Posted by Melissa McEwan at Friday, March 10, 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:
[Content Note: Video may autoplay at link] Pamela Brown and Jose Pagliery at CNN: Sources: FBI Investigation Continues into 'Odd' Computer Link Between Russian Bank and Trump Organization. "Federal investigators and computer scientists continue to examine whether there was a computer server connection between the Trump Organization and a Russian bank, sources close to the investigation tell CNN. Questions about the possible connection were widely dismissed four months ago. But the FBI's investigation remains open, the sources said, and is in the hands of the FBI's counterintelligence team—the same one looking into Russia's suspected interference in the 2016 election."
If you've lost track of that "widely dismissed" story from some months back, in November, I recommended this piece at Slate by Franklin Foer. And I'll go ahead and recommend it again, because it's a good summary and explanation of the server connection.
Relatedly: This thread details the finding that one of Wikileaks' IP addresses is hosted by the Russian Federation Moscow Mir Telematiki Ltd. Um.
Sharon Begley at STAT: House Republicans Would Let Employers Demand Workers' Genetic Test Results. "A little-noticed bill moving through Congress would allow companies to require employees to undergo genetic testing or risk paying a penalty of thousands of dollars, and would let employers see that genetic and other health information. Giving employers such power is now prohibited by legislation including the 2008 genetic privacy and nondiscrimination law known as GINA. The new bill gets around that landmark law by stating explicitly that GINA and other protections do not apply when genetic tests are part of a 'workplace wellness' program." This is a must-read piece. The consequences of this legislation are enormous, especially for marginalized people.
Kimberly Kindy at the Washington Post: House GOP Quietly Advances Key Elements of Tort Reform. "House Republicans are advancing a series of bills that would make changes to the civil justice system long sought by doctors and U.S. corporations, including a cap on some medical malpractice awards and new roadblocks for classes of people seeking to sue jointly to address harm. ...None of the four proposals has been aired in a congressional hearing. The House Judiciary Committee quietly voted along party lines to approve them over the past several weeks. House leaders 'are turning the legislative process into a kind of subterranean operation,' said Rep. Jamie B. Raskin (D-Md.), a leading opponent of the bills. 'While the populace is spellbound by [Trump], the conservatives in Congress are dismantling access to justice and our tort civil liability system.'" Also a must-read.
Earlier today, via the NYT's Julie Davis: "Per pool, Trump said ACA was designed to become 'a disaster' in 2017, 'that's the yr it was meant to explode, because Obama won't be here.'" So now Trump is accusing President Obama of sabotaging his own healthcare reform. For what reason? Same reason he tapped Trump Tower, I guess.
Elana Schor and Jennifer Haberkorn at Politico: Conservatives Want to Blow Up Senate Rules to Kill Obamacare. "A growing number of conservative lawmakers on Thursday urged GOP leaders to push the limits of how much of the health law they can reshape under a powerful procedural maneuver known as budget reconciliation—and to overrule the Senate parliamentarian if she doesn't decide in their favor. ...If the Senate changes precedent for what can be passed under reconciliation now, a future Senate—whether controlled by Republicans or Democrats—could enact a wide range of legislation with just a simple majority."
Eric Lipton and Suzanne Craig at the New York Times: With Trump in the White House, His Golf Properties Prosper. "On Memorial Day weekend, the Senior P.G.A. Championship will be held at the Trump National Golf Club in suburban Washington. In July, the company's course in Bedminster, N.J., is hosting another major event, the United States Women's Open. The company is also bidding to host the Scottish Open or a half-dozen other possible professional tournaments at courses it owns in spots around the world from Miami to Dubai. 'The stars have all aligned,' Eric Trump, who as executive vice president of the Trump Organization oversees all its golf properties, said on Thursday morning, while sipping an iced tea at the restaurant inside the Trump International Hotel before appearing at a promotional event for the Memorial Day tournament. 'I think our brand is the hottest it has ever been.'"
*cough* emoluments clause *cough*
[CN: Video may autoplay at link] Courtney Reagan at CNBC: Ivanka Trump's Brand Saw HUGE Online Surge in February. "Counselor to the president Kellyanne Conway got caught up in an ethics controversy for urging Americans to 'go buy Ivanka's stuff' during an interview on Fox News in early February saying 'you can find it online.' It turns out, shoppers did. Sales of Ivanka Trump merchandise dropped 26 percent online in January compared to January 2016, but the trend reversed in February. According to Slice Intelligence, online sales of Ivanka Trump merchandise swelled 207 percent in February from the prior month."
What great news all around for a great family! *jumps into Christmas tree*
[CN: Video may autoplay at link] Marina Fang at the Huffington Post: Congress Warns Donald Trump: Stop Deleting Your Tweets. "When Donald Trump or a member of his staff deletes a tweet, they may be violating federal law, two top congressmen warned the White House this week. Reps. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) and Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), chairman and ranking member of the House Oversight Committee, sent a letter to White House counsel Don McGahn on Wednesday expressing concerns about the Trump administration's record keeping habits and its nontransparent use of social media and other forms of electronic communication. One example the lawmakers cited is Trump's habit of misspelling and then deleting tweets, which they warned 'could pose a violation to the Presidential Records Act' if the deleted tweets are not archived."
Russell Berman at the Atlantic: Sam Brownback Might Not Be Governing Kansas Much Longer. "The president reportedly will name Governor Sam Brownback as the U.N. ambassador for food and agriculture, ending his second term nearly two years early." A promotion from his tanking governorship. Getting the same favor as the unpopular Mike Pence, though in a much less visible position.
[CN: War on agency] Nicole Knight at Rewire: Wyoming Went Decades Without New Abortion Restrictions, But Now Has Two. "The Republican-backed HB 182 requires doctors to inform patients seeking abortion care of the opportunity to view an ultrasound. HB 116, a GOP measure based on an anti-choice front group's discredited smear campaign against Planned Parenthood, makes it a crime punishable by up to 14 years in prison to sell, transfer, or distribute cells or tissues from an aborted fetus. [Republican Governor Matt Mead] reportedly signed the legislation at a ceremony attended by several dozen reproductive rights opponents."
Bryce Covert at ThinkProgress: Trump's Administration Is Nearly Three-Quarters Male So Far. "After ProPublica released a list of all the officials Trump has appointed to federal agencies, Bloomberg analyzed their gender breakdown through name analysis and crosschecking with public profiles. It found that of the 436 people hired by Trump so far, just 27 percent are women. Among the more high-profile 24 people nominated to his cabinet so far, just four are women—about 16 percent. Trump is on course to have a smaller share of women in his first cabinet than Presidents Obama or Clinton and on par with President George W. Bush."
What have you been reading that we need to resist today?