We Resist: Day 260

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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 Suggests a Foreign Policy "Storm" Is Coming and The 2016 Election Result Simply Never Should Have Been Certified.

[Content Note: White supremacy; misogyny] Joseph Bernstein at BuzzFeed: Here's How Breitbart and Milo Smuggled Nazi and White Nationalist Ideas into the Mainstream.
For more than a year, Yiannopoulos led [conservative news site Breitbart] in a coy dance around the movement's nastier edges, writing stories that minimized the role of neo-Nazis and white nationalists while giving its politer voices "a fair hearing." In March, Breitbart editor Alex Marlow insisted "we're not a hate site." Breitbart's media relations staff repeatedly threatened to sue outlets that described Yiannopoulos as racist. And after the violent white supremacist protest in Charlottesville, Virginia, in August, Breitbart published an article explaining that when Bannon said the site welcomed the alt-right, he was merely referring to "computer gamers and blue-collar voters who hated the GOP brand."

These new emails and documents, however, clearly show that Breitbart does more than tolerate the most hate-filled, racist voices of the alt-right. It thrives on them, fueling and being fueled by some of the most toxic beliefs on the political spectrum — and clearing the way for them to enter the American mainstream.
There is much, much more at the link, and I highly recommend reading the entire thing. A few quick observations:

1. This strongly tracks with the story published yesterday in the Stranger, which I excerpted in yesterday's We Resist thread, in which David Lewis reported that white supremacists were strategizing to "move into positions of power where they can hire other racists and keep non-whites from getting into the company." See, for example, in the BuzzFeed piece "Mitchell Sunderland, a senior staff writer at Broadly, Vice's women's channel." White supremacists insinuating themselves at ostensibly feminist outlets must be the bestest joke (to them) ever, especially since women's warnings about these assholes were ignored.

2. To that point, many of the dudes mentioned in this piece as infamous white supremacists were first known (to women) as anti-feminists, because they got their start harassing women online. Women have been raising red flags about these Nazi fucks for years, but we were dismissed, discounted, admonished to "just ignore them," told that our harassment was just the cost of being a woman online.

3. I can't emphasize this enough: This is a pattern akin to violent men who have a history of domestic violence. It always starts with hurting women. Abusing us is like the canary in the coal mine. It's a test, to see what they can get away with, and a largely invisible testing ground to perfect their crafts of abuse and gaslighting.

Listen to women.

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[Content Note: War on agency] Robert Pear at the New York Times: Trump Administration Set to Roll Back Birth Control Mandate. "The Trump administration is poised to roll back the federal requirement for employers to include birth control coverage in their health insurance plans, vastly expanding exemptions for those that cite moral or religious objections. The new rules, which could be issued as soon as Friday, fulfill a campaign promise by [Donald] Trump and are sure to touch off a round of lawsuits on the issue. More than 55 million women have access to birth control without co-payments because of the contraceptive coverage mandate, according to a study commissioned by the Obama administration. Under the new regulations, hundreds of thousands of women could lose birth control benefits they now receive at no cost under the Affordable Care Act."

I'm just going to keep reposting this tweet forever and ever.

[CN: War on agency] Ellie Langford at Rewire: Don't Be Fooled: The Goal of the 20-Week Ban Is to Stop Abortion for Good.
The bill Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives passed Tuesday would ban abortion after 20 weeks. Medical professionals, women, and families alike know that this type of restriction is one of the cruelest pieces of legislation around. A ban on abortion after 20 weeks will disproportionately hurt those facing some of the most complex situations imaginable. People seek this care later in pregnancy for a variety of reasons, including medical problems, difficulty accessing services, and the fear that comes with rape, incest, and abuse. Furthermore, abortions performed later in pregnancy are rare and represent only 1.5 percent of total abortion procedures in this country—a tiny portion. Taking away those options when they are most needed is the wrong thing to do.

Despite how damaging this legislation would be if signed into law—and despite how many other pressing issues desperately need to be addressed—the anti-choice GOP went ahead and scheduled the vote anyway. The reason why is simple: This legislation is meant to placate a fringe base that's angry their party has barely gotten anything done. But it's also a priority of aggressive anti-choice activists who view the bill as one step on the pathway to a total ban on abortion.
Rage. Seethe. Boil.

[CN: Guns] Addy Baird at ThinkProgress: How the NRA and the Far-Right Are Quietly Mobilizing to Kill Gun Safety Reform After Vegas. "Thursday's statement is likely part of a wider strategy on the part of some conservatives: As long as the NRA is talking about bump stocks, they don't have to talk about assault rifles. ...Gun advocates have certainly been doing their best to draw attention to other issues by offering distracting, if easily debunked, alternative talking points." I will never understand this shit.

Juliet Eilperin at the Washington Post: As ACA Enrollment Nears, Administration Keeps Cutting Federal Support of the Law. "Supporters of the Affordable Care Act see the president's opposition even to changes sought by conservative states as part of a broader campaign by his administration to undermine the 2010 health-care law. In addition to trying to cut funding for the ACA, the Trump administration also is hampering state efforts to control premiums. ...And with the fifth enrollment season set to begin Nov. 1, advocates say the Health and Human Services Department has done more to suppress the number of people signing up than to boost it. HHS has slashed grants to groups that help consumers get insurance coverage, for example. It also has cut the enrollment period in half, reduced the advertising budget by 90 percent, and announced an outage schedule that would make the HealthCare.gov website less available than last year." Scumbags.

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Betsy Woodruff at the Daily Beast: Exclusive: Senate 'Russia Probe' Is Not Investigating Russia. "Nearly a year after Election Day, a host of investigators are working on probes specifically digging into how Russia meddled in the presidential election, who — if anyone — they colluded with in the U.S., and what they are still doing now. The Senate Intelligence Committee is investigating, the House Intelligence Committee is investigating, and the Justice Department is investigating too, through special counsel Bob Mueller. But Grassley's committee is not part of that. The Grassley staffer told The Daily Beast that the Judiciary Committee's investigators are focused on the FBI."

As I've been saying, the GOP majority was never going to allow Congressional investigations to do anything but carry water for Trump and his cronies. There are no patriots to be found among the Republican caucus — not anymore. This, among other reasons, is why I continually urge caution in getting one's hopes up regarding accountability for Trump.

Trust that Bob Mueller is getting an enormous amount of pressure from these stooges to soft-pedal whatever he finds, especially with regard to Trump. This is why I am nervous about the appearance of Manafort being made a fall guy. I don't think Mueller is corrupt, but I know he's a human being under intense scrutiny and pressure. It may look easier, at some point, to settle for Manafort.

I hope that is not and is never the case. But I don't trust the Republicans not to be using every bit of their power to try to make that happen.

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Jenna Johnson at the Washington Post: FEMA Removes Statistics About Drinking Water Access and Electricity in Puerto Rico from Website. "As of Wednesday, half of Puerto Ricans had access to drinking water and 5 percent of the island had electricity, according to statistics published by the Federal Emergency Management Agency on its Web page documenting the federal response to Hurricane Maria. By Thursday morning, both of those key metrics were no longer on the Web page." Instead, it's only stats like "64 percent of wastewater treatment plants are working on generator power," that "illustrate [Donald] Trump's assertions that the island is quickly making tremendous strides toward full recovery."

Taegan Goddard at Political Wire: Trump Nominates Coal Lobbyist to Be No. 2 at EPA. "'Trump nominated Andrew Wheeler, a coal lobbyist with links to outspoken deniers of established science on climate change, to help lead the Environmental Protection Agency,' the New York Times reports. 'The nomination comes at a critical moment for the E.P.A. as the agency prepares to repeal a sweeping climate change regulation known as the Clean Power Plan.'" Obviously.

Josh Dawsey, Emily Stephenson, and Andrea Peterson at Politico: John Kelly's Personal Cellphone Was Compromised, White House Believes. "White House officials believe that chief of staff John Kelly's personal cellphone was compromised, potentially as long ago as December, according to three U.S. government officials. The discovery raises concerns that hackers or foreign governments may have had access to data on Kelly's phone while he was secretary of Homeland Security and after he joined the West Wing." Sure.

Mike Allen and Jonathan Swan at Axios: CIA Director Pompeo Considered to Replace Tillerson. "Trump advisers and allies are floating the idea of replacing Secretary of State Rex Tillerson with CIA Director Mike Pompeo, age 53 — someone who's already around the table in the Situation Room, and could make the switch without chaos. We're told that Trump is quite comfortable with Pompeo, asking his advice on topics from immigration to the inner workings of Congress. Pompeo personally delivers the President's Daily Brief, making him one of the few people Trump spends a great deal of time with on a daily basis. Pompeo is one of the few in the administration who knows how to convey tough news to the president, and how to push back without turning DJT off. (SecDef Mattis is good at that, too.) Trump doesn't see Pompeo as a showboat." Okay.

Noor Al-Sibai at Raw Story: Taxpayers Spent More Than $800,000 on Treasury Sec. Mnuchin's military Flights. "Former Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price resigned less than a week ago after costing taxpayers over $1 million in private and military flights. Now, according to the Treasury Department's inspector general, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin may catch up to him with the more than $800,000 he's spent on seven military flights." Cool.

Sounds like everything's going great in the Trump administration, as per usual. Just a super group of white dudes serving the country well.

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

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