Will One Distract From The Other?

Not only did the Hobbit Troll refuse to back down from his royal Twitter decree that trans folks will no longer be allowed to serve in the military, this afternoon he formalized the discrimination by signing a directive barring them from joining the armed forces forthwith. However,

[It] gives Defense Secretary Jim Mattis wide discretion in determining whether those already in the armed forces can continue to serve.

The criteria Mattis will use to determine a trans individual’s worth is unclear. What is clear: however one may feel about militarism, the exclusionary policy is a shocking blow to LGBTIQ rights in America. It’s a situation that requires a focused and immediate response from The Resistance.

Which is why almost immediately after the news broke, Trump pardoned that lifelike facsimile of a human being, Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

President Trump on Friday pardoned Joe Arpaio, the former Arizona sheriff whose aggressive efforts to hunt down and detain undocumented immigrants made him a national symbol of the divisive politics of immigration and earned him a criminal contempt conviction.

In a two-paragraph statement, the White House said that with Mr. Arpaio’s years of “admirable service to our nation, he is worthy candidate for a presidential pardon.”

The effect of the pardon is twofold. Opponents of Trump are forced to figure out where to pool their resources. Do they direct their outrage to the directive, the pardon or both? Will railing against one steal oxygen from the other? Will stridently objecting to the directive and the pardon mute their impact on both issues?

And of course, both actions are gift-wrapped presents for the president’s “deplorable” base. Since they’re the only ones who seem to want to keep that awful boor around, when they’re happy, he’s happy.

Sunday News Corral

Sean Spicer is that boss who awkwardly stands over your shoulder while you try to work.

Upon entering Spicer’s office for what one person briefed on the gathering described as “an emergency meeting,” staffers were told to dump their phones on a table for a “phone check,” to prove they had nothing to hide.

Spicer, who consulted with White House counsel Don McGahn before calling the meeting, was accompanied by White House lawyers in the room, according to multiple sources.

There, he explicitly warned staffers that using texting apps like Confide — an encrypted and screenshot-protected messaging app that automatically deletes texts after they are sent — and Signal, another encrypted messaging system, was a violation of the Presidential Records Act, according to multiple sources in the room.

Frank Rich suggests the rollback on the transgender bathroom rule was just the beginning.

RedadAlertas is a new open-source app that notifies undocumented immigrants when raids are coming.

In Washington State, Governor Jay Inslee has directed employees not to cooperate with the federal government on matters of immigration.

Why does the Trump administration support state rights when it helps their anti-trans agenda but not when it comes to legal recreational marijuana? In response, the State of California and the marijuana lobby are consulting with their legal departments.

Stephen Miller wanted to clarify the public perception of his attitude on race relations.

Free from AK Press through the end of the month: A Tilted Guide To Being A Defendant by The Tilted Scales Collective.

Rather than being a how-to guide, this book offers a way of thinking about criminal charges that is based on defendants’ goals: personal, political, and legal. This book was written by dedicated legal support activists and draws on the wisdom of dozens of people who have weathered the challenges of trials and incarceration.

Support for Obamacare is at an all-time high.

What’s the difference between Tea Party protests and the liberal protests of today? State GOP lawmakers didn’t attempt to legislate their protests away.

“The Screwed Generation”? That seems about right.

The Economist is concerned the president is re-configuring conservatism.

Leftists are so swole these days.

And now for something that will preserve your anonymity online (and let you access the Deep Web, if you’re into that sort of thing): Tor Browser.

The Tor software protects you by bouncing your communications around a distributed network of relays run by volunteers all around the world: it prevents somebody watching your Internet connection from learning what sites you visit, it prevents the sites you visit from learning your physical location, and it lets you access sites which are blocked.

Tor can be easily and safely download here.

It’s day thirty-eight of year zero in Trump’s America…