We Resist: Day 186

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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: Jared Kushner Is Not a Crook!


Paul Krugman at the New York Times: Health Care Is Still in Danger. "[N]either Mitch McConnell nor the White House have given up on their efforts to deprive millions of health care. In fact, on Saturday the tweeter-in-chief, once again breaking long-established rules of decorum, called on the audience at a military ceremony, the commissioning of a new aircraft carrier, to pressure the Senate to pass that bill. This has many people I know worried that we may see a repeat of what happened in the spring: with the media spotlight shining elsewhere, the usual suspects may ram a horrible bill through. And the House would quickly pass whatever the Senate comes up with. So this is actually a moment of great risk."

[Content Note: Video may autoplay at link] David Durenberger at USA Today: Former GOP Senator: Resist the Bullying — Don't Vote for a Mystery Health Care Bill. "What do you do when you are a U.S. senator and the president wants you to vote for a health care bill that could radically change health care? You ask questions. You hold hearings. You understand what it would mean to your constituents. You listen to those who know the system. And when it doesn't add up, you vote against it."

If only they cared. But they definitely don't!

Matt Shuham at TPM: Trump Tells AP Reporter Asking About Obamacare Repeal Effort: 'Quiet'. "According to a pool report, reporters were 'unexpectedly summoned' into the East Room of the White House [on Monday morning] to observe a photo-op with Trump and White House interns. A reporter, who Bloomberg's Jennifer Epstein identified as the Associated Press' Catherine Lucey, asked Trump if he thought Attorney General Jeff Sessions should resign. Trump didn't answer, but video of the exchange shows him rolling his eyes, to laughter from the interns. Lucey then asked Trump if he had anything to say about Senate Republicans' Obamacare repeal effort. 'Quiet,' he said, to more laughter from the interns."

[CN: Misogyny; violent rhetoric] Aaron Rupar at ThinkProgress: GOP Congressman Blames Health Care Struggles on 'Repugnant' Republican 'Female Senators'. "Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-TX) is livid at the inability of the Senate to repeal Obamacare, and he knows exactly who to blame: the Republican women of the Senate. During a radio interview on a Corpus Christi station last Friday, Farenthold said he finds it 'absolutely repugnant' that 'the Senate does not have the courage to do some of the things that every Republican in the Senate promised to do.' Farenthold singled out female senators for opposing the repeal of Obamacare, before suggesting that if they were men, he'd ask them to settle things with a gunfight. 'Some of the people that are opposed to this [i.e., repealing Obamacare] — there are some female senators from the northeast,' Farenthold said. 'If it was a guy from south Texas I might ask them to step outside and settle this Aaron Burr-style.'"

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Wendy Dent, Ed Pilkington, and Shaun Walker at the Guardian: Jared Kushner Sealed Real Estate Deal with Oligarch's Firm Cited in Money-Laundering Case.
Jared Kushner, the son-in-law of Donald Trump, who acts as his senior White House adviser, secured a multimillion-dollar Manhattan real estate deal with a Soviet-born oligarch whose company was cited in a major New York money laundering case now being probed by members of Congress.

A Guardian investigation has established a series of overlapping ties and relationships involving alleged Russian money laundering, New York real estate deals and members of Trump’s inner circle. They include a 2015 sale of part of the old New York Times building in Manhattan involving Kushner and a billionaire real estate tycoon and diamond mogul, Lev Leviev.

...Leviev, a global tycoon known as the "king of diamonds," was a business partner of the Russian-owned company Prevezon Holdings that was at the center of a multimillion-dollar lawsuit launched in New York. Under the leadership of US attorney Preet Bharara, who was fired by Trump in March, prosecutors pursued Prevezon for allegedly attempting to use Manhattan real estate deals to launder money stolen from the Russian treasury.

The scam had been uncovered by Sergei Magnitsky, an accountant who died in 2009 in a Moscow jail in suspicious circumstances. US sanctions against Russia imposed after Magnitsky's death were a central topic of conversation at the notorious Trump Tower meeting last June between Kushner, Donald Trump Jr, Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, and a Russian lawyer with ties to the Kremlin.
There is much more at the link. Lots of threads pulled together well here.

Robin Eberhardt at the Hill: Putin Told Trump That Russian Hackers Were Too Good to Get Caught. "Russian President Vladimir Putin told [Donald] Trump that Russian hackers wouldn't have gotten caught if they did hack Democratic groups because they're too skilled at spying, The New York Times reported Monday. Trump has since repeated the claim, according to White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci. Scaramucci told CNN's 'State of the Union' on Sunday that someone told him that if Moscow hacked the Democratic National Committee, 'you would have never seen it. You would have never had any evidence of them, meaning that they're super-confident in their deception skills and hacking.' Pressed by host Jake Tapper on who told him that, Scaramucci said it was Trump himself."

Mike Allen at Axios: Trump Ponders Rudy Giuliani for Attorney General. "Trump is so unhappy with Attorney General Jeff Sessions that he has raised the possibility of bringing back Rudolph Giuliani to head the Justice Department, according to West Wing confidants. ...Trump often muses about possible personnel moves that he never makes, sometimes just to gauge the listener's reaction. So the Giuliani balloon may go nowhere." Or, you know, it will end up with the waking nightmare of Rudy Giuliani leading the Justice Department.

Meanwhile, in other White House staffing news... Jonathan Swan at Axios: Trump Wishes Reince Would Take the Hint. "A much-discussed question at the top of the White House: Just what magnitude of indignity would it take for Chief of Staff Reince Priebus to resign? [Donald] Trump knew that appointing Anthony Scaramucci as communications director would humiliate Reince, who fought hard against it. ...Reince has redefined what it means to be the White House Chief of Staff — and not in a good way. It's unclear at this point how he survives much longer, and the breeziness with which [Trump] humiliates him has even his enemies wincing in sympathy." Good lord.

And in new White House staffing news... [CN: Misogyny] Casey Quinlan at ThinkProgress: Anthony Scaramucci Advises Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Her Hair and Makeup. "Newly installed White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci commented on Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders' appearance during an interview with Jake Tapper on CNN's 'State of the Union.' ...After his noting [that Sanders 'does a great job' and is 'incredibly authentic' but could] be 'incrementally better,' Scaramucci focused on Sanders' appearance. 'The only thing I ask Sarah — Sarah if you're watching — I love the hair and makeup person that we had on Friday, so I'd like to continue to use the hair and makeup person,' he added." Cool guy.

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[CN: Islamophobia; hate crimes] Khizr Khan at the Washington Post: Attacks on American Muslims Are un-American: Under Trump, They're on the Rise. "Has our president paused to wonder why his campaign and election have coincided with such attacks? ...ACT for America's founder, Brigitte Gabriel, had said that a practicing Muslim who believes the words of the Koran 'cannot be a loyal citizen of the United States.' Lest you think this view is relegated to the political extremes, virtually identical language — 'devout Muslims cannot truthfully swear the oath to become citizens of the United States of America' — has been used by the American Center for Law and Justice, whose founder, Jay Sekulow, is part of Trump's personal legal team. As a Muslim, a patriotic American and a Gold Star father, these false assertions offend me deeply."

[CN: Nativism; abuse] Jonathan Blitzer at the New Yorker: A Veteran ICE Agent, Disillusioned with the Trump Era, Speaks Out.
The agent's decision to allow me to write about our conversations came after learning that ice was making a push, beginning this week, to arrest young undocumented immigrants who were part of a large wave of unaccompanied minors who crossed the border in recent years and who, until now, had been allowed to live in the U.S. Rather than detaining these young people, the government had placed them in the care of families around the country. Most of them are trying to lead new lives as American transplants, going to school and working.

ICE now plans to pursue those who have turned eighteen since crossing the border, and who, as a result, qualify for detention as legal adults. "I don't see the point in it," the agent said. "The plan is to take them back into custody, and then figure it out. I don't understand it. We're doing it because we can, and it bothers the hell out of me."

The agent went on, "The whole idea is targeting kids. I know that technically they meet the legal definition of being adults. Fine. But if they were my kids travelling in a foreign country, I wouldn't be O.K. with this. We're not doing what we tell people we do. If you look next month, or at the end of this month, at the people in custody, it's people who've been here for years. They're supposed to be in high school."
Goddammit. This fucking administration.

Samantha Page at ThinkProgress: Trump Administration Officially Files to Make It Easier to Frack Public Lands. "The Department of the Interior intends to repeal an Obama-era rule designed to prevent fracking companies operating on public lands from polluting water supplies. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) on Monday submitted a proposed revocation to the Federal Register to wipe from the books a rule that required fracking operators on public lands to disclose chemicals used in fracking and to ensure certain precautions are taken around clean water sources." Seethe.

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

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