We Resist: Day 855

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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: Stop Telling People to Move and Start Supporting Them Where They Live and Trump Empowers Barr to Declassify Intelligence as He Audits Russia Probe and Primarily Speaking.

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

[Content Note: War on agency; anti-choicery. Covers whole section.]

Ariana Eunjung Cha and Emily Wax-Thibodeaux at the Washington Post: American Civil Liberties Union Sues Alabama over Near-Total Abortion Ban.
The American Civil Liberties Union on Friday filed suit on behalf of abortion clinics against the state of Alabama to block the most restrictive abortion law in the nation.

The near-total ban, signed by Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey on May 15, would criminalize abortion in almost all circumstances — including cases of rape and incest — and punish doctors with up to 99 years in prison. Without any challenges, the law was set to go into effect in as soon as six months.

The lawsuit, filed in United States District Court for the Middle District of Alabama, sets off a chain of events that both sides say is likely to lead to a years-long court battle. State lawmakers have said they passed the law specifically to bring the case in front of the U.S. Supreme Court, which they see as having the most antiabortion bench in decades. The bill was designed to challenge the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision by arguing that a fetus is a person and is therefore due full rights.

In the filing, Yashica Robinson, a doctor at the Alabama Women's Center — one of four abortion providers in the state — argues that the law "directly conflicts with Roe and more than four decades of Supreme Court precedent affirming its central holding."

Such a ban would inflict immediate and irreparable harm on patients "by violating their constitutional rights, threatening their health and well-being, and forcing them to continue their pregnancies to term against their will," Robinson argued.

The other plaintiffs in the lawsuit are Planned Parenthood Southeast, Reproductive Health Services, and West Alabama Women's Center on behalf of themselves, their patients, and physicians.
Scott Horsley at NPR: Abortion Limits Carry Economic Cost for Women. "Thousands of women who've had abortions have taken to social media to share their experience. Many argue they would have been worse off economically, had they been forced to deliver a baby. 'I didn't know what I would do with a baby,' said Jeanne Myers, who was unmarried and unemployed when she got pregnant 36 years ago. ...Myers is among the thousands of women who've been sharing their stories under the hashtag YouKnowMe in recent days, in an effort to reduce the stigma surrounding abortion and preserve the right for other women. They cite a wide variety of reasons for getting an abortion but a common theme is the economic hardship that having a baby would have posed for both mother and child."

As I noted (again) on Wednesday, a 2005 Guttmacher study [pdf] of women who had abortions found that 73% of women cited "I can't afford a baby now" as the reason for terminating their pregnancy. Republicans' class warfare increases the need for abortion. They know that. They don't care. Remember that when you see them preening about their moral virtue while trying to relegate women's autonomy to the dustbin of history.

Jason Linkins at ThinkProgress: Florida Lawmaker Says God Told Him to Introduce an Abortion Ban Like Alabama's. Oh for fuck's sake.

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[CN: Disablism] John Wagner at the Washington Post: Trump Shares Heavily Edited Video That Highlights Verbal Stumbles by Pelosi and Questions Her Mental Acuity. "Trump shared a video on Twitter Thursday night that spliced together several verbal stumbles of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) at a news conference earlier in the day, further escalating a spat in which both have questioned the other's mental fitness. ...Trump's tweet came late in a day in which he had already called Pelosi 'crazy Nancy' at a news conference and proclaimed 'she's lost it' after Pelosi had told reporters that Trump's family and White House aides 'should stage an intervention for the good of the country.'" Trump is a master of projection, as always.

Quint Forgey at Politico: Giuliani Appears to Defend Sharing a Doctored Pelosi Video. "Rudy Giuliani on Friday appeared to defend his sharing of a doctored video of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi slurring her words, tweeting that the California Democrat should take back an insult she hurled at [Donald] Trump the day before. 'Nancy Pelosi wants an apology for a caricature exaggerating her already halting speech pattern,' Giuliani, Trump's personal attorney, wrote online. 'First she should withdraw her charge which hurts our entire nation when she says the President needs an 'intervention.' People who live in a glass house shouldn't throw stones.'"

Look at the press doing the most to make it seem like Pelosi and Trump are two sides of the same coin. Escalating a spat. An insult she hurls. "Both sides!" Goddammit.

Jim Waterson at the Guardian: Facebook Refuses to Delete Fake Pelosi Video Spread by Trump Supporters. "Facebook says it will continue to host a video of Nancy Pelosi that has been edited to give the impression that the Democratic House Speaker is drunk or unwell, in the latest incident highlighting its struggle to deal with disinformation." That's the politest way of putting "its continued determination to profit mightily from destroying democracy."

Asawin Suebsaeng and Sam Stein at the Daily Beast: Trump Devotes Press Conference to Instructing Aides to Explain That He's Definitely Not Mad.
Accused of having a temper tantrum at the White House the day before, [Donald] Trump did what anyone trying to prove their serenity would do: He put together a press conference during which he asked five aides to attest to his calmness.

On Thursday afternoon, Trump hosted a group of American farmers at the White House to tout his administration's $16 billion aid plan for farmers afflicted by his ongoing trade war. But after singing their praises and promising relief to come, he quickly turned to the matter most clearly on his mind — reports that he'd lost his cool at a meeting with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi the day before.

"Because I know they will always say that [I was angry]... I was so calm... I walked into the Cabinet Room, you had the group, Cryin' Chuck, Crazy Nancy... She's lost it," the president insisted on Thursday. For good measure, he later reiterated that he was an "extremely stable genius."

Over the course of several minutes, the president asked White House counselor Kellyanne Conway, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, top economic adviser Larry Kudlow, and two top communications hands — Mercedes Schlapp and Hogan Gidley — to relay to the gathered press that he was the picture of tranquility when he met Democratic congressional leaders day before.

"Very calm — I've seen both and this was definitely not angry or ranting [during Wednesday's meeting]," Sanders said, right after Trump summoned her before the cameras. "Very calm, and straightforward, and clear that we have to actually get to work and do good things for the American people."
Well I'm sold! Case closed, Your Honor!

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Susannah George and Lolita Baldor at the AP: Trump Says U.S. to Send 1,500 More Troops to Middle East. "The U.S. will bolster its military presence in the Middle East with an additional 1,500 troops, [Donald] Trump said Friday amid heightened tensions with Iran. Trump said the troops would have a 'mostly protective' role. He spoke to reporters on the White House lawn as he headed out on a trip to Japan. The administration had notified Congress earlier in the day about the troop plans. The forces would number 'roughly' 1,500 and would deploy in the coming weeks, 'with their primary responsibilities and activities being defensive in nature,' according to a copy of the notification obtained by The Associated Press."

[CN: Video may autoplay at link] Edward Wong, Catie Edmondson, and Eric Schmitt at the New York Times: Trump Officials Prepare to Bypass Congress to Sell Weapons to Gulf Nations. "The Trump administration is preparing to circumvent Congress to allow the export to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates of billions of dollars of munitions that are now on hold, according to current and former American officials and legislators familiar with the plan. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and some political appointees in the State Department are pushing for the administration to invoke an emergency provision that would allow President Trump to prevent Congress from halting the sales, worth about $7 billion. ...[The transactions would] further inflame tensions between the United States and Iran."

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[CN: Domestic terrorism; white supremacy; guns. Covers entire section.]

Evan Perez at CNN: FBI Has Seen Significant Rise in White Supremacist Domestic Terrorism in Recent Months. "[According to a senior FBI counterterrorism official, the] domestic terror cases generally include suspects involved in violence related to anti-government views, racial or religious bias, environmental extremism, and abortion-related views. The FBI wouldn't provide specific numbers to quantify the increase of in the number of white supremacist domestic terrorism cases. ...Overall, the FBI has about 5,000 terrorism-related investigations open, including 850 related to domestic terrorism, according to the official."

Huh. I wonder if that "significant" uptick has anything to do with the President of the United States waging a campaign of stochastic terrorism?

Probably just a coincidence. I'm sure their bootstraps made them do it.

In totally unrelated news (cough)...

Staff at Channel 3000: GOP Lawmaker Displays Gun in Front of Democrat's Aide. "A Republican lawmaker allegedly displayed his holstered gun in a Democratic legislator's state Capitol office earlier this year. Democratic Rep. Sheila Stubbs' aide, Savion Castro, told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that Republican Rep. Shae Sortwell came into Stubbs' Capitol office in late February or early March to talk about legislation to help barbers get licensed. Castrol says that Sortwell remarked that he thought Stubbs' sign banning guns in her office was silly and pulled back his coat to reveal his gun."

Matt Shuham at TPM: GOP Rep. Paul Gosar 'Likes' Post by YouTuber Who's Defended White Nationalism. "Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ), a conservative congressman and [Donald] Trump loyalist known for playing up conspiracy theories, 'liked' a tweet on Twitter Thursday by a YouTube philosopher who has defended white nationalism. The tweet from Stefan Molyneux claimed that the broad category of 'White Christians' was 'the first group in the history of the world to figure out that slavery was immoral' and lamented that the group is now blamed for slavery."

What a terrific organization full of great people the Republican Party is.

(That was sarcasm, in case it wasn't obvious.)

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[CN: Transphobia] Olivia Messer at the Daily Beast: Trump Admin Plans to Weaken Protections for Transgender People in Health Care. "The Department of Health and Human Services said Friday that it plans to redefine the terms of an Obama-era policy that kept health-care providers from discriminating against transgender patients. HHS Director of the Office for Civil Rights Roger Severino said the agency is rewriting an Affordable Care Act regulation that prohibited health-care discrimination based on sex — in order to keep HHS regulations 'more consistent' with other federal departments. ...The National Center for Transgender Equality has said it will fight the proposed regulation. 'It's about the right of every American to be treated with dignity when they walk into an emergency room, meet a new doctor, or find the right insurance plan,' a spokeswoman said."

Meanwhile, on the other side of the aisle...

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And finally... Heather Stewart at the Guardian: Theresa May Announces She Will Resign on 7 June.
Theresa May has bowed to intense pressure from her own party and named 7 June as the day she will step aside as Conservative leader, drawing her turbulent three-year premiership to a close.

Speaking in Downing Street, May said it had been "the honour of my life" to serve as Britain's second female prime minister. Her voice breaking, she said she would leave "with no ill will, but with enormous and enduring gratitude to have had the opportunity to serve the country I love."

The prime minister listed a series of what she said were her government's achievements, including tackling the deficit, reducing unemployment, and boosting funding for mental health.

But she admitted: "It is and will always remain a matter of deep regret to me that I have not been able to deliver Brexit."

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

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