We Resist: Day 124

a black bar with the word RESIST in white text

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.

* * *

Here are some things in the news today:

Earlier today by me: The Latest on the Trump Investigations.

Today, former CIA Director John Brennan testified before the House Intelligence Committee. He said, in part: "I encountered and am aware of information and intelligence that revealed contacts and interactions between Russian officials and U.S. persons involved in the Trump campaign that I was concerned about because of known Russian efforts to suborn such individuals, and, it raised questions in my mind about whether Russia was able to gain the cooperation of those individuals."

He also detailed how U.S. intelligence agencies were investigating last summer, but that information (unlike the information about Anthony Weiner's fucking laptop) was never made available to the public.

—along with their talented colleagues from the FBI, NSA, and the office of the DNI, tracked and exposed Russian active measures against our presidential election.

When it became clear to me last summer that Russia was engaged in a very aggressive and wide-ranging effort to interfere in one of the key pillars of our democracy, we pulled together experts from CIA, NSA, and FBI in late July, to focus on the issue, drawing in multiple perspectives and subject matter experts with broad expertise to assess Russian attempts to interfere in the U.S. presidential election.

The purpose was the ensure that experts from key agencies had access to information and intelligence relevant to Russian actions, so we could have as full an appreciation as possible on the scope, nature, and intentions of this Russian activity.

The experts provided regular updates and assessments through the summer and fall, which were used to inform senior U.S. officials, including President Obama. The work also was leveraged for the intelligence community assessment that was completed in early January, under the aegis of the Director of National Intelligence.

Second: It should be clear to everyone that Russia brazenly interfered in our 2016 presidential election process, and that they undertook these activities despite our strong protests and explicit warning that they not do so.
Brennan notes that intelligence experts were pulled together in late July. By way of reminder, that was the same month in which [CN: video autoplays] Trump invited the Russians to hack us, saying: "Russia, if you're listening, I hope you're able to find the 30,000 e-mails that are missing. I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press."

There is much more from the hearing, but I'll leave it there for now, because this is a stone cold fact:

Relatedly, Matt Zapotosky and Matea Gold at the Washington Post report: Justice Department Ethics Experts Clear Mueller to Lead Russia Probe. "Justice Department ethics experts have concluded that newly appointed special counsel Robert S. Mueller III can oversee the investigation into possible coordination between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin during the 2016 presidential election—even though his former law firm represents several people who could be caught up in the matter, authorities announced Tuesday. ...Mueller, a former FBI director, had worked for the past three years in the Washington office of WilmerHale, a prominent law firm whose lawyers represent former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, Trump's daughter Ivanka and the president's son-in-law, Jared Kushner. Mueller resigned from the firm after Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein appointed him last week to oversee the investigation of Russian meddling in the 2016 election." Welp.

* * *

The other big news today is Trump's budget proposal, which is straight-up villainy.

Damian Paletta and Robert Costa at the Washington Post: Trump's Budget Proposal Slashes Spending by $3.6 Trillion over 10 Years. (Emphasis mine.)
Trump on Tuesday will propose cutting federal spending by $3.6 trillion over 10 years, a historic budget contraction that would severely ratchet back spending across dozens of programs and could completely reshape government assistance to the poor.

The White House's $4.094 trillion budget request for fiscal 2018 calls for cuts that hit Medicaid, food assistance, and other anti-poverty programs. It would cut funding for the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), which provides benefits to the poor, by roughly 20 percent next year.

All told, the budget would ­reduce spending on safety-net programs by more than $1 trillion over 10 years.
And how is the administration defending this despicable wealth redistribution upward plan?

Fuck these people. Fuck this disgusting narrative that sets people who need government assistance and "taxpayers" apart as mutually exclusive groups. Many of the people who need government assistance are also federal taxpayers. Fuck this deadly avarice and the shitty goblins who use it as their primary governing protocol.

Goddammit. I am so fucking angry about this, and I feel so completely impotent to do anything about it. We are being governed by vile scoundrels, and the devastating havoc they wreak will do lasting damage that will take a very long time to undo.

Speaking of damage not easily unwound, lots of folks are having a chuckle over this story about a belligerent white man in a MAGA cap being greeted by chants of "Lock him up!" as he was escorted off a flight, but the empowered entitlement that white male Trump voters (in particular, but not exclusively) feel after Trump's election is something, too, that will have lingering consequences that won't be easily contained.

* * *

[CN: War on agency] Teddy Wilson at Rewire: Texas Republicans Advance Sweeping Abortion Restrictions. "Texas lawmakers in the Republican-controlled house voted Friday to create the state's the most sweeping abortion restrictions since the passage of the omnibus anti-choice bill known as HB 2. After six hours of debate on Friday night, lawmakers passed a bill that would prohibit certain types of abortion procedures, codify state regulations requiring the burial or cremation of fetal tissue as well as banning the sale of fetal tissue, and create additional reporting requirements for physicians who provide abortion care."

[CN: Homophobia] Andy Towle at Towleroad: Gay Couple and Their 3 Kids Denied 'Family Boarding' Privileges by Southwest Airlines. "A gay man says he was stopped and 'humiliated' by a Southwest Airlines gate attendant in Buffalo who told him, his spouse, and their three kids that they could not board because 'it's for family boarding only.' ...'[M]y spouse looked up and said, 'Well, we are a family. It's myself, my spouse, and our three children.' She said it's family boarding only and got very sarcastic.'"

[CN: Police brutality; racism; guns; death.] In September 2016, Tyre King, a a 13-year-old Black boy from Columbus, Ohio, was fatally shot by a police officer. At Colorlines, Kenrya Rankin now reports: Grand Jury: No Charges For Cop Who Killed Tyre King. "The Columbus Dispatch reports that the jury proceedings lasted two days and included appearances from 15 to 17 witnesses. Family attorneys with Walton and Brown issued a statement following the decision. In it, the family says it is 'saddened and completely dissatisfied with how the entire investigation was handled by the City of Columbus, the Columbus Division of Police and the Franklin County Prosecutor's Office,' and alleges bias in how evidence and witnesses were presented to the jury."

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

Shakesville is run as a safe space. First-time commenters: Please read Shakesville's Commenting Policy and Feminism 101 Section before commenting. We also do lots of in-thread moderation, so we ask that everyone read the entirety of any thread before commenting, to ensure compliance with any in-thread moderation. Thank you.

blog comments powered by Disqus