We Resist: Day 375

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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:


[Content Note: Video may autoplay at link] Kathryn Watson at CBS News: Andrew McCabe Urged to Step Down as FBI Deputy Director. "FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe is retiring from the FBI, CBS News' Pat Milton has confirmed. According to Milton, a source familiar with the matter confirms that McCabe was urged to step down. He is currently on leave and will official retire in March. McCabe was under considerable scrutiny from Republicans, as special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian election meddling and any ties to Trump associates continued. McCabe took temporary charge of the FBI after [Donald] Trump fired FBI Director James Comey earlier this year, and some skeptics viewed McCabe as too close to his former boss."

Fuck. And Trump's authoritarian march continues onward.

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Earlier today by me: The Entire Republican Party Is Compromised and Trump Pals Fairly Certain He'll Lie Under Oath.

[CN: Guns; misogyny; death]

Is now the time to have a conversation about a culture of violent entitlement, toxic masculinity, and gun access, or nah? Still going to keep punting while people are killed at the hands of violent misogynist men? Cool.

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[CN: War on agency]

Donald Trump wants to have a big win for his white conservative evangelical base right before the State of the Union address tomorrow night. A thank-you note, for standing with him despite news of his philandering with an adult film star and paying her off to keep silent. "Thanks for having no consistent principles at all except hating marginalized people! Here's some more hating women for you!"

Let us be abundantly clear about this legislation: It will not save any fetuses, but it will kill people who carry them.

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Nico Hines at the Daily Beast: Trump Tower Russian Lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya, Exposed in Swiss Corruption Case.
The Moscow operation behind the now-infamous Russian-Trump Tower meeting in June 2016 included a direct attempt to enlist a foreign country's law-enforcement official as a virtual double-agent, according to a court case in Switzerland.

One of Switzerland's top investigators has been fired after allegations of bribery, violating secrecy laws, and 'unauthorized clandestine behavior' in meeting with the very same Russian actors linked to the Trump Tower encounter.

Details of the explosive case have been published by investigative reporters for the Tribune de Genève and Tages-Anzeiger newspapers in Switzerland. The officer, identified only as Victor K., traveled to Moscow—against the expressed wishes of his superiors—where he spoke to Natalia Veselnitskaya, the lawyer who met with Donald Trump Jr., Paul Manafort, and Jared Kushner at Trump Tower.

The meeting was reportedly set up by Russian Deputy Attorney General Saak Albertovich Karapetyan—from the same rogue department that was apparently responsible for offering intel on Hillary Clinton to be shared at the Trump Tower meeting and the Kremlin's further plots to influence U.S. politics.
In other news, care of the BBC: Kremlin Accuses U.S. of Meddling in Election. "An expected U.S. report that could sanction Kremlin-linked oligarchs is an attempt to influence Russia's March presidential election, Moscow has said. The US treasury report is expected to detail the closeness of senior Russian political figures and oligarchs to President Vladimir Putin, who is standing for re-election. ...Dmitry Peskov said the US report was a 'direct and obvious attempt to influence the elections' on 18 March." LOLOLOL okay.

This is a very handy resource from Allegra Kirkland at TPM: Here's the Obstruction Case Against Donald Trump. "From the earliest days of Trump's administration, the president and his closest allies have used a range of tactics to obfuscate damaging information and stymie Mueller's probe into whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russia during the 2016 election. And Mueller, in turn, appears to have gathered a plethora of evidence that lays out this pattern of behavior. ...Here's a full timeline, based on reliable reports that haven't been seriously challenged, of the 2017 events Mueller could draw on to establish an obstruction case against the President."

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[CN: Nativism] David Nakamura at the Washington Post: Lawmakers Call on Trump to Drop Bid for Legal Immigration Cuts. "Trump's demands to slash legal immigration levels are likely to sink a deal. Democrats have voiced fierce opposition to a White House plan, released late last week, that featured a path to citizenship for 1.8 million dreamers in exchange for $25 billion for his border wall and sharp cuts to family immigration visas. Though Democratic leaders have grudgingly offered wall funding, they have accused the president of leveraging the dreamers as 'ransom' to severely constrict legal immigration, calling it a wish list for 'anti-immigration hard-liners' and 'white supremacists.'" Correct analysis by the Democrats.

[CN: Nativism; white supremacy] Tina Vasquez at Rewire: Lines Blurring Between Immigration Priorities of Trump Administration and Hate Groups. "[T]he entirety of Trump's blueprint for the country's immigration system appears to come from organizations the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) has designated as anti-immigrant hate groups, like the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) and the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS). Put another way, the current president is turning demands from anti-immigrant hate groups, groups that have ties to the eugenics movement and openly advocated for heavily restricting immigration levels in order to maintain a white majority, into U.S. immigration policy. ...A closer look at Trump's proposals — before and now during his presidency — reveal near-exact overlap with these hate groups."

Chaim Gartenberg at the Verge: FCC Chair Ajit Pai Is Opposed to a Government-Run 5G Network. "Over the weekend, Axios reported that officials within the Trump administration have been proposing the creation of a nationwide 5G network in order to protect against Chinese leadership in forthcoming networking technology. However, it seems that the unnamed senior national security officials who presented the proposal failed to talk to current FCC commissioner Ajit Pai first. Pai released a statement this morning that, in no uncertain terms, opposes the plan for a government-run 5G network. It's not a surprising stance for Pai... It's hard to imagine that someone who feels that major telecom companies need less government oversight would be in favor of suddenly allowing the government to run the entirety of America's 5G network."

Matt Novak at Gizmodo: Fitness App's 'Anonymized' Data Dump Accidentally Reveals Military Bases Around the World. "People around the world use the app Strava on their smartphones and Fitbits to track how far they run. But researchers have discovered that an 'anonymized' data dump released by Strava last year has accidentally revealed sensitive locations, including U.S. military bases around the world. The user data was released in November as a '2017 heatmap,' showing over 1 billion activities, including 13 trillion GPS datapoints. That includes where and how fast various people went for a jog, for instance. And if you look closely, something like airfields in Somalia that may house American special forces suddenly light up like a Christmas tree."

Alastair Gee at the Guardian: Amid Dangers from the Trump Administration and Climate Change, Sites Including the Grand Canyon and Zion National Park Are Facing Yet Another Threat: 'Massive Disrepair'. "The National Park Service is the protector of some of America's greatest environmental and cultural treasures. Yet a huge funding shortfall means that the strain of America's passion for its parks is showing. Trails are crumbling and buildings are rotting. In all there is an $11bn backlog of maintenance work that repair crews have been unable to perform, a number that has mostly increased every year in the past decade. 'Americans should be deeply concerned,' said John Garder, senior director of budget and appropriations at the National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA). The National Park Service, he argued, is hamstrung by a lack of resources and is in 'triage mode.'"

Caitlin MacNeal at TPM: Trump Claims Ice Caps 'Were Going to Melt' But Are 'Setting Records'. "Donald Trump suggested to Piers Morgan in an interview that aired in full on Sunday that the polar ice caps are actually doing well, despite concerns about climate change, though it's not clear how Trump came to that conclusion. Morgan asked Trump if he believes in climate change. 'Look, it used to not be climate change, it used to be global warming. That wasn't working too well because it was getting too cold all over the place,' Trump claimed in response. He then launched into a baseless claim about ice caps. 'The ice caps were going to melt, they were going to be gone by now, but now they're setting records,' Trump said."

I have no idea what the fuck he is even talking about. During the same interview, he also told Morgan that he isn't a feminist: "No, I wouldn't say I'm a feminist. I mean, I think that would be, maybe, going too far. I'm for women, I'm for men, I'm for everyone." Morgan literally pitched this as "breaking news."

More like "No Shit, Sherlock" news.

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[CN: Misogyny; sexual harassment; sexual assault; rape apologia. Covers entire section.]

Michele Amabile Angermiller at Variety: Grammys So Male? 'Women Need to Step Up,' Says Recording Academy President. "The only woman presented a solo Grammy during the awards telecast on Sunday night? Alessia Cara, who took home best new artist. Recording Academy president Neil Portnow was asked by Variety about #GrammysSoMale and had this to say: 'It has to begin with… women who have the creativity in their hearts and souls, who want to be musicians, who want to be engineers, producers, and want to be part of the industry on the executive level… [They need] to step up because I think they would be welcome. I don't have personal experience of those kinds of brick walls that you face but I think it's upon us — us as an industry — to make the welcome mat very obvious, breeding opportunities for all people who want to be creative and paying it forward and creating that next generation of artists.'"

What the actual fuck. This "women need to step up" bullshit will not widely be identified as workplace harassment, but the fact that it's the president of an industry academy saying it means it absolutely is.

Rebekah Entralgo at ThinkProgress: 22 Senators Call on Labor Department to Assess Economic Impact of Workplace Sexual Harassment. "Twenty-two Democratic senators are calling on the Labor Department to collect additional, better data regarding sexual harassment in the workplace. ...'What is known is that harassment is not confined to industry or one group. It affects minimum-wage fast-food workers, middle-class workers at car manufacturing plants, and white-collar workers in finance and law, among many others,' the senators wrote in the letter, provided to Buzzfeed. 'No matter the place or source, harassment has a tangible and negative economic effect on individuals' lifetime income and retirement, and its pervasiveness damages the economy as a whole.' The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission reports that anywhere from 25 percent to 85 percent of women report having been sexual harassed in the workplace."

The signatories include Democratic Senators Kristen Gillibrand, Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, and Cory Booker, and not a single Republican Senator. Not a one.

After Eggert made the allegations, which she has made previously, Baio, who is a major Trump booster, and his wife took to Facebook Live to dispute Eggert's account and call her a liar, because they are gross people.

Judd Legum at ThinkProgress: The GOP Finally Released a Statement on Steve Wynn — and It's Pathetic.
[On Friday], the Wall Street Journal reported that casino mogul Steve Wynn, the Finance Chairman of the Republican National Committee, had engaged in serial sexual harassment and assault. The report was based on dozens of interviews in which people described how Wynn engaged in a "decades-long pattern of sexual misconduct" including "pressuring employees to perform sex acts."

For 24 hours, the Republican Party said nothing. The silence was particularly remarkable in light of the GOP's reaction to reports in October that Harvey Weinstein sexually assaulted numerous women. The same day the first report was published, the Republican Party demanded the Democratic Party and all Democratic officials return money from Weinstein, who was a major donor to Democrats.

On Saturday afternoon, Republican National Committee chairwoman Ronna McDaniel released a statement. Here it is, in its entirety:
Today I accepted Steve Wynn's resignation as Republican National Committee finance chair.
The statement was released to press but does not appear on the GOP website or Twitter account. It was also not posted to Twitter by McDaniel.
I am running out of ways to say that the Republicans are hypocrites and scumbags.

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

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