We Resist: Day 776

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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: This Is Who They Are and The President Is Not a Dictator, But He Thinks He Is.

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

[Content Note: Anti-Semitic language] David J. Lynch at the Washington Post: Trump Promised to Shrink the Trade Deficit; Instead, It Exploded.
The Commerce Department said Wednesday that — despite more than two years of [Donald] Trump's "America First" policies — the United States last year posted a $891.2 billion merchandise trade deficit, the largest in the nation's 243-year history.

The trade gap with China also hit a record $419 billion, underscoring the stakes for the president's bid to reach a deal with Chinese President Xi Jinping as soon as this month.

The department's final 2018 trade report, which was delayed by the partial government shutdown, showed that the United States bought far more in foreign goods than it sold to customers in Africa, Asia, Europe, and North America. The shortfall topped the 2006 record of $838.3 billion, set as the housing bubble was peaking, and marked the third consecutive year of rising deficits.

A broader measure of the nation's trade performance, which includes the services sector, showed a $621 billion deficit. That reflected a deterioration of more than $100 billion from the figure Trump inherited from President Barack Obama.
Trump and his surrogates continue to assert that House Democrats are investigating him just to hurt his reelection chances, but that's a tough sell when his own catastrophic failure to deliver on any of his promises stand to hurt his reelection chances more than any investigation ever could.

And, yes, it's true that his cultists don't care whether he fails so long as he says he is succeeding, but there are a whole lot of folks who voted for Trump who aren't part of the cult that will defend him no matter what, and they see what's up. They might not vote for a Democrat (or Howard fucking Schultz), but they might just stay home this time.

Which, of course, is one of the many reasons that the Republican Party continues to engage in voter suppression efforts across the country, refuses to do anything to fix the vulnerabilities of voting machines, and protects Trump from consequences of colluding with a foreign adversary to win the last time around.

Trust that they will do anything to win in 2020. And it will include cheating of all sorts, because Trump can't win on the merits.

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Speaking of Trump being a failure and a traitor... Courtney Kube, Carol E. Lee, and Andrea Mitchell at NBC News: North Korea Rebuilding Long-Range Rocket Site, Photos Show. "North Korea is pursuing the 'rapid rebuilding' of the long-range rocket site at Sohae Launch Facility, according to new commercial imagery and an analysis from the researchers at Beyond Parallel. ...'This renewed activity, taken just two days after the inconclusive Hanoi Summit between [Donald] Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, may indicate North Korean plans to demonstrate resolve in the face of U.S. rejection of North Korea's demands at the summit to lift five U.N. Security Council sanctions enacted in 2016-2017,' the analysts said." JFC.

Pamela Brown and Kaitlan Collins at CNN: President Pressured Staff to Grant Security Clearance to Ivanka Trump. "While Trump has the legal authority to grant clearances, most instances are left up to the White House personnel security office, which determines whether a staffer should be granted one after the FBI has conducted a background check. But after concerns were raised by the personnel office, Trump pushed Kelly and McGahn to make the decision on his daughter and son-in-law's clearances so it did not appear as if he was tainting the process to favor his family, sources told CNN. After both refused, Trump granted them their security clearances." Of course he did.

Kate Riga at TPM: Dates on Trump's Cohen Hush Money Checks Reveal President's Double Life. "Donald Trump paid Michael Cohen 11 installments of hush money payments to cover up the alleged Stormy Daniels affair while he was in office. ...The first check, signed Valentine's Day in 2017, was good for $70,000. The day before, Trump forced Michael Flynn to resign. On March 17, the next check was signed for $35,000 in between Trump's events with German Chancellor Angela Merkel as she visited the White House." Oh good lord.

Taegan Goddard at Political Wire: GOP Lawmaker Explains Trump Hush Money Payments. "Sen. Mike Rounds (R-SD) told CNN that [Donald] Trump made hush money payoffs to adult film star Stormy Daniels because 'this president loves his family.'" LOLOLOLOLOLOL uh-huh. What — you don't write hush money checks in between meetings with the German Chancellor to the person with whom you had an affair because you love your family so much? You're so weird!

In good resistance news, Democrats have introduced the Save the Internet Act of 2019 to restore Net Neutrality.

[CN: Nativism] Scott Bixby at the Daily Beast: Democrats Plan to Grill Kirstjen Nielsen on Perjury Allegations. "House Democrats are planning to subject Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen to the most intense grilling of her career on Wednesday... According to eight senior staffers working for the House Committee on Homeland Security's Democratic majority, Nielsen should go into the hearing expecting detailed lines of questioning on some of the Trump administration's most controversial policies and actions, ranging from eminent domain seizures along the U.S. southern border to [Donald] Trump's 'zero-tolerance' immigration policy to the deaths of migrant children in government custody, as well as the veracity of her own past statements to Congress." GOOD. Get her.

[CN: Nativism; abuse] Tina Vasquez at Rewire.News: 'It's Horrifying to Think About': Migrants and Their Young Children Are Held in Isolation at Family Detention Centers.
Family detention centers "routinely" utilize solitary confinement or "medical isolation" on parents and their young children, according to advocates and attorneys who spoke to Rewire.News.

Court documents obtained by Rewire.News detail the turmoil of families held in isolation, typically in medical quarantine and with no information about their case or when they might be released.

...The documents reviewed by Rewire.News suggest families in detention have been held in isolation for "inappropriate" periods of time, as one doctor put it, while not exhibiting symptoms or seeing conclusive results.

...[Carol Anne Donohoe, an attorney with ALDEA-The People's Justice Center] has filed countless complaints with Berks County officials and child welfare services, hoping someone will use their power to "aggressively investigate violations" at [Berks County Residential Center, a family detention center in Leesport, Pennsylvania]. But the family detention center almost seems "indestructible," the attorney said, and her clients characterize it as "a hopeless place," she said.
Rage seethe boil.

[CN: War on agency]

[CN: Gun violence; misogyny] Casey Quinlan at ThinkProgress: Trump's Pick for Office on Violence Against Women Doesn't Understand Gun Violence Against Women. "A Republican whose career has been defined largely by a record of opposition to LGBTQ and immigrant rights, and who falsely claims guns will protect women from violence, is being considered to lead the Office on Violence Against Women. She has also made claims that women owning guns protects them against violence, which is not supported in research. ...A number of women's rights groups have opposed [Shannon Lee Goessling's] nomination and said her record signals that she would be an ineffective advocate for women, especially due to her history of inaccurate claims about gun use and violence against women."

[CN: Animal harm] Oliver Milman at the Guardian: Endangered Species Face 'Disaster' Under Trump Administration. "Many conservationists now fret [the progress attributable to the 45-year-old Endangered Species Act] is at risk of being reversed as the Trump administration looks to refashion endangered species protections in order to ease conditions for industry, particularly those involved in oil and gas. Along the way, some species may risk being pushed close to extinction. 'The Trump administration has been a disaster for endangered species,' said Noah Greenwald, endangered species director at the Center for Biological Diversity. 'The stated intent is to expand oil and gas drilling. It is quite possible we will lose species because of the hostility and callousness shown by this administration.'"

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

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