We Resist: Day 701

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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: Trump's Unsettling Morning Tweets and The Damnable Lie of Trump's Erstwhile Minders and Trump Orders Withdrawal of Half of Troops in Afghanistan. And ICYMI late yesterday: Obama Administration Treasury Officials Emailed with Kremlin Through Back Channels During 2016 Election and Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis Is Leaving, Too.

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

Tucker Higgins at NBC News: Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, 85, Undergoes Lung Procedure to Remove Cancerous Growth. "Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, 85, underwent a lung procedure on Friday, the Supreme Court said in a release. She is 'resting comfortably' at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City."

NPR reports: "Short of complications in recovery, doctors say prospects look good for a full recovery for Justice Ginsburg, 85. She hopes to be back on the court for the start of the new term in early January."


Lolsob. Indeed.

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Liz Johnstone at NBC News: Trump Warns Shutdown Could Last 'Very Long Time'. "Donald Trump on Friday warned Senate Democrats that if they don't vote for his border wall, there will be a 'very long' government shutdown beginning Friday night. ...Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., indicated Friday that he hadn't talked to the president. When asked if he was optimistic about the outcome of the White House meeting between Trump and GOP lawmakers, he said, 'Every meeting with Republicans and the president, things have gotten worse.' Schumer said there are three offers on the table for Trump that would avert a shutdown — one that came from Schumer, and others that came from House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. 'He ought to take one of them,' he said."

Just to be clear: The Democrats are offering Trump multiple ways out of a painful shutdown. Trump is electing not to take any of them, because he and his party don't GAF about the harm it will cause to people who work for the federal government and to people who depend on the services the federal government provides.

Lest you imagine that is hyperbole... Colby Itkowitz and Mike DeBonis at the Washington Post: Rep. Meadows Tells Federal Employees Who Won't Get Paid During Shutdown: You Signed Up for This.
To the hundreds of thousands of federal employees who will work without pay or be furloughed over the holidays if there is a government shutdown, Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) says it is just part of the risk of working in public service.

Meadows, the chairman of the House Freedom Caucus and a leading conservative voice urging [Donald] Trump not to accept a short-term spending bill absent funding for a border wall, was responding to reporters who asked about Transportation Security Administration and Border Patrol agents who would be required to continue working on Christmas without getting a paycheck.

"It's actually part of what you do when you sign up for any public service position," Meadows said. "And it's not lost on me in terms of, you know, the potential hardship. At the same time, they know they would be required to work and even in preparation for a potential shutdown those groups within the agencies have been instructed to show up."

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Matthew Lee and Susannah George at the AP: Trump Call with Turkish Leader Led to U.S. Pullout from Syria. "Donald Trump's decision to withdraw American troops from Syria was made hastily, without consulting his national security team or allies, and over strong objections from virtually everyone involved in the fight against the Islamic State group, according to U.S. and Turkish officials. Trump stunned his Cabinet, lawmakers, and much of the world with the move by rejecting the advice of his top aides and agreeing to a withdrawal in a phone call with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan last week, two officials briefed on the matter told The Associated Press." Perfectly normal presidency in which Erdoğan is made aware of U.S. foreign policy before the U.S. Secretary of Defense. (Holy shit.)

Heather Long, Josh Dawsey, and Thomas Heath at the Washington Post: As Stocks Drop, Trump Fears He's Losing His Best Argument for Reelection. "[Donald] Trump has kept an almost obsessive watch on the stock market as it has lurched lower in recent weeks, tuning in to Fox Business and checking in with Lou Dobbs, a host on the network. The president has complained to aides about how unfair it is that he is blamed for the market's slide and for growing unease about an economic slowdown in the months to come, say current and former officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to speak publicly. ...The lower the market drops, the more the president worries that he is losing his most potent argument for reelection, several of the officials said."

Staff at the Daily Beast: Trump Already Souring on Next Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney over 'Terrible Human Being' Jibe, Says Report. "Donald Trump is reportedly already turning on Mick Mulvaney — who hasn't even started his new job as acting White House chief of staff yet — due to a two-year-old video uncovered by The Daily Beast, which shows Mulvaney calling the president 'a terrible human being.' ...Trump reportedly started regretting his appointment after seeing the video of Mulvaney from a week before the 2016 election saying: 'Yes, I am supporting Donald Trump, but I'm doing so despite the fact that I think he's a terrible human being.' Axios reports Trump was 'furious' when he heard about the footage — he reportedly asked one adviser: 'Did you know [Mulvaney] called me 'a terrible human being' back during the campaign?' A spokeswoman for Mulvaney dismissed the remarks as 'old news' and said he changed his mind about Trump after they met."

Surely even Donald Trump has to know it's a goddamn lie that someone would revise their opinion that he's a terrible human being after meeting him.

Also: This is yet another indication of how shitty the White House vetting is under Trump. That extremely recent video should have turned up in any basic background research before hiring someone into a cabinet-level position.

Also also: Who showed Trump the video? I suppose there's a chance he saw it on Fox News if they aired it to criticize it, although they've typically been favorable toward Mulvaney. (That said, Sean Hannity is like Trump's BFF and he mentions the "pee tape" every chance he gets.) But if someone in Trump's orbit showed it to him, who and why? Team Pence, to get him riled up? Team Ivanka and Jared, to create an even bigger power vacuum into which they extend their reach? Who knows. As usual: No good options.

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Today in Trump Stenographers News...

Colby Hall at Mediaite: Maggie Haberman: 'Disgusted' Republicans Now Privately Admitting They Regret Supporting Trump. "New York Times reporter and CNN contributor Maggie Haberman appeared on New Day Friday morning and revealed insight into the current turmoil in Washington D.C. ...Calling it a 'critical moment,' Haberman reported that there was waning support for Trump from the right, saying: 'A number of conservatives who worked on the campaign and supported the president and now say, you know, I regret doing that, and this was a mistake, this administration is, you know, off the rails, and all of these investigations that are coming to a head will be a huge problem.'"

Very interesting that Haberman, who has been carrying water for the Trump administration for two years (and whose mother did PR for Trump, which is apparently not a disclosure worthy of mention in her reporting), now seems to be carrying water for, well, someone else.

In any case, this is hardly the last of the "regretful Republicans" swill that we're going to see. To that end, I did a thread.

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[Content Note: Nuclear weapons] Amanda Macias at NBC News: Russia Again Successfully Tests Ship-Based Hypersonic Missile — Which Will Likely Be Ready for Combat by 2022. "Russia has conducted another successful test of its ship-based hypersonic missile, a weapon the United States is currently unable to defend against, according to two people with direct knowledge of a U.S. intelligence report. ...'What we are seeing with this particular weapon is that the Russians designed it to have a dual-purpose capability, meaning it can be used against a target on land as well as a vessel at sea,' one source explained. 'Last week's successful test showed that the Russians were able to achieve sustained flight, a feat that is crucial in the development of hypersonic weapons.' The U.S. intelligence report, according to one source, noted that production of the missile is slated to begin in 2021 and it will join the Kremlin's arsenal no earlier than 2022."

[CN: Gun violence] Jose Pagliery at CNN: Gun Form Liars May Go on to Commit Gun Crimes, Internal ATF Research Suggests. "Regional offices at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives received 12,710 cases of firearm background check denials for further investigation in fiscal year 2017, the GAO found, but the government prosecuted only 12 people. More than 99.9% of those who were investigated escaped with nothing more than a warning. Past and present ATF agents and prosecutors told CNN that, given limited resources, they're not inclined to prioritize the nonviolent crime of lying on a form over more serious charges, like gun trafficking. ...But a 2006 internal ATF briefing paper obtained by CNN suggests that gun form liars are far more likely to go on to commit a gun crime than even many experts recognize. When ATF analyzed firearm denial cases sent to field offices for investigation during a seven-year period, it found that 10%-21% of that group went on to be arrested for a crime involving guns."

And finally, some good — and long overdue — resistance news... [CN: Racist violence] Kenrya Rankin at Colorlines: Watch the U.S. Senate Finally Vote to Make Lynching a Federal Hate Crime. "Nearly six months after Black Senators Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), and Tim Scott (R-S.C.) introduced the Justice for Victims of Lynching Act of 2018 — and decades too late — the United States Senate voted unanimously to make lynching a federal hate crime [on December 19]. ...The bill now moves on to the House of Representatives for a vote." Video of the moment it happened at the link. Huzzah!

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

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