We Resist: Day 748

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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: State of the Union Recap and 2020 Whispers: Senator Amy Klobuchar and Beto O'Rourke. And ICYMI late yesterday: It's Awful That Trump Is Still in Office; It Might Get Even Worse When He Isn't.

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

[Content Note: Video may autoplay at link] Kate Feldman at the New York Daily News: Trump Calls for Investigations into Him to End During State of the Union — Just Like Nixon Did.
Echoing President Nixon's 1974 State of the Union, [Donald] Trump called for an end of investigations into him during Tuesday night's address.

"An economic miracle is taking place in the United States and the only thing that can stop it are foolish wars, politics, or ridiculous partisan investigations," Trump said during his State of the Union speech. "If there is going to be peace and legislation, there cannot be war and investigation. It just doesn't work that way."

...More than 40 years ago, Nixon lashed out similarly amid an investigation into the Watergate scandal and the cover-up of the break-in at the Democratic National Committee headquarters.

"I believe the time has come to bring that investigation and the other investigations of this matter to an end," he said in his 1974 address. "One year of Watergate is enough."

Two weeks later, the House overwhelmingly voted to give the Judiciary Committee the authority to look into impeachment charges.
From Tricky Dick to Don the Con: 44 Years of Republican Corruption.

Justin Elliott and Ilya Marritz at ProPublica: Confidential Memo: Company of Trump Inaugural Chair Sought to Profit from Connections to Administration, Foreigners. "The investment firm founded by the chairman of Donald Trump's inaugural committee, Tom Barrack, developed a plan to profit off its connections to the incoming administration and foreign dignitaries, according to a confidential memo obtained by WNYC and ProPublica. 'The key is to strategically cultivate domestic and international relations while avoiding any appearance of lobbying,' the memo says." LOL oh that's the key, is it? Good grief, these goddamned grifters.

Erica Orden and Cristina Alesci at CNN: New York Federal Prosecutors Seek Interviews with Trump Organization Executives. "Federal prosecutors in New York have requested interviews in recent weeks with executives at the Trump Organization, according to people familiar with the matter, signaling a growing potential threat to [Donald] Trump and those in his orbit from criminal investigations by the Manhattan U.S. Attorney's office. Trump and his legal team have long harbored concerns that investigations by New York federal prosecutors — which could last throughout his presidency — may ultimately pose more danger to him, his family, and his allies than the inquiry by special counsel Robert Mueller, according to people close to Trump. Prosecutors' recent interest in executives at Trump's family company may intensify those fears." Good. The least he deserves is to be afraid.

Paul Waldman at the Washington Post: We May Finally See Trump's Tax Returns, and Republicans Are Panicking. "While Trump's refusal to release his returns — something nearly every major-party nominee and president has done for the past half-century — has been controversial since 2016, once Democrats demand the returns it will become an intense controversy playing out on television and the front pages of newspapers. That means that Republican officeholders will be forced to take a position, which they haven't really had to do before. And they'll be expected to defend the president's refusal to allow the public to know where he's getting money from, whom he owes money to, and how far his financial interests extend."

Chris Riotta at the Independent: Trump Shown 'Meeting with Russians in Moscow in 1995' over 'Building Project' in Newly Unearthed Video. "The former mayor of Moscow has confirmed Donald Trump met with officials in Russia in the 1990s to discuss a possible building project after archival footage of the meeting was posted online. The video, allegedly aired by Russian state television in 1995, shows the U.S. president meeting with members of the former mayor's administration. 'Trump was in Moscow,' Yury Luzhkov, the mayor of Moscow from 1992 through 2010, told the Interfax news agency. 'He had contacts…on matters related to the construction of the Okhotny Ryad underground mall on Manezh Square.'"

That should not be surprising, of course. Sarah Kendzior has extensively documented (here, for instance) that Trump's ties to Russia date back to the 1980s.

Ellie Hall at BuzzFeed: Customs and Border Protection Apologized After an Agent Questioned a BuzzFeed News Reporter About Trump Coverage.
A top Customs and Border Protection official apologized Tuesday to a BuzzFeed News reporter who was aggressively questioned by an agent about articles regarding President Donald Trump at a passport control checkpoint in a New York City airport.

"On behalf of the agency, I would like to extend our apologies to Mr. David Mack for the inappropriate remarks made to him during his CBP processing upon his arrival to the United States," CBP Assistant Commissioner for Public Affairs Andrew Meehan said in a statement to BuzzFeed News. "The officer's comments do not reflect CBP's commitment to integrity and professionalism of its workforce. In response to this incident, CBP immediately reviewed the event and has initiated the appropriate personnel inquiry and action."

Mack, BuzzFeed News' deputy breaking news director, landed at JFK Airport Sunday night after a brief trip to the United Kingdom to renew his US work visa. After waiting in line with other non-US residents — Mack is an Australian citizen — he was called to approach the CBP agent at passport control.

Mack said that the agent saw BuzzFeed listed as his employer on his visa and began to ask him questions about the outlet's reporting on special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into the Trump campaign's ties to Russia.

"The immigration agent at JFK just saw that I work for BuzzFeed and just grilled me for 10 minutes about the Cohen story, which was fun given he gets to decide whether to let me back into the country," Mack wrote Sunday night in a Twitter thread.

...Mack said the agent repeatedly questioned him about BuzzFeed News' response to the outlet's report that Trump instructed lawyer Michael Cohen to lie to Congress, and appeared unsatisfied when Mack said that the outlet stood by its reporting.

...As he walked away, Mack said that he heard the agent tell the next person in line that that Mack worked for BuzzFeed.
Absolutely chilling.

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[CN: Sexual violence; clergy sex abuse] Jason Horowitz and Elizabeth Dias at the New York Times: Pope Acknowledges Nuns Were Sexually Abused by Priests and Bishops.
Pope Francis said on Tuesday that the Roman Catholic Church had faced a persistent problem of sexual abuse of nuns by priests and even bishops, the first time he has publicly acknowledged the issue.

Catholic nuns have accused clerics of sexual abuse in recent years in India, Africa, Latin America, and in Italy, and a Vatican magazine last week mentioned nuns having abortions or giving birth to the children of priests. But Francis has never raised the issue until he was asked to comment during a news conference aboard the papal plane returning to Rome from his trip to the United Arab Emirates.

"It's true," Francis said. "There are priests and bishops who have done that."

The pope's admission opens a new front in the long-running scandal of sexual abuse by priests, recognizing nuns who have tried for years to call attention to their plight. With the #MeToo movement going strong, and Francis under pressure for neglecting the victims of child abuse, the nuns' pleas have gained traction.

...Asked about these developments on Tuesday, Francis said that it was a continuing problem and that the Vatican was working on the issue. Some priests, he said, have been suspended.

"Should more be done? Yes," Francis said. "Do we have the will? Yes. But it is a path that we have already begun."

Francis recalled that his predecessor, Benedict XVI, had been "a strong man" who he said had sought to remove priests who committed sexual abuse and even "sexual slavery."

Francis spoke about a case in which Benedict dissolved an order of nuns "because a certain slavery of women had crept in, slavery to the point of sexual slavery on the part of clergy or the founder."
Oh, so obviously the solution was to dissolve the order of nuns. It's no wonder the Catholic Church continues to have profound and ubiquitous problems with sexual violence. When leadership isn't ignoring it altogether, or blaming it on homosexuality, they're coming up with "solutions" that punish the victims. Disgusting.

There is much more at the link, including this: "A top official in the Vatican office that handles sexual abuse allegations resigned last month after a former nun accused him of making sexual advances during confession." Fucking hell.

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Jodi Jacobson at Rewire.News: Reporters Must Do Better on Abortion: Six Facts You Should Know. "Media coverage of abortion care in the United States is — to be blunt — abysmal. Too much news coverage and analysis of abortion is devoid of fact, and instead relies on the faulty premise that the abortion debate involves two sides arguing in good faith, when in reality one side is rooted in evidence and clinical experience and the other in flat-out lies and ideology. ...[J]ournalism and journalists are — by definition — supposed to report facts and base their arguments on facts. Reputable newspapers and TV news outlets (omitting by definition Fox News, Breitbart, and the like) are supposed to care about facts and evidence to help inform the public. And they continue to fail miserably. Here are six facts any responsible reporter should know about abortion..."

In good news... Savas Abadsidis at Towleroad: Newly Passed Law Will Require New Jersey Schools to Teach LGBT History. "New Jersey has become the second state in the nation after California to require public schools to teach LGBT history. The measure was signed by Gov. Phil Murphy on Thursday and modeled after the law that passed in California in 2011 according to KATC3 in New Jersey. The law says that New Jersey boards of education 'must adopt instruction that accurately portrays the political, economic, and social contributions of persons with disabilities and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people, where appropriate.' The law also includes a requirement for schools to teach about people with disabilities and their historical contributions."

[CN: Video may autoplay at link] And finally, this is an excellent bit of resistance, right here... Sarah Ruiz-Grossman at the Huffington Post: Chef José Andrés Wears 'Immigrants Feed America' Shirt to State of the Union. "Celebrity chef José Andrés, famous for providing free meals to disaster victims, attended [Donald] Trump's State of the Union speech on Tuesday ― and made a point of silently advocating for immigrants through his outfit. The world-renowned chef, invited by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), reportedly wore a shirt that read 'Immigrants feed America.' Ahead of Trump's speech, Andrés also tweeted his own thoughts about the state of the union, calling for 'longer tables, not higher walls!'"

Right on!

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

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