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: Nativism] At Rolling Stone, Tim Dickinson has more on the story about which I wrote yesterday, regarding passengers being asked for ID after deplaning from a domestic flight.
In a statement to Rolling Stone, a spokesperson for CBP said the agency had been asked "to assist in locating an individual possibly aboard Delta flight 1583" who had been "ordered removed by an immigration judge." The spokesman added that CBP agents "requested identification from those on the flight" but that ultimately "[t]he individual was determined not to be on the flight."Deeply troubling.
Rolling Stone asked CBP to point to its statutory authority to stop and examine the identity documents of deplaning domestic passengers. The spokesman sent a link to a document titled CBP Search Authority. The document refers to CBP's authority to inspect international arrivals. Specifically, it cites 19 C.F.R. 162.6, which states, "All persons, baggage and merchandise arriving in the Customs territory of the United States from places outside thereof are liable to inspection by a CBP officer." The CBP document adds: "CBP has the authority to collect passenger name record information on all travelers entering or leaving the United States." (Emphasis added.)
Asked to clarify CBP's authority over domestic passengers, the spokesman replied that "at this time this is all I have."
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Today at CPAC, Donald Trump gave an address (during which he mentioned Hillary Clinton, because of course he did, and the crowd chanted "Lock her up!" because of course they did), and the whole thing was obviously horrific, but his section was particularly chilling:
TRUMP: All of our military, all of our military—offensive, defensive, everything—bigger and better and stronger than ever before—and hopefully we'll never have to use it, but nobody's gonna mess with us, folks. Nobody. [cheers and applause] It will be one of the greatest military build-ups in American history. No one will dare question, as they have been, because we're very depleted—very, very depleted—sequesture. Sequesture. Nobody will dare question our military might again. We believe in peace through strength, and that's what we will have. [cheers and applause]Who the fuck even knows what "sequesture" is supposed to mean, since that is not a word. But, more importantly: Remember that this is the guy who wanted to know why we had nukes if we couldn't use them. So, in addition to all the other reasons why a massive military build-up is a terrible idea, we'd be building a giant, immensely deadly toy with which Trump would want to play.
And this follows immediately on the heels of Trump saying he wants to put the U.S. nuclear arsenal "at the top of the pack," which has prompted Kremlin officials to warn/threaten that Trump's belligerence could unleash a new arms race.
If you think the Cold War was scary under Reagan and Gorbachev (and it fucking was) (and they ended it!), two men who at least had the wherewithal to prioritize self-preservation over muscle-flexing obliteration because they keenly understood the stakes of mutually assured destruction, just imagine what a reboot would look like under Trump and Putin. Maude save us all.
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Also at CPAC:
Crowd at CPAC waving these little pro-Trump flags that look exactly like the Russian flag. Staffers quickly come around to confiscate them. pic.twitter.com/YhPpkwFCNc— Peter Hamby (@PeterHamby) February 24, 2017
Philip Rucker and Robert Costa at the Washington Post: Bannon Vows a Daily Fight for 'Deconstruction of the Administrative State'. "The reclusive mastermind behind President Trump's nationalist ideology and combative tactics made his public debut Thursday, delivering a fiery rebuke of the media and declaring that the new administration is in an unending battle for 'deconstruction of the administrative state.' ...Appearing at a gathering of conservative activists alongside Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, Bannon dismissed the idea that Trump might moderate his positions or seek consensus with political opponents. Rather, he said, the White House is digging in for a long period of conflict to transform Washington and upend the world order."
This is probably a good time to recall that Bannon once described himself as a Leninist, because "Lenin wanted to destroy the state, and that's my goal too. I want to bring everything crashing down, and destroy all of today's establishment."
Meanwhile, the Hill profiled Bannon and promoted it with this shit: "Bannon shows softer side at rare public appearance at CPAC." Stop. Normalizing. White. Supremacy.
Speaking of white supremacy... Ned Resnikoff at Think Progress: High-Ranking Trump Official Has Extensive Ties to European Neo-Fascists. "A deputy assistant to President Donald Trump has spent years working closely with members of Hungary's anti-Semitic hard right, according to a Friday report from The Forward, a publication for American Jews. The report says Sebastian Gorka, who advises the White House on national security, co-founded a political party with former members of Jobbik, which is frequently described as a fascist party. Gorka—who once said it would be 'national suicide' to admit Muslim refugees—also spent time working for the Hungarian National Committee, a Jobbik-linked coalition led in part by the head of the ultra-nationalist 64 Counties Youth Movement, according to The Forward."
This is probably a good time to recall that erstwhile NatSec Advisor Michael Flynn met with the leader of Austria's white supremacist Freedom Party at Trump Tower. And that a number of Trump's team have close ties to white supremacist organizations.
[Content Note: Nativism] Francis Wilkinson at Bloomberg: Yes, Mass Deportations Are Coming. And We Know Why. "So we have a new policy that promises to identify millions of undocumented immigrants as criminals. We have memos from the head of DHS authorizing agents to remove all such criminals. We have new policies to make enforcement actions more aggressive and removals speedier. Finally, we have a direction from Kelly 'to expeditiously hire 10,000 agents and officers, as well as additional operational and mission support and legal staff necessary to hire and support their activities.' Roughly 5,800 ICE employees are Enforcement and Removal Officers. Kelly's surge would take that number to almost 16,000, with still more staff to support their removal efforts. There isn't much doubt about what this adds up to. Trump has laid the legal basis for mass deportations, and Kelly has organized his department to conduct them. In addition, he seeks a drastically larger deportation force, the purpose of which can only be more deportations."
In addition to the fundamental indecency of this mass deportation plan, as Edward Helmore reports at the Guardian, mass deportations would devastate the economy in many ways, including the potential to "resonate up to the top of the housing chain, testing the entire system in ways that are both novel and not clearly understood."
Russ Choma at Mother Jones: Donald Trump's Mystery $50 Million (or More) Loan. "A recent Wall Street Journal article noted that Trump pays a minimum of $4.4 million a year in interest in connection with his loan from Chicago Unit Acquisition LLC. His disclosure form states he pays the prime interest rate plus 5 percent for this loan. (Consequently, Chicago Unit Acquisition would have at least that much in annual revenue, though none is reported.)"
[CN: Homophobia; video may autoplay at link] Wanda Moore at WPTV: LGBT Church in Palm Beach Gardens Vandalized. "Vandals pulled down the electrical wires at the Metropolitan Community Church of the Palm Beaches, causing an electrical surge and frying all computers, telephones, and their organ." This, too, is not happening in a vacuum.
What have you been reading that we need to resist today?