is only complicity or resistance.

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Joshua Berlinger at CNN: North Korea Satellite Images Show Missile Plant Construction, Analysts Say. "North Korea appears to be finalizing the expansion of a key ballistic missile manufacturing site, according to an analysis of satellite imagery by researchers in the United States. The images come as leaked reports from U.S. intelligence officials appear to cast doubt on North Korea's willingness abandon its nuclear weapons program, something Washington said North Korean leader Kim Jong Un agreed to when he met [Donald] Trump in Singapore last month." And no one with any sense at all is shocked in the slightest.

And in other terrible U.S. foreign policy news...

While in Britain, it turns out that Russian interference before the Brexit referendum looks a hell of a lot like Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election...

Ursula Faw at DailyKos: The British Russian Collusion Scandal Is Breaking Wide Open.
There were so many extraordinary occurrences that took place with respect to the Brexit referendum in Great Britain and the United States presidential election, that, taken as a whole, simply cannot be coincidences.

First and foremost both events ultimately were determined in a manner which was advantageous to Vladimir Putin. Second, both Brexit and the U.S. election featured Cambridge Analytica and its founders Robert and Rebekah Mercer as key players. Cambridge Analytica harvested over 50 million Facebook files and interfaced with members of the Trump campaign and Russian bots that showed up in crucial rust belt states masquerading as politically aware next door neighbors.

Now yet another piece in the puzzle of Russian dominion over the two elections is fitting into place. UK financier Aaron Banks financed Brexit with the largest donation in British history after he just happened to have been offered a "sweetheart" deal on Russian gold and diamond mining projects which were only offered to a "restricted number of investors."

...There's an old aphorism, first time is happenstance, second time is coincidence, third time is enemy action. There is no happenstance or coincidence with Vladimir Putin. He cuts straight to the chase all the time, every time. With respect to both Brexit and the US election, Occam's Razor is the only tool you need.
Ain't that the truth.

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Martin Pengelly at the Guardian: Michael Cohen Hints at Flipping and Says 'First Loyalty' Is to Family — Not Trump. "Cohen has frequently been aggressive towards reporters working on stories about Trump. He said last September he was 'the guy who would take a bullet for the president' and would 'never walk away.' But speaking to George Stephanopoulos in the ABC interview, which was conducted on Saturday at a hotel in New York City, he said: 'My wife, my daughter, and my son have my first loyalty and always will. I put family and country first.' In answer to the question of whether he expected Trump to turn on him, Cohen said: 'I will not be a punching bag as part of anyone's defense strategy. I am not a villain of this story, and I will not allow others to try to depict me that way.'"

Okay, player.

As you may have already guessed, I don't believe this shit for a hot second!

My gut instinct is not that Cohen has any plans at all to turn on Trump, but instead that he's already been promised a pardon from Trump as long as he plays along, and, in this case, playing along means giving people more futile hope that someone will "take down Trump" and stop this onslaught of aggressive indecency.

I suspect it's not a coincidence that Cohen provided the grist for precisely that narrative on the same weekend that people were out demonstrating en masse.

Just another coincidentally perfectly-timed message that a hero will emerge to rescue us, right as the idea that we must be the heroes we've been waiting for is once again gaining traction. Funny, that.

In related garbage Trump loyalists news, and news that is much more likely to signal that someone has abandoned the Trump ship:

Background, in case you need an introduction or a refresher: More on Paul Campos' Trump-Broidy Theory.

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Marlow Stern at the Daily Beast: Hollywood Keeps Getting into Bed with Trump Pariahs. "Last week, The New York Times revealed that Spicer is developing a celebrity-driven talk show with the tentative title Sean Spicer's Common Ground. The series, billed as 'Washington Week meets Jerry Seinfeld's Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee,' is...said to feature Spicer interviewing one guest per episode over 'a drink and some lite conversation at a local pub or café.' ...Michael Avenatti, [Stormy Daniels' attorney], and Anthony Scaramucci, [former White House communications director for 11 days], were pitching a talk show to cable networks. 'The prominent television agent Jay Sures discussed with executives at CNN and MSNBC the concept of a program where the two men would square off, according to three people briefed on the issue. Both have become frequent cable network guests — Mr. Avenatti as one of Mr. Trump's greatest antagonists, and Mr. Scaramucci as a loyalist to the president even after flaming out after less than two weeks at the White House,' reported the Times."

[CN: Misogyny] Danielle Kurtzleben at NPR: Life as a Young Woman Candidate: Fending off 'Older Men' and Being an Outsider. "'I think when you're a young man and you're running for office, you're seen as this bright, energetic go-getter,' [Deborah Walsh, director of the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University] said. 'And I think when you're a young woman there's some stereotypes there about, well, 'You're new; you don't know enough yet.'' That's one big drawback of being a young woman on the campaign trail. And there are several others... [Morgan Murtaugh, a 25-year-old Republican running in California's 53rd district] said she has not encountered voter concerns about the fact that she is unmarried and childless. But the question brought up another hurdle: 'No one cares about my personal life, except the older men,' she said. 'I've been hit on multiple times.'"

[CN: War on agency; Christian Supremacy] Amy Littlefield at Rewire.News: Catholic Hospitals Offer a Preview of Life Without Roe — and Bishops Just Tightened the Rules.
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has tightened restrictions on reproductive health care for the one in six hospital beds nationwide that operate under its directives.

...The new language requires a Catholic institution that affiliates with another health-care entity to "ensure that neither its administrators nor its employees will manage, carry out, assist in carrying out, make its facilities available for, make referrals for, or benefit from the revenue generated by immoral procedures."

"In any kind of collaboration, whatever comes under the control of the Catholic institution — whether by acquisition, governance, or management — must be operated in full accord with the moral teaching of the Catholic Church, including these Directives," the document states.

This is particularly significant because Catholic hospitals have expanded their dominance of the health-care market through such acquisitions.
[CN: Police brutality; racism] Blue Telusma at the Grio: Investigation Begins as Hundreds Rally to Protest Lancaster Police Using Taser on Unarmed Black Man Sitting Peaceably. "A crowd of over 200 people rallied on the steps of the Lancaster County Courthouse last Friday to protest a city police officer's use of a Taser on a 27-year-old man the day before, reports Lancaster Online. A video shot by a witness shows Officer Philip Bernot using the Taser on the back of Sean D. Williams as Williams sits on a city curb. Since the clip was released, it has gone viral and amassed over 2 million views on Facebook. ...Williams attended the rally on Friday accompanied by his family members. While he appreciated the support, he admitted, 'I really don't want to be here right now.'"

[CN: Environmental racism; class warfare] Anne Branigin at the Root: New York City Finally Admits That More Than 800 Kids Living in Public Housing Tested High for Lead. "For years, New York City has claimed that only 19 children living in New York City Public Housing in the last decade have registered for high lead levels in their blood. The number was considered by some advocates and the press to be dubious, especially given recent revelations that the city had fudged lead paint inspections in public housing units for years. Last Saturday, the city's Department of Health finally offered a realistic number — and it blows the previous count completely out of the water. ...[T]he city Department of Health admitted that between 2012 and 2016, 820 children under the age of 6 were found to have elevated levels of lead in their blood."

[CN: Class warfare] Peter Whoriskey at the Washington Post: 'A Way of Monetizing Poor People': How Private Equity Firms Make Money Offering Loans to Cash-Strapped Americans. "Mass-mailing checks to strangers might seem like risky business, but Mariner Finance occupies a fertile niche in the U.S. economy. The company enables some of the nation's wealthiest investors and investment funds to make money offering high-interest loans to cash-strapped Americans. Mariner Finance is owned and managed by a $11.2 billion private equity fund controlled by Warburg Pincus, a storied New York firm. The president of Warburg Pincus is Timothy F. Geithner, who, as treasury secretary in the Obama administration, condemned predatory lenders. ...'It's basically a way of monetizing poor people,' said John Lafferty, who was a manager trainee at a Mariner Finance branch for four months in 2015 in Nashville. His misgivings about the business echoed those of other former employees contacted by The Washington Post. 'Maybe at the beginning, people thought these loans could help people pay their electric bill. But it has become a cash cow.'"

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

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