We Resist: Day 888

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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: Keep Expecting MORE, Because It's Who You Are and Nativist Wreck Mark Morgan Appointed Acting Commissioner of Customs and Border Protection and Primarily Speaking.

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

[Content Note: Nativism; abuse]

I think we can all agree that if sitting senators are being disallowed from scrutinizing the conditions at "detention facilities" across the country, the situation is even more grim than we have imagined. Sob.

Rachael Bade, Matt Zapotosky, and Karoun Demirjian at the Washington Post: Mueller to Testify to Congress in Open Session About His Investigation. "Former special counsel Robert S. Mueller III will testify to Congress in a public session next month about his investigation of Russia's interference in the 2016 presidential campaign and possible obstruction of justice by [Donald] Trump, a reluctant witness long sought by House Democrats. The House Judiciary and Intelligence committees, in an announcement late Tuesday, said that 'pursuant to a subpoena,' Mueller has agreed to appear before both panels on July 17."

For fuck's sake, he should be testifying now. He shouldn't even have had to be subpoenaed to say whatever he knows, even at his own personal risk. There are people dying in concentration camps and out in the open along the southern border, and if that isn't urgent enough to light a fire under this guy's ass, then nothing ever will.

Meanwhile, Donald Trump now has nearly a month to leverage the power of his office to try to discredit (and publicly intimidate) Mueller, which naturally has already begun.

I'm not even going to attempt a transcript of that spittle-flecked nonsense. All you need to know is that Trump, on the phone live with Fox News, just accused Mueller, without evidence, of having deleted incendiary emails and texts between his team members (Lisa Page and Peter Strzok) in order to try to frame Trump for collusion.

He is unhinged, and it is frightening.

In addition to the fact that Trump is abusing his bully pulpit to try to discredit a federal investigator, i.e. obstruction, one thing that strikes me about this is that, unlike lots of times when Trump is obviously just lying to manipulate the press and his base, and you can hear the smugness in his voice indicating his delight at getting away with it, here he sounds authentically paranoid.

Which makes him way more dangerous, for a start, and also suggests he is truly losing what precious little mental stability he ever had.

We are in so much trouble.

During the same 45-minute phone call to Fox News, because the president has nothing better to do (as Mike Pence, Mike Pompeo, John Bolton, Stephen Miller, and Jared Kushner are running the country), Trump also further laid the groundwork for refusing to accept the 2020 election results (in the event he doesn't win):

He also made another reference to how he doesn't leave yesterday, in the context of a possible war with Iran, but the subtext once again wasn't very sub:

And the rampaging authoritarianism rampages onward...

Jamie Ross at the Daily Beast: NSA Collected U.S. Phone Records without Authorization — Again. "The National Security Agency has once again collected records about U.S. calls and text messages that it wasn't authorized to obtain, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal. In a second such incident, the NSA wrongly collected the numbers and time stamps of calls and text messages in October of last year — though it reportedly didn't obtain the content of the conversations. The documents showing the previously undisclosed move were obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union."

Jennifer Jacobs and Daniel Flatley at Bloomberg: Trump's Protocol Chief Is Quitting Just Before the G-20 Summit. "The Trump administration official in charge of diplomatic protocol plans to resign and isn't going to Japan for this week's Group of 20 meetings, where he would have played a sensitive behind-the-scenes role, according to people familiar with the matter. Sean Lawler, a State Department official whose title is chief of protocol, is departing amid a possible inspector general's probe into accusations of intimidating staff and carrying a whip in the office, according to one of the people." Fucking hell.

[CN: White supremacy; nativism] Richard L. Hasen at Slate: The Census Case Is Shaping Up to Be the Biggest Travesty Since Bush v. Gore. "The government's conduct in the pending Supreme Court case about adding a citizenship question to the census has gone from indefensible to outrageous. In the case, which is likely to be decided this week, Solicitor General Noel Francisco on Tuesday asked the Supreme Court to become complicit in a cover-up of discriminatory activity by doing something the court does not and cannot do: decide a legal issue that is not before it. If the court does so, any pretense of the legitimacy of the decision will be gone."

ICYMI yesterday: Stephanie Grisham, who is Melania Trump's communications director, will replace Sarah Huckabee Sanders as White House Press Secretary. The pool from which Trump is willing to draw his authoritarian sycophants keeps getting smaller and smaller — and Grisham seems like a real peach...

Antonia Noori Farzan at the Washington Post: New White House Press Secretary Yanked Arizona Reporters' Access After Critical Coverage. "Grisham asked members of the Arizona press corps to consent to what Stephenson called an 'invasive' background check into reporters' addresses, driving records, and criminal and civil histories. Journalists could decline, but if they did, they would be banned from the state's House floor, which was the only place to reliably buttonhole lawmakers."

So there's a new White House Press Secretary who has a history of punishing reporters for critical coverage and meanwhile reporters are partying with the outgoing Press Secretary, because everything is terrible:

So, if the Republicans in Congress are unwilling to hold Donald Trump accountable for anything, and the Special Counsel seems inclined to testify only to distance himself from the appearance of doing nothing while migrant children die, and a significant portion of the political press has their mouths too full of cake from a party with White House Nazis to speak truth to power, is there any glimmer of hope that Trump will face consequences for anything ever?

Well, here's one glimmer: A judge has ruled that Democrats' suit against Trump for violations of the emolument clause can move forward. The House Judiciary Democrats have a statement on the important ruling here.

Hold onto that glimmer as we move to this final bit...

[CN: Sexual violence] In a great piece for Slate on E. Jean Carroll's rape accusation against Donald Trump, Lili Loofbourow writes: "Of the allegations against Trump, Carroll's is among the most serious, and while she isn't the first to publish a first-person account (Natasha Stoynoff did, too) her approach is startlingly frank. ...By not saying the ordinary or expected things, Carroll tells the story of her rape differently. The lack of coverage it received despite or because of her efforts is evidence that survivors understand perfectly well that there are no good options."

And it is not just the lack of coverage that is a scandal all its own, despite Carroll's brave telling: Only two Republican Senators, Joni Ernst (herself a survivor) and Mitt Romney, have said the allegation should be investigated; others are saying flatly that they disbelieve her and/or are engaging in rank rape apologia; and one Democratic member of Congress, Rep. Jackie Speier, has called for a formal investigation but "questions remain over which committee might have jurisdiction over such a matter."

I said many times during the 2016 election that the contest between a history-making feminist female candidate and a confessed serial sex abuser was a referendum on how the United States values women. And we certainly have our answer.

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

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