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:
Michael R. Gordon at the New York Times: Russian Cruise Missile, Deployed Secretly, Violates Treaty, Officials Say. "Russia has secretly deployed a new cruise missile despite complaints from American officials that it violates a landmark arms control treaty that helped seal the end of the Cold War, administration officials say." The NYT promoted this with a tweet reading, in part: "Trump faces a new test." Shiver.
[Content Note: Video may autoplay at link] Lucas Tomlinson at Fox News: Russian Spy Ship off East Coast of U.S., Officials Say. "A Russian spy ship was spotted patrolling off the East Coast of the United States on Tuesday morning, the first such patrol since President Trump took office, two U.S. officials told Fox News. ...It was not immediately clear where the Russian spy ship is headed."
Considering the source on that second item (Fox News), one of two things is possible: Either this is true (yikes) or it's not true but the Trump administration wants us to think it is (yikes). That said, even the NYT piece appears to be sourced from the administration. Is that someone from the administration who is leaking good info because it's worth alarm, or someone from the administration who is leaking bad info to try to justify Trump's argument that we have to build bridges with Russia, in the wake of Flynn's resignation? That we can't know is chilling.
Ivan Krastev and Stephen Holmes at Foreign Policy: The Kremlin Is Starting to Worry About Trump. "[U]sing anti-Americanism as an ideological crutch has become much more dubious now that the American electorate has chosen as their president a man publicly derided as 'Putin's puppet.' What the Kremlin fears most today is that Trump may be ousted or even killed. His ouster, Kremlin insiders argue, is bound to unleash a virulent and bipartisan anti-Russian campaign in Washington. Oddly, therefore, Putin has become a hostage to Trump's survival and success. This has seriously restricted Russia's geopolitical options. The Kremlin is perfectly aware that Democrats want to use Russia to discredit and possibly impeach Trump while Republican elites want to use Russia to deflate and discipline Trump. The Russian government fears not only Trump's downfall, of course, but also the possibility that he could opportunistically switch to a tough anti-Moscow line in order to make peace with hawkish Republican leaders in Congress."
Everything is fine. *jumps into Christmas tree*
Because everything is not, in fact, fine, Democratic Reps. Elijah Cummings and Adam Schiff, who have been leading the charge in demanding independent investigations into Russian collusion, spoke out today at a press conference, bluntly condemning their Republican colleagues for their inaction.
CUMMINGS: Let me begin by asking everyone in this room a very simple question: Do you hear that? [long pause] Do you hear the silence? [pause] This is the sound of House Republicans conducting no oversight of President Trump. [holds up his hand making 'zero' gesture] Zero. That is what it sounds like when they abdicate their duty under the Constitution.
SCHIFF: All of this merits investigation. That investigation, I believe, ought to be done, in part, through the Intelligence Committee, as part of the investigation we're doing now, and I was very disappointed to see the Speaker [Paul Ryan] today unwilling to commit to investigate these communications between Flynn and the Russian ambassador. My feeling is, if the Speaker's not willing to commit to this, he ought to allow the formation of an independent commission and get out of the way—because these questions are far too important to go unanswered.Damn straight. Thank you, Rep. Cummings and Rep. Schiff, for hammering away at this. And shame on Paul Ryan and his entire caucus for their reprehensible lack of patriotism.
Mitch Prothero at BuzzFeed: U.S. Allies in Europe Have Literally No Idea What's Going on with the Trump Administration. "Already concerned by the Trump administration's erratic approach to the trans-Atlantic alliance, European security services have been shaken by the resignation of US National Security Advisor Michael Flynn over allegations he lied about his contacts with Russian diplomats, amid increasing concern that the new US administration is pursuing an uncomfortably close relationship with NATO's foremost rival, Russia. ...'I was hoping you could tell me what the fuck is going on over there,' said one European Union intelligence official who, like the other officials contacted, declined to speak about such a diplomatically sensitive situation on the record."
Gregory Korte at USA Today: White House Posts Wrong Versions of Trump's Orders on Its Website. "The White House has posted inaccurate texts of President Trump's own executive orders on the White House website, raising further questions about how thorough the Trump administration has been in drafting some of his most controversial actions. A USA TODAY review of presidential documents found at least five cases where the version posted on the White House website doesn't match the official version sent to the Federal Register. The differences include minor grammatical changes, missing words and paragraph renumbering—but also two cases where the original text referred to inaccurate or non-existent provisions of law."
Jim Acosta and Kevin Liptak at CNN: Secret Service Director Announces Retirement, Spokesperson Tells CNN. "United States Secret Service Director Joseph Clancy announced his retirement to the staff Tuesday, a spokesperson tells CNN." That one sentence is the entire story at the moment. Hopefully more info will be forthcoming. (That might mean a video that autoplays will be added, too, even though there's not one there as of this writing.)
Amy B. Wang at the Washington Post: A Canadian School District Won't Risk Field Trips to the U.S. After Trump's Executive Order. "A Canadian public school board is temporarily banning student travel into the United States, citing an uncertain political climate resulting from President Trump's now-frozen executive order on immigration. The Greater Essex County District School Board of Windsor, Ontario, has canceled field trips to the United States through at least February, as first reported by the Windsor Star. 'Paramount for us is student safety,' Clara Howitt, a school board superintendent, told the newspaper. 'We really don't know what will happen to our students at the border.'"
Not only is that a profoundly regrettable commentary on the U.S., but, as Mikki Kendall pointed out on Twitter, depressed tourism also signifies "no revenue for much of the US." This, among many other reasons, is why Trump's "jobs president" rap was always total horseshit.
[CN: Immigration raids; video may autoplay at link] Geneva Sands at ABC News: Homeland Security Chief Kelly Responds After Immigration Raids Spark Outrage. "The U.S. immigration agency arrested more than 640 people from California to Georgia to New York last week, Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said in a statement Monday. Kelly said the arrests were part of a series of enforcement operations across the country targeting 'public safety threats' as well as 'individuals who have violated our nation's immigration laws.' ...Earlier Monday, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) called on ICE to provide information about the location of the raids and details of people who were arrested. 'Reports that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) targeted nonviolent immigrant families over the past week are deeply disturbing. Undocumented immigrants live in fear, and they are confused and scared. I am troubled by the lack of transparency and potential due process violations surrounding ICE's most recent enforcement actions,' the New York senator said in a statement."
[Nativism; video may autoplay at link] Elise Foley at The Huffington Post: ICE Backs out of a Meeting on Deportation Raids with Members of Congress. "The head of Immigration and Customs Enforcement canceled a meeting with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus hours before it was set to occur on Tuesday―avoiding what would have likely been a tense summit with lawmakers who are furious over recent deportation raids. Congressional sources said that ICE Acting Director Thomas Homan would no longer attend a meeting scheduled for Tuesday afternoon. Spokespeople for ICE did not immediately respond to a request for comment."
Rachael Bade at Politico: Conservatives Fret GOP Is Blowing Obamacare Repeal. "House conservatives—anxious that the GOP’s effort to end Obamacare is getting bogged down in the fight over what a replacement should look like—are plotting a major push to repeal the law immediately without simultaneously approving an alternative. ...The position is at odds with GOP leadership's latest strategy to load up a spring repeal bill... The split in the conference s shows that even after six years of demanding repeal—and a month of unified government—Republicans are still struggling to get on the same page on how to do it."
What have you been reading that we need to resist today?