We Resist: Day 277

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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: Myeshia Johnson Has Nothing to Say to Donald Trump and Mueller's Investigation Takes a Worrying Turn and Today in War.

In case you have a seen what its purveyors claim is a screencap of Myeshia Johnson's Facebook page going around, in which she appears to support Trump and criticize Rep. Wilson, it's a fake. Because conservatives' depravity knows no boundaries.

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In other tendril of the emergent strategy to redirect accusations of Russian collusion onto those who call it out (what I'll henceforth call The Russia Reversal), anti-Putin whistleblower Bill Browder — whom Putin has accused of murdering Sergei Magnitsky (for whom the Magnitsky Act, which Putin hates, is named) — says his U.S. visa has been revoked.

And no less on the very same day that Putin successfully had Browder placed on Interpol's watchlist (again).

Not good. Not good at all.

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The New York Times Editorial Board: America's Forever Wars. "The United States has been at war continuously since the attacks of 9/11 and now has just over 240,000 active-duty and reserve troops in at least 172 countries and territories. While the number of men and women deployed overseas has shrunk considerably over the past 60 years, the military's reach has not. American forces are actively engaged not only in the conflicts in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and Yemen that have dominated the news, but also in Niger and Somalia, both recently the scene of deadly attacks, as well as Jordan, Thailand, and elsewhere. An additional 37,813 troops serve on presumably secret assignment in places listed simply as 'unknown.' The Pentagon provided no further explanation."

Betsy Woodruff at the Daily Beast: Senators Stunned to Discover We Have 1,000 Troops in Niger. "Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), one of the chamber's most hawkish members, told host Chuck Todd on Meet the Press that he didn't know until recently that a thousand U.S. troops are stationed in Niger. Graham is on the powerful Senate Armed Services Committee, tasked with overseeing the Pentagon. ...Graham added that as long as American military activity involves countering 'radical Islamist fundamentalism and the spread of it,' Congress doesn't need to give the Pentagon any special permission since, in his view, the AUMFs that passed in 2001 was sufficient. ...Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), the chamber's most powerful Democrat, admitted later on the same show that he was just as ignorant as Graham about the number of U.S. troops in Niger. When Todd asked him if he knew previously about the thousand troops there, he said he didn't. 'And what it means, Chuck, for the war authorization, is I agree with Senator [Rand] Paul (R-KY) that we ought to look at this carefully,' Schumer continued."

Everything is fine. *crawls into cannon; fires self directly into sun*

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Philip Rucker, Sean Sullivan, and Paul Kane at the Washington Post: The Great Dealmaker? Lawmakers Find Trump to Be an Untrustworthy Negotiator. Oh wow no shit. Is that because he's a compulsive fucking liar? "Trump campaigned as one of the world's greatest dealmakers, but after nine months of struggling to broker agreements, lawmakers in both parties increasingly consider him an untrustworthy, chronically inconsistent, and easily distracted negotiator. As Trump prepares to visit Capitol Hill on Tuesday to unify his party ahead of a high-stakes season of votes on tax cuts and budget measures, some Republicans are openly questioning his negotiating abilities and devising strategies to keep him from changing his mind."

I love (cough) how people continue to give Trump the benefit of the doubt and insist on Occam's Big Paisley Tie-ing every reason under the sun why Trump does the terrible things he does. "Oh, he's easily distracted." NO HE'S A FUCKING LIAR.

And it happens regarding everything.

Jesus fucking Jones. Stop extending this guy good faith and describe what is patently obvious. Goddammit.

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Auditi Guha at Rewire: Flint Faces Critical Deadline to Choose a Water Source. "Three years into the Flint water crisis, the clock is ticking and a federal judge has ordered the city council to clean up its act. City officials must choose a long-term source of drinking water by Monday, U.S. District Judge David M. Lawson ordered in a summary judgment. Judge Lawson noted 'the Council has had abundant opportunities to exercise its prerogatives in choosing a long-term water source, and has failed at every turn through its inaction.' ...Flint activist Melissa Mays told Rewire that she would like to see the city council and the mayor agree on a plan to remain on the Detroit source until all of Flint's tainted infrastructure is replaced and a new water treatment plant is built. 'This way we wouldn't be handing 30 years of payments and control over to Detroit nor would we be making yet another untested water source switch that could poison us all over again by going to the Karegnondi Water Authority,' she said."

Greg Sargent at the Washington Post: Trump Is at Risk of Blowing It on Opioids, a Member of His Own Commission Warns.
[Trump] recently told reporters that he would soon have a "major announcement" on the "massive opioid problem," and people inside the White House are now leaking word that this announcement will herald an all-hands-on-deck push to combat the epidemic.

But members of Trump's own handpicked commission to combat the epidemic aren't nearly as confident, I'm told. They are increasingly worried that the Trump administration will not actually follow through with a robust response, even if he does go before the cameras and declare the crisis a national emergency, and they are increasingly annoyed by the efforts of people inside the administration who are resistant to such a response, one member of the commission says.

In a surprisingly blunt interview with me, Patrick Kennedy, the former congressman from Rhode Island who is a member of the President's Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis, candidly described the mood on the commission as one racked by pessimism about the president's willingness and ability to follow through with a response that matches the scale of the human disaster that has unfolded.
Well, fuck. This is hardly surprising, but it's still depressing at hell to have confirmation of what we all could have guessed.

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[Content Note: Violence; image of injury at link] CBS/AP: Prominent Journalist Stabbed in Her Throat at Moscow Radio Station. "A well-known journalist for Russia's leading news radio station was stabbed in the throat Monday by an unknown attacker who burst into her studio - the latest in a string of attacks on journalists or opposition activists in Moscow. The assailant broke into Ekho Moskvy, which has often been described as Russia's only independent news radio station, and stabbed deputy editor-in-chief Tatyana Felgenhauer, editor-in-chief Alexei Venediktov said. Felgenhauer, best known for co-hosting a popular morning radio show, was taken to hospital but her life is not in danger, the station said."

[CN: Torture; death; homophobia] Missing Pop Singer Reportedly Tortured to Death in Chechnya's Anti-Gay Purge. "Reports have emerged claiming that pop singer Zelimkhan Bakaev has become the latest victim of Chechnya's anti-gay purge. The singer reportedly went missing in August, and hasn't been heard from since by his family and friends. After fears began to grow for his safety, LGBT+ human rights groups previously thought that Bakaev had been detained. However, sources now believe the Russian singer, 26, was brutally tortured to death by authorities shortly after his arrival into the country, all because of his sexuality."

Let us not mince words about this: If Hillary Clinton were president, she and/or her Secretary of State would be denouncing these attacks on the press in Russia and the torture and murder of LGBTQ people in Chechnya.

Instead, Donald Trump is president, and he is waging his own war on the press and making "jokes" about how Mike Pence wants to hang all gay people.

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[CN: Rape culture; description of assault] Guardian/AP: Director James Toback Accused of Sexual Harassment by 38 Women. "The Oscar-nominated writer and director James Toback has been accused of sexual harassment by 38 women in a report published by the Los Angeles Times. Many of the women allege Toback approached them on the streets of New York City and promised stardom. Subsequent meetings would often end with sexual questions and Toback masturbating in front of the women or dry-humping them, according to the accounts. The 72-year-old denied the allegations to LA Times, saying he never met any of the women, or if he had it 'was for five minutes and [I] have no recollection.'" Fuck this guy.

[CN: Rape culture] Anemona Hartocollis and Christina Capecchi at the New York Times: 'Willing to Do Everything,' Mothers Defend Sons Accused of Sexual Assault. This is absolutely disgusting. "She described herself as a lifelong Democrat and feminist who went to college in the 1970s at the height of the sexual revolution and women's liberation movements. Her husband and their two sons were 'super respectful' of women, she said. 'We don't really need to teach our sons not to rape,' she said." The fuck you don't.

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

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