We Resist: Day 873

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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: Omgggggggggg and Trump: "I Don't Leave" and Primarily Speaking.

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

Donald Trump had an epic tweetshitz disgorgement this morning. At Raw Story, David Badash offers a summary of the nightmare: "Trump's rambling and incoherent tweets made little sense. For example, this one in which he may or may not be quoting Fox News, saying, 'The Greatest Witch Hunt of all time continues. All crimes were by the other side, but the Committee refuses to even take a look. Deleting 33,000 Emails is the real Obstruction — and much more!' ...This one clearly is all Trump: 'PRESIDENTIAL HARASSMENT!' There were more, of course."

Former U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade testified to the House Judiciary Committee that Trump's "conduct described in the report constitutes multiple crimes of obstruction of justice, supported by evidence of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt." The Daily Beast has a transcript of her statement, which is worth your time to read.

This seems like a little nothing of a story, but it's actually worth our attention and scrutiny: Felicia Sonmez and Dan Lamothe at the Washington Post: Former Trump Chief of Staff Reince Priebus Joins the Navy. Note the details of what it took for him to get there.
Reince Priebus, [Donald] Trump's former chief of staff, has officially joined the Navy.

At a commissioning ceremony Monday morning, Vice President Pence swore in Priebus as an ensign, an entry-level officer. Priebus and his family also met with Trump at the White House after the ceremony.

...Priebus's commissioning follows a lengthy process in which former defense secretary Jim Mattis recommended him and a board of officers selected him as a reserve officer, according to defense officials and a memo obtained by The Washington Post late last year.

...A Navy review board reviewed 42 candidates last December and "professionally recommended" Priebus and four others to join the service through a competitive direct-commission program for human resources officers, the memo said.
I noted on Twitter: First, I expect that he will be quickly promoted. Second, I don't think it's a coincidence this happened immediately following the Mueller report. Priebus kept his fucking mouth shut. This is his reward. And note it was Pence who personally swore him in.

Malcolm Nance tweets: "He is now a Navy Public Relations Officer. I shit you not." And, just like that, Trump has his propagandist in the Navy.

Trump-Pence are politicizing the military with loyalists. Trump threatens not to recognize election outcomes if he doesn't win. And the reason for Pence's (and Putin's) fascination with Venezuela comes sharply into focus.

Maduro now looks like a dry run for what will happen here. I sure as fuck hope I'm wrong about that.

Relatedly, Dana Bash at CNN reports that the Trump campaign is considering putting resources in Oregon: "Oregon is so blue that it has not voted for a Republican for president since 1984. But the Trump campaign is flush with cash and is looking for ways to spend its money and time wisely while Democrats duke it out for the chance to run against [Trump]."

In a free and fair election, Trump would have zero chance of winning Oregon. But if the GOP, with or without help from Russia (or other nefarious actors), rigs the elections to, say, turn Oregon red, this is the preemptive explanation for how it happened: They had the wisdom to "put resources" in Oregon.

Meanwhile, Mitch McConnell is doing everything he can to undermine the integrity of U.S. elections to Trump's favor:
There actually are a lot of bills to safeguard the 2020 elections from the next Russian attack. Mitch McConnell is blocking all of them.

The New York Times reported a few days ago that McConnell is refusing to bring to a vote any bill to safeguard the elections from foreign attack. There's a Democratic bill to provide election funding to state and local governments. There's a bipartisan Senate bill to "codify cyberinformation-sharing initiatives between federal intelligence services and state election officials, speed up the granting of security clearances to state officials, and provide federal incentives for states to adopt paper ballots." McConnell won't allow any of them to come to a vote.

The threat from Russian election interference is actually quite severe. Russian intelligence breached at least one Florida county computer system and planted malware in a manufacturer of vote-tabulating machines, according to the Mueller report. While the probability that Russian hackers could actually change the outcome of the next election is low, the consequences would be extraordinarily high — especially if they do so by actual vote-rigging rather than mere information warfare.
Luke Harding and Jason Burke at the Guardian: Leaked Documents Reveal Russian Effort to Exert Influence in Africa. "Russia is seeking to bolster its presence in at least 13 countries across Africa by building relations with existing rulers, striking military deals, and grooming a new generation of 'leaders' and undercover 'agents,' leaked documents reveal. The mission to increase Russian influence on the continent is being led by Yevgeny Prigozhin, a businessman based in St. Petersburg who is a close ally of the Russian president, Vladimir Putin. One aim is to 'strong-arm' the U.S. and the former colonial powers the UK and France out of the region. Another is to see off 'pro-western' uprisings, the documents say."

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Andrew Desiderio, Heather Caygle, and John Bresnahan at Politico: Pelosi-Nadler Clash over Impeachment Intensifies. "Nadler has twice urged Pelosi in private to open a formal impeachment inquiry, but the speaker, backed by the majority of her leadership team and her caucus, has maintained that impeaching the president would backfire on Democrats without meaningful Republican support. And there is no sign that Trump's GOP firewall is cracking."

Jennifer Rubin at the Washington Post: The House Begins to Tell the Story of Trump's Criminality. "[T]his is the beginning of a process that will, if committee chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) is successful, include fact witnesses who can bring to life what the panel explained on Monday. Whether it changes public opinion sufficiently to encourage Democrats to move to impeachment is unknown, but if part of the task here is to make an historical record, Democrats have certainly succeeded."

Former Rep. Steve Israel at the Atlantic: What Nancy Pelosi Wants to Do Before Impeachment.
For Pelosi, public sentiment doesn't mean following public opinion, but strategically shaping it so that it's more receptive to a strategic goal. It's not just laying the groundwork; it's fertilizing it. That takes message discipline, unity, and patience — all of which will be necessary as pressure to impeach [Donald] Trump continues to build.

...Pelosi, remember, believes it's possible to shape public sentiment. That's why she's unleashed her committee chairs to fully exercise their oversight responsibilities by investigating every facet of potentially impeachable offenses: Jerry Nadler of the Judiciary Committee, Adam Schiff on Intel, Maxine Waters on Financial Services, Elijah Cummings on Oversight and Reform.

They may find a smoking gun — incontrovertible evidence that crystallizes public support for impeachment and maximizes pressure on House Republican incumbents in moderate districts. Then Pelosi will have achieved her goal: a broader public consensus for impeachment and stronger, if not necessarily overwhelming, bipartisan support.
Connecting those dots draws a line that points toward impeachment. I just hope we get there sooner rather than later. Because I'm honestly worried that it's already too late.

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[CN: White supremacy] Danielle McLean at ThinkProgress: Under Trump, the 2020 U.S. Census Could Fail to Count 4 million Americans. "Republican efforts to rig the 2020 U.S. Census could leave more than four million people, including a large number of black and Latinx Americans, uncounted and unrepresented, according to a new study from the Urban Institute. The upcoming 2020 Census is facing 'unprecedented challenges and threats,' according to the report, thanks to the Trump Administration, which has done everything possible to ensure that minority populations are left uncounted, giving Republicans a huge edge during the 2021 congressional and state legislative redistricting process."

[CN: LGBTQx hatred] Felicia Sonmez and Carol Morello at the Washington Post: Pence Says Move to Bar Rainbow Flags Outside U.S. Embassies Was 'the Right Decision'. Yes, I'm sure he does, since it was probably at his direction. Also: This isn't news. Let me know when Mike Pence stops hating queer people for two seconds, because that would be news.

[CN: Trans hatred; death; carcerality] Jamie Ross at the Daily Beast: Trans Woman Who Died at Rikers Island Prison Was in Solitary. "Layleen Polanco was pronounced dead in her cell Friday afternoon, reportedly around an hour after a prison officer noticed she was unconscious. The exact cause of her death hasn't yet been determined. She was in the women's jail on Rikers, in a unit for transgender women, but was placed in solitary as punishment for allegedly taking part in a fight."

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And finally, let's end with some GOOD news...

Amanda Michelle Gomez at ThinkProgress: As Red States Try to Close Clinics, Maine Increases Number of Abortion Providers.
In September, Maine will start allowing health care professionals like nurses to perform abortions, thanks to a bill signed into law by Gov. Janet Mills (D) on Monday.

The law allows nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and other advanced practice clinicians to administer medication abortion and other in-clinic procedures. The number of clinics where aspiration abortion, the most common type of in-clinic procedure and used up to 16 weeks in pregnancy, is performed would increase from three to up to 18 — including in Aroostook County, among the poorest counties statewide, and where patients have had to travel over 150 miles for an in-clinic procedure.

"Allowing qualified and licensed medical professionals to perform abortions will ensure that Maine women, especially those in rural areas, are able to access critical reproductive health care services when and where they need them from qualified providers they know and trust," Mills said in a press statement. "These health care professionals are trained in family planning, counseling, and abortion procedures, the overwhelming majority of which are completed without complications."

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

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