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.
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Here are some things I've read today:
Josh Rogin at the Washington Post: The State Department's Entire Senior Management Team Just Resigned. Holy shit. "Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's job running the State Department just got considerably more difficult. The entire senior level of management officials resigned Wednesday, part of an ongoing mass exodus of senior foreign service officers who don't want to stick around for the Trump era." On the one hand, this is an incredible display of resistance. On the other, who the hell are they going to get to fill those positions? As I have said before: "Even if Trump WANTED a cabinet of qualified career bureaucrats, they don't want the jobs." And that is very scary. Because when qualified and competent people don't want anything to do with an administration, their jobs get filled by people who are unqualified and incompetent. Which leaves us all in grave danger.
And that's not all. At the AP, Elliot Spagat and Alicia A. Caldwell report: Border Patrol Chief Out Day After Trump Border Fence Decree. "The chief of the Border Patrol has left the agency that's in charge of securing America's borders with Mexico and Canada. According to a U.S. official and a former official, Border Patrol agents have been told that Mark Morgan is no longer on the job. It's not immediately clear whether Morgan resigned or was asked to leave." On Twitter, Wesley Lowery notes: "For context: Law enforcement source describes Mark Morgan as a careerist, not political. Extremely well respected."
Josh Marshall at TPM: Wow, It Gets Bigger.
Last night I noted that a top Russian spy who is the number two person in the FSB department which allegedly oversaw the US election hacking operation had been arrested and charged with treason. Was he a sacrificial lamb and olive branch to Trump? A way for Putin to claim that his spy services had perhaps gone rogue? Or was he suspected of being a source to US intelligence? People who fall from grace in Putin's Russia are often dealt with with trumped up criminal prosecutions. But treason is a special charge.I'm (regrettably) fairly confident that the answer to that question is "yes."
Well, now we have reports that Sergei Mikhailov is suspected of being a US asset at the heart of Russian intelligence.
...[T]his immediately poses the question: if Mikhailov was a US asset, how was he compromised? Did the information put out by US intelligence somehow lead to his exposure? Without putting too fine a point on it, a number of close advisors to President Trump are being scrutinized for ties to Russia. Some of them participated in the intelligence briefings the President receives. Do we have a very big problem?
Charles M. Blow at the New York Times: A Lie by Any Other Name. "Donald Trump is a proven liar. He lies often and effortlessly. He lies about the profound and the trivial. He lies to avoid guilt and invite glory. He lies when his pride is injured and when his pomposity is challenged. Indeed, one of the greatest threats Trump poses is that he corrupts and corrodes the absoluteness of truth, facts, and science." Do read the whole thing.
Matt Zapotosky at the Washington Post: Trump Wants to Empower Local Police to Enforce Immigration Law, Raising Fears of Racial Profiling. "President Trump on Wednesday directed his homeland security secretary to deputize local law enforcement officials to enforce immigration laws, a move that civil rights advocates fear could embolden police to racially profile those they encounter. The directive came as part of a sweeping executive order that cracks down on people in the country without documentation and the cities that don't readily hand them over for deportation." This is, literally, one step away from Ihre papiere, bitte.
Sophia Tesfaye at Salon: 'I'm Begging FEMA for Boots on the Ground': Donald Trump Leaves GOP Leaders Begging for Aid After Deadly Storms in the South. "NBC News reported that Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant sent a letter to Trump pleading for help after four people were killed in his state and more than 1,000 homes were damaged in one county alone. Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal expanded a state of emergency in his state—where 15 people have been confirmed dead—from seven counties to 16 on Monday afternoon and extended the order through Jan. 30. Chris Cohilas, Georgia's Dougherty County commission chairman, said he was 'begging FEMA for boots on the ground' and 'asking President Trump to cut through the red tape and get people on the damned ground here.'"
Glenn Thrush at the New York Times: Trump's Voter Fraud Example? A Troubled Tale With Bernhard Langer. "The witnesses described the story this way: Mr. Langer, a 59-year-old native of Bavaria, Germany—a winner of the Masters twice and of more than 100 events on major professional golf tours around the world—was standing in line at a polling place near his home in Florida on Election Day, the president explained, when an official informed Mr. Langer he would not be able to vote. Ahead of and behind Mr. Langer were voters who did not look as if they should be allowed to vote, Mr. Trump said, according to the staff members—but they were nonetheless permitted to cast provisional ballots. The president threw out the names of Latin American countries that the voters might have come from." Emphasis mine.
Trump still taking his cues from Fox News. All the guy does is watch TV and either repeat what he hears, or rails against it.
Doomsday Clock Closer to Midnight in Wake of Donald Trump Election. Terrific.
Media Matters: Alex Jones Says Infowars Has Been Invited to Trump's White House Press Briefings. Which the White House denies. Which I don't believe, because I have no reason to trust them. Good lord.
Jeremy W. Peters at the New York Times: Pence Will Speak at Anti-Abortion Rally. Of course he will. Rage seethe boil.
Margaret Hartmann at New York Magazine: Paul Ryan: U.S. Will 'Front Money' for Border Wall, Devise Plan to Make Mexico Pay Later. "He didn't elaborate, but according to CNN, during the Republican lawmakers' retreat in Philadelphia this week, Ryan said they could push through a special spending bill dedicated to the wall in the next few months."
David Agren and Ben Jacobs at the Guardian: Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto Cancels U.S. Visit over Trump's Order to Build Border Wall. We are going to be the rump end of the free world in short order.
Trump's approval rating is now at 36%. Buyer's remorse. From buyers who should have paid some bloody attention.
What have you been reading that we need to resist today?