We Resist: Day 120

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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:

Earlier today by me: The War Between Trump and Comey Escalates, and It Won't End Well for Any of Us.

Hey, you know how I keep saying over and over like the brokenest of all broken records that Mike Pence is definitely lying when he said he didn't know anything about Michael Flynn? Yeah, about that:

Pence knew.

And yet, he's still sticking with the babe-in-the-woods act.

Vaughn Hillyard at NBC News: VP Mike Pence Was Never Informed About Flynn: Source. "Vice President Mike Pence has been kept in the dark about former National Security Adviser Mike Flynn's alleged wrongdoing, according to a source close to the administration, who cited a potential 'pattern' of not informing the vice president and calling it 'malpractice or intentional, and either are unacceptable.' ...This would be the second time that Pence claims he was kept in the dark about possible Flynn wrongdoings, despite the White House's alleged knowledge of them. Earlier this year, Pence said he was not made aware of Flynn's discussions with Russian officials until 15 days after Trump and the White House were notified."

Utterly ridiculous.

And if the national political press had done their homework on Pence, the fact that he pulled this same shit in Indiana would be included in every one of these denial stories. It's important context. This is how he operates. That should be made clear to readers.

Meanwhile, Pence is taking to Facebook to accuse the media of sabotaging Trump and fundraise off of their victimhood.

This fucking guy.

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I said I was reserving judgment of Rosenstein, and I'm still not drawing any conclusions, but this makes me less inclined to believe that Rosenstein is playing a long game. Or, to be more accurate, it makes me more inclined to believe that if he is playing one, it's only in service to his own self-interest.

Julie Bykowicz at the AP: Trump Attorney Didn't Want Him to Sign Financial Disclosure. "Donald Trump's attorneys originally wanted him to submit an updated financial disclosure without certifying the information as true, according to correspondence with the Office of Government Ethics." RED FLAG.

Lena H. Sun at the Washington Post: Nearly 700 Vacancies at CDC Because of Trump Administration's Hiring Freeze. "[R]esearchers say [the freeze] affects programs supporting local and state public health emergency readiness, infectious disease control, and chronic disease prevention. ...A senior CDC official said unfilled positions include dozens of budget analysts and public health policy analysts, scientists, and advisers who provide key administrative support. Their duties include tracking federal contracts awarded to state and local health departments and ensuring that lab scientists have the equipment they need."

Julie Schoo at the National Press Club: Reporter Manhandled by FCC Guards Because He Asked Question. "Security guards at the Federal Communications Commission headquarters here manhandled a well-regarded reporter at a public hearing today and forced him to leave the premises after he had tried to politely ask questions of FCC commissioners. The reporter, John M. Donnelly of CQ Roll Call, is an award-winning journalist. He is also chairman of the National Press Club's Press Freedom Team and president of the Military Reporters & Editors association. He has chaired the NPC Board of Governors and formerly served on the Standing Committee of Correspondents in the U.S. Congress, which credentials the Washington press corps."

Borzou Daragahi at BuzzFeed: The Stakes Have Never Been Higher—and the Bar Lower—As Trump's Trip to the Middle East Begins. "For the first time since he was elected, Donald Trump is taking his show on the road, with a trip abroad that has many observers watching nervously through their fingers—especially with visits to Israel, Saudi Arabia, and the Vatican, which host major holy sites of all three Abrahamic faiths. ...'There's so much room for it to go wrong, and that seems to be amplified with this president. The potential for Trump to say something inappropriate is really high, and this is a part of the world where personal slights and loss of face are a big deal.'"

Adam K. Raymond at New York Magazine: How Foreign Nations Are Preparing for a Visit from the First Toddler-President.
[C]ountries that will receive Trump have been preparing for weeks. With the help of Washington-based consultants and Trump's team, foreign officials have put together a tip sheet on how to keep the 70-year-old Trump happy. From the Times:
Keep it short — no 30-minute monologue for a 30-second attention span. Do not assume he knows the history of the country or its major points of contention. Compliment him on his Electoral College victory. Contrast him favorably with President Barack Obama. Do not get hung up on whatever was said during the campaign. Stay in regular touch. Do not go in with a shopping list but bring some sort of deal he can call a victory.
Onetime British ambassador to the U.S. Peter Westmacott emphasized that first point: "This is a guy with a limited attention span. He absolutely won't want to listen to visitors droning on for a half-hour — or longer if they need an interpreter."

Trump's occasional distaste for interpreters has already been on display at the White House. When Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe visited in February, Trump left out his earpiece while Abe delivered remarks. If Trump wasn't feeling the Japanese interpreter, the feeling was apparently mutual. After Abe's visit, The Japan Times reported that Japanese interpreters "struggle to make sense of 'Trumpese'." Their colleagues in Saudi Arabia, Israel, the Vatican, Belgium, and Sicily will soon know their pain.

Food will be an issue for Trump too. The president has the palate of a first-grader and he will be accommodated on the trip. At dinner in Saudi Arabia, for example, he will have well-done steak and ketchup on the table along with the traditional cuisine, the AP reports.
What a fucking embarrassment. Good grief. And his being merely embarrassing is the best-case scenario. There is genuine concern that he will do something legitimately destabilizing. Fucking hell.

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

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