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:
Ishaan Tharoor at the Washington Post: Beyond Flynn, Other Ties Bind the White House to the Kremlin. "First, there surely is more to come on the extent of Russian involvement in last year's election, with law enforcement agencies in the United States increasingly certain that Moscow actively worked to help Trump win. The Russian establishment, including close Putin allies, publicly basked in Trump's victory. Now, some Pentagon officials say they have 'assumed that the Kremlin has ears' inside the White House ever since Trump's inauguration, according to controversial former counterintelligence official John Schindler." Incredibly, this piece headlined about Trump administration ties to Russia doesn't even mention the name Rex Tillerson, our shiny new Secretary of State, who has deep ties to Russia.
All of which has led the Pentagon to assume that "the Kremlin has ears inside the SITROOM," and led some intelligence personnel to withhold information from the Oval Office. Terrific.
[Content Note: Video may autoplay at link] Kevin Liptak at CNN: At Mar-a-Lago, Trump Tackles Crisis Diplomacy at Close Range. Another way to put that is: Trump openly discussed national security issues in front of an audience of randos. He has no discretion. He has no respect for our national security. Good thing we spent a year talking about Hillary Clinton's fucking emails. Anyway. Here's what happened:
Sitting alongside Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, with whom he'd spent most of the day golfing, Trump took the call on a mobile phone at his table, which was set squarely in the middle of the private club's dining area.This is appalling. And, if that weren't enough, Trump also used the Japanese Prime Minister as a prop to impress wedding guests at his resort. As Chelsea Clinton observed: "How many of Mar-a-Lago's new members will be (already are?) members of foreign intelligence agencies & media organizations?" It's almost impossible to overstate the many ways in which this reckless, careless president has already made us less safe less than a month into his presidency.
...As Mar-a-Lago's wealthy members looked on from their tables, and with a keyboard player crooning in the background, Trump and Abe's evening meal quickly morphed into a strategy session, the decision-making on full view to fellow diners, who described it in detail to CNN.
Mallory Shelbourne at The Hill: Trump: Media Won't Report on 'Enthusiastic Supporters' at Mar-a-Lago. He's actually complaining about the media not covering people fawning all over him, after he had foreign policy discussions right in front of strangers. His big concern is not keeping this nation safe, but about whether he's getting enough attention.
Imagine being President of the United States and still feeling like you're not getting enough attention. https://t.co/1A3hBn29i8— Melissa McEwan (@Shakestweetz) February 1, 2017
True then, true now, true forever.
[CN: Video may autoplay at link] Brian Chappatta at Bloomberg: America's Biggest Creditors Dump Treasuries in Warning to Trump. "From Tokyo to Beijing and London, the consensus is clear: Few overseas investors want to step into the $13.9 trillion U.S. Treasury market right now. Whether it's the prospect of bigger deficits and more inflation under President Donald Trump or higher interest rates from the Federal Reserve, the world's safest debt market seems less of a sure thing—particularly after the upswing in yields since November. And then there is Trump's penchant for saber rattling, which has made staying home that much easier." I have a lot of concerns about this, not least of which is that it could be used to justify austerity measures that will, of course, harm vulnerable people the most.
Austin Grabish at the CBC: Newcomer Centre Has No More Room for Border-Crossing Refugees. "A Winnipeg centre that welcomes and houses newcomers is putting out a public call for help after getting another surge of asylum-seekers over the weekend. Welcome Place, a temporary home for newcomers in Winnipeg, is full and has no more rooms for refugee claimants who may still be coming to the city Sunday." This is partly because migrants and refugees are crossing the border from the U.S. into Canada, because they are worried about racial and/or religious persecution under Trump.
Liz Robbins and Caitlin Dickerson at the New York Times: Immigration Agents Arrest 600 People Across U.S. in One Week. "Federal immigration officials arrested more than 600 people across at least 11 states last week, detaining 40 people in the New York City area, law enforcement officials said on Sunday."
E.J. Dionne Jr. at the Washington Post: The Next GOP Assault on Voting Rights. "The Senate rejected Sessions as a judge 31 years ago. But now that he is our chief law enforcement officer, holding him accountable for how he vindicates or undermines civil rights and voting rights is a central task. So is rallying against all efforts in Republican-controlled states to pass new laws restricting the franchise, as many of them already have. The Department of Justice can't be counted on to stop them."
Ari Berman at The Nation: The Trump Administration's Lies About Voter Fraud Will Lead to Massive Voter Suppression. "The Trump Administration's sham investigation into voter fraud will be a prelude to future suppression efforts, which could include forcing states to purge their voting rolls in inaccurate and discriminatory ways; launching bogus prosecutions that target voters of color, like Sessions did as US Attorney; switching sides in existing Justice Department cases by backing restrictive voting laws in court; and pressing Republicans in states and Congress to pass voter-ID laws and proof of citizenship requirements to register."
Juliet Eilperin at the Washington Post: Trump Undertakes Most Ambitious Regulatory Rollback Since Reagan. "The fallout is already rippling across the federal bureaucracy and throughout the U.S. economy, affecting how dentists dispose of mercury fillings, how schools meet the needs of poor and disabled students, and whether companies reject mineral purchases that fuel one of the world's bloodiest conflicts. The campaign has alarmed labor unions, public safety advocates, and environmental activists, who fear losing regulations that have been in place for years, along with relatively new federal mandates."
And meanwhile, as Judd Legum observes on Twitter: "Republican leaders admit, when it comes to Trump, they have no principles whatsoever." They have zero inclination to provide checks and balances on Trump's chaotic power grab, because they just want his signature on their heinous legislation.
Elliott Lustig on Twitter: "Your government is part of a White Nationalist global Axis." Noted as Republican members of Congress meet with France's Marine Le Pen.
Taegan Goddard at Political Wire: Ross Plans to Keep Stakes In 11 Companies. "'Wilbur Ross Jr. plans to keep millions of dollars invested in offshore entities whose values could be affected by policies that he implements as commerce secretary,' the Wall Street Journal reports."
[CN: Transphobia] Chris Geidner at BuzzFeed: The Justice Department Is Taking A Step Back From Efforts To Protect Transgender People Under Existing Law. "On just the second day of Attorney General Jeff Sessions' tenure at the helm of the Justice Department, the federal government filed a notice in the lawsuit Texas and other states had brought against the Obama administration's pro-transgender policies."
Michelle D. Anderson at Rewire: Wisconsin State Employees Could Soon Be Without Abortion Coverage. "Wisconsin state employees would have to pay out of pocket for abortion care under a bill sponsored by Republican state legislators. The measure would prohibit the state's unelected Group Insurance Board from entering into a health insurance plan contract or providing a 'group health insurance plan on a self-insured basis' that covers abortion care."
What have you been reading that we need to resist today?