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:
Ryan Lizza at the New Yorker: How the White House and Republicans Blew Up the House Russia Investigation. "The evidence is now clear that the White House and Devin Nunes, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, have worked together to halt what was previously billed as a sweeping investigation of Russian interference in last year's election. 'We've been frozen,' Jim Himes, a Democratic representative from Connecticut who is a member of the Committee, said. ...The White House and Nunes were clearly coordinating this strategy."
Anna Palmer and Jake Sherman at Politico: White House Eyeing Young Lawyers for Judgeships: "The White House Counsel's office is interviewing lawyers in their late 30s and early 40s for federal judgeships, sources familiar with the matter told us. ...Placing younger candidates on the bench would ensure Trump's influence on the federal court system for decades."
By way of reminder (since I've mentioned this like two dozen times, as I'm the brokenest of broken records), Trump inherited more than 100 federal court vacancies, because: "Confirmation of Obama's judicial nominees slowed to a crawl after Republicans took control of the Senate in 2015."
[Content Note: Video may autoplay at link] Justin Sink and Matthew Townsend at Bloomberg: Trump to Meet with Cohn on Thursday to Discuss Tax Overhaul, Sources Say. "Donald Trump will be briefed Thursday on various ways to implement comprehensive tax code changes, as the White House shifts focus after the failed attempt to replace Obamacare. Trump will be presented with possible options by a group of administration officials including Gary Cohn, head of the National Economic Council, according to three people familiar with the meeting who asked not to be identified because the details are private. ...The presentation is the latest in an ongoing series of White House meetings to help the administration craft a tax plan and fulfill what Trump has described as a top legislative priority."
Jonathan O'Connell at the Washington Post: Trump's Company Pursues Second Washington Hotel. "Trump's company is actively seeking to open a second Washington hotel as part of a planned nationwide expansion, potentially creating another venue where he stands to benefit financially from customers doing business in the nation’s capital. ...Unlike the luxurious Trump International Hotel on Pennsylvania Avenue, which Trump and his family own, the more affordable Scion hotels would be owned by other developers who would pay the Trumps' company for licensing rights and management." Thief-in-chief.
[CN: Nativism] Tina Vasquez at Rewire: Trump Is Paving the Way for Erosion of Immigrants' Privacy Rights. "Largely overlooked in [Donald] Trump's January 25 executive order to 'enhance public safety' in the United States was a policy change effectively stripping foreigners and undocumented immigrants of privacy safeguards. 'Agencies shall, to the extent consistent with applicable law, ensure that their privacy policies exclude persons who are not United States citizens or lawful permanent residents from the protections of the Privacy Act [of 1974] regarding personally identifiable information,' section 14 of the executive order reads."
[CN: Nativism; Nazism; video may autoplay at link] Ed Mazza at the Huffington Post: Auschwitz Survivor Confronts ICE Director: 'History Is Not On Your Side'. "In a dramatic moment at a public forum on immigration Tuesday, 87-year-old Bernard Marks confronted U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Acting Director Thomas Homan. 'When I was a little boy in Poland, for no other reason but for being Jewish, I was hauled off by the Nazis,' Marks said. 'And for no other reason I was picked up and separated from my family, who was exterminated in Auschwitz. And I am a survivor of Auschwitz and Dachau.' Marks then proceeded to warn Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones, who hosted the event, against working closely with Homan to carry out the Trump Administration's strict deportation policies, which include stalking immigrants at courthouses. ...'We stand up here, Mr Jones, don't forget. History is not on your side.'"
News from the Conservative Legislation Lab, worth noting if you want to know what's coming down the Republican policy pike. Kaitlin L Lange at the Indianapolis Star: Tolls Possible on Some Indiana Interstates. "An Indiana Senate committee Tuesday pushed through plans to raise the gas tax by 10 cents and open Indiana interstate highways to tolling. ...Under the Senate proposal, Hoosiers would end up paying a total gas tax of 28 cents a gallon and a diesel tax of 22 cents per gallon by 2018. The measure also would remove the sales tax on diesel fuel. But the money-generating plan likely to garner the most raised eyebrows from Hoosier motorists would give the governor's office the option to impose tolls on interstate highways."
In case you haven't been following my decade of grousing about Indiana politics, I will remind you that Indiana privatized the toll road years ago, which jacked up the rates. That was supposed to provide revenue to maintain other roads. Now they are using road maintenance to justify these taxes and tolls. Welp.
And finally: A couple of good news resistance items!
Samantha Schmidt at the Washington Post: Two Activists Who Filmed Undercover Videos of Planned Parenthood Charged with 15 Felonies.
The two antiabortion activists who mounted a hidden-camera investigation against Planned Parenthood officials have been charged with 15 felony counts of violating the privacy of health-care providers by recording confidential information without their consent.YES! Couldn't have happened to a nicer lot.
In announcing the charges against David Robert Daleiden and Sandra Merritt on Tuesday, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said the duo used manufactured identities and a fictitious bioresearch company to meet medical officials and covertly record the private discussions they initiated.
"The right to privacy is a cornerstone of California's Constitution, and a right that is foundational in a free democratic society," Becerra said. "We will not tolerate the criminal recording of confidential conversations."
And, via my friend Tommy Christopher, video of Hillary Clinton explaining her new mantra: "Resist, Insist, Persist, Enlist."
You know, there's a little mantra I've been repeating to myself lately. A little silly—the kind of thing that pops into your head when you take a lot of long walks in the woods. [laughter]FUCK YEAH!
But as I think about the outpouring of activism we're seeing, despite all the noise and the nonsense, four words keep coming back to me: Resist, insist, persist, enlist.
We need to resist actions that go against our values as Americans, whether that's attacking immigrants and refugees, denying climate change, or passing bogus laws that make it harder for people to vote in elections. We need to resist bias and bullying. We need to resist hate and fear.
And we need to insist on putting people first, including by working together to make healthcare more affordable, to build on what works, to create better and more upwardly mobile education and employment ladders, to insist that we can do better. That's who we are! We're always pushing toward that more perfect union.
And then we need to persist, as we saw so dramatically in the Senate, when Mitch McConnell when after Senator Elizabeth Warren, and said, "Nevertheless, she persisted," in being told she could not read a letter from Coretta Scott King. [applause] So we need to persist, to approach future challenges with the passion we've seen these last few months, and then to bring that to the voting booth in 2018. To tell yourself, to tell your friends and your colleagues: No matter how you vote, show up and vote, for goodness sakes! [applause] Be there! Make sure your voice and your vote count.
And we need to enlist. Enlist in this effort. Get in the arena.
What have you been reading that we need to resist today?