We Resist: Day 151

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One of the difficulties in resisting the Trump administration, the Republican Congressional majority, and Republican state legislatures 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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Here are some things in the news today:

Earlier today by me: Seven Stories.


I'll just preface this first item with the note that it's hardly the most important story in the news, but it's so emblematic of Donald Trump's personality, and his incessant gross and humiliating pronouncements disgorged from his soapbox positioned at the intersection of ignorance and arrogance, that I loathe this forgettable brief as much as just about any other item today...

Madeline Conway at Politico: Trump: 'Panama Canal Is Doing Quite Well'. "Donald Trump asserted Monday that the Panama Canal, which opened in 1914, is 'doing quite well' and that the U.S. 'did a good job building it.' Trump made the comment in the Oval Office, where he was sitting for a brief media availability alongside Juan Carlos Varela, the president of Panama who is in Washington for a visit. 'It's our great honor to have President and Mrs. Varela from Panama,' Trump told reporters. 'We have many things to discuss. We're going to spend quite a bit of time today. The Panama Canal is doing quite well, I think we did a good job building it. Right?' Trump said, turning to Varela. 'Very good job.'"

Deep breaths. Deep breaths.

[Content Note: Nativism; child abuse] Jessica Mason Pieklo at Rewire: Trump Administration Won't Protect Undocumented Parents Whose Children Are U.S. Citizens.
The Trump administration on Thursday walked away from an Obama-era policy designed to protect undocumented immigrants with children in the United States who are either permanent residents or U.S. citizens.

Deferred Action for Parents of Americans, or DAPA, set forth a policy that de-prioritized detention and removal proceedings of those undocumented immigrant parents. Conservatives have long criticized the policy, with 26 states suing, arguing President Obama overstepped his authority in enacting it. A federal court agreed and blocked the administration from enforcing the policy. In June 2016, a deadlocked U.S. Supreme Court kept that order in place, and the program has since been on hold as the legal challenges continue.

Thursday's announcement that the Trump administration was rescinding the policy means the administration will no longer defend the policy in court, stating in a press release that "there is no credible path forward to litigate the currently enjoined policy."

This reflects the administration's shift to harsher immigration raids that have separated parents from their children, prompting some city officials to declare themselves "sanctuary cities" for undocumented people in opposition to [Donald] Trump's draconian immigration policies.
[CN: Nativism] Esther Yu Hsi Lee at ThinkProgress: Trump Administration Prepares to Deport Immigrant Who Helped Clear Hazardous Rubble After 9/11.
Carlos Humberto Cardona, an immigrant from Colombia who lives in New York City, helped to clear the hazardous rubble in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center. According to the New York Daily News, he is now facing deportation proceedings for a 30-year-old criminal conviction.

...His lawyer has since filed a legal action for a federal judge to request the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to expedite a decision on his 2014 marriage petition with his wife Liliana, a naturalized U.S. citizen.

Cardona has been held at the Hudson County Correctional Facility in New Jersey since his arrest.

"I can't believe that this is happening to him after all of the sacrifices he has made. He says he feels like he's being treated like a criminal," Liliana told the Daily News. "He's suffering from depression being locked up in there."

"He's very much an American," Cardona's attorney Rajesh Barua told the publication. "He's scared of going back to Colombia. He doesn't know how he'll maintain a living and what kind of treatment he'll have for respiratory problems, which are very real."
Rage seethe boil.

[CN: Video may autoplay at link] Scott A. Schoettes at Newsweek: Trump Doesn't Care About HIV; We're Outta Here. "Five of my colleagues and I resigned this week from the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS (PACHA). As advocates for people living with HIV, we have dedicated our lives to combating this disease and no longer feel we can do so effectively within the confines of an advisory body to a president who simply does not care. The Trump Administration has no strategy to address the on-going HIV/AIDS epidemic, seeks zero input from experts to formulate HIV policy, and—most concerning—pushes legislation that will harm people living with HIV and halt or reverse important gains made in the fight against this disease."

Natasha Geiling at ThinkProgress: Trump's Reported Pick for the Number Two Spot at EPA Is a Fossil Fuel Lobbyist. "Jeff Holmstead, a former EPA official under President George W. Bush and current lobbyist for the fossil fuel industry, is the Trump administration's top candidate for Deputy EPA Administrator, the number two position within the agency, Axios reported. Holmstead, who has spent the last few years lobbying on behalf of some of the largest utilities and fossil fuel companies in the country, has met with Administrator Scott Pruitt, according to Axios, and has full support of the White House. Axios notes 'there is no other serious contender for the job at this moment.'"

[CN: Misogyny; racism] Josh Rogin at the Washington Post: The State Department Just Broke a Promise to Minority and Female Recruits.
Dozens of young minority and female State Department recruits received startling and unwelcome news last week: They would not be able to soon join the Foreign Service despite having been promised that opportunity. Their saga is just the latest sign that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's rush to slash the size of the State Department without a plan is harming diplomacy and having negative unintended effects.

The recruits, who are part of the State Department's Rangel and Pickering fellowship programs, have already completed two years of graduate-level education at U.S. taxpayers' expense plus an internship, often in a foreign country. The deal they struck with the federal government was that after completing their educations they would be given an inside track to become full-fledged U.S. diplomats abroad if they also satisfied medical and security requirements. In turn, they promised to commit at least five years to the Foreign Service.

These minority and female candidates already went through a competitive application process, meaning they are some of the best and brightest young graduates around. It also means they have other options. Young stars don't join the State Department for the money or the glory; they want to serve and represent their country and are willing to make sacrifices to do it.

Many were shocked when they received a letter telling them they had one week to decide if they wanted to take a much less appealing job — stamping passports in a foreign embassy for two years — with the prospect but no guarantee of becoming a Foreign Service officer even after that.

"This is no way to treat our next generation," one Foreign Service officer serving overseas told me.

Meanwhile, even Trump reportedly knows what a fucking disaster of a president he is, but he doesn't want to quit because that would mean admitting what a big league loser he is. Buried at the very end of a piece at Politico by Annie Karni comes this shit:
But Trump, too, is cognizant of the comparison to Nixon, according to one adviser. The president, who friends said does not enjoy living in Washington and is strained by the demanding hours of the job, is motivated to carry on because he "doesn't want to go down in history as a guy who tried and failed," said the adviser. "He doesn't want to be the second president in history to resign."
So he'd rather keep failing than admit he is failing and step aside in favor of someone who wants the job and has a modicum of ability to do it. What an egotistical shitlord Trump is. A dangerous, pathetic, cruel man.

Rosalind S. Helderman, Tom Hamburger, and Rachel Weiner at the Washington Post: At Height of Russia Tensions, Trump Campaign Chairman Manafort Met with Business Associates from Ukraine. "In August, as tension mounted over Russia's role in the U.S. presidential race, Donald Trump's campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, sat down to dinner with a business associate from Ukraine who once served in the Russian army. Konstantin Kilimnik, who learned English at a military school that some experts consider a training ground for Russian spies, had helped run the Ukraine office for Manafort's international political consulting practice for 10 years. ...Kilimnik, who provided a written statement to The Washington Post through Manafort's attorney, said the previously unreported dinner was one of two meetings he had with Manafort on visits to the United States during Manafort's five months working for Trump."

Louis Nelson at Politico: Conway Repeats Lawyer's Claim: Trump Didn't Admit to Being Under Investigation. "When [Donald] Trump wrote online last week that 'I am being investigated for firing the FBI Director,' it was not an admission that he is indeed being investigated, counselor to the president Kellyanne Conway said Monday morning, but instead a Twitter-shortened reaction to media coverage of ongoing probes into his 2016 campaign. Conway's insistence Monday morning that Trump's tweet last Friday was not what it seemed followed in the footsteps of the president's personal attorney, Jay Sekulow, who said Sunday in an array of political talk show appearances that regardless of what he has written online, Trump is not under investigation." Good grief.

Dell Cameron and Kate Conger at Gizmodo: GOP Data Firm Accidentally Leaks Personal Details of Nearly 200 Million American Voters. "Political data gathered on more than 198 million US citizens was exposed this month after a marketing firm contracted by the Republican National Committee stored internal documents on a publicly accessible Amazon server. The data leak contains a wealth of personal information on roughly 61 percent of the US population. Along with home addresses, birthdates, and phone numbers, the records include advanced sentiment analyses used by political groups to predict where individual voters fall on hot-button issues such as gun ownership, stem cell research, and the right to abortion, as well as suspected religious affiliation and ethnicity. ...Deep Root Analytics, a conservative data firm that identifies audiences for political ads, confirmed ownership of the data to Gizmodo on Friday. UpGuard cyber risk analyst Chris Vickery discovered Deep Root's data online last week. More than a terabyte was stored on the cloud server without the protection of a password and could be accessed by anyone who found the URL." Fucking hell.

Robert Barnes at the Washington Post: Supreme Court to Hear Potentially Landmark Case on Partisan Gerrymandering. "The Supreme Court declared Monday that it will consider whether gerrymandered election maps favoring one political party over another violate the Constitution, a potentially fundamental change in the way American elections are conducted. The justices regularly are called to invalidate state electoral maps that have been illegally drawn to reduce the influence of racial minorities by depressing the impact of their votes. But the Supreme Court has never found a plan unconstitutional because of partisan gerrymandering. If it does, it would have a revolutionary impact on the reapportionment that comes after the 2020 election and could come at the expense of Republicans, who control the process in the majority of states." Too bad Merrick Garland isn't on the Court that will make this decision.

Oliver Milman at the Guardian: A Third of the World Now Faces Deadly Heatwaves as a Result of Climate Change. "Nearly a third of the world's population is now exposed to climatic conditions that produce deadly heatwaves, as the accumulation of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere makes it 'almost inevitable' that vast areas of the planet will face rising fatalities from high temperatures, new research has found. Climate change has escalated the heatwave risk across the globe, the study states, with nearly half of the world's population set to suffer periods of deadly heat by the end of the century even if greenhouse gases are radically cut. 'For heatwaves, our options are now between bad or terrible,' said Camilo Mora, an academic at the University of Hawaii and lead author of the study."

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

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