We Resist: Day 532

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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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Earlier today by me: Therese Patricia Okoumou Scales the Statue of Liberty on the 4th of July in Protest of Trump's Nativist Policies and Trump Wanted War in Venezuela (and Maybe Still Does).

Here are some more things in the news today...

[Content Note: Nativism; white supremacy; abuse. Covers entire section.]

Canadian Press at the Toronto Star: U.S. Border Patrol Questions Crews of at Least 10 Fishing Vessels in Canadian Waters.
In the past two weeks, at least 10 Canadian fishing boats from New Brunswick have been intercepted by U.S. Border Patrol agents while fishing in the disputed waters around Machias Seal Island, a spokesperson for the fishermen says.

Laurence Cook, chairman of the advisory board for Lobster Fishing Area 38, said Wednesday that some Canadian vessels were boarded by American agents who asked about possible [undocumented] immigrants."

...Machias Seal Island, which is about 19 kilometres southwest of Grand Manan Island and east of Maine, is in a disputed area known as the Grey Zone, where lobster fishermen from both Canada and the United States have long fished side by side. ...[Since the late 1700s, both Canada and the U.S. have claimed] sovereign jurisdiction over the island and the surrounding waters at the mouth of the Bay of Fundy.

As lucrative lobster catches have increased in the zone, competition between fishermen has intensified in the past decade.

"Neither country accepts that there is a Grey Zone," said Stephen Kelly, a research scholar at Duke University in Durham, N.C., and a former American diplomat who served in Canada. "That's created more tension in the area over the last decade."

Kelly said both countries have done very little to assert their claims.

"Sometimes doing nothing is better," he said. "But in this case, just because it looks like it's not broken can be very deceiving — especially with our new president in the United States. The last thing Canada wants is for Donald Trump to seize on this as an example of U.S. sovereignty being challenged."

The suggestion that the border agents were looking for illegal immigrants seems improbable, he said.

"That's possible, but...the Gulf of Maine is not a major route for illegal immigrants sneaking into the United States," Kelly said. "If anything, people are sneaking the other way. They're trying to get out of the U.S. and into Canada to claim asylum."
So, a couple of things to note: 1. Trump is upping his campaign of belligerence toward Canada (see also: trade) by provoking a territorial dispute; 2. The pretense under which U.S. Border Patrol is intercepting and boarding Canadian fishing vessels is complete bullshit, and its true objective may just be further communicating Trump's ongoing hostility toward Canada, or there's a possibility that the Trump Regime is beta-testing drills to stop an outflow of U.S. citizens seeking asylum, in anticipation of mass exists. That's ominous. It's also a reminder of the number of times I've had reason to suggest that Trump's southern border wall is really something he wants to keep us in, rather than or in addition to keeping people out.

Sonia Moghe and Nicole Chavez at CNN: DNA Testing Being Done on Separated Migrant Children and Parents, Official Says. "DNA testing is being conducted as part of the process to reunite children who were separated from their parents at the border, a federal official with knowledge of the reunifications told CNN. 'The safety and security is paramount and that it is not uncommon for children to be trafficked or smuggled by those claiming to be parents. To our knowledge this is a cheek swab and is being done to expedite parental verification and ensuring reunification with verified parents due to child welfare concerns,' the official said. The source could not discuss how long the practice has been taking place, if the testing requires consent and if the DNA is stored in a database."

This is some bullshit, especially because there is absolutely no evidence that "it is not uncommon for children to be trafficked or smuggled by those claiming to be parents." Just recently, MSNBC's Chris Hayes challenged GOP Rep. Roger Marshall on that very claim, and Marshall had no answer. Because it is a lie.

This thread by reporter Adam Klasfeld is a must-read in its entirety:

I strongly encourage you to read the entire thing to understand the scope of what's happening, which is much worse than the headlines suggest. It is honestly a grave shame on the U.S. media that the horrors of what's happening at the southern border aren't leading the news every moment of every day right now.

Jamelle Bouie at Slate: White Fight.
Under the Trump administration, even naturalized citizens are now a target. The government agency that oversees immigration applications is hiring lawyers and immigration officers to review cases of immigrants suspected of obtaining citizenship through fake identities or other false information on their applications. Cases would be referred to the Department of Justice, where offenders could lose their citizenship or legal status.

"We finally have a process in place to get to the bottom of all these bad cases and start denaturalizing people who should not have been naturalized in the first place," L. Francis Cissna, director of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, said in an interview with the Associated Press last month. "What we're looking at, when you boil it all down, is potentially a few thousand cases."

The small scale of this effort belies its significance. As a country, the United States makes few distinctions between naturalized citizens and their native-born counterparts. The naturalization process, which includes long-term residents with deep ties to the U.S., is assumed to be permanent. This new task force on denaturalization throws that permanence into question, bringing suspicion on anyone who received their citizenship through means other than birth.

There's no guarantee this effort will stay confined to cases of cheating and fraud. The Trump administration has shown, in its drive to criminalize asylum-seekers, that the existing processes for seeking legal status can effectively be criminalized at any time. The president's willingness to demonize all immigrants as intruders on American soil offers little comfort.

...Even if you blocked all immigration to the United States and removed millions of naturalized citizens, existing trends make demographic change inevitable. At some point in the not-distant future, a majority of Americans will be of black, Hispanic, and Asian origin. But there's a difference between a nation's population and its electorate — its share of people who can exercise the full rights and privileges of citizenship. Republicans realize this, and are trying — at every level of government — to reverse-engineer a white electorate large enough to secure their own power, and along with it, the existing hierarchy of class and race.
Bouie connects a lot of the threads on which I've been harping for the past several years here: That Trump is waging a war on all immigrants; that the war on immigrants is a dry run for assaults on the larger populace; that Republicans have been laying the groundwork for this presidency for a very long time, and Trump is not an outlier but the endgame. It's why removing Trump will not stop the rot; this is a party-wide toxicity, empowered by a base of thronging hatred.

Ali Winston and A.C. Thompson at Frontline with ProPublica: He Is a Member of a Violent White Supremacist Group; So Why Is He Working for a Defense Contractor with a Security Clearance? "[Michael Miselis, a UCLA doctoral student with a U.S. government security clearance to work on sensitive research for a prominent defense contractor] works as a systems engineer for Northrop Grumman, the giant defense contractor with a plant in Redondo Beach, California. ...Such security clearances are typically issued in a two-step process. The federal Office of Personnel Management conducts an investigation into the individual. The agency's findings are then forwarded to a special unit within the Department of Defense, which makes the final determination on whether the person should receive a clearance, a status that often allows the person access to classified or otherwise sensitive information concerning national security. Public affairs officers at the Defense Department declined to comment about Miselis and his security clearance."

Dr. Maha Hilal at Rewire.News: The Muslim Ban Reminds Us Exclusion Has Always Been a Fundamental Part of U.S. History. "If religious freedom is something to be fought for, it should be fought for while dismantling systems of white supremacy, xenophobia, and Islamophobia that exist to justify abuse of Muslims and others. Using the claim of religious freedom — a right often leveraged to oppress those who are not white Christians — only hides deeper systems of oppression. What should therefore be sought is not just religious freedom for adherents of all faiths, but an end to the systems that dehumanize Muslim and other communities." Indeed.

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Chris Strohm at Bloomberg|Quint: Mueller Taps More Prosecutors to Help with Growing Trump Probe. "Special Counsel Robert Mueller is tapping additional Justice Department resources for help with new legal battles as his year-old investigation of Russian interference with the 2016 election continues to expand. ...Mueller and his team of 17 federal prosecutors are coping with a higher-than-expected volume of court challenges that has added complexity in recent months, but there's no political appetite at this time to increase the size of his staff, the officials said."

JFC pull your thumb out already and just finish one part of any piece of this investigation, Mueller. This is just absurd, because the investigation will be "expanding" forever as long as the relentlessly corrupt Trump is allowed to remain in power. I am more convinced with each passing day of zero accountability and no end in sight that Mueller's investigation is a charade designed to keep us believing that the law will eventually save us, pliably behaving while the Republicans consolidate their power behind Trump.

It's not a great sign, frankly, that the Senate Intelligence Committee "just released a bipartisan report concurring w/ intel community that 1) Russia interfered; 2) Putin approved it; & 3) The goal was to sow chaos & help Trump's election chances." Because if the Republicans are the Senate Intelligence Committee are finally ready to concede what we all knew a year and a half ago, that means they no longer fear any consequences for their party or their president.


Nicole Lafond at TPM: Trump Plans to Meet with Putin One-On-One, Without Aides. "During his first formal summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin this month, [Donald] Trump plans to meet with the world leader one-on-one, CNN reported. Aides will be allowed to enter the meeting, which is set for July 16 in Helsinki, Finland, after the two have had a chance to talk on their own. ...Without aides present, there will be no official record of the conversation between the two presidents."

Wonder if they'll talk about this:

Or this:

Or, worse yet, this:

This is incredible, but true: The United States President who was installed after an election in which Russia meddled to help him win is now going to meet with Vladimir Putin one-on-one and off-the-record, right before a midterm election that said president is unaccountably confident about his party winning. And the U.S. political press is basically just treating that as business as usual. Cool.

Democracy was fun while it lasted, huh?

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[CN: Class warfare. Covers entire section.]

Andrew Van Dam at the Washington Post: Is It Great to Be a Worker in the U.S.? Not Compared with the Rest of the Developed World. "In particular, the [new 296-page report from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development] shows the United States's unemployed and at-risk workers are getting very little support from the government, and their employed peers are set back by a particularly weak collective-bargaining system. Those factors have contributed to the United States having a higher level of income inequality and a larger share of low-income residents than almost any other advanced nation. Only Spain and Greece, whose economies have been ravaged by the euro-zone crisis, have more households earning less than half the nation's median income — an indicator that unusually large numbers of people either are poor or close to being poor."

[CN: Disability; ageism] Ari Neeman at People's Policy Project: We Must Take Disability and Aging Support Work Seriously. "From 2005 to 2015, personal care attendants — the most common type of in-home support worker — saw their wages drop in real terms. The bulk of the in-home support workforce is part-time, and over half must rely on public assistance to make ends meet. Unsurprisingly, turnover rates are estimated at between 45 to 65 percent, meaning that people with disabilities, seniors, and families face an ongoing battle to get access to support workers that can meet their basic needs, let alone support the kind of independence Charlie had. We are taking one of our society's most important tasks — the provision of assistance to people with disabilities and seniors — and rendering it employment of last resort. As the population ages and demand for support work increases, these problems will accelerate."

Tara Francis Chan at Business Insider: As Trump Targets Trade, a Chinese Factory Says It's Been Hired to Make Flags for Trump's 2020 Campaign. "The factory, which used to make red scarves for the communist Young Pioneers before China opened up its trade, now makes about 100,000 international flags a day. 'We also make flags for Trump for 2020,' Li Jiang told NPR's 'The Indicator' podcast. 'It seems like he has another campaign going on in 2020. Isn't that right?' ...The committee organizing Trump's 2020 campaign, Donald J. Trump for President Inc., last year stated a commitment to 'buy American' and said it had 'produced and manufactured all of our merchandise right here in America' down to the American-made stitching on its 'Make America Great Again' hats." Yeah, that all sounds about right.

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[CN: Sexual assault; rape culture]

There have been more allegations of sexual abuse made against Kevin Spacey, and it's getting comparatively little coverage given the extraordinary number of accusers.

And Rep. Jim Jordan continues to be an absolute piece of shit. Abby Baird at ThinkProgress: Republican Congressman Calls Police on Former Students Who Say He Ignored Sex Abuse. "Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) claims he is being 'bullied' by former Ohio State wrestlers who accuse the congressman of [ignoring] the sexual abuse of hundreds of student athletes while he worked as the assistant wrestling coach from 1986 to 1994. According to a CNN report Wednesday, Jordan will contact the Capitol police after receiving emails from one of the wrestlers who has accused Jordan of doing nothing about the sexual abuse by the team doctor, Dr. Richard Strauss. A source in Jordan's office told CNN that the emails were threatening because of how many had been sent but provided no other details about why the congressman believes he is being 'bullied.'" This fucking guy.

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

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