We Resist: Day 376

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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 Aphra Behn: Dear NYT: This Is No Time to Obscure White Supremacism. And by me: Authoritarianism Watch: A Deeply Chilling Monday Night and Trump Turns SOTU into Tacky Fundraising Event.

[Content Note: Threats of violence] Nicole Lafond at TPM: Schiff's Office Receiving Calls and Death Threats over Nunes Memo. "Rep. Adam Schiff's (D-CA) office has received crude phone calls and death threats over the 'Republican spin memo' that reportedly proves some type of anti-[Donald] Trump bias within the FBI and the Department of Justice, Axios reported Tuesday. Schiff told Axios that the outrage against his office is fueled by Republican rhetoric, which he called 'reckless hyperbole' that is 'just so destructive to our democracy.'"

This is where we are: A Democratic member of Congress who takes his responsibilities seriously and stands up to this administration and its party's gross abuses of power is now getting death threats.

This is not a functioning democracy. It has not been for some time, but that reality has become so abundantly clear at this point that any politician, journalist, or person of influence in any industry who does not acknowledge this fact and behave accordingly should be presumed to support the dismantling of the republic. There is no neutral anymore.

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Stephanie Kirchgaessner and Nick Hopkins at the Guardian: Second Trump-Russia Dossier Being Assessed by FBI. "The FBI inquiry into alleged Russian collusion in the 2016 U.S. presidential election has been given a second memo that independently set out many of the same allegations made in a dossier by Christopher Steele, the British former spy. The second memo was written by Cody Shearer, a controversial political activist and former journalist who was close to the Clinton White House in the 1990s."

I'm still digging into this story, but I know it'll be a big item today, so, at this point, I'm just sharing it with this caveat: I am not convinced that this report is authentic and/or that the "second memo" is real. I also suspect that, even if it is real, its existence is only truly relevant insofar as it will be used to try to delegitimize the Steele dossier, by virtue of its alleged Clinton-connected authorship.

Take this one with a big grain of salt, unless and until there is well-sourced confirmation.

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Carol E. Lee at NBC News: Trump's Gripes Against McCabe Included Wife's Politics, Comey's Ride Home. "The day after he fired James Comey as director of the FBI, a furious [Donald] Trump called the bureau's acting director, Andrew McCabe, demanding to know why Comey had been allowed to fly on an FBI plane from Los Angeles back to Washington after he was dismissed, according to multiple people familiar with the phone call. McCabe told the president he hadn't been asked to authorize Comey's flight, but if anyone had asked, he would have approved it, three people familiar with the call recounted to NBC News. The president was silent for a moment and then turned on McCabe, suggesting he ask his wife how it feels to be a loser — an apparent reference to a failed campaign for state office in Virginia that McCabe's wife made in 2015. McCabe replied, 'Okay, sir.' Trump then hung up the phone."

[CN: Video may autoplay at link] Jennifer Jacobs at Bloomberg: On Flight to Davos, Trump Erupted over DOJ Role in Russia Probe. "Trump erupted in anger while traveling to Davos after learning that Associate Attorney General Stephen Boyd warned that it would be 'extraordinarily reckless' to release a classified memo written by House Republican staffers. ...Trump's outburst capped a week where Trump and senior White House officials personally reproached Attorney General Jeff Sessions and asked White House Chief of Staff John Kelly to speak to others — episodes that illustrate Trump's preoccupation with the Justice Department, according to two of the people. Trump warned Sessions and others they need to excel at their jobs or go down as the worst in history, the two people said."

Just two more examples of a man who is temperamentally unfit to be president; who is an inveterate bully; who has naught but contempt for the rule of law.

About all of which plenty of people, especially women, urgently warned before he was elected.

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Kellyanne Conway continues to be extraordinarily awful, telling Chris Cuomo on CNN's New Day that Russian interference in the 2016 election doesn't matter, and it's the press who are the real culprits: "Everybody who said Donald Trump couldn't win — every screaming headline, every wrong poll, every anchor, every pundit who said this is over, it's a joke, he can't win — tried to interfere in the election." OMFG.

Meanwhile, back on Planet Earth... Gordon Corera at the BBC: Russia 'Will Target U.S. Midterm Elections' Says CIA Chief. "Mike Pompeo told the BBC there had been no significant diminishing of Russian attempts at subversion in Europe and the U.S." Of course there hasn't! Why would there be?! The U.S. president and the majority party in Congress are busily pretending that Russia didn't interfere in the 2016 election and giving Putin everything he wants! They have served Russia zero consequences for meddling in past U.S. elections and have put in place zero safeguards to prevent them from meddling in future U.S. elections! OF COURSE THEY WILL CONTINUE TO DO IT.

And in other election news... Pema Levy at Mother Jones: Millions of Voters Will Cast Ballots in November in Unconstitutionally Gerrymandered Districts. "This fall, millions of voters will cast ballots in legislative districts that have been deemed unconstitutional. Courts have repeatedly tossed out Republican-drawn electoral maps for excessive gerrymandering, but those maps will remain in effect through November, potentially changing who controls Congress and state legislatures for the next two years."

It will never cease to be incredible to me how many people unaccountably believe that the Republican Party who has spent decades rigging elections themselves are somehow gonna start caring about Russian election meddling.

And because the Republicans are in power, federally and in a majority of state legislatures, all the same problems that resulted in the hideous outcome of the 2016 election will still be there for the 2018 election. And then some.

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In the aforementioned interview with the BBC, Mike Pompeo said some other cool stuff! D. Parvaz at ThinkProgress: Mike Pompeo Keeps Saying North Korea Could Nuke the U.S. in a 'Handful of Months'. "CIA Director Mike Pompeo told the BBC that North Korea will be able to launch nuclear strikes against the United States within a few months. 'With respect to our understanding of the program, I think that we, collectively, the United States and our intelligence partners around the world, have developed a clear understanding of [North Korean leader] Kim Jong Un's capability,' Pompeo said in the interview published on Tuesday. 'We talk about him having the ability to deliver a nuclear weapon to the United States in a matter of a handful of months,' he added. Pompeo's been doing this for a while now."

Just super responsible stuff from a super cool administration: The CIA Director repeatedly saying that North Korea might nuke us in a few months. No biggie.

And it looks like Trump is going to echo these comments, or amplify them into something truly terrifying, during tonight's SOTU:


Robert Burns at TPM: Pentagon Orders Restrictions on Release of Afghanistan War Data. "The Pentagon has ordered an independent federal auditor to stop providing the public with key information about U.S. war efforts in Afghanistan, accelerating a clampdown on data, such as the size of the Afghan military and police forces, that indicate how the 16-year-old stalemated war is going. ...The restrictions fly in the face of Pentagon assertions over the past year that it was striving to be more transparent about the U.S. war campaigns across Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan."

A lack of transparency is yet another feature of authoritarian regimes.

Adrian Florido at NPR: FEMA to End Food and Water Aid for Puerto Rico. "In a sign that FEMA believes the immediate humanitarian emergency has subsided, on Jan. 31 it will, in its own words, 'officially shut off' the mission it says has provided more than 30 million gallons of potable water and nearly 60 million meals across the island in the four months since the hurricane. The agency will turn its remaining food and water supplies over to the Puerto Rican government to finish distributing. Some on the island believe it's too soon to end these deliveries given that a third of residents still lack electricity and, in some places, running water, but FEMA says its internal analytics suggest only about 1 percent of islanders still need emergency food and water. The agency believes that is a small enough number for the Puerto Rican government and nonprofit groups to handle."

Rage seethe boil. If places that had electricity and running water before don't have electricity and running water now, then the humanitarian emergency has not "subsided." JFC.

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

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