We Resist: Day 826

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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: Hillary Clinton Should Have Been Our President and Primarily Speaking.

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

Charlie Savage at the New York Times: Trump Vows Stonewall of 'All' House Subpoenas, Setting Up Fight over Powers. "The Trump administration escalated its defiance of Congress on Wednesday, as the Justice Department refused to let an official testify on Capitol Hill and [Donald] Trump vowed to fight what he called a 'ridiculous' subpoena ordering a former top aide to appear before lawmakers. 'We're fighting all the subpoenas,' Mr. Trump told reporters outside the White House."

We are tumbling toward a(nother) Constitutional crisis — and accelerating by the day.

Manu Raju and Kate Sullivan at CNN: White House Says Stephen Miller Won't Testify on Immigration to House Oversight. "The White House has informed the House Oversight Committee that aide Stephen Miller will not testify before the panel about his role in [Donald] Trump's controversial immigration policies, according to a letter obtained by CNN. In the Wednesday letter, White House counsel Pat Cipollone says there's 'long-standing precedent' for the White House to decline offers for staff to testify on Capitol Hill. ...But the move is likely only to ratchet up tensions between the White House and the Maryland Democrat after both the administration and the Trump Organization have defied three of [House Oversight Chairman Elijah Cummings'] subpoenas this week alone — and have pushed back against a number of his other demands."

Seung Min Kim at the Washington Post: Trump's Defiance Puts Pressure on Congress's Ability to Check the President. ("Defiance" is not the word I'd use. "Lawlessness" is.)
Since taking office, Trump has consistently treated Congress as more of a subordinate than an equal — often aided by the tacit approval of congressional Republicans who have shown little interest in confronting the president.

But tensions between Trump and Capitol Hill have escalated in recent days as the White House refuses to comply with subpoenas from newly empowered House Democrats eager to conduct aggressive oversight of his administration.

Trump's decision not to cooperate with House committees, coupled with reluctance from Republicans in control of the Senate to cross him, has left Congress struggling to assert itself as a coequal branch of government — most likely leaving it to the courts to settle a series of power struggles that could define the relationship between the executive and legislative branches for years to come.
The fact is that there's very little House Democrats can do if Trump refuses to comply as long as Senate Republicans, who hold the majority, refuse to do their fucking jobs. And Trump knows that.

Let me reiterate once again that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is one of the worst, most destructive politicians ever to hold elected office in this nation's history.

Senate Democrats are doing what they can, of course. Case in point: Senator Mark Warner at USA Today: Trump and Russia Threatened Our Democracy. What Are We Going to Do About It? "The special counsel's investigation now confronts us with an important choice. We can overlook the president's morally outrageous behavior; we can ignore the deep deficiencies in our laws and our defenses against foreign interference; or we can do everything in our power to make sure that what happened in 2016 can never happen again."

Unfortunately, Senate Republicans are going to ignore his plea just as hard as Trump is ignoring House Democrats' subpoenas.

In minimally more hopeful news...

Cristina Alesci at CNN: Deutsche Bank Begins Process of Providing Trump Financial Records to New York's Attorney General.
Deutsche Bank has begun the process of providing financial records to New York state's attorney general in response to a subpoena for documents related to loans made to President Donald Trump and his business, according to a person familiar with the production.

Last month, the office of New York Attorney General Letitia James issued subpoenas for records tied to funding for several Trump Organization projects.

The state's top legal officer opened a civil probe after Trump's former lawyer Michael Cohen testified to Congress in a public hearing that Trump had inflated his assets. Cohen at that time presented copies of financial statements he said had been provided to Deutsche Bank.

...The bank is in the process of turning over documents, including emails and loan documents, related to Trump International Hotel in Washington, DC; the Trump National Doral Miami; the Trump International Hotel and Tower in Chicago; and the unsuccessful effort to buy the NFL's Buffalo Bills.
I don't expect that this investigation will result in any accountability for Trump, either, but I hope I'm wrong.

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[Content Note: Eliminationist violence] Will Sommer at the Daily Beast: Rhode Island Man Threatened to 'Eradicate' All Democrats, Eat Pro-Choice Professor. "Matthew Haviland, a 30-year-old resident of North Kingstown, threatened to murder and eat the professor in a series of March 10 emails, according to prosecutors. Haviland was arrested on Wednesday after an FBI investigation, and faces federal cyberstalking and threat charges. ...Haviland threatened Democrats in other emails, saying that people wearing 'pink fucking hats' — an apparent reference to the 'Pussy Hats' worn by Women's March participants — 'should all be slaughtered,' according to his indictment. He also allegedly wrote that all Democrats 'must be eradicated.'"

And what precipitated this violent rage, which also included a threat to "kill every Democrat in the world," bomb threats, the call for a second civil war, transphobia, racism, and anti-feminism?
A friend of Haviland's told law enforcement that his political views had recently become "more extreme," according to the FBI affidavit, because he was angry over media coverage of Trump.

"[Haviland's friend] believes this is at least in part because of the way the news media portrays [Donald] Trump," the affidavit noted.

...On his YouTube channel, Haviland praised a number of right-wing media personalities. He encouraged his handful of viewers to check out specific videos from conservative pundit Ben Shapiro, former Pizzagate promoter Mike Cernovich, and cartoonist Scott Adams, the Dilbert comic-strip creator who has reinvented himself as a vociferous Trump booster.

Haviland also used YouTube to praise Trump, saying the president does "good things," and accusing reporters of being out to destroy his presidency. In one video, taken just days before his arrest, Haviland screamed into the camera about the prospect of Special Counsel Robert Mueller testifying before Congress, shouting that Trump "did nothing fucking wrong."
Trump continually positioning himself as a victim, waging war on the press, and casting Democrats as dangerous enemies of the state are all parts of his campaign of stochastic terrorism. And here we see every piece of it represented in Haviland's violent, eliminationist thinking. I cannot put this more plainly: The president is trying to get his political and cultural opponents killed.

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[CN: Transphobia] Dan Diamond at Politico: HHS Nearing Plan to Roll Back Transgender Protections. "The Trump administration is preparing to roll back protections for transgender patients while empowering health care workers to refuse care based on religious objections, according to three officials with knowledge of the pending regulations. ...One rule would replace an Obama administration policy extending nondiscrimination protections to transgender patients, which have been blocked in court. A second rule would finalize broad protections for health workers who cite religious or moral objections to providing services such as abortion or contraception, a priority for Christian conservative groups allied with the administration."

[CN: Rape culture; sex abuse; video may autoplay at link] Jason Hanna, Elizabeth Joseph, and Kristina Sgueglia at CNN: The List of Boy Scouts Leaders Accused of Sexual Abuse Has Nearly 3,000 More Names Than Previously Known. "The Boy Scouts of America believed more than 7,800 of its former leaders were involved in sexually abusing children over the course of 72 years, according to newly exposed court testimony — about 2,800 more leaders than previously known publicly. The Boy Scouts identified more than 12,000 alleged victims in that time period, from 1944 through 2016, according to the testimony, which was publicized Tuesday by attorney Jeff Anderson, who specializes in representing sexual abuse victims. ...'We care deeply about all victims of child abuse and sincerely apologize to anyone who was harmed during their time in scouting,' the BSA said Wednesday in a statement." That seems...inadequate.

In good news... Chris Johnson at the Washington Blade: Lesbian Candidate Wins Big in Tampa Mayoral Race. "Jane Castor won big Tuesday night in Tampa, Fla., when by a landslide she achieved victory in the race to become the city's next mayor, making her the first out person elected mayor of top 100 city in the Southeast. Castor, the city's former police chief, won 72.5 percent of the vote against her opponent... Annise Parker, CEO of the LGBTQ Victory Fund and the first openly lesbian mayor of Houston, commended Castor in statement for her victory, saying 'a lavender ceiling was shattered in Florida Tuesday night.' ...According to Equality Florida, Castor wins the distinction of being the first openly LGBT person to lead one of Florida's three largest cities."

And in more good news... Destiny Lopez at Rewire.News: Delaying Trump's Latest Abortion Coverage Restriction Shows That When Women Speak Out, We Win.
Earlier this year, the Trump administration proposed a new restriction to dissuade private insurers from offering abortion coverage. Last week, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced it had so received many comments on the proposal that it is unable to put its plan into action.

The Trump administration thought it could get away with another attack on abortion coverage by quietly proposing this rule and burying it in a 300-page document. Those of us who understand the serious harm insurance restrictions can cause didn't let them.

People across the reproductive justice movement answered our call to submit comments opposing the rule, and now HHS is still reviewing the more than 25,000 comments it received.

Thanks to our collective resistance, the rule won't go into effect until at least 2021 — that is, if it is ever finalized.
I'll take it!

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[CN: Climate change and environmental harm; covers entire section.]

Oliver Milman at the Guardian: North American Drilling Boom Threatens Major Blow to Climate Efforts. "More than half of the world's new oil and gas pipelines are located in North America, with a boom in U.S. oil and gas drilling set to deliver a major blow to efforts to slow climate change, a new report has found. ...In the U.S. alone, the natural-gas output enabled by the pipelines would result in an additional 559 million tons of planet-warming carbon dioxide each year by 2040, above 2017 levels, according to Global Energy Monitor, citing International Energy Agency figures. This surge in emissions is set to take place at a time when scientists have warned of punishing heatwaves, floods, and economic damage if greenhouse gases are not drastically cut."

Yessenia Funes at Earther: Five Years After the Lead Crisis Began, Flint Residents Still Can't Trust Their Tap Water. "Five years. That's how much time has passed since the City of Flint switched its water source, exposing nearly 100,000 people to lead-tainted water. That crisis continues today and has traumatized the city in a way that will take more than another five years to fix. The legacy will likely last for generations. ...That tainted water no longer runs into homes as the city switched back to Detroit water in 2015, but that doesn't mean the crisis is over."

Damian Carrington at the Guardian: 'Death by a Thousand Cuts': Vast Expanse of Rainforest Lost in 2018. "Millions of hectares of pristine tropical rainforest were destroyed in 2018, according to satellite analysis, with beef, chocolate, and palm oil among the main causes. The forests store huge amounts of carbon and are teeming with wildlife, making their protection critical to stopping runaway climate change and halting a sixth mass extinction. But deforestation is still on an upward trend, the researchers said."

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

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