We Resist: Day 852

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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: Leslie Jones Has Your Back and Trump Is Terrifying Again at Another Rally and Primarily Speaking.

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

In GOOD resistance news, there are hundreds of events around the country today protesting the abortion bans being passed in state legislatures.

It's enraging and scary and horrendous in every way that such protests have been necessitated by Republicans' contempt for women's et. al. autonomy, agency, and freedom, and it is infuriating that the nationwide protests will not be frontpage news in most places, but we should all feel very happy about the strength and scope of the protests. If you can't get out there and protest yourself today, you can follow along on Twitter with the hashtag #StopTheBans.

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John Wagner, Mike DeBonis, and Rachael Bade at the Washington Post: McGahn Fails to Show at Judiciary Hearing, Amping Up Anger Among House Democrats.
Former White House counsel Donald McGahn was a no-show Tuesday at a House committee hearing, infuriating Democrats who are ramping up calls to start impeachment proceedings against [Donald] Trump despite continued resistance from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).

During an opening statement, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) vowed that his panel would eventually hear McGahn's testimony about alleged obstruction of justice by Trump "even if we have to go to court to secure it."

"We will not allow the president to block congressional subpoenas, putting himself and his allies above the law," Nadler said. "We will not allow the president to stop this investigation, and nothing in these unjustified and unjustifiable legal attacks will stop us from pressing forward with our work on behalf of the American people. We will hold this president accountable, one way or the other."
But HOW? The courts? Because, last I checked, the courts were currently being stacked by the Republican Party as fast as Mitch McConnell can say "I'm a symphony of repugnance played by demons on broken instruments."

Don't get me wrong — I'm glad that Nadler is at least articulating how serious McGahn's failure to appear is. I just have no idea how the fuck he's going to actually deliver meaningful consequences, especially as long as Speaker Nancy Pelosi continues to be an intransigent shithead about starting impeachment hearings.

And, because some Democrats are still patriots, of course it's starting to cause a rift in the caucus.

Heather Caygle, John Bresnahan, and Sarah Ferris at Politico: Pelosi Clashes with Fellow Dems in Closed-Door Debate on Impeachment. "Reps. David Cicilline of Rhode Island, Jamie Raskin of Maryland, and Joe Neguse of Colorado — all members of Democratic leadership — pushed to begin impeachment proceedings during a leadership meeting in Pelosi's office [on Monday], said the sources. Pelosi and Reps. Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut, Ben Ray Luján of New Mexico, Hakeem Jeffries of New York, and Cheri Bustos of Illinois — some of her key allies — rejected their calls, saying Democrats' message is being drowned out by the fight over possibly impeaching Trump."

At this point, the Democrats' #1 message needs to be: WE ARE FOR OUR DEMOCRATIC INSTITUTIONS AND WE ARE AGAINST AUTHORITARIANISM. Impeachment hearings are right the fuck in line with that message.

On Twitter, my pal Nadine van der Velde has started a thread compiling all the Democratic lawmakers who support impeachment.

Meanwhile, this shitwheel needs to be impeached, too... Kate Riga at TPM: Barr Insists That He's Protecting the Presidency, Not Just Trump.
Attorney General William Barr is insisting that he signed on to be [Donald] Trump's attack dog to protect the institution of the presidency — not just the man currently holding the title.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Barr is resistant to criticism that he has consistently acted more like Trump's personal attorney than the attorney general.

"I felt the rules were being changed to hurt Trump, and I thought it was damaging for the presidency over the long haul," Barr said of the investigations and lawsuits Trump fielded during his first two years. "At every grave juncture the presidency has done what it is supposed to do, which is to provide leadership and direction. If you destroy the presidency and make it an errand boy for Congress, we're going to be a much weaker and more divided nation."
That's just the Attorney General of the United States publicly stating he doesn't understand, or doesn't care about, or both, the Separation of Powers.

Jack Holmes at Esquire: Trump Suggested His Pet Attorney General May Prosecute His Enemies for 'Treason'. "There is no longer any need to imagine what American Authoritarianism might look like. It is here. The president is a would-be autocrat. He will annihilate our constitutional republic via one thousand cuts if he is allowed to continue wielding the immense power we have so inexplicably given him. He has broken the law for much of his adult life and gotten away with it because nobody ever looked behind his golden curtain. Now he's broken the law while occupying the most heavily scrutinized office in the history of the world, and the only way to once again escape accountability for what he's done is to destroy any institution or mechanism of democracy that would allow the public to hold him accountable." A must-read piece.

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Curious minds would certainly like to know why a sitting U.S. president would need to borrow millions of dollars. Trump can't even say it was for his business, as it's ostensibly in a trust over which he has no control. So why did he need a personal loan of that size at this time, exactly? Where is that money and what is it doing?

We're going to have a tough time, to put it mildly, finding out the answers to those questions.

Olivia Messer at the Daily Beast: Trump Appeals Decision That Gives His Personal Financial Records to Congress. "Trump on Tuesday morning filed an appeal of a federal judge's ruling a day earlier that his accounting firm must hand over his financial records to Congress. In a 41-page ruling on Monday, Judge Amit P. Mehta of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ordered the firm, Mazars USA, to comply with a subpoena from the House Committee on Oversight and Reform. 'It is simply not fathomable,' the judge wrote, 'that a Constitution that grants Congress the power to remove a president for reasons including criminal behavior would deny Congress the power to investigate him for unlawful conduct — past or present — even without formally opening an impeachment inquiry.' Trump lawyer William Consovoy has argued the committee has no legitimate legislative reason to ask for the records."

Catherine Rampell at the Washington Post: We Don't Know What Trump's Tax Returns Are Hiding, but the Hints Are Troubling. "We don't know what Trump is working so hard to hide, but we have a lot of hints. They're all troubling. Which is precisely why it's so important that Congress — as part of its constitutionally mandated oversight duties — conduct a forensic audit of Trump's worldwide financial dealings. That means learning whom he's been getting money from, whom he owes money to, and what individuals or entities could be using financial influence to exert pressure over policy."

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[Content Note: Nativism. Covers whole section.]

I guess we'll be going to war with Mexico if the whole Iran boondoggle doesn't work out...

[CN: Video may autoplay at link] Kaitlan Collins at CNN: Trump Is Expected to Tap Ken Cuccinelli for Top DHS Role on Immigration. "Ken Cuccinelli is expected to take a top job at the Department of Homeland Security, but he is not likely to become the new 'immigration czar,' a senior administration official said. What exactly his role will be is still being hashed out, but officials wanted someone with the same political mindset as [Donald] Trump on immigration policy in the department."

He's more likely, in other words, to have a less official role, which means less official oversight.

And lest anyone has managed to forget what Trump's "mindset on immigration policy" is, here is a perfect and terrible reminder in the news today...

[CN: Trans hatred; disablism; self-harm] Hannah Rappleye, Andrew W. Lehren, Spencer Woodman, and Vanessa Swales at NBC News: Thousands of Immigrants Suffer in Solitary Confinement in U.S. Detention Centers.
[A trove of government documents] shed new light on the widespread use of solitary confinement for immigrant detainees in ICE custody under both the Obama and Trump administrations.

The newly obtained documents paint a disturbing portrait of a system where detainees are sometimes forced into extended periods of isolation for reasons that have nothing to do with violating any rules.

Disabled immigrants in need of a wheelchair or cane. Those who identify as gay. Those who report abuse from guards or other detainees.

Only half of the cases involved punishment for rule violations. The other half were unrelated to disciplinary concerns — they involve [people with mental illness], [disabled people], or others who were sent to solitary largely for what ICE described as safety reasons.

A Guatemalan man spent two months in solitary confinement at a county jail in Maryland. The reason: He had a prosthetic leg.

A mentally ill Ukrainian man was put in isolation for 15 days at a detention facility in Arizona. His offense: Putting half a green pepper in one of his socks.

In nearly a third of the cases, segregated detainees were determined by ICE to have a mental illness, a population especially vulnerable to the harmful effects of isolation.

"We have created and continue to support a system that involves widespread abuse of human beings," said Ellen Gallagher, a policy adviser at the Department of Homeland Security.
What are we even doing. Sob.

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And finally... Jerry Iannelli at the Miami New Times: Miami Candidate's Campaign Workers Might Have Tampered with Absentee Ballots. "An explosive, 150-page WhatsApp chat leaked to Miami New Times appears to show members of Miami-Dade County Commission District 5 candidate Alex Diaz de la Portilla's 2018 campaign team discussing destroying or stealing absentee ballots from voters who selected one of Diaz de la Portilla's opponents, Zoraida Barreiro. In one message, a campaign worker posted an image of a ballot and joked it had been stolen. In another text, someone took a photo of a ballot and wrote, 'Byebye.' In a third message, someone instructed a campaign worker to 'tear up the ballot good.' Diaz de la Portilla did not initially respond to messages from New Times this afternoon, including two left on his personal cell phone. He is currently running for City of Miami Commission."

I don't guess I even need to tell you, but Diaz de la Portilla is a Republican.

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

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