We Resist: Day 774

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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: Trump Gives Alarming, Ranting Speech at CPAC and Primarily Speaking and House Dems Are Coming for Trump.

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

Jane Mayer at the New Yorker: The Making of the Fox News White House. Among the enormous amount of good reporting in this piece about how Fox News has become Donald Trump's propaganda arm is this passage:
When [Bill Shine] assumed command at Fox, the 2016 campaign was nearing its end, and Trump and Clinton were all but tied. That fall, a FoxNews.com reporter had a story that put the network's journalistic integrity to the test. Diana Falzone, who often covered the entertainment industry, had obtained proof that Trump had engaged in a sexual relationship in 2006 with a pornographic film actress calling herself Stormy Daniels.

Falzone had worked on the story since March, and by October she had confirmed it with Daniels through her manager at the time, Gina Rodriguez, and with Daniels's former husband, Mike Moz, who described multiple calls from Trump. Falzone had also amassed e-mails between Daniels's attorney and Trump's lawyer Michael Cohen, detailing a proposed cash settlement, accompanied by a nondisclosure agreement. Falzone had even seen the contract.

But Falzone's story didn't run — it kept being passed off from one editor to the next. After getting one noncommittal answer after another from her editors, Falzone at last heard from LaCorte, who was then the head of FoxNews.com. Falzone told colleagues that LaCorte said to her, "Good reporting, kiddo. But Rupert wants Donald Trump to win. So just let it go." LaCorte denies telling Falzone this, but one of Falzone's colleagues confirms having heard her account at the time.

Despite the discouragement, Falzone kept investigating, and discovered that the National Enquirer, in partnership with Trump, had made a "catch and kill" deal with Daniels — buying the exclusive rights to her story in order to bury it. Falzone pitched this story to Fox, too, but it went nowhere. News of Trump's payoffs to silence Daniels, and Cohen's criminal attempts to conceal them as legal fees, remained unknown to the public until the Wall Street Journal broke the story, a year after Trump became President.
Fucking hell.

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Nicole Perlroth at the New York Times: As Trump and Kim Met, North Korean Hackers Hit over 100 Targets in U.S. and Ally Nations. "North Korean hackers who have targeted American and European businesses for 18 months kept up their attacks last week even as [Donald] Trump was meeting with North Korea's leader in Hanoi. The attacks, which include efforts to hack into banks, utilities, and oil and gas companies, began in 2017, according to researchers at the cybersecurity company McAfee, a time when tensions between North Korea and the United States were flaring. ...In 2017, Mr. Trump mocked Kim Jong-un as 'rocket man' in a speech at the United Nations, while North Korea tested missiles capable of delivering a nuclear warhead to the United States. The attacks began soon after that."

Staff at AlJazeera: Russia Confirms North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un Will Visit Moscow. "North Korean leader Kim Jong Un will visit Russia, according to the press secretary of the Russian president who did not share dates or other details of the trip. 'Such a visit is indeed on the agenda,' said Dmitry Peskov. 'We hope that the precise date and venue will be determined via diplomatic channels within the foreseeable future.' ...On Monday, Russian media reports said members of a parliamentary group that deals with Russia's relations with North Korea will visit Pyongyang on April 12." Of course.

Staff at AP/Guardian: Russia Suspends Participation in Nuclear Arms Treaty with U.S. "President Vladimir Putin has suspended Russia's participation in a key nuclear arms treaty, following Washington's decision to withdraw from it. Putin's decree means Russia is suspending its obligations under the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces treaty and will continue to do so 'until the U.S. ends its violations of the treaty or until it terminates.' The U.S. gave notice of its intention to withdraw from the INF a month ago, setting the stage for it to terminate in six months unless Moscow returns to compliance. Russia has denied any breaches and accused the U.S. of violating the pact." Of course.

Casey Michel at ThinkProgress: These Prominent Americans Are Speaking at Far-Right Russia Conference Linked to Sanctioned Oligarchs. "The World Congress of Families (WCF), a notorious anti-LGBTQ group that's reportedly received funding from sanctioned Russian oligarchs, is hosting its annual conference in Verona, Italy next month. And a number of Americans have decided to join them. Among the Americans slated to speak at the WCF conference are John Eastman, former clerk for Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and now a professor at Chapman University, and megachurch pastor Jim Garlow. According to the WCF's roster, they will also be joined by Mike Donnelly, a higher-up at the right-wing Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA), and Sean O'Hare, the chairman of one of the most prominent anti-abortion groups aimed at American youth."

Note that these folks come from Mike Pence's wing of the conservative movement. It's not just Donald Trump that's colluded up to his neck with Russia. It's the entire Republican Party and a huge portion of conservative white evangelical leadership.

Which is why removing Trump from office is merely the first necessary step in a whole process of getting the Kremlin out of our democracy.

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[Content Note: Nativism; child abuse] Shani Saxon at Colorlines: Immigrant Rights Groups Urge DHS to Release Infants Detained in Texas. "The American Immigration Lawyers Association, American Immigration Council, and Catholic Legal Immigration Network filed a complaint with DHS asking for the immediate release of the infants and their mothers, who say 'their children were sick, had lost weight, and were crying more than usual.' ...[The advocacy group's coordinator, Katy Murdza, said] that all of the mothers are Honduran and they're worried that their babies aren't being given clean water to mix with their formula. They also worry about the sudden change in formula their babies are given, even though doctors warn a sudden change in formula can negatively impact a child's digestive system."

[CN: Anti-semitism] Andy Towle at Towleroad: California High School Students Give Nazi Salute over Game of Swastika Beer Pong in Viral Snapchat Photos. "High school students from Newport Harbor High School and Costa Mesa High School in Orange County, California are pictured giving the Nazi salute over a game of beer pong in the shape of a swastika in photos that were published to Snapchat and have now gone viral. One of the photos is captioned 'German engineering.'" Jesus fucking Jones. If you're a parent of white kids, and you're not having explicit conversations with your kids about the gravity of Nazism in this moment, you are failing as a parent.

[CN: Holocaust; sex abuse]

Damian Carrington at the Guardian: Heatwaves Sweeping Oceans 'Like Wildfires,' Scientists Reveal. "The number of heatwaves affecting the planet's oceans has increased sharply, scientists have revealed, killing swathes of sea-life like 'wildfires that take out huge areas of forest.' The damage caused in these hotspots is also harmful for humanity, which relies on the oceans for oxygen, food, storm protection, and the removal of climate-warming carbon dioxide the atmosphere, they say. Global warming is gradually increasing the average temperature of the oceans, but the new research is the first systematic global analysis of ocean heatwaves, when temperatures reach extremes for five days or more. The research found heatwaves are becoming more frequent, prolonged, and severe, with the number of heatwave days tripling in the last couple of years studied. ...As heatwaves have increased, kelp forests, seagrass meadows, and coral reefs have been lost." Sob.

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

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