We Resist: Day 771

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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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Late yesterday and earlier today by me: Cummings Would Like to Speak with the Trump Kids and What Are You Even Doing This Time, Biden? and Jay Inslee Announces He's Running for President.

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

Staff at the Daily Beast: Trump Demands Cohen Turn Over His Tell-All Book Manuscript. "In an early-morning rant after his overnight return from Hanoi, [Donald] Trump demanded that lawmakers force his former lawyer to turn over the manuscript for an upcoming book he reportedly plans to publish. 'Congress must demand the transcript of Michael Cohen's new book, given to publishers a short time ago. Your heads will spin when you see the lies, misrepresentations and contradictions against his Thursday testimony. Like a different person! He is totally discredited!' the president tweeted." He really thinks he's a dictator. Shiver. Seethe.

Glenn Kessler at the Washington Post: Trump Keeps Claiming the Trade Deficit Is Going Down; It's Not. "The president really, really, really wants trade deficits to decline. But reality keeps biting. During his news conference in Hanoi after the collapse of summit talks with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, Trump [said: 'You saw trade deficits went down last month and everyone's trying to figure out why. Well, we're taking a lot of tariff money. And it has reduced the trade deficit.']. It reminded us of the time in mid-2018 when he repeatedly claimed the quarterly trade deficit had declined $52 billion and complained that 'nobody reports it.' Well, that's because it was not true. ...[T]his is also not correct. ...Four Pinocchios."

Caroline Kelly at CNN: Trump Demanded Kushner Get Top-Secret Security Clearance. "Donald Trump commanded his then-chief of staff, John Kelly, to grant Jared Kushner, his son-in-law and senior presidential adviser, a top-secret security clearance despite concerns from intelligence officials, The New York Times reported Thursday, citing four people briefed on the matter. Trump's command to Kelly came last May, the day after the White House Counsel's Office urged him not to grant Kushner the clearance, the Times reported." No fucking doy the order came from Trump! Anyone with any sense has known as much since this zombie news story was first reported in May of last year and again last month. JFC.

Spencer Ackerman at the Daily Beast: House Intel Will Call Trump Org Moneyman Allen Weisselberg to Testify. "The House Intelligence Committee intends to call the Trump Organization's chief financial officer to testify, The Daily Beast has learned. Allen Weisselberg received renewed congressional attention after disgraced Trump fixer Michael Cohen on Wednesday repeatedly mentioned the Trump Org CFO as crucial to various aspects of dubiously legal practices by [Donald] Trump, from the Stormy Daniels hush-money payments to potential insurance fraud. ...Weisselberg is uniquely positioned to address questions about financial transactions or relationships that concern potential foreign leverage over Trump — which new intelligence committee chairman Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) has indicated for months that he intends to investigate." Get him.

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[Content Note: Nativism] Julia Ainsley at NBC News: Since Trump Restricted Flow at Border, More Migrants Trying to Sneak Through Undetected. "Immigration lawyers and rights advocates say asylum seekers are opting for illegal crossing because they are growing frustrated with waiting lines caused by Trump administration policies. Advocates say immigrants who might otherwise have presented themselves at legal ports are now going between entry points where, if caught, they can remain in the country while awaiting an asylum hearing. In recent months, CBP has restricted the number of immigrants who can be processed for asylum at ports of entry and has begun turning back asylum seekers, who must now wait in Mexico while their cases are decided."

[CN: Nativism; child abuse; loss of wanted pregnancies] Rebekah Entralgo at ThinkProgress: Immigration Groups File Complaint over 'Alarming Increase' in Detained Infants at Texas Center. "At least nine infants under one year of age are being detained at the South Texas Family Residential Center (STFRC) in Dilley, Texas, according to a complaint filed Thursday by the American Immigration Council, American Immigration Lawyers Association, and the Catholic Immigration Network. One of the infants has been detained for over 20 days. ...News of the increase in infants detained at Dilley comes the same week as the Congressional Hispanic Caucus announced it is seeking a full investigation after an immigrant woman gave birth to a stillborn while in ICE custody earlier this month. ICE officials reported that over the last two years, 28 women have miscarried while in their custody."

[CN: Nativism; child abuse] Aura Bogado at Reveal: We're Suing ICE for Keeping Contract Details Secret. "Reveal sued Immigration and Customs Enforcement [on February 20] for failing to comply with the Freedom of Information Act after it kept secret the details of a contract with a company it used to transport migrant children, including those separated from their parents at the border. ...Government contacts between federal agencies and private contractors like MVM, which are funded with the public's money, are subject to inspection by the public under the Freedom of Information Act, better known as FOIA. In July, our investigation revealed that MVM was holding migrant children overnight in an unlicensed vacant office building in Phoenix."

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Nylah Burton at Rewire.News: Voter Suppression Is a Looming Threat in the 2020 Elections. "Assessing the merits of individual candidates is incredibly important, but we will never elect radical progressives or truly address oppression if our votes aren't counted and our voices go unheard. If progressives don't dedicate a significant amount of energy to fiercely mobilizing against voter suppression, they may have already lost. Voter suppression is a systemic inequity that threatens to prevent a Democratic nominee from securing the presidency in 2020. And because voter suppression is a political weapon most often deployed against the most oppressed and marginalized voices, it's a threat to justice and equity."

Jamelle Bouie at the New York Times: The Electoral College Is the Greatest Threat to Our Democracy.
If direct election of the president would give equal weight to all votes, then the Electoral College works to give outsize weight to a narrow group of voters in a handful of states. That bias is why Donald Trump is president. A healthy plurality chose his opponent, but his supporters dominated key "swing" states.

It could happen again. A 2018 report on America's future political demography found four realistic scenarios in which Democrats win the national popular vote but lose the Electoral College because of the geography of the electorate. The 2020 election could be the third time in six elections that the White House went to the loser of the popular vote.

That is why Electoral College reform deserves a prominent place in the national conversation, especially as the Democratic Party champions a host of pro-democracy reforms, such as public financing of elections and an end to gerrymandering.

[CN: Homophobia] Andy Towle at Towleroad: Georgia Republicans Introduce 'Religious Freedom' Bill That Would Allow Businesses to Deny LGBTQ People. "Georgia Republicans have introduced an anti-LGBTQ 'religious freedom' bill similar to one vetoed by Governor Nathan Deal in 2016, but this time, Governor Brian Kemp has signaled support for the measure. ...'SB 221 would allow businesses to refuse service to LGBT customers, among others, and would grant taxpayer-funded agencies a broad license to discriminate against LGBT youth, families, and other Georgians,' said Georgia Equality. 'The language mirrors federal language that was recently used by a government-funded foster care agency in South Carolina to justify discriminating against Catholic and Jewish couples looking to serve as foster parents.'"

[CN: White supremacy] Jason Wilson at the Guardian: Video Shows Portland Officers Made Deal with Far-Right Group Leader. "A far-right leader and Portland police officers made a deal to avoid the arrest of members of the Patriot Prayer group, despite the officers having probable cause to do so, according to video footage obtained by the Guardian. ...Patriot Prayer's stated beliefs are not overtly white supremacist, but critics say its protests and gatherings attract racist elements and it is often involved in violent confrontations."

And finally, in good resistance news... Yessenia Funes at Earther: A U.S. City Just Granted Legal Rights to a Lake.
Crystal Jankowski went into labor during the 2014 water crisis in Toledo, Ohio. The city's 276,000 residents couldn't use their tap water at all for a weekend in August — no drinking, bathing, nada. The water, supplied by Lake Erie, had become toxic due to the lake's dangerous algae overgrowth.

Jankowski, who was preparing to give birth to her daughter in nearby St. Luke's Hospital, had spent the last day with minor contractions. She knew her moment was coming, so she stressed over her inability to take a simple shower.

"As a woman who's about to have 10 people all up in her hooha, you want to be clean," Jankowski told Earther. "So it was awful to say the least."

That event changed her life. And she didn't let it end there.

As a mom who's committed to community involvement, she and her neighbors worked to form a local environmental group, Toledoans for Safe Water. This week, they succeeded in passing a vote to develop the Lake Erie Bill of Rights Charter Amendment that recognizes the lake's right "to exist, flourish, and naturally evolve," as described by the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF), which partnered with Toledo residents to secure this special election.

While similar laws recognizing the intrinsic rights of ecosystems have passed in Colombia, New Zealand, and India, this is the first of its kind in the United States.
Right on! I'm so furious that they were obliged to have to do this, and so profoundly moved that they succeeded.

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

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