We Resist: Day 840

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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: Donald Trump Is Voraciously Bloodthirsty and Primarily Speaking.

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

[Content Note: Anti-choice terrorism] When you have a president who engages in stochastic terrorism and repeatedly says things like "Democrats are aggressively pushing late-term abortion, allowing children to be ripped from their mother's womb, right up until the moment of birth," following literal decades of his party demonizing abortion, people who get abortions, and doctors who provide abortions, this (and worse) is what inevitably happens: Auditi Guha at Rewire.News: In Alabama, an Anti-Choice Protester Tried to Run Over an Abortion Clinic Escort.
It was a day like any other at the West Alabama Women's Center in Tuscaloosa. In a nondescript office park, abortion clinic escorts shielded incoming patients from the graphic signs and verbal abuse of anti-choice protesters gathered across the clinic’s private parking lot.

On Tuesday around 8:15 a.m., a Toyota SUV that had been spray-painted black pulled into the lot. There, the driver exchanged words with a volunteer escort before backing the SUV into her side. She yelled at the driver to get away from her. He yelled back, threatening to hit her a second time, then put the car in reverse again to do so. She moved out of the way; the driver swung the vehicle around and left.

...[Helmi Henkin — chair of the clinic escort group West Alabama Clinic Defenders and Alabama's only statewide abortion fund, the Yellowhammer Fund] recognized the suspect as an anti-choice person who had previously threatened clinic escorts. But Tuscaloosa police did not take their previous reports seriously, Henkin said.

...The attack comes as Alabama Republicans are trying to pass HB 314, a bill to criminalize abortion providers. Dubbed the "Human Life Protection Act," the bill passed the GOP-controlled house last Tuesday. Nearly all Democratic house members walked out in protest.

The anti-choice bill would make it a crime for doctors to perform abortions at any stage of pregnancy, unless the person's life is in danger. A doctor caught performing an abortion would face up to 99 years in prison; attempted abortion would carry a sentence of up to ten years.
Anti-choice terrorism is one of the most common forms of terrorism in the United States, and it's also one of the least discussed. The political press renders it almost entirely invisible, despite the fact that it is brazenly waged, the coordination and orchestration done right out in the open. It is an inherently violent ideology, backed by a decades-long campaign of intimidation, harassment, and violence directed at abortion providers and abortion seekers. And the sitting president is actively stoking the flames.

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Paul Farhi at the Washington Post: White House Imposes New Rules on Reporters' Credentials, Raising Concerns About Access.
The White House has implemented new rules that it says will cut down on the number of journalists that hold "hard" passes, the credentials that allow reporters and technicians to enter the grounds without seeking daily permission.

The new policy has been met with some confusion and even worry among journalists, some of whom suspect that the ultimate aim is to keep critics in the press away from the White House and [Donald] Trump.

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders explicitly denied that, saying the changes were prompted by security concerns, not to punish journalists. "No one's access is being limited," she said Wednesday night.
Yeah, well, she's a professional liar, so.

Wesley Morgan at Politico: McMaster Blasts Former Colleagues as 'Danger to the Constitution'. "Former national security adviser H.R. McMaster accused some of his former White House colleagues on Wednesday of being 'a danger to the Constitution' because they are either trying to manipulate [Donald] Trump to push their own agenda or see themselves as rescuing the country from what they view as the commander in chief's bad policy choices." Looks like someone has a book to sell!

Funny how all these Trump sycophants are supposedly great patriots who totes care about what's best for the country once they're looking for new sources of income.

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Courtney Kube at NBC News: U.S. Officials: Iran Official Okayed Attacks on American Military. "The U.S. decision to surge additional military forces into the Middle East was based in part on intelligence that the Iranian regime has told some of its proxy forces and surrogates that they can now go after American military personnel and assets in the region, according to three U.S. officials familiar with the intelligence. ...Among the specific threats the U.S. military is now tracking, officials say, are possible missile attacks by Iranian dhows, or small ships, in the Persian Gulf; attacks in Iraq by Iranian-trained Shiite militia groups; and attacks against U.S. ships by the Houthi rebels in Yemen." As I noted yesterday, this intel is being inflated by warmongering pigshits who want a war with Iran.

Tim Kelly at Reuters: U.S., Japan, India, and Philippines Challenge Beijing with Naval Drills in the South China Sea. "In fresh show of naval force in the contested South China Sea, a U.S. guided missile destroyer conducted drills with a Japanese aircraft carrier, two Indian naval ships, and a Philippine patrol vessel in the waterway claimed by China, the U.S. Navy said on Thursday. While similar exercises have been held in the South China Sea in the past, the combined display by four countries represents a fresh challenge to Beijing as [Donald] Trump threatens to hike tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods."

Choe Sang-Hun at the New York Times: North Korea Fires Two Short-Range Ballistic Missiles, South's Military Says. "North Korea launched two short-range ballistic missiles on Thursday, the South Korean military said, an escalation from the North's most recent weapons test just five days ago. The two missiles were launched eastward from the country's northwest, with one flying 260 miles and the other about 170 miles, the military said in a statement. ...The statement did not say where the missiles had landed, but the reported distances would put them in the sea between North Korea and Japan."

Pete Williams, Tom Winter, and Dan De Luce at NBC News: U.S. Seizes North Korean Ship Suspected of Violating U.N. Sanctions. "The Justice Department asked a federal judge Thursday to give the U.S. ownership of a North Korean freighter that was caught shipping coal in violation of U.N. sanctions. ...[T]he U.S. sought a civil forfeiture action — the same thing prosecutors do when they seek to take ownership of planes or boats used by drug smugglers. The Justice Department says the U.S. is entitled to take this action because payments to maintain and equip the vessel were made through American banks."

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[CN: Video may autoplay at link] Christina Zdanowicz at CNN: A Student Sued Because He Didn't Want the Chickenpox Vaccine; Then He Got Chickenpox. "Jerome Kunkel sued the local [Walton, Kentucky] health department because of a policy temporarily barring students who aren't immune against chickenpox from coming to classes and extracurricular activities... The high school senior refused the vaccine, citing his faith. Kunkel's father, Bill, told CNN affiliate WLWT they object to the particular vaccine because he believed it was derived from 'aborted fetuses.' The chickenpox vaccine was created using cells descended from those of a fetus terminated in the early 1960s. ...Kunkel contracted chickenpox last week and has recovered [and returned] to school on Wednesday [after being out since mid-March]. 'Jerome is in a catch-up mode,' [his attorney] said. 'He feels like they kind of ruined his senior year.'" Whooooops!

Deanna Paul at the Washington Post: GOP State Legislator Attacks Vaccine Scientist on Twitter, Accusing Him of Self-Enrichment, 'Sorcery'. "A Texas state legislator unleashed a vilifying attack on a leading vaccine scientist Tuesday, accusing the doctor of 'sorcery.' ...[Peter Hotez, professor and dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine] took his concerns about [a report published Monday by the Texas Department of State Health Services that noted the state recorded a 14 percent rise in parents opting out of their children's vaccinations] to Twitter. And then he received an unexpected, seething personal attack from the Republican state legislator, Rep. Jonathan Stickland." JFC.

Meanwhile... [CN: Christian Supremacy] Julie Zauzmer at the Washington Post: A Conservative Christian Group Is Pushing Bible Classes in Public Schools Nationwide — and It's Working. "Activists on the religious right, through their legislative effort Project Blitz, drafted a law that encourages Bible classes in public schools and persuaded at least 10 state legislatures to introduce versions of it this year. Georgia and Arkansas recently passed bills that are awaiting their governors' signatures. Among the powerful fans of these public-school Bible classes: [Donald] Trump. 'Numerous states introducing Bible Literacy classes, giving students the option of studying the Bible,' Trump tweeted in January. 'Starting to make a turn back? Great!'" Seethe.

Adam Gabbatt at the Guardian: Facebook Co-Founder Calls for Company to Break Up over 'Unprecedented' Power.
A co-founder of Facebook has called for the government to break-up the company, warning that Mark Zuckerberg's power is "unprecedented and un-American."

Chris Hughes, who helped established Facebook after meeting Zuckerberg at Harvard University, wrote in the New York Times that Facebook's acquisition of rival platforms had given Zuckerberg unparalleled power over speech.

"Mark's influence is staggering, far beyond that of anyone else in the private sector or in government. He controls three core communications platforms — Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp — that billions of people use every day," Hughes wrote.

"We are a nation with a tradition of reining in monopolies, no matter how well intentioned the leaders of these companies may be. Mark's power is unprecedented and un-American. It is time to break up Facebook."

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

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