We Resist: Day 321

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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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Here are some things in the news today:

Earlier today by me: This Is So Strange and Trump's "Voter Fraud Commission" Is a Nightmare.

[Content Note: Sexual harassment and assault; threats. Covers entire section.]

Lachlan Markay and Asawin Suebsaeng at the Daily Beast: Trump Has Privately Decided the Sexual-Assault Allegations Against Roy Moore Are Bunk. "Donald Trump has privately told confidants over the past week that he firmly believes Roy Moore's innocence and feels no hesitation at all about endorsing the embattled Alabama Senate candidate, three sources close to the president tell The Daily Beast. ...'This is not something he's struggling with,' one senior White House official told The Daily Beast of Trump." I loathe him.

Heather Caygle at Politico: Another Woman Says Franken Tried to Forcibly Kiss Her. "A former Democratic congressional aide said Al Franken tried to forcibly kiss her after a taping of his radio show in 2006, three years before he became a U.S. senator. ...The former staffer ducked to avoid Franken's lips. As she hastily left the room, she said, Franken told her: 'It's my right as an entertainer.' ...'This allegation is categorically not true and the idea that I would claim this as my right as an entertainer is preposterous. I look forward to fully cooperating with the ongoing ethics committee investigation,' Franken said in a statement to POLITICO. ...'When it really started impacting me in more of a 'I'm really angry about about this' way was last fall when the Trump tape came out,' the former aide said. 'Hearing Donald Trump say essentially the same thing that Al Franken said to me, which was 'It's my right as an entertainer,' that was a real trigger,' she continued."

Democratic Senators have now begun publicly calling for Franken's resignation: Senators Kirsten Gillibrand, Mazie Hirono, Claire McCaskill, Maggie Hassan, and Tammy Baldwin, as well as my Senator Bob Casey, who says: "We can't just believe women when it's convenient." Indeed.

Kimberly Kindy at the Washington Post: Conyers Faced Mounting Sexual Misconduct Allegations as He Weighed His Future. "Courtney Morse, 36, said she was a 20-year-old college student when Conyers propositioned her. She said Tuesday that she believes he resigned to escape further scrutiny. ...Morse told The Post she quit her internship after Conyers drove her home from work one night, wrapped his hand around hers as it rested in her lap, and told her he was interested in a sexual relationship. When she rejected his advances, Morse said he brought up the then-developing investigation into the disappearance of former federal intern Chandra Levy. 'He said he had insider information on the case. I don't know if he meant it to be threatening, but I took it that way,' Morse said in an interview. 'I got out of the car and ran.'"

Jake Pearson and Jeff Horwitz at the AP: Top Gossip Editor Accused of Sexual Misconduct. "The top editor for the National Enquirer, Us Weekly, and other major gossip publications openly described his sexual partners in the newsroom, discussed female employees' sex lives, and forced women to watch or listen to pornographic material, former employees told The Associated Press. The behavior by Dylan Howard, currently the chief content officer of American Media Inc., occurred while he was running the company's Los Angeles office, according to men and women who worked there. ...Howard quit soon after the report was completed, but the company rehired him one year later with a promotion that landed him in the company's main office in New York. It was not clear whether Howard faced any discipline over the accusations."

David Ferguson at Raw Story: California Sheriffs Have Found Corey Feldman's 1993 Recorded Testimony Naming Hollywood Pedophiles. "[Feldman said] in a recent interview that he testified in the evidence gathering process of the Michael Jackson trial. The actor said he went to the police and 'sat down and I gave them names. They're on record. They have all this information.' The sheriff's department denied having audio of Feldman from the Jackson trial, but has now reversed course." Let's be real clear here: They publicly called Corey Feldman a liar, and have now said they discovered the recordings whoooooooops without so much as an apology to Feldman.

Megan Twohey, Jodi Kantor, Susan Dominus, Jim Rutenberg, and Steve Eder at the New York Times: Weinstein's Complicity Machine. "Harvey Weinstein built his complicity machine out of the witting, the unwitting, and those in between. He commanded enablers, silencers, and spies, warning others who discovered his secrets to say nothing. He courted those who could provide the money or prestige to enhance his reputation as well as his power to intimidate. In the weeks and months before allegations of his methodical abuse of women were exposed in October, Mr. Weinstein, the Hollywood producer, pulled on all the levers of his carefully constructed apparatus. ...Mr. Weinstein's final, failed round of manipulations shows how he operated for more than three decades: by trying to turn others into instruments or shields for his behavior... Almost everyone had incentives to look the other way or reasons to stay silent."

(Note: I'm recommending the above piece despite its inclusion of a section in which Lena Dunham claims to have warned Hillary Clinton's campaign about Weinstein, which I don't think should have been included in the piece — not because of Clinton, but because of Dunham, for various reasons, not least of which is that she just recently publicly defended one of her Girls' writers, a dude who was accused of sexual assault. Not only does Dunham have no credibility on this subject, but she has a vested interest in portraying herself as someone who cares about victims after being widely criticized for disbelieving someone who accused her friend of sexual assault.)

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Brian Faler at Politico: 'Holy Crap': Experts Find Tax Plan Riddled with Glitches. "Republicans' tax-rewrite plans are riddled with bugs, loopholes, and other potential problems that could plague lawmakers long after their legislation is signed into law. ...In many cases, Republicans are giving taxpayers little time to adjust to sometimes major changes in policy. An entirely new international tax regime, one experts are still trying to parse, would go into effect Jan. 1, only days after lawmakers hope to push the plan through Congress. 'The more you read, the more you go, 'Holy crap, what's this?'' said Greg Jenner, a former top tax official in George W. Bush's Treasury Department. 'We will be dealing with unintended consequences for months to come because the bill is moving too fast.'" Months? Try decades.

Christopher Ingraham at the Washington Post: The Richest 1 Percent Now Owns More of the Country's Wealth Than at Any Time in the Past 50 Years. "The wealthiest 1 percent of American households own 40 percent of the country's wealth, according to a new paper by economist Edward N. Woolf. That share is higher than it has been at any point since at least 1962, according to Woolf's data, which comes from the federal Survey of Consumer Finances. From 2013, the share of wealth owned by the 1 percent shot up by nearly three percentage points. Wealth owned by the bottom 90 percent, meanwhile, fell over the same period. Today, the top 1 percent of households own more wealth than the bottom 90 percent combined. That gap, between the ultrawealthy and everyone else, has only become wider in the past several decades." That's what class warfare looks like.

Alastair Gee at the Guardian: America's Homeless Population Rises for the First Time Since the Great Recession. "The study has found that 553,742 people were homeless on a single night this year, a 0.7% increase over last year. It suggests that despite a fizzy stock market and a burgeoning gross domestic product, the poorest Americans are still struggling to meet their most basic needs. 'The improved economy is a good thing, but it does put pressure on the rental market, which does put pressure on the poorest Angelenos,' said Peter Lynn, head of the Los Angeles homelessness agency. The most dramatic spike in the nation was in his region, where a record 55,000 people were counted. 'Clearly we have an outsize effect on the national homelessness picture.' Ben Carson, secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, which produced the report, said in a statement: 'This is not a federal problem — it's everybody's problem.'" Someone explain to Ben Carson what the federal government represents in a democracy.

[CN: Wildfire; video may autoplay at link] Ruben Vives, Laura J. Nelson, Sarah Parvini, Matt Hamilton, and Sonali Kohli at the LA Times: Ventura County Wildfire Destroys More Homes, Reaches Pacific Ocean. "The fire that has ravaged Ventura County continued to burn out of control Wednesday, reaching the Pacific Ocean unchecked as officials warned many more homes have been lost. The fast-moving, wind-driven wildfire continued to rage through the city of Ventura on Tuesday evening, jumping Highway 33 and burning through oil fields before crossing the 101 Freeway into Solimar Beach, authorities said. ...Thousands of homes were still threatened by flames, 27,000 people were forced to flee, a firefighter was injured, and Gov. Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency, as some 1,100 personnel continued to battle the blaze. At least 150 structures — including one large apartment complex and the Vista Del Mar Hospital, a psychiatric facility — were consumed by flames. But Cal Fire suspects the true number is hundreds more; firefighters just haven't been able to get into areas to know for sure."

[CN: Self-harm] Debbie Weingarten at the Guardian: Why Are America's Farmers Killing Themselves in Record Numbers? "Last year, a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that people working in agriculture — including farmers, farm laborers, ranchers, fishers, and lumber harvesters — take their lives at a rate higher than any other occupation. The data suggested that the suicide rate for agricultural workers in 17 states was nearly five times higher compared with that in the general population. ...Rosmann and other experts add that the farmer suicide rate might be higher, because an unknown number of farmers disguise their suicides as farm accidents. The US farmer suicide crisis echoes a much larger farmer suicide crisis happening globally: an Australian farmer dies by suicide every four days; in the UK, one farmer a week takes his or her own life; in France, one farmer dies by suicide every two days; in India, more than 270,000 farmers have died by suicide since 1995."

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Bernie Sanders, what the fuck are you even doing?

The vast majority of Trump supporters are not people who are struggling economically. That is just a damnable lie.

Talking about this with the other contributors and mods, Shaker Scott Madin sent along this NYT link, showing that Hillary Clinton won voters earning less than $50k, and said (which I'm sharing with his permission), "It took me seven seconds to pull up these handy charts which make that very clear." LOL!

It's too bad that neither Bernie Sanders nor anyone on his staff has seven seconds to fact-check a claim he keeps making. It can't possibly be that Bernie knows what he's saying is complete bullshit, but keeps saying it anyway, because it bolsters his simultaneous contentions that: 1. Trump won because of the class issues he champions; and 2. Identity politics don't matter.

If Bernie kept saying this knowing it was false, that would make him a terrible person. So it must be that he is just so busy, he doesn't have time to Google. Maybe he should hire an intern.

Maybe that intern could read this article by Adam Serwer in the Atlantic about how Trump's coalition wasn't built around economic anxiety, but white supremacy:
During the final few weeks of the campaign, I asked dozens of Trump supporters about their candidate's remarks regarding Muslims and people of color. I wanted to understand how these average Republicans—those who would never read the neo-Nazi website The Daily Stormer or go to a Klan rally at a Confederate statue—had nevertheless embraced someone who demonized religious and ethnic minorities. What I found was that Trump embodied his supporters' most profound beliefs—combining an insistence that discriminatory policies were necessary with vehement denials that his policies would discriminate and absolute outrage that the question would even be asked.

It was not just Trump's supporters who were in denial about what they were voting for, but Americans across the political spectrum, who, as had been the case with those who had backed Duke, searched desperately for any alternative explanation—outsourcing, anti-Washington anger, economic anxiety—to the one staring them in the face. The frequent post-election media expeditions to Trump country to see whether the fever has broken, or whether Trump's most ardent supporters have changed their minds, are a direct outgrowth of this mistake. These supporters will not change their minds, because this is what they always wanted: a president who embodies the rage they feel toward those they hate and fear, while reassuring them that that rage is nothing to be ashamed of.
The problem with Bernie Sanders when he was a candidate in the Democratic primary is the problem with Bernie Sanders now and it will always be the problem with Bernie Sanders because he flatly refuses to engage with an intersectional analysis of the policy needs of marginalized people.

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

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