We Resist: Day 557

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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: Manafort Trial Starts Tomorrow and "Quiet Skies" and Rough Waters Ahead and Sessions Announces "Religious Liberty Task Force".

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

Let's start with a couple of pieces of GOOD NEWS from my adopted state of Pennsylvania — both of which can be replicated in other states/cities around the country and hopefully will be!

1. [Content Note: Guns; video may autoplay at link] AP/Morning Call: Company Agrees to Block 3D Downloadable Guns in Pennsylvania. "State officials say they've successfully stopped a company that makes 3D downloadable guns from making them internet-accessible in Pennsylvania and from uploading new files. Attorney Gen. Josh Shapiro says Texas-based Defense Distributed agreed to block Pennsylvania users after an emergency hearing Sunday in federal court in Philadelphia. Shapiro says he, Gov. Tom Wolf, and the Pennsylvania State Police sued the company before its formal rollout of a downloadable gun program Wednesday. He says the company said in court it actually began distributing gun files Friday and by Sunday, 1,000 people had downloaded 3D plans for AR-15 semi-automatic assault rifles. Wolf says untraceable guns in the hands of unknown users 'is too daunting to stand by and not take action.'"

This action will not, of course, prevent 3D-printed resin guns being made and/or owned in Pennsylvania, but it's the best that the state could do under the circumstances, and I'm glad they did it. The more states that do it, the more effective such injunctions will be.

2. [CN: Nativism] E.A. Crunden at ThinkProgress: Philadelphia Won't Share Information with ICE in Big Win for Activists. "Philadelphia will stop sharing information with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE), citing both its misuse and the detention of undocumented immigrants who are not accused of committing any crime. The city has been under pressure from Occupy ICE activists to end information-sharing with the agency. In an announcement made Friday, Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney (D) said that the city would not renew the Preliminary Arraignment Reporting System, or PARS. That shared law enforcement program allows ICE to access police information about people who have been arrested. 'We're not going to provide them with information so they can go out and round people up,' said Kenney."

Hooray! I wish the city had made this decision far sooner, but better now than never.

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Sheryl Gay Stolberg at the New York Times: GOP Faces Another Midterm Threat as Trump Plays the Shutdown Card.
Congressional Republicans, already facing a difficult election landscape, confronted a prospect on Sunday they had worked feverishly to avoid: a threat by [Donald] Trump to shut down the government over funding for a border wall.

"I would be willing to 'shut down' government if the Democrats do not give us the votes for Border Security, which includes the Wall!" Mr. Trump wrote on Twitter. "Must get rid of Lottery, Catch & Release etc. and finally go to system of Immigration based on MERIT! We need great people coming into our Country!"

Last week, Republican leaders thought they had reached a deal with Mr. Trump to delay a confrontation on funding for the wall until after the November midterm elections, according to a person familiar with their discussion.

But Mr. Trump's shutdown threat, in which he also demanded several pieces of a comprehensive immigration overhaul that is stalled in Congress, has opened the door to a politically bruising spending fight as the fiscal year ends in September.

With the election coming just weeks later, the party can ill afford a disruption that voters — already disgusted by Washington dysfunction — may hold the president accountable for.

A shutdown would also distract from Senate Republicans' main business in September: their push to confirm Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.
That's a lot of paragraphs hand-wringing about how Trump's belligerent bullshit will harm his own vile party without mentioning even obliquely how harmful a government shutdown is for the American people.

Andy Towle at Towleroad: Trump Blabs About Meeting at Which NYT Publisher Warned Him 'Fake News' and 'Enemy of the People' Rhetoric Is 'Dangerous'. "Donald Trump tweeted Sunday about a meeting with New York Times publisher A.G. Sulzberger that was intended to be off-the-record. Tweeted Trump: 'Had a very good and interesting meeting at the White House with A.G. Sulzberger, Publisher of the New York Times. Spent much time talking about the vast amounts of Fake News being put out by the media & how that Fake News has morphed into phrase, 'Enemy of the People.' Sad!' Sulzberger took the liberty of responding to Trump's tweet, since he had made the meeting public."

And naturally Trump's base thinks that Trump came out the victor in all of this, because nothing matters except Trump's ability to shit-talk institutions that (ostensibly) protect and defend the U.S. democracy.

Speaking of Trump's base...

Natasha Bertrand at the Atlantic: How Russia Persecutes Its Dissidents Using U.S. Courts. "Much attention has been paid to Russia's interference in the 2016 presidential election, and the fear of a repeat in the upcoming midterms. Less examined, however, has been Russia's abuse of Interpol and the American court system to persecute the Kremlin's rivals in the United States — a problem that the Atlantic Council described in a recent report as another form of 'interference' by Russia. Russia's requests to Interpol to issue Red Notices — the closest instrument to an international arrest warrant in use today — against Kremlin opponents are being met with increasing deference by the Department of Homeland Security, according to immigration attorneys and experts in transnational crime and corruption with whom I spoke."

[CN: White supremacy] Kelly Weill at the Daily Beast: GOP Candidate Corey Stewart's Spokesperson Called Majority-Black Cities 'Shitholes'. "Corey Stewart, the Republican candidate for Senate in Virginia, has been shunned by his own party over his ties with neo-Confederate groups and his refusal to condemn white supremacist violence. That hasn't stopped several activists who express similarly extreme views from working for Stewart. One of Stewart's spokespersons, Rick Shaftan, tweeted that three majority-black U.S. cities were 'shitholes' and repeatedly warned against opening businesses in black neighborhoods. Shaftan, along with Stewart's other spokesperson, previously worked on behalf of an anti-Semite running for House Speaker Paul Ryan's seat in Wisconsin."

[CN: White supremacy; anti-semitism; images of Nazi graffiti at link; video may autoplay at link] Justin L. Mack at the Indianapolis Star: Anti-Semitic Graffiti Found at Carmel, Indiana, Synagogue. "Police are investigating after anti-Semitic graffiti was discovered over the weekend at a Hamilton County synagogue. ...The vandalism occurred late Friday or early Saturday and was discovered Saturday morning. The crime scene remained intact and surrounded in yellow police tape Sunday morning. The graffiti, which comprised a pair of Nazi flags and iron crosses, was spray painted on two walls of a brick shed that surrounds the property's garbage bin. On the grass in front of one of the Nazi flags, there are apparent burn marks in two places, and a portion of the graffiti bears a black burn mark, too."

This would be profoundly troubling to read about any day, but it's even more upsetting to read about it on the same day that the Trump Regime has introduced a Christian Supremacist task force that will inevitably make terrorism against minority religions even more common.

[CN: Nativism] This is also bitterly ironic, for the same reason... catherine lizette gonzalez at Colorlines: Detained Asylum-Seekers Say Government Violated Their Religious Freedom. "A lawsuit filed [July 27] on behalf of 74 U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement detainees alleges that prison authorities at the Sheridan Correctional Institution [in Oregon] have violated the Constitutional and religious freedom rights of detained immigrants — many of whom are Sikh and Hindu — by ignoring religious dietary restrictions, failing to provide language interpreters, and seizing sacred items and clothing. Several Sikh men also say that officials confiscated their turbans upon arrival. According to the lawsuit, detained asylum-seekers have been held in custody for eight weeks without religious accommodations or access to language interpreters or anyone in the outside world, including legal advocates, family members, and religious leaders."

[CN: Nativism; abuse] Tina Vasquez at Rewire.News: The Misery of Family Detention: One Woman's Story.
Angelina told Rewire.News, through an interpreter, that she wants people to understand how desperate it feels to be detained without access to an attorney and with no knowledge or understanding of where your case stands or how long you will be detained. Indeed, many sign their own deportation orders because of the "crushing depression" of being detained for so long. She also wants people to expand the ways they talk about family detention and family separation, centering those most affected.

"[E]ven when one person, like my husband, is detained, it's like the whole family is there. Our heart is there. We experience the stress and fear of not knowing," Angelina said. "Being in detention doesn't just affect the person in detention; it affects the whole family. And when one family member is detained, that too is family separation."
[CN: Nativism; sex abuse of children; descriptions of assault at link] Michael Grabell and Topher Sanders at ProPublica: Immigrant Youth Shelters: 'If You're a Predator, It's a Gold Mine'. "Using state public records laws, ProPublica has obtained police reports and call logs concerning more than 70 of the approximately 100 immigrant youth shelters run by the U.S. Health and Human Services department's Office of Refugee Resettlement. While not a comprehensive assessment of the conditions at these shelters, the records challenge the Trump administration's assertion that the shelters are safe havens for children. The reports document hundreds of allegations of sexual offenses, fights, and missing children."


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And some environmental news, as a reminder we still need to resist the Trump Regime's vile policy of ignoring climate change...

[CN: Wildfires; death] Paul Vercammen, Amir Vera, and Nicole Chavez at CNN: Carr Fire in California Is So Hot It's Creating Its Own Weather System. "The Carr Fire raging in Northern California is so large and hot that it is actually creating its own localized weather system with variable strong winds, making it difficult for experts to predict which way the blaze will spread. At least seven people were still missing in Shasta County, California, as shifting winds, dry fuel and steep terrain helped the monstrous fire engulf almost 100,000 acres by Sunday night, authorities said. The fire has claimed six lives, including a firefighter and bulldozer operator working to extinguish the blaze. Sixteen people had been reported missing, but nine of those have been found safe, according to Shasta County Sheriff Tom Bosenko, who spoke at a Sunday news conference. The fire, which started a week ago, has burned 98,724 acres and is just 20% contained."

[CN: Displacement] Nick Fogarty and Catherine Graue at ABC Australia: Vanuatu Volcano: Entire Island to Be Evacuated as Ash Blankets Villages and Blacks Out Sky. "The population of an entire island in Vanuatu is set to be evacuated for the second time in less than a year because of an erupting volcano. Around 11,000 people live on Ambae island in the country's north, where the belching of the Manaro volcano has left homes and crops covered in grey ash. The volcano's alert level was raised this week, after ash clouds reportedly turned day into night when they blocked out the Sun. Vanuatu's Foreign Minister Ralph Regenvanu announced via Twitter that the country's cabinet had extended a state of emergency and that residents would be ordered to leave."

[CN: Displacement; death] Yessenia Funes at Earther: In Myanmar, Rains Displaced 119,000 in Earth's Latest Climate Disaster. "Another day, another extreme weather event disrupting life on our planet. Torrential rains associated with Myanmar's monsoon season have wrought havoc. Floods have killed at least 11 people and forced the evacuation of more than 119,000 throughout the country on Monday, reports Reuters. Three of the deceased include soldiers who were helping with relief efforts. Another three civilians drowned in the state of Mon on the southern coast. At the Zaung Tu Dam, 7.79 inches of rain fell on Wednesday last week, setting a new daily record. ...Many of the rivers in Myanmar remain above their danger levels as of Monday, according to the Department of Meteorology and Hydrology."

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And finally...

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

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