We Resist: Day 775

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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.

* * *

Late yesterday and earlier today by me: Today in Anti-Choice Terrorism and Terrifying: 1 in 6 Circuit Court Seats Is Now Held by a Judge Nominated by Trump and Primarily Speaking.

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

Julia Ainsley at NBC News: Matthew Whitaker Has Left the Justice Department. "Former acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker left his position at the Justice Department on Saturday, a department spokeswoman said. Whitaker had been serving as a senior counselor at the Justice Department since Attorney General William Barr was sworn in last month. His next career move is unknown, but Whitaker has told friends that he will remain in Washington because there are 'many opportunities here,' according to sources who have spoken with him in recent days." Hmm. That's...abrupt.

Laura Jarrett at CNN: Attorney General Bill Barr Won't Recuse from Oversight of Russia Investigation. "The Justice Department announced Monday that Attorney General Bill Barr will not step aside from overseeing the special counsel's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, as anticipation grows over when Robert Mueller will deliver his report to the department. 'Following General Barr's confirmation, senior career ethics officials advised that General Barr should not recuse himself from the Special Counsel's investigation,' Justice Department spokesperson Kerri Kupec said in a statement Monday. 'Consistent with that advice, General Barr has decided not to recuse.'" Of course.

Reminder: Before he was even nominated, Barr had authored a 19-page memo criticizing the Mueller investigation, in which he argued, among other things, that Mueller "should not be permitted to demand that the President submit to interrogation about alleged obstruction."

Andy Towle at Towleroad: Michael Cohen's Lawyers Discussed Pardon with Trump Lawyers After FBI Raid. "Michael Cohen's lawyers spoke with Trump's lawyers to discuss the possibility of a pardon shortly after the FBI raided Cohen's office last year. 'Cohen has said publicly he never asked for — and would not accept — a pardon from Trump,' the Washington Post reported last week. 'But people familiar with the matter said his knowledge on the topic seems to extend beyond that statement.' The WSJ reports: 'Mr. Cohen's attorney at the time, Stephen Ryan, discussed the possibility of a pardon with lawyers for Mr. Trump in the weeks after the Federal Bureau of Investigation raided Mr. Cohen's home, office, and hotel room, the people said. The pardon discussions occurred while Mr. Ryan was working alongside lawyers for Mr. Trump to review files seized from Mr. Cohen's premises by the FBI to determine whether they were protected by attorney-client privilege.'" Sure. Sounds about right.

[Content Note: Misogyny; sexual abuse.]

[CN: Nativism] Nick Miroff at the Washington Post: Record Number of Families, Cold Reality at Border. "For U.S. border agents, the strain has grown more acute, as they struggle to care for children using an enforcement infrastructure made in an era when the vast majority of migrants were Mexican adults who could be quickly booked and deported. The Central American families — called 'give-ups' because they surrender instead of trying to sneak in — have left frustrated U.S. agents viewing their own role as little more than the facilitators for the last stage of the migrants' journey. They are rescuing families with small children from river currents, irrigation canals, medical emergencies, and freezing winter temperatures. 'We're so cold,' said Marlen Moya, who had left Guatemala with her sons six weeks earlier and crossed the Rio Grande with the group of 64." Sob.

[CN: War on agency] Ally Boguhn at Rewire.News: Domestic 'Gag Rule' to Begin in 60 Days as Democrats Question Policy's Legality. "The Trump administration on Monday published its finalized restrictions on the Title X family planning program, known as the domestic 'gag rule,' kicking off a 60-day period before the anti-choice policy will go into effect. ...Democrats on the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee, which has jurisdiction over HHS, sent a letter Thursday to HHS Secretary Alex Azar questioning the legality of the administration's rule. The letter's signatories — Reps. Diana DeGette (D-CO), Frank Pallone Jr. (D-NJ), and Anna G. Eshoo (D-CA) — wrote that they 'have questions about the Department's expansive claim of authority under this rule, HHS's failure to account for the significant costs created as a result of the final rule, and the internal regulatory process used by the Department to review and finalize this rule.'"

[CN: White privilege]

He did the same thing just three days earlier. This isn't a "misstatement." It's his position.

[CN: White supremacy] Staff at AP/TPM: Report: 182% Increase in Off-Campus White Supremacist Propaganda Cases. "White supremacist groups in the U.S. tried to spread their propaganda at a record-setting rate last year, increasingly picking targets beyond college campuses, a Jewish civil rights group said Tuesday. The Anti-Defamation League counted a 182 percent increase in propaganda incidents by white supremacists, from 421 such cases in 2017 to 1,187 in 2018. College campuses remained a primary target for hateful flyers, but the New York-based ADL said the number of off-campus propaganda incidents soared from 129 in 2017 to 868 last year." Fucking hell.

Yessenia Funes at Earther: Nearly All U.S. Coal Plants Are Contaminating Groundwater, Report Finds. "When Hurricane Florence slammed into North Carolina last year, concerns grew over whether the flood waters would breach a coal ash pond and contaminate drinking water. Turns out that the state has a much more widespread groundwater contamination issue than that event presented, according to a report out Monday. In fact, all of the United States does: More than 90 percent of coal power plants with monitoring data are contaminating groundwater due to poor regulation of their coal ash waste ponds." Goddammit.

David A. Fahrenthold and Jonathan O'Connell at the Washington Post: T-Mobile Acknowledges Its Patronage of Trump's Washington hotel Increased Sharply After Announcement of Merger with Sprint.
T-Mobile's patronage of [Donald] Trump's Washington hotel increased sharply after the announcement of its merger with its Sprint last April, with executives spending about $195,000 at the property since then, the company told congressional Democrats in a letter last month.

Before news of the megadeal between rival companies broke on April 29, 2018, the company said, only two top officials from T-Mobile had ever stayed at Trump's hotel, with one overnight stay each in August 2017.

But the day after the merger's announcement, nine of T-Mobile's top executives were schedule to check in, The Washington Post reported in January. The Post, relying on internal Trump hotel documents, found that T-Mobile executives had reserved at least 52 nights at the hotel since the announcement.

In a Feb. 21 letter responding to questions from Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), the company for the first time disclosed its total spending at the Trump hotel during that period.

The roughly $195,000 paid for "meeting space, catering, business center services, audio/visual equipment rental, [and] lodging" at Trump's hotel near the White House, according to the letter from Anthony Russo, T-Mobile USA's vice president of federal legislative affairs.

Russo said the Trump hotel received about 14 percent of T-Mobile's $1.4 million in total corporate spending on D.C.-area hotels during the 10-month period.
Holy fuck! Just rampant corruption. And there's so much of it that it's almost impossible to keep track of, no less put a stop to it. Just get this guy out of office already, for crying out loud!

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

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