We Resist: Day 404

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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: Sanders Dodges Questions on Russia and Supreme Court Rules Immigrants Can Be Indefinitely Detained.

[Content Note: Shooting; transmisogynoir violence] Eli Erlick at Into: A Las Vegas Trans Bar Was the Target of a Shooting over the Weekend. "In the early hours of Friday morning, an unknown individual shot into Las Vegas' only transgender club, injuring at least two people. The windows were covered in bright ads along with a trans flag bearing a silhouetted image of a woman below the bar's name, the Las Vegas Lounge. It's worth recounting this image not to set the scene but to make the observation: The shooter could not have seen inside to target any individual. Black trans woman Callie Lou-Bee Haywood was injured in the shooting and was taken to the hospital. She reported on Facebook that 'the bullets shattered my bones and they're broken in my leg!' 'This pain is beyond excruciating,' she wrote in a comment."

Goddammit. I am angry that someone did this horrible thing, and I am angry that I didn't hear anything about it under Shaker Joy emailed it to me. I didn't encounter a thing about it in my regular news rounds. Awful.

My thoughts are with the enture Las Vegas Lounge community and with Haywood. I hope she has the resources she needs to recuperate from her injury and the attendant trauma. I am so relieved no one was killed.

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[CN: Moving GIFs at link] Eli Rosenberg at the Washington Post: Trump Said He Would Charge a Gunman; Here's What He's Actually Done in the Face of Danger. "Trump's assertion that he would have run toward the Parkland, Fla., gunman had he been near the school would have been a bold claim for just about anybody to make. 'I really believe I'd run in, even if I didn't have a weapon,' he said during a meeting at the White House on Monday. Trump has no background in law enforcement or the military, and the boastful nature of the statement — the president was nowhere near the shooting when it occurred — immediately raised questions about his intent. And given Trump's public track record in the face of proximate danger, his words instead ended up underscoring a separate truth: His actions have, at times, read differently than his tough talk." That's so undeservedly polite that one might imagine it was designed to evoke laughter. Which it certainly did from this reader!

[CN: Video may autoplay at link] Dana Bash at CNN: Trump Taps Brad Parscale to Run His 2020 Re-Election Campaign. Oh. This Brad Parscale? Oh. Well, I guess that makes sense, since he's basically the only one left who hasn't been indicted. Speaking of which...

I don't even know. Suffice it to say this doesn't disabuse me of my feeling that there's something off with the Mueller investigation.

Anyway. Back to the 2020 campaign...

Andy Towle at Towleroad: Cyber Command: Trump Has Given No Orders to Stop Russians from Targeting U.S. Elections. "Donald Trump has not authorized the U.S. Cyber Command to take action against Russian meddling in the 2018 elections. Said NSA Director Admiral Michael Rogers to the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday: 'I haven't been granted any additional authorities… I need a policy decision that indicates that there's specific direction to do that. The secretary would ultimately make a recommendation to the president…and then based on that, we'd be given specific direction and specific authority… The president ultimately would make this decision in accordance with a recommendation from the secretary of Defense.'" Cool.

Tierney Sneed at TPM: Ryan's Move to Replace Election Commissioner Worries State Officials. "Speaker Paul Ryan's apparent decision not to extend Matt Masterson's tenure at the U.S. Elections Assistance Commission has been met with disappointment and outright anxiety from state election officials who worked with Masterson on a regular basis. Masterson's likely departure comes at a time when issues of cyber-security — issues that Masterson has made a focus of his work — are emerging as a top priority for the commission. 'He's too smart a guy, he's too professional a guy, to lose him at a time when our democracy is suffering from serious threats,' said Rhode Island Secretary Nellie Gorbea (D) in a phone interview with TPM Friday." Also cool.

Nothing to see here. Just the president refusing to issue Cyber Command to take action over Russian meddling in our elections and the Speaker of the House refusing to extend the tenure of an Election Commissioner whose expertise is cyber-security.

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Nicole Lafond at TPM: John Kelly Privately Irked by Ivanka Trump Trip to South Korea.
White House Chief of Staff John Kelly was reportedly privately frustrated that White House senior adviser and first-daughter Ivanka Trump was sent to South Korea to lead the U.S. delegation at the Winter Olympics closing ceremonies in Pyeongchang, CNN reported Tuesday.

Two people familiar with the situation told CNN that the decision irked Kelly and other senior West Wing officials because of Ivanka Trump's unfamiliarity with diplomatic efforts surrounding the tensions on the Korean Peninsula. One person close with [Donald] Trump told CNN that Kelly thought Ivanka Trump was not experienced enough to handle the delicacies of the trip because "the stakes are far higher and more complex" than a visit to other countries.

Kelly was reportedly advised by people close to him to not air his concerns with the President, who was publicly very supportive of his daughter serving as the delegation's leader.
Again, the fallacy of "the generals" being any kind of influence over the president is exposed. The Chief of Staff can't even tell Trump the manifestly obvious truth: That his daughter isn't qualified to serve as a diplomat in such a delicate foreign policy situation.

There is a person who's qualified, but:

Meanwhile... Michael Schwirtz at the New York Times: U.N. Links North Korea to Syria's Chemical Weapon Program. "North Korea has been shipping supplies to the Syrian government that could be used in the production of chemical weapons, United Nations experts contend. ...The supplies from North Korea include acid-resistant tiles, valves, and thermometers, according to a report by United Nations investigators. North Korean missile technicians have also been spotted working at known chemical weapons and missile facilities inside Syria, according to the report, which was written by a panel of experts who looked at North Korea's compliance with United Nations sanctions. The report highlights the potential danger posed by any such trade between Syria and North Korea, which could allow Syria to maintain its chemical weapons while also providing North Korea with cash for its nuclear and missile programs."

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[CN: Anti-Semitism] E.A. Crunden at ThinkProgress: Hate Crimes Targeting Jews Hit Highest Rate in More Than 20 Years. "Hate crimes and incidents of discrimination against U.S. Jews rose a staggering 57 percent last year, producing the second-highest number of such events in 40 years and the highest in 20 years according to an annual report from the Anti-Defamation League released on Tuesday. The civil rights organization, which has monitored anti-Semitic hate crimes since 1979, noted almost 2,000 cases of vandalism, harassment, and threats targeting Jews in 2017 — the worst onslaught since 1994, when 2,066 incidents were reported. The 2017 report notably factors in the more than 160 bomb threats called into Jewish centers, all of which were found not credible and many of which have been linked to an Israeli Jewish teenager as well as a non-Jewish man in Missouri who later pled guilty to cyberstalking and anti-Semitic threats. Even after accounting for that rise, the report paints a bleak picture."

Catherine Rampell at the Washington Post: Trump's Sneaky Backdoor Obamacare Repeal Is Working. "In the months since the last Obamacare vote in the Senate, the Trump administration and Republicans on Capitol Hill have engaged in a sneakier, backdoor repeal. ...A handful of relatively low-profile, boring-sounding actions are to blame for the drop-off in the insured. They include repealing the individual mandate (which encouraged young, healthy people to buy insurance, holding down premium costs for the overall pool), shortening the open enrollment period, reducing outreach and advertising, and killing subsidies designed to help pay for low-income people's out-of-pocket spending. Then last week, with little fanfare, the Trump administration released an even-more-damaging new policy: an expansion of 'short-term' insurance plans."

[CN: Video may autoplay at link] Miranda Green at the Hill: Major EPA Reorganization Will End Science Research Program. "The National Center for Environmental Research (NCER) will no longer exist following plans to combine three EPA offices, the agency confirmed to The Hill on Monday. The program provides millions of dollars in grants each year. Perhaps best known for its handling of fellowships that study the effects of chemicals on children's health, the NCER will be dissolved and science staff serving there will be reassigned elsewhere within the department, the EPA said."

[CN: Climate change; disablist language] Jonathan Watts at the Guardian: Arctic Warming: Scientists Alarmed by 'Crazy' Temperature Rises. "An alarming heatwave in the sunless winter Arctic is causing blizzards in Europe and forcing scientists to reconsider even their most pessimistic forecasts of climate change. Although it could yet prove to be a freak event, the primary concern is that global warming is eroding the polar vortex, the powerful winds that once insulated the frozen north. ...'This is an anomaly among anomalies. It is far enough outside the historical range that it is worrying — it is a suggestion that there are further surprises in store as we continue to poke the angry beast that is our climate,' said Michael Mann, director of the Earth System Science Center at Pennsylvania State University."

[CN: War on agency] Nicole Knight at Rewire: Wyoming GOP Pushes 'Death Certificates' for Miscarriages. "A panel of male Republican lawmakers in Wyoming unanimously advanced legislation permitting death certificates for miscarriages, after hearing from nearly a dozen women who'd reportedly had miscarriages and opposed the bill. The new certificates would apply to a nonviable birth, which the bill defines as an 'unintentional, spontaneous demise of an unborn child' between nine and 20 weeks' gestation. Being offered such a certificate, a series of women testified in person and in writing, would make them feel a 'range of emotions from awful to infuriated,' according to Better Wyoming, a progressive blog. But the five GOP committee members reportedly said they believed the death certificates, which are voluntary, would provide 'comfort.'"

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

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