We Resist: Day 365

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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: A Year of Malice and The Shutdown Thread.

[Content Note: Video may autoplay at link] Jennifer Jacobs and Bill Allison at Bloomberg: Trump to Mark One-Year Anniversary with Gala at Mar-a-Lago. "Donald Trump will mark the first anniversary of his inauguration on Saturday with a celebration at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, with tickets starting at $100,000 a pair. That amount, according to the invitation, will pay for dinner and a photograph with the president. For $250,000, a couple can also take part in a roundtable. ...The event, hosted by Ronna Romney McDaniel, the chairwoman of the Republican National Committee, and the casino mogul Steve Wynn, will benefit the Trump presidential campaign and the RNC."

Sounds like such a splendid party for the absolute worst people of the One Percent! Also sounds highly unethical and nakedly corrupt, so that seems about par for the Trump course.

Tamara Keith at NPR: Turnover in Trump's White House Is 'Record-Setting,' and It Isn't Even Close. "If [Donald] Trump's first year in office seemed chaotic from a staffing perspective, there's a reason. Turnover among top-level staff in the Trump White House was off the charts, according to a new Brookings Institution report. Turnover in Trump's first year was more than triple that in former President Barack Obama's first year, and double the rate in President Ronald Reagan's White House. A full 34 percent of high-level White House aides either resigned, were fired or moved into different positions in this first year of the Trump presidency." What a cool presidency!

Happy (early) inaugural anniversary, ladies!

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Natasha Bertrand at Business Insider: Fusion GPS Interview with House Panel Leaves Huge Pile of Breadcrumbs for Trump-Russia Investigators.
The House Intelligence Committee on Thursday released the transcript [pdf] of the panel's November interview with Glenn Simpson, the cofounder of the opposition research firm Fusion GPS.

The House investigators' line of questioning touched upon subjects that the Senate Judiciary Committee did not delve into, largely due to a shift in focus spearheaded by the committee's top Democrat, Adam Schiff.

Rather than home in on the nature of Simpson's relationship with Christopher Steele — the former British intelligence officer hired by Fusion to research Trump's Russia ties — Schiff and his Democratic colleagues asked Simpson pointed questions about Russian money laundering, Russian organized crime, and whether Trump could be susceptible to Russian blackmail.

The result was a long trail of breacrumbs for investigators probing Trump's relationship with Russia.
There is a lot at the link, and this thread on Twitter by @HoarseWisperer is a must-read.

I highly recommend reading both Bertrand's piece and the thread in their entirety.

Sam Thielman at TPM: NRA's Ties to Putin Allies Go Back Years. "There's already a lot of reporting out there on the unlikely ties between the gun group and right-wing Russians. The banker at the center of the probe, Alexander Torshin, is a lifetime NRA member who's spent years attending the group's events and amassing a circle of influential American conservative friends. Several of those American conservatives have attended events organized by a Russian gun-rights group that Torshin helped launch. It's also worth noting that the NRA's dark money arm spent more on the 2016 election than did any other dark money group. It spent three times as much in support of Trump as it did for Mitt Romney in 2012, despite the group's antipathy to President Obama. Here, in chronological order, is what we know on the NRA's Russian ties." Another must-read.

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[CN: Christian supremacy]

ICYMI on Wednesday: Trump Administration Revives the "Conscience Clause".

Christine Grimaldi & Jessica Mason Pieklo at Rewire: Trump Carves Health-Care Discrimination Wing into Civil Rights Office. "The Trump-era HHS, stacked with anti-choice extremists, on Thursday announced the launch of the Conscience and Religious Freedom Division, a wing of the agency's Office of Civil Rights. The division is a precursor to an imminent rule expected to bolster such 'religious freedom,' or religious imposition, measures at the expense of vulnerable patients. ...Expect the administration to push the boundaries of law, according to Gretchen Borchelt, vice president for reproductive rights and health at the National Women's Law Center. Trump-era officials 'have been willing to take the law as far as they can and then violate the law [in order] to enshrine one set of religious beliefs,' Borchelt said in an interview. 'They don't care what the harm is to individuals. Whatever the [George W.] Bush administration did, I think we would expect to see it taken at least one to two steps further, if not as far as possible beyond that.'"

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Michael Safi at the Guardian: 'Buy a Flat, Meet Trump Jr' Offer Criticised as 'Ethics Atrocity'. "The developers behind a Trump Towers project near Delhi are offering to fly the first 100 investors in the property to the US to meet Donald Trump Jr, the US president's eldest son. ...The specifics of the meeting with Trump Jr were unclear but the offer was repeated on a news broadcast featured on the developer's website with the tagline 'Buy a flat, meet Trump junior.' ...'Making Donald Jr available to those who can afford it in a foreign land based on purchasing a property is an ethics atrocity,' said Norman L Eisen, who served as a special counsel for ethics in the Barack Obama administration and is the chairman of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (Crew), a watchdog group. 'Access to the first family should not be for sale. It's particularly inappropriate because we know he is in constant communication with his father, so it does create a conduit to attempt to influence the president and one of his closest confidants and family members.'"

Michael R. Gordon and Chun Han Wong at the Wall Street Journal: Six Chinese Ships Covertly Aided North Korea; the U.S. Was Watching. "Satellite photographs and other intelligence gathered by U.S. officials provide what they say is detailed evidence of at least six Chinese-owned or -operated cargo ships violating United Nations sanctions against North Korea. The U.S. compiled the information from Asian waters as part of the Trump administration's strategy to pressure North Korea into giving up its nuclear weapons and long-range missiles." Honestly, the most terrifying thing about this is that I have zero ability to assess its veracity and every reason to question whether it's real. It could just as easily be a cynical plant by the Trump administration at a publication which has been dutifully carrying water for them, without regard for journalistic ethics or the world's safety.

Not good.

[CN: Nativism] E.A. Crunden at ThinkProgress: Trump Has No Idea How the Diversity Visa Lottery Actually Works. "Throughout immigration talks, Trump has repeatedly called for a merit-based immigration system, positing it as an alternative to 'the lottery,' a system he has decried. ...That juxtaposition has since dominated much of Trump's rhetoric on immigration, leaving immigration advocates baffled. 'It's confusing because, well, the diversity visa program is actually a merit-based system,' Anu Joshi, Immigration Policy Director for the New York Immigration Coalition, told ThinkProgress. 'On its face what he's saying just isn't correct.'" What a shocker.


Nick Anderson at the Washington Post: Comey to Teach Course on Ethical Leadership for College of William & Mary.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA *jumps into Christmas tree*

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[CN: Sexual harassment, assault, rape apologia, and silencing. Covers entire section.]

AP/Guardian: Pope Francis Accuses Chilean Church Sexual Abuse Victims of Slander.
Pope Francis has accused victims of Chile's most notorious paedophile of slander, in an astonishing end to a visit meant to help heal the wounds of a sex abuse scandal that has cost the Catholic church its credibility in the country.

Francis said that until he sees proof that Bishop Juan Barros was complicit in covering up the sex crimes of the Rev Fernando Karadima, such accusations against Barros are "all calumny."

The pope's remarks drew shock from Chileans and immediate rebuke from victims and their advocates. They noted the accusers were deemed credible enough by the Vatican that it sentenced Karadima to a lifetime of "penance and prayer" for his crimes in 2011.

A Chilean judge also found the victims to be credible, saying that while she had to drop criminal charges against Karadima because too much time had passed, proof of his crimes was not lacking.
Yeah, this is your regular reminder that Pope Francis is actually an asshole.

Jessica M. Goldstein at ThinkProgress: Bill Cosby Could Face 19 of His Accusers in Court. "There is only one criminal case against Bill Cosby. It's easy to forget that, given the multitudes of women — the total, to date, hovers around 60 — who have publicly accused him of sexual violence. ...But so far, there's only one woman whose case could send Cosby to prison, and that is Andrea Constand. Constand claims that Cosby drugged and sexually assaulted her at his home in a Philadelphia suburb in 2004. Cosby stands accused of three counts of aggravated indecent assault and, if convicted, could spend ten years in prison. Though it is Constand's allegations, and hers alone, for which Cosby will again be tried, the prosecution hopes to have up to 19 of Cosby's other accusers take the stand. These 'prior bad acts' witnesses, if permitted to speak, will attest to Cosby's pattern of misconduct. They could help prove that Cosby's crime was also his signature: A drugged drink, an unconscious woman, an assault, repeat."

This twitter thread by @Salencita about what happened to Lindsey Port after she disclosed having been sexually harassed by a Minnesota state senator is a must-read. So you know what to expect:

Addy Baird at ThinkProgress: Trump Lawyer Set Pp a Shell Company to Pay Adult Film Star Hush Money a Month Before the Election. "Donald Trump's lawyer, Michael Cohen, established a private company in Delaware in October 2016 to pay hush money to former adult film star Stephanie Clifford, according to a report Thursday. Clifford, who goes by the stage name 'Stormy Daniels,' allegedly had a sexual encounter with Trump in 2006. The Wall Street Journal first reported that Cohen had paid Clifford $130,000 a month before the 2016 election in return for her agreeing not to publicly discuss her alleged encounter with Trump last week, and on Thursday, the Journal reported Cohen had done so through a private company and used pseudonyms to mask the identities of the people involved in the transaction."

You may have seen headlines about how Stormy Daniels reported Trump had her spank him with a Forbes magazine, but, unless you dug into those stories, you might not have seen this detail: "The Forbes magazine in question had Trump on the cover."

Of course it did.

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

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