We Resist: Day 777

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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 a Big Deal and Trump Regime Compiles List of Journalists, Lawyers, and Immigration Activists to Question at Border and Primarily Speaking.

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

Donald Trump really for real called Tim Cook "Tim Apple." Dude, not every businessman slaps his own name on everything.

In more rampaging authoritarianism today... Reid Standish and Robbie Gramer at Foreign Policy: U.S. Cancels Journalist's Award over Her Criticism of Trump.
Kessikka Aro, a Finnish investigative journalist, has faced down death threats and harassment over her work exposing Russia's propaganda machine long before the 2016 U.S. presidential elections. In January, the U.S. State Department took notice, telling Aro she would be honored with the prestigious International Women of Courage Award, to be presented in Washington by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

Weeks later, the State Department rescinded the award offer. A State Department spokesperson said it was due to a "regrettable error," but Aro and U.S. officials familiar with the internal deliberations tell a different story. They say the department revoked her award after U.S. officials went through Aro's social media posts and found she had also frequently criticized President Donald Trump.
As I noted on Twitter: Given that Aro is a well-known Putin critic, citing Trump criticism as the reason for rescinding the award may have been subterfuge to mask the Kremlin's interference. Or, of course, it was a little of both, with the Trump criticism used as the public veneer. Truly chilling.

[Content Note: Nativism] Elliot Spagat at the AP: Guidelines Ask Agents to Target Spanish Speakers at Border. "Border agents have been told to explicitly target Spanish speakers and migrants from Latin America in carrying out a Trump administration program requiring asylum seekers wait in Mexico... The Trump administration launched the program in late January in what marks a potentially seismic shift on how the U.S. handles the cases of immigrants seeking asylum and fleeing persecution in their homeland. The program initially applied only to those who turned themselves in at official border crossings. But a memo from a division chief of the Border Patrol's San Diego sector says it expanded Friday to include people who cross the border illegally."

[CN: Nativism; child abuse; video may autoplay at link] Priscilla Alvarez at CNN: 471 Parents Were Deported from U.S. without Their Children During Family Separations. "The Trump administration identified 471 parents who were removed from the United States without their children, according to the latest court filing in an ongoing lawsuit. At least some of those parents were deported 'without being given the opportunity to elect or waive reunification' in accordance with a court order in June 2018 that required the government to better document waivers."

[CN: Nativism; child abuse] Richard Luscombe at the Guardian: Inside America's Biggest Facility for Migrant Teens. "The migrants were ages 13 to 17, from countries such as Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador, and had made dangerous journeys from their homelands, in many cases alone, across hostile territory to reach the southern U.S. border. On arrival in the U.S., they are arrested by border protection agents and transferred to what is described as a temporary shelter on 50 acres of remote federal land in Homestead, 30 miles south-west of downtown Miami, to await reunification with relatives or sponsors already in the United States. Or, more rarely, to be sent home again if none can be found. The presence of the camp, the largest of its kind in the U.S., is controversial, with activists and some politicians denouncing the 1,700-bed facility and its military-style regime for a 'prison-like feel' that epitomises Donald Trump's hardline approach to immigration policy for minors."


Caleb Melby at Bloomberg: Trump Fussed over Tablecloths and Rockettes for the Inauguration. That is a deceivingly benign headline for what's actually contained in this article: "It was Christmas Day 2016, and President-elect Donald Trump had the Rockettes on his mind." Gross. "[S]ome of the dancers were balking over Trump and his politics, a recurrent problem for those trying to lure top talent to play the inaugural. In a phone call with Tom Barrack, his longtime friend and chairman of his inaugural committee, Trump asked if the dance troupe was still locked down." Here is proof that, despite Sarah Huckabee Sanders' claims to the contrary, Trump was involved with his inaugural committee, currently under investigation for corruption.

Erin Banco at the Daily Beast: Embassy Staffers Say Jared Kushner Shut Them out of Saudi Meetings.
Officials and staffers in the U.S. embassy in Riyadh said they were not read in on the details of Jared Kushner's trip to Saudi Arabia or the meetings he held with members of the country's royal court last week, according to three sources with knowledge of the trip. And that's causing concern not only in the embassy but also among members of Congress.

On his trip to the Middle East, Kushner stopped in Riyadh. While there, he met with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and King Salman to discuss U.S.-Saudi cooperation, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and economic investment in the region, according to the White House.

But no one from the embassy in Riyadh was in the meetings, according to those same sources. The State Department did have a senior official in attendance, but he was not part of the State Department team in Saudi. He is a senior member of the department focused on Iran, according to a source with direct knowledge of the official's presence in Riyadh.

"The Royal Court was handling the entire schedule," one congressional source told The Daily Beast, adding that officials in the U.S. embassy in Riyadh had insight into where Kushner was when in Saudi Arabia.
JFC. Meanwhile, the Washington Post editorial board has published a piece bluntly headlined: "Trump Is Covering up for MBS. The Senate Must Push for Accountability."

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[CN: War on agency] Amy Littlefield at Rewire.News: 'Not Dead Enough': Public Hospitals Deny Life-Saving Abortion Care to People in Need. "Many of the poorest and sickest patients end up at public hospitals when their pregnancies go wrong. But little-known laws in 11 states — Arizona, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, and Texas — prohibit abortion care in various kinds of public facilities, according to an analysis conducted by the Guttmacher Institute for Rewire.News. ...Although exceptions exist in all 11 states if a patient's life is in danger, hospital officials are free to interpret what that means and thereby deny abortion care to the sick and dying. ...Dr. Ghazaleh Moayedi, who cared for [a patient who needed a life-saving abortion], told Rewire.News: 'It really was almost a cruel joke: that she wasn't really dead enough to warrant intervention.'"

[CN: Trans hatred] Nico Lang at Logo: Why Tennessee's New Anti-Trans Bill Could Be the Worst One Yet. "An 'indecent exposure' bill in Tennessee is making headlines over concerns it could represent a new wave of legislation targeting transgender restroom use. ...LGBTQ advocacy groups take issue with language in HB 1151 that appears to be crafted to discriminate against trans people. 'A medical, psychiatric, or psychological diagnosis of gender dysphoria, gender confusion, or similar conditions, in the absence of untreated mental conditions, such as schizophrenia, does not serve as a defense to the offense of indecent exposure,' claims Section 2(e) of the bill. Chris Sanders, executive director for the Tennessee Equality Network, claims these policies set transgender people up to be 'arrested and prosecuted.'"

Damian Carrington at the Guardian: Microplastic Pollution Revealed to Be 'Absolutely Everywhere' by New Research. "Microplastic pollution spans the world, according to new studies showing contamination in the UK's lake and rivers, in groundwater in the U.S., and along the Yangtze River in China and the coast of Spain. The new analysis in the UK found microplastic pollution in all 10 lakes, rivers, and reservoirs sampled. More than 1,000 small pieces of plastic per litre were found in the River Tame, near Manchester, which was revealed last year as the most contaminated place yet tested worldwide. Even in relatively remote places such as the Falls of Dochart and Loch Lomond in Scotland, two or three pieces per litre were found. 'It was startling. I wasn't expecting to find as much as we did,' said Christian Dunn at Bangor University, Wales, who led the work."

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

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