We Resist: Day 582

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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: What Could Go Wrong? and Trump Org CFO Allen Weisselberg Granted Immunity.

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

This is just the sitting president of the United States publicly admonishing his Attorney General to prosecute his political opponents:

This is not normal. More importantly, it is not tolerable. Not if this nation has any interest at all in remaining a democracy, even a deeply flawed one. This is authoritarianism on naked display. And its perpetrator must be removed from the office he is critically corrupting.

That, of course, is unlikely. Instead, it is likely that Sessions will be removed, as his former senate colleagues abandon him.

Eliana Johnson and Burgess Everett at Politico: Republicans: Sessions Gone After Midterms. "Republicans on Capitol Hill who have long protected Attorney General Jeff Sessions from the wrath of his own boss increasingly think his time is up. Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee said Thursday evening that he believes 'moves are being made' to oust Sessions after the midterm elections. 'It's apparent that after the midterms, he will make a change and choose someone to do what he wants done,' Corker said in a phone call. 'It just feels to me that after the midterms, the president will make the change.' A Republican close to the White House echoed that view."

I'll be amazed if Sessions survives until after the midterms. Frankly, I'm not convinced he'll survive until the end of the day.

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[Content Note: Carcerality; exploitation; racism] Kevin Rashid Johnson at the Guardian: Prison Labor Is Modern Slavery; I've Been Sent to Solitary for Speaking Out. "On 10 July I was moved to Sussex state prison in Waverly, Virginia, and placed in a cell in death row. I have never been sentenced to the death penalty, so there can be only one reason they have put me here — to shut me up and prevent me fraternising with other prisoners as they fear I will radicalise them and encourage them to resist their oppression. ...That's been the pattern of my incarceration for the past many years. I resist; they retaliate."

Follow the #PrisonStrike2018 hashtag on Twitter and be sure to do awareness-raising where you can about the plight of prisoners striking until September 9.

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In GOOD news...

Mark Niesse at the Atlanta Journal Constitution: Elections Consultant Fired over Proposal to Close Georgia Precincts. "The elections consultant who proposed closing most voting locations in a majority African-American rural Georgia county has been fired ahead of a vote Friday on consolidating precincts. The proposal to shutter seven of the county's nine precincts before the Nov. 6 election appears unlikely to pass, said Randolph County Attorney Tommy Coleman. Coleman fired the consultant, Mike Malone, in a letter dated Wednesday." Buh-bye!

And the proposal did indeed fail, as Niesse further reports: "An elections board in southwestern Georgia defeated a contentious proposal Friday to close seven rural voting locations before November's election following overwhelming opposition to the idea. ...A crowd of civil rights leaders and voting rights advocates erupted in cheers after a one-minute meeting before the vote that ended consideration of closing polling places. ...'In the United States, the right to vote is sacred,' said a statement from the Randolph County Board of Elections. 'The interest and concern shown has been overwhelming, and it is an encouraging reminder that protecting the right to vote remains a fundamental American principle.'" WOOT!

Democratic Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams released a statement after the decision: "Today is a triumph, not just for the people of Randolph County, but for every Georgian. In a predominantly Black, rural community, where public transportation is severely lacking, asking voters to travel up to 30 miles to access the ballot box would have been antithetical to our democratic values. I applaud Randolph County on its decision keep all nine of its polling locations open — and I recommit to ensuring that all eligible Georgians in every region of our state have access the ballot box, to cast their votes, and make their voices heard." RIGHT ON.

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

Dan De Luce and Julia Ainsley at NBC News: Trump Admin Intentionally Slowing FBI Vetting of Refugees, Ex-Officials Say. "The FBI has dramatically slowed the pace of security reviews for refugees in recent months, which former Trump administration officials and human rights advocates say is part of an intentional bid by White House hardliners to restrict the number of refugees allowed in the U.S. Former officials and aid organizations say the administration has overloaded the FBI and other government agencies with an array of procedures that have weighed down the bureaucracy and effectively delayed refugee admissions. 'It's a precipitous decline,' said one former official who worked on refugee issues before leaving government earlier this year. Refugee admissions have plunged to historic lows."

Amanda Michelle Gomez at ThinkProgress: A Month After a Court-Mandated Deadline, 528 Families Are Still Separated. "The administration has reunited the majority of families they've separated, but still over 500 parents and their children remain apart, including 23 infants or toddlers, according the most recent government figures. ...On June 26, a federal judge overseeing an American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) lawsuit against the Trump administration ordered all families to be reunited by July 26. One month later, and officials still have not reunited all 2,654 families they identified as separated between April and June."

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[CN: War; death]

Carla Baranauckas at the Huffington Post: Rep. Duncan Hunter Blames Wife for Campaign Spending Under Inquiry. WOW. "Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.), who has been indicted on corruption charges related to the use of his campaign money, appeared to blame his wife for the predicament when he said in an interview Thursday night that she handled the finances for their family and his campaign. ...On Thursday evening, Fox News host Martha MacCallum asked Hunter, 'Are you saying it’s more her fault than your fault?' Hunter, a Republican from San Diego who served in the Marines, replied: 'I'm saying when I went to Iraq in 2003, the first time, I gave her power of attorney and she handled my finances throughout my entire military career and that continued on when I got into Congress. Because I'm gone five days a week, I'm home for two. And she was also the campaign manager,' he added. 'Whatever she did, that will be looked at too, I'm sure. But I didn't do it." WOW WOW WOW.

[CN: White supremacy] David Nakamura, John Hudson, and Isaac Stanley-Becker at the Washington Post: 'Dangerous and Poisoned': Critics Blast Trump for Endorsing White-Nationalist Conspiracy Theory on South Africa.
Former U.S. diplomats and South African leaders denounced Trump's declaration in a tweet late Wednesday that he had instructed Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to monitor the 'large scale killing' of white farmers and the government's expropriations of their land. White-nationalist groups have for years spread false claims about the murder rates, assertions that have been widely debunked.

...Critics lambasted the president for endorsing the conspiracy ­theory to his 54 million Twitter followers. Patrick Gaspard, who served as U.S. ambassador to South Africa under President Barack Obama, noted that this was the first time Trump had mentioned Africa on Twitter since he took office.

"He uses the occasion to lift a white-supremacist meme from the darkest place he can find," Gaspard, now president of Open Society Foundations, said in an interview. "So many of my friends in South Africa are bewildered that a modern president of the United States, instead of leaning into issues of constitutionalism and jurisprudence, lifts up these themes. It's dangerous and poisoned."
"Dangerous and Poisoned" will make an excellent title for a book about the Trump presidency someday.

[CN: Death; exploitation] Chris Riotta at the Independent: How Russian Bots Used Mollie Tibbetts' Death to Distract from Michael Cohen and Paul Manafort. "A network of Russian-linked Twitter accounts have been disseminating divisive content about Mollie Tibbetts' death in an apparent attempt to divert attention from explosive news surrounding Donald Trump and his former associates. Almost immediately after a guilty verdict was announced in the trial of Paul Manafort, the president's former campaign chairman convicted on eight counts of bank and tax fraud charges, there was a flurry of activity among hundreds of pro-Kremlin Twitter accounts believed to be controlled by Russian government influence operations. Those accounts began posting thousands of tweets about Ms Tibbetts, the 20-year-old University of Iowa student who had been missing for nearly five weeks."

And the White House "coincidentally" released their exploitative video in the middle of the bot swarm. The collusion is right out in the open.

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

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