We Resist: Day 585

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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: Fatal Shooting at Video Game Competition in Florida and An Observation and Former Trump Doorman Released from Silence Contract.

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

Related Reading: Rafi Schwartz at Splinter: Trump's Ends Shitshow Phone Call with Mexican President with Request for a Hug.

First of all, I have no clue how the executive branch just terminates NAFTA by fiat, with zero input from the legislative branch.

Secondly, a sustained and increasingly hostile trade war with Canada is yet another policy that plays right into Vladimir Putin's hands. If you don't believe that, consider how the Kremlin feels about Canada having a whoooooooole lotta Arctic coastline that the United States won't give a shit about protecting.

Meanwhile... Jeanne Whalen and John Hudson at the Washington Post: Too Big to Sanction? U.S. Struggles with Punishing Large Russian Businesses.
When the Treasury Department imposed tough sanctions on Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska and his companies in April, the fallout for the Putin ally was fast and fierce.

Western customers stopped buying from the aluminum company he controls, sinking its share price and shaving Deripaska's fortune from $6.7 billion to $3.4 billion, according to Forbes estimates.

The sanctions also caused havoc far beyond Russia. Global aluminum prices spiked, battering U.S. and European companies that use the metal. After an outcry from manufacturers and foreign governments, Treasury softened its stance, giving companies more time to end dealings with the aluminum producer, Rusal, and suggesting it could lift sanctions on the company if Deripaska cedes control.

The episode is a cautionary tale as the United States readies more sanctions against Russia, including some beginning Monday that will affect U.S. technology exports, and some under consideration in Congress that could prove painful for European oil and gas companies.
So we're gonna start a trade war with Canada, and back off sanctioning Russia. Cool.

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Tom Hamburger and Rosalind S. Helderman at the Washington Post: Attorney for Michael Cohen Backs Away from Confidence That Cohen Has Information About Trump's Knowledge on Russian Efforts. "An attorney for Michael Cohen, [Donald] Trump's former lawyer, is backing away from confident assertions he made that Cohen has information to share with investigators that shows Trump knew in 2016 of Russian efforts to undermine Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. Lanny Davis, a spokesman and attorney for Cohen, said in an interview this weekend that he is no longer certain about claims he made to reporters on background and on the record in recent weeks about what Cohen knows about Trump's awareness of the Russian efforts."

Shocking. Cough.

It's almost like Davis was just using Donald Trump's favorite medium to communicate with him that he'd better keep a lid on any dirt he has on Cohen — unless the president wants Cohen to spill the beans, and, now that he's satisfied the message has penetrated, he's backing off. Huh. Who could have seen that coming.

That is such bad news. Fucking hell.

Cory Turner at NPR: Student Loan Watchdog Quits, Blames Trump Administration. "The federal official in charge of protecting student borrowers from predatory lending practices has stepped down. In a scathing resignation letter, Seth Frotman, who until now was the student loan ombudsman at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, says current leadership 'has turned its back on young people and their financial futures.' The letter was addressed to Mick Mulvaney, the bureau's acting director. In the letter, obtained by NPR, Frotman accuses Mulvaney and the Trump administration of undermining the CFPB and its ability to protect student borrowers. 'Unfortunately, under your leadership, the Bureau has abandoned the very consumers it is tasked by Congress with protecting,' it read. 'Instead, you have used the Bureau to serve the wishes of the most powerful financial companies in America.'"

[CN: Genocide]

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[CN: Child abuse; sexual assault; death; descriptions of violence] Christine Kenneally at BuzzFeed: Nuns Killed Children, Say Former Residents of St. Joseph's Catholic Orphanage.
Outside the United States, the orphanage system and the wreckage it produced has undergone substantial official scrutiny over the last two decades. In Canada, the UK, Germany, Ireland, and Australia, multiple formal government inquiries have subpoenaed records, taken witness testimony, and found, time and again, that children consigned to orphanages — in many cases, Catholic orphanages — were victims of severe abuse. ...The inquiries focused primarily on sexual abuse, not physical abuse or murder, but taken together, the reports showed almost limitless harm that was the result not just of individual cruelty but of systemic abuse.

In the United States, however, no such reckoning has taken place. Even today the stories of the orphanages are rarely told and barely heard, let alone recognized in any formal way by the government, the public, or the courts. The few times that orphanage abuse cases have been litigated in the U.S., the courts have remained, with a few exceptions, generally indifferent. Private settlements could be as little as a few thousand dollars. Government bodies have rarely pursued the allegations.

So in a journey that lasted four years, I went around the country, and even around the world, in search of the truth about this vast, unnarrated chapter of American experience.
[CN: Sex abuse by clergy] Nicole Winfield and Jon Sharman at the Independent: Pope Francis Refuses to Answer Question on 'Cover-Up' of Child Abuse Allegations. "Pope Francis has refused to say whether he knew about child sexual abuse claims against the former archbishop of Washington, five years before his resignation last month. ...Asked about the document [alleging that Pope Francis has known about the allegations since 2013], the pontiff declined to confirm or deny the claims it made. It 'speaks for itself,' he said, adding that he would not comment on it. He said he had read Archbishop Vigano's document and trusted journalists to judge for themselves. 'It's an act of trust,' he said. 'I won't say a word about it.'"

[CN: Homophobia] Joe Jervis at Joe.My.God.: Pope Francis: Parents Shouldn't Reject Their Gay Kids, But Should Seek Psychiatric Help for Them. "Agence France-Presse reports: 'Pope Francis has recommended parents seek psychiatric help for children who show homosexual tendencies, during a press conference on his plane taking him back to Rome from Ireland." So, to recap: Nothing to say about priests who have sexually abused countless children, but gay kids should be taken to a shrink. FUCK THIS GUY.

[CN: Homophobia; bullying; self-harm] Andy Towle at Towleroad: Mother: Denver 9-Year-Old Killed Himself Four Days After Telling Classmates He Was Gay. "Jamel Myles, a 9-year-old in fourth grade at Joe Shoemaker Elementary School in Denver, killed himself last week (police are investigating his death as a suicide) and his mother says it happened after he told her he was gay and planning to come out to his classmates. ...She told KDVR that Jamel said he was being bullied: 'Four days is all it took at school. I could just imagine what they said to him. My son told my oldest daughter the kids at school told him to kill himself. I'm just sad he didn't come to me. I'm so upset that he thought that was his option.'" Blub.

[CN: Misogyny; violence; toxic masculinity] Casey Quinlan at ThinkProgress: Boy Stabs Girl at School Assembly up to 11 Times After She Rejected His Advances. "A 14 year-old boy stabbed a 16 year-old girl about nine to 11 times at an Oklahoma high school assembly because she didn't want a relationship with him beyond friendship, authorities told the Oklahoma County District Attorney's Office on Friday. ...The girl didn't see the boy as he moved to a seat behind her at the assembly. Then, silently, he stood up and began stabbing her with a 4-inch folding knife, creating wounds in her arm, upper back, wrist, and head, KFOR reported. Luther Police Chief David Randall told the Oklahoman that the boy wanted a closer relationship with the girl, and that she declined, saying that 'she liked him as a friend, not anything more and that they remained friends.'"

[CN: Misogyny; violence; toxic masculinity; exploitation]

[CN: Death; racism; nativism; exploitation; video may autoplay at link] Benjamin Fearnow at Newsweek: Mollie Tibbett's Father Ignores Trump, Thanks Hispanic Community for Search Help During Eulogy. "Although Rob Tibbetts has not commented publicly on the nationwide debate over illegal immigrants that has encircled her killing, he applauded the Hispanic community for helping in the search for Mollie. ...Tibbetts repeatedly called on the jam-packed gymnasium at Brooklyn-Guernsey-Malcom High School in Brooklyn, Iowa to 'celebrat[e] something wonderful' as Mollie's older brother Jake discussed her passionate, caring personality, according to the report. But the Tibbetts family's calls 'to turn toward life — Mollie's life — because Mollie's nobody's victim' has fallen on the deaf ears of many national political figures who have inserted her death into a wider debate on undocumented immigrants living in the country. At least one member of Tibbetts extended family has blasted right-wing figures for using Mollie's death as anti-immigrant 'political propaganda.'"

This poor family, having to navigate this exploitative shit while grieving the loss of their loved one. I'm so sorry. My sincerest condolences to them. And in honor of their request to remember Mollie and to turn toward her life, I will end with this:
Rob encouraged the people in the crowd to smile at the person next to them, take the hands of those they know and love and to take time each day, and in each moment, to "live like Mollie did," with compassion and kindness and a desire to help those around her. He also thanked everyone involved in the five-week effort to find his daughter and help bring her home.

"You want to know the secret of why there was this outpouring of support for Mollie? It's because we see ourselves in Mollie — it's because we are a part of her," he said.

Rob remembered his daughter as sweet, kind, faithful, and passionate. She was someone who always had an ear ready to listen, he said, and a hand ready to help.
An ear to listen and a hand to help. ♥

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Yessenia Funes at Earther: Trump's Science Adviser Nominee Won't Call Out Climate Denier Bullshit. "The Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation welcomed science adviser nominee Kelvin Droegemeier to Capitol Hill on Thursday with open arms. The University of Oklahoma meteorology professor [Donald] Trump has picked to head the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) is inching closer to securing the position, which has been vacant a record-breaking 578 days. ...He also seemed keen to avoid discussing how the issue of climate change has been politicized. He kept insisting that politics have no role in science, without noting how climate denial has fueled politicization of this subject."

Nicola Davis at the Guardian: Climate Change Will Make Hundreds of Millions More People Nutrient Deficient. "Rising levels of carbon dioxide could make crops less nutritious and damage the health of hundreds of millions of people, research has revealed, with those living in some of the world's poorest regions likely to be hardest hit. Previous research has shown that many food crops become less nutritious when grown under the CO2 levels expected by 2050, with reductions of protein, iron, and zinc estimated at 3–17%. Now experts say such changes could mean that by the middle of the century about 175 million more people develop a zinc deficiency, while 122 million people who are not currently protein deficient could become so." Fuck.

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

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