We Resist: Day 214

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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: Trump's Lifestyle Bleeding Secret Service Budget Dry and Sailors Missing After Collision Near Strait of Malacca.

Last Friday, I noted that Steve Bannon's departure was not indicative of a fundamental break between Trump and Bannon, but was in fact a decision made so to untie Bannon's hands and allow him to launch a serious propaganda campaign outside the White House with the illusion of independence.

I made this assertion even as the cable news "experts" and other pundits were busily buying into the bullshit narrative that Trump had "fired" Bannon and a "pivot" was imminent.

And yet again, they were wrong and I was right.

The Mercers are not going to dilute their investments by funding both Trump and Bannon if the two of them are at odds.

If you aren't already familiar with Robert Mercer and his daughter Rebekah Mercer, now would be a good time to start. Rebekah was the one who convinced Bannon to stay on at the White House after H.R. McMaster had him pushed off the National Security Council: "Bekah tried to convince him that this is a long-term play." Which continues.

As my friend Sarah Kendzior noted in her latest piece for the Globe and Mail:
Mr. Bannon's departure is not a condemnation of Trump — it is a strategic move that allows Mr. Bannon to foment his ideologies from a more unencumbered perch at Breitbart, to which he has returned. Mr. Bannon was not fired by Trump, but freed, and has vowed to go to war with the more moderate — and this is a very relative term — members of the Trump administration as well as with any opponent of the President's agenda.

In other words, the pieces may have moved, but the game has not changed: Mr. Bannon and Mr. Trump will continue their shared agenda of promoting their racist agenda and what Mr. Bannon has euphemistically called "the deconstruction of the administrative state." (Mr. Trump more bluntly recommended in 2014 that the United States "go to total hell" in order to become great.) The turmoil would be a disaster for a president whose goal was ensuring a free and stable country, but that has never appeared to be Mr. Trump's prerogative. Instead, much as he did throughout his business career, he concentrates on maximizing his own financial gain while revelling in chaos and carnage.
The long-term play.

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[Content Note: Video may autoplay at link] CBS News: Trump's Afghanistan Strategy to Put New Pressure on Pakistan. "In a nationally televised primetime address Monday, [Donald] Trump will unveil a 'path forward' for the U.S. in Afghanistan. ...The president is expected to green light the deployment of around 4,000 additional U.S. troops to Afghanistan and put new pressure on nearby Pakistan to stop giving safe haven to terrorists. ...The president is considering several possibilities to pressure Pakistan into stepping up the fight against terrorism, including reducing aid, taking away its status as a non-NATO ally, and threatening to name Pakistan as a state sponsor of terrorism."

I'm no foreign policy expert, but I'm not sure that putting additional pressure on the region right now is the wisest course of action.

In addition to the various regional tensions that are getting some news coverage in the U.S., there are also increasing tensions along the India-China border, which has gotten precious little attention in the U.S. media.

A lot of states with nuclear weaponry involved in escalating tensions. Suffice to say it would be safer for everyone if the United States prioritized deescalation and diplomatic resolutions in Afghanistan, but that is never going to happen while Trump is president.

Or any Republican.

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[CN: Disablist language] Mike Allen at Axios: Why Top White House Officials Won't Quit Trump. "We talked to a half dozen senior administration officials, who range from dismayed but certain to stay, to disgusted and likely soon to leave. They all work closely with Trump and his senior team so, of course, wouldn't talk on the record. Instead, they agreed to let us distill their thinking/rationale. 'You have no idea how much crazy stuff we kill': The most common response centers on the urgent importance of having smart, sane people around Trump to fight his worst impulses. If they weren't there, they say, we would have a trade war with China, massive deportations, and a government shutdown to force construction of a Southern wall." Yeah, somehow I don't think that these jackasses have as much influence over Trump as they'd have us believe. But it's easier to position themselves as martyrs and patriots than the soulless, power-hungry climbers that they really are.

Matea Gold and Anu Narayanswamy at the Washington Post: Republican Committees Have Paid Nearly $1.3 Million to Trump-Owned Entities This Year.
The Republican National Committee paid the Trump International Hotel in Washington $122,000 last month after the party held a lavish fundraiser at the venue in June, the latest example of how GOP political committees are generating a steady income stream for [Donald] Trump's private business, new Federal Election Commission records show.

At least 25 congressional campaigns, state parties and the Republican Governors Association have together spent more than $473,000 at Trump hotels or golf resorts this year, according to a Washington Post analysis of campaign finance filings. Trump's companies collected an additional $793,000 from the RNC and the president's campaign committee, some of which included payments for rent and legal consulting.

The nearly $1.3 million spent by Republican political committees at Trump entities in 2017 has helped boost his company at a time when business is falling off at some core properties.
As I have been noting for at least a year or so, In 2000, Trump told Fortune magazine: "It's very possible that I could be the first presidential candidate to run and make money on it." He always tells us who he is. Trump was always going to exploit the presidency to grift as much money as possible for himself and his family.

[CN: Video may autoplay at link] Lydia O'Connor at the Huffington Post: Trump Administration Dissolves Federal Climate Advisory Committee. "Trump's administration has dissolved a federal panel of scientists and other experts tasked with helping create and implement new policy based on the latest climate change research findings. That decision, members of the 15-person committee told HuffPost on Sunday, does not bode well for the future of climate change preparation and prevention during Trump's time in office. A spokeswoman for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which established the panel in 2015, confirmed Sunday that the Department of Commerce would not renew the charter for the Sustained National Climate Assessment's Federal Advisory Committee." Jesus fucking Jones.

[CN: White supremacist violence; death] Addy Baird at ThinkProgress: Paul Ryan Statement on Charlottesville Completely Misrepresents Grieving Mom.
House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) said in a statement Monday that he was "struck by the tone Heather Heyer's parents took at her memorial service," saying their call for "healing and forgiveness" was a powerful example.

"Here they are suddenly grieving and saying goodbye to their daughter, taken by an act of domestic terrorism," Ryan said in a statement posted on Facebook Monday, more than a week after Heyer's death and five days after her memorial service. "And instead of turning to anger, they call for healing and forgiveness. They set a powerful example."

...[Ryan's] statement completely misrepresents what Heyer's mother, Susan Bro, said last week at Heyer's memorial service.

In her eulogy for her daughter, Bro said explicitly that it was "not all about forgiveness."

"We're not going to sit around and shake hands and go 'Kumbaya,' and I'm sorry, it's not all about forgiveness," Bro said. "I know that's not a popular trend. But the truth is, we are going to have our differences. We are going to be angry with each other. But let's channel that anger not into hate, not into violence, not into fear, but let's channel that difference, that anger into righteous action."
Fuck Paul Ryan and his entire disgusting white supremacist death cult masquerading as a political party.

[CN: White supremacy; anti-Black racism and anti-Semitism; eliminationist violence; threats] Samantha Schmidt at the Washington Post: KKK Leader Threatens to 'Burn' Latina Journalist, the First Black Person on His Property. "As [Ilia Calderón, a Colombian news anchor for Univision] pressed [Christopher Barker, a leader of a Ku Klux Klan chapter in North Carolina] on his views, he called her the n-word and told her to go back to her country. ...'Are you going to chase me out of here?' Calderón responded. 'No, we're going to burn you out,' he said. 'How are you gonna do it?' she retorted. At one point, she asked him how he would burn out the 11 million unauthorized immigrants in the country. 'Don't matter,' Barker said. 'We killed six million Jews the last time. Eleven million is nothing.'"

But in good resistance news...

Amy Littlefield at Rewire: 40,000 People in Boston Reject Racism, Shut Down 'Free Speech' Rally. "In a resounding rebuke of white supremacy and the racist violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, 40,000 people converged on the Boston Common Saturday, shutting down a so-called free speech rally that drew figures from the far right. 'That's the saddest demonstration I think I've ever witnessed,' one counter-protester remarked as they looked at the Parkman Bandstand, where a few dozen people stood surrounded by about 50 police officers and an expanse of empty grass. ...'Where's your rally?' the counter-demonstrators chanted from across a line of police barricades."

[The video embedded in the tweet shows the sparsely populated Nazi rally surrounded by throngs of anti-racist counter-demonstrators.]

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

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