We Resist: Day 901

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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: Barr Says Trump Can Ignore Supreme Court; Add Citizenship Question to Census and Amy McGrath to Challenge Mitch McConnell for His Senate Seat and Primarily Speaking.

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

Priscilla Alvarez and Jeremy Herb at CNN: House Democrats Plan Subpoenas for Jared Kushner, Trump Officials, and Immigration Documents.
The House Judiciary Committee moved Tuesday to authorize subpoenas for two separate issues: an array of documents and testimony related to the administration's immigration policies and to former and current Trump administration officials, including the President's son-in-law Jared Kushner, as part of its probe into potential obstruction of justice.

The committee is planning a Thursday vote to authorize the subpoenas, which would ratchet up the Democrat-led panel's investigation into possible obstruction of justice and examination of the Trump administration's immigration policies. The vote would allow Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler, a Democrat from New York, to issue the subpoenas at his discretion.

The committee has previously requested numerous documents related to immigration matters from the administration, but Tuesday's notice to authorize subpoenas is an escalation of those requests. It shows the committee is broadening the investigation into [Donald] Trump as Democrats weigh whether to start an impeachment inquiry and comes ahead of former special counsel Robert Mueller's testimony before the House Judiciary and Intelligence Committees next week.
Good. Hope this matters. Don't understand why it's taking so long to make these critical decisions.

Meanwhile... Katie Benner at the New York Times: Barr Says House Subpoenaed Mueller to Create 'Public Spectacle'. "Attorney General William P. Barr accused House Democrats on Monday of subpoenaing testimony from Robert S. Mueller III to 'create some kind of public spectacle,' rather than elicit facts, pointing to Mr. Mueller's declaration that he would discuss only the facts laid out in the Russia investigation report. ...He also called the idea that Mr. Trump worked with the Kremlin to subvert the election 'bogus' and said the early stages of his review of the Russia inquiry suggested that he needed to toughen protocol for investigating political candidates."

So, just to be clear, the Attorney General of the United States just publicly accused the Democrats of theater for expecting a Special Counsel to give testimony on his findings, and then suggested he will use the Russia inquiry as justification for investigating political candidates — which naturally means Donald Trump's Democratic opponents.

We are in so much trouble.

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[Content Note: Sexual violence] There is a lot about Jeffrey Epstein in the news today. I am frankly not inclined to cover this story ongoingly; it's easy enough to find updates if you are so inclined. If something notable happens, I will report it. Today, I will just recommend a piece at the Daily Beast by Vicky Ward, who tried to warn the world about Epstein 16 years ago and was silenced by her editor: Jeffrey Epstein's Sick Story Played Out for Years in Plain Sight.

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Michael Isikoff at Yahoo News: The True Origins of the Seth Rich Conspiracy Theory: A Yahoo News Investigation.
In the summer of 2016, Russian intelligence agents secretly planted a fake report claiming that Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich was gunned down by a squad of assassins working for Hillary Clinton, giving rise to a notorious conspiracy theory that captivated conservative activists and was later promoted from inside [Donald] Trump's White House, a Yahoo News investigation has found.

Russia's foreign intelligence service, known as the SVR, first circulated a phony "bulletin" — disguised to read as a real intelligence report —about the alleged murder of the former DNC staffer on July 13, 2016, according to the U.S. federal prosecutor who was in charge of the Rich case. That was just three days after Rich, 27, was killed in what police believed was a botched robbery while walking home to his group house in the Bloomingdale neighborhood of Washington, D.C., about 30 blocks north of the Capitol.
How/why in the hell would the Kremlin even know who he was, get news of his "random" murder which police attribute to a botched robbery, and have that narrative ready to go within 3 days?

If this report of the conspiracy theory's origins are indeed accurate, that looks to me like the Russians killed him with the intent of using his death to launch their prepared narrative — which was that Hillary Clinton had him killed.

Which only underscores the likelihood that the Kremlin had him killed: Every conspiracy theory has a grain of truth, and the grain of truth to this one is that someone had him killed. Fucking gods.

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[CN: Video may autoplay at link] Jonathan Cohn at the Huffington Post: Obamacare Is Going Back on Trial, with Insurance for 20 Million at Stake. "A federal appeals court is about to take up a Republican lawsuit that could wipe out the Affordable Care Act and, with it, health insurance for something like 20 million people. ...Now the case is before the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, where a panel of three judges will hear oral arguments on Tuesday. Two of the judges are Republican appointees and have ties to the conservative Federalist Society, just like the federal district judge who ruled in favor of the case in November." Goddammit.

D. Parvaz at ThinkProgress: Mike Pompeo Says 'We're Not Done' with Iran. "Speaking at the Christians United For Israel event in Washington, D.C., on Monday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo threatened that the Trump administration is 'not done' with Iran. 'We've implemented the strongest pressure campaign in history against the Iranian regime and we are not done,' said Pompeo, adding that U.S. sanctions have deprived Iran of funds it would have used 'to destroy the state of Israel.' (Iran has never been at war with Israel.)" Everything about that is terrifying.

Ann E. Marimow at the Washington Post: Trump Cannot Block His Critics on Twitter, Federal Appeals Court Rules.
[Donald] Trump cannot block his critics from the Twitter feed he regularly uses to communicate with the public, a federal appeals court said Tuesday, in a case with implications for how elected officials nationwide interact with constituents on social media.

The decision from the New York-based appeals court upholds an earlier ruling that Trump violated the First Amendment when he blocked individual users critical of the president or his policies.

"The First Amendment does not permit a public official who utilizes a social media account for all manner of official purposes to exclude persons from an otherwise open online dialogue because they expressed views with which the official disagrees," wrote Judge Barrington D. Parker in the unanimous decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit.
Exactly right. Trump can't simultaneously use Twitter to make official announcements and engage in foreign policy and generally do most of his daily presidenting from that platform, and also claim that he's allowed to block people. Nope. Doesn't work that way, pal.

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[CN: Gun violence; death]

[CN: White supremacist violence; eliminationism; death] David Williams at CNN: Police Say Man Cut Arizona Teen's Throat Because Rap Music Made Him Feel Unsafe. "Police say a man accused of fatally stabbing a 17-year-old in the throat at an Arizona convenience store told them he felt threatened because the teen had been listening to rap music. ...Witnesses told police that the man, who's been identified as Michael Paul Adams, 27, walked up behind the teen, grabbed him, and stabbed him in the neck, according to a probable cause statement obtained by CNN affiliate KPHO/KTVK. ...The witnesses told police that [the teen, Elijah Al-Amin] hadn't done or said anything to provoke the attack. One said Adams didn't say anything to the teen before stabbing him." Rage. Seethe. Boil.

I don't believe the killer was legitimately fearful (and it wouldn't justify murdering someone even if he were), but, given that's his explanation, here is some relevant reading: On Sitting with Fear.

[CN: Police brutality]

[CN: Ableism; suicidal ideation] Amanda Michelle Gomez at ThinkProgress: Chronic Nuisance Ordinances Are Forcing People with Disabilities out of Their Homes.
Emily Doe was nearly exiled from Maplewood, Missouri, because crisis hotline volunteers sent police to her home too many times within one year.

Emily, who's bipolar and suffers from anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder, called a crisis hotline because she was suicidal. Crisis volunteers sent emergency personnel to her house on three different occasions, and in one instance, she was taken to a psychiatric hospital for evaluation and treatment.

For doing what's medically recommended — that is, calling for help — Emily received a citation and summons from the City of Maplewood to attend an ordinance enforcement hearing for "generating too many calls for police services." Had the city determined her a "chronic nuisance," officials would have not only evicted Emily but revoked her occupancy permit, effectively exiling her from the community for at least six months.

"It's just so callous it's hard to believe," said Sejal Singh, co-author of a new paper titled "When Disability Is a 'Nuisance'" and published Monday in Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review.

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

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