We Resist: Day 322

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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: Trump's Jerusalem Pronouncement Was a Disaster; On Due Process; and Al Franken Resigns.

[Content Note: Sexual harassment/assault. Covers entire section.]

On Franken's resignation, this piece by Ian Millhiser at ThinkProgress is very good: Al Franken's Crushing Betrayal of the Progressive Cause. "Franken offered himself as the antidote to an age of Trumpian excess. Compassionate and wonky. Intelligent and hard working. Franken spent his brief political career working on obscure, technical reforms that served the most vulnerable Americans. Franken prevented women from being evicted from federally funded housing because they were victims of domestic violence. He protected LGBTQ children subject to bullying and harassment. And now, he's given all of that up because he didn't have the decency to seek women's consent before touching them."

Sarah Huckabee Sanders continues to be a huge asshole:

As an aside: All the progressives who keep sending me that "all these women worked with Al Franken and they say he was a perfect gentleman!" article, or this tweet, should take note that doesn't matter any more than what Sarah Huckabee Sanders is saying. In fact, I seem to recall that when Kellyanne Conway once said the same about Trump, progressives quite rightly laughed mirthlessly at her, because it doesn't prove at all that he didn't assault other women.

Yashar Ali at the Huffington Post: Former Congressman Harold Ford Jr. Fired for Misconduct by Morgan Stanley. "Former Democratic Congressman Harold Ford Jr. has been fired for misconduct by Morgan Stanley after facing a human resources investigation into allegations of misconduct, a company spokeswoman confirmed. ...In two interviews with HuffPost, [a woman who is not a Morgan Stanley employee but interacted with Ford in a professional capacity] alleged that Ford engaged in harassment, intimidation, and forcibly grabbed her one evening in Manhattan, leading her to seek aid from a building security guard. The incident took place several years ago when Ford and the woman were supposed to be meeting for professional reasons. Ford continued to contact her after the encounter until she wrote an email asking him to cease contact."

Alana Abramson at Time: Congressman Says Democratic Leaders Knew About His Sexual Misconduct Allegations a Year Ago. "Nevada Congressman Ruben Kihuen told ABC News that the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and its Chairman Rep. Ben Ray Lujan, along with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, knew about the allegations against him, but did not find anything of substance and continued to support him. ...Representatives for both the DCCC and Pelosi told ABC Kihuen's account was false, and that they learned of the allegations last week, when Buzzfeed first reported them. ...Both Lujan and Pelosi called on Kihuen to resign after the publication of the article. But Kihuen told ABC he was not resigning. 'I plan on continuing the job that I was elected to do by the people of the 4th congressional district,' he said."

Olivia Messer at the Daily Beast: 'You Want to Fuck With Me Tonight?': Horror Stories from the Texas Capitol. "Sarah*, who worked with Lauren in Chris' office, told The Daily Beast that she was informed about the incident the following morning. 'I remember thinking at the time: Why would you say something like that to a young woman who is literally doing nothing to you?' Sarah said. 'I was surprised that it was so open, like he did it in a public place. That kind of blew my mind, especially because he's a lawmaker. It's not a sexual innuendo or just a guy seeing if you're up for something
— it's far beyond that. In my opinion, he's going out of his way to intimidate and victimize young women at the Capitol.'"

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Natasha Bertrand at Business Insider: Devin Nunes Spoke to Erik Prince About House Intel Testimony Despite Recusal from the Russia Probe. "Devin Nunes met with Blackwater founder Erik Prince earlier this year and discussed Nunes' investigation into the unmasking of Americans' identities in US intelligence reports, Prince told the House Intelligence Committee in an interview last week. The meeting, which took place over 'the summer or early fall,' has raised eyebrows given Nunes' recusal from the Russia investigation and Prince's status as a witness in that probe." Devin fucking Nunes. This guy needs to be run out of town on rollerskates. STAT.

Aaron Rupar at ThinkProgress: Trump Jr. Invents Fake 'Privilege' to Justify Stonewalling Congress on Key Discussion with His Dad. "During voluntary closed-door testimony before the House Intelligence Committee on Wednesday, Donald Trump Jr. cited 'attorney-client privilege' to avoid answering questions about a critical discussion he had with his father this past summer following explosive New York Times reporting about the Trump campaign's efforts to collude with Russia. According to the ranking Democrat on the committee, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), Trump Jr.'s rationale for invoking attorney-client privilege is that a lawyer was in the room when he communicated with his father about [a meeting with Russians]... Schiff told reporters he didn't think Trump Jr.'s invocation of attorney-client privilege was appropriate. 'I don't believe you can shield communications between individuals merely by having an attorney present,' he said. 'That's not the purpose of attorney-client privilege.' Lawyers who spoke to ThinkProgress agreed."

Zack Ford at ThinkProgress: Paul Ryan Admits the GOP Will Gut Medicare and Medicaid to Pay for Tax Cuts. "Republicans in Congress are openly admitting they plan to use their tax reform bill to justify slashing funding for essential social programs like Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and food stamps. ...Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI) laid out the plan in an interview Wednesday on Ross Kaminsky's radio show. 'We're going to have to get back next year at entitlement reform, which is how you tackle the debt and the deficit,' Ryan said, adding that health care entitlements like Medicare and Medicaid are 'the big drivers of our debt.'"

[CN: Displacement; racism; class warfare] This thread on Puerto Ricans displaced by the failure to adequately address hurricane destruction on the island is a must-read:

[CN: White supremacy; voter suppression] Vann R. Newkirk II at the Atlantic: What's Missing from Reports on Alabama's Black Turnout. "Much of the reporting on Jones's attempts has focused on the same old touchstones of black turnout. Is he doing enough appearances at black churches? Is his friendship tour with Congresswoman Terri Sewell enough to gain the ear of the black belt? Perhaps the groups that traditionally mobilize black voters have been defanged by Alabama's new campaign-finance laws. Maybe black voters just aren't energized by Jones, who — despite being a civil-rights hero for prosecuting the Klansmen who bombed the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham — has seemingly tried to run without making major overtures to black voters, for fear of alienating rural whites. Or possibly, as The New York Times reports, a survey of 10 black voters in a strip mall indicates the black electorate just isn't interested in the race or aware of Doug Jones. But these theories that mostly puzzle over a narrative of black disengagement obscure the fact that voting has always been burdensome for black people in Alabama, and that the state has made suppression the norm since Shelby County."

[CN: White supremacy; anti-Black slur]

Gerry Mullany at the New York Times: Nikki Haley Calls U.S. Presence at South Korea Olympics an 'Open Question'. "The American envoy to the United Nations, Nikki R. Haley, said on Wednesday that it was an 'open question' whether American athletes would be able to attend the Olympics in South Korea in February given the tensions on the Korean Peninsula." Yeah, also given that the International Olympic Committee just announced Russia is banned for doping. Trump's gotta show support for his pal Putin.

[CN: Wildfire] Haroon Siddique at the Guardian: California Wildfires: Winds Pose 'Extreme Danger' for Los Angeles. "Wildfires blazing through California have entered the heart of Los Angeles as authorities warned of an 'extreme fire danger' across the city. Firefighters in the affluent Bel-Air neighbourhood battled to save multimillion-dollar estates in the path of the flames, which have destroyed homes near the Getty museum in America's second-largest city. Video and photographs posted on social media showed hillsides above busy roads covered in flames, rows of houses reduced to ash, and firefighters spraying water on walls of fire. The largest blaze, the Thomas fire, has covered more than 95,000 acres, destroying more than 150 homes and threatening thousands more in Ventura, about 50 miles (80 km) north-west of Los Angeles. With winds forecast to reach 80mph, officials have warned the worst could be yet to come." Goddamm.

And finally: This story was incredibly harrowing to read, but also profoundly inspiring. I cried through a lot of it. I also deeply appreciate my friend Leah's framing, which I hope you, too, will bear in mind as you read this extraordinary piece.

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

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