We Resist: Day 316

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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: Michael Flynn Charged with Making "False, Fictitious, and Fraudulent Statements" to the FBI; Trump Pressured Senate GOP to End Their Russia Probe; and GOP Still Trying to Pass a Tax Bill to Destroy America.

[Content Note: Nativism; white supremacy] Josh Dawsey, Sean Sullivan, and Ed O'Keefe at the Washington Post: Trump Tells Confidants That a Government Shutdown Might Be Good for Him. "Trump has told confidants that a government shutdown could be good for him politically and is focusing on his hard-line immigration stance as a way to win back supporters unhappy with his outreach to Democrats this fall, according to people who have spoken with him recently. Over the past 10 days, the president has also told advisers that it is important that he is seen as tough on immigration and getting money for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, according to two people who have spoken with him. He has asked friends about how a shutdown would affect him politically and has told several people he would put the blame on Democrats."

By way of reminder, the Democrats have threatened what I called ethical obstructionism by refusing to sacrifice DREAMers to avoid a government shutdown. Now Trump is fixing to exploit Democrats' decency to force a shutdown in order to win back the fawning adoration of his nativist, white supremacist base.

His malice and narcissism truly know no bounds.

Speaking of which... [CN: Video may autoplay at link] Michelle Kosinski and Sara Murray at CNN: White House Wanted to Publicly Shame Tillerson, Source Says. "Reports that the White House has a tentative plan to replace Secretary of State Rex Tillerson that emerged Thursday were an effort to express [Donald] Trump's deep displeasure and publicly shame his secretary of state, a source with direct knowledge of the White House's thinking said Thursday. The hope from the White House, the source said, is to push out the plan to replace Tillerson and then 'wait for him to punch out.'"

First of all, Rex Tillerson deserves to be shamed because he is a robber baron and a scoundrel who is propping up an authoritarian traitor, not because he has demonstrated insufficient loyalty to that traitor. Secondly, Trump is a terrible boss and a terrible person. Thirdly, Trump is also a fucking coward. He made himself famous by shouting "You're fired!" on a TV reality show, but he doesn't have the courage to fire anyone himself for real. He is a loser and a terrible president without a modicum of the character it takes to do the job well.

Meanwhile, as our State Department falls to pieces... Ben Riley-Smith and Kate McCann at the Telegraph: Donald Trump's 'Working Visit' to UK Dropped as Tensions with Theresa May Grow over President's Far-Right Retweets. "US diplomats have dropped plans for Donald Trump to conduct a visit to Britain in January amid a war of words between the two countries' leaders. Mr Trump, the US president, had been pencilled in for a 'working visit' in the first month of 2018 to formally open America's new London embassy. The trip, a scaled down version of a state visit with no meeting with the Queen, was intended to allow Mr Trump to come to the UK while avoiding the mass protests a full state visit would likely trigger. However, The Telegraph can reveal that the trip has been pushed into the long grass, with no new date in the diary picked."

In less than one year on the job, Trump has turned to shit the relationship with our oldest and best ally.

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Karoun Demirjian at the Washington Post: Erik Prince Tells House Investigators He Met with Kremlin-Linked Banker in Seychelles. "Erik Prince, a supporter of the Trump presidential campaign and founder of the security firm Blackwater, confirmed to House investigators Thursday that he met with a close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin while in the Seychelles earlier this year, according to multiple people familiar with the interview. Under questioning, Prince told members of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence that he had met Kirill Dmitriev, head of the Russian Direct Investment Fund, during a secret Jan. 11 meeting in the Seychelles brokered by the United Arab Emirates as part of an apparent attempt to set up backchannel communications between then-President-elect Donald Trump and Moscow." Reminder: Prince is also the brother of Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos.

Echidne of the Snakes: Today's Mulvaney Quote. "Mick Mulvaney is now the acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). This is what he said about his plans when it comes to protecting consumers: 'We're going to try and limit as much as we can what the CFPB does to sort of interfere with capitalism and with the financial services market.' It's nice that he has taken off his carnival mask so that we can all see he is on the side against which the CFPB was created. ...Mick Mulvaney's role at the CFPB is the by-now familiar one of the fox guarding the chicken coops. That's because the corporate donors which rule the Republican Party want consumer protections to disappear. Business is better for them that way."

Jim VandeHei at Axios: Trump's Mind-Numbing Media Manipulation Machine. "There is a very specific — and dangerous — formula for manipulating the media and hijacking the Twitter/cable/conventional media industrial complex. Trump sets this formulaic trap increasingly often. And news organizations keep falling for it. Step 1: Throw an early morning Twitter bomb... Step 2: The outrage machine kicks in... Step 3: The cable beast awakens... Step 4: The fringes foment... Step 5: Opinions fly... We go to bed, sleep poorly, wake up and do it again. 'How do we pay attention without paying him a kind of homage? Can we respond to his outrages without drowning in our own?' [conservative columnist Bret Stephens wonders]."

Joseph Bernstein and Kendall Taggart at BuzzFeed: Conservative Megadonor Robert Mercer Funded Project Veritas. "The Mercers, secretive billionaires who are among [Donald] Trump's most powerful donors, also helped to fund Project Veritas, the controversial activist organization, tax filings obtained by BuzzFeed News show. Gravitas Maximus LLC — a Mercer investment vehicle through which he also funded the conservative outlet Breitbart — gave $25,000 to Project Veritas, according to a nonpublic portion of a 2012 tax form. The family's involvement has not previously been made public. The Mercer family did not immediately respond to a request for comment." Here's a comment: Fuck the Mercers.

Josh Eidelson at Bloomberg: Federal Contractors Are Offshoring at a Fast Clip Under Trump. "Despite [Donald] Trump's promises to bring millions of jobs back to the U.S., corporate contractors for the government have been 'outsourcing' positions at a speedy pace, according Good Jobs Nation, an organization that advocates for contract workers. In the year since Trump's election, the federal government has certified that 93,449 jobs were lost to outsourcing or trade competition, the labor group said in an analysis of data from the Labor Department's Trade Adjustment Assistance program and Treasury's USASpending.gov database.

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[CN: Sexual harassment and/or assault. Covers the entire section.]

Jessica Bennett at the New York Times: Nine Women Accuse Israel Horovitz, Playwright and Mentor, of Sexual Misconduct. "Inspired by the revelations about Harvey Weinstein, Louis C.K., and others, a total of nine women have come forward publicly for the first time to describe a pattern of sexual abuse and violations of trust by a man they considered a mentor and friend. ...In response to questions this week, Mr. Horovitz, 78, told The New York Times that while he has 'a different memory of some of these events, I apologize with all my heart to any woman who has ever felt compromised by my actions, and to my family and friends who have put their trust in me. To hear that I have caused pain is profoundly upsetting, as is the idea that I might have crossed a line with anyone who considered me a mentor.'"

I don't know what PR flack came up with this "different memory of events" line that keeps appearing in these garbage apologies, but it's such execrable swill. It's just calling women liars without having the decency to just call them liars.

For those of you who know that Israel Horovitz is the father of Adam Horovitz, aka Ad-Rock from the Beastie Boys, Adam was pretty blunt about the allegations against his father: "I believe the allegations against my father are true, and I stand behind the women that made them." Wow.

Meanwhile, in Congress...

Caitlin MacNeal and Matt Shuham at TPM: Paul Ryan: 'I Don't Know' If There's a Difference Between Trump, Moore.
House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) did not say whether there is a difference between the sexual misconduct claims made against Alabama Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore and [Donald] Trump in an interview with NPR that aired Friday morning.

NPR's Robert Inskeep asked Ryan to explain the difference between the allegations aired against the two men, noting that the speaker had called for Moore to withdraw from the Senate race. Ryan had said of the allegations against Moore: "I believe those allegations are credible."

"I think the Roy Moore — I don't know if — I'm focused on Congress," Ryan first answered. "Roy Moore is trying to come to Congress. My job here as speaker of the House is to help make sure that Congress is an institution that we're proud of and that's what I'm focused on. He's running for Congress and I think the allegations against him were very very credible."

Pressed by Inskeep again to explain the difference, Ryan replied, "I don't know the answer to that. I haven't spent my time reviewing the difference in these two cases."
What an absolute scumbag he is. And given the number of times now that Paul Ryan has said he "hasn't reviewed" something about which he's being asked, in order to dodge giving a direct answer, I'd like to know exactly what it is on which he's spending his time.

series of images of Paul Ryan working out
Oh. Right.

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

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