We Resist: Day 383

a black bar with the word RESIST in white text

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.

* * *

Here are some things in the news today:

Earlier today by Fannie: Dispatches From the Queer Resistance (No. 6). And by me: Quentin Tarantino Is an Abusive, Disgusting Person.

Caitlin MacNeal at TPM: Trump's Lawyers Don't Want Him to Sit for Interview with Mueller. "Two lawyers for [Donald] Trump are urging the President to decline special counsel Robert Mueller's request for an interview in the Russia probe out of concern that Trump would end up lying to investigators, the New York Times reported Monday, citing four sources familiar with the matter. Trump's lawyers have been discussing the possibility of an interview with Mueller's team since late last year, and they've reportedly been looking for ways to avoid or limit a sit-down interview between the President and Mueller's investigators."

When Trump first said that wanted to talk to Mueller, I noted that he would use his lawyers to get out of it. And here we are.

Speaking of Trump being totally predictable...

Me, yesterday:

People keep insisting that Trump doesn't know what he's doing, but here's the deal:

* * *

Today in Russia Reversal garbage... Maxwell Tani at the Daily Beast: Nunes Tells Hannity: Clinton Collaborated with Russia to Frame Trump. "In a remarkable interview with Fox News host Sean Hannity, House Intelligence Chair Devin Nunes on Monday night claimed it was the Hillary Clinton campaign that had been the real Russian collaborator, and had effectively weaponized the FBI against Donald Trump during the 2016 presidential election. ...'There's clear evidence of collusion — that the Democratic Party and the Hillary Clinton campaign colluded with the Russians,' Nunes said... 'I just go by the old rule: Whatever they accuse you of doing, they're actually doing,' Nunes said." LOLOLOLOL omg this fucking guy.

Everything is fine:

(Everything is not fine.)

[Content Note: Video may autoplay at link] Maegan Vazquez at CNN: Sessions Calls for 'Fresh Start' at FBI. "Attorney General Jeff Sessions says he believes the FBI needs a 'fresh start' following FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe's decision to step down. 'Well, I have believed it was important to have a fresh start at the FBI, and actually, it was in my letter to the President when I recommended (former FBI Director James) Comey's removal. I used the words, 'fresh start,' and the FBI director is Chris Wray, a very talented, smart, capable leader,' Sessions told the Washington Examiner on the day McCabe left the bureau. ...A clean slate, he said, 'will give them an opportunity to go straight to the American people and say, 'We are gonna win your confidence.''" More importantly, a "clean slate" gives Donald Trump the opportunity to fill the FBI with loyalists and sycophants who will never hold him or his allies accountable.

Meanwhile, today in Republicans Are Democracy Killers...

Ian Millhiser at ThinkProgress: Pennsylvania Republican Launches Effort to Impeach State Supreme Court to Save GOP Gerrymander.
In a direct attack on the rule of law, Pennsylvania state Rep. Cris Dush (R) sent a memo to his colleagues Monday evening asking them to cosponsor articles of impeachment against five of the state's seven supreme court justices.

The justices' crime? Striking down the state's gerrymandered congressional maps, which allowed Republicans to win 13 of the state's 18 congressional seats even in election years when Democrats won a majority of the statewide popular vote.

It's a serious threat. Though the state supreme court's decision dealt exclusively with the GOP's successful effort to gerrymander the state's congressional maps, the state senate maps also produced a senate that is far more Republican than the state as a whole (these maps were drawn by a 5 member commission, not the state legislature).

Republicans control more than two-thirds of the senate seats in Pennsylvania despite the fact that the state has a Democratic governor and Donald Trump's margin of victory in the 2016 presidential election was less than 1 percentage point in the state. Under the state constitution, two-thirds of senators must concur with a majority of the state representatives in order to remove a state official from office.

So, to summarize, Pennsylvania Republicans have outsized majorities in the state legislature, despite the fact that the state is closely divided between Democratic and Republican voters. After the state supreme court voted 5-2 to rein in gerrymandering, the GOP may use its house majority and senate supermajority to remove all five of the justices that opposed gerrymandering.
All of this is happening while the national Republican Party is also waging an all-out war to win a Congressional seat in the state, too.

Alex Isenstadt at Politico: National GOP Breaks Glass in Pennsylvania Race: The National Party Has Deployed Its Full Arsenal in a March 13 Special House Election. "Nearly every corner of the GOP is involved. The White House is working closely with Saccone and dispatching [Donald] Trump and Vice President Mike Pence to the suburban Pittsburgh district on his behalf. The House Republican campaign arm has begun a $2 million TV offensive and is aggressively pressing party lawmakers to help fund the candidate. Bliss' group, Congressional Leadership Fund, is deploying dozens of field staffers, who braved frigid winds last weekend as they canvassed for votes. By the end of the weekend, Republicans were outspending Democrats on TV by a ratio of nearly 5-to-1. The GOP push will only intensify: The Republican National Committee is set to invest about $1 million, much of it on digital, field and other get-out-the-vote activities."

* * *

Paul Wiseman at the AP: U.S. Trade Gap Hits $566 Billion in 2017, Highest Since 2008. "The U.S. trade deficit hit the highest level in nine years in 2017, defying [Donald] Trump's efforts to bring more balance to America's trade relationships. The Commerce Department said Tuesday that the trade gap in goods and services rose to $566 billion last year, the highest level since $708.7 billion in 2008. Imports set a record $2.9 trillion, swamping exports of $2.3 trillion. The U.S. ran an $810 billion deficit in the trade of goods and a $244 billion surplus in services such as banking and education. ...Trump sees trade deficits as a sign of economic weakness and largely as the result of unfair competition by America's trading partners. Most economists see them largely as the result of bigger economic forces: Americans spend more than they produce, and imports fill the gap."

Trump is wrong about trade deficits. But the fact is that he promised that he alone would be able to make the best deals to fix those trade deficits. And, surprise, he hasn't. Do his deplorables care? Nope.

Ben White at Politico: 'The President Clearly Set Himself Up': Trump's Stock Market Miscalculation. "Donald Trump is learning a basic and painful lesson of Wall Street: Stocks also go down. A global market sell-off accelerated Monday with the Dow Jones Industrial Average plunging nearly 1,600 points at one point in roller-coaster afternoon trading. After a volatile session, the Dow ended down 1,175 points, or 4.6%, at 24,346. It was the largest ever single-day point drop for the Dow and it rattled both Wall Street and Washington, abruptly ending a remarkable period of placid markets where it often seemed the only direction was up."

Guess what? His deplorables don't care about that, either. It doesn't matter what promises he made, what promises he breaks, what lies he tell, what responsibility he shirks, what credit he erroneously claims, what facts he ignores, what bullshit he disgorges as "fact," what epic failures he oversees. They don't care, because he is the powerful id of their darkest impulses, and thus he cannot be wrong.

Echidne of the Snakes on the CDC as we face a horrendous flu season:
The Trump administration approach to preventing and controlling pandemics could serve as a metaphor of many of the changes it has created. The changes all share the view that nothing bad will ever happen, and that, say, all firms only think of the best of their customers, so it's unnecessary to have safety regulations at work or at home, or rules which protect the environment, or even an office intended to protect the interest of consumers.

Besides, by the time the next catastrophe happens, Trump might already be gone, and his friends, too. With the money bags, filled from the government coffers?

Whatever the case about that might be, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) are going to cut their pandemic prevention efforts by eighty percent. This is because of lack of funds:
Most of the funding comes from a one-time, five-year emergency package that Congress approved to respond to the 2014 Ebola epidemic in West Africa. About $600 million was awarded to the CDC to help countries prevent infectious-disease threats from becoming epidemics. That money is slated to run out by September 2019. Despite statements from President Trump and senior administration officials affirming the importance of controlling outbreaks, officials and global infectious-disease experts are not anticipating that the administration will budget additional resources.
A pandemic is unlikely to stay out of the United States, even if it begins in some other country, and the odds of another pandemic happening in the next few years are fairly high, if the past can be used to predict the future.

But the Trump administration doesn't seem to care, perhaps because it is an administration staffed by people who adore Trump, rather than by people who have the skills and experience necessary for the job? Or because it is an administration not for the American people, but only for Trump's real base (the Koch brothers, the Mercer family and others in the one percent)? Or both?
[CN: White supremacy; violence] Casey Michel at ThinkProgress: Growing Number of Killings Tied to Young White Supremacists. "According to the SPLC, the number of killings and injured persons attributed to this newest generation of white nationalists has skyrocketed since the group first made itself known a few years ago. Since 2014, the report found that some 43 individuals had been killed and 67 had been injured in attacks by the so-called 'alt-right.' In just the past year alone, 17 individuals were killed and an additional 43 were injured — by far the highest annual rate of all years included in the study."

Alex Hern at the Guardian: Fake News Sharing in U.S. Is a Rightwing Thing, Says Study. "Low-quality, extremist, sensationalist, and conspiratorial news published in the U.S. was overwhelmingly consumed and shared by rightwing social network users, according to a new study from the University of Oxford. The study, from the university's 'computational propaganda project,' looked at the most significant sources of 'junk news' shared in the three months leading up to Donald Trump's first State of the Union address this January, and tried to find out who was sharing them and why. 'On Twitter, a network of Trump supporters consumes the largest volume of junk news, and junk news is the largest proportion of news links they share,' the researchers concluded. On Facebook, the skew was even greater. There, 'extreme hard right pages — distinct from Republican pages — share more junk news than all the other audiences put together.'" I'll be over here on my fainting couch.

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

Shakesville is run as a safe space. First-time commenters: Please read Shakesville's Commenting Policy and Feminism 101 Section before commenting. We also do lots of in-thread moderation, so we ask that everyone read the entirety of any thread before commenting, to ensure compliance with any in-thread moderation. Thank you.

blog comments powered by Disqus