We Resist: Day 278

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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: The Standards Are Moved to Accommodate Trump and Two Facts. And by Fannie: Dispatches from the Queer Resistance (No. 4).

Hey, remember yesterday when I wrote that what I'm seeing looks like the nascent stages of a plan to silence and punish dissidents? Today Rep. Devin Nunes, who had to "step aside" from the House Intelligence Committee's Russia investigation because he so profoundly compromised himself, called a press conference to make a cool announcement.

Not good. Not good at all.

I have seen some people arguing the endgame here is to create the impression "if everyone's in cahoots with Russia, no one is." And I think that's true as far as what The Powers That Be want the populace to believe. If everyone's dirty, it's so demoralizing, you might as well check out.

But equivocation that protects him is not Trump's endgame. Remember: Trump doesn't do ties. A tie isn't good enough. He has to win, which means someone has to lose.

The endgame for Trump is, I fear, nothing less than what we heard chanted over and over and over throughout the campaign: "Lock her up."

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[Content Note: White supremacy]

This was a big fucking problem even when the president wasn't a white supremacist. That the commander-in-chief has put his stamp of approval on white nationalism makes this a situation of which every one of us should be terrified.

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Dan Lamothe at the Washington Post: Caught in a Deadly Ambush, U.S. Troops in Niger Waited an Hour for French Air Power to Arrive.
The U.S. Special Forces team caught in a deadly ambush three weeks ago in Niger did not request help from nearby French forces for about an hour after the firefight began near a village the Americans had visited during a reconnaissance mission several hours prior, the Pentagon's top general said Monday.

It then took the French another hour to get fighter jets over the American troops, according to a new timeline provided by Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr., chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The disclosure doubles the amount of time the U.S. troops were believed to have fought without significant additional help.

"This is a very complex situation that they found themselves in, and a pretty tough firefight," Dunford said.

Four U.S. soldiers were killed and two others were wounded in the battle Oct. 4. Five Nigerien troops also died. The mission has ignited a political firestorm, raising questions about the U.S. military's broader mission in Africa and why one of the fallen soldiers, Sgt. La David Johnson, was not recovered for two days.

Senior U.S. officials are fairly certain, Dunford said, that when the soldiers left their base Oct. 3, their mission was to conduct a routine reconnaissance patrol to Tongo Tongo, a village near Niger's border with Mali. Less clear is whether they deviated from that task, whether they had adequate communications to call for help, and how Johnson wound up missing. An ongoing investigation aims to answer those questions, Dunford said.

"What tactical instructions a commander on the ground gave at a given time to cause the units to maneuver, and where they may have been when Sergeant Johnson's body was found, those are all questions that will be identified during the investigation," he said, acknowledging the growing perception — both among the American public and lawmakers on Capitol Hill — that the Pentagon has not been forthcoming about the incident.
Tomi Oladipo at the BBC: How Did U.S. Soldiers Come Under Attack in Niger? "While the Americans insist the convoy was not on a special mission, including pursuing any high-value targets, some media reports quote Nigerien military officials as saying the troops had been responding to an attack on a nearby village by an armed group. These reports raise questions about whether the locals had been sympathetic to or even collaborating with the attackers, to allow the soldiers to be lured into the ambush. It is also unclear whether the US forces had enough intelligence on the threat they faced."

We need answers. I suspect we will never get them. Not honest answers, anyway. Not from this administration.

[CN: Threats of violence; misogynoir] Breanna Edwards at the Root: Police Investigating Illinois Man in Threat to Lynch Rep. Frederica Wilson. "Police are investigating claims that a Des Plaines, Ill., man made threats on Facebook to lynch U.S. Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-Fla.). However, according to the Chicago Tribune, Tom Keevers said that he is all but being framed and that an anonymous 'meme-maker' put words into his mouth, and now, as a result, he and his family are getting death threats of their own. ...Another alleged screenshot of a post on Keevers' page declares, 'This congresswomen (sic) is a disgusting pig. Someone should take their boot to her face.'" Shame on this guy, and shame on Trump and Kelly for empowering attacks on Rep. Wilson.

[CN: Nativism] Shane Savitsky at Axios: Report: U.S. Will Begin Accepting Refugees Again. "The White House will announce today its plan to resume admitting refugees from all countries into the United States, per The Wall Street Journal. The refugee program was paused in June for a 120-day review of its procedures and policies under the Trump administration's revised travel ban executive order. What will change: The government will work to collect more biographical data on potential refugees — with an especially deep dive on their social media presence — to determine that they do not pose a risk to the United States." A gross violation of privacy.

Tara Culp-Ressler at ThinkProgress: The Uninsured Rate Is Rising as Trump Successfully Sabotages Obamacare. "The uninsured rate had been on a steady downward trajectory since the Affordable Care Act was implemented, hitting historic lows over the past several years. But Gallup's most recent report, released Friday, found the uninsured rate has risen 1.4 percentage points since the end of 2016. That works out to be almost 3.5 million more Americans going without insurance this year. As the Associated Press reports, 'the increase in the number of uninsured is more striking because it comes at a time of economic growth and low unemployment.'" Also at a time of "increased uncertainty over the future of the health care law — which Trump has taken multiple executive actions to sabotage, and which Congress has voted dozens of times to repeal — that may have left American consumers confused about where Obamacare stands."

Ken Klippenstein at the Daily Beast: $300m Puerto Rico Recovery Contract Awarded to Tiny Utility Company Linked to Major Trump Donor. "Puerto Rico has agreed to pay a reported $300 million for the restoration of its power grid to a tiny utility company that is primarily financed by a private-equity firm founded and run by a man who contributed large sums of money to [Donald] Trump, an investigation conducted by The Daily Beast has found." Fucking grifters. And not even competent ones: "Whitefish Energy Holdings, which had a reported staff of only two full-time employees when Hurricane Maria touched down, appears ill-equipped to handle the daunting task of restoring electricity to Puerto Rico's more than 3 million residents." Goddammit.

Ian Millhiser at ThinkProgress: Congress Could Strip Consumers of Right to Sue Banks and Credit Card Companies. "We'll just put the entire financial sector on the honor system. What could possibly go wrong?" Sob. One of the most concerning parts of this is how difficult it would be unwind in future: "Should Congress disapprove of the CFPB rule, the Congressional Review Act would prevent CFPB from issuing a new rule 'in substantially the same form.' Thus, CFPB could permanently lose much of its authority over forced arbitration and class action bans, even in future administrations." Shit.

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[CN: Rape culture; sexual assault] Weinstein, Toback, Allen, Kelly...

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

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