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:
Scott Shane, Matt Mazzetti, and Matthew Rosenberg at the New York Times: WikiLeaks Releases Trove of Alleged CIA Hacking Documents. "WikiLeaks on Tuesday released thousands of documents that it said described sophisticated software tools used by the Central Intelligence Agency to break into smartphones, computers, and even Internet-connected televisions.If the documents are authentic, as appeared likely at first review, the release would be the latest coup for the anti-secrecy organization and a serious blow to the CIA, which maintains its own hacking capabilities to be used for espionage."
I'll just go ahead and turn it over to Malcolm Nance for the commentary on this one:
Donald Trump has been busy tweeting bullshit again this morning, and one of his tweets reads: "122 vicious prisoners, released by the Obama Administration from Gitmo, have returned to the battlefield. Just another terrible decision!" This is just demonstrable bullshit. Glenn Kessler, the Washington Post's Fact Checker columnist, replied to Trump: "Totally false! Data from DNI—which you oversee—says only 9 were released under Obama and 113 under Bush."
Michael Crowley at Politico: Kremlin-Backed Media Turns on Trump. "Kremlin-controlled news outlets used to root for Donald Trump's election. Now they're reveling in the chaos and division of his early presidency." Yes. Because complimenting a self-aggrandizing, brittle-egoed authoritarian is the Step One to earn his trust, and then abandoning him is Step Two in facilitating the insecurity and chaos his rival can then exploit. If I recall correctly (AND I DO), there were plenty of people with a passing acquaintance with Putin and authoritarian regimes who predicted exactly this would happen, if Trump were elected.
Matt Zapotosky, Sari Horwitz, and Sean Sullivan at the Washington Post: Top Justice Nominee Won't Commit to Special Counsel for Russian Influence Probe. "Deputy attorney general nominee Rod Rosenstein refused to commit Tuesday to appoint a special counsel to oversee investigations of Russian meddling in the presidential election—though he stressed that he did not yet know the facts of the matter. At his Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing, Rosenstein said that he was 'not aware' of any reason he would not be able to supervise such probes—though since he was not yet in the No. 2 role in the Department of Justice, he did not know the particular facts of any case."
[Content Note: Islamophobia] Christine Grimaldi at Rewire: Trump's Revised Muslim Ban Is Still a Muslim Ban. "Donald Trump's newly revised decree 'protecting the nation from foreign terrorist entry into the United States' amounts to the same unfounded Muslim ban that a federal appeals court blocked last month. ...The executive order again implements a 90-day ban on entry to the United States from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen—six of the seven previously designated countries. ...Refugees from around the world won't be able to find safe haven on U.S. soil, as the newest Muslim ban—like the original—caps the number of refugees at 50,000 for fiscal year 2017."
[CN: Islamophobia] Patrick Wintour at the Guardian: UN Says Trump's Revised Travel Ban Will Worsen Plight of Refugees. "The UN high commissioner for refugees, Filippo Grandi, said refugees were not criminals but 'ordinary people forced to flee war, violence, and persecution in their home countries.' The secretary general, António Guterres, pointedly made an emergency visit to Somalia, saying people were dying in the country due to famine."
As Sarah Kendzior points out on Twitter, the Muslim ban has already negatively affected the travel industry. "This will only increase economic problems, affecting service industry as well." And researchers at Harvard Medical School and MIT have found the Muslim ban "could reduce the number of doctors in areas with high percentages of Trump supporters."
Jeremy Herb and Bryan Bender at Politico: Trump Plan Pays for Immigration Crackdown with Cuts to Coastal, Air Security. "The Trump administration wants to gut the Coast Guard and make deep cuts in airport and rail security to help pay for its crackdown on illegal immigration, according to internal budget documents reviewed by POLITICO—a move that lawmakers and security experts say defies logic if the White House is serious about defending against terrorism and keeping out undocumented foreigners." That's because the objective isn't actually safety. It's white supremacy.
Steve Benen at MSNBC: Following Sessions' Mar-a-Lago Appearance, New Ethics Questions Arise. "Over the last five weekends, the president has visited his luxury resort four times—each trip costs American taxpayers about $3 million—and as of [Sunday] night, Trump had spent 31% of his presidency at Mar-a-Lago. He's now played golf eight times since taking office six weeks ago. ...[And] we've reached the point at which the attorney general of the United States is a prop for members at the president's for-profit club."
Mallory Shelbourne at the Hill: White House Appears to Copy from Exxon Mobil Release. "A White House press release congratulating Exxon Mobil Corp. for its recent investment in U.S. manufacturing repeats an exact paragraph from the oil company's own release." The takeaway here is that the White House is just letting corporations write their press releases for them.
Caitlyn Stulpin at NJ.com: First Import of Russian Steel Arrives at New Paulsboro Port. "On Wednesday, Doric Warrior made its final leg of a long journey to Paulsboro from Russia. The ship, 230 meters long, carried the first shipment of steel to the Paulsboro Marine Terminal. ...Gary Stevenson, mayor of Paulsboro, was the last to speak and he said the port opening is the start of what will make Paulsboro great again."
[CN: Racism] Yessenia Funes at Colorlines: Confidential Memo Claims DAPL Route Doesn't Disproportionately Impact Poor Communities. "Robert Bullard, the unofficial father of environmental justice who has written and studied the issue since the 1980s, told InsideClimate News that the analysis and methodology 'was designed intentionally to somehow minimize and mask the impacts of this project on the Standing Rock community.'"
[CN: Homophobia] Michael Fitzgerald at Towleroad: New Jersey Garden State Equality LGBT Rights Group Office Vandalized in Possible Hate Crime. "The offices of New Jersey LGBT rights group Garden State Equality were vandalized over the weekend while its director was on the premises. Executive Director Christian Fuscarino said he was inside the office on Saturday evening preparing for an event when two people smashed the building's glass front door, where a rainbow flag was draped."
What have you been reading that we need to resist today?