We Resist: Day 351

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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: Authoritarianism Watch: We Had a Year. It's Almost Up. and Where'd He Get Radicalized?

Helen Branswell at STAT: CDC Plans Session on 'Preparing for the Unthinkable': A Nuclear Detonation. "With this week's bellicose boasting about who has the bigger red button on his desk, an alert Thursday from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention felt more than a bit on the nose. With the prospect of actual nuclear war breaking out between North Korea and the United States seeming ever more real, the CDC is moving to prepare health professionals and others on what the public health response would be to a nuclear detonation. The CDC announced it is staging a grand rounds — a teaching session — on the topic. The target audience: Doctors, nurses, epidemiologists, pharmacists, veterinarians, certified health education specialists, laboratory scientists, and others. The event will be held Jan. 16." Everything is fine.

E.A. Crunden at ThinkProgress: U.S. Hits Pakistan on 'Severe' Religious Freedom Violations Amid Worsening Relations. "In the latest indicator of souring U.S.-Pakistan relations, the State Department this week placed Pakistan on a special watch list over its religious freedom violations, an aggressive move likely to worsen dialogue between the two allies. In a press release Thursday, U.S. State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert announced that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson had re-designated a number of countries as 'countries of particular concern' under the Religious Freedom Act of 1998. The list of countries includes Burma, China, Eritrea, Iran, North Korea, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. While those re-designations were expected, one name came as a surprise. Pakistan was singled out separately and placed on a distinct list for 'severe violations' of religious freedom, following days of acrimony between the South Asian country and the United States. The announcement failed to detail the rationale behind the decision."

Sam Levin at the Guardian: 'Trump Has Declared War on California': State Defiant as White House Takes Aim. "The federal government's war on the Golden State — which overwhelmingly rejected the president in 2016 and has become a liberal leader in the anti-Trump resistance — has intensified in recent days with the administration threatening California's immigrants, world-famous coastal shores, taxpayers, and weed smokers. The political warfare by Trump, who reportedly holds deep grudges and is said to be obsessed with his electoral wins and losses, has the potential to cause havoc and destroy livelihoods in the state of California, the world's sixth largest economy. 'These are bullying tactics of the Trump administration,' said Barbara Lee, a congresswoman in northern California who has protested against the president since his inauguration. 'We are not going to tolerate it. We are going to fight back.'"

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[Content Note: Nativism] Laura Meckler at the Wall Street Journal: Trump Administration Seeks $18 Billion Over Decade to Expand Border Wall. "The Trump administration is asking Congress for nearly $18 billion to construct more than 700 miles of new and replacement barriers along the southwest border, offering its most detailed description yet of the president's vision for a border wall with Mexico." Wait — Congress? But I thought Mexico was going to pay for Trump's grotesque monument to nativist isolationism. Cough.

[CN: Nativism] Anita Kumar at McClatchy: Tillis No Longer Involved in Key Senate Negotiations on Dreamers. "Sen. Thom Tillis, a North Carolina Republican who has sought to make immigration one of his signature issues, is no longer involved in key bipartisan Senate negotiations over how to protect hundreds of thousands of immigrants who will soon lose their renewable work permits, according to four sources from both sides of the aisle. Tillis' office says the senator continues to be involved on immigration policy and that his staff has tried to engage with other Senate offices but with limited success." So Tillis is blaming Democrats, but: "Tillis has not been at meetings of the working group for several weeks, according to four people familiar with the negotiations, many of whom blame his staff for discussing private talks, being unresponsive, or misrepresenting the senator's own immigration bill." Welp. It's unconscionable that this is how Tillis is behaving when millions of lives hang in the balance.

[CN: Nativism] Tina Vasquez at Rewire: Parents Consider Their Options While Trump Rips Away Immigrants' Legal Protections. "Araceli Velasquez, an undocumented immigrant from El Salvador, made contingency plans immediately after Trump was elected, reaching out to organizations and gathering resources should she be targeted by the government of a virulently anti-immigration president. She assumed her husband, a TPS recipient also from El Salvador, could care for their children in the United States if she were deported. TPS, a program intended to help those who have suffered catastrophic danger in their countries of origin, seemed like a non-issue. Or so they thought. There are hints that Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen won't extend TPS for people from El Salvador."

The Trump administration hates immigrants more than it cares about the fact that its hatred makes it perpetrators of child neglect and abandonment. The parents of children forcibly separated from them sure aren't the perpetrators of this child abuse. It's the architects of these heinous policies.

[CN: Nativism; child abuse] Nicole Rodriguez at Newsweek/Crooks & Liars: Trump's Cruel Immigration 'Policies' Creating Health Crisis in Six Million Children. "Donald Trump's threats of mass deportations of migrants and refugees and his generally aggressive stance on immigration have been characterized by opponents as cruel and inhumane. Some policy analysts and physicians go even further, saying they have created a public health crisis for potentially millions of children in the United States. Pediatricians across the country report seeing increases in child patients with sleep and eating disorders, anxiety, depression, and stress that they said have been induced by Trump's policies and words." Rage seethe boil.

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On Twitter, a couple of folks asked me why Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan were still standing by Trump. There are probably a number of reasons for that, not least of which is that they are both probably compromised by dealings with Russia, too, and are still trying to figure out if there's a way that Trump can effectively obstruct the investigation and then they can look like heroes for finally holding him accountable for abuses of power, once those very abuses of power benefit them.

But, regardless of their reasons for not publicly abandoning their pretense of loyalty yet:

That is to say: I don't believe that Michael Wolff's book was a long-term part of any plan. At the inception of his researching and writing it, about a year ago, the Republican leadership wasn't even yet sure if Trump would work out (i.e. come under their control). But, somewhere along the way, once it became obvious Trump could not be contained, someone almost certainly realized it would be good timing if Wolff's "here's justification for removing him" tract was published just after the tax bill was done.

Give it time. The rats are figuring out their next moves.

And note that, regardless of what those moves are, it will not delay an authoritarian takeover. If the GOP leadership does turn on Trump, they will not oust him to protect the republic. They will oust him only to wrestle control and to enjoy and expand the power he's already seized.

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[CN: Racism; classism] Danielle McLean at ThinkProgress: Trump Administration to Delay Obama Rule Combating Housing Segregation. "The Trump administration is delaying an Obama-era rule that bolstered enforcement of the Fair Housing Act, a decades-old law intended to combat segregation in neighborhoods across the country. While the delay doesn't eliminate the rule entirely, housing advocates say it indicates, at the very least, an attempt by federal officials to weaken hard-fought housing protections. The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is planning to push back the deadline for cities to analyze and address issues of segregation and improve conditions for people of color by several years, to October 2020."

[CN: LGBTQ hatred] Christianna Silva at Newsweek/Towleroad: Trump Judicial Nominee Howard Nielson: Gay Judges Shouldn't Hear LGBT Cases. "One of [Donald] Trump's newest judicial nominees says he believes gay judges shouldn't hear cases involving issues that affect the LGBT community. A report by Alliance for Justice found that Howard Nielson was representing the plaintiffs in Hollingsworth v. Perry, a 2013 case that would have banned same-sex marriage in California. As the case played out, Nielson filed a motion saying chief judge of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, Vaughn Walker 'had a duty to disclose not only the facts concerning his [same-sex] relationship, but also his marriage intentions.' According to the organization, Nielson said it was 'extremely problematic that Judge Walker is a practicing homosexual himself.' Since the case was about same-sex marriage, Nielson argued that Walker, a Ronald Reagan appointee, could not be unbiased unless he did not intend to marry another man."

[CN: Sexual assault] Beth Reinhard at the Washington Post: Woman Who Accused Roy Moore of Unwanted Sexual Contact Sues Him for Defamation. "In a lawsuit that echoes a civil case against [Donald] Trump, an Alabama woman on Thursday sued failed U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore and his campaign for defamation, citing harsh personal attacks she faced after coming forward with allegations that he touched her sexually when she was 14 years old. Leigh Corfman is not seeking financial compensation beyond legal costs, said her attorney, Neil Roman. She is asking for a declaratory judgment of defamation, a public apology from Moore, and a court-enforced ban on him or his campaign publicly attacking her again. Corfman said in a statement that the suit seeks 'to do what I could not do as a 14-year-old — hold Mr. Moore and those who enable him accountable.'"

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[CN: Misogyny] My friend Imani Gandy has a terrific thread on Twitter breaking down the gross misogyny in an article about Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. And this piece I wrote last April seems relevant again. Cough.

Which is, of course, to say nothing about the assholes who write the articles replicating the pattern.

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

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