We Resist: Day 202

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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: Kim Jong Un Sees Trump's Threat; Raises the Stakes and "We can never forget this." and FBI Searched Home of Former Trump Campaign Manager Paul Manafort.

Trump's "ominous warning to Pyongyang was entirely improvised, according to several people with direct knowledge of what unfolded. In discussions with advisers beforehand, he had not run the specific language by them." Thanks for the trenchant report, New York Times.

"You heard it here first!"

[Content Note: Video may autoplay at link] Julie Hirschfeld Davis at the New York Times: Trump's Harsh Language on North Korea Has Little Precedent, Experts Say. "Trump's warning on Tuesday that North Korea would experience 'fire and fury like the world has never seen' if it continued threatening the United States was a remarkable escalation of military rhetoric with little precedent in the modern era, historians and analysts said. ...'It's hard to think of a president using more extreme language during crisis like this before,' said Michael Beschloss, a presidential historian. 'Presidents usually try to use language that is even more moderate than what they may be feeling in private, because they've always been worried that their language might escalate a crisis.'" No kidding.

Matt Shuham at TPM: Gorka on Critics of Trump's North Korea Rhetoric: 'Support the Executive'.
White House adviser Sebastian Gorka said Wednesday that [Donald] Trump's threatening of North Korea with "fire and fury" and nuclear weapons over its alleged advancement of nuclear capabilities distinguished the United States as a "hyperpower."

Responding to bipartisan criticism of Trump's bombastic rhetoric, Gorka said: "These are the moments when we have to come together as the nation and support the executive."

..."He's saying don't test America, and don't test Donald J. Trump," Gorka responded. "We are not just a superpower. We were a superpower. We are now a hyperpower. Nobody in the world, especially not North Korea, comes close to challenging our military capabilities. Whether they're conventional, whether they're nuclear or whether they're special forces. So the message is very clear: Don't test this White House, Pyongyang."
Well, now the literal Nazi in the White House has weighed in to double-down and escalate the rhetoric even further to declare the U.S. a "hyperpower," everything seems fine.

*jumps into Christmas tree*

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Alex Thompson at Vice News: Trump Gets a Folder Full of Positive News about Himself Twice a Day.
Twice a day since the beginning of the Trump administration, a special folder is prepared for the president. The first document is prepared around 9:30 a.m. and the follow-up, around 4:30 p.m.

...These sensitive papers, described to VICE News by three current and former White House officials, don't contain top-secret intelligence or updates on legislative initiatives. Instead, the folders are filled with screenshots of positive cable news chyrons (those lower-third headlines and crawls), admiring tweets, transcripts of fawning TV interviews, praise-filled news stories, and sometimes just pictures of Trump on TV looking powerful.

One White House official said the only feedback the White House communications shop, which prepares the folder, has ever gotten in all these months is: "It needs to be more fucking positive." That's why some in the White House ruefully refer to the packet as "the propaganda document."

...[T]he production of a folder with just positive news — and the use of the RNC to help produce it — seemed abnormal to former White House officials. "If we had prepared such a digest for Obama, he would have roared with laughter," said David Axelrod, the senior adviser to Barack Obama during his first two years in the White House. "His was a reality-based presidency."
Everything about this story is amazing and terrible, but omg: "On days when there aren't enough positive chyrons, communications staffers will ask the RNC staffers for flattering photos of the president." So, a lot of days, this authoritarian fluffer memo is just pictures of Trump in a MAGA hat, basically. Cool.

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Nicole Lafond at TPM: Trump Camp Hands over 20K Pages of Docs Related to Russia Probe. "Donald Trump's presidential campaign has turned over more than 20,000 pages of documents the Senate Judiciary Committee requested concerning the campaign's attempts to receive information about Hillary Clinton from Russia and affiliated sources, Bloomberg News reported. That request includes all documents related to the June 2016 meeting between Donald Trump Jr., then-campaign manager Paul Manafort, White House senior adviser Jared Kushner, and a Kremlin-linked lawyer. The committee also said it wants all documents related to Russia's attempts to influence the election and asked for Manafort's registration filings and his contacts with the Justice Department."

Michael Biesecker and Seth Borenstein at the AP/Washington Post: US Scientists Contradict Trump's Climate Claims.
Contradicting Trump's claims that climate change is a "hoax," the draft report representing the consensus of 13 federal agencies concludes that the evidence global warming is being driven by human activities is "unambiguous." That directly undercuts statements by Trump and his Cabinet casting doubt on whether the warming observed around the globe is being primarily driven by man-made carbon pollution.

"There are no alternative explanations, and no natural cycles are found in the observational record that can explain the observed changes in climate," says the report, citing thousands of peer-reviewed studies. "Evidence for a changing climate abounds, from the top of the atmosphere to the depths of the oceans."

...Submitted as part of the upcoming National Climate Assessment, the draft federal report sends the overriding message that failing to curb carbon pollution now will exacerbate negative consequences in the future. That assessment calls into question the wisdom of Trump's environmental and energy policies, which seek to boost U.S. production and consumption of fossil fuels even as the world's other leading economies promote cleaner sources of energy.
This is probably the most important leak there's been so far. And I'm fairly certain that it will be all but ignored, including by the Trump administration. Sob.

[CN: Terrorism; Islamophobia] Kenrya Rankin at Colorlines: FBI, ATF Investigate Minnesota Mosque Bombing. "Per local station KARE: 'FBI Special Agent in Charge Rick Thornton says now that the device has been identified, the investigation is focused on who and why. He says they cannot answer the question of whether it is a hate crime at this time.' ...'We came to this country for the same reason everyone else came here — freedom to worship,' mosque member Yasir Abdalrahman told StarTribune. 'And that freedom is under threat. Every other American should be insulted by this.'" Indeed.

[CN: Nativism; white supremacy] Tina Vasquez at Rewire: Trump Administration Advances Policies to 'Other' Migrants. "The administration's narrative 'that non-citizens, who shouldn't be here in the first place, don't have rights and they're not part of our communities...is very dangerous fiction, because it sends the message that we can do whatever we want to this group of people,' said Paromita Shah, associate director of the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild." Rage seethe boil.

[CN: Homophobia] Andy Towle at Towleroad: Tucson's New Rainbow Crosswalk Vandalized with White Paint Hours Before Dedication. "Tucson's new rainbow crosswalk was vandalized late Monday or early Tuesday, just hours before a scheduled dedication ceremony. The vandal threw a cup of white paint over portions of the crosswalk, according to the AP. KGUN9-TV adds: 'Organizers say the spot was chosen because the intersection is one of the busiest in Tucson, and wanted everyone to see it. The project took years of discussion and planning. The City of Tucson, the Southern Arizona Aids Foundation and Fourth Avenue teamed up to create the design to celebrate the LGBT community.'" Fucking assholes.

[CN: Terrorism; injury] Kim Willsher at the Guardian: Paris Attack: Police Make Motorway Arrest After Car Driven into Soldiers.
French police have searched the home of a man suspected of driving a car into a group of soldiers in a Paris suburb on Wednesday morning, injuring six, to establish if he has links to terrorist organisations.

The man, shot and arrested earlier after a motorway chase in northern France later on Wednesday, was reported to be a 36-year-old living in a north-west suburb of Paris. He was not believed to be on the national security list.

Police confirmed the black rented BMW stopped by armed officers was the same vehicle used in the attack, but were unable to confirm the involvement of the driver who was reportedly unarmed. He was taken to hospital in a "serious" condition after being shot five times near a petrol station between Boulogne-sur-Mer and Calais. A police officer was injured by a stray bullet during the arrest.

...The incident in Paris occurred at about 8am during the changeover of soldiers stationed at Place de Verdun, not far from the town hall in Levallois-Perret. Six members of the 35th infantry regiment were injured in the apparent ambush, three seriously. None has life-threatening injuries.

Patrick Balkany, mayor of Levallois-Perret, told BFMTV a BMW parked nearby appeared to have been waiting for the soldiers to leave their barracks. The vehicle was driven the wrong way down a one-way street before it struck the troops.

Balkany described the attack as a "deliberate aggression."

"It's without doubt a deliberate act … This vehicle was waiting for them," he said.

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

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