We Resist: Day 203

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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: "He seems to think the world started when he took office." and Number of the Day and Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un: No One's Backing Down.

Nicole Lafond at TPM: Blumenthal: Pre-Dawn Raid at Manafort Home Clear Sign of 'Serious Crime'.
Vocal critic of [Donald] Trump — who was attacked by the President on Twitter this week — Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) said news that the FBI conducted a predawn raid of Trump's former campaign chairman's home in July is "stunning" and a clear sign that a "serious crime" has occurred.

"Predawn raid on Manafort's house is stunning — typical of serious criminal investigations dealing with uncooperative or untrusted targets," Blumenthal said in a Twitter statement Thursday.

He said the raid "decimates" claims from Manafort that he has been cooperative with law enforcement and connects the former campaign manager to "criminal wrongdoing."

"Federal judge signing warrant would demand persuasive evidence of probable cause that a serious crime has been committed," he said. "This kind of raid — in early morning hours with no advance notice — shows astonishing and alarming distrust for President's former campaign chairman."
Speaking of that morning raid, Marcy Wheeler noted something that demands our attention — and further scrutiny: "Some have also noted Trump completely surprised his military leadership the same day as the raid by tweeting an unexpected ban on transgender individuals in the service. You may also recall reports indicating members of the military sat with bated breath waiting for nine minutes between his first tweet and his next to determine if they were supposed to scramble or take other military action. That overlong ellipsis at the end of the first tweet left them wondering if they were to begin a North Korean strike. But it wasn't just the same day the raid and the tweets happened. Trump tweeted just as the raid must have been underway at Manafort's house." Wow.

Josh Dawsey and Darren Samuelsohn at Politico: Feds Sought Cooperation from Manafort's Son-in-Law. "Federal investigators sought cooperation from Paul Manafort's son-in-law in an effort to increase pressure on [Donald] Trump's former campaign chairman, according to three people familiar with the probe. Investigators approached Jeffrey Yohai, who has partnered in business deals with Manafort, earlier this summer, setting off 'real waves' in Manafort's orbit, one of these people said. Another of these people said investigators are trying to get 'into Manafort's head.'" Yeah, and into his business dealings where crimes may have occurred.

Aaron Blake at the Washington Post: Gorka Publicly Shuns Tillerson's Effort to Scale Back North Korea Red Line.
Sebastian Gorka appeared on BBC radio Thursday and delivered one of the most aggressive takes to date on what Trump might do — even allowing that a mere threat from North Korea could be construed as an act of war, as Trump seemed to do earlier this week. In doing so, Gorka played down Tillerson's role in all of this.

"You should listen to the president; the idea that Secretary Tillerson is going to discuss military matters is simply nonsensical," Gorka said in a recording shared with The Washington Post. "It is the job of Secretary Mattis, the secretary of defense, to talk about the military options, and he has done so unequivocally. He said, 'Woe betide anyone who militarily challenges the United States,' and that is his portfolio. That is his mandate. Secretary Tillerson is the chief diplomat of the United States, and it is his portfolio to handle those issues."

The suggestion seems to be that Tillerson was out of his element when he provided those assurances Wednesday — that Tillerson wouldn't even know how imminent such a conflict might be because it's not in his purview.

And that's a striking message from another member of the White House team. For a president who has publicly undermined his own attorney general and whose communications director railed against his two top White House aides in an interview two weeks ago, it looks like more backbiting and internal discord.
Jesus fucking Jones.

Alice Ollstein at TPM: Trump Admin Abandons Latino Outreach for Obamacare Sign-Ups. "Trump has repeatedly announced his intention to 'let Obamacare implode,' and has already taken several concrete steps to undermine the health care reform law. But with the fate of the Affordable Care Act's delicate individual markets in jeopardy, inaction could be as just as damaging as active sabotage. The major organizations that were part of the Latino Affordable Care Act Coalition tell TPM that HHS has made no effort to reach out to them this year as open enrollment approaches, and there is no sign the partnerships will continue. HHS did not respond to TPM's inquires about the status of the Latino Affordable Care Act Coalition and Latino outreach in general."

Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar at the AP: Study Says Trump Moves Trigger Health Premium Jumps for 2018. "Actions by the Trump administration are triggering double-digit premium increases on individual health insurance policies purchased by many people, according to a nonpartisan study. The analysis released Thursday by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that mixed signals from [Donald] Trump have created uncertainty 'far outside the norm' and led insurers to seek higher premium increases for 2018 than would otherwise have been the case." Which, of course, he will blame on Obamacare. What a fucking asshole.

[Content Note: Racism] Andrew Kaczynski, Chris Massie, and Paul LeBlanc at CNN: Trump Pick Sam Clovis Stoked Birther Conspiracy, Called Eric Holder a 'Racist Black'. "Sam Clovis, Donald Trump's pick to be chief scientist for the Department of Agriculture, pushed unfounded theories about then-President Barack Obama's upbringing and called then-Attorney General Eric Holder a 'racist black,' a CNN KFile review of Clovis's writings and radio broadcasts during 2012 and 2013 has found. Clovis was a conservative radio host and political activist in Iowa before gaining national attention as one of the more vocal supporters of Trump during the presidential campaign. His nomination to head science at the USDA requires Senate confirmation." Make your calls!

[CN: Police brutality; racism] Breanna Edwards at the Root: DC Cop Will Not Face Charges in Fatal Shooting of Terrence Sterling, an Unarmed Black Motorcyclist. "A Washington, D.C., police officer who fatally shot and killed an unarmed black motorcyclist in September 2016 will not face charges, federal prosecutors announced Wednesday. Terrence Sterling's death sparked protests across the capital, raising a fresh wave of anger over the recent spate of police killings over the past few years. However, according to Reuters, the U.S. attorney's office said in a statement that 'there is insufficient evidence to pursue federal criminal civil rights or District of Columbia charges.'" Of course. Of fucking course. Goddammit.

[CN: Nativism] Andrew Becker and Patrick Michels Reveal at The Center for Investigative Reporting: Trump Agenda in Dairyland Means Fewer Farmhands. "Estrada's boss, Abby Driscoll, said she can't imagine the dread that Estrada and other employees face each day not knowing whether they'll make it to or from work. Even as she celebrated Trump's win as 'the lesser of two evils,' Driscoll tried to reassure anxious employees after the election, telling them to just stay out of trouble. In her mind, immigration and border security should be back-burner issues for Trump. 'I was expecting some things to happen when I voted for Trump,' she said. 'As far as all of his immigration policies, I guess I wasn't expecting it to go as far as it did already.' These are strange times in America's Dairyland."

1. America's Dairyland: Home of the local milk people. About whom Trump only pretends to care during strange phone calls with the Australian Prime Minister.

2. In the minds of folks like Abby Driscoll, everything they fear (completely without basis) that Hillary Clinton would have done, she is definitely doing in the alternate timeline where she's president. Which means that, no matter how bad Trump is, he's only being as bad as Clinton would have been, anyway. So the conclusion is that all politicians are trash, not that they made a HUGE MISTAKE.


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

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