We Resist: Day 364

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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 Making America a Pariah.

[Content Note: Disablist language] So, we're barreling toward a government shutdown, because the Republican Party is hot garbage. At least one Democratic Senator is bluntly calling it like it is:

Speaking of CHIP:

Malice is the governing directive of Trump policy. And chaos is its beating heart. Alice Ollstein at TPM: Trump Blows Up Republican Plan to Blame Democrats for Blocking CHIP.
As of Wednesday, amid internal GOP divisions on a spending bill and a potential shutdown looming Friday night, House Republicans had coalesced around a strategy: Accuse Democrats planning to vote no because the plan doesn't include relief for 700,000 young immigrants of deliberately blocking the renewal of the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

On Thursday morning, [Donald] Trump torched that strategy with a single tweet, indicating that CHIP should not be attached to the short-term spending bill at all.

The declaration [that "CHIP should be part of a long term solution"] upends 11th-hour negotiations on Capitol Hill that were already teetering on the edge of collapse due both to Democratic opposition and internal Republican divisions.

The far-right Freedom Caucus says they have more than enough "no" votes to block the passage of a short-term deal. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) openly admitted Wednesday that he has no idea what [Donald] Trump wants or would sign when it comes to immigration. Each day, more Senate Republicans declare their intent to vote against the continuing resolution.

"It's a mess," Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) told reporters, exiting a closed-door lunch with the GOP caucus on Wednesday.
A mess deliberately created by the Republican Party. And then Trump went and rolled around in that mess with the same gusto that my dog rolls around in anything stinky.

Anyway, this continues to be evergreen.

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Everything is fine. (Everything is not fine.)

We are being governed by people who refuse to give healthcare to children and are actively hunting for a devastating global war. What the entire fuck. Sob.

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Danica Coto at the AP: U.S. Withholds Hurricane Emergency Loan Sought by Puerto Rico. "A billion-dollar emergency loan approved by Congress to help Puerto Rico deal with the effects of Hurricane Maria has been temporarily withheld by federal officials who say the U.S. territory is not facing a cash shortage like it has repeatedly warned about in recent months. ...Federal officials said the U.S. government will create a cash balance policy to determine when the funds will be released via the Community Disaster Loan Program. They said in the letter that the cash balance level will be decided on by the federal government in consultation with Puerto Rico officials and a federal control board overseeing the island's finances. Once the central cash balance decreases to that level, the funds will be released, officials said." Unfuckingreal.

Matt Shuham at TPM: Acting CFPB Director Mulvaney Requests No Quarterly Funding. "Mick Mulvaney, the Trump-appointed acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, asked for zero dollars in his quarterly budget request Wednesday. In a letter obtained by TPM, Mulvaney told Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen that '[s]imply put, I have been assured that the funds currently in the Bureau Fund are sufficient' to last the quarter. ...The move is unprecedented: The consumer watchdog agency has reliably asked the Fed for tens of millions of dollars quarterly to cover its operating expenses. The requests have topped $200 million four times, and have never been rejected."

Ed O'Keefe at the Washington Post: Trump Pushes Back on Chief of Staff Claims That Border Wall Pledges 'Uninformed'.
White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly told Democratic lawmakers Wednesday that some of the hard-line immigration policies [Donald] Trump advocated during the campaign were "uninformed," that the United States will never construct a wall along its entire southern border, and that Mexico will never pay for it, according to people familiar with the meeting.

The comments were out of sync with remarks by Trump, who in recent days has reiterated his desire to build a border wall that would be funded by Mexico "indirectly through NAFTA."

Trump amplified this stance Thursday in back-to-back tweets that called the North American Free Trade Agreement "a bad joke" and asserted that reworked trade deals with Mexico would somehow pay for the wall "directly or indirectly."

"The Wall is the Wall, it has never changed or evolved from the first day I conceived of it. Parts will be, of necessity, see through and it was never intended to be built in areas where there is natural protection such as mountains, wastelands or tough rivers or water," Trump wrote.

"The Wall will be paid for, directly or indirectly, or through longer term reimbursement, by Mexico, which has a ridiculous $71 billion dollar trade surplus with the U.S.," Trump continued. "The $20 billion dollar Wall is 'peanuts' compared to what Mexico makes from the U.S. NAFTA is a bad joke!"

The mixed signals underscore the difficulty congressional Republicans have faced as they have tried to decipher what the president wants in an immigration deal.
"Mixed signals." That's an unnecessarily polite way of saying the President of the United States is completely incoherent and has no fucking idea what he is talking about on any policy, ever.

Also, he is a liar. As usual. E.A. Crunden at ThinkProgress: Trump Claims His Stance on the Border Wall Hasn't Changed; His Own Record Proves That's Not True. "The president has often promised a 'big, beautiful wall,' but the specifics of that project have never been entirely clear. The wall, which poses a number of environmental, logistical, and financial obstacles, is all but impossible to build in the style Trump wants. The president has also seemed to shift his stance dramatically at times, saying that the wall is more of a symbolic gesture, rather than a literal proposal."

Peter Stone and Greg Gordon at McClatchy: FBI Investigating Whether Russian Money Went to NRA to Help Trump. "The FBI is investigating whether a top Russian banker with ties to the Kremlin illegally funneled money to the National Rifle Association to help Donald Trump win the presidency, two sources familiar with the matter have told McClatchy. FBI counterintelligence investigators have focused on the activities of Alexander Torshin, the deputy governor of Russia's central bank who is known for his close relationships with both Russian President Vladimir Putin and the NRA, the sources said. It is illegal to use foreign money to influence federal elections."

This is, of course, not the first time the NRA has been suspected of having worked with the Kremlin to influence the election.

Betsy Woodruff at the Daily Beast: House Intel Will Release Fusion GPS Interview Transcript. "The House Intelligence Committee will release the transcript of its interview with Glenn Simpson, the head of controversial research firm Fusion GPS, The Daily Beast has learned. The transcript could be released as soon as today. Adam Schiff, the committee's top Democrat, has called for the release of the transcript. Fusion GPS's co-founder has also called for its release." Good.

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[CN: Sexual assault; descriptions of sexual violence; rape apologia. Covers entire section.]

Rebecca Ratcliffe at the Guardian: Sexual Harassment and Assault Rife at United Nations, Staff Claim. "The United Nations has allowed sexual harassment and assault to flourish in its offices around the world, with accusers ignored and perpetrators free to act with impunity, the Guardian has been told. Dozens of current and former UN employees described a culture of silence across the organisation and a flawed grievance system that is stacked against victims. Of the employees interviewed, 15 said they had experienced or reported sexual harassment or assault within the past five years. The alleged offences ranged from verbal harassment to rape. Seven of the women had formally reported what happened, a route that campaigners say is rarely pursued by victims for fear of losing their job, or in the belief that no action will be taken."

Kim Kozlowski at the Detroit News: What MSU Knew: 14 Were Warned of Nassar Abuse. "Reports of sexual misconduct by Dr. Larry Nassar reached at least 14 Michigan State University representatives in the two decades before his arrest, with no fewer than eight women reporting his actions, a Detroit News investigation has found. Among those notified was MSU President Lou Anna Simon, who was informed in 2014 that a Title IX complaint and a police report had been filed against an unnamed physician, she told The News on Wednesday. ...Among the others who were aware of alleged abuse were athletic trainers, assistant coaches, a university police detective, and an official who is now MSU's assistant general counsel, according to university records and accounts of victims who spoke to The News. Collectively, the accounts show MSU missed multiple opportunities over two decades to stop Nassar, a graduate of its osteopathic medical school who became a renowned doctor but went on to molest scores of girls and women under the guise of treating them for pain."

Olivia Messer at the Daily Beast: Sex-Abuse Doc Larry Nassar Complains His Victims' Impact Statements Are Too Harsh. "Former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar, who pleaded guilty to multiple charges of sexual assault, complained Thursday that he cannot stand the stress of listening to dozens of young women cry and scream at him for what he did. 'I didn't orchestrate this. You did,' Circuit Court Judge Rosemarie Aquilina sternly replied to Nassar... 'You may find it harsh that you're here listening, but nothing is as harsh as what victims endured in your hands,' she added." Fuckkkkkkkkk that guy.

[CN: Video may autoplay at link] Dylan Farrow Details Her Sexual Assault Allegations Against Woody Allen. That is the full transcript to the video embedded in the tweet below.

Kaiser at Celebitchy: James Franco Will Attend Sunday's SAGs; He's 'Reaching out to Former Girlfriends,' Too. "[H]e's trying to make calls behind-the-scenes to make sure that no one is going to expose him even further. 'James Franco is digging into his past in the wake of allegations of sexually inappropriate behavior. 'James has been reaching out to former girlfriends for the past month asking about his behavior,' a source tells PEOPLE. 'He's known this was coming and was trying to get ahead of the story.'' ...I wonder how those calls will go. 'Look, if People Magazine or The Hollywood Reporter calls you, what will you say? Oh, I don't remember it that way. Hey, can I buy you a new car?' That's exactly what's happening." Probably. And no matter what the exact content of those calls, it's gross he's even making them. Yikes.

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

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