We Resist: Day 498

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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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Earlier today by me: FYI and Also: Mike Pence and The Press Is Failing Us.

Here are some more things in the news today...

Former CIA Director John Brennan at the Washington Post: I Will Speak Out Until Integrity Returns to the White House.
The presidents I directly served were not perfect, and I didn't agree with all of their policy choices. But I never doubted that each treated their solemn responsibility to lead our nation with anything less than the seriousness, intellectual rigor and principles that it deserved. Many times, I heard them dismiss the political concerns of their advisers, saying, "I don't care about my politics, it's the right thing to do."

The esteem with which I held the presidency was dealt a serious blow when Donald Trump took office. Almost immediately, I began to see a startling aberration from the remarkable, though human, presidents I had served...

Presidents throughout the years have differed in their approaches to policy, based on political platforms, ideologies, and individual beliefs. Mr. Trump, however, has shown highly abnormal behavior by lying routinely to the American people without compunction, intentionally fueling divisions in our country, and actively working to degrade the imperfect but critical institutions that serve us.

Although appalling, those actions shouldn't be surprising. As was the case throughout his business and entertainment careers, Mr. Trump charts his every move according to a calculus of how it will personally help or hurt him. His strategy is to undercut real, potential, and perceived opponents; his focus is to win at all costs, irrespective of truth, ethics, decency, and — many would argue — the law. His disparagement of institutions is designed to short-circuit legitimate law enforcement investigations, intelligence assessments, and media challenges that threaten his interests. His fear of the special counsel's work is especially palpable, as is his growing interest in destroying its mandate.
There is much more at link, and I highly recommend reading the entire thing. I am grateful to Mr. Brennan for speaking out in this way, despite the fact that he fully knows he will be — and already has been — accused of partisanship. This is the right and patriotic thing to do.

And here is former President Bill Clinton doing precisely the same thing, in spite of knowing well that he will be accused of all manner of gross motivations, partisanship the least of them:

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Where's Melania?

I remain concerned about the First Lady. I suspect that she's just going to emerge at some point as if nothing happened, and the press will respond with variations on, "See? There was nothing to worry about, you stupid hysterics. Everything is fine and this is normal." And that will be that.

More gaslighting. Because this? Is not normal.

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Nicole Lafond at TPM: Reporters, Ex-Officials Appalled Trump Hinted at Jobs Report Before Release. "Just before 7:30 a.m. ET, Trump tweeted that he was 'looking forward to seeing the employment numbers' when the report was released at 8:30 a.m. ET, a move that reporters, like Business Insider's Pedro da Costa, are claiming has already influenced markets. ...Experts and former officials have said that at best, Trump broke with expected precedent and at worst, he appeared to violate federal rules barring officials from commenting on data before its release."

Melanie Schmitz at ThinkProgress: Trump's Demand That TBS Fire Samantha Bee May Violate First Amendment. "In a tweet published on Friday morning, [Donald] Trump suggested that TBS fire television host Samantha Bee, after the comedian used a vulgar term to describe White House adviser Ivanka Trump, the president's daughter. But while it's natural for the president to claim a paternal prerogative in defense of his own children, Trump's unique position puts him in sketchy waters with regard to the First Amendment." Sketchy waters. Yes. I suppose that's one way to describe it.

[Content Note: Gun violence] Staff at the Daily Beast: Texas Shooting Victim's Mom: Talking to Trump 'Was Like Talking to a Toddler'. "Trump on Thursday privately met with families affected by the Texas mass shooting that killed 10 and wounded a dozen others at Santa Fe High School. One mother of a student killed in the massacre had a particularly stunning story about her exchange with the president. Per the Associated Press: 'Rhonda Hart, [an Army vet] whose 14-year-old daughter, Kimberly Vaughan, was killed at the school...suggested employing veterans as sentinels in schools. She said Trump responded, 'And arm them?' She replied, 'No,' but said Trump 'kept mentioning' arming classroom teachers. 'It was like talking to a toddler,' Hart said.'"

[CN: Islamophobia; nativism]

[CN: Racism; death] Josh Israel at ThinkProgress: Trump Callously Brags About Puerto Rico Response, Ignoring More Than 4,600 Deaths. "While 11,000 Puerto Ricans still lack electrical power eight months after the storm, the president himself actually praised the botched federal response in remarks on Friday to the U.S. Coast Guard. 'Last season, during the Hurricanes, I was in Texas, I was in Florida, I was in Puerto Rico,' he claimed, 'I saw the work that you did under the most adverse conditions. And I've said this to a lot of people, I don't think any brand has gained more momentum or gained any more of anything than the brand of the United States Coast Guard.'"

[CN: Class warfare] Ed Pilkington at the Guardian: United Nations: U.S. Inequality Reaching a Dangerous Level Due to Trump's 'Cruel' Measures.
Donald Trump is deliberately forcing millions of Americans into financial ruin, cruelly depriving them of food and other basic protections while lavishing vast riches on the super-wealthy, the United Nations monitor on poverty has warned.

Philip Alston, the UN special rapporteur who acts as a watchdog on extreme poverty around the world, has issued a withering critique of the state of America today. Trump is steering the country towards a "dramatic change of direction" that is rewarding the rich and punishing the poor by blocking access even to the most meager necessities.

"This is a systematic attack on America's welfare program that is undermining the social safety net for those who can't cope on their own. Once you start removing any sense of government commitment, you quickly move into cruelty," Alston told the Guardian.

Millions of Americans already struggling to make ends meet faced "ruination," he warned. "If food stamps and access to Medicaid are removed, and housing subsidies cut, then the effect on people living on the margins will be drastic."

Asked to define "ruination," Alston said: "Severe deprivation of food and almost no access to healthcare."
Which is exactly what he promised. I have no fucking idea how anyone could vote for this guy. (I mean, I do. But.)

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Today in corruption and craven Republicans:

Not a comprehensive list, unfortunately. Just a small selection. Sob.

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

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