Posted by Melissa McEwan at Wednesday, February 08, 2017
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:
[Content Note: War; death] David E. Sanger and Eric Schmitt at the New York Times: Yemen Withdraws Permission for U.S. Antiterror Ground Missions. "Angry at the civilian casualties incurred last month in the first commando raid authorized by President Trump, Yemen has withdrawn permission for the United States to run Special Operations ground missions against suspected terrorist groups in the country, according to American officials." More on that raid. This is massive commentary on Trump's failure in foreign policy already. And it's hardly in the news.
[CN: Islamophobia; violence; video may autoplay at link] Chris Edelson at the Baltimore Sun: Ordinary Americans Carried Out Inhumane Acts for Trump. "The men and women who [under orders pursuant to the administration's executive order on immigration] reportedly handcuffed small children and the elderly, separated a child from his mother, and held others without food for 20 hours, are undoubtedly 'ordinary' people. What I mean by that, is that these are, in normal circumstances, people who likely treat their neighbors and co-workers with kindness and do not intentionally seek to harm others. That is chilling, as it is a reminder that authoritarians have no trouble finding the people they need to carry out their acts of cruelty. They do not need special monsters; they can issue orders to otherwise unexceptional people who will carry them out dutifully."
[CN: Islamophobia; violence] Mark Joseph Stern at Slate: Just Following Orders. "Horror stories about the lawlessness of Customs and Border Protection agents in the aftermath of Trump's immigration ban."
We are three weeks into Donald Trump's presidency, and already people are "just following orders" to do heinous, unconstitutional things to fellow humans.
Jessica Mason Pieklo and Imani Gandy at Rewire: Gavel Drop: Trump's Immigration Order Unleashes Onslaught of Legal Motions and Questions. "After Trump's executive order on immigration created pandemonium in airports worldwide, the courts and local law enforcement are racing to keep up."
[CN: Video may autoplay at link] Ryan Browne at CNN: U.S. Military to Rent Space in Trump Tower. "Military support for a president, including the military staff assigned to keeping the "nuclear football" nearby, requires close proximity to the commander in chief, which is why the Pentagon needs to rent a more expensive space closer to the penthouse where Trump resides when he's in New York. After Trump's election, the US Secret Service investigated renting a floor in the same facility, a midtown Manhattan building that sits on one of the busiest streets in the country." The cost is "about $1.5 million a year" per floor.
Earlier today, Trump tweeted: "My daughter Ivanka has been treated so unfairly by @Nordstrom. She is a great person — always pushing me to do the right thing! Terrible!" 1. It is wildly inappropriate for a sitting president to shame a business for severing ties with a person who holds a position in the administration, which has created an illegal conflict of interest. 2. If Ivanka is indeed "always pushing [him] to do the right thing," she's doing a shitty job.
Ryan Lizza at The New Yorker: How Trump Could Seize More Power After a Terrorist Attack. "'[T]he only question is not what powers Trump might 'ask for,'' [Jack Goldsmith, a former senior Justice Department official in the George W. Bush Administration, who helped design the post-9/11 anti-terror legal architecture] said, 'but also what powers he might assert or assume or grab, and what he can get away with.'"
CNBC's Steve Kopack on Twitter: "Sheriff tells Trump that state senator is doing something he doesn't like. Trump: 'Do you want to give his name? We'll destroy his career.'" There is video at the link.
Tom Jackman at the Washington Post: Trump Makes False Statement About U.S. Murder Rate to Sheriffs' Group. In other words: Trump LIED. "Trump told the sheriffs, 'the murder rate in our country is the highest it's been in 47 years.' He blamed the news media for not publicizing this development, then added, 'But the murder rate is the highest it's been in, I guess, 45 to 47 years.' The country's murder rate is not the highest it's been in 47 years. It is almost at its lowest point, actually, according to the FBI, which gathers statistics every year from police departments around the country."
Margaret Hartmann at New York Magazine: Trump Called National Security Adviser for Late-Night Economics Lesson. "'President Donald Trump was confused about the dollar: Was it a strong one that's good for the economy? Or a weak one? So he made a call―except not to any of the business leaders Trump brought into his administration or even to an old friend from his days in real estate. Instead, he called his national security adviser, retired Lt. Gen. Mike Flynn, according to two sources familiar with Flynn's accounts of the incident. Flynn has a long record in counterintelligence but not in macroeconomics. And he told Trump he didn't know, that it wasn't his area of expertise, that, perhaps, Trump should ask an economist instead.' ...Is it possible the crackdown [on leaks] is already under way? The idea that the president is pestering aides for late-night tutorials in subjects they know nothing about as part of an elaborate scheme to root out leakers is certainly preferable to the alternative."
[CN: Disablism] S.V. Date and Christina Wilkie at The Huffington Post: Leaks Suggest Trump's Own Team Is Alarmed by His Conduct. "[W]hile leaks typically involve staffers sabotaging each other to improve their own standing or trying to scuttle policy ideas they find genuinely problematic, Trump's 2-week-old administration has a third category: Leaks from White House and agency officials alarmed by the president's conduct. 'I've been in this town for 26 years. I have never seen anything like this,' said Eliot Cohen, a senior State Department official under President George W. Bush and a member of his National Security Council."
Patricia Murphy at The Daily Beast: Sean Spicer Makes Up Atlanta Islamist Terror Attack. "White House press secretary Sean Spicer has repeatedly pointed to Atlanta, along with San Bernardino and Boston, as one of three U.S. cities that have been attacked by Islamist terrorists to argue that the Trump administration needed to act quickly to prevent another attack in the future. While the Boston bombing and shootings in San Bernadino were both carried out by Islamist terrorists, neither involved foreign nationals from the seven countries in Trump's executive order. There has never been an Islamist terror attack in Atlanta."
Ari Berman at The Nation: House Republicans Just Voted to Eliminate the Only Federal Agency That Makes Sure Voting Machines Can't Be Hacked. "In a little-noticed 6-3 vote today, the House Administration Committee voted along party lines to eliminate the Election Assistance Commission, which helps states run elections and is the only federal agency charged with making sure voting machines can't be hacked. The EAC was created after the disastrous 2000 election in Florida as part of the Help America Vote Act to rectify problems like butterfly ballots and hanging chads. (Republicans have tried to kill the agency for years.) The Committee also voted to eliminate the public-financing system for presidential elections dating back to the 1970s."
[CN: Disablism] Andy Towle at Towleroad: Ted Cruz Congratulated a Woman Suffering from MS at Last Night's Health Care Debate. "Thank you for sharing your story and congratulations on dealing with MS," Cruz said. "It's a terrible disease and congratulations on your struggles dealing with it."
Yessenia Funes at Colorlines: Army Files Court Papers to Greenlight Dakota Access Pipeline. "In an unexpected move, the Army Corps of Engineers filed court papers yesterday (February 7) to push the Dakota Access Pipeline through, as ordered by Donald Trump’s presidential memorandum January 24. The Department of Justice attorney Matthew Marinelli, who represents the Army, said in a procedural meeting yesterday (February 6) that the department was finalizing its decision and would announce it Friday (February 10) at the earliest. Instead, the Army filed a memorandum today to issue the easement within 24 hours and immediately terminate the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) process for the Lake Oahe crossing of the Missouri River."
Kyle Dropp and Brendan Nyhan at the New York Times: One-Third Don't Know Obamacare and Affordable Care Act Are the Same. "This finding, from a poll by Morning Consult, illustrates the extent of public confusion over a health law that President Trump and Republicans in Congress hope to repeal. In the survey, 35 percent of respondents said either they thought Obamacare and the Affordable Care Act were different policies (17 percent) or didn't know if they were the same or different (18 percent)." This is probably no surprise to anyone who's seen any number of those FB screenshots floating around, which demonstrate precisely this phenomenon.
What have you been reading that we need to resist today?