We Resist: Day 215

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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: So the President Gave a Speech Last Night and Pence to Join Trump in Phoenix.

[Content Note: Disablism] Eugene Robinson at the Washington Post: It's Time to Talk About Trump's Mental Health. You know, even setting aside the disablism here and in the dozens of other pieces just like it, the problem is that their authors presume Trump is actually trying to govern like a traditional president and failing. But what if he isn't? And there's frankly an enormous amount of evidence that he isn't.

What looks like "mental illness" — or some other variation on "unfitness" — when judging Trump's comportment against traditional expectations of a president looks a lot less so when judging Trump's comportment against expectations of an aspiring dictator.

Maybe Trump praised Duterte, for example, not because he's "an idiot" who doesn't know any better, but because he actually admires Duterte.

I understand why people don't want to contemplate that possibility, but maybe "it's time" to talk about that.

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[Content Note: War; death] Maya Gebeily at AFP/Yahoo News: Dozens Reported Dead in US-Led Strikes as Battle Nears Raqa Heart.
Dozens of civilians have died in two days of intense US-led strikes on Raqa, a monitor said Tuesday, as fighting to retake the Syrian city from jihadists nears its densely populated centre.

The coalition acknowledges it has pounded the city and surrounding area with more than 250 air strikes over the past week alone, in support of the Syrian Democratic Forces alliance battling the Islamic State group.

The SDF has so far captured just under 60 percent of Raqa, monitors say, leaving IS with about 10 square kilometres (four square miles) in the heart of the city.

But as clashes approach central Raqa, monitors and activists have reported scores killed in intensifying coalition bombardment of the city.

On Monday, US-led air strikes killed at least 42 civilians in several neighbourhoods in Raqa under IS control, according to the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Nineteen children and 12 women were among the dead, the monitor said.

The Observatory says 167 civilians have been killed in coalition strikes since August 14, including 27 on Sunday.

"The tolls are high because the air strikes are hitting neighbourhoods in the city centre that are densely packed with civilians," Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman said.
Goddammit. I don't even have words. My heart aches.

Tim Johnson at McClatchy: US Navy Collisions Stoke Cyber Threat Concerns. "The Pentagon won't yet say how the USS John S. McCain was rammed by an oil tanker near Singapore, but red flags are flying as the Navy's decades-old reliance on electronic guidance systems increasing looks like another target of cyberattack. The incident — the fourth involving a Seventh Fleet warship this year — occurred near the Strait of Malacca, a crowded 1.7-mile-wide waterway that connects the Indian Ocean and the South China Sea and accounts for roughly 25 percent of global shipping. ...In a little noticed June 22 incident, someone manipulated GPS signals in the eastern part of the Black Sea, leaving some 20 ships with little situational awareness. Shipboard navigation equipment, which appeared to be working properly, reported the location of the vessels 20 miles inland, near an airport. That was the first known instance of GPS 'spoofing,' or misdirection."

Of course it has.

Alec MacGillis at New York Magazine in collaboration with ProPublica: Is Anybody Home at HUD? "The story of the Trump administration has been dominated by the Russia investigations, the Obamacare-repeal morass, and cataclysmic internecine warfare. But there is a whole other side to Trump's takeover of Washington: What happens to the government itself, and all it is tasked with doing, when it is placed under the command of the Chaos President? HUD has emerged as the perfect distillation of the right's antipathy to governing. If the great radical-conservative dream was, in Grover Norquist's famous words, to 'drown government in a bathtub,' then this was what the final gasps of one department might look like."

[CN: Video may autoplay at link] Brian Ross, Matthew Mosk, and Rhonda Schwartz at ABC News: Glenn Simpson, Key Figure Behind Million-Dollar 'Dossier,' to Face Questions. "A key figure behind the so-called 'dossier' featuring uncorroborated and salacious allegations about then-candidate Donald Trump's ties to Russia will be questioned by investigators from the Senate Judiciary Committee today about the funding and sources for the document. ...Simpson, who will appear in a closed session on Capitol Hill on Tuesday, hired the former MI6 agent Christopher Steele to compile the now infamous 'dossier,' which alleged that members of the Trump campaign had colluded with Russian agents to damage Hillary Clinton, Trump's Democratic opponent."

My friend Leah McElrath notes that ABC kinda buried the lede on this one:

"According to people briefed on the developments, Steele has met with the FBI and provided agents with the names of his sources for the allegations in the dossier, but it is unclear, how much information lawmakers will be able to obtain from Simpson this week. Attorneys for Fusion GPS have indicated to the committee that its client relationships are confidential." That is the very last paragraph in ABC's piece.

[CN: Misogyny]

Jesus fucking Jones.

Glenn Kessler, Michelle Ye Hee Lee, and Meg Kelly at the Washington Post: Trump's List of False and Misleading Claims Tops 1,000. "We have been tracking [Donald] Trump's false or misleading claims for more than seven months. Somewhere around Aug. 4 or Aug. 5, he broke 1,000 claims, and the tally now stands at 1,057. (Our full interactive graphic can be found here.) That's an impressive number by any standard. In fact, we are a little late with this update because we have simply been overwhelmed keeping track of the deluge of claims made by the president in the later part of July. Things slowed down during the president's 'working vacation,' so we have finally been able to catch up. At the president's current pace, he averages nearly five claims a day."

That actually seems low to me, given that some of his tweets have five bullshit claims in them.

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Oh. My. God.

Damian Paletta at the Washington Post: Treasury Secretary's Wife Boasts of Travel on Government Plane; Touts Hermes and Valentino Fashion.
U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin's wife, Louise Linton, boasted of flying on a government plane with her husband to Kentucky on Monday and then named the numerous fashion brands she wore on the trip in an unusual social media post that only became more bizarre minutes later.

When someone posted a comment on Linton's Instagram picture that criticized the way Linton touted the trip, the treasury secretary's wife swung back hard, mentioning the extreme wealth she and her husband control.

"Did you think this was a personal trip?!" Linton wrote on her Instagram page, responding to the person who had written "glad we could pay for your little getaway."

(Linton's Instagram account was later made "private" so that it could not be publicly seen).

Linton continued in her response to the critic: "Adorable! Do you think the US govt paid for our honeymoon or personal travel?! Lololol. Have you given more to the economy than me and my husband? Either as an individual earner in taxes OR in self sacrifice to your country? I'm pretty sure we paid more taxes toward our day 'trip' than you did. Pretty sure the amount we sacrifice per year is a lot more than you'd be willing to sacrifice if the choice was yours."

Linton added, "You're adorably out of touch … Thanks for the passive aggressive nasty comment. Your kids look very cute. Your life looks cute."
At ThinkProgress, Aaron Rupar notes: "Linton's condescending remarks come as Mnuchin, a 17-year veteran of Goldman Sachs who later ran a bank that has been described as a 'foreclosure machine,' ramps up his sales pitch for a tax reform plan that the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center says will disproportionately benefit the top one percent of earners."

It also "came on the same day as news about how [Donald] Trump's lifestyle is creating huge financial and logistical problems for the Secret Service and for taxpayers."

What a fucking administration this is.

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[CN: Violence; murder; racism; death penalty] Mark Berman and Wesley Lowery at the Washington Post: Missouri Plans to Execute Marcellus Williams as His Attorneys Say DNA Evidence Exonerates Him. "Missouri on Tuesday plans to execute Marcellus Williams, a death-row inmate convicted in 2001 of killing a former newspaper reporter. But with Williams's lethal injection looming, his attorneys have appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court for a stay, arguing that Missouri may be on the verge of executing the wrong person. ...Attorneys for Williams argue that he is innocent, pointing to DNA tests they say produced 'conclusive scientific evidence that another man committed this crime.' They say this evidence shows that DNA belonging to someone else was found on the murder weapon, exonerating Williams. ...State officials, though, said they still believe Williams is guilty due to other 'compelling non-DNA evidence.'" JFC. End the death penalty now.

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

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