We Resist: Day 53

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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.

* * *

Here are some things I've read today:

[Content Note: War; death] Charlie Savage and Eric Schmitt at the New York Times: Trump Administration Is Said to Be Working to Loosen Counterterrorism Rules.
The Trump administration is exploring how to dismantle or bypass Obama-era constraints intended to prevent civilian deaths from drone attacks, commando raids and other counterterrorism missions outside conventional war zones like Afghanistan and Iraq, according to officials familiar with internal deliberations.

Already, [Mr.] Trump has granted a Pentagon request to declare parts of three provinces of Yemen to be an 'area of active hostilities' where looser battlefield rules apply. That opened the door to a Special Operations raid in late January in which several civilians were killed, as well as to the largest-ever series of American airstrikes targeting Yemen-based Qaeda militants, starting nearly two weeks ago, the officials said.

Mr. Trump is also expected to sign off soon on a similar Pentagon proposal to designate parts of Somalia to be another such battlefield-style zone for 180 days, removing constraints on airstrikes and raids targeting people suspected of being militants with the Qaeda-linked group the Shabab, they said.

Inside the White House, the temporary suspension of the limits for parts of Yemen and Somalia is seen as a test run while the government considers whether to more broadly rescind or relax the Obama-era rules, said the officials, who described the internal deliberations on the condition of anonymity.
Rage. Seethe. Boil.

Earlier today, Trump held "a health care listening session at the White House." He opened by: 1. Not listening; and 2. Spouting off a stream of dogshit lies. Then he inappropriately grabbed a woman's hand, and was unable to answer why people have to meet deductibles each year. So it was a pretty terrific event all around. *jumps into Christmas tree*

Darren Samuelsohn at Politico: Trump's Mar-a-Lago Is Heaven—for Spies. "While Trump's private club in South Florida has been transformed into a fortress of armed guards, military-grade radar, bomb sniffing dogs and metal-detection checkpoints, there are still notable vulnerabilities, namely the stream of guests who can enter the property without a background check. And security experts warn that the commander in chief's frequent visits—four since he took office in January—afford an unprecedented opportunity for eavesdropping and building dossiers on the president's routines and habits, as well as those of the inner circle around him. They add that with each repeat visit, the security risk escalates."

Damian Paletta at the Washington Post: Trump Budget Expected to Seek Historic Contraction of Federal Workforce. "Trump's budget proposal this week would shake the federal government to its core if enacted, culling back numerous programs and expediting a historic contraction of the federal workforce. This would be the first time the government has executed cuts of this magnitude—and all at once—since the drawdown following World War II, economists and budget analysts said. ...Aides say that the president sees a new Washington emerging from the budget process, one that prioritizes the military and homeland security while slashing many other areas, including housing, foreign assistance, environmental programs, public broadcasting, and research."

[CN: Video may autoplay at link] Sam Levine and Sam Stein at the Huffington Post: After Refusing to Resign, U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara Was Fired by Trump Justice Department. "Preet Bharara, the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, and one of the most high profile federal prosecutors in the country, says he’s been fired after refusing to resign his post. In a full statement Saturday, Bharara reiterated that he had been fired. 'One hallmark of justice is absolute independence, and that was my touchstone everyday I served,' he said."

[CN: Sexual harassment] Zachary Pleat at Media Matters: U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara Was Investigating Fox News When Trump Fired Him. "Donald Trump's decision to fire U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara happened as Bharara's office was reportedly probing Fox News over its alleged failure to inform shareholders about repeated settlements for allegations of sexual harassment and assault by former Chairman and CEO Roger Ailes and other executives against female employees."

Ally Boguhn at Rewire: Trump's FDA Nominee has Fear Mongered About Obamacare's Birth Control Benefit. "Trump announced Friday that he would nominate Dr. Scott Gottlieb, who has deep ties to the pharmaceutical industry and has expressed anti-choice views, to head the Food and Drug Administration. ...Gottlieb has often attempted to stoke fears about the Obama administration's birth control benefit, falsely claiming that under the Affordable Care Act, women 'risk losing far more than they'll gain.'"

Greg Sargent at the Washington Post: Donald Trump's Deliberate Corruption of Reality-Based Governing. "We're seeing a broad White House effort to corrode the very ideal of reality-based governing, something that includes not just a discrediting of institutions such as the CBO but also the weakening of the influence of science and data over agency decision-making and the deliberate misuse of our democracy's institutional processes to prop up Trump's lies about his popular support and political opponents."

Ari Melber at NBC News: After Pledging to Donate Salary, Trump Declines to Release Proof. "Donald Trump pledged to forgo a presidential salary, but as his second payday approaches, the White House is declining to say if the president has donated any of his earnings yet. During the campaign, Trump promised he would take 'no salary' if elected—a pledge he reiterated after he won. 'I'm not going to the take the salary,' he said on CBS' '60 Minutes' in November. ...Trump aides have previously said Trump would donate his salary to the Treasury Department or a charity. MSNBC requested details and documentation about any salary donations from the White House, the Treasury Department and the Office of Personnel Management, which all declined to say whether Trump has donated any of his salary to date."

[CN: Homophobic slur; gay and trans hatred] Andy Towle at Towleroad: Gay Students at Oregon High School Received Death Threat in Gender-Neutral Bathroom. "Gay students at Grant High School in Portland, Oregon received a death threat in a gender-neutral restroom in late February and the school’s administration is under fire from students for their neglect in responding to the hateful message. ...A week has gone by, but Grant families haven't been told about the Feb. 27 graffiti, which has since been covered over with paint." Wow.

What have you been reading that we need to resist today?

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