Posted by Melissa McEwan at Wednesday, February 15, 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:
Naturally, Donald Trump has tweeted about the Flynn resignation. In one tweet, he wrote: "This Russian connection non-sense is merely an attempt to cover-up the many mistakes made in Hillary Clinton's losing campaign." In another: "The fake news media is going crazy with their conspiracy theories and blind hatred. @MSNBC & @CNN are unwatchable. @foxandfriends is great!"
He also said during a joint press conference with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu—which was also frightening for many other reasons—that Flynn was treated unfairly by the media.
I literally wrote just yesterday: "Another possibility, of course, is that Trump wants to be able to retain the right to say that the media forced Flynn out with a witchhunt, so his supporters, who are standing by and vociferously defending Flynn, don't turn on him." He is so predictable. And so are his supporters. I knew they would stand by Flynn because Flynn, with his rank Islamophobia, retweeted anti-Semitism, and open meeting with Austria's white supremacist Freedom Party leader, Heinz-Christian Strache, is a most beloved figure of Trump's "alt-right" supporter base. I don't have a crystal ball; I just pay attention.
Eric Lichtblau at the New York Times: Jeff Sessions Resists Pressure to Remove Himself in Russia Inquiries. "Attorney General Jeff Sessions faced growing pressure on Tuesday to remove himself from any role in investigating President Trump’s aides and their relationship with Russia, but advisers to Mr. Sessions said he saw no need to do so. ...'This is a dangerous area, and one where the attorney general ought to proceed with caution,' [Richard Ben-Veniste, a prominent Democratic lawyer who worked on the Watergate special counsel's investigation] said. Any suggestion that Mr. Sessions was allowing politics to enter into the investigation 'would be a tremendous blow to his credibility,' he added." Such as it is.
Thomas E. Ricks at Foreign Policy: Robert Harward Plans a Housecleaning of Trump's National Security Council Staff. "Donald Trump offered the job of national security advisor to retired Vice Adm. Robert Harward on Monday night, and was a bit surprised when Harward responded by saying he needed a couple of days to think it over. If, as expected, Harward accepts the job today, he is likely to bring in his own team, from deputy on down, with a focus on national security types with some experience under their belts." And then the leaks end. Which is not necessarily a good thing, in this case, given everything that's happening.
Andy Towle at Towleroad: 20 House Dems: Flynn Needs to Testify Before House Foreign Affairs Committee. "Twenty House Democrats led by Rep. David Cicilline have called for the House Committee on Foreign Affairs to investigate National Security Advisor Michael Flynn's affairs with Russia in a letter to Chairman Ed Royce. Read the letter [pdf] HERE."
Sherrilyn Ifill at the Washington Post: The President Lays the Groundwork for a Nationwide Voter Intimidation Program. "[T]he president and his team's peculiar repetition of claims about voter fraud must be recognized for what it is: They are laying the groundwork for forthcoming efforts. We should prepare for the president to issue a sweeping executive order requiring a nationwide investigation of alleged voter fraud. The justification for it will be as unmoored from facts, as was the basis for the seven Muslim-majority countries selected for the president's travel ban. And the results will be just as, if not more, pernicious. A presidential command to investigate the existence of a phenomenon that has been demonstrated not to exist can accomplish only one thing—a nationwide system of voter intimidation authorized at the highest levels of government."
Dan Levine and Kristina Cooke at Reuters: Mexican 'DREAMer' Nabbed in Immigrant Crackdown. "The man's lawyers say this could be the first time under U.S. President Donald Trump that a person covered by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, has been taken into immigration custody. The program was established in 2012 by Democratic President Barack Obama to allow those brought to the country while young to attend school and work. Ethan Dettmer, a partner in the law firm Gibson Dunn & Crutcher and one of the lawyers representing the man, Daniel Ramirez Medina, said he is not aware of any other DACA recipient who has been arrested." The ICE spokesperson justified the arrest by saying Ramirez is a "self-admitted gang member" and that he was taken "into custody based on his admitted gang affiliation and risk to public safety." But Ramirez denies being in a gang and ICE "declined to elaborate further on how ICE established the man was a member of a gang." Chilling.
(Remember what I wrote about "protection" of white people being used to justify abhorrent white supremacist policy? That's what I mean. Right there.)
Amanda Holpuch at The Guardian: Refugees Seeking Urgent Medical Care Imperiled by Immigration Crackdown. "On 27 January, Trump banned refugees and people from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the US. People who were banned from entering the US included dozens of patients who had been screened and were set to receive urgent medical care at the country's top hospitals. ...[A]n appellate court blocked enforcement of the order last week. That court's decision may have saved lives." But Trump's minions are reportedly rewriting the executive order, so this isn't yet over, unfortunately.
Margaret Hartmann at New York Magazine: Omarosa Manigault Produces Secret Recording of White House Dispute With Journalist. "April Ryan, American Urban Radio Networks' White House correspondent, claims Omarosa Manigault, a White House communications official, 'physically intimidated' her last week during an argument just outside the Oval Office. Ryan said Manigault also mentioned that the White House keeps dossiers of negative information about Ryan and several other African-American journalists. On Tuesday, Manigault tried to disprove these allegations by sharing parts of a recording of the dispute with reporters. ...Rather than resolving the matter, the recording raised new questions about how it was obtained. 'I didn't know she was taping it,' Ryan said. 'This is about her trying to smear my name. This is freaking Nixonian.'"
Hannah Devlin at The Guardian: Trump's Likely Science Adviser Calls Climate Scientists 'Glassy-Eyed Cult'. "Happer also supports a controversial crackdown on the freedom of federal agency scientists to speak out about their findings, arguing that mixed messages on issues such as whether butter or margarine is healthier, have led to people disregarding all public health information."
Nicole Knight at Rewire: ACA Repeal Would Have Outsized Impact on Women of Color. "Of the nearly 8 million women at risk of losing insurance coverage under a GOP-led repeal of the ACA, two-thirds are women of color, an analysis released Tuesday suggests. The state-by-state analysis by the National Women's Law Center (NWLC) found the ACA's repeal would most imperil the coverage of women enrolled in Medicaid, including working women insured through Medicaid and women of color. The Republican repeal effort would hurt women across partisan lines, jeopardizing women's insurance coverage in red and blue states alike."
What have you been reading that we need to resist today?