We Resist: Day 809

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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: Nielsen Out at Department of Homeland Security and Primarily Speaking and Trump Designates Iran's Revolutionary Guards as Terrorists.

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

[Content Note: Possible arson; racism.] Amanda Michelle Gomez at ThinkProgress: Three Historically Black Baptist Churches Have Burned within 10 Days in One Louisiana Parish. "Within ten days, three historically black churches in one Louisiana parish have burned. Authorities are still investigating, as they've identified 'suspicious elements' in each case; investigators haven't ruled out arson, or whether the fires are connected. But given the United States' long, racist history of burning black places of worship, people are understandably anxious." Also probably making people anxious is the fact that we currently have a white supremacist president who is engaging in a campaign of stochastic terrorism, urging his violent cultists to harm marginalized people.

Nicholas Fandos, Michael S. Schmidt, and Mark Mazzetti at the New York Times: Some on Mueller's Team Say Report Was More Damaging Than Barr Revealed.
Some of Robert S. Mueller III's investigators have told associates that Attorney General William P. Barr failed to adequately portray the findings of their inquiry and that they were more troubling for [Donald] Trump than Mr. Barr indicated, according to government officials and others familiar with their simmering frustrations.

At stake in the dispute — the first evidence of tension between Mr. Barr and the special counsel's office — is who shapes the public's initial understanding of one of the most consequential government investigations in American history. Some members of Mr. Mueller's team are concerned that, because Mr. Barr created the first narrative of the special counsel's findings, Americans' views will have hardened before the investigation's conclusions become public.
If it is true that Barr has significantly misrepresented the conclusions in the report, then shame on Bob Mueller for not publicly saying so immediately.

[CN: Nativism; child abuse] Julia Ainsley and Geoff Bennett at NBC News: Trump's Support of Renewed Child Separation Policy Led to Collision with Nielsen. "Donald Trump has for months urged his administration to reinstate large-scale separation of migrant families crossing the border, according to three U.S. officials with knowledge of meetings at the White House. ...Nielsen told Trump that federal court orders prohibited the Department of Homeland Security from reinstating the policy, and that he would be reversing his own executive order from June that ended family separations. Three U.S. officials said that Kevin McAleenan, the head of Customs and Border Patrol who is expected to take over as acting DHS secretary, has not ruled out family separation as an option." And there it is.

Anita Kumar, Gabby Orr, and Daniel Lippman at Politico: Stephen Miller Pressuring Trump Officials Amid Immigration Shakeups. "As [Donald] Trump roils the capital over illegal immigration, his influential aide Stephen Miller is playing a more aggressive behind-the-scenes role in a wider administration shakeup. Frustrated by the lack of headway on a signature Trump campaign issue, the senior White House adviser has been arguing for personnel changes to bring in more like-minded hardliners, according to three people familiar with the situation... Miller has also recently been telephoning mid-level officials at several federal departments and agencies to angrily demand that they do more to stem the flow of immigrants into the country, according to two people familiar with the calls." Fucking hell.

Colby Itkowitz at the Washington Post: Mulvaney Says Democrats Will 'Never' See Trump's Tax Returns. "[Donald] Trump's acting chief of staff said Sunday that Democrats will 'never' see the president's tax returns, abandoning Trump's long-held position that he would someday release the documents for public inspection and setting up what could be a protracted fight with Congress. Mick Mulvaney and other Trump allies spent the weekend casting Democrats as politically motivated for formally asking the Internal Revenue Service to turn over six years of Trump's personal and business tax returns. ...Mulvaney was adamant that Democrats won't ever gain access to Trump's tax returns. When asked about it on Fox News Sunday, Mulvaney said: 'Never. Nor should they.'" Authoritarian pigshit.

[CN: War on agency] Katelyn Burns at Rewire.News: The Trump Administration Wants to Give Anti-Choice Official More Power over Reproductive Health Programs.
U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar plans to restructure the department to put Title X federal family planning and teen pregnancy prevention under the direct control of an anti-choice and abstinence-only activist. U.S. Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) questioned the move, saying it prioritizes "ideology."

Regional Title X staff would report directly to Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) headquarters in Washington, D.C., instead of one of the ten regional HHS offices, consolidating the control of the department's Office of Population Affairs (OPA), according to a March 22 letter from Azar to inform Murray of the proposal. The letter also states that the Office for Adolescent Health (OAH), which administers the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program, would be transferred to the OPA.

In a response dated April 2, Murray, the ranking Democrat on the Senate appropriations subcommittee with oversight over HHS, questioned the Trump administration's motivations behind the plan. "It is unclear how the reorganization will result in better policies and services for those served by these offices, including adolescents, women, low-income communities, and individuals with infectious diseases, including HIV/AIDS," she wrote. "In fact, it is difficult to understand how this reorganization does anything other than consolidate control at HHS headquarters and prioritize ideology over the needs of the women, teenagers, and children the affected programs serve."
Malice is the agenda. And all of the restructuring of the federal government under Trump to better facilitate that malice is going largely unnoticed, because there's so much else demanding our attention every day.

Mallory Pickett at the Guardian: Trump Administration Sabotages Major Conservation Effort, Defying Congress. "They are known as Landscape Conservation Cooperatives — or were, because 16 of them are now on indefinite hiatus or have dissolved. 'I just haven't seen anything like this in my almost 30 years of working with the federal government,' said a scientist at the Fish and Wildlife Service who worked for one of the LCCs and wished to remain anonymous, because federal employees were instructed not to speak with the Guardian for this story. ...'Congress approved $12.5m for the existing 22 landscape conservation cooperatives,' said Betty McCollum, chair of the House interior-environment appropriations subcommittee, at a recent hearing with an interior department official. '[But] we are hearing disturbing reports from outside groups and concerned citizens that the LCC program is being altered and may not receive any federal funding.'"

Brian Kahn at Earther: Flooded Parts of the Midwest Could Be Hit with Major Snow This Week. "The swirling mass of air forecast to blast the region with blustery winds, snow, and rain bears more than a passing resemblance to last month's bomb cyclone that devastated the region. While this week's storm might not be quite as strong, it will unleash a wave of misery in places still suffering from flooding. ...[T]his storm might not meet the textbook definition of a bomb cyclone, a term that applies to storms that see their central pressure drop 24 millibars in 24 hours. But textbook definitions aside, this storm poses a serious risk to the region still recovering from flooding last month. Data kept by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) shows that Midwest soil moisture levels are in the 99th percentile, which is to say that soils are extremely waterlogged."

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

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