We Resist: Day 293

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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 Fannie: Days Like These: Thoughts on a Year of Cruelty. And by me: Waking Up to a Democratic Win on the Anniversary of Trump's Win.

Michael Scherer and David Weigel: Republicans Seek New Path after Failure of Gillespie's 'Trumpism without Trump'. "The result is a bad omen for the Republican Party nationally, who will face head winds across the country in 2018, given continued frustration with political leaders in Washington and Trump's low approval rating. Without faith that Trump's base will match the enthusiasm of Democrats, many Republican candidates believe they will have to seek out a new political strategy to hold onto power."

First of all, the "new path," or "new political strategy," will look the same as the old one: Bigotry, gerrymandering, voter suppression, and stacking the courts. Secondly, there's no such thing as "Trumpism." There is only Republicanism, of which Donald Trump was simply the inevitable end game.

I see you, Republicans. You've got nothing but the same old bag of ghoulish tricks. And a new assist from the Russians. But I am prepared to be ruthlessly vigilant, and I'm bringing everyone I can along with me.

Charlie Pierce at Esquire: Sorry, But American Democracy Is Still Edging Closer to Disaster. "Are you ready to have your mellow harshed just a little? On Tuesday, when nobody was looking, the state of Wisconsin brought the country a step closer to a constitutional bloodbath unseen since 1789. The Wisconsin state senate voted, 19-14, to join the call for an Article V convention of the states to propose amendments to the federal Constitution... The movement for this convention was born in the dark-money plutocracy of the current American political system. It aims to fasten an oligarchy to what still would be the shell of a self-governing republic. The tell is in the issues. They are a wish list of conservative policies that were shredded under the existing Constitution."

Rebecca Solnit at the Guardian: One Year on, Donald Trump Is Still an Illegitimate President. "You don't have to factor in the Russian intervention or the Trump team's collusion to regard the election as fatally corrupted. But while the corruption of the voting system seems to have been an achievement of Republican strategists working for decades, the unprecedented role of a foreign government does give an entirely different basis to regard it as illegitimate. As we learn more about the latter, it behooves us not to forget the former, which is as grave a blow to the credibility of the election. You don't have to like the Democratic party or Clinton to come to these conclusions. You just have to like free and fair elections and the right of the people to determine who governs them."

Kevin Poulsen at the Daily Beast: Russia Activated Twitter Sleeper Cells for 2016 Election Day Blitz. "As U.S. polling places opened last Nov. 8, Russian trolls in St. Petersburg began a final push on Twitter to elect Donald Trump. They used a combination of high-profile accounts with large and influential followings, and scores of lurking personas established years earlier with stolen photos and fabricated backgrounds. Those sleeper accounts dished out carefully metered tweets and retweets voicing praise for Trump and contempt for his opponent, from the early morning until the last polls closed in the United States. 'VOTE TRUMP to save ourselves from the New World Order. Time to MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN,' read one. 'Last chance to stop the Queen of Darkness! Vote Trump!' urged another." Fucking hell.

Josh Gerstein at Politico: Inside Secret Court Hearing in Mueller's Trump-Russia Probe. "Buchanan told Papadopolous to stand and formally advised him he'd been charged in a criminal complaint with obstruction of justice and making false official statements. She then called on Van Grack to lay out the maximum penalties: five years and a $250,000 fine for the false statement charge and 20 years in prison and $250,000 fine for the obstruction charge. Van Grack said the government wasn't seeking Papadopolous' detention — a somewhat unusual move since agents had just arrested him. But the Chicago-based energy consultant was told to give up his passports (two of them) and to keep away from individuals and entities related to the charges against him." How come all of these dirtbags have multiple passports? Manafort had three!

Caitlin MacNeal at TPM: Trump Told Senate Dems That the GOP Tax Bill Won't Benefit Him Personally. "Donald Trump on Tuesday called into a meeting between two White House aides and a group of Senate Democrats to attempt to assure the Democrats that the Republican tax cut bill will not benefit him or other rich Americans... Trump told those present at the meeting that he had spoken with his personal accountant about the legislation, who told the president that he would suffer financially as a result of the bill, people in the room told the Washington Post and NBC News. 'My accountant called me and said 'you're going to get killed in this bill,'' Trump said, according to NBC News. Trump also claimed that the legislation will hurt rich people in general, despite analysis from experts indicating that the plan will benefit wealthy Americans and corporations. 'The deal is so bad for rich people, I had to throw in the estate tax just to give them something,' he said, according to the Washington Post." What a lying sack of crap.

[Content Note: Police brutality; racism] Ian Simpson at Reuters: Baltimore Officer Cleared of Charges in Freddie Gray Death. "A panel of three law enforcement officials found Officer Caesar Goodson not guilty of 21 administrative charges of violating department policies during Freddie Gray's arrest, meaning he will keep his job, the newspaper said. Goodson, 48, was acquitted in 2016 of second-degree depraved heart murder and other charges, the most serious brought against six officers accused in connection with Gray's death in April 2015. None was convicted." No one will ever be held accountable for killing Freddie Gray, and it makes my stomach ache just thinking about it. I can only imagine how his family feels. I am so sorry.

[CN: Rape culture; rape apologia; sexual assault] H.W. Vail at Vanity Fair: Gay Talese Would Like to Profile Kevin Spacey. "Veteran journalist and Library Lion Gay Talese...broke away from his conversation to tell Vanity Fair about the one [magazine profile] he would want to write right now. 'I would like to talk to Kevin Spacey,' he said. News had come that afternoon that Netflix was cutting ties with the House of Cards star after multiple men had accused him of sexual harassment, beginning with actor Anthony Rapp, who told BuzzFeed that Spacey made a sexual advance towards him in 1986, when he was 14. 'I feel so sad, and I hate that actor that ruined this guy's career,' continued Talese, who possibly had not kept up with the growing scope of the accusations online. 'So, O.K., it happened 10 years ago...Jesus, suck it up once in a while!' Talese, visibly agitated, pressed on: 'I would like to ask [Spacey] how it feels to lose a lifetime of success and hard work all because of 10 minutes of indiscretion 10 years or more ago.'"

Kaiser at Celebitchy: George Clooney: Democrats Need 'Charismatic' Candidates Like Donald Trump. "He says the Democratic party needs is a candidate 'who lights up a room… Trump, for all his terrible instincts, is very charismatic. A TV star. People didn't vote for him because he accomplished anything. They knew him. And they were, like, he's exciting / Democrats in general are very passive. In debates, the Republican will go, 'That guy's bad, and that guy's good.' And the Democrat will say, 'Well, I understand what you're saying, because your parents were alcoholics…' And the reality is that you need people who go, 'That's good. That's bad.''" Shut the fuck up, George Clooney. The solution to Donald Trump is not jettisoning nuance in favor of more black-and-white thinking.

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

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