We Resist: Day 265

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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: Tillerson Isn't a Hero for Calling Trump a Disablist Slur and SO DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT, REPUBLICANS.

[Content Note: Food insecurity] Richard Wolffe at the Guardian: U.S. Officials Privately Acknowledge Serious Food Shortage. "Federal officials privately admit there is a massive shortage of meals in Puerto Rico three weeks after Hurricane Maria devastated the island. Officials at the Federal Emergency Management Agency say that the government and its partners are only providing 200,000 meals a day to meet the needs of more than 2 million people. That is a daily shortfall of between 1.8m and 5.8m meals. The scale of the food crisis dwarfs the more widely publicized challenges of restoring power and communications. More than a third of Puerto Ricans are still struggling to live without drinking water." Rage. Seethe. Boil.

[CN: Descriptions of injury, death, and neglect at the link] Frances Robles at the New York Times: Puerto Rico's Health Care Is in Dire Condition, Three Weeks After Maria. "Nearly three weeks after Hurricane Maria tore through Puerto Rico, many sick people across the island remain in mortal peril. The government's announcements each morning about the recovery effort are often upbeat, but beyond them are hidden emergencies. Seriously ill dialysis patients across Puerto Rico have seen their treatment hours reduced by 25 percent because the centers still lack a steady supply of diesel to run their generators. Less than half of Puerto Rico's medical employees have reported to work in the weeks since the storm, federal health officials said. Hospitals are running low on medicine and high on patients, as they take in the infirm from medical centers where generators failed."

The death toll now stands at 43. That number is going to continue to rise without urgent interventions.

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Nicole Lafond at TPM: Trump Threatens NBC's TV License After Network Publishes Unfavorable Reports. "After suggesting last week that American media outlets should be investigated by Congress, [Donald] Trump on Wednesday appeared to threaten NBC's broadcast license over the network's reporting on tensions between the President and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. He tweeted: 'With all of the Fake News coming out of NBC and the Networks, at what point is it appropriate to challenge their License? Bad for country!' As a businessman and candidate, Trump frequently threatened to sue news organizations over unflattering coverage. But his latest threat of using the power of the federal government to go after media companies represents a dramatic escalation in his ongoing war against the press."

Michael Kranish at the Washington Post: 'He's Better Than This,' Says Thomas Barrack, Trump's Loyal Whisperer. "[Thomas J. Barrack Jr., a billionaire who is one of Donald Trump's oldest friends] said he has often thought about how he has remained a close friend for 30 years with a man whose 'reputation is selfish and egotistical. Here's what I think the answer is: I've never needed anything from him. ...I was always subservient to him.'" That doesn't sound like a friendship then. I honestly don't think Trump has any real friends. He only has people in his orbit who will say things like "he's better than this," despite all evidence to the contrary.

[CN: Islamophobia] Imani Gandy at Rewire: Civil Rights Groups Demand Transparency on Trump's Muslim Ban. "The lawsuit filed by Muslim Advocates, Americans United for Separation of Church and State, and Southern Poverty Law Center demands that the Trump administration provide information regarding a waiver process built into the Muslim ban by which foreign nationals barred from entry by Trump's executive orders may nonetheless gain entry to the United States. Trump on September 24 announced his third attempt to implement his long-promised Muslim travel ban by way of presidential proclamation. ...The proclamation includes a process that permits consular officers to grant waivers on a 'case-by-case' basis, thus allowing foreign nationals who might otherwise be barred to enter the United States. Trump administration officials have been silent about the procedures that will be implemented to evaluate waiver requests, prompting immigration rights advocates to demand transparency."

Nicole Perlroth and Scott Shane at the New York Times: How Israel Caught Russian Hackers Scouring the World for U.S. Secrets.
It was a case of spies watching spies watching spies: Israeli intelligence officers looked on in real time as Russian government hackers searched computers around the world for the code names of American intelligence programs.

What gave the Russian hacking, detected more than two years ago, such global reach was its improvised search tool — antivirus software made by a Russian company, Kaspersky Lab, that is used by 400 million people worldwide, including by officials at some two dozen American government agencies.

The Israeli officials who had hacked into Kaspersky's own network alerted the United States to the broad Russian intrusion, which has not been previously reported, leading to a decision just last month to order Kaspersky software removed from government computers.

The Russian operation, described by multiple people who have been briefed on the matter, is known to have stolen classified documents from a National Security Agency employee who had improperly stored them on his home computer, on which Kaspersky's antivirus software was installed. What additional American secrets the Russian hackers may have gleaned from multiple agencies, by turning the Kaspersky software into a sort of Google search for sensitive information, is not yet publicly known.
I don't think Trump has made one public statement about this. I'm not even sure he's been asked about it. Just a major national security issue that is less important to this president than the NFL's tax breaks.

Ali Watkins at Politico: Carter Page Says He Won't Testify Before Senate Intelligence Panel in Russia Probe. "Carter Page, a former foreign policy adviser to the Trump campaign, informed the Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday that he will not be cooperating with any requests to appear before the panel for its investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election and would plead the Fifth, according to a source familiar with the matter." In case anyone had managed to forget why it is that Trump is more consumed with NFL tax breaks than Russian espionage.

Mike Allen and Jonathan Swan at Axios: Inside Bannon's Plans for a GOP Civil War. "Establishment Republicans are getting squeezed to death from within. In what should be nirvana — all-party control of Washington — they instead are jammed daily between a president who routinely ridicules them for ineptitude — and Steve Bannon, who's recruiting hardliners to extinguish their very existence." And they have no one to blame but themselves. I would delight at their destruction, if only I weren't keenly aware that whoever Bannon elevates will be even worse.

[Content Note: Mass shooting; war on agency] Katie Klabusich at Truthout: Congress Uses Las Vegas Massacre to Push Abortion Ban.
This week, the Senate takes up an unconstitutional bill recently passed 237-189 in the House that would ban all abortion after 20 weeks. The deceptively named "Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act" (H.R. 36) would "make it a crime for any person to perform or attempt to perform an abortion if the probable post-fertilization age of the fetus is 20 weeks or more."

The claim that a fetus can feel pain at 20 weeks has been thoroughly debunked.

...With just a 52-seat majority, Senate Republicans would need to gather 60 votes to prevent Democrats from filibustering. In an effort to create a sense of urgency, House Republican leaders issued a statement declaring that their inspiration to vote on H.R. 36 came from the mass shooting in Las Vegas. They wrote that after the shooting, "we are reminded just how precious life is … We spoke of the potential of life — especially lives cut short through abortion."

NARAL Nevada Las Vegas Organizing Coordinator Cyndy Hernandez responded with a statement of her own: "This horrific, politically motivated response is not what those of us here in Las Vegas need. On behalf of families across the state of every political background, NARAL Nevada calls on Rep. Amodei and Congressional Republicans to retract these offensive remarks and commit to never again using the pain and suffering of our community to justify taking away our rights."
There is no depth to Republicans' depravity. Jesus fucking Jones.

[CN: Misogynistic violence; racism] Auditi Guha at Rewire: Will Congress Do Something About Missing, Murdered Native Women? "Congressional legislation introduced last week aims to improve the federal response to the crisis of missing and murdered Native women. Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) on October 5 introduced Savanna's Act, named in honor of 22-year-old Savanna LaFontaine-Greywind of the Spirit Lake and Turtle Mountain Chippewa Nations in North Dakota. LaFontaine-Greywind vanished in August while eight months pregnant. Her body was found eight days later in the Red River. On some reservations, Native women and girls are murdered at a rate more than ten times the national average. Eighty-four percent of Native women have experienced violence in their lifetime... Native advocates commended the new legislation introduced by Heitkamp. Savanna's Act is 'an important step towards interrupting the crisis of invisibility of murdered and missing Native women and girls in law enforcement practices,' Judith LeBlanc, director of the Native Organizers Alliance, told Rewire."

[CN: LGBTQ hatred] Andy Towle at Towleroad: Trump Administration Pulls Out of Stonewall Event, Sought Assurance That No LGBT Pride Flag Is on Federal Land. "The Trump administration got wind of what was happening on October 11 at the Stonewall National Monument, where a rainbow flag is set to be hoisted and was publicized as the first LGBTQ Pride flag flying permanently on federal land. Now the National Park Service under Secretary Ryan Zinke has pulled its representative from the event and is working to certify that 'the flagpole adjacent to Christopher Park was not technically on federal land so that no rainbow flag would be flying on US government property,' according to NYC's Gay City News."

[CN: Police brutality] Jamiles Lartey at the Guardian: U.S. Police Killings Undercounted by Half, Study Using Guardian Data Finds. "Over half of all police killings in 2015 were wrongly classified as not having been the result of interactions with officers, a new Harvard study based on Guardian data has found. The finding is just the latest to show government databases seriously undercounting the number of people killed by police. ...Researchers found the accuracy varied wildly by state, with just 17.6% misclassification in Washington, but a startling 100% in Oklahoma. '[Oklahoma] had more than 30 people were killed by police there in 2015 and none of them were counted on death certificates,' [lead researcher Justin Feldman] said."

Laura Hazard Owen at NeimanLab: The Share of Women in Newsrooms Has Increased Barely 1 Percentage Point Since 2001, ASNE Data Shows. "The share of people of color working in the 661 news organizations that took the survey was 16.55 percent in 2017, down slightly from 16.94 percent in 2016. (Things look a little better at online-only news sites: 24.3 percent of journalists working there were people of color, up from 23.3 percent last year.) ...Women made up 39.1 percent of all newsroom employees in 2017, compared to 38.7 percent in 2016. (And only up slightly from way back in 2001, when it was 37.35 percent.) Again, online-only news organizations did better than daily newspapers: 47.8 percent of online-only news site employees were women, compared to 47.6 percent in 2016, while at daily newspapers, women comprised 38.9 percent of employees, compared to 38.1 percent in 2016." BOO.

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

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