We Resist: Day 810

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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: I (Still) Expect More and Trump Purges DHS to Pursue Radical Nativist Agenda and Primarily Speaking and If I'd Ever Thought the Mueller Investigation Was Serious, I'd Be Very Disappointed Right Now.

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

Let's start with some good news! Amanda Michelle Gomez at ThinkProgress: House Forms First Black Maternal Health Caucus.
Reps. Alma Adams (D-NC) and Lauren Underwood (D-IL) officially launched the first-ever Black Maternal Health Caucus on Tuesday, in hopes of tackling one of the widest racial disparities in health care today. Back women are 243 percent more likely to die from pregnancy or childbirth-related causes than their white counterparts.

The public health crisis has been getting more national attention recently, thanks in part to an award-winning ProPublica/NPR series on the soaring maternal mortality rate and celebrity testimonies from Serena Williams and Beyoncé on their own harrowing experiences.

The Black Maternal Health Caucus, which already has more than 30 members, was created to research and push for policies that are culturally competent.

"This year, we decided enough is enough," said Adams at a press conference.
Right on.

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[Content Note: Nativism] Nancy LeTourneau at Washington Monthly: No, Mr. President, the Country Is Not Full. "Donald Trump has come up with a new line that he is using both on Twitter and in his public appearances. He keeps repeating that our country is full. [Example tweet: "Mexico must apprehend all illegals and not let them make the long march up to the United States, or we will have no other choice than to Close the Border and/or institute Tariffs. Our Country is FULL!"] Of course that's a lie... Areas of the country that are thriving because they are exempt from the downward spiral of population loss tend to be those that support Democrats. That is why Daniel Block recently wrote about how the monopolization of our economy drives population growth to large coastal metropolitan areas, leaving the heartland behind. ...[C]ontrary to Trump's lies, the county isn't full, and immigration could be the answer to combat one of the biggest economic challenges we face."

Peter Stone at the Guardian: Trump Hotels Exempted from Ban on Foreign Payments Under New Stance. "The Department of Justice has adopted a narrow interpretation of a law meant to bar foreign interests from corrupting federal officials, giving Saudi Arabia, China, and other countries leeway to curry favor with Donald Trump via deals with his hotels, condos, trademarks, and golf courses, legal and national security experts say." So much for the foreign emoluments clause! And let's be clear: This is essentially the normalization of Trump's collusion with foreign governments.

Allan Smith at NBC News: Trump's Attorney Promises Fight over Trump's Taxes. "On Sunday, Trump's attorney Jay Sekulow accused Democrats of using the IRS as a 'political weapon' to obtain the president's tax returns and promised to fight the move if necessary. ...'[I]f necessary — we're not at that point yet — if it has to be litigated, it will be litigated.' ...Last month, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said at a Ways and Means hearing that he would protect Trump's privacy if a request [from Congress] were made."

The President of the United States is a lawless criminal whose entire administration operates with the explicit goal of shielding him from consequences for his traitorous lawbreaking.

Paul McLeod at BuzzFeed: Republicans Are Warning Drug Companies Not to Cooperate with a Congressional Investigation. "In an unusual move, House Republicans are warning drug companies against complying with a House investigation into drug prices. Republicans on the House Oversight Committee sent letters to a dozen CEOs of major drug companies warning that information they provide to the committee could be leaked to the public by Democratic chair Elijah Cummings in an effort to tank their stock prices. ...In their letters, Reps. Jim Jordan and Mark Meadows — leaders of the hardline conservative House Freedom Caucus — imply that Cummings may be attempting to collect the information in order to bring down the industry's stock prices." Ridiculous! And aggressively unethical!

Janna Herron at USA Today: Another Tax Headache Ahead: IRS Is Changing Paycheck Withholdings and It'll Be a Doozy. "The Internal Revenue Service is changing how you adjust your paycheck withholdings, and early indicators show it won't be easy. The agency plans to release a new W-4 form [later this year] that better incorporates the changes ushered in by the new tax law so that the amount held back for taxes in each of your paychecks is more accurate. The agency's goal: A taxpayer shouldn't owe or be owed come tax time. But the changes won't be simple, says Pete Isberg, head of government affairs at ADP, the payroll and human resources company. Filling out the new form will be a lot like doing your taxes again. 'It'll be a much bigger pain,' he says. 'The accuracy will be 100 percent, but the ease-of-use will be zero.'"

Justin Elliott at ProPublica: Congress Is About to Ban the Government from Offering Free Online Tax Filing; Thank TurboTax. "Last week, the House Ways and Means Committee, led by Rep. Richard Neal, D-Mass., passed the Taxpayer First Act, a wide-ranging bill making several administrative changes to the IRS that is sponsored by Reps. John Lewis, D-Ga., and Mike Kelly, R-Pa. In one of its provisions, the bill makes it illegal for the IRS to create its own online system of tax filing. Companies like Intuit, the maker of TurboTax, and H&R Block have lobbied for years to block the IRS from creating such a system. If the tax agency created its own program, which would be similar to programs other developed countries have, it would threaten the industry's profits."

Margaret Sullivan at the Washington Post: A Board to Oversee Georgia Journalists Sounds Like Orwellian Fiction; the Proposal Is All Too Real.
When Richard Griffiths, president of the Georgia First Amendment Foundation, heard about the bill filed last week in his state's House of Representatives, he thought for a moment that it was an April Fools joke.

If only.

The bill — a proposal to oversee journalists sponsored by six Republican lawmakers — is no wacky prank.

...Echoing the government's Ministry of Truth in George Orwell's dystopian novel, 1984, the proposal would establish a "Journalism Ethics Board" to create professional standards for news people.

And, among other provisions, it would require reporters to surrender their recordings, photographs, and notes to an interviewee upon request. If a news outlet refuses, it would be subject to legal action and fines.

...There may be no direct tie between the voting-suppression concerns [rampant in Georgia, care of Republican Governor Brian Kemp] and the proposed journalism bill.

But controlling the pesky press corps would mean one less annoyance on the road to political malfeasance.
The entire Republican Party is just enacting authoritarianism (or trying to) as quickly as possible, in order to shield themselves from accountability, just like their deplorable president.

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AP Staff at the LA Times: Global Warming Is Shrinking Glaciers Faster Than Thought. "Earth's glaciers are melting much faster than scientists thought. A new study shows they are losing 369 billion tons of snow and ice each year, more than half of that in North America. The most comprehensive measurement of glaciers worldwide found that thousands of inland masses of snow compressed into ice are shrinking 18% faster than an international panel of scientists calculated in 2013. The world's glaciers are shrinking five times faster now than they were in the 1960s." JFC.

[CN: White supremacy] Tom Boggioni at Raw Story: White Nationalists and Neo-Nazis Are Increasingly Recruiting Gamers to Fill Their Ranks. "According to an expert on gaming and gaming culture, white nationalists are finding gaming chatrooms and forums to be fertile ground for recruiting disaffected young white men into their movement — which also includes supporting [Donald] Trump. In an interview with Zack Beauchamp at Vox, Megan Condis, a professor of communication at Texas Tech, explained that often gamers are young white men who feel they don't fit in anywhere else making them easy to influence when offered the opportunity to be invited to join a group. ...With Beauchamp pointing out, 'You've noted that far-right political factions and white nationalists are actively taking advantage of these dynamics to actively radicalize young men and recruit them to their cause,' Condis mentioned the fact that former Donald Trump White House adviser Steve Bannon recognized the dynamic during what was known as 'Gamergate.'"

[CN: LGBTQ hatred; misogyny] Andy Towle at Towleroad: Mike Huckabee: LGBTQ People Are 'Greatest Threat' to America. "Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee is attacking LGBTQ people once again in a new interview with the Christian Post, telling the publication that redefinitions of gender and sexual identity are the 'greatest threat' to America. Said Huckabee: 'The biggest threat to biblical principles today is the failure to apply a biblical standard of maleness and femaleness. We are creating this illusion that there is no gender, there is no identity, and I'm blaming the Christian Church.' Huckabee blamed the rise of same-sex marriage on California's introduction of 'no-fault divorce' in 1970. Said Huckabee: 'That's when we first started losing that sense of sacredness of what marriage meant. So I'm not really that surprised that same sex-marriage has become in vogue because the Christian Church were the ones who essentially abdicated a strict responsibility about what biblical marriage should look like.'"

He is absolutely saying that queer people are a threat to America. He is also saying that feminist women are a threat to America. That "no-fault divorce" talking point is an ancient anti-feminist dogwhistle, used for decades by men who see autonomous women who have agency over their own reproduction and are empowered with the right of consent as a serious threat to their patriarchal rule. And they're right. We are. Just like queer people who provide visible alternate models to toxic masculinity, the gender binary, rigid gender roles, and "traditional" marriage.

Think about that the next time you hear some doe-eyed dipshit going on about how we need to extend empathy to Trump supporters.

Which is right now! Justin Kirkland at Esquire: Chris Evans Is Launching a Political Website Because Saving the Universe Isn't Enough. "With his time as Captain America likely coming to an end with Avengers: Endgame, Chris Evans is going to use his superhero skills to protect the country from something more evil — the political divide. The actor is launching a website called A Starting Point, which focuses on featuring political discourse from both sides of the aisle with the ultimate goal of helping create 'informed, responsible and empathetic citizens,' The Hill reports."


*jumps into Christmas tree*

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

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