We Resist: Day 713

a black bar with the word RESIST in white text

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.

* * *

Earlier today by me: Elizabeth Warren Is Running for President: Here Comes the Misogyny! and Malice Is the Agenda at the Border.

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

[Content Note: Murder; gun violence; racist eliminationism] Seven-year-old Jazmine Barnes was fatally shot after a white man in his 40s pulled up beside the car in which she was riding with her mother and opened fire on them from his red pickup truck. Her mother, LaPorsha Washington, who was injured in the shooting, has spent hours trying to figure out why this man killed her child and hurt her.

I've replayed this moment in my head over a million times, to see: Did I cut this man off? Did I make a wrong turn in front of him? Did I stop him from getting out of the Walmart, from whatever he was doing? Did I do anything wrong to cause this man to fire shots in my car? And I didn't. I didn't do anything. I didn't make a wrong turn, I didn't get over in his lane, I didn't do none of that. He fired off at us for no reason. None.
Absolutely heartbreaking. I understand, of course, why Washington is seeking to find a reason and probing her memory desperately to see if she could have done something differently, and I am so fucking sad and so fucking angry that she's been put in that position by the piece of shit who killed her daughter and injured her. Even if she had cut him off or made a wrong turn in front of him or whatever, it wouldn't justify what he did.

But road rage would maybe, somehow, be easier than the fact it seems very much like this "senseless" crime was a white supremacist murder. And it may not have been the first one committed by this man, who remains at large.

[CN: Video may autoplay at link] Staff at KTRK: Houston Activists Say Fatal Shooting of 7-Year-Old Girl Was Similar to Another Incident in 2017. "Some activists say a similar, unprovoked incident happened to a man named A'Vonta Williams a little more than a year ago. Williams was reportedly shot by a white man in a pickup truck while driving near that same Walmart on Wallisville. Activists say they don't believe the two shootings are a coincidence."

The police need to identify and find this man swiftly.

My condolences to Jazmine Barnes' family, friends, classmates, and community. I am so sorry.

* * *

Damian Paletta and Erica Werner at the Washington Post: Trump Falsely Claims Mexico Is Paying for Wall, Demands Taxpayer Money for Wall Ahead of Meeting with Democrats.
[Donald] Trump made two false claims about his demands for a new border wall just hours before he is set to meet with congressional leaders Wednesday, illustrating the White House's evasive approach as a government shutdown stretches on.

In a Twitter post Wednesday morning, Trump wrote that Mexico would be paying for the wall along the U.S. border under the parameters of a trade deal he has tentatively inked with Mexico and Canada. This is not true.

That deal has not been approved by Congress, which means the parameters of the pact are not in effect. And even if the trade agreement is approved, it would not in any way create a stream of money designated for the construction of a border wall.

The second false point in Trump's Twitter post Wednesday is his statement that "much of the Wall has already been fully renovated or built." This is also not true.

The U.S.-Mexico border is roughly 2,000 miles long. Trump's demand for $5.6 billion to build new sections of wall would finance 200 miles of wall, and less than 100 miles has already been constructed or renovated, according to Department of Homeland Security Officials.
Paul Krugman at the New York Times: The Trump Tax Cut: Even Worse Than You've Heard. "The story you mostly read runs something like this: The tax cut has caused corporations to bring some money home, but they've used it for stock buybacks rather than to raise wages, and the boost to growth has been modest. That doesn't sound great, but it's still better than the reality: No money has, in fact, been brought home, and the tax cut has probably reduced national income. Indeed, at least 90 percent of Americans will end up poorer thanks to that cut."

Carrie Johnson at NPR: Trump's Judicial Appointments Were Confirmed at Historic Pace in 2018. "The Trump administration more than doubled the number of judges it confirmed to federal appeals courts in 2018, exceeding the pace of the last five presidents and stocking the courts with lifetime appointees who could have profound consequences for civil rights, the environment, and government regulations. A new analysis by Lambda Legal, which advocates for the LGBT community, reports that five of the country's 12 circuit courts are now composed of more than 25 percent of Trump-appointed judges." Sob.

Paul Farhi at the Washington Post: Beyond 'No Comment': The White House Has No Response — at All — to Many Media Questions.
The New York Times published a powerful story last week about [Donald] Trump's growing isolation in the White House, with colorful details such as Trump's tendency to interrupt advisers during meetings to call them "freaking idiots" (except he doesn't use the word "freaking").

Asked to comment by the Times's reporters about this, the White House said nothing. It did not respond.

Similarly, it offered no response when The Washington Post asked the White House about Trump's false claim during a post-Christmas Day visit to U.S. troops in Iraq that he boosted military pay by 10 percent.

Reporters are used to officials who respond to their inquiries with a terse "no comment." This was typically the practice in prior presidential administrations when officials saw no strategic value in rebutting an unflattering story.

But as in so many things, the Trump administration is different. Instead of "no comment," Trump's press representatives often don't bother saying anything at all.

"This is the least responsive White House press operation I've ever dealt with by far," said Peter Baker, a veteran White House reporter for The New York Times and one of the co-authors of the story about Trump's isolation. "There are certainly individuals there who are professional and try to be helpful when they can, and I appreciate their efforts, I really do. But as a whole, I've learned not to expect answers even to basic questions."

Adds Baker, "I don't know why that is. I don't take it personally. But it's a lost opportunity on their part to get their side of the story out."
That's a very telling quote. Baker, a White House reporter for a major newspaper, is seemingly incurious about figuring out why the White House is unprecedentedly hostile to answering basic questions, and his primary concern is for the administration and their "lost opportunity" to use the media to "get their side of the story out," rather than expressing any concern for the public who lacks accountability from their own government. Depressing.

Jamiles Lartey at the Guardian: Mitt Romney: Trump's Biggest Failure Is a Lack of Character in Leading 'Divided' Nation. "Romney praised Trump's tax policies, stance on China, and appointment of conservative judges but said they were 'mainstream' Republican policies. Since Trump's rise, Romney has been one in a long list of traditionalist Republicans who have publicly bristled at Trump's decorum and leadership style, while generally supporting his policy goals." A perfect summary.

Let me be even more blunt: Romney loves Trump's malice, but hates his vulgarity. PRIORITIES.

I don't give a drip of shit what Mitt Romney has to say about anything, least of all Donald Trump, but I do care what Harry Reid has to say.

By the way, I agree with my friend Sarah Kendzior that the New York Times interview with Reid was a massive wasted opportunity to ask him some tough questions about Russian interference in the 2016 election and related Republican obstructionism.

* * *

Josh Kovensky at TPM: Filing in Patten Case Deepens Mystery About His Cooperation with the Feds. "A mystery filing in the case of W. Sam Patten, the D.C. lobbyist who pleaded guilty to acting as an unregistered foreign agent in August, adds a curious wrinkle to what has generally been regarded as a relatively minor case. ...The fact that Patten's status report is entirely under seal could suggest that Patten, who has been seen as a more marginal figure in the foreign lobbying world, may in fact have more value to prosecutors, including special counsel Robert Mueller, than previously realized."

Staff at the BBC: New Year 2019: U.S. Military Apologises for Bomb Tweet. "U.S. Strategic Command, which oversees America's nuclear arsenal, has apologised for a tweet that said it was ready to 'drop something much, much bigger' than New York's Times Square ball. The message, posted on New Year's Eve, was accompanied by a video showing a B-2 bomber dropping weapons. Strategic Command later deleted the tweet, saying it was 'in poor taste,' and replaced it with an apology." Fucking hell.

[CN: Nativism; child abuse] Elham Khatami at ThinkProgress: Surveillance Videos at Arizona Migrant Shelter Show Alleged Abuse of Children. "Staff members at a migrant shelter in Arizona apparently dragged, hit, and shoved children, according to surveillance videos obtained by the Arizona Republic last week under a state public records law. Although the Maricopa Sheriff's Office initially said the videos showed no grounds for criminal investigation, the office reversed course Sunday, referring the case to a local district attorney."

[CN: LGBTQ hatred] Jessica Mason Pieklo at Rewire.News: Employees Can Be Fired for Being LGBTQ in 26 States. Will the Supreme Court Make That Even Worse? "The Supreme Court on Friday will consider taking three cases that could determine whether an employer can legally discriminate against employees for being LGBTQ. If the Court agrees to hear some, or all, of the petitions, it will be testing both the strength of employment discrimination law under Title VII and retired Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy's LGBTQ rights legacy. ...Currently 26 states do not expressly prohibit sexual orientation or gender identity discrimination in employment. Should the Supreme Court determine federal law does not protect LGBTQ employees, that would leave workers in those states even more vulnerable to on-the-job discrimination."

[CN: Homophobia; harassment] Relatedly... Savas Abadsidis at Towleroad: Drug Research Scientist Says He was Harassed for Being Gay. "A former research scientist alleges in a lawsuit against Eli Lilly and Co. that he was harassed and discriminated against because he is gay. Jeffrey A. Willy says he 'endured harassment, a hostile work environment, and discrimination.' He left the company in September 2018. The lawsuit was filed in federal court in Indianapolis."

[CN: Environmental harm] Yessenia Funes at Earther: Trump's EPA Wants to Prove That Limiting Toxic Mercury Emissions Is a Giant Waste of Money. "Whispers that the EPA began might roll back the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS), which former President Barack Obama implemented in 2011 to limit the amount of the toxic metal power plants can spew, first surfaced in October. But electrical utilities pushed back, as they had already spent billions working to comply with the rule, reports Bloomberg. So instead of undoing outright this particular rule, the agency wants to take a closer look at the cost-benefit analysis that supports it under the Clean Air Act. The EPA is hoping to determine that the rule is not 'appropriate and necessary,' a legal term that considers on whether the benefits outweigh the cost of a rule."

And finally, if you haven't heard the latest from abusive dirtbag Louis CK, consider yourself lucky and move on. If you have, and want to know my feelings about it, here you go:

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

Shakesville is run as a safe space. First-time commenters: Please read Shakesville's Commenting Policy and Feminism 101 Section before commenting. We also do lots of in-thread moderation, so we ask that everyone read the entirety of any thread before commenting, to ensure compliance with any in-thread moderation. Thank you.

blog comments powered by Disqus