We Resist: Day 883

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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: Putin Weighs in on Iran and Migrant Children Being Kept in Appalling Conditions and Primarily Speaking.

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

Erin Cunningham, Missy Ryan, and Dan Lamothe at the Washington Post: Trump Ordered Attack on Iran for Downing Drone, Then Called It Off, Citing Casualties.
[Donald] Trump ordered an attack on Iran on Thursday in retaliation for the downing of a surveillance drone in the Strait of Hormuz but called the operation off just before it was due to occur because it would have caused extensive casualties, he said Friday.

In a series of morning tweets, Trump said he called off strikes on three Iranian sites minutes before they were to be launched because he was informed of the likely loss of life among Iranians.

"We were cocked & loaded to retaliate last night on 3 different sights when I asked, how many will die," Trump tweeted. "150 people, sir, was the answer from a General. 10 minutes before the strike I stopped it."

Such a death toll was "not proportionate to shooting down an unmanned drone," Trump wrote, adding: "I am in no hurry, our Military is rebuilt, new, and ready to go, by far the best in the world. Sanctions are biting & more added last night. Iran can NEVER have Nuclear Weapons, not against the USA, and not against the WORLD!"

Trump's Friday morning tweets appeared to gloss over the fact that he was the one, as commander in chief, who had ordered the retaliation against Iran in the first place.
Unless he wasn't.

What kind of president only asks after ordering a military strike how many potential casualties there would be? The kind of president whose warmongering advisors are potentially the ones who really ordered the strike and the kind of president who needs a bullshit excuse to explain why he ended up stopping it after his puppet-master gave a public order to stand down.

I mean, are we really meant to believe that Donald Trump cares about sparing lives when he's actively facilitating the deaths of children in his concentration camps? Please. Donald Trump doesn't do anything out of compassion.

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[Content Note: Video may autoplay at link] Olivia Gazis at CBS News: Justice Department Review of Intel in Russia Probe Fuels Fears of Politicization. "A mix of concern, confusion, and defiance has spread through elements of the intelligence community as a murky picture emerges of Attorney General William Barr's review of its investigative and analytical work on Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. In particular, current and former intelligence officials are questioning the purpose and propriety of the attorney general's intention, first reported by The New York Times, to enlist John Durham, the U.S. attorney for the District of Connecticut, in scrutinizing the analytical judgments that led a group of agencies to conclude that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an influence campaign to boost then-candidate Trump's electability."

Absolutely chilling. This is straight-up intimidation of the intelligence community. They are no longer allowed to be patriots; they must only be loyal to Donald Trump.

Jamie Ross at the Daily Beast: Trump Threatened Time Magazine Reporter with Prison over Photo of Kim Jong Un Letter. "Donald Trump freaked out and threatened a Time magazine reporter with prison after the publication's photographer apparently tried to take a snap of a letter sent to him by Kim Jong Un. Trump reportedly asked to go off-the-record while he showed off the letter to reporters, but then became enraged after the photographer appeared to try to capture it. 'Excuse me— Under Section II— Well, you can go to prison instead, because, if you use, if you use the photograph you took of the letter that I gave you... Confidentially, I didn't give it to you to take photographs of it, so don't play that game with me,' the president is quoted as saying in the transcript."

This would have been unthinkable during another administration. This and the item above demonstrate how far removed we are from anything resembling normalcy in under three years of Trump's presidency.

Tierney Sneed at TPM: Will a Trump Trade Move Create an Election Mess for Overseas U.S. Voters?
The Trump administration has supported plenty of moves to make it harder to vote. But an under-the-radar action [Donald] Trump took last year, as part of his trade war with China, may be a case of him just stumbling into that outcome, election experts fear.

Trump is threatening to withdraw from the international body that oversees global mail delivery, putting at risk the stability and reliability of the current system of sending and receiving mail internationally.

Any disruption to the international postal service, voter advocates say, could make an already difficult process of casting ballots for Americans abroad even more complicated. Among those who stand to be affected are members of the military overseas, whose ability to vote while serving their country has always been a politically sensitive issue.
Yeah, so, I'm not inclined to pretend that this was an accident, nor that Trump just happened to "stumble" into yet another way to suppress the vote of a population highly likely to vote against him in large numbers. This is more of the Republican Party's overt democracy-killing fuckery. Goddammit.

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[CN: Nativism; abuse] Renée Feltz at Rewire.News: 'Willful Recklessness': Trump Pushes for Indefinite Family Detention. "With the 2020 election approaching, the Trump administration is taking steps to extend the detention of migrant families despite documented concerns from the medical community — including two doctors under federal contract to monitor the facilities where migrant families are held. ...The administration has buttressed its push to detain more families by arguing that few of them show up for their immigration court hearings if they are released." But that is a damnable lie: "Almost six out of every seven families released from custody had shown up for their initial court hearing."

Exactly one year ago, I warned that indefinite family detention was the objective. And here we are. FUCK.

David A. Fahrenthold, Josh Dawsey, Jonathan O'Connell, and Michelle Ye Hee Lee at the Washington Post: When Trump Visits His Clubs, Government Agencies and Republicans Pay to Be Where He Is. "In all, his scores of trips have brought his private businesses at least $1.6 million in revenue, from federal officials and GOP campaigns who pay to go where Trump goes, according to a Washington Post analysis. They gave Trump valuable marketing opportunities — to showcase his opulent properties on an international stage. Trump's preference for his own properties also has reshaped the GOP fundraising schedule, with benefits for the Trump Organization. About one-third of all the political fundraisers or donor meetings that Trump has attended — 23 out of 63 — have taken place at his own properties."

This should be a fucking scandal, and instead it's a blip. It's a profound, brazen violation of the emoluments clause, and Trump should be impeached for this self-enrichment alone, no less everything else he's doing.

I don't know where else to put this, so I'm just going to put it here:

And finally... [CN: Sexual harassment and abuse] Josh Israel at ThinkProgress: Roy Moore, Accused Child Molester and Twice-Removed Judge, Announces 2020 Senate Run. Fucking goblin.

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

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