We Resist: Day 12

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One of the difficulties in resisting the Trump administration, the Republican Congressional majority, and Republican state legislatures 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.

* * *

Here are some things I've read today:

Trump started out the day, in typical fashion, by tweeting. Two this morning:

More cruel mockery of Schumer, and a sinister Othering that sets the Democrats outisde of "us" and "our." The Democrats should be "ashamed" for not "giving" Trump and his people what they want. Very troubling.

In good related news: Senate Democrats will be boycotting votes on Steve Mnuchin (Treasury nominee) and Tom Price (HHS nominee), because they don't believe the nominees have been honest nor have they been fully vetted. What that means is that neither nominee can move forward. They are stalled without a quorum as long as the Dems boycott. Betsy DeVos (Education nominee) has been voted out of committee and moves on to a full Senate vote, but all 11 Democrats on the committee voted NO.

(Why Dems did not take the boycott approach on DeVos and Sessions, I cannot tell you. There's still time for them to boycott a committee vote on Sessions, but, if they don't, I suspect it's because they don't believe he actually lied under oath. Still: They could boycott on decency/qualification grounds all the same. And should.)

Trump's shock and awe campaign of aggressive indecency during his first days in office is already having geopolitical consequences for all of us:

Reuters (emphasis mine):
President Donald Trump has joined Russia, China and radical Islam as a threat to Europe, the president of the European Council Donald Tusk said on Tuesday.

...Saying the E.U. faces its biggest challenges in its 60-year history, the senior official said an "assertive China," "Russia's aggressive policy" toward its neighbors, "radical Islam" fueling anarchy in the Middle East and Africa were key external threats. These, he said, "as well as worrying declarations by the new American administration, all make our future highly unpredictable."

Tusk's remarks were among the strongest directed at the new U.S. president since Trump took office 11 days ago and reflects a growing sense in many European capitals of a need to respond to his policy moves, notably the ban at the weekend on the entry of refugees and others from seven Muslim-majority countries.
New York Times (emphasis mine):
From defense treaties to trade pacts, foreign leaders are struggling to gauge whether they can depend on the United States to honor its commitments. They are sizing up a fickle president whose erroneous remarks on small issues cast doubt on what he might say on the big ones — the future of NATO, say, or the Iran nuclear deal — that involve war and peace.

Mr. Trump spent the weekend in a round-robin series of phone calls with foreign leaders, clearly designed to settle nerves. But from Tokyo and Beijing to London and Berlin, foreign officials are watching the president's false assertions with alarm, unsure of whether they can trust him and wondering whether that will undermine their dealings with Washington.

"If he's telling lies on relatively unimportant things, like the size of the crowd at his inauguration or whether or not it rained on his parade, that's not of great importance in the overall scheme of things," said Peter Westmacott, a former British ambassador to the United States. "But as I used to say to my staff," he added, "if I can't rely on you to get the small things right, how can I count on you to do so on things that really matter?"
CNN [video may autoplay]: "Members of the UK parliament are to hold a debate on President Donald Trump's controversial state visit. The debate, which will be held in the House of Commons on February 20, comes after a petition calling for the invite to be scrapped attracted over 1.6 million signatures."

Apart from everything that Trump Co. is doing to destroy this country inside our borders (and along our borders), he is making us indescribably less safe by alienating our allies around the world.

And speaking of our borders: "Trump's top advisors on immigration, including chief strategist Steve Bannon and senior advisor Stephen Miller, see themselves as launching a radical experiment to fundamentally transform how the U.S. decides who is allowed into the country and to block a generation of people who, in their view, won't assimilate into American society."

And speaking of Bannon:
Even before he was given a formal seat on the National Security Council's "principals committee" this weekend by President Donald Trump, Bannon was calling the shots and doing so with little to no input from the National Security Council staff, according to an intelligence official who asked not to be named out of fear of retribution.

"He is running a cabal, almost like a shadow NSC," the official said. He described a work environment where there is little appetite for dissenting opinions, shockingly no paper trail of what's being discussed and agreed upon at meetings, and no guidance or encouragement so far from above about how the National Security Council staff should be organized.

...During the first week of the Trump administration, there were no SOCs [summary of conclusions], the intelligence official said. In fact, according to him, there is surprisingly very little paper being generated, and whatever paper there is, the NSC staff is not privy to it. He sees this as a deterioration of transparency and accountability.
So, just to be clear on those last two stories: Bannon is "launching a radical experience to fundamentally transform" U.S. immigration policy using the prism of white supremacy, and there is no paper trail.

Finally, this is just a real headline in the New York Times: "State Dept. Officials Should Quit if They Disagree With Trump, White House Warns." Dissent will not be tolerated. Purge thyself, or be purged.

We are in dark days, my friends. Very dark days.

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

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