We Resist: Day 13

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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.

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Here are some things I've read today:

Donald Trump has encouraged Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell to "go nuclear" if the Democrats try (AS THEY SHOULD) to block the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch.

TRUMP (in response to a reporter's question asking if he would encourage McConnell to use "the nuclear option" if Democrats filibuster): Well, I think there's a certain dishonesty if they go against their vote from not very long ago, and he did get a unanimous endorsement, and he's somebody that should get it. I mean, you can't do better, from an educational, from an experience, from any standpoint. A great judge; he'll be a great justice. So, no, I feel that it's very dishonest if they go about doing that. And, yes, if we end up with the same gridlock they've had in Washington for the last—longer than eight years, in all fairness to President Obama, a lot longer than eight years—but if we end up with that gridlock, I would say, 'If you can, Mitch, go nuclear.' Because that would be a [sic] absolute shame if a man of this quality was caught up in the web. So I would say it's up to Mitch, but I would say go for it, okay?
Of course he would. I mean, why have the nuclear option if you can't use it, right?

[Content Note: Video may autoplay] Peter Schroeder at The Hill: GOP Changes Rules to Push Through Nominees After Dem Boycott. "Senate Republicans pushed through a pair of President Trump's Cabinet nominees Wednesday, upending standard committee rules to circumvent a Democratic boycott. The Senate Finance Committee advanced a pair of Trump's nominees with only Republican members present—Steven Mnuchin to head the Treasury Department, and Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.) as secretary of Health and Human Services. By unanimous consent, the Republicans gathered in the hearing room agreed to change the committee's standing rules, which normally require at least one member of each party to be in attendance for committee work to proceed."

Russia continues its offensive in Ukraine, which as Michael Crowley notes, "could be extremely revealing of Trump intentions." (There's no "if" about the offensive, though, Crowley.)

[CN: Bigotry] Ashe McGovern at Rewire: Trump Attempts to Pit LGBTQ Communities, People of Color, and Women Against Muslim Refugees and Immigrants. "On the whole, the order is dangerous, misguided, and deeply rooted in this administration's commitment to a xenophobic, racist, and Islamophobic agenda. However, two sections in particular highlight a manipulative tactic that is becoming standard practice within the Trump administration: obscuring the destructive impact of an action on some marginalized communities by couching it in a feigned concern for 'protecting' others."

[CN: Islamophobia] Julian Borger at the Guardian: UN Chief Decries Discriminatory Border Bans in Rebuke to Trump Travel Decree. "António Guterres, the new UN secretary general said on Wednesday, in a clear response to the Trump administration's refugee ban, that border policies based on religion, ethnicity or race were 'against the fundamental principles and values on which our societies are based'." Trump wanted to pick a fight with the UN, and now he's got one.

Paul Waldman at the Washington Post: Steve Bannon is the most powerful person in the Trump White House. That should terrify us. "Steve Bannon, President Trump's senior strategist, is emerging as the most powerful person in the White House. That's not the problem; somebody has to occupy that perch. The problem is what Bannon wants to do with it. He has spectacularly grand ambitions, to transform our country and its place in the world. His is an ethno-nationalist vision in which America leads a clash of civilizations, and there's little reason to think he'd be at all displeased if that clash engulfed the entire globe. There's also little reason to think that Donald Trump would mind."

[CN: Violence] Kenneth P. Vogel at Politico: Trump Security's Use of Force Questioned. "Donald Trump's private security lacked basic procedures and policies—including for the use of force—giving guards free rein during the campaign and transition to physically confront protesters and journalists they found objectionable, according to hours of deposition transcripts in a civil lawsuit." I previously wrote about Trump's insistence on retaining his private security team, a security structure that a former Secret Service agent described as "playing with fire."

[CN: Violence; death] Spencer Ackerman, Jason Burke, and Julian Borger at the Guardian: Eight-Year-Old American Girl 'Killed in Yemen Raid Approved by Trump'. "President Donald Trump personally approved a US commando raid in Yemen that left one elite serviceman dead and may have killed an eight-year-old American girl, the US military has told the Guardian. At least 14 people died in Sunday's raid by the elite Joint Special Operations Command, which is now the subject of a preliminary inquiry to determine if allegations of civilian deaths are sufficiently credible to merit a full investigation." By way of reminder, Trump said during the campaign: "With the terrorists, you have to take out their families. When you get these terrorists, you have to take out their families." Which is a war crime.

Matt Shuham at TPM: Harley-Davidson Reportedly Cancels Trump's Visit Over Planned Protests. "A Harley-Davidson factory in Milwaukee backed out of hosting President Donald Trump later this week due to plans for large protests, an anonymous administration official told CNN. ...The official told CNN that while Harley-Davidson was fine with having Trump sign executive orders at its factory, the company was hesitant to host the President amid protests." As my pal T.R. notes: "This is VERY important. Trump is basically a media company. If his PR is disrupted like this for 4 years, it will damage his propaganda."

[CN: Video may autoplay] Phil Mattingly at CNN: Treasury Secretary Nominee's Foreign Money Links Bring New Scrutiny. That's a remarkably benign headline for a story that includes this passage: "In a private interview with committee staff, aides said, Mnuchin acknowledged that his responses to the committee had not, as he had stated, been 'true, accurate, and complete.' He twice was forced to revise his initial disclosure questionnaire. He stated his role in the entities was 'inadvertently missed' during the disclosure process." In other words, he lied and got busted.

Goldie Blumenstyk at the Chronicle of Higher Ed: Jerry Falwell Jr. Says He Will Lead Federal Task Force on Higher-Ed Policy. "Jerry L. Falwell Jr., president of Liberty University, has been asked by President Trump to head up a new task force that will identify changes that should be made to the U.S. Department of Education's policies and procedures, Mr. Falwell told The Chronicle on Tuesday." OH HELL NO.

[CN: Video may autoplay] US Weekly: First Lady Melania Trump May Stay in NYC Permanently and Never Move Into the White House. Melania Trump is reportedly staying in NY to provide consistency for their young son Barron, which is good enough reason, but many people have speculated that it's also because she wants distance from her husband, who, as we all know, is an abuser of women. I respect her right to live her own life however she sees fit no matter the reason (even as I acknowledge a Democratic First Lady would never get away with this without much more significant criticism).

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

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