Week 3: February 5–11

Those Germans Really Don’t Mess Around


Read of the Week:

In His Own Words: It’s time to use Trumpspeak against him

By @hhavrilesky

The Awl keeps chugging on despite the odds. And they’re still producing the best content for those of us who want to be less stupid.

The Immigration Tempest

This is my issue. I know there are other people who are worried about domestic actions, especially by law enforcement, but I am an immigrant to Australia as well as a 5th generation American. I have written all of my Congressmen and women for the first time ever, including a cursive longhand letter to my Representative who is quitting this circus in two years and may be moved on this issue.

There are too many articles to pick just one link. There are so many angles: the legal process, the Republican President’s unprecedented verbal attacks on the Judicial system, and the stories of how this mess has affected real people on the ground.

If you have an hour (or more) to spare, I would urge anyone who cares about this issue to listen to This American Life’s coverage on this. Particularly their most recent episode, also this episode on Iraqi translators and these two episodes on the refugee crisis from last year.

Flying Home From Abroad, a Border Agent Stopped and Questioned Me … About My Work for the ACLU

By @HinaShamsi

What is chilling about this story is the fact that she was not targeted by her work for the ACLU, but by her national origin. Others have been stopped and extensively questioned because of their religion. Even U.S. citizens. This is what “Extreme Vetting” really is. It’s a policy of making sure that anyone who isn’t welcomed by the race-bating crowd can no longer feel welcomed in America. And even if every change made by the Republican Administration is overturned, it is still going to cause long term damage to America’s image.

Raid in Yemen: Risky From the Start and Costly in the End

By Eric Schmitt and David E. Sanger

Technically from the previous week, when this blog didn’t exist, but the story is still developing.

Another case where the Republican Administration’s incompetence manages to overwhelm what would otherwise be a simple “rally the troops” moment. I don’t expect them to necessarily get their act together as they have no clue about foreign policy, but if they find someone who does, then we may have more Wag the Dog moments to act as a distraction from the administration’s domestic agenda. If putting American lives at danger and killing civilians for no good reason can really be called a distraction.

That Breitbart Interview

uploaded by: Ashley Feinberg (@ashleyfeinberg)

Again we see the Republican Administration’s incompetence on display, as everything about this is weak-ass minor league dictator bullshit. But we also have the administration trying to bypass any media they don’t control as much as possible. Which is scary.

The List of Made-Up Terror Bullshit

By Brian Naylor and Jessica Taylor

This will all blow over in less than a week. But the Republican Administration put out an inaccurate list of terror attacks that were supposedly not covered by The Media.
Again, we have their incompetence battling their attempt to pull something from the Third World Dictator’s Handbook on media relations. Their endgame is mostly to delegitimize The Media so they can
attempt to get through their tenure only talking to Breitbart or other outlets that will allow them to lie at will.

This item on the list irked me the most for some reason, but it’s all terrible

Style Guide on 45:

This is my new style guide on how to refer to the Republican President. Note the suggestion to refer to “The Republicans” who are responsible, most especially their base, for what is going on in America.
Which is why they spend so much time going after “the media” and pretending like they don’t own this.

Confirmation Hearings

Again there are too many articles on both DeVos and Sessions to link to something definitive. The Democratic Senators were finally motivated to show some backbone. The Republicans had to pull out every trick they could think of and my own Senators from a very red state (Kansas) had to justify their votes, especially for DeVos. They know they’ve done wrong, but in their political calculus the cost
of handing the administration a major loss outweighs anything else. They can’t afford to stop believing this is a normal administration or they would have to fight against both the center and right flanks and the entire party would probably split.

I know there are people who were discouraged that their first taste of political action was a defeat, but 1.5 million calls a day is enough to get everyone on the hill worried. This gives the handful of moderates who can be pushed cover to break from their party on other nominations. As long as we can manage to keep the pressure on in any case.

Final thoughts from a fellow Twitter user:

Join the Resistance!

The resistance wants you!

Now Recruiting!

So I’ve dusted off my old blog and I’m writing this nonsense. Because I have to I guess. I’m not the only one. Sullivan is starting something up again. People I’ve never heard of are following me on Twitter. Not because I’m any good, but because they’re looking for anyone else is still willing to face our new reality. No one wants to face this alone.

The good: our courts are still working. The ACLU has more money in this quarter than they usually get in 5-10 years. People are writing, calling, protesting, and making noise and making fun of these rotten people who managed to sneak into power.

The bad: The Republicans in Congress are still more afraid of their right flank than the majority of America (and the rest of the world). They’re still trying to pretend that this is all normal. They seem to believe that the group running the government are not incompetents who are only interested in furthering their own power and pushing America into a war against both the outside world and the non-white majority who call it home.

They are in denial and this is all going to get very ugly.