We Resist: Day 587

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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: Election Thread and Today in This Corrupt Oligarchy and TV Corner: The Americans.

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

[Content Note: Racism] Josh Israel at ThinkProgress: Florida's Republican Gubernatorial Nominee: My Black Opponent Will 'Monkey' up the State. "Hours after winning the Republican nomination for Florida governor on a 'Pitbull Trump Defender' platform, Rep. Ron DeSantis used racially charged language in a Fox News interview to attack his Democratic opponent, Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum. Asked how he would defeat Gillum, DeSantis first conceded that his opponent is an 'articulate spokesman for the far left views and a charismatic candidate.' He then warned that Florida has been going in a good direction and 'the last thing we need to do is to monkey this up by' embracing Gillum's 'socialist agenda.'" This fucking guy.

[CN: Stochastic terrorism] Yesterday's Quote of the Day was Donald Trump projecting that the Democrats would take away "everything" from conservative evangelicals if Dems won the midterms. It turns out that Trump also said (projected) that there would be violence. Lois Beckett at the Guardian reports: "At a state dinner for evangelical Christian ministers on Monday night at the White House, Trump urged religious leaders to use the power of their pulpits to make sure that 'all of your people vote' in November, the New York Times reported. 'You're one election away from losing everything you've got,' Trump reportedly told them. If Republicans lose Congress, 'they will end everything immediately,' the president said, seemingly referring to congressional Democrats. He went on: 'They will overturn everything that we've done and they'll do it quickly and violently. And violently. There's violence. When you look at antifa, and you look at some of these groups, these are violent people.'" Seethe.

Trump announced by Twitter (of course) that White House Counsel Don McGahn will be leaving soon, and it's interesting, ahem, timing:


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John Wagner at the Washington Post: Trump, without Citing Evidence, Says China Hacked Hillary Clinton's Emails. "Trump asserted early Wednesday, without citing evidence, that Hillary Clinton's emails were hacked by China, and he said the Justice Department and the FBI risked losing their credibility if they did not look into the matter. Writing on Twitter, Trump alleged that much of the former secretary of state's emails that was hacked contained classified information and called it 'a very big story.' ...Trump provided no details about the alleged hacking, but his tweets came shortly after the online publication of a story by the Daily Caller asserting that a Chinese-owned company operating in the Washington area hacked Clinton's private server while she was secretary of state and obtained nearly all her emails."

This was the United States president: 1. Taking another swipe at the U.S. intelligence community; 2. Taking another swipe at his political opponent; 3. Publicly accusing a foreign state of espionage without evidence.

The latter while simultaneously provoking that nation via a trade war.

Steven Lee Myers at the New York Times: With Ships and Missiles, China Is Ready to Challenge U.S. Navy in Pacific. "A modernization program focused on naval and missile forces has shifted the balance of power in the Pacific in ways the United States and its allies are only beginning to digest. While China lags in projecting firepower on a global scale, it can now challenge American military supremacy in the places that matter most to it: the waters around Taiwan and in the disputed South China Sea. That means a growing section of the Pacific Ocean — where the United States has operated unchallenged since the naval battles of World War II — is once again contested territory, with Chinese warships and aircraft regularly bumping up against those of the United States and its allies."

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[CN: Nativism. Covers entire section.]

Shannon Najmabadi at the Texas Tribune: Across the Country, Basements, Offices, and Hotels Play Short-Term Host to People in ICE Custody.
The basement of a federal building in downtown Austin, 10 floors below U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz's office. Space in a "fashionable" South Carolina office park. Branches of major hotel chains in Los Angeles, Miami, and Seattle.

These facilities rarely appear together on government lists, but they all have something in common: They're nodes in a little-known network of holding areas where people in the custody of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement spend hours or even days on their way to other locations.

The government's [family separation] policy drew attention to the country's vast and often obscured immigration detention apparatus, particularly to a billion-dollar private contracting industry and to U.S. Customs and Border Protection processing centers that migrants call "ice boxes."

But hidden in plain sight across the country, hotels, federal buildings, and office space are used by ICE as way stations for immigrants — and their existence often comes as a surprise to the unsuspecting civilians who work or live nearby.

...All told, at least 80 hospitals and 150 holding locations — scattered across the country — have played host to people in ICE custody over the last decade, records show. Some of the facilities are unmarked processing areas where migrants transferred from local jails under detainers, or picked up by ICE, are kept until the agency can bus them to longer-term detention facilities.
Tina Vasquez at Rewire.News: Immigrants in Washington Detention Center Join National Prison Strike. "One week into the national prison strike, a movement led by incarcerated people demanding an end to 'prison slavery' and improvements that recognize their humanity, immigrants in detention have launched a strike of their own in solidarity. ...This morning, Maru Mora Villalpando, a spokesperson for the undocumented-led immigrant rights group, NWDC Resistance, told Rewire.News the number of immigrants participating in the strike is fluctuating. She said that she could confirm six hunger strikers at NWDC had been placed in solitary confinement by ICE and that the strike may spread to Oregon and California." I take up space in solidarity with their protest and I angrily grieve that it's required in the first place.

Colum Lynch at Foreign Policy: U.S. to End All Funding to U.N. Agency That Aids Palestinian Refugees. "Months after scaling back financial support for the United Nations agency that provides humanitarian aid to more than 5 million Palestinian refugees, the Trump administration has decided to end funding altogether, several sources told Foreign Policy, in a decision that analysts said would cause more hardship and possibly unrest in Gaza, the West Bank, and other parts of the Middle East. The decision was made at a meeting earlier this month between [Donald] Trump's advisor and son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, according to the sources. The administration has informed key regional governments in recent weeks of its plan." This is not only a reflection of Trump's nativist agenda, but it has major foreign policy implications.

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Holger Roonemaa and Inga Springe at BuzzFeed: This Is How Russian Propaganda Actually Works in the 21st Century. "The Russian government discreetly funded a group of seemingly independent news websites in Eastern Europe to pump out stories dictated to them by the Kremlin, BuzzFeed News and its reporting partners can reveal. Russian state media created secret companies in order to bankroll websites in the Baltic states — a key battleground between Russia and the West — and elsewhere in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. ...The websites presented themselves as independent news outlets, but in fact, editorial lines were dictated directly by Moscow. ...The revelations about the websites in the Baltic states provide a rare and detailed inside look into how such disinformation campaigns work, and the lengths to which Moscow is willing to go to obscure its involvement in such schemes."

Julie Bykowicz at the Wall Street Journal: The New Lobbying: Qatar Targeted 250 Trump 'Influencers' to Change U.S. Policy. "The professor also didn't know he was on a list of 250 people Mr. Allaham says he and his lobbying-business partner, Nick Muzin, identified as influential in [Donald] Trump's orbit. The list was part of a new type of lobbying campaign Qatar adopted after Mr. Trump sided with its Persian Gulf neighbors who had imposed a blockade on the tiny nation. Qatar wanted to restore good relations with the U.S., Mr. Allaham says. Win over Mr. Trump's influencers, the thinking went, and the president would follow. ...Qatar's lobbying operation over the next year was an unconventional influence plan to target an unconventional president — and shows how much Mr. Trump has changed the rules of the game in the influence industry."

Marianne Levine and Lili Bayer at Politico: Trump Lawyer Giuliani Got Paid to Lobby Romanian President. "Donald Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani was being paid by a global consulting firm when he sent a letter to the president of Romania last week that contradicted the U.S. government's official position. Giuliani's letter to Romanian President Klaus Iohannis appears to take sides in a fight at the top of the Romanian government over how to rein in high-level corruption. The former New York mayor's letter criticizes the 'excesses' of Romania's National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA), contrary to U.S. State Department policy, which has been supportive of the agency's efforts. Although the missive does not claim to have been sent on [Donald] Trump's authority, Romanian politicians seeking to blunt the power of the DNA have already used it to sow doubt about the U.S. government's position."

Jason Leopold and Anthony Cormier at BuzzFeed: "Suspicious" Transactions at Russian Embassy Sparked Deeper Bank Probe Than Previously Known. "American bank examiners delved deeper into the [Russian] embassy's financial activity than was previously known — and reveal why they flagged two of the transactions as suspicious. The first, made just 10 days after the U.S. presidential election in 2016, was a $120,000 lump-sum check to then-ambassador Sergey Kislyak that was twice as large as any payment he'd received in the previous two years. The second, just five days after [Donald] Trump's inauguration, was a blocked attempt to withdraw $150,000 in cash that a bank official feared was meant for Russians the US had just expelled from the country."

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Libby Watson at Splinter: Why Are Democrats Poised to Let 7 Trump-Nominated Judges Slide to Confirmation? "Since he took office, Trump has appointed more federal appeals court judges than former Presidents Obama and Bush had at the same point in their administrations combined. As the Pew Research Center noted earlier this year, Trump had trailed his predecessors in appointing district court judges until today, when Senator Chuck Schumer helpfully struck a deal with the Republicans to confirm seven district court judges, plus four other federal appointees. ...What is the deal? I mean, literally — what did Democrats receive in return for dropping their filibuster of these nominees? Is it simply so they can go home and resume campaigning for the midterms over Labor Day weekend? Is that where the Democrats are today, so utterly defeated that they'll accept 11 lifetime conservative judges for a few extra days of campaigning?"

Whatever the reason, Adam Jentleson, former Deputy Chief of Staff to retired Senator Harry Reid, is not fucking impressed (and I agree):

There is more to Jentleson's thread, which is worth reading in its entirety.

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[CN: Climate change; extreme weather. Covers whole section.]

Dan Whitcomb at Reuters/Yahoo News: Hawaii Residents Hit by Floods from Hurricane Lane as New Storm Forms. "Flash flood warnings were issued on Tuesday for the Hawaiian island of Kauai, with residents on the north coast told to evacuate and others left stranded by high water as the remnants of Hurricane Lane drenched the archipelago and a new storm brewed in the Pacific Ocean. Hawaii was spared a direct hit from a major hurricane as Lane diminished to a tropical storm as it approached and then drifted west, further from land. But rain was still pounding the island chain, touching off flooding on Oahu and Kauai. ...The advisory urged residents near Hanalei Bridge on the north side of the island to evacuate their homes due to rising stream levels. A convoy that had been used to escort residents over roads damaged by historic floods in April between was shut down, leaving many cut off. 'Heavy pounding and hazardous conditions are being reported island-wide. Motorists are advised to drive with extreme caution. Updates will be given as more information is made available,' the Kauai Emergency Management Agency said."

Yessenia Funes at Earther: Puerto Rican Government's New Hurricane Maria Death Count Is Nearly 50 Times Higher Than Original. "A long-awaited study the Puerto Rican government commissioned to determine the number of deaths attributable to Hurricane Maria is finally here. To no one's surprise, Puerto Rico's official death toll of 64 was a serious understatement. Researchers from George Washington University's Milken Institute School of Public Health and University of Puerto Rico concluded the hurricane resulted in the deaths of 2,975 people. This estimate varies from the death tolls estimated in previous reports conducted by other scientists using different methodologies. ...The study is sure to note that while Hurricane Maria impacted everyone on the island, those in lower-income neighborhoods were 60 percent more likely to be at risk of dying over this period."

Christopher Flavelle at Bloomberg: Miami Will Be Underwater Soon; Its Drinking Water Could Go First. "Miami-Dade is built on the Biscayne Aquifer, 4,000 square miles of unusually shallow and porous limestone whose tiny air pockets are filled with rainwater and rivers running from the swamp to the ocean. The aquifer and the infrastructure that draws from it, cleans its water, and keeps it from overrunning the city combine to form a giant but fragile machine. Without this abundant source of fresh water, made cheap by its proximity to the surface, this hot, remote city could become uninhabitable. Climate change is slowly pulling that machine apart. Barring a stupendous reversal in greenhouse gas emissions, the rising Atlantic will cover much of Miami by the end of this century. ...If Miami-Dade can't protect its water supply, whether it can handle the other manifestations of climate change won't matter."

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

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