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: Militarization and war, covering next three paragraphs.] With more on the loosening of counterterrorism rules, which was yesterday's lead story, Greg Jaffe and Karen DeYoung at the Washington Post: Trump Administration Reviewing Ways to Make it Easier to Launch Drone Strikes. "The Trump administration is close to finishing a review that would make it easier for the Pentagon to launch counterterrorism strikes anywhere in the world by lowering the threshold on acceptable civilian casualties and scaling back other constraints imposed by the Obama administration, senior U.S. officials said. The ongoing review, which is being considered at senior levels of the National Security Council, would undo a series of rules that Obama imposed, beginning in 2013, to rein in drone operations outside active war zones."
Julian Borger at the Guardian: U.S. to Deploy Missile-Capable Drones Across Border from North Korea. "The US has declared it will permanently station missile-capable drones in South Korea in the latest round of military escalation in north-eastern Asia. ...The US military in South Korea took the unusual step of publicly announcing the deployment of a company of Grey Eagle drones, which it said would add 'significant intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capability' for American and South Korean forces."
Brad Reed at Raw Story: SEAL Team 6 Is Reportedly Helping Plan a 'Decapitation' Attack Against North Korea's Kim Jong-un. "According to news site JoongAng Daily, the SEAL Team—which carried out the raid that successfully killed Osama bin Laden in 2011—is joining with South Korean forces to conduct 'an exercise simulating the removal of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.' A Pentagon spokesperson tells Business Insider that the United States 'does not train for decapitation missions,' and denied that any U.S. forces were doing so in South Korea. However, the publication also notes that planning for such a strike would 'fit with a March 1 Wall Street Journal report that the White House is considering military action against the Kim regime.'"
All of the above is very, very concerning. I guess this answers my question about whether anyone at the White House is paying attention to what's happening in East Asia. But the answer is expectedly troubling.
[CN: War on agency] Sandhya Somashekhar at the Washington Post: CBO: Defunding Planned Parenthood Would Lead to Thousands More Births. "The analysts estimated that excluding the women's health organization from the Medicaid program for one year, as congressional Republicans have proposed, would particularly affect low-income areas and communities without many health care options, leaving 15 percent of those people 'without services that help women avert pregnancy.' ...The budget analysis 'reaffirms what we already know: the provision to 'defund' Planned Parenthood would have disastrous consequences and result in women losing access to care, especially services that help women prevent unintended pregnancies,' Dana Singiser, Planned Parenthood's vice president for public policy and governmental relations, said in a statement."
A follow-up on Trump's promise to donate his salary:
Shocking. (Presumably you read that with the dripping sarcasm in which it was slathered.)
[CN: Video may autoplay at link] Julie Hirschfeld Davis at the New York Times: Using Air Quotes, White House Walks Back 'Wiretap' Talk. "Two senior White House officials suggested on Monday that [Mr.] Trump's unsubstantiated claim that President Barack Obama had tapped his telephone was not meant to be taken literally, arguing that Mr. Trump had been referring more broadly to a variety of surveillance efforts during the 2016 campaign when he made the incendiary accusation. 'He doesn't really think that President Obama went up and tapped his phone personally,' said Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary." Such unmitigated codswallop.
Nick Wing at the Huffington Post: Everything We Know About Trumpland's Ties to Russia, from Start to Finish. "Our timeline documents 30 years of Trump and his circle's connections to Russia, which entered the spotlight in 2015 with the assembly of a campaign staff and platform that showed unprecedented levels of friendliness toward a historical adversary of the United States. The House Intelligence Committee will hold its first public hearing on the matter next week, which will hopefully provide further clarity about what all of this means, if anything."
[CN: Video may autoplay at link] Erik Larson at Bloomberg: Tillerson Used 'Alias' Email for Climate Messages, Schneiderman Says. "New York says Secretary of State Rex Tillerson used an email alias to discuss climate change while he was Exxon Mobil Corp.'s chief executive: Wayne Tracker. Tillerson sent messages from the account to discuss the risks posed by climate change, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said in a court filing about his office's fraud investigation of the company. Tillerson, whose middle name is Wayne, used the Wayne Tracker account on the Exxon system from at least 2008 through 2015, Schneiderman said." This fucking guy.
[CN: White supremacy] Chris Massie at CNN: Steve King: Blacks and Hispanics 'Will Be Fighting Each Other' Before Overtaking Whites in Population. "[King] was on the radio responding to a question about Univision anchor Jorge Ramos' comment to Tucker Carlson on Fox News that whites would become a majority-minority demographic in America by 2044, a point Ramos used to make the argument that it is a multiracial country. 'Jorge Ramos' stock in trade is identifying and trying to drive wedges between race,' King told Iowa radio host Jan Mickelson on 1040 WHO. 'Race and ethnicity, I should say to be more correct. When you start accentuating the differences, then you start ending up with people that are at each other's throats. And he's adding up Hispanics and blacks into what he predicts will be in greater number than whites in America. I will predict that Hispanics and the blacks will be fighting each other before that happens." Fuckkkkkkkkk this guy.
What have you been reading that we need to resist today?