We Resist: Day 781

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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 Fannie: Stop Trying to Make "Partisan Prejudice" Happen. And by me: Primarily Speaking and Not-Breaking News: Tucker Carlson Is a Dirtbag.

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

Damian Paletta, Erica Werner, and Jeff Stein at the Washington Post: Trump Proposes $4.7 Trillion Budget with Domestic Cuts, $8.6 Billion in New Funding for Border Wall.
[Donald] Trump is releasing a $4.7 trillion budget plan Monday that stands as a sharp challenge to Congress and the Democrats trying to unseat him, the first act in a multi-front struggle that could consume Washington for the next 18 months.

The budget proposal dramatically raises the possibility of another government shutdown in October, and Trump used to the budget to notify Congress he is seeking an additional $8.6 billion to build sections of a wall along the U. S.-Mexico border.

...Trump's "Budget for a Better America" also includes dozens of spending cuts and policy overhauls that frame the early stages of the debate for the 2020 election. For example, Trump for the first time calls for cutting $845 billion from Medicare, the popular health care program for the elderly that in the past he had largely said he would protect.

...Other agencies, particularly the Environmental Protection Agency, State Department, Transportation Department, and Interior Department, would see their budgets severely reduced.

...More broadly, Trump's budget would impose mandatory work-requirements for millions of people who receive welfare assistance while dramatically increasing the defense budget to $750 billion next year, a 5 percent increase from 2019.
House Budget Chair John Yarmuth said: "With severe cuts to essential programs and services that would leave our nation less safe and secure, the Trump budget is as dangerous as it is predictable. It has no chance in the House." GOOD.

Staff at American Oversight: Sessions Letter Shows Department of Justice Acted on Trump's Authoritarian Demand to Investigate Clinton.
American Oversight has uncovered the signed directive from former Attorney General Jeff Sessions instructing a federal prosecutor to carry out [Donald] Trump's authoritarian demand to investigate Hillary Clinton.

The document, obtained through Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) litigation by American Oversight, is a formal, November 2017 letter from Sessions to U.S. Attorney for Utah John Huber and has never before been released to the public. In a sworn declaration filed in November 2018 in response to American Oversight's lawsuit, the Justice Department had insisted that no written directive existed and that all guidance to Huber had been delivered verbally.

Trump has repeatedly tweeted demands for DOJ to investigate Clinton. Throughout the 2016 presidential general election campaign and at multiple rallies after taking office, Trump and his supporters have used the rallying cry "Lock her up" to call for the prosecution of Clinton.

"'Lock her up' was wrong at campaign rallies, and it's even worse coming from the Department of Justice," said Austin Evers, American Oversight executive director. "Even after this long, it's still deeply shocking to see the black-and-white proof that Jeff Sessions caved to [Donald] Trump's worst authoritarian impulses and ordered a wide-ranging investigation of his political opponents based on demands from Congress instead of the facts and the law."
Fucking hell. There is much more at the link.

[Content Note: War; death] Eric Schmitt and Charlie Savage at the New York Times: Trump Administration Steps Up Air War in Somalia.
The American military has escalated a battle against the Shabab, an extremist group affiliated with Al Qaeda, in Somalia...

During January and February, the United States Africa Command reported killing 225 people in 24 strikes in Somalia. Double-digit death tolls are becoming routine, including a bloody five-day stretch in late February in which the military disclosed that it had killed 35, 20 and 26 people in three separate attacks.

Africa Command maintains that its death toll includes only Shabab militants, even though the extremist group claims regularly that civilians are also killed. The Times could not independently verify the number of civilians killed. The rise in airstrikes has also exacerbated a humanitarian crisis in the country, according to United Nations agencies and nongovernmental organizations working in the region, as civilians are displaced by conflict and extreme weather.

"People need to pay attention to the fact that there is this massive war going on," said Brittany Brown, who worked on Somalia policy at the National Security Council in the Obama and Trump administrations and is now the chief of staff of the International Crisis Group, a nonprofit organization focused on deadly conflicts.

The war in Somalia appears to be "on autopilot," she added, and one that is drawing the United States significantly deeper into an armed conflict without much public debate.
[CN: Anti-Semitism] Zack Ford at ThinkProgress: Trump Claims Democrats Hate Jewish People and Israel Loves Him. "'The Democrats hate Jewish people,' [Donald] Trump reportedly told Republican National Committee donors on Friday night at Mar-a-Lago. ...Trump reportedly said he couldn't understand how any Jewish person could vote for a Democrat. He also bragged about his decision to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, a decision that pleased U.S. conservatives and Israel's Likud party alike, but upended decades of diplomatic policy and sparked international disapproval. If he were to run in an election for prime minister of Israel, he told the crowd, he'd be at 98 percent in the polls."

Tony Leys at the Des Moines Register: Iowa Poll: Registered Republicans Like Trump But 40 Percent Want a GOP Challenger. "Most registered Republicans think [Donald] Trump is doing a good job, but they are split over whether another GOP candidate should challenge him for their party's nomination in 2020, a new Iowa Poll shows. The Iowa Poll, sponsored by the Des Moines Register, CNN, and Mediacom, also finds 90 percent of registered Republicans want Trump to run a positive re-election campaign, focusing on the good things he's done for the country. Just 4 percent want him to focus on attacking opponents — one of the president's trademarks." LOL.

(If you're wondering whether I deliberately juxtaposed Trump bragging that he'd have a 98 percent approval rating if he ran for prime minister of Israel while 40 percent of his own base at home want him primaried, the answer is YES!)

[CN: Nativism; abuse; descriptions of sexual assault] Tina Vasquez at Rewire.News: In Search of Safety: An Investigation of Abuse at an Immigration Facility. "In the United States, there are two primary apparatuses intended to protect detained immigrants from sexual abuse: the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA), a series of procedures and policies aimed at the elimination of sexual assault of prisoners, and the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG), which provides 'independent oversight' of DHS agencies, including Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). But immigrants in federal custody and their advocates see these processes as deeply flawed and loophole-ridden. ...What we learned through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request...only left us with more questions about the efficacy of PREA and DHS OIG and about the safety of the nearly 50,000 immigrants detained by ICE on any given day."

[CN: Violence against women; trans hatred] Jourdan Bennett-Begaye at Indian Country Today: Congress Begins Debating Violence Against Women Act — Again. "Congress held a hearing Thursday to introduce a new version of the Violence Against Women Act. Now the question is: What will it take for that measure to become law? Again. One witness said Republicans 'seemed fixated' on gender identity making it that much more difficult and 'hard to tell' if they support the new proposal. 'Today they seemed fixated on attacking trans women. That seemed to be the primary purpose today,' said hearing witness Sarah Deer, Muscogee (Creek) Nation. 'I expected to get more poignant questions today about tribal jurisdiction from the Republicans but I didn't get any. So it seems like there was some sort of distraction going on.'"

[CN: Trans hatred] Rebekah Entralgo at ThinkProgress: 2020 Democrats Slam Trump for Pressing Ahead with Transgender Military Ban.
The Trump administration appears poised to implement a ban on transgender service members in the U.S. military, following a ruling from a federal court judge giving it the green light.

...Lead attorney for the transgender service members in the Maryland case, American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) lawyer Joshua Block, said the Thursday ruling does "concrete, severe harm."

"While not surprising, this decision is deeply disappointing for our clients and for transgender service members across the nation," he said.

"Each and every claim made by [Donald] Trump to justify this ban can be easily debunked by the conclusions drawn from the Department of Defense's own review process. We will continue to fight against this discriminatory policy and the Trump administration's attacks on transgender people. Our clients are brave men and women who should be able to continue serving their country ably and honorably without being discriminated against by their own commander in chief."

Meanwhile, the 2020 Democratic presidential contenders voiced their support for the nation's transgender community on Twitter throughout the weekend.

Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) described transgender service members "heroes" and banning them from their service amounts to a "national security threat."

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, who brought a transgender service member as her guest to the State of the Union this year, called the policy "wrong, hateful, unnecessary, and an insult to our troops."

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) called the policy unconstitutional.

And Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) meanwhile, highlighted the uncertainty that many transgender members of the military feel, with multiple ongoing lawsuits and an administration in the White House determined on undermining their rights.
Goddammit I hate this administration so fucking much.

And finally... Andy Towle at Towleroad: Trump Claims He Meant to Call Apple CEO 'Tim Apple' as 'an Easy Way to Save Time and Words'. "Apparently Trump is very embarrassed that the media called him out on his Tim Cook brain fart because he can't stop lying about it. Trump attacked the 'fake news' media on Monday for spreading another 'bad Trump story,' tweeting that he meant to say 'Tim Apple' when referring to Apple CEO Tim Cook at a meeting of tech leaders at the White House. ...Interestingly, that's not the story he told his donors on Friday night [when he claimed] 'that he actually said 'Tim Cook Apple' really fast, and the 'Cook' part of the sentence was soft. But all you heard from the 'fake news,' he said, was 'Tim Apple.''" JFC.

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

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