We Resist: Day 306

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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: Time to Make Noise to Save Net Neutrality and What We Mean by "Believe Women".

Let's start with some (tentative) good news...

Eli Rosenberg at the Washington Post: Federal Judge Blocks Trump's Executive Order on Denying Funding to Sanctuary Cities.
A federal judge issued an injunction to permanently block [Donald] Trump's executive order to deny funding to cities that refused to cooperate with federal immigration officials, after finding the order unconstitutional.

The ruling by District Judge William H. Orrick in San Francisco comes in response to a lawsuit filed by the city of San Francisco and nearby Santa Clara County and follows a temporary halt on the order that the judge issued in April.

Orrick, in his summary of the case Monday, found that the Trump administration's efforts to move local officials to cooperate with its efforts to deport undocumented immigrants violated the separation of powers doctrine as well as the Fifth and Tenth amendments.

"The Constitution vests the spending powers in Congress, not the President, so the Executive Order cannot constitutionally place new conditions on federal funds. Further, the Tenth Amendment requires that conditions on federal funds be unambiguous and timely made; that they bear some relation to the funds at issue; and that they not be unduly coercive," the judge wrote. "Federal funding that bears no meaningful relationship to immigration enforcement cannot be threatened merely because a jurisdiction chooses an immigration enforcement strategy of which the President disapproves."

This is definitely good news for now. Naturally, we haven't seen the last of the Trump administration's war on immigrants, so we must continue to remain vigilant and prepared to resist.

[Content Note: Nativism] In related but categorically not good news:

Fucking hell. We knew this was coming. It's still absolutely gutting. I am so sorry for the people who will be displaced and harmed by this cruel decision.

[CN: Nativism] Rachael Bade and Heather Caygle at Politico: Congress Speeds Toward Shutdown over Dreamers. "Concern is growing in both parties that a clash over the fate of Dreamers will trigger a government shutdown this December. House conservatives have warned Speaker Paul Ryan against lumping a fix for undocumented immigrants who came to the country as minors into a year-end spending deal. They want him to keep the two issues separate and delay immigration negotiations into 2018 to increase their leverage — which both Ryan and the White House consider reasonable. ...Democrats know Republicans need their votes to fund the government past the current Dec. 8 deadline, and many want Pelosi and Schumer to stand firm against the must-pass bill until leaders save the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program."

This is what ethical obstructionism should look like. And if the Republicans shut down the government, which would have terrible consequences for federal workers, that's the responsibility of the Republicans who prioritized a shutdown over decency, not the Democrats, who are prioritizing decency.

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[CN: Child abuse]

I hate this administration so, so much.

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[CN: Sexual harassment] Paul McLeod and Lissandra Villa at BuzzFeed: She Said a Powerful Congressman Harassed Her: Here's Why You Didn't Hear Her Story.
Michigan Rep. John Conyers, a Democrat and the longest-serving member of the House of Representatives, settled a wrongful dismissal complaint in 2015 with a former employee who alleged she was fired because she would not "succumb to [his] sexual advances."

Documents from the complaint obtained by BuzzFeed News include four signed affidavits, three of which are notarized, from former staff members who allege that Conyers, the ranking Democrat on the powerful House Judiciary Committee, repeatedly made sexual advances to female staff that included requests for sexual favors, contacting and transporting other women with whom they believed Conyers was having affairs, caressing their hands sexually, and rubbing their legs and backs in public. Four people involved with the case verified the documents are authentic.

And the documents also reveal the secret mechanism by which Congress has kept an unknown number of sexual harassment allegations secret: A grinding, closely held process that left the alleged victim feeling, she told BuzzFeed News, that she had no option other than to stay quiet and accept a settlement offered to her.

"I was basically blackballed. There was nowhere I could go," she said in a phone interview.
For his part, Conyers denies "that he knew anything about claims of sexual impropriety made against him."

Irrespective of the particulars of this case, however, we know that this is a thing that happens in Congress, and costs the taxpayers millions of dollars:

What we don't know, because Congress has unilaterally decided we don't have the right to know, is who are the members perpetrating sexual harassment and/or assault.

[CN: Sexual assault] Irin Carmon and Amy Brittain at the Washington Post: Eight Women Say Charlie Rose Sexually Harassed Them — with Nudity, Groping, and Lewd Calls.
The women were employees or aspired to work for Rose at the "Charlie Rose" show from the late 1990s to as recently as 2011. They ranged in age from 21 to 37 at the time of the alleged encounters. Rose, 75, whose show airs on PBS and Bloomberg TV, also co-hosts "CBS This Morning" and is a contributing correspondent for "60 Minutes."

There are striking commonalities in the accounts of the women, each of whom described their interactions with Rose in multiple interviews with The Post. For all of the women, reporters interviewed friends, colleagues, or family members who said the women had confided in them about aspects of the incidents. Three of the eight spoke on the record.

Five of the women spoke on the condition of anonymity out of fear of Rose's stature in the industry, his power over their careers, or what they described as his volatile temper.

"In my 45 years in journalism, I have prided myself on being an advocate for the careers of the women with whom I have worked," Rose said in a statement provided to The Post. "Nevertheless, in the past few days, claims have been made about my behavior toward some former female colleagues.

"It is essential that these women know I hear them and that I deeply apologize for my inappropriate behavior. I am greatly embarrassed. I have behaved insensitively at times, and I accept responsibility for that, though I do not believe that all of these allegations are accurate. I always felt that I was pursuing shared feelings, even though I now realize I was mistaken.

"I have learned a great deal as a result of these events, and I hope others will too. All of us, including me, are coming to a newer and deeper recognition of the pain caused by conduct in the past, and have come to a profound new respect for women and their lives."
Fuck you, buddy. Trust that this asshole did not believe that the feelings were "mutual." Let me say once again: Sexual assault does not happen by accident.

Recently, there have been many calls for disbelieving victims until more victims of the same perpetrator come forward, which prompted me to tweet this yesterday:

After the Rose story broke, I noted that an allegation against Rose was first made in 2007:

Related Reading: The Costs of Disbelief.

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[CN: Death in war; video may autoplay at link] Elizabeth McLaughlin and Veronica Stracqualursi at ABC News: Additional Remains of Sgt. La David Johnson Found in Niger. "Additional remains of U.S. soldier Sgt. La David Johnson were found on Nov. 12 at the site in Niger where his body was recovered, a U.S. official confirmed to ABC News. 'We can confirm that the Armed Forces Medical Examiner has positively identified these remains as those of Sgt. Johnson,' Dana W. White, chief spokesperson for the Department of Defense, said in a statement today. 'The department continues to conduct a detailed and thorough investigation into the deaths of Staff Sgt. Bryan C. Black, Staff Sgt. Jeremiah W. Johnson, Staff Sgt. Dustin M. Wright, and Sgt. La David T. Johnson. We extend our deepest condolences to all of the families of the fallen.' The U.S. official said Johnson's family has been notified of the new discovery." Oh god. My condolences to Myeshia Johnson and the rest of La David's family.

Greg Sargent at the Washington Post: The Trump Tax Plan Is Much Worse Than You Thought — A New Analysis Confirms It. "Here is the key takeaway from the new analysis, which is the work of the Tax Policy Center: By 2027, around 50 percent of taxpayers will see a tax hike. ...'By 2027, all that's really left is a big corporate tax cut,' [Joseph Rosenberg, a senior research associate at the Tax Policy Center] told me. 'This primarily benefits high-income people — people with a lot of capital income — shareholders, people who have capital gains dividends, and people who have interest income.'" Like I keep saying: It's just a massive wealth redistribution upward plan.

Zachary Mider at Bloomberg: House Tax Bill Is Littered with Loopholes for Wall Street's Wealthiest. "Investors in billion-dollar hedge funds might be able to take advantage of a new, lower tax rate touted as a break for small businesses. Private equity fund managers might be able to sidestep a new tax on their earnings. And a combination of proposed changes might allow the children and grandchildren of the very wealthy to avoid income taxes in perpetuity. These are some of the quirks that tax experts have spotted in the bill passed by the House on Nov. 16, just two weeks after it was introduced. ...'There sure are a lot of glitches and loopholes, in large measure because there's so much complexity in this bill that's being raced through,' said Steven Rosenthal, a senior fellow with the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center, a Washington policy group."

Aaron Blake at the Washington Post: A Report Shows the Senate GOP Tax Bill Ultimately Raises Taxes on 50 Percent of People: That's a Problem. "The report from the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center, released Monday, contains this very unhelpful passage: 'On average in 2027, taxes would rise modestly for the lowest-income group, change little for middle-income groups, and decrease for higher-income groups. Compared to current law, 9 percent of taxpayers would pay more in 2019, 12 percent in 2025, and 50 percent in 2027.' It's not difficult to see this winding up in just about every piece of Democratic pushback on the Senate GOP's tax bill. 'Half of Americans would wind up paying more in taxes' is a pretty powerful talking point — as is 'the wealthy clearly benefit from this bill, but the middle class doesn't.'" This is what class warfare looks like.

Danny Vinik and Andrew Restuccia at Politico: Leading Trump Census Pick Causes Alarm. "The Trump administration is leaning toward naming Thomas Brunell, a Texas professor with no government experience, to the top operational job at the U.S. Census Bureau, according to two people who have been briefed on the Bureau's plans. Brunell, a political science professor, has testified more than half a dozen times on behalf of Republican efforts to redraw congressional districts, and is the author of a 2008 book titled Redistricting and Representation: Why Competitive Elections Are Bad for America. The choice would mark the administration's first major effort to shape the 2020 Census, the nationwide count that determines which states lose and gain electoral votes and seats in the House of Representatives." FUCKING HELL!!!

To make way for a white dude who is less qualified for the job than she is, thus continuing Trump's destruction of the federal government by filling it with incompetents and ruiners.

Keith Collins at Quartz: Google Collects Android Users' Locations Even When Location Services Are Disabled. "Many people realize that smartphones track their locations. But what if you actively turn off location services, haven't used any apps, and haven't even inserted a carrier SIM card? Even if you take all of those precautions, phones running Android software gather data about your location and send it back to Google when they're connected to the internet, a Quartz investigation has revealed. Since the beginning of 2017, Android phones have been collecting the addresses of nearby cellular towers — even when location services are disabled — and sending that data back to Google. The result is that Google, the unit of Alphabet behind Android, has access to data about individuals' locations and their movements that go far beyond a reasonable consumer expectation of privacy. Quartz observed the data collection occur and contacted Google, which confirmed the practice." Goddammit.

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

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