We Resist: Day 740

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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: This F#@king Guy and Bill Barr Discussed Mueller Probe with Mike Pence and Newsflash: Warmongers Want Wars. And ICYMI late yesterday: An Observation About Bernie.

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

Danielle Paquette at the Washington Post: The Lowest-Paid Shutdown Workers Aren't Getting Back Pay. "Unlike the 800,000 career public servants who are slated to receive full back pay over the next week or so, the contractors who clean, guard, cook, and shoulder other jobs at federal workplaces aren't legally guaranteed a single penny. They're also among the lowest-paid laborers in the government economy, generally earning between $450 and $650 weekly, union leaders say. And even as they began returning to work Monday, they were bracing for more pain. [Donald] Trump's new deadline for Congress to earmark funding for his proposed border wall is Feb. 15. Agencies could close again if no deal is reached."

If Donald Trump is really the magnanimous "blue collar billionaire" he purports to be, then he should use money from his own goddamned pockets to give back pay to the working people who are getting stiffed because of his shutdown. Of course he will never do that, because he didn't even pay people who did work for him when he was a private citizen and because MALICE IS THE AGENDA.

Suzy Khimm at NBC News: The Shutdown Is Over, But the Pain for Low-Income Families Lingers. "[Candice Cluff] was among the thousands of low-income Americans across the country who were frozen out of the Section 8 voucher program during the shutdown, prohibited from accessing public subsidies to private landlords who rent to about 2.2 million families. When vouchers became available through turnover, many local housing authorities decided to stop re-issuing the vouchers to new participants because they couldn't guarantee they'd be able to pay landlords after February, according to Steve Berg, vice president for programs and policy at the National Alliance to End Homelessness, an advocacy group."

Liam Stack at the New York Times: Joshua Trees Destroyed in National Park During Shutdown May Take Centuries to Regrow. "The partial government shutdown ended last week after 35 days, but conservationists have warned that its impact may be felt for hundreds of years in at least one part of the country: Joshua Tree National Park. The Southern California park, which is larger than Rhode Island and famed for its dramatic rock formations and the spiky-leafed Joshua trees from which it takes it name, had only a skeleton crew of workers during the shutdown. With most of its park rangers furloughed, vandals and inconsiderate guests ran amok. Gates and posts were toppled, new roads carved through the desert by unauthorized off-road drivers, and a small number of the park's thousands of Joshua trees were outright destroyed, conservationists said."

Burgess Everett, John Bresnahan, and Sarah Ferris at Politico: Republicans May Block Trump from Another Shutdown. "Though House Republicans aren't ruling out supporting the president should he choose another confrontation over his border wall, the Republican Senate majority — which actually has governing power — has another view. 'I did not love the shutdown. I wouldn't think anybody would have another shutdown,' said Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), one of the key negotiators trying to strike a deal on border security. ...But while White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Monday that Trump 'doesn't want to go through another shutdown,' she declined to rule it out if Congress doesn't come up with a border security plan to Trump's liking. Neither did House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), a close Trump confidant."

So, presumably, Senate Republicans will keep rolling over. Or strategize how to throw Trump under the bus so they can finally get their President Pence and go back to sliding into authoritarian rule behind someone who people insistently believe will be "better" than Trump just because he is less vulgar.

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Joshua Eaton and Casey Michel at ThinkProgress: Roger Stone Pleads Not Guilty to Lying to Congress About Russia Collusion. "Stone faces one count of obstructing a proceeding, five counts of lying to Congress, and one count of witness tampering. ...After the reading of the charges was waived, [one of Stone's attorneys, Robert Buschel] entered the not guilty plea on Stone's behalf. ...Judge Robinson imposed similar conditions for Stone's release to those put in place Friday in Florida. He can travel only between Florida, D.C., and New York, and he agreed not to contact any other witnesses in this case." Oh, well as long as he promises! I'm sure we can trust him. Roger Stone would never lie.

If only.

Kelly Weill at the Daily Beast: How the Proud Boys Became Roger Stone's Personal Army. "On Tuesday, Stone was arraigned in a Washington, D.C. courthouse on charges he lied about dealings with WikiLeaks and the Trump campaign in 2016. Stone has spent the past two years as the most outlandish character in the Trump-Russia saga, with his colorful quotes and flamboyant wardrobe. At the same time, he's grown tighter with the violent ultra-nationalist group, hiring them as security and participating in the group's videos — even repeating its slogan." For fuck's sake.

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Also from the threats assessment hearing, via the Daily Beast: Kremlin and Other Enemies Will Target 2020 Election.
America's enemies will "almost certainly" use online influence operations to try to weaken its institutions, undermine its alliances, and cause unrest during the 2020 elections, the Director of National Intelligence has said.

In its 2019 threat assessment, released Tuesday morning, the DNI said that the country's enemies are "probably already are looking to the 2020 U.S. elections as an opportunity to advance their interests." Specifically focusing on Russia, the report says that the Kremlin's disinformation campaigns online will try to "aggravate social and racial tensions, undermine trust in authorities, and criticize perceived anti-Russia politicians."

...In his opening statement on the report to the Senate Intelligence Committee, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats emphasized that China "is the most active strategic competitor responsible for cyber espionage against the US Government, corporations, and allies."

CNN's Jim Sciutto also notes that the assessment contradicts Trump's claim that North Korea will denuclearize, noting that "the IC continues to assess that it is unlikely to give up all of its WMD stockpiles, delivery systems, and production capabilities."
And while foreign adversaries try to subvert our democracy from the outside, the Republican Party will continue to try to subvert our democracy from the inside.

Addy Baird at ThinkProgress: Kentucky Leads the Country in Disenfranchising African American Voters, Report Finds. "One out of every four African American voters is disenfranchised in the state of Kentucky, a higher rate than any other state, as a result of the state's law barring people with felony convictions from voting, according to a new report from the Kentucky League of Women Voters released Tuesday." Emphasis mine.

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Seriously. This fucking guy.

With her permission, I'm going to share SKM's earlier comment here on the main page:
Please note also that Schultz has naught but the vaguest objections to GOP (general "division is bad" hand-waving) yet he's johnny-on-the-spot in attacking right-wing anti-Dem straw men (e.g. AOC's mention of a 70% marginal tax, as though that's a universal Dem position, and as though it's not a very old idea).

He is running against the Democratic party but NOT against the GOP, simple as.

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

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