We Resist: Day 615

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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: Kavanaugh Was a Republican Inevitability and Rosenstein Has His Job for Now — Until Trump Needs to Deploy a Major Distraction and Trump Continues to Brazenly Set the Stage to Declare Elections Illegitimate.

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

[Content Note: Descriptions of sexual assault; rape apologia. Covers entire section.]

Joanna Walters at the Guardian: Brett Kavanaugh: Third Woman Accuses Supreme Court Nominee of Sexual Misconduct.
A third woman has come forward to accuse Donald Trump's Supreme Court pick, Brett Kavanaugh, of sexual misconduct, according to a statement published on Wednesday by her lawyer Michael Avenatti.

Avenatti tweeted a declaration made in the name of Julie Swetnick, a resident of Washington D.C., which said she had met Kavanaugh and his school friend Mark Judge in the early 1980s and attended the same parties.

The declaration said she had "observed Brett Kavanaugh drink excessively at these parties and engage in abusive and physically aggressive behaviour towards girls, including pressing girls against him without their consent, 'grinding' against girls, and attempting to remove or shift girls clothing to expose private body parts."

Swetnick said she was at parties where Kavanaugh and his friend Judge were involved in situations that resulted in women being gang raped.

She wrote: "I witnessed efforts by Mark Judge, Brett Kavanaugh, and others to cause girls to become inebriated and disoriented so they could then be 'gang raped' in a side room or bedroom by a 'train' of numerous boys…"

..."In approximately 1982, I became the victim of one of these 'gang' or 'train' rapes where Mark Judge and Brett Kavanaugh were present. Shortly after the incident, I shared what had transpired with at least two other people. During this incident, I was incapacitated without my consent and unable to fight off boys raping me. I believe I was drugged using Quaaludes or something similar placed in what I was drinking."
Kate Riga at TPM: As Accusations Mount, Three More Yalies Retract Support from Kavanaugh. "Yale Law School graduates Kent Sinclair, Douglas Rutzen, and Mark Osler, all of whom previously signed a letter attesting to Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh's virtue, are now pushing for an investigation into the accusations against him, according to a Tuesday Washington Post report. ...Two of his peers during his undergrad time at Yale, Louisa Garry and Dino Ewing, withdrew their names Monday from a statement of support that ran in the New Yorker article detailing Deborah Ramirez's accusation of sexual misconduct." Which, of course, means that their support was based on nothing but Boys' Club bullshit in the first place.

Elham Khatami at ThinkProgress: Republicans Have Already Ensured That Thursday's Kavanaugh Hearing Will Be a Sham. "Senate Judiciary Committee Republicans announced Tuesday evening that the panel should be prepared to vote on the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh for Supreme Court on Friday, just one day after he and his accuser Dr. Christine Blasey Ford will testify before the committee regarding allegations that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her in high school. ...The intention of the hearings, for Republicans, is not to determine the facts of the case, but to assuage the few senators who could be swing votes on the nomination: potentially Sens. Jeff Flake, Susan Collins, and Lisa Murkowski. Just two Republican senators voting against him would be enough to derail Kavanaugh's nomination."

Mary Ann Georgantopoulos at BuzzFeed: Four People Told the Senate That Christine Blasey Ford Told Them She Was Sexually Assaulted in High School. At that link, way at the bottom of the piece, are images of Kavanaugh's calendar from that period, which a number of his defenders are using to "prove" he couldn't have assaulted Ford, because the party wasn't noted on his calendar. Let me just say this about that despicable defense...

The guy who raped me in high school was a student athlete and part of a group of boys, many of whom were also student athletes, who passed around a secret notebook called "The Log," in which they documented many of their various "conquests," including everything from video game high scores to girls (because we were things to be defeated, just like a record high score on Centipede). There was stuff about parties and drinking and drug use, etc. It was basically a shared journal of their high school years.

One of the pieces of evidence that I took to authorities (to be duly ignored), after a friend of mine who was a jock got his hands on "The Log" for me, was a poem entitled "Raping [Then Last Name]." (Which I've briefly mentioned previously.) It was written by another kid who was telling the story that the guy who raped me told him, like he was fucking Homer or something.

Anyway. The point is that my rape was recorded in "The Log." But the other girl I know he raped, because she told me, was not mentioned. That doesn't mean shit. It sure doesn't mean she wasn't raped. No more than something that Brett Kavanaugh left off his calendar in 1982.

(All of this is so triggering. I hate this. I hate remembering this stuff, and I hate thinking about it constantly, and I hate having to read about Kavanaugh's high school rape rampage, and I hate every single disgusting member of the Republican Party who has obliged us to navigate this garbage. And I take up space in solidarity with my fellow survivors who are having a tough time at the moment, too.)

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Natasha Bertrand at the Atlantic: A Supreme Court Case Could Liberate Trump to Pardon His Associates.
A key Republican senator has quietly weighed in on an upcoming Supreme Court case that could have important consequences for Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation.

The Utah lawmaker Orrin Hatch, who sits on the Senate Judiciary Committee, filed a 44-page amicus brief earlier this month in Gamble v. United States, a case that will consider whether the dual-sovereignty doctrine should be put to rest. The 150-year-old exception to the Fifth Amendment's double-jeopardy clause allows state and federal courts to prosecute the same person for the same criminal offense.

According to the brief he filed on September 11, Hatch believes the doctrine should be overturned. "The extensive federalization of criminal law has rendered ineffective the federalist underpinnings of the dual sovereignty doctrine," his brief reads. "And its persistence impairs full realization of the Double Jeopardy Clause's liberty protections."

Within the context of the Mueller probe, legal observers have seen the dual-sovereignty doctrine as a check on [Donald] Trump's power: It could discourage him from trying to shut down the Mueller investigation or pardon anyone caught up in the probe, because the pardon wouldn't be applied to state charges.

Under settled law, if Trump were to pardon his former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, for example — he was convicted last month in federal court on eight counts of tax and bank fraud — both New York and Virginia state prosecutors could still charge him for any crimes that violated their respective laws. (Both states have a double-jeopardy law that bars secondary state prosecutions for committing "the same act," but there are important exceptions, as the Fordham University School of Law professor Jed Shugerman has noted.) If the dual-sovereignty doctrine were tossed, as Hatch wants, then Trump's pardon could theoretically protect Manafort from state action.
Another reason Republicans want to get Kavanaugh confirmed as swiftly as possible.

Betsy Woodruff and Erin Banco at the Daily Beast: Revealed: What Erik Prince and Moscow's Money Man Discussed in That Infamous Seychelles Meeting. "Joint U.S.-Russian raids to kill top terrorists. Teamwork between an American government agency and a sanctioned Russian fund. Moscow pouring money into the Midwest. These are just a few of the ideas the head of a Russian sovereign wealth fund touched on during his meeting with former Blackwater head Erik Prince in the Seychelles, just weeks before [Donald] Trump's inauguration, according to a memo exclusively reviewed by The Daily Beast. The meeting between Prince, an influential Trump ally, and Kirill Dmitriev, the CEO of the sanctioned fund, took place on Jan. 11, 2017, at the Four Seasons Hotel in a bar overlooking the Indian Ocean."

[CN: Video may autoplay at link] As I've noted before, Trump pretty clearly sees Venezuela as a resource he wants to exploit and control, and Mike Pence has been tasked with the Venezuela beat — so this item by Jason Lemon at Newsweek has my antennae tingling: "Pence issued a strong warning to Venezuela on Tuesday after it stationed troops along the border of Colombia in a move seen as highly provocative by Bogotá and Washington. Citing news reports of the military buildup, Pence called the decision from Caracas 'an obvious effort at intimidation' as he spoke at the U.N. General Assembly in New York. 'Let me be clear: The United States of America will always stand with our allies for their security,' Pence said, in a stern statement directed at the government of embattled Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro. 'The Maduro regime would do well not to test the resolve of the President of the United States or the American people in this regard,' he added."

[CN: Nativism] Adolfo Flores at BuzzFeed: The Secretary of Homeland Security Said There Was "No Policy of Separating Families." A Memo Proves There Was. "A memo signed by Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen contradicts statements she made at the height of the family separation crisis last spring that the administration did not have a policy of separating children from parents. Nielsen signed off on the option to prosecute all adults who crossed the border illegally, including those with kids, knowing it would lead to family separations. ...'DHS could also permissibly direct the separation of parents or legal guardians and minors held in immigration detention so that the parent or legal guardian can be prosecuted,' the memo said."

[CN: War on agency] James Arkin at Politico: GOP Ground Game Focuses on Abortion to Turn Out Base. "The issue is getting a fraction of the attention of [Donald] Trump, health care, and immigration. But Republican and anti-abortion groups have made it a major part of their ground game: Organizers for Susan B. Anthony List, an anti-abortion group, ran a series of events in red states in August and early September and have had more than 500 canvassers knock on doors at more than 1.6 million homes in Ohio, Florida, Missouri, Indiana, West Virginia, and North Dakota. ...Even as national Democrats organize like never before around threats to abortion rights and Trump's judicial picks, Republicans looking at the narrow, more conservative Senate map see a different picture that they believe tilts toward them on this key issue. 'It is very clear that there is a sizable pro-life base that can deliver victories on the margins,' said Marjorie Dannenfelser, the president of Susan B. Anthony List."

Farai Mutsaka at the AP: Zimbabwe's Leader Says He Offers Trump Land for Golf Course. "Zimbabwe's leader says he is willing to offer land to [Donald] Trump to build a golf course in a national park teeming with wildlife. President Emmerson Mnangagwa was speaking to a New York investors' forum ahead of his first address to a United Nations annual gathering of world leaders this week. Mnangagwa said he made the offer to Trump staffers earlier this year at the World Economic Forum in Switzerland, pitching land in the tourist town of Victoria Falls." JFC.

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Mike Fomil, Gabe Gutierrez, and Elizabeth Chuck at NBC News: After Florence, South Carolinians Brace for Record Flooding. "They survived Hurricane Florence's powerful wind and driving rain, but now residents in coastal South Carolina are wondering how they will make it through the historic floods that are forecast as a result of the swollen rivers that the storm left behind. ...Earlier in the week, county officials urged nearly 8,000 Georgetown residents to evacuate ahead of a 'record event' of up to 10 feet of flooding, the Associated Press said."

Amanda Morris at NPR: Florence Floodwaters Total Thousands of Cars, Stranding Locals. "Coupled with the cost of the damage to her house and loss of almost all her personal belongings, [Ashley Simpson] said she will need to move to a smaller home with cheaper rent in order to buy a new car. Everything she owns was trashed, but still, Simpson considers herself one of the lucky ones. 'I know a lot of people that don't have the means that I do to replace their cars,' she said. Without the money, some residents will be left waiting for a ride, surrounded by cars that won't take them anywhere."

Nicole Lafond at TPM: FEMA Chief Brock Long Spent $151,000 Of Taxpayers' Money on Unofficial Travel. "Brock Long, the head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, spent more than $150,000 of government funds for personal travel on trips to and from his home in North Carolina on the weekends and during a family vacation to Hawaii, the Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday. ...During his frequent trips from Washington, D.C. to North Carolina and back, Long also had an aide accompany him and used taxpayer funds to put the staffer up in a hotel while he spent time with family."

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

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