We Resist: Day 551

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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: Russia Is Planning an Attack on U.S. Utilities and The Trump Regime and Stochastic Terrorism and Jeff Sessions Laughs at High School Conservatives Chanting "Lock Her Up!"

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

As I've been documenting under the label "The Russia Reversal" for about nine months, Donald Trump has been peddling the narrative that it was actually Hillary Clinton and the Democrats who colluded with Russia and/or who committed crimes during the last election and/or whom Vladimir Putin was trying to assist.

Today, four months out from the midterm election, and hours after headlines that the Democrats' odds to take back the House have improved, Trump tweeted this:

Wow. This is extraordinary — and incredibly dangerous.

Fuck. Fuck fuck fuck.

[Content Note: Voter suppression; racism] Michael Harriot at the Root: Millions of Black Voters Are Being Purged From Voter Rolls, Often Illegally: Report.
Voter Purges [PDF], a new report by the Brennan Center, highlights the systematic purging of voters from rolls by state and local officials around the country. These are not random, isolated cases. It is a methodical effort that disproportionately affects minority voters. Even worse, no one seems to care.

...Between 2014 and 2016, 16 million registered voters were removed from state rolls, 33 percent more than were moved between 2006 and 2008. For the election of 2012 and 2016, the Brennan Center estimates that two million fewer voters would have been purged if those states had to apply by the provisions of the Voting Rights Act.

...Almost every type of voter purge disproportionately affects black voters and voters of color. Some states purge rolls based solely on names but non-whites are more likely to have the same names. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 16.3 percent of Hispanic people and 13 percent of black people have one of the 10 most common surnames, compared to 4.5 percent of white people.

Black and Hispanic voters are more likely to move, often in the same jurisdiction, but voter purges based on address eliminate them from voting. Officials also use "voter caging" which intentionally sends mail to verify addresses in a format that cannot be forwarded, leading to the disenfranchisement of hundreds of thousands of eligible voters.

African Americans are also more likely to have felony convictions, and elderly and minority voters are more likely to be incapacitated, all reasons for which someone can be purged from a voter roll.

Almost every study ever done on this issue shows that in-person voter fraud is almost nonexistent. Instead, these purges are intentional efforts to restrict voting rights.
Voter suppression is a reason this election won't be fair, regardless of Russian meddling.

And yet... Despite racist, disablist, ageist, and classist voter suppression by the Republican Party, despite almost certain intervention by the Russians, and despite the sitting president's implicit threat to disregard the midterm election result if it does not go in his favor, virtually everyone is behaving as though we are going to have a free and fair election in November.

We are not. That is manifestly apparent. And still there has not emerged a better plan than pretending like everything is normal when it clearly isn't.

It would be terrific if we could all agree to do something about that now, instead of waiting until after the election and then tearing our hair out when Trump uses the result to consolidate power no matter what the result.

At this point, I feel like "blue tsunami" is functioning the same way as Mueller's investigation: Giving people unwarranted hope and keeping them complacent, waiting for a solution that can't possibly materialize.

I know that people will scream at me for saying that and accuse me of discouraging people from voting. But I fucking refuse to not acknowledge reality. I got enough people gaslighting me; I'm not going to gaslight myself.

And personally, I would argue that having a president who is laying the groundwork to disregard the election result is more discouraging than my pointing it out, but what the fuck do I know.

I'm going to vote. I am going to vote in every race. I am going to encourage everyone I know to vote and offer to help people get to the polls if they need it and answer every question people throw at me about the elections. Just like I always do.

But I am going to do a lot more between now and then. And if we don't all commit to addressing this reality honestly and meaningfully before Election Day, we might as well not even show up.

And that's the truth. No matter how much it sucks.

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Carrie Dann at NBC News: NBC/WSJ Poll: Support for Roe v. Wade Hits New High. "A new poll from NBC News and the Wall Street Journal finds that 71 percent of American voters believe that the decision, which established a [pregnant person]'s legal right to an abortion, should not be overturned. Just 23 percent say the ruling should be reversed. That's the highest level of support for the decision — and the lowest share of voters who want Roe v. Wade overturned — in the poll's history dating back to 2005." Arm yourself with these numbers for the battle to resist the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court!

It's hard to see how this isn't political theater, given this Russian-brokered deal a few days ago. I don't have a great handle on what's happening in Syria, but it looks as though Syria is a pawn as Russia, the U.S., and Israel consolidate power together.

Damian Paletta at the Washington Post: White House Readies Plan for $12 Billion in Emergency Aid to Farmers Caught in Trump's Escalating Trade War. "The White House has searched for months for a way to provide emergency assistance to farmers without backing down on Trump's trade agenda, and the new program will extend roughly $12 billion through three different mechanisms run by the Department of Agriculture." So Trump starts a trade war, then uses taxpayer dollars mostly from people who didn't vote for him, to bail out people who mostly did? Cool. It's not that I don't want to help farmers! Especially small family farmers! I do! I just don't want to help farmers because our president created problems for them with horseshit policies!

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[CN: Nativism; abuse. Covers entire section.]

Nick Miroff at the Washington Post: Government: 463 Migrant Parents May Have Been Deported without Their Children. "The Trump administration said in a court filing Monday that 463 parents of migrant children are no longer present in the United States, indicating that the number of mothers and fathers potentially deported without their children during the 'zero tolerance' border crackdown could be far larger than previously acknowledged. ...Immigrant advocates say migrant parents were pressured into signing voluntary deportation forms out of desperation to be released from immigration detention once their sons and daughters were taken from them and sent to government shelters."

Teresa Wiltz at Pew Trusts: Why Crackdown Fears May Keep Documented Immigrants from Food Stamps. "It's that time of the week — food pantry day — and before the doors even open at the Spanish Catholic Center, the patrons begin queueing up, lugging roller carts and empty grocery bags, the line stretching out onto the hot sidewalk. Immigrants all, they hail from the Congo and Costa Rica, from Nicaragua and El Salvador, from Togo and Vietnam. Most are seniors. And all of them, they say, are afraid. 'I feel like a rabbit in a cage,' said Marta, 62, who moved to the United States from El Salvador 16 years ago, and didn't want her surname used because she is living here illegally. Added Maria Monestel, an 81-year-old babysitter from Costa Rica, 'Everyone is scared. They think they don't have any rights.' That keeps many from signing up for food stamps and other public assistance even when they're eligible, said Monestel, who has lived here for decades as a legal permanent resident. 'They're afraid if they do anything, they'll be deported,' Monestel said."

Brenda Medina and Douglas Hanks at the Miami Herald: An Undocumented Immigrant Who Was Turned over to ICE after an Accident Sues Miami-Dade.
The first plaintiff, identified only as "C.F.C." in court papers, is described as the mother of eight children who is a member of WeCount!, an immigrant advocacy group, and owner of a local produce business. She was arrested on May 12 after being involved in a minor accident in the parking lot of a B.J.’s in Homestead.

The suit said occupants of the other car yelled "Go back to Mexico!" to the woman, who was with her youngest son, age 5, and a pregnant daughter. Homestead police arrived and arrested the woman for driving without a license. The woman's family posted her bail later that day, but Miami-Dade's Corrections Department held her for an additional 48 hours until agents for Immigration and Customs Enforcement picked her up on May 14, according to the suit.
This is very concerning not only because it may further discourage immigrants from seeking help in emergency situations, but also because it's another example of ICE targeting an immigration activist, which is where the Trump Regime's war on dissidents began.

And there can be no remaining doubt that this is an eliminationist campaign against undocumented residents of this country, when they are being discouraged from seeking emergency assistance and food.

In a bit of tentative good news... Nate Raymond at Reuters: U.S. Judge Allows Lawsuit over End of Immigrant Protections to Proceed. "A federal judge in Boston on Monday rejected a bid by the Trump administration to dismiss a lawsuit alleging that its decisions to end temporary protections for immigrants in the United States from Honduras, Haiti, and El Salvador were racially motivated. ...The lawsuit cited statements it said showed Trump's 'dislike and disregard for Latino and black immigrants,' including reported remarks in January by Trump saying immigrants from Africa and Haiti come from 'shithole countries.' 'Plaintiffs have successfully made out their prima facie case,' [U.S. District Judge Denise Casper] wrote." Indeed.

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[CN: Wildfires; death] Helena Smith, Sam Jones, and Martin Farrer at the Guardian: Greece Wildfires: Scores Dead as Holiday Resort Devastated. "At least 74 people have been killed and scores injured and more than 700 survivors have been rescued from the sea after a wildfire swept through a small resort town near Athens. Huge flames trapped families with children as they tried to flee from Mati, 18 miles (29km) east of the Greek capital, on Monday afternoon. Among the dead were 26 people found huddled tightly together close to the beach, a Red Cross official said on Tuesday morning. ...'Greece is going through an unspeakable tragedy,' the prime minister, Alexis Tsipras, said as he appeared on television to declare three days of national mourning."

[CN: Drought] Yessenia Funes at Earther: European Drought Might Mean No French Fries for You. "The German Association of the Fruit, Vegetable, and Potato Processing Industry BOGK announced it expects fewer and lower-quality potatoes this season and a 25 percent loss in revenue across the agricultural and potato-processing industries. That includes larger potatoes necessary to mass produce our beloved french fries. 'Due to increasing dryness and heat, the individual potato plants are increasingly under stress and stop the growth of the plant,' the association wrote. 'Irrigation — if it is even possible or permitted — is of little use in this situation, according to experts from the potato producers.'"

[CN: Environmental harm] Kyla Mandel at ThinkProgress: Thousands of Scientists Warn Trump's Border Wall Will Threaten Biodiversity. "[A]s the authors of the paper explain, the wall will 'threaten some of the continent's most biologically diverse regions' — even if in some areas it's a fence rather than a solid barrier. This is because the U.S.-Mexico border spans a variety of different regions, from desert and grasslands to temperate forests, which include conservation hotspots. The border currently bisects land home to 62 species listed as either critically endangered, endangered, or vulnerable."

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

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