We Resist: Day 327

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One of the difficulties in resisting the Trump administration, the Republican Congressional majority, and Republican state legislatures (plus the occasional non-Republican who obliges us to resist their nonsense, too, like we don't have enough to worry about) 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: Donald Trump Must Resign and Special Election Today in Alabama.

Erica Werner and Damian Paletta at the Washington Post: Congress Could Finalize Deal to Reconcile House and Senate Tax Bills as Soon as Today, Top Republican Says. "Lawmakers are on the verge of striking a tentative agreement that would reconcile tax bills passed separately by the House and Senate, and an announcement could come later Tuesday or sometime Wednesday, a top Senate Republican said Tuesday. Republican Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), the No. 3 Senate Republican, said in an interview that negotiators are reviewing a proposal they received late Monday from House leaders. ...Both bills included as their central feature a massive reduction in the current 35 percent tax rate down to 20 percent. But lawmakers have been discussing pushing it back up as high as 22 percent to free up money for other changes they want to make."

In other words: While everyone has their eyes on Alabama, Republicans will figure out some garbage compromise in order to pass their garbage tax bill which will destroy the nation as we know it.

Erica L. Green at the New York Times: New Higher Education Bill Rolls Back Obama-Era Safeguards. "Congressional Republicans begin work on Tuesday on an extensive rewrite of the law that governs the nation's system of higher education, seeking to dismantle landmark Obama administration regulations designed to protect students from predatory for-profit colleges and to repay the loans of those who earned worthless degrees from scam universities. But in its systematic effort to erase President Barack Obama's fingerprints from higher education, the measure before the House Committee on Education and the Workforce could undermine bedrock elements that have guided university education for decades."

Republicans do not know how to govern. They only know how to destroy. Republicans do not know how to govern. They only know how to destroy. Republicans do not know how to govern. They only know how to destroy. Republicans do not know how to govern. They only...

Mike Allen at Axios: Trump Lawyers Want Second Special Counsel Appointed Now. "Trump's legal team believes Attorney General Jeff Session's Justice Department and the FBI — more than special counsel Robert Mueller himself — are to blame for what they see as a witch hunt. The result: They want an additional special counsel named to investigate the investigators."

Philip Rucker, Josh Dawsey, and Rosalind S. Helderman at the Washington Post: Inside Trump's Legal Team: Trying to Protect the President from Mueller's 'Killers'.
Special counsel Robert S. Mueller III and his team of a dozen-plus lawyers and investigators have proven stealthy in their wide-ranging Russia probe. They have surprised the White House with one indictment after another, and summoned [Donald] Trump's confidants for lengthy interviews. In the case of former campaign chairman Paul Manafort alone, court filings show, they have collected more than 400,000 documents and 36 electronic devices.

Mueller and his deputies are, in the fearful word of some Trump loyalists, "killers."

Trump's response, by contrast, is being directed by John M. Dowd, the president's personal lawyer retired from a large firm who works essentially as a one-man band, and Ty Cobb, a White House lawyer who works out of a small office in the West Wing basement, near the cafeteria where staffers get lunch.

Dowd and Cobb, along with attorney Jay Sekulow, serve not only as Trump's lawyers but also as his strategists, publicists, therapists — and, based on Dowd's claim that he wrote a controversial presidential tweet, ghostwriters.

...Many in the Washington legal community chide them as being indiscreet, error-prone, and outmatched.
That sounds an awful lot like the narrative of the 2016 election: Hillary Clinton and her team were hyper-competent, organized, professional, ethical, and poised to win, while Donald Trump's team was a bunch of inexperienced, incompetent, unethical losers. Which makes me fearful that Trump's got a Plan B to deal with Mueller, just like he had a Plan B to win the election, when fair and square wouldn't do.

I'm the wettest of wet blankets, I know, but overconfidence that Trump will lose is very dangerous. It's frightening how many people stubbornly refuse to learn that lesson. Never underestimate a cheater.

Max Bergmann and Max Boot at the Guardian: Robert Mueller Is Closing In on Trump: Congress Must Protect His Investigation. "We are headed for a collision. Congress needs to act now to protect the Mueller investigation, head off a crisis, and make clear that the president is not above the law. Fortunately, members of Congress on both sides of the aisle are currently crafting legislation designed to deter Mueller from being fired. While this legislation is far from a panacea, it will help to tie Trump's hands. But most importantly, it would send a signal to the country that the that the rule of law reigns supreme."

Angie Drobnic Holan at PolitiFact: 2017 Lie of the Year: Russian Election Interference Is a 'Made-Up Story'. "Trump continually asserts that Russia's meddling in the 2016 election is fake news, a hoax or a made-up story, even though there is widespread, bipartisan evidence to the contrary. When the nation's commander-in-chief refuses to acknowledge a threat to U.S. democracy, it makes it all the more difficult to address the problem. For this reason, we name Trump's claim that the Russia interference is a hoax as our Lie of the Year for 2017." Welp.

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[Content Note: Nativism; torture] ADC: Somali Nationals Humiliated and Degraded by ICE.
The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) is extremely troubled by recent direct reports it has received of inhumane and degrading treatment of 92 Somali nationals by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials. The treatment occurred aboard a flight departing Louisiana and landing in Senegal. The flight, which left the U.S. on December 7, was intended to land in Somalia, but was grounded in Senegal due to technical issues with the plane. The plane sat on the tarmac for nearly 24 hours, with the passengers not permitted to get off of the plane. Ultimately the flight was diverted back to Miami, Florida, where it landed on late Friday evening. For nearly 46 hours passengers on the plane remained shackled, were not given adequate food or water, and denied access to a working restroom.

With a lack of a working restroom, ADC has received reports of some passengers being forced to relieve themselves in empty bottles, while others urinated on themselves. The air condition on the plane was not working, and the temperature was at an inhumane level. Reports also indicate that that ICE officials and Senegalese security personnel were extremely abusive throughout the entire transport process.
This is absolutely appalling. ICE is out of control. And there is very little hope that they will be held accountable as long as there's a white supremacist nativist sitting in the Oval Office. Seethe.

[CN: Nativism; displacement] Nina Lakhani at the Guardian: This Is What the Hours After Being Deported Look Like. "Luz María Hernández gazes blankly across the shaded courtyard, clutching a cellphone in one hand and a sodden handkerchief in the other. Less than 48 hours ago, Hernández, 45, was deported to Tijuana after 25 years as an undocumented migrant in southern California. Her five children, aged three to 23, were born in California, and they now have to live without their mother. Minutes before being escorted to the border, US immigration agents informed her that she was banned from entering the US for 10 years. Sitting tensely on a patio chair within a gated migrant shelter just a couple of miles from the border, Hernández is dazed, weepy, and tormented about what to do next." Awful. This is unconscionable.

[CN: Nativism; abuse] Tina Vasquez at Rewire: 'I Am Not Hopeful at All': More DACA Recipients Share Their Stories. "Once again, congressional Republicans are playing with the lives of 800,000 young people whose status in this country hangs in the balance. Their status now depends on how skillfully lawmakers can craft legislation that uses them as bargaining chips for tougher immigration laws–including more border wall funding, immigration agents, and increased enforcement of nonviolent 'criminals.' In other words, to save 'DREAMers,' as they've become known, Congress will have to agree to triple down on targeting the undocumented members of DREAMers' mixed-status families." I am so angry about this.

My immigrant family takes up space in solidarity with immigrants to this nation, irrespective of their legal status.

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

Susan Cornwell at Reuters: U.S. House Democratic Women Seek Probe of Trump Misconduct Accusations. "More than 50 female Democratic lawmakers in the U.S. House of Representatives called on Monday for a congressional investigation into allegations by various women of sexual misconduct against [Donald] Trump, who has denied the accusations. 'We cannot ignore the multitude of women who have come forward with accusations against Mr. Trump,' the lawmakers wrote in their letter, though a formal inquiry was unlikely to result because Republicans control the agenda in Congress."

Ashley Parker at the Washington Post: Trump Seeks to Dismiss Sexual Harassment Allegations as 'Fake News'. "Trump on Tuesday sought to discredit both the news media and some of the women who have accused him of sexual harassment, calling the allegations against him 'fabricated stories' and 'fake news.' 'Despite thousands of hours wasted and many millions of dollars spent, the Democrats have been unable to show any collusion with Russia — so now they are moving on to the false accusations and fabricated stories of women who I don't know and/or have never met,' Trump wrote in a tweet. 'FAKE NEWS!'"

Judd Legum at ThinkProgress: This Is the List of 'Eyewitnesses' the White House Says Exonerate Trump. "On Monday, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders promised that she would produce a list of eyewitnesses to exonerate [Donald] Trump from allegations of sexual harassment and assault. In a statement, the White House said these eyewitnesses 'totally disputed in most cases' the accusations that women have raised against Trump. ...Overall, at least 14 women have publicly accused Trump of sexual assault — with others alleging other forms of sexual harassment and predation. ...Sanders sent the list of supposed eyewitnesses to ThinkProgress late Monday night. It contains the names of three people."

[CN: Descriptions of sexual harassment/assault] Emma Baccellieri at Deadspin: NFL Network Suspends Marshall Faulk, Ike Taylor, Heath Evans After Sexual Harassment Lawsuit. "Jami Cantor, who worked as a wardrobe stylist for NFL Network, filed a wrongful termination suit against NFL Enterprises in Los Angeles Superior Court back in October. As first reported by Bloomberg, she described incidents of harassment by the three retired players, as well as Eric Weinberger, a former network executive producer and current president of Bill Simmons Media Group. In the suit, Cantor claims that Faulk groped her breasts and behind and asked 'deeply personal and invasive questions' about her sex life. She said that both Taylor and Weinberger sent her inappropriate pictures, with Taylor additionally sending her a video of him masturbating in the shower. Cantor also noted that Weinberger said on one occasion that she was 'put on earth to pleasure me' and pressed his crotch against her, asking her to touch it. She also described receiving explicit texts from former NFL Network analyst Donovan McNabb, who currently appears on ESPN." Fucking hell. What an absolute nightmare.

In case you missed my post late yesterday: Ryan Lizza Out for 'Improper Sexual Conduct'. "Ryan Lizza is a political reporter for the New Yorker, whose visibility and platform afforded him outsized influence over how the 2016 election was perceived by the electorate. ...'The New Yorker recently learned that Ryan Lizza engaged in what we believe was improper sexual conduct. We have reviewed the matter and, as a result, have severed ties with Lizza. Due to a request for privacy, we are not commenting further.'"

Kaiser at Celebitchy: Alec Baldwin Worries That the #MeToo movement Is 'in Jeopardy of Derailing'. Shut the fuck up, Alec Baldwin. "'People have lost their jobs, their reputations and the legacy of their good/great work. Some have deserved that. Some have not. And all without a single conviction in a courtroom. If Weinstein is not convicted in court, this movement may be in jeopardy of derailing.' ...This is not the moment to argue 'Predators have lost their jobs, their reputations and the legacy of their good/great work' when we're having a national/international conversation about sexual harassment, abuse, rape, and assault. When you feel the urge to say something about an abuser's good work, think about all of the work you never got to see from all of the victims whose LIVES AND CAREERS were forever altered because a predator abused their power." Say it, Kaiser!

By way of reminder, Gibson was not only a pariah for his anti-Semitic outbursts. He also pleaded "no contest" to domestic violence charges, was recorded verbally abusing his girlfriend, and sexually harassed a police officer.

People who choose to work with him help rehabilitate his image. And the same will happen to every other powerful man currently being called out for "sexual misconduct" if we are not vigilant.

So shame on John Lithgow (and everyone else in the cast of Daddy's Home 2)for working with Gibson. And, for that matter, with Mark Wahlberg, who has a history of violent racism, and Will Ferrell, who thinks rape is hilarious.

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

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