We Resist: Day 56

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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.

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Here are some things in the news today:

My coverage of the latest with the Muslim ban: Strike Two for Trump and His Gross Muslim Ban.

My coverage of Trump's budget proposal: Trump's Budget Proposal Suggests Devastating Cuts, to Boost Defense Budget.

Donald Trump met with the Irish Prime Minister today, and here's his favorite Irish proverb, which he shared in his prepared remarks:

As we stand together with our Irish friends, I'm reminded of that proverb—and this is a good one; this is one I like; I've heard it for many, many years, and I love it. "Always remember to forget the friends that proved untrue, but never forget to remember those that have stuck by you." We know that. Politically speaking, a lot of us know that. We know it well. [tepid laughter and applause]
Hearing the president talk about his enemies list through the prism of an Irish proverb makes it way more charming, don'tcha think?

House Oversight Dems at Medium: Flynn Received Funds From Instrument of Russian Government.
Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, sent a letter to President Donald J. Trump, Defense Secretary James Mattis, and FBI Director James Comey requesting information about whether Lt. General Michael Flynn fully disclosed—as part of the security clearance and vetting process for his return to government—his communications with and payments from Russian agents, Turkish agents, or any other foreign agents, as well as his payments from foreign sources.

As part of his letter, Cummings released new documents obtained by the Oversight Committee—including payment vouchers, international financial transaction logs, and detailed email exchanges with Russian media officials—showing that the Kremlin-backed media outlet known as RT paid more than $45,000 for Flynn's participation at a gala in Moscow in December 2015, during which he dined with Russian President Vladimir Putin, in apparent violation of the Emoluments Clause of the U.S. Constitution.

...The documents reveal that Flynn also received $11,250 from a Russian charter cargo airline and $11,250 from a top Russia-based cybersecurity corporation.
In related news, via Media Matters: Trump Ally Roger Stone Contacted Russian Hacker "At Least 16 Times During the 2016 Campaign". But, you know, nothing to see here. Move along. Spasibo.

Sofia Resnick and Amy Littlefield at Rewire: Exclusive: Why Did Mike Pence Fight So Hard to Keep This White Paper Secret? "Rewire has obtained a political white paper that Vice President Mike Pence has spent more than two years fighting to keep secret. This white paper details legal strategy shared with Republican governors in a 2014 email about the best way to challenge former President Barack Obama's order to provide temporary deportation relief to certain undocumented immigrants. ...The document focuses on what Republicans then claimed vociferously to be executive overreach by the Obama administration, a use of executive authority they now appear to at least tacitly support as employed by the Trump administration in its sweeping ban on immigrants from Muslim-majority countries." Keep your eyes on Mike Pence.

Trump has repeatedly said he will "soon" provide evidence that President Obama wiretapped Trump Tower, but somehow that evidence never materializes. Meanwhile...

Matt Shuham at TPM: Obama Chief of Staff: The President 'Can Not,' 'Did Not' Order a Wiretap. "Norah O'Donnell of 'CBS This Morning' asked Dennis McDonough, Obama's chief of staff from 2013 through 2017, about the 'multiple tweets by Donald Trump where he said President Obama has tapped my phones.' 'Is it legal for a sitting president to be wiretapping during–can the president order a wiretap?' she asked. 'The President can not order a wiretap,' McDonough responded. 'The President does not order a wiretap. The President did not order a wiretap.'"

[Content Note: Nazism; white supremacy] A couple of important stories today about Sebastian Gorka, Trump's deputy assistant and member of Steve Bannon's White House Strategic Initiatives Group. First, at Foreign Policy, Colin Kahl raises a concern about whether Gorka has a Top Secret or a Top Secret/Sensitive Compartmented Information security clearance. And at Forward, Lili Bayer and Larry Cohler-Esses detail that Gorka may be a sworn member of a Hungarian far-right anti-Semitic group, an affiliation which he did not disclose when applying for his visa nor his citizenship.

It shouldn't be all that difficult to straightforwardly answer "no" if you're not a member of a Nazi-allied white supremacist group.

Ylan Mui and John W. Schoen at CNBC: 600+ Companies Are Bidding to Build Trump's 'Border Wall'—Including One from Mexico. "Customs and Border Patrol has already begun soliciting ideas from businesses, with more than 600 submitting design concepts. The agency is expected to release two formal requests for proposals soon, one focusing on a concrete wall and another for other types of barriers. A CNBC analysis of the companies that have expressed preliminary interest in the project shows most of them are based in California and Texas—more than 100 vendors each—according to a government database. Only two states, Maine and Vermont, did not have any businesses apply as of early this week." Big business for bigotry!

Caitlin Dewey at the Washington Post: Immigrants Are Now Canceling Their Food Stamps for Fear That Trump Will Deport Them. "In the two months since Trump's inauguration, food banks and hunger advocates around the country have noted a decline in the number of eligible immigrants applying for SNAP—and an uptick in immigrants seeking to withdraw from the program. Their fear, advocates say, is that participation could draw the eye of Immigration and Customs Enforcement or hurt their chances of attaining citizenship. Without federal nutrition benefits, many are resorting to food pantries and soup kitchens to feed themselves and their children." Fucking hell.

Rebecca Kheel at the Hill: Trump Nominates Boeing VP for Deputy Defense Secretary. "Trump on Thursday nominated a top Boeing executive to be the second-highest-ranking civilian at the Pentagon. Trump announced Patrick Shanahan's nomination to be deputy Defense secretary... Trump was critical of Boeing during the transition, saying costs for the replacement Air Force One program—two new 747s—were 'out of control.' But Trump's tune appeared to change after meetings with the CEO of Boeing... Trump previously owned stock in Boeing. A spokesman said in December that he'd sold it but offered no proof." Cool.

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

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