We Resist: Day 287

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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 Scope of Russian Interference Becomes Ever Clearer—and More Appalling and Yeah, So, That Donna Brazile Piece.

Damian Paletta and Mike DeBonis at the Washington Post: GOP Tax Plan Would Shrink Mortgage Interest Benefit, Slash Corporate Tax Rate.
House Republican leaders on Thursday proposed legislation that would overhaul the U.S. tax code, slash corporate and individual income tax rates, and jettison numerous tax breaks Americans and businesses have used for years to limit their tax bills.

The release of the proposal accelerates a frantic political effort that could impact almost every American household and business. In a number of cases, the tax plan cuts back on tax benefits for families and individuals while expanding tax benefits for companies.

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act would lower the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 20 percent and collapse the seven tax brackets paid by families and individuals down to four. It would create giant new benefits for the wealthy by cutting business taxes, eliminating the estate tax, and ending the alternative minimum tax.

...Families would also no longer be able to deduct their state income taxes from their federal taxable income, another change that would have a particular impact on places like New Jersey and New York, where state taxes are higher than in other areas.
Emphases mine.

As written, the Republicans' proposal would also repeal the Johnson Amendment, which prohibits non-profits from endorsing or opposing political candidates, thus allowing religious organizations to be much more directly involved in politics:

At Politico, Alex Isenstadt reports that Donald Trump's "America First Action" super PAC is fixing to "spend $100 million on an all-out push to sell tax reform and elect pro-Trump Republicans in 2018."

So everything is great, as usual.

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And anyone who is familiar with "news" knows that that ⬆️ isn't. Trump "projecting calm" in the middle of indictments isn't news. It's propaganda.

Betsy Woodruff at the Daily Beast: Mueller Reveals New Manafort Link to Organized Crime. "The indictment, unsealed on Monday, includes an extensive look into Paul Manafort's byzantine financial dealings. In particular, it details how he used a company called Lucicle Consultants Limited to wire millions of dollars into the United States. The Cyprus-based Lucicle Consultants Limited, in turn, reportedly received millions of dollars from a businessman and Ukrainian parliamentarian named Ivan Fursin, who is closely linked to one of Russia's most notorious criminals: Semion Mogilevich. Mogilevich is frequently described as 'the most dangerous mobster in the world.' Currently believed to be safe in Moscow, he is, according to the FBI, responsible for weapons trafficking, contract killings, and international [sex trafficking]."

Speaking of Manafort and mafia shit:

I don't even know.

In other "Trump has terrific friends" news...

[Content Note: White supremacy] Danielle McLean at ThinkProgress: With Investors Under Fire for Financing White Nationalism, Robert Mercer Resigns from Hedge Fund. "Robert Mercer, the billionaire that has funded Breitbart and Milo Yiannopoulos, resigned from his role as CEO of the quant hedge fund Renaissance Technologies, according to the New York Times. Mercer's resignation came just two weeks after ThinkProgress revealed 12 nonprofits, universities, and public retirement funds had invested millions of dollars into the hedge fund, noting that their investments were helping fund white nationalism. Mercer also plans to sell his stake in Breitbart to his daughter Rebekah, who shares his political views. In a statement, Robert Mercer also repudiated Milo Yiannopoulos, who laundered white nationalist propaganda, saying he has severed all ties."

[CN: Anti-semitism; video may autoplay at link] Nicole Goodkind at Newsweek: Jews Should Concern Americans More Than Russian Influence, Nigel Farage Says. "Trump ally and Brexit leader Nigel Farage says there's something Americans should worry about more than Russian meddling: Jews. Farage in a Monday interview singled out the so-called 'Jewish lobby' as an overwhelming power in America during a discussion about Russia's interference in U.S. politics. 'There are other very powerful lobbies in the United States of America, and the Jewish lobby, with its links with the Israeli government, is one of those strong voices,' Farage said on his London-based radio show." This is the guy Trump thinks should be Britain's ambassador to the U.S.

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[CN: Neglect; water and food insecurity] Bart Jansen and Deborah Barfield Berry at USA Today: San Juan Mayor Blasts Trump over Recovery Efforts in Puerto Rico. "The mayor of San Juan blasted [Donald] Trump on Wednesday about the hurricane-recovery effort in Puerto Rico calling it 'inadequate' and 'insufficient,' after the House Homeland Security Committee canceled a hearing where she was scheduled to testify. 'The story is not a good-news story. It is a life-and-death story. Survival cannot be our new way of life,' San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz said at a House Democratic Caucus news conference. 'While the American people have had a big heart, [Donald] Trump has had a big mouth and he has used it to insult the people of Puerto Rico.' ...Rep. Bennie Thompson of Mississippi, the top Democrat on the panel, said the federal response to the disasters in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands was different than its response in Texas and Florida. Most lights are not on, drinking water isn't drinkable, and roads are impassable six weeks after hurricanes struck the territories, he said."

This is a really important thread by Kumail Nanjiani‏ about the dangers of the tech industy not considering whether something should be done just because it can be done. I highly recommend it.

[CN: Rape culture] Shannon Vavra at Axios: Rick Perry Claims Fossil Fuels Can Help Prevent Sexual Assault. "At an Axios and NBC discussion about the administration's energy policy priorities Thursday morning, Energy Secretary Rick Perry indicated he thinks using fossil fuels can help prevent sexual assault. The quote, in full: 'I just got back from Africa, I'm going to finish up with this, because I think I heard a lady say there are people dying. Let me tell you where people are dying, is in Africa, because of the lack of energy they have there. And it's going to take fossil fuels to push power out into those villages in Africa, where a young girl told me to my face, 'one of the reasons that electricity is so important to me is not only because I'm not going to have to try to read by the light of a fire and have those fumes literally killing people.' But also from the standpoint of sexual assault. When the lights are on, when you have light that shines, the righteousness, if you will, on those types of acts. So from the standpoint of how you really affect people's lives, fossil fuels is going to play a role in that. I happen to think it's going to play a positive role.'" Fuck off, Perry, you insensitive, ignorant dipshit.

[CN: Shooting] Erik Ortiz at NBC News: Walmart Shooting in Thornton, Colorado: Accused Shooter Scott Ostrem Arrested. "A tip called in to police led to the capture Thursday morning of the man wanted for opening fire at a suburban Denver Walmart, killing three people. Scott Ostrem, 47, hadn't fled far following Wednesday night's chaos: Police said he was spotted driving in the same red Mitsubishi Mirage he used for his escape and was arrested about a half-mile from his home, near the Walmart."

My condolences to the families, friends, and colleagues of those who were killed by Ostrem. I'm so sorry.

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

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