We Resist: Day 791

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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: New Zealand Bans Military-Style Rifles Used in Attack and Primarily Speaking.

Have y'all noticed there seems to be a lot less hard news about the Trump administration recently? It's all "Trump fights with McCain's ghost" and "Trump doesn't wish his son happy birthday on Twitter" and "Trump fights with Kellyanne Conway's husband" and "Stormy Daniels mocks Trump in stand-up routine" and "Trump wants Kraft at White House despite spa scandal" and what even the fuck is anyone in his administration doing?

There is far less meaningful policy news than there was, and I'm sure there are multiple reasons for that, not least of which may be multiple cabinet vacancies that have slowed down media dispatches about what's happening in various federal departments. I mean, does anyone even care that we haven't had a Defense Secretary since fucking December?!

The slowdown in hard/policy/investigative news is really noticeable to me when I'm doing my news rounds looking for items to include in this thread. It feels like the news hole that happens in August.

Which, since it's March, feels like an ominous silence. Like the settling wind before a crashing storm.

The hairs on the back of my neck are up, friends.

Anyway. Here are some of the things that are in the news today...

Brian Naylor at NPR: Trump Backs Public Release of Mueller Report. "Amid signs that special counsel Robert Mueller will soon complete his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, [Donald] Trump says that he looks forward to seeing the report and that it should be made public. Answering questions from reporters on the South Lawn of the White House prior to traveling to Ohio on Wednesday, Trump said of Mueller's report, 'Let it come out. Let people see it — that's up to the attorney general.' Federal law requires Mueller to present Attorney General William Barr with a confidential report upon the completion of his work." So, in other words, Barr has already assured Trump there will be nothing in the report to harm him. Cool.

Sarah Blaskey, Nicholas Nehamas, and Caitlin Ostroff at the Miami Herald: Cindy Yang Helped Chinese Tech Stars Get $50K Photos with Trump. Who Paid?
More than a year before her Super Bowl selfie with the president, Li "Cindy" Yang brought two Chinese-born tech executives — an Australia-based cryptocurrency guru known in the industry as "the Martian" and a startup CEO whose firm recently became a jersey sponsor for the Dallas Mavericks — to take formal photos with [Donald] Trump.

Both men flashed a thumbs-up for the camera. So did Trump.

It was a big moment — and it came with a big price tag: $50,000 per photo, benefiting the president's re-election campaign.

But neither Ryan Xu nor Lucas Lu appear to have paid for the privilege. A search of a federal database showed no record of either man giving to Trump Victory, the political action committee that sold tickets — as well as perks like photos with the president — for the Dec. 2, 2017, breakfast fundraiser hosted by the Republican National Committee in New York City.

So who paid Trump Victory for their photos?

Yang isn't saying — but she and three associates with an Asian-American political group donated a total of $135,500 to Trump Victory in the weeks leading up to the event. None of those associates would comment either. One of them told the Miami Herald she could not recall making a $25,000 donation listed in her name and address.
Eric Umansky and Heather Vogell at New York Public Radio: Trump's Moscow Tower Problem. "We already knew that Trump had business interests involving Russia during the 2016 presidential campaign — which he denied — that could have been influencing his policy positions. As the world has discovered, Trump was negotiating to develop a tower in Moscow while running for president. Former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen has admitted to lying to Congress about being in contact with the Kremlin about the project during the campaign. All of that explains why congressional investigators are scrutinizing Trump's Moscow efforts. And we've found more."

Kyle Cheney at Politico: Julian Assange Won't Hand over Docs to House Judiciary, Attorney Says. "'The First Amendment dictates that an inquiry by Congress should not begin by issuing requests to journalists for documents pertaining to its newsgathering,' the attorney, Barry Pollack, wrote in an email." Journalist. Snort. "Assange has long parried criticism that he acted on behalf of Russia when he posted hacked Clinton campaign and Democratic National Committee emails in 2016 by suggesting his actions were no different than journalists accepting and publishing confidential documents. But the U.S. intelligence community has assessed that WikiLeaks was an active participant in the effort to obtain and post Democratic emails, partnering with Russian propaganda outlets and acting as a tool of the Russian government."

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[Content Note: Nativism; abuse; death. Covers entire section.]

Adolfo Flores at BuzzFeed: A 40-Year-Old Mexican Immigrant Died in U.S. Custody — the Fourth Death in Recent Months. "A 40-year-old Mexican immigrant died in U.S. custody on Monday — the fourth person to die after being apprehended by border authorities in recent months. The man, who has not been identified, died at Las Palmas Medical Center in El Paso, Texas, after being diagnosed with flu-like symptoms, liver failure, and renal failure, U.S. Customs and Border Protection said in a statement. ...In February, a 45-year-old Mexican mad died in CBP custody after being initially diagnosed with cirrhosis of the liver and congestive heart failure. In December, two Guatemalan children, 7-year-old Jakelin Caal and 8-year-old Felipe Gómez Alonzo, also died in the custody of CBP."

Aleksandr Sverdlik at the ACLU: Border Patrol and ICE Routinely Violate Immigrants' Religious Rights. "One pork sandwich every eight hours for six straight days. That’s the only food that Border Patrol provided to Adnan Asif Parveen, a Muslim immigrant who was detained in South Texas in January because his work permit had expired and was pending renewal. Mr. Parveen reportedly informed officials that his religion forbids him from eating pork, but they didn’t care. ...Despite the agency's 'Religious Sensitivity' policy, which directs officers and agents to 'remain cognizant of an individual's religious beliefs while accomplishing an enforcement action in a dignified and respectful manner,' officials have seized rosaries from Catholic immigrants. One janitor found so many rosaries discarded by Border Patrol officials that he was able to create and photograph an entire collection of them."

Rebekah Entralgo at ThinkProgress: Supreme Court Ruling to Strip Immigrants of Due Process Rights Has Major Repercussions, Experts Say. "Breyer notes that the conservative interpretation of the law could permit federal agents to detain undocumented immigrants indefinitely without bail for minor drug offenses of even 'crimes of moral turpitude, such as illegally downloading music or processing stolen bus transfers.' 'I fear,' Breyer added, that the majority's decision 'will work serious harm to the principles for which American law has long stood.' Access to a bond hearing is critical for immigrants seeking to stay in the United States and denying anyone of that access could have serious repercussions on the lives of immigrants who have spent decades building a life in the United States."

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And that's why I call the Republicans "Democracy Killers." One of many reasons.

In good resistance news, however...

Katelyn Burns at Rewire.News: Senate Democrats Call for Hearing on Trump's Domestic 'Gag Rule'. "A group of Senate Democrats sent a letter on Monday to committee leadership demanding a hearing on the Trump administration's newly finalized rule restricting family planning funding, dubbed the domestic 'gag rule' by opponents. Democrats on the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) explained their concern that the anti-choice restriction would force providers to violate medical ethics by banning referrals for abortion care. The letter also says that the rule's requirement that clinics physically and financially separate Title X-funded family planning services from abortion services 'appears to be aimed at and would disproportionately affect Planned Parenthood health centers, which currently serve over 40% of Title X network patients.'"

Sarah Ferris at Politico: House Dems to Take Up Gender Pay Gap, Domestic Violence Laws. "House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer on Monday formally rolled out the party's agenda for the next month, eyeing high-profile votes on the gender pay gap, net neutrality, and domestic violence laws. None of the bills — which have few GOP cosponsors — are expected to make it through the Republican-controlled Senate, at least without substantial revisions. But it's an aggressive agenda to cap off Democrats' first 100 days in the majority, as Hoyer laid out in a letter to members." WORTH DOING. Force Republicans to vote against pay equality and domestic violence protections. The fucking shitwheels.

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

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