We Resist: Day 726

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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: For the Record and Bill Barr Confirmation Hearing Today and We Are Being Gaslighted About the Gaslighter-in-Chief. And ICYMI late yesterday by Fannie: Keep Your Trickle-Down White Male Socialist Revolution.

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

In case you're wondering how the Bill Barr confirmation hearing is going, this about sums it up:

[Content Note: HIV/AIDS stigma] In case you haven't heard, Barr has an utterly appalling record on HIV/AIDS dating back to the Reagan administration, including, as noted by staff at Towleroad, running "HIV prison camps" at Guantanamo Bay. Sounds like he and Mike Pence are going to get on like gangbusters.

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Steve Liesman at CNBC: Trump Administration Doubles Estimate of Shutdown Cost to Economy from Original Forecast, Per Source. "The Trump administration now estimates that the cost of the government shutdown will be twice as steep as originally forecast. The original estimate that the partial shutdown would subtract 0.1 percentage point from growth every two weeks has now been doubled to a 0.1 percentage point subtraction every week, according to an official who asked not to be named. The administration had initially counted just the impact from the 800,000 federal workers not receiving their paychecks. But they now believe the impact doubles, due to greater losses from private contractors also out of work and other government spending and functions that won’t occur."

Erin Banco, Asawin Suebsaeng, Betsy Woodruff, and Spencer Ackerman at the Daily Beast: Mueller Probes an Event with Nunes, Flynn, and Foreign Officials at Trump's D.C. Hotel. "The Special Counsel's Office and federal prosecutors in Manhattan are scrutinizing a meeting involving former House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, one-time National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, and dozens of foreign officials, according to three sources familiar with the investigations. The breakfast event, which was first reported by The Daily Sabah, a pro-government Turkish paper, took place at the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C. at 8.30 a.m. on Jan. 18, 2017 — two days before [Trump's] inauguration. About 60 people were invited, including diplomats from governments around the world, according to those same sources. The breakfast has come under scrutiny by federal prosecutors in Manhattan as part of their probe into whether the Trump inaugural committee misspent funds and if donors tried to buy influence in the White House."

Pamela Brown, Evan Perez, and Shimon Prokupecz at CNN: Trump's Legal Team Rebuffed Request for Mueller Interview in Recent Weeks.
Donald Trump's legal team rebuffed special counsel Robert Mueller's request in recent weeks for an in-person session with Trump to ask follow-up questions.

The request was made after Trump's team submitted written answers to a limited number of questions from Mueller's team focusing on before Trump was in office.

As Mueller's investigation into possible collusion between Trump associates and Russians winds down, an interview with the President remains an outstanding issue even as Trump's attorney Rudy Giuliani said an interview would happen "over my dead body." One source familiar with the matter summed it up by saying, "Mueller is not satisfied."

People familiar with the talks describe the two sides as at loggerheads, with no meaningful discussion about the issue in about five weeks.

And the Trump team appears to have hardened its position. It's told the Mueller team that prosecutors have no cause to seek follow-up questions in person after the President's team submitted written responses to questions before Thanksgiving.

In November, the President submitted written answers to questions submitted by Mueller's office that dealt largely with the allegations of Russian collusion and the time period before the inauguration.

The Trump team has all but closed the door to any further responses to Mueller, the sources say.
Guess it's time to send him a fucking subpoena then!

Olivia Gazis at CBS News: Adam Schiff Makes Specialty Hires for Reopened Russia Probe. "Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee have wasted no time in beefing up the investigative staff dedicated to continuing the committee's work on its semi-dormant Russia probe, even as the committee's new membership is still taking shape. The new majority has made offers to half a dozen new staffers, CBS News has learned, and is still searching for six more. Among the latest hires are an expert in corruption and illicit finance and a former prosecutor. ...'There's a lot of work yet to be done on Russia,' a senior committee official told CBS News. 'What we're doing is we are creating a purpose-built team that will take the point on that.'" Get him.

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[CN: Nativism] Tara Bahrampour at the Washington Post: Federal Judge Rules Against Trump Administration's Push for Citizenship Question on 2020 Census, Case Likely Headed to Supreme Court. "A federal judge has ruled against the Trump administration's addition of a citizenship question to the 2020 Census. In the first major ruling on the controversial question, Judge Jesse M. Furman of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York ordered the administration to stop its plans to add the question to the survey 'without curing the legal defects' identified in his opinion. Plaintiffs hailed the decision. 'This ruling is a forceful rebuke of the Trump administration's attempt to weaponize the census for an attack on immigrant communities,' said Dale Ho, director of the Voting Rights Project at the ACLU, which was a plaintiff in the case. The Trump administration had tried several times to stop the case from going forward, including requests to the Supreme Court; the administration is likely to appeal Furman's decision in the high court."

Brian Stelter at CNN Business: John Kasich Signs with CNN as Senior Political Commentator. "John Kasich's time as Ohio governor just came to an end. And his time as a CNN commentator just began. On Tuesday morning CNN announced that Kasich is the newest addition to the network's stable of commentators. He will appear as a guest across an array of CNN programs. ...Kasich's move to CNN is notable because he is one of the most prominent critics of [Donald] Trump within the Republican Party. He has declined to rule out a 2020 primary bid against Trump." 1. He's not a prominent critic of Trump; he is a prominent critic of Trump's vulgarity. He has very few, if any, policy objections. 2. CNN is acknowledging that Kasich is essentially going to get a ton of free airtime ahead of a likely presidential run, and they're giving him the job, anyway. Disgusting.

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[CN: Food insecurity; nativism] Rebecca Vallas at Rewire.News: Will Trump Starve SNAP Households to Get His Wall? "The nation's largest food assistance program, SNAP helps about 38 million people in 19 million households put food on the table each month. Nearly half are children. Facing criticism that funding for SNAP was set to run out at the end of January, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced last week that it had cobbled together enough money to pay February benefits. But if the shutdown drags on past that, the Trump administration doesn't appear to have a long-term plan for keeping SNAP up and running. The agency had nothing to say about March in its announcement — and apparently SNAP benefits will end altogether if the shutdown drags on."

[CN: Carcerality; violence; sexual assault] Ella Fassler at ThinkProgress: 'This Isn't Rehabilitation': Alabama Inmates Speak Out Against State's Soaring Prison Homicide Rate. "Kennedy's case isn't unique in Alabama, where the prison homicide rate is the highest in the nation at more than 34 per 100,000 prisoners. The level of violence has skyrocketed over the past 10 years, as prisons in the state come under fire for 'horrendously inadequate' care that violate the U.S. constitution's ban on cruel and unusual punishment. ...Derrick said he wakes up every morning fearing for his life. 'This isn't rehabilitation,' he told ThinkProgress. ...'They basically let prisoners kill each other.'"

[CN: Toxic masculinity] Kate Lyons and Matthew Weaver at the Guardian: Gillette #MeToo Ad on 'Toxic Masculinity' Cuts Deep with Men's Rights Activists. "Gillette is under fire from men's rights activists and rightwing publications for a new advertisement that engages with the #MeToo movement and plays on its 30-year tagline 'The Best a Man Can Get,' asking instead: 'Is this the best a man can get?' The advertisement features news clips of reporting on the #MeToo movement, as well as images showing sexism in films, in boardrooms, and of violence between boys, with a voiceover saying: 'Bullying, the MeToo movement against sexual harassment, toxic masculinity: Is this the best a man can get?' The film has generated heated debate." Where "heated debate" actually means "misogynist shitwheels proving the very point yet again."

screenshot of Leslie and Ben at a political rally in Parks and Recreation; closed captioning shows Leslie is saying, 'You're ridiculous and men's rights is nothing.'

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

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