We Resist: Day 736

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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: Roger Stone Arrested; Indicted on Seven Counts and FAA Halts Flights into LaGuardia over Air Traffic Control Staffing Concerns.

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

Joshua Eaton at ThinkProgress: Trump Tells Federal Workers to Borrow Groceries as Second Missed Payday Looms.
Donald Trump suggested Thursday that the 800,000 federal workers who are facing a second missed paycheck at the end of this week should essentially borrow groceries to get through what has become the longest government shutdown in U.S. history.

"Local people know who they are, when they go for groceries and everything else," Trump said of federal workers during a meeting on trade at the White House. "And I think… that they will work along. I know banks are working along."

"And that's what happens in times like this," Trump continued. "They know the people, they've been dealing with them for years, and they work along."

Trump's apparent suggestion that local grocery stores will let furloughed federal workers take food on an IOU was offered as an explanation for comments made Thursday by Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, who questioned why federal workers who aren't getting paid would need to turn to food banks for help. Ross, himself a millionaire, said workers should simply take out emergency loans to cover their living expenses.
These fucking jagoffs have no idea how the world actually works. JFC.

Amanda Michelle Gomez at ThinkProgress: The Ways the Government Shutdown Is Impacting Workers' Health and Well-Being. "It's hard to fully grasp the toll this partial shutdown is taking on the country. For one, it's of unprecedented length. But its effects are immediate and sometimes dire depending on other life circumstances like income or health. ...'The emotional stress is overwhelming,' said Bony King-Taylor, a psychologist in D.C. Many of her clients are federal workers and so she's hearing firsthand how the shutdown is making daily tasks, like paying for groceries or child care, excruciating."

I would be amazed if some of those "irate" senators weren't actually having some important closed-door communications about Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell right about now.

In related (even if it doesn't seem like it) news... Josh Dawsey and Michelle Ye Hee Lee at the Washington Post: Koch Network Tells Donors It Plans to Stay out of 2020 Race, Once Again Declining to Back Trump. "The conservative Koch political network has told donors that it plans to once again stay out of the presidential race and will not work to help reelect [Donald] Trump in 2020, a move that sidelines a major player that has been pivotal in mobilizing voters on the right for more than a decade. ...The network's plan to stay out of the 2020 race was quietly relayed to major donors in recent months, according to people familiar with the conversations."

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Olivia Messer at the Daily Beast: Fox & Friends on Roger Stone Indictment: 'Where's the Russia Collusion?' "'Where is the Russia collusion?' an incredulous Steve Doocy asked on the Fox & Friends couch early Friday morning as news broke that the president's longtime adviser Roger Stone had been indicted. The trio of co-hosts tried their best to put a positive spin on the bombshell document, which laid out how Stone had been directed by the Trump campaign to communicate with WikiLeaks about emails stolen by the Russians."

Relatedly: I've seen a lot of folks issuing totally trenchant reminders that Stone is "innocent until proven guilty," which, sure, but also that's kinda rendered inoperative when the guilty parties are basically like "yeah, we did it, but who even cares."

Laura Strickler, Ken Dilanian, and Peter Alexander at NBC News: Officials Rejected Jared Kushner for Top Secret Security Clearance, But Were Overruled. "Jared Kushner's application for a top-secret clearance was rejected by two career White House security specialists after an FBI background check raised concerns about potential foreign influence on him — but their supervisor overruled the recommendation and approved the clearance, two sources familiar with the matter told NBC News."

I mean, it's great to have confirmation of this, but that was definitely what I already assumed, given that it was publicly known at the time he was issued his permanent security clearance that he'd broken federal law multiple times by lying on his financial disclosure forms.

Priscilla Alvarez and Tammy Kupperman at CNN: White House Preparing Draft National Emergency Order, Has Identified $7 Billion for Wall. "The White House is preparing a draft proclamation for [Donald] Trump to declare a national emergency along the southern border and has identified more than $7 billion in potential funds for his signature border wall should he go that route, according to internal documents reviewed by CNN. Trump has not ruled out using his authority to declare a national emergency and direct the Defense Department to construct a border wall as Congress and the White House fight over a deal to end the government shutdown. But while Trump's advisers remain divided on the issue, the White House has been moving forward with alternative plans that would bypass Congress."

Trump has been and remains our most pressing national emergency.

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Tom Phillips and Julian Borger at the Guardian: Venezuela Crisis: U.S. Pulls Out Staff and Tells Citizens to 'Strongly Consider' Leaving. "The U.S. state department has urged its citizens to 'strongly consider' leaving Venezuela and ordered out non-emergency government staff as the head of the country's armed forces warned of a civil war sparked by a U.S.-backed 'criminal plan' to unseat Nicolás Maduro. In a live address to the nation on Thursday, the defence minister, Vladimir Padrino, accused the Venezuelan opposition led by Juan Guaidó, the United States, and regional allies such as Brazil of launching an attempted coup against Maduro that risked bringing 'chaos and anarchy' to the country." Fucking hell. What an ungodly mess. I have friends in Caracas, trying to get out, and I am so worried for them.

Greg Andrews at the Indianapolis Business Journal: Decimation of Daily Newspapers Sets Stage for Potential Star Sale.
Days after Gannett Co. agreed to buy Central Newspapers Inc., parent of The Indianapolis Star and The Arizona Republic, for $2.6 billion in 2000, then-Gannett CEO Doug McCorkindale toured the Indianapolis newsroom and declared, "It's going to be business as usual, for the most part."

It was the last four words that worried Star staffers — who were all too familiar with Gannett's reputation for cutting staff to boost profits. But no one at Central Newspapers or at Gannett's headquarters in Virginia foresaw the economic forces that have devastated the daily newspaper business over the last two decades — and whittled the size of The Star's newsroom from 280 people at the time of the deal to about 80 today.

The cuts could get substantially worse if Digital First Media prevails in its quest to purchase Gannett. The Denver-based company on Jan. 14 unveiled a $1.36 billion, unsolicited offer for the publisher of more than 100 newspapers in the United States — including USA Today, The Cincinnati Enquirer, and Detroit Free Press — and more than 170 in the United Kingdom.

All newspaper companies have cut costs as they struggle with the decline in what had been their cash cow — print advertising — and simultaneously scratch and claw for digital advertising — a far more competitive realm and one that's far less profitable.

But rather than investing in initiatives that could create a brighter future, Digital First, controlled by the hedge fund Alden Global Capital, has been unabashed in minimizing expenses to maximize profit — seemingly with little concern over how cuts would affect newspapers' ability to fulfill their missions of covering news and serving as a watchdog in their communities.
So, this is very bad news for a whole lot of reasons, but I want to highlight that, if the Indy Star goes away, so does most of the journalistic record on Mike Pence's time as governor of Indiana. Even if the paper is merely digitally rebranded, all the old links get broken. You kill the Indy Star, you kill the public record on Pence.

And finally, speaking of Indiana... Ian Graber-Stiehl at Earther: The Wild Dunes of Indiana Are in a Fight to Survive. "According to findings Powell and the park have made, the Dunes' growing season will kick off earlier and stretch a month longer by 2050. Rising temperatures and an increase in 'extreme heat days' above 90 degrees Fahrenheit will stress many insects (such as bumblebees) and allow southern tree species, warm-weather grasses, and invasive reeds to encroach, potentially pushing out cold-weather boreal pines and grasses, said Powell. Precipitation has already increased by 18 percent over the last century. By 2050, it could jump another 22 percent, falling increasingly — in the dead of a formerly frigid Great Lakes winter — as rain. 'We're going to have floods, and droughts, sometimes right next to each other,' Powell said." Sob.

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

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