We Resist: Day 349

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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: Trump Is a Reckless Nightmare.

Caitlin MacNeal at TPM: Firm That Funded Trump Dossier Urges Congress to Release Testimony. "The founders of Fusion GPS, the firm that compiled the dossier alleging ties between Donald Trump and Russia, urged Congress to release their testimony about the dossier to the public in an op-ed published by the New York Times Tuesday night. 'Republicans have refused to release full transcripts of our firm's testimony, even as they selectively leak details to media outlets on the far right. It's time to share what our company told investigators,' Glenn Simpson and Peter Fritsch wrote in the op-ed. They accused conservatives of pushing 'mendacious conspiracy theories' about the dossier and Fusion GPS' motives for compiling it."

Stephanie Kirchgaessner at the Guardian: Russia-Trump Inquiry: 'FBI Knew of Collusion Allegations During Campaign'. "An op-ed in the New York Times written by Glenn Simpson and Peter Fritsch, the former journalists and founders of investigative firm Fusion GPS, said congressional intelligence committees, which are conducting their own investigations into the Trump campaign, have been aware [that the FBI received 'credible allegations' about a Kremlin conspiracy throughout the 2016 US election campaign, including from inside the Trump camp] for months. 'We don't believe the Steele dossier was the trigger for the FBI's investigation into Russian meddling,' they wrote. 'As we told the Senate judiciary committee in August, our sources said the dossier was taken so seriously because it corroborated reports the bureau had received from other sources, including one inside the Trump camp.' The op-ed also called on lawmakers to examine financial institutions that were funding the US president's businesses."

The Republican Party should be ashamed that they are being called out by a private enterprise for failing utterly to do their jobs or show even the merest traces of patriotism to this nation. But these fucking traitors have the same amount of shame as they have loyalty. Which is zero.

[Content Note: Racism] Melanie Schmitz at ThinkProgress: Fox & Friends Host Delivers Racist Attack on Mueller Grand Jury. "During a segment on Fox & Friends Wednesday — [Donald] Trump's favorite morning news show — host Brian Kilmeade argued that Special Counsel Robert Mueller was not 'demographically pursuing justice' in the Russia investigation because his federal grand jury included too many black jurors. The comment was in response to a leak published in New York Post, during which an anonymous source claimed grand jury panel looked like a 'Black Lives Matter rally.' ...The witness also claimed that 11 of the 20 jurors on Mueller's panel were Black, and that two had been wearing 'peace T-shirts.' 'That room isn't a room where POTUS gets a fair shake,' they said, insinuating that more white jurors were necessary for the process to be deemed fair and credible." Wow. WOW.

David Smith at the Guardian: Trump Tower Meeting with Russians 'Treasonous,' Bannon Says in Explosive Book. "Donald Trump's former chief strategist Steve Bannon has described the Trump Tower meeting between the president's son and a group of Russians during the 2016 election campaign as 'treasonous' and 'unpatriotic,' according to an explosive new book seen by the Guardian. Bannon, speaking to author Michael Wolff, warned that the investigation into alleged collusion with the Kremlin will focus on money laundering and predicted: 'They're going to crack Don Junior like an egg on national TV.'"

Bannon calling the meeting treasonous and unpatriotic is getting a lot of press. What's getting slightly less notice is the fact that he then goes on to explain that they still should have taken the meeting anyway, but gone about it differently:
The meeting was revealed by the New York Times in July last year, prompting Trump Jr to say no consequential material was produced. Soon after, Wolff writes, Bannon remarked mockingly: "The three senior guys in the campaign thought it was a good idea to meet with a foreign government inside Trump Tower in the conference room on the 25th floor — with no lawyers. They didn't have any lawyers.

"Even if you thought that this was not treasonous, or unpatriotic, or bad shit, and I happen to think it's all of that, you should have called the FBI immediately."

Bannon went on, Wolff writes, to say that if any such meeting had to take place, it should have been set up "in a Holiday Inn in Manchester, New Hampshire, with your lawyers who meet with these people." Any information, he said, could then be "dump[ed] … down to Breitbart or something like that, or maybe some other more legitimate publication."

Bannon added: "You never see it, you never know it, because you don't need to… But that's the brain trust that they had."

With that in mind, I'll also link this pile of shit by Wolff for New York Magazine: Donald Trump Didn't Want to Be President. Which contains passages like this trash:
As the campaign came to an end, Trump himself was sanguine. His ultimate goal, after all, had never been to win. "I can be the most famous man in the world," he had told his aide Sam Nunberg at the outset of the race. His longtime friend Roger Ailes, the former head of Fox News, liked to say that if you want a career in television, first run for president. Now Trump, encouraged by Ailes, was floating rumors about a Trump network. It was a great future. He would come out of this campaign, Trump assured Ailes, with a far more powerful brand and untold opportunities.

"This is bigger than I ever dreamed of," he told Ailes a week before the election. "I don't think about losing, because it isn't losing. We've totally won."
So, first, what Sarah said: This is unreliable.

Secondly, this is a story being crafted in a very particular way to serve a very particular purpose, the centerpiece of which is simultaneously salving the lingering wound to Trump's ego over the illegitimacy of his presidency and turning him into a god who can win the most important office in the world without any effort. (And certainly without help from the Russians.)

A tangential benefit to the whole "he didn't want/expect to win" narrative is that it's yet another way of humiliating Hillary. "She WANTED to win and TRIED REALLY HARD to win, and we didn't even care HAHAHA!"

Wolff is awful, and his work here is absolutely toxic.

On a final note, Zeke Miller points to the outrageous sourcing note, which describes his unprecented access. I suppose we aren't supposed to notice it means Wolff was probably exposed to any amount of classified or otherwise sensitive information. For fuck's sake.

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Nicole Lafond at TPM: Next Week: Trump Vows to Announce the Fakest of the 'Fake News Media'. "On Monday, [Donald] Trump plans to make his consistent disdain for the media official by announcing the 'MOST DISHONEST & CORRUPT MEDIA AWARDS OF THE YEAR,' he tweeted on Tuesday evening. The subjects for Trump's distinctions will range from 'Dishonesty' and 'Bad Reporting' in a variety of categories, he said."

Let us be very clear: This hostility toward the free press is a hallmark of authoritarianism. It is not funny. It is vile.

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[CN: Disablist language] Andy Towle at Towleroad: Activist Group Demands That 'Complicit' Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey Resign or Ban Trump. "The 'Resistance SF' activist group called on Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey to resign or ban Donald Trump following Trump's latest tweet threatening nuclear war with North Korea. The group projected '@jack is #complicit' on the social media network's San Francisco headquarters, writing on Facebook: '@jack breaks the rules of his own company, Twitter, to amplify a madman and endanger the world. Jack Dorsey must resign or ban @realDonaldTrump.'" They've got a point.

Ellen Nakashima and Aaron Gregg at the Washington Post: NSA's Top Talent Is Leaving Because of Low Pay, Slumping Morale, and Unpopular Reorganization. "The National Security Agency is losing its top talent at a worrisome rate as highly skilled personnel, some disillusioned with the spy service's leadership and an unpopular reorganization, take higher-paying, more flexible jobs in the private sector. Since 2015, the NSA has lost several hundred hackers, engineers, and data scientists, according to current and former U.S. officials with knowledge of the matter. The potential impact on national security is significant, they said." No shit.

Ian Millhiser at ThinkProgress: Under Trump, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Isn't Even Pretending to Protect Consumers. "Last November, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Richard Cordray resigned to run for governor of Ohio. Unlike most agency heads, who serve at the pleasure of the president, Cordray served a five-year term that was set to expire in mid-2018; while he was in charge, the CFPB remained a bulwark of earnest regulation against a sea of Trumpism. But after Cordray left, Trump installed Mick Mulvaney, the White House budget director who once described the CFPB as a 'joke...in a sick, sad way,' as the temporary head of the agency. Though there is some legal uncertainty regarding whether Mulvaney was properly appointed to fill this role, Mulvaney is currently calling the shots within the CFPB. And one of his first decisions appears to be publicly distancing his the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau from its mission of protecting consumers." Cool.

[CN: Misogyny] What the fucking fuck, WaPo???

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Nicole Knight at Rewire: Here's What Family Planning Services Look Like in a Devastated Puerto Rico. "The plight of Profamilias, its patients, and employees reflect widespread struggles on the island to regain a semblance of normalcy in a post-Maria world. [Blanca Cuevas, executive director of Profamilias] called the pace of government assistance 'slow and inadequate.' Dark streets, she said, have become dangerous. Shops have closed. Residents lack basic necessities. Workers are left jobless. Hundreds of thousands have fled. For Cuevas, among 'the hardest challenges have been to open the clinics without electricity,' she told Rewire. Profamilias operates two clinics in San Juan, and eight family planning centers around the island. Its clients are largely folks with low incomes who rely on the facilities for affordable gynecological services, sexually transmitted infections tests, contraceptives, and sex ed, among other services."

Tell me again how there was "no difference" between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Fuckers.

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

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