We Resist: Day 71

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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:

Amanda Terkel at the Huffington Post: Senate Intelligence Committee Denies Immunity to Michael Flynn in Russia Probe. "Flynn told the FBI and congressional officials that he would be willing to testify in their investigations into Russia's involvement in the elections if he could receive immunity from prosecution, The Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday. NBC reported Friday that the Senate Intelligence Committee turned down Flynn's request for immunity, telling [Flynn's lawyer, Robert Kelner] it was 'wildly preliminary' and 'not on the table' at this time. The Huffington Post confirmed the report with a Senate staffer. The committee declined to comment." Well that was fast!

Meanwhile, from the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee...

No word yet on where the committee chair, Rep. Devin Nunes, stands on giving Flynn immunity. Ahem.

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Mike Allen at Axios: Trump, Baffled and Brooding.
Trump brought his chaos-and-loyalty theory of management into the White House, relying on competing factions, balanced by trusted family members, with himself perched atop as the gut-instinct decider. He now realizes this approach has flopped, and feels baffled and paralyzed by how to fix it, numerous friends and advisers tell us.

"Trump is thinking through his frustrations," said one Washington wise man close to the West Wing. "The team didn't put the windows in right."

The chaos dimension has created far more chaos than anticipated. Come nightfall, Trump is often on the phone with billionaire, decades-long friends, commiserating and critiquing his own staff. His most important advisers are often working the phone themselves, trashing colleagues and either spreading or beating down rumors of turmoil and imminent changes.

This has created a toxic culture of intense suspicion and insecurity. The drama is worse than what you read.
Emphasis mine.

This is such bad news. There is no good to come for the country of a White House in utter disarray, led by a president who trusts no one and has no clue how to fix the profound dysfunctionality around him.


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Elizabeth Spiers at the Washington Post: I Worked for Jared Kushner. He's the Wrong Businessman to Reinvent Government. "I worked for Kushner for 18 months as he tried to infuse a much smaller institution than the U.S. government with cost-cutting impulses from the commercial real estate world. And my experience doesn't bode well for the Office of American Innovation. Not everything that works in the private sector is transferrable to the public sector—and even if it were, Kushner isn't the best person to transfer it. ...Kushner's claim to business knowledge, beyond admiring Silicon Valley, boils down to his work for his family's commercial real estate company, which is hardly comparable to a government institution. And if industry dynamics are not transitive across the board, expertise isn't, either."

McKay Coppins at the Atlantic: The Prince of Oversight. "On a recent afternoon in his Capitol Hill office, I read through a litany of headlines detailing potential entanglements between [Donald] Trump's business and his administration with the congressman. As he listened, Chaffetz leaned back in his chair—jacket off, an ankle resting casually on one knee. ...I asked Chaffetz if he was concerned about Trump reaping financial rewards from his presidency, but he just shrugged. 'He's already rich,' Chaffetz said. 'He's very rich. I don't think that he ran for this office to line his pockets even more. I just don't see it like that.'"

Sarah K. Burris at Raw Story: Mike Pence's Role in the Flynn Scandal 'Is Flashing Like a Red Beacon': Maddow. "Over and over, Rachel Maddow has questioned how it is possible that Vice President Mike Pence couldn't have known that Gen. Mike Flynn was lying about his Russia conversation. ...'As leader of the transition, he was notified in writing by members of Congress about Flynn's apparent financial ties to the government of Turkey,' Maddow outlined [Thursday night], referring back to a letter sent by Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD). 'The transition was also apparently notified twice by Flynn's own lawyers about his financial relationship with the government of Turkey, but nevertheless, Vice President Mike Pence says he has no idea about any of that.'" Like I've said before: Don't Buy Mike Pence's Innocent Act.

Anne Gearan and Carol Morello at the Washington Post: Secretary of State Rex Tillerson Spends His First Weeks Isolated from an Anxious Bureaucracy. "Secretary of State Rex Tillerson takes a private elevator to his palatial office on the seventh floor of the State Department building, where sightings of him are rare on the floors below. On many days, he blocks out several hours on his schedule as 'reading time,' when he is cloistered in his office poring over the memos he prefers ahead of in-person meetings. Most of his interactions are with an insular circle of political aides who are new to the State Department. Many career diplomats say they still have not met him, and some have been instructed not to speak to him directly—or even make eye contact."

[Content Note: Nativism] Shannon Dooling at WBUR News: ICE Arrests Green Card Applicants in Lawrence, Signaling Shift in Priorities. "Federal immigration officers arrested five people in Lawrence [Massachusetts] on Wednesday when they showed up for scheduled appointments at a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) office. WBUR has confirmed that at least three of those arrested were beginning the process to become legal permanent residents. ...This, [Brian Doyle, the attorney for one of the people arrested] says, is an example of the difficult situation for many immigrants living in the country illegally, who are forced to weigh the costs and benefits of keeping an appointment with an immigration official in light of new deportation priorities set by [Donald] Trump."

[CN: War on agency] Christine Grimaldi at Rewire: Pence's Vote Delivers Death Knell to Family Planning Safeguards. "President Obama's attempt to stop state-level interference in federal funding for family planning clinics, including Planned Parenthood affiliates, fell victim to [Donald] Trump's first 100 days in office. Pence delivered the death knell to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) rule aimed at helping people with low incomes access family planning services a day after addressing a 'Women's Empowerment Panel' at the White House. White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer that same day told reporters that Trump 'made women's empowerment a priority' during his campaign." Fuck all of these dudes.

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

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