We Resist: Day 839

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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: Nancy Pelosi, What Are You Even Doing? and Quote of the Day and Trump's Leaked Taxes and His Redefining of Poverty and Today in Our Constitutional Crisis and Primarily Speaking.

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

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee: I'm pausing for a moment because I do think this is a moment in history.

And I appreciate my good friends on the other side of the aisle, but — having received a letter both from, a copy of the letter to the President of the United States by Attorney General Barr; a letter from the Department of Justice indicating after their purposeful collapse of the negotiations, well-intentioned by the staff and House Judiciary Committee — I can only conclude that the president now seeks to take a wrecking ball to the Constitution of the United States of America.

For the first time in the history of the United States, a president is now exerting executive privilege over every aspect of life that the American people desire to have information: Whether or not their Affordable Care Act is dissolving the preexisting condition; whether or not children are being separated from their parents; whether or not the environment is being destroyed... Anything that the Congress wants to do on behalf of the American people is now being alleged to be under the jurisdiction of privilege.

Then, of course, we have to surmise that this is an absolute lawless behavior by this administration. The Attorney General's actions are contemptuous — and insulting to Congress. But we're simply the tools. It is to the American people.

Felicia Sonmez at the Washington Post: Pelosi Says Trump Is 'Becoming Self-Impeachable'. "House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Wednesday that [Donald] Trump is 'becoming self-impeachable,' pointing to his efforts to fight all subpoenas from congressional investigations and prevent key aides from testifying before Congress. 'The point is that every single day, whether it's obstruction, obstruction, obstruction — obstruction of having people come to the table with facts, ignoring subpoenas ... every single day, the president is making a case — he's becoming self-impeachable, in terms of some of the things that he is doing,' Pelosi said at a Washington Post Live event."

What the everloving fuck is she even talking about? "Self-impeachable" isn't a thing. If what she means is that Donald Trump's contempt for the law is leaving Democrats no choice but to impeach him, then she should say that.

Unfortunately, I suspect what she means is that Trump is turning himself into a figure for which people won't vote and will "self-impeach" himself out of office during the next election, which is unmitigated horseshit — first of all because his base loves his authoritarian behavior for "owning the libs" and secondly because we are unlikely to have free and fair elections especially if Congress refuses to even try to hold Trump accountable.

Goddammit, this is infuriating.

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So, one day after I wrote "The Trump Regime Wants a War with Iran," Secretary of State Mike Pompeo cancels his scheduled trip to Germany and heads to Iraq, where the administration has claimed that Iran is planning to use proxies to strike U.S. forces.

Which, of course, is garbage intel being inflated by warmongering pigshits.

Betsy Woodruff and Adam Rawnsley at the Daily Beast: Trump Admin Inflated Iran Intel, U.S. Officials Say.
On Sunday, the National Security Council announced that the U.S. was sending a carrier strike group and a bomber task force to the Persian Gulf in response to "troubling and escalatory" warnings from Iran — an eye-popping move that raised fears of a potential military confrontation with Tehran.

Justifying the move, anonymous government officials cited intelligence indicating Iran had crafted plans to use proxies to strike U.S. forces, both off the coast of Yemen and stationed in Iraq. National Security Adviser John Bolton also discussed the intelligence on the record. A consensus appeared to be emerging: that Iran was gearing up for war.

But multiple sources close to the situation told The Daily Beast that the administration blew it out of proportion, characterizing the threat as more significant than it actually was.
It's the Iraq War all over again. And why not? John Bolton got away with it one time; he figures he might as well do it again.

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Eliana Johnson at Politico: Trump Campaign Refuses to Say Whether It Has a Policy on Foreign Agents. "FBI Director Christopher Wray said on Tuesday that if any 2020 presidential campaign is contacted by a foreign agent, it's 'something the FBI would want to know about.' But would [Donald] Trump's campaign alert the feds if approached by a potential election meddler? It won't say. The Trump campaign did not respond to numerous inquiries about whether it has implemented a policy about foreign interference — including the use of information stolen or hacked by a foreign power and whether aides must formally report outreach from foreigners."

Because they are planning to cheat. Are you paying attention, Speaker Pelosi? Christ.

Meanwhile... Cristina Maza at Newsweek: Russia Isn't Just Interfering in U.S. Elections; It's Abusing the American Justice System.
Before special counsel Robert Mueller submitted his 448-page report to the Department of Justice in March, the special counsel's team had argued in court against handing over sensitive evidence to Concord Management, a Russian company caught up in the sweeping investigation into Russian election interference.

The Russian firm, owned by Evgeney Prigozhin, a man close to Russian President Vladimir Putin, would use the evidence as part of a disinformation campaign against the special counsel, Mueller's team argued in an 18-page memorandum filed in January. After all, the company had been indicted for funding the St. Petersburg-based troll farm that used social media campaigns to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

According to court filings, Concord Management's lawyers had already been permitted to review documents as part of the pre-trial discovery process, and the information had been used to launch a disinformation campaign targeting the special counsel's investigation directly. Handing more documents to the lawyers would jeopardize U.S. national security, according to Mueller's team, and would allow Moscow to use the discovery process to gather intelligence on the Russia investigation.

But months later, despite the evidence that the information would be misused, the dispute was still unresolved as Concord Management's American lawyers argued in U.S. courts that they should be permitted to review millions of additional documents collected in the discovery process.

This case, which sucked up innumerable hours and energy from U.S. law firms, lawyers, and judges, is just one example of how ill-equipped the American justice system is to respond to politically motivated cases from abroad and to Russia's manipulation of the system, experts argue.
And of course Trump is busily stacking the courts with lackeys who aren't keen to prioritize America's best interests.

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Staff at Protect Our Care: White House Threatens Veto of "Protecting Americans with Preexisting Conditions Act".
Late yesterday, the White House threatened to veto H.R. 986, the "Protecting Americans with Preexisting Conditions Act of 2019," ahead of its scheduled vote on the House floor tomorrow. The bill introduced by Rep. Annie Kuster (NH-02) would protect patients with pre-existing conditions from abuse by insurance companies that is enabled by new Trump administration regulations that sabotage our health care.

...In response to their shameless veto threat, Protect Our Care chair Leslie Dach released the following statement:

"Democrats are working to protect patients with pre-existing conditions like cancer, diabetes, and asthma but the Trump administration is now threatening to veto those efforts. Trump and his Republican allies have tried to repeal these protections for people with pre-existing conditions, then they went to court to strike them down and now they're threatening to veto them. No matter how many false promises they make to the American people, the record shows they'll do everything they can to let insurance companies gut coverage for patients with pre-existing conditions."
Larry Elliott at the Guardian: U.S. Prepares to Raise China Trade Tariffs. "The U.S. and China have moved to within 36 hours of a full-scale trade war after Washington published a list of imported products that will face higher tariffs from Friday. In a clear sign of Washington's hardline approach in talks with Beijing, the U.S. trade representative's office filed the formal paperwork needed to increase duties on $200bn of Chinese goods from 10% to 25% later this week. ...China has threatened to retaliate against any step up in U.S. action."

T.J. Stiles at the Washington Post: America Is Losing Its Memory. "America is losing its memory. The National Archives and Records Administration is in a budget crisis. More than a resource for historians or museum of founding documents, NARA stands at the heart of American democracy. It keeps the accounts of our struggles and triumphs, allows the people to learn what their government has done and is doing, and maintains records that fill in family histories. Genealogy researchers depend on it, as do journalists filing Freedom of Information Act requests. If Congress doesn't save it, we all will suffer."

Oliver Milman and Fiona Harvey at the Guardian: U.S. Is Hotbed of Climate Change Denial, Major Global Survey Finds. "A total of 13% of Americans polled in a 23-country survey conducted by the YouGov-Cambridge Globalism Project agreed with the statement that the climate is changing 'but human activity is not responsible at all.' A further 5% said the climate was not changing. Only Saudi Arabia (16%) and Indonesia (18%) had a higher proportion of people doubtful of manmade climate change."

Juliana Menasce Horowitz at the Pew Research Center: Americans See Advantages and Challenges in Country's Growing Racial and Ethnic Diversity. "A majority of Americans (57%) say the fact that the U.S. population is made up of people of many different races and ethnicities is a very good thing for the country, and another 20% say this is somewhat good." However, some of the other findings were far more grim, like: "Most Americans (70%) say they would not be particularly bothered if they heard people speak a language other than English in a public place, including 47% who say they would not be bothered at all. Still, a sizable share (29%) says this would bother them at least some."

A "sizable share" that is almost the exact same percentage as the hardcore conservative base. What a coinkydink.

[Content Note: Nativism; vigilantism] Matt Shuham at TPM: Stung by Leader's Arrest and Bad Press, Armed Border Militia Adopts New Name. "Stung by the arrest of their leader, an eviction from their campground on Union Pacific Railroad land, and weeks of critical press coverage, members of the United Constitutional Patriots (UCP) border militia will be reforming under a new name, said Jim Benvie, the de facto spokesperson for UCP's 'Border Ops,' on Tuesday. 'We are officially changing our name to Guardian Patriots,' Benvie said in a live video stream filmed on a patch of land near the U.S.-Mexico border. 'The reason for that is because we have had attacks on the UCP.'" Thanks for letting us know, assholes.

[CN: Anti-semitism; white supremacy] Veronica Ortega at 5 News Online: Holocaust Remembrance Day Event in Russellville Interrupted by White Supremacists Rally. "Joyce Griffis has organized the Holocaust remembrance day event in Russellville for years. This year, they were interrupted by members of a white supremacist group. 'It made me feel terrible, it made me feel terrible for my friends. They were talking to us like we were pieces of nothing,' Griffis said. Sir Beryl Wolfson, a 96-year-old World War II veteran, was invited to speak at the event. Wolfson says he saw the liberation of the concentration camps with his own eyes. He says he's traveled all over the state sharing his story for a reason. 'Never forget, because it could happen again, and I'm trying to get this out to the people so it won't happen again in any place,' Wolfson said." Sob.

[CN: Homophobia] Matt Wilstein at the Daily Beast: Meghan McCain's Husband Ben Domenech Goes on Unhinged Homophobic Rant Against 'Cuck' Seth Meyers.
The View host Meghan McCain seemed pretty uncomfortable by the end of her contentious appearance on NBC's Late Night on Tuesday night [during which Seth Meyers said her comments about Ilhan Omar's supposed anti-Semitism were dangerous]. But for the most part, she was able to keep things cordial with host Seth Meyers.

Then, a few hours later, early Wednesday morning, her husband shared his unfiltered thoughts about the interview on Twitter.

In a series of since-deleted tweets, Ben Domenech, the founder and publisher of conservative website The Federalist, went on an unhinged rant against the late-night host and former head writer for Saturday Night Live that was at times homophobic and at others suggested that he has only succeeded in comedy because he is a white man.

"I see that @sethmeyers, the untalented piece of shit who only has has job because he regularly gargled Lorne Michaels' balls, went after my wife tonight with his idiotic anti-Semitic bullshit," Domenech wrote.

..."Here is proof that white men get ahead despite their obvious lack of talent," he continued. "It's @sethmeyers, who would beg for a third of the viewers at @TheView. He's awful, untalented, and a perfect definition of a cuck," he added, referring to a popular far-right pejorative.
What a nice family.

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

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