We Resist: Day 244

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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: Senate GOP Wants Healthcare Vote in One Week.

The Editors of the Washington Post aren't pulling their punches on Senate Republicans' latest attempt to repeal Obamacare. Today's editorial is headlined: "Another Execrable Health-Care Bill Proves Bad Ideas Never Die." Ouch! Also: Correct. "Some Republicans want to pass this policy disaster before the end of the month, in less than two weeks. A last-minute committee hearing would be nothing more than a fig leaf disguising a reprehensibly partisan process in service of an unworthy bill." Damn.

With more on said fig leaf, Amanda Michelle Gomez at ThinkProgress: GOP Rushes to Pass Trumpcare Through Irregular Order.
Now, looking to garner support from McCain, his Republican colleagues have scheduled one hearing that would unpack the Cassidy-Graham bill — legislation that undercuts consumer protections more so than any other GOP health bill.

The hearing, which will held by the Senate Committee on Finance, is scheduled for Monday, September 25.

...It's not yet clear who will testify before senators on the potential impacts of the proposal, and it's also hard to imagine they will have all the information they need about the legislation's impact.

Next week's hearing will proceed without a comprehensive analysis from the CBO, which announced Monday that it will only be able to provide a "preliminary assessment" given the limited timeframe — a deadline that's self-imposed by the Senate because it's unlikely senators will be able to get enough support for the Cassidy-Graham to pass the bill with anything but a simple majority.
However, even though the Congressional Budget Office score won't arrive in time (by design, as usual), Greg Sargent notes that the new "Avalere study means GOP Senators now know exactly what they're voting for, even without CBO score."

At the Washington Post, he writes: "The study, which was released this morning by Avalere Health, a consulting firm, finds that many states will see sizable cuts to the federal money that would flow to their states, relative to current law. ...[B]ecause of the bill's funding formula, a lot of states will end up with substantially less federal money to spend on health-care coverage than they would have under current law. ...[T]he bill also creates a massive fiscal cliff for many states who stand to take an enormous wallop after 2026 [when the cuts get substantially worse]."

To reiterate: Republican Senators now know, irrespective of the availability (or lack thereof) of the CBO score, that the bill on which they're voting is terrible and why it's terrible. If they vote for it anyway, they're doing it with full and public knowledge of the millions of people they'd harm.

For ourselves, for our countrypeople, and to give Topher a great birthday, MAKE YOUR CALLS.

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[Content Note: Video may autoplay at link] Morgan Winsor at ABC News: Nikki Haley Defends Trump's 'Rocket Man' Speech to United Nations: He 'Was Being Honest'. "In his speech to the U.N. General Assembly on Tuesday, Trump threatened to 'totally destroy' North Korea if the U.S. is 'forced to defend itself or its allies,' prompting astonished gasps from the audience. Haley said the president 'was being honest' and that his bluntness was in fact 'very much appreciated.'" 1. No he wasn't; and 2. Appreciated by whom? Also: "Being honest" isn't a defense for recklessly provoking a nuclear war. FYI.

Craig Silverman at BuzzFeed: Trump Is Using Targeted Facebook Ads to Reassure Supporters He Will Build the Border Wall.
Donald Trump is using targeted Facebook ads to reassure supporters that he still plans to build the border wall after his recent public comments caused many to question whether he would keep his promise.

"There's been a lot of noise and a lot of rumors," reads the text of a Facebook ad from Trump's personal Facebook page that was targeted to specific users in recent days. "....WE WILL BUILD A WALL (NOT A FENCE) ALONG THE SOUTHERN BORDER OF THE UNITED STATES..." The ad concludes with a pitch for donations.

...The personal Facebook page of Vice President Mike Pence is also running a version of the ad. One difference between the Pence and Trump ads is the VP's refers to "Fake News media," while Trump's calls out the "mainstream media." Both ads include a dig against "liberals in congress."

A White House spokesman told BuzzFeed News the ads are being run by the Trump campaign, and referred all questions to it. The Trump campaign did not respond to emails or phone messages about the ads.

The ads are not visible on the timelines of the Trump or Pence Facebook pages. They are, therefore, so-called "dark post ads" because they can only be seen by people the campaign chose to target with the message. This is the same type of ad Facebook recently acknowledged was purchased by a Russian troll factory in order to target Americans during the election.
RED FLAG. RED FLAG. RED FLAG. I mean, this is how confident Trump is that he's above the law and will face no consequences. It's just a brazen replication of the very thing for which he's being investigated.

Allegra Kirkland at TPM: More Details Emerge About Predawn Raid on Manafort's Virginia Home. "Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and his wife were asleep in their Alexandria, Virginia apartment early on the morning of July 26 when a team of armed FBI agents burst through the door with a search warrant focusing on possible crimes committed as far back as 2006. ...A source briefed on the investigation told CNN that special counsel Robert Mueller's team explicitly notified Manafort that they planned to charge him with possible tax and financial crimes." Again: These leaks are not great.

[CN: Trans hatred; child abuse] Chris Massie and Andrew Kaczynski at CNN: Trump Judicial Nominee Said Transgender Children Are Part of 'Satan's Plan'; Defended 'Conversion Therapy'. "In a pair of 2015 speeches, [Donald] Trump's nominee for a federal judgeship in Texas described transgender children as evidence of 'Satan's plan,' lamented that states were banning conversion therapy, and argued that sanctioning same-sex marriage would lead to polygamy and bestiality. Jeff Mateer, the current first assistant attorney general of Texas, was serving at the time as general counsel of the First Liberty Institute, a religious liberty advocacy group known before 2016 as the Liberty Institute. ...If confirmed by the US Senate, he will serve on the US District Court for the Eastern District of Texas." And Trump still has 100 federal court vacancies to fill, so that's cool and everything is fine. (Heaving sobs.)

Dan Diamond and Rachana Pradhan at Politico: Price's Private-Jet Travel Breaks Precedent. "In a sharp departure from his predecessors, Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price last week took private jets on five separate flights for official business, at a cost of tens of thousands of dollars more than commercial travel. ...The travel by corporate-style jet comes at a time when other members of the Trump administration are under fire for travel expenditures, and breaks with the practices of Obama-era Secretaries Sylvia Mathews Burwell and Kathleen Sebelius, who flew commercially while in the continental United States. Price, a frequent critic of federal spending who has been developing a plan for department-wide cost savings, declined to comment." I'll bet he did. This is an entire administration of lying grifters.

Matt Shuham at TPM: Ousted White House Aide Gorka Joins Conspiracy Theory-Happy 'MAGA Coalition'. "Former White House staffer and self-styled counterterrorism expert Sebastian Gorka has joined a secretive pro-Trump super PAC whose leaders have pushed conspiracy theories about a murdered Democratic National Committee staffer and 'Pizzagate.' ...MAGA Coalition asserted in an late August FEC filing that it 'exists to further the political influence of 'America First' policies; engineered to put the freedom, sovereignty, and economic prosperity policies for the American voters into practice in our government.' The group's known staff is extremely small, but Gorka's hiring as its 'chief strategist' shines a bright light on its habit of promoting extreme conspiracy theories." And empowering Nazis.

For more on the MAGA Coalition, see Lachlan Markay and Asawin Suebsaeng at the Daily Beast: Seb Gorka Joins Pro-Trump Group Founded by Pizzagate Truthers and a Seth Rich Conspiracy Theorist.

[CN: Homophobia; transphobia] Nick Duffy at PinkNews: Kid Rock Opens Senate Bid with Anti-LGBT Rant. I'm not going to reprint his vile bigotry in this space. Instead, I just want to share this passage from the piece: "The outspoken Republican, real name Robert Ritchie, is reportedly planning to run in the US Senate election in Michigan next November, seeking to unseat incumbent Democrat Debbie Stabenow. Polling has shown he has massive support among the GOP base, despite his lack of experience or policy knowledge or stated political agenda." Despite, or because of. Seethe.

[CN: Racism; police brutality] Kenrya Rankin at Colorlines: Attorney Advocate in St. Louis Asks When Her City Will Begin to Value Black Lives.
Organizers and activists have been in the streets since Friday, protesting the verdict [in which officer Jason Stockley was acquitted on first-degree murder charges for killing 24-year-old Anthony Lamar Smith] and the system that produced it. Among the crowd: Nicole D. Nelson, a staff attorney with nonprofit civil rights law firm ArchCity Defenders. And as she writes in an op-ed published in The New York Times today, there is nothing new under the sun when it comes to the city's treatment of its Black residents.

...Nelson closes by urging local leadership to heed the policy recommendations of The Movement for Black Lives, including demilitarizing law enforcement, putting an end to the cash bail system, and decriminalizing poverty. "Until then," she writes, "St. Louis law enforcement officials will continue to find themselves locked in this pattern, wondering why Black citizens take to the streets demanding that the police stop killing us."
Relatedly, after Pi Pizzeria owner Chris Sommers was targeted by the union representing St. Louis County police officers, directing people to harass him because he voiced opposition to the police having gassed his restaurant and patrons, Sommers published a thorough response, which is an absolutely devastating indictment of the police's tactics during the protests: "After they threw a tear gas canister at me (again, on video), a guy next to me picked it up and threw it back at them, either to get it away from him and others at Pi, or because he felt violated and wanted to return the poison. They certainly didn't like that, and finally crossed the street, rushing at me as I ran into my restaurant and barely got the door closed before they could break in. Yes, I had to lock down my restaurant for the first time from the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department. I then had to close the restaurant, buy dinner for remaining guests and ensure that my team, who were now all terrified from the gas and rush by the police, had a safe ride home. I repeat, we only closed our restaurant this weekend out of fear of police, not protestors or the shitheads vandalizing." JFC.

[CN: Carcerality] Matt Krupnick at the Guardian: Bail Roulette: How the Same Minor Crime Can Cost $250 or $10,000. "The Guardian looked at California to try and get a sense of the dynamics across a large state. An inspection of bail schedules in 56 of California's 58 counties — rural Humboldt and Amador counties did not respond to repeated requests — shows huge disparities in how misdemeanor bail is handled. The analysis showed big differences even regarding minor crimes that would lead to little or no jail time upon conviction. ...Bail schedules tend to reflect community values. If you sell drugs near a church in Florida's fifth circuit, west of Orlando, you can expect to pay $5,000 bail. But bringing a gun to school? That will cost just $2,000. 'That's an indication of where we are,' said Mike Graves, the fifth circuit public defender. 'It's a conservative place.'"

[CN: War on agency] Nicole Knight at Rewire: Pennsylvania Officials Still Won't Cut off Anti-Choice Group Misusing Taxpayer Money. "For decades, the anti-choice nonprofit Real Alternatives abused a multi-million dollar Pennsylvania state grant by spending a cut of the money on a network of crisis pregnancy centers, or fake clinics, and anti-choice activities outside the state. Pennsylvania's auditor general on Tuesday said the state was to blame for shoddy oversight of Real Alternatives, announcing it was time to go after the misspent money. But Auditor General Eugene DePasquale stopped short of recommending the state end Real Alternative's $30.2 million grant." OH WELL I GUESS. *headdesk*

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

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