We Resist: Day 573

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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: Today, We Celebrate 80 Years of Badassery and Election Thread and Hundreds of Priests and Thousands of Victims: Catholic Church Abuse and Cover-Up Detailed in Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report.

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

[Content Note: Racism; misogynoir. Covers whole section.]

Susan B. Glasser at the New Yorker: Dog Days: Trump and His Toxic Twitter Insults of Omarosa. "And so, once again, we are left with a public debate over just how low Trump has sunk: until now, Trump has used the Twitter insult 'dog' to demean primarily white men. What did he mean by applying it to an African-American woman? Was he being racist, sexist, some toxic combination of the two? Or merely horrible? ...The White House response is to [pathetically] point out, as the press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, did Tuesday, that Trump is 'equal opportunity' in his insults."

That is exactly the wrong way to talk about Trump's insult, by indulging the ludicrous pretense that all words carry the same meaning no matter at whom they are directed based on the intent of the person who deploys them. That's not how it works.

Calling a white man a "dog" doesn't have the same meaning, irrespective of Trump's intent (and, seriously, fuck anyone who is still giving Donald Trump the benefit of good will regarding his intentions at this point). No matter how Trump intended it, the impact is what matters — and the impact cannot be ripped from its context: a culture in which women are demeaned as "bitches" and people of color are routinely dehumanized as animals, including by the same man who called Omarosa a dog.

Trump didn't utter the insult into a vacuum.

As Chair of the African-American Studies Department at Princeton University Eddie S. Glaude Jr. told Michael D. Shear and Eileen Sullivan at the New York Times: "It's important to understand the legacy, the history of the attack on black intelligence as a way of justifying our dehumanization."

Trust that a eugenics aficionado like Donald Trump understands that legacy very well. He's counting on the fact that the rest of us don't.

That was August 17 of last year. We are living in a cuckoo clock.

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Niels Lesniewski at Roll Call: Trump Won't Follow Congressional Directives on Russia and Crimea.
Donald Trump objects to an effort by Congress to prevent his administration from recognizing Crimea as part of Russia.

...Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a formal declaration issued last month that the United States continued to recognize Crimea as part of Ukraine.

"As we did in the Welles Declaration in 1940, the United States reaffirms as policy its refusal to recognize the Kremlin's claims of sovereignty over territory seized by force in contravention of international law," Pompeo said in his July 25 statement. "In concert with allies, partners, and the international community, the United States rejects Russia's attempted annexation of Crimea and pledges to maintain this policy until Ukraine's territorial integrity is restored."

But, as is often the case with defense authorization bills regardless of who is in the White House, Trump issued a signing statement Monday night saying that his administration wouldn't be bound by the will on Congress on provisions that he believes interfere with executive branch powers — including decisions about the territorial integrity of Ukraine.
This is a very big deal and a significant concern. And it's barely a blip on the radar. This is not normal. It is profoundly alarming. And it's an indication of how significantly Trump has eroded the boundary of what is tolerable from a sitting U.S. president in less than two years that it doesn't even seem to matter, except to a bunch of nerds like me with no power to do a damn thing about it beyond make it visible and record it for posterity.

Stephanie Murray at Politico: Kremlin Confirms Bolton Meeting with Russian Officials Next Week. "White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders first told reporters at her Tuesday press briefing that Bolton would meet with Russian officials next week in Geneva. The national security adviser plans to sit down with representatives from several countries in the coming week, Sanders said. The planned meeting with Russian officials is the first since [Donald] Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin met in Helsinki, Finland, earlier this summer. 'Ambassador Bolton will meet with officials in Israel and Ukraine as well as with his Russian counterpart in Geneva as a follow-up to the Helsinki summit to discuss a range of important national security issues,' Sanders said." Oh.

Emma Loop and Jason Leopold at BuzzFeed: Senate Intel Wants to Follow the Money in the Russia Probe, But Treasury Isn't Making That Easy. "In its investigation of Russia's interference in the 2016 election, the Senate Intelligence Committee has spent more than a year trying to follow the money. But its efforts, unparalleled on Capitol Hill, have been hampered by a surprising force: the US Treasury Department, which has delayed turning over crucial financial records and refused to provide an expert to help make sense of the complex money trail. Even some of the department's own personnel have questioned whether Treasury is intentionally hamstringing the investigation."

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Philip Bump at the Washington Post: Trump's Remarkable Admission on the Central Qualification for White House Staffers. "What is the one quality Manigault Newman possessed that was sufficient for Trump to argue she keep her job [even after Kelly complained about her]? She praised Trump. That was it. Maybe there were other things, too, but it is hard to see what they might have been. Trump's disinterest in shades of nuance means he is making an explicitly negative case about Manigault Newman's tenure, perhaps obscuring useful things she actually did. Her tenure in the White House, though, offered few public examples of her work product, beneficial or not, and Trump's tweets on Monday morning certainly did not include any suggestion she was valuable as an employee in any other way. The sole reason Trump wanted to keep her in her position, according to Trump, is she praised him."

Barbara Starr at CNN: Pentagon Spokeswoman Under Investigation for Misusing Staff, Retaliating Against Complaints. "One of Defense Secretary James Mattis' most senior civilian advisers is being investigated by the Defense Department Office of Inspector General for allegedly retaliating against staff members after she used some of them to conduct her personal errands and business matters, according to four sources familiar with the probe. Dana White, the Trump administration political appointee who serves as the Pentagon's chief spokeswoman, has been under investigation for several weeks after multiple complaints were filed against her. White is alleged to have misused support staff, asking them, among other things, to fetch her drycleaning, run to the pharmacy for her and work on her mortgage paperwork. Staffers also charge that she inappropriately transferred personnel after they filed complaints about her."

[CN: Nazism] Andy Towle at Towleroad: 'Proud' Roger Stone Shares Photo of Trump and Allies Wearing 'Space Force' Swastika-Emblazoned Uniforms. "Trump ally and confidante Roger Stone posted a photo to Instagram (since deleted) which shows Trump and his allies — Senator Devin Nunes (R-CA), Rudy Giuliani, Stone, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Mike Pence, and Sean Hannity — dressed up in 'Space Force' uniforms emblazoned with swastikas. Wrote Stone: 'I love this — proud to be in this crew — but the only lies being told are by liberal scumbags.'"

Kate Riga at TPM: EPA to Unveil New Plan Which Reverses Obama-Era Coal Power Plant Regulation. "The proposal would let states write their own lax regulations, or opt out of regulations altogether, for coal-burning power plants. The EPA has reportedly acknowledged that the new proposal would result in increased levels of greenhouse gas emissions and pollutants, undermining President Barack Obama's Clean Power Plan. The plan essentially will disregard regulations to let the plants burn more coal at a cost-efficient pace, thus encouraging businesses to use them instead of sources that don't harm the environment."

[CN: Class warfare] Amanda Michelle Gomez at ThinkProgress: Medicaid Work Requirements to Cause over 5,000 Low-Income Arkansans to Lose Health Care. "In Arkansas, residents on Medicaid need to report 80-hours-a-month of work or service online to keep their health insurance under new requirements. So far, more than 5,000 people have failed to do so, jeopardizing their continuous coverage. ...Federal officials say the requirement is 'about giving people an opportunity to work,' but the data doesn't demonstrate this so far. In fact, state data appears to confirm that most people on Medicaid are working or are too frail to work, as other analyses have also demonstrated."

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

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