We Resist: Day 274

a black bar with the word RESIST in white text

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.

* * *

Here are some things in the news today:

Earlier today by me: John Kelly Got It Very, Very Wrong.

Robert Windrem and Courtney Kube at NBC News: Pentagon Sends Team to Niger to Find Out What Happened.
The U.S. military is still searching for answers on what happened in Niger two weeks ago when four U.S. soldiers were killed during an ambush, apparently by a branch of ISIS.

Now the Pentagon's Africa Command (AFRICOM) has sent a team to the African nation to conduct a "review of the facts," according to two U.S. defense officials. The officials are careful not to call the inquiry an investigation, but admit they simply don't know what happened on Oct. 4.

"We need to collect some very basic raw facts," one defense official said.

...The official said the level of confusion during and after the mission was "tremendous." The fourth soldier's body wasn't found until nearly two days after the ambush.

...One indication of the level of confusion after the attack is that the U.S. military has provided three different answers for who flew the medevac helicopter – first U.S. military officials said it was French military, then that it was the U.S. military. Now, they're saying it could have been a U.S. contractor.
[Content Note: Video may autoplay at link] There is also some question, as reported by Barbara Starr at CNN, that Sgt. La David Johnson may have been alive when he was left behind: "Is it still accurate that a 'beacon' was emitting from the battlefield, leading to some indication he might have been alive for a period of time?" And whether he was left alive or dead may be attributable to the possibility that a contractor who rescued the soldiers under siege, as they wouldn't have had or done a headcount the way a military rescue presumably would have.

There are a lot of important questions that need answers here. One would hope Congressional Republicans, following their exhaustive investigations of Benghazi, are interested in getting those answers.


* * *

Speaking of Congressional Republicans who take their jobs seriously...

Here's Speaker Paul Ryan making some terrific jokes at the Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner in New York last night:

Enough with the applause, all right? You sound like the Cabinet when Donald Trump walks in the room. [edit] I don't think I've seen this many New York liberals, this many Wall Street CEOs, in one room since my last visit to the White House. [edit] I wanna thank Patricia Heaton. Patricia and I do go way back a long ways, because you know what? Patricia Heaton — she is a Hollywood Republican. A Hollywood Republican. That is an oxymoron. Which clearly was the word Rux — Rex Tillerson was searching for. [edit]

I know last year that Donald Trump offended some people. I know his comments, according to critics, went too far. Some said it was unbecoming of a public figure, and they said that his comments were offensive. Well, thank god he's learned his lesson. [edit] A lot of people, they ask me, you know, guy from Wisconsin, what's it like to work on a daily basis with an abrasive New Yorker with a loud mouth? But, you know, once you get to know him, Chuck Schumer's not all that bad. [edit]

And when you read the papers tomorrow, everyone's gonna report this thing differently: Breitbart's gonna lead with "Ryan Slams the President Amongst Liberal Elites." New York Times is gonna report "Ryan Defends the President in a State Hillary Won." And the president will tweet "300,000 at Al Smith Dinner Cheer Mention of My Name." [edit]

My primary opponent in 2016 was endorsed by Sarah Palin. I'm really not that mad about it, because Sarah and I actually have a lot in common. We both lost for vice president; we both debated Joe Biden; and, given the current investigations, I, too, can see Russia from the House. [edit] When people ask me if I believe everything I see on Facebook, I answer, "Nyet." [edit]

Every morning, I wake up in my office [???!] and I scroll Twitter to see which tweets that I will have to pretend that I did not see later on.

"Thank you! I'll be here all — FOREVER BECAUSE IT'S A COUP HAHAHAHAHAHA."

Just so we're clear: The Speaker of the House of the United States Congress, third in line to the presidency, believes it's hilarious that the president is a gross authoritarian bully; that Russia is meddling in the nation's elections and politics; and that he and his party are disloyal scoundrels who are abetting the demise of our democratic norms and systems.

Rage. Seethe. Boil.

* * *

Andrew Restuccia and Nahal Toosi at Politico: Trump Nominees Show Up for Work Without Waiting for Senate Approval. "The Trump administration is pushing the limits of an obscure federal law that restricts nominees from serving in federal positions before they're approved by the Senate. A Politico review has identified four officials at three different agencies doing substantially similar work to the position for which they have been nominated — despite not yet getting a green-light from the Senate. ...[L]awyers and other experts said the moves — including by the Environmental Protection Agency, the State Department and the White House Office of Management and Budget — to have unconfirmed nominees show up for work appears to skirt the Federal Vacancies Reform Act, which prohibits most people who have been nominated to fill a vacant government position from performing that office’s duties in an acting capacity." Coup-coup-cachoo.

Ally Boguhn at Rewire: Meet Trump's Reported Top Choice for Health and Human Services Secretary. "Alex Azar, whose resume includes stints as a pharmaceutical executive, working in George W. Bush's Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and clerking for the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, is reportedly being considered by the Trump administration to lead HHS. Trump 'is leaning towards' nominating Azar to replace Tom Price after the HHS secretary resigned last month, according to a Tuesday report from Politico. ...Azar has donated to Vice President Mike Pence's campaigns, including a $2,950 donation to his 2012 gubernatorial campaign, $1,000 to his gubernatorial re-election efforts in 2016 prior to becoming the nominee for vice president, and another $500 to Pence's successful 2010 bid for the U.S. House of Representatives." That's really all I need to know about him. Boo.

Jamie Grierson at the Guardian: Trump Links UK Crime Rise to 'Spread of Islamic Terror'. "Donald Trump has erroneously linked a rise in recorded crime in England and Wales to the 'spread of radical Islamic terror' in his latest outburst on Twitter. 'Just out report: 'United Kingdom crime rises 13% annually amid spread of Radical Islamic terror.' not good, we must keep America safe!' wrote the US president. The UK Office for National Statistics (ONS), in its quarterly update on crime on Thursday, reported a 13% increase in all police-recorded offences across England and Wales." (Which is not the same as "United Kingdom," by the way.) "The report barely mentions terrorism other than to refer on one occasion to the impact recent terrorist attacks in Britain had on the headline murder rate." So wrongity-wrong as usual, in a very specific way as usual.

Greg Miller at the Washington Post: CIA Director Distorts Intelligence Community's Findings on Russian Interference. "'The intelligence community's assessment is that the Russian meddling that took place did not affect the outcome of the election,' Pompeo said at a security conference in Washington. His comment suggested — falsely — that a report released by U.S. intelligence agencies in January had ruled out any impact that could be attributed to a covert Russian interference campaign that involved leaks of tens of thousands of stolen emails, the flooding of social media sites with false claims, and the purchase of ads on Facebook." Liars. Every last one of them.

Caitlin MacNeal at TPM: White House Staff Was Unprepared for Trump's Surprise Opioid Announcement. "An impromptu remark from [Donald] Trump on Monday that he would make an announcement next week declaring the opioid crisis a national emergency sent staff at the White House scrambling, as they were unprepared for such a move, Politico reported Friday morning, citing White House and agency officials. 'We are going to have a major announcement, probably next week, on the drug crisis and on the opioid massive problem and I want to get that absolutely right,' Trump said on Monday. Staffers were 'blindsided' by the comments, according to Politico."

All the best presidents know that the way to get policy "absolutely right" is to have no real plan at all, put as little thought into it as possible, and scramble at the last minute to throw some shit together.

[CN: White supremacy] A.C. Thompson, Ali Winston, and Darwin BondGraham at ProPublica: Racist, Violent, Unpunished: A White Hate Group's Campaign of Menace. "ProPublica spent weeks examining one distinctive group at the center of the violence in Charlottesville: An organization called the Rise Above Movement, one of whose members was the white man dispensing beatings near Emancipation Park Aug. 12. The group, based in Southern California, claims more than 50 members and a singular purpose: Physically attacking its ideological foes. RAM's members spend weekends training in boxing and other martial arts, and they have boasted publicly of their violence during protests in Huntington Beach, San Bernardino, and Berkeley. Many of the altercations have been captured on video, and its members are not hard to spot. ...Despite their prior records, and open boasting of current violence, RAM has seemingly drawn little notice from law enforcement. Four episodes of violence documented by ProPublica resulted in only a single arrest — and in that case prosecutors declined to go forward." Huh.

[CN: White supremacy; homophobia; misogyny] Sharona Coutts at Rewire: New Analysis Shows Supporters of Family Research Council Embrace White Supremacy and Neo-Nazism. "The FRC's stated purpose is to advance and defend Christian 'family values,' but its stance on LGBTQ people has earned it a designation as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), which cites a long history of vilification... A social media network analysis performed by Rewire, however, shows the FRC's messages are resonating with other factions of the far right that explicitly endorse and advocate extremist views on white supremacy, women's rights, and even espouse neo-Nazi views." Confirming what we already know intuitively: Someone who expresses rank hatred of one marginalized group typically isn't tolerant of any marginalized people at all.

[CN: Homophobia] Damien Sharkov at Towleroad: Russia Eyes Criminalizing 'Gay Propaganda'. "Russia's much criticized law that fines anyone expressing support for LGBT rights in public could get even harsher after a senior official in the Ministry of the Interior suggested making it a criminal offense. ...'Today administrative consequences exist for this but they are not very effective, as the fines are anticipated,' [deputy head of the ministry's anti-sex crime department, Sergei Alabin] complained. 'If we were to raise this, for example, to the rank of criminal offense, then I hope we will protect our offspring, which should not grow up leaning towards pedophilia, non-traditional relations and so forth,' he said, according to state news agency RIA Novosti." This is the administration of the government we're allowing to meddle in our country's future. Which is to say nothing of how our administration is abandoning LGBTQ Russians to horrific oppression and abuse.

[CN: Sexual abuse] Cora Lewis at BuzzFeed: A Top Labor Executive Has Been Suspended After Complaints About His Relationships with Female Staffers. "A top labor movement figure who led the Fight for $15 minimum wage campaign was suspended this week after complaints from staffers about his conduct toward women, BuzzFeed News has learned. The Service Employees International Union suspended Executive Vice President Scott Courtney after 'questions were raised...relating to our union's ethical code and anti-nepotism policy,' Sahar Wali, a spokesperson for the powerful union, said in a statement Tuesday. ...The complaints about Courtney had been an open secret among women in the high-profile Fight for $15 campaign within the union, which is itself led by one of the most visible women in American labor." Goddammit.

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

Shakesville is run as a safe space. First-time commenters: Please read Shakesville's Commenting Policy and Feminism 101 Section before commenting. We also do lots of in-thread moderation, so we ask that everyone read the entirety of any thread before commenting, to ensure compliance with any in-thread moderation. Thank you.

blog comments powered by Disqus