We Resist: Day 620

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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: The Sham Investigation to Give Republicans Cover and Devastating Disasters in Indonesia and Joe Biden Is Not the Man for This Moment.

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

[Content Note: Sexual assault; rape culture. Covers entire section.]

Kate Riga at TPM: Outrage Grows as Omissions from Kavanaugh Probe Become Apparent. "The limit on the list of people the FBI plans to talk to about Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh's past, as well as the difficulty many would-be witnesses are facing in their attempts to contribute their information, is raising Democratic hackles. According to a Sunday New Yorker article, multiple people have tried to go to the FBI with pertinent information about Kavanaugh, only to be stymied by seemingly unorganized and uninterested agents."


Of course.

Andy Towle at Towleroad: Three Yale Classmates of Brett Kavanaugh Say He Lied Under Oath About His Drinking and Behavior. "At least three college classmates of Brett Kavanaugh have come forward to say that Brett Kavanaugh lied under oath about his drinking habits and behavior at Yale. ...Kavanaugh lied under oath, said Ludington: 'I can unequivocally say that in denying the possibility that he ever blacked out from drinking, and in downplaying the degree and frequency of his drinking, Brett has not told the truth.' Ludington also said he would be sharing this information with the FBI." Hope they care! Sounds like they won't!

Olivia Messer at the Daily Beast: Donald Trump Jr.: #MeToo Makes Me Fear More for My Sons Than My Daughters. "The past week — in which Supreme Court Nominee Brett Kavanaugh and his accuser were questioned in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee over allegations that he committed sexual assault in the 1980s — has made the president's oldest [son] fear more for his sons than his daughters, the father of five said in an interview with DailyMail TV. ...'I've got boys, and I've got girls,' Trump Jr. said during a trip to Bozeman, Montana, to campaign for U.S. Senate candidate Matt Rosendale last week. 'When I see what's going on right now, it's scary.' When asked which of his children he's most concerned for, he replied: 'Right now, I'd say my sons.'" The wormy apple doesn't fall far from the rotten tree.

In related news...

So everything is going great for women. *jumps into Christmas tree*

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Donald Trump gave another appalling press conference today, where he lied a whole bunch about the NAFTA deal that was just struck, and said a whole bunch of expectedly contemptible stuff, including saying that Kavanaugh has been "treated horribly," calling the press "loco" for the third time in as many days and saying it's in honor of the U.S. having struck a deal with Mexico, and saying that Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's "only problem" is that "he loves his people, and he's fighting hard for his people." A terrible trait in a national leader, by Trump's reckoning.

If you need a good recap, the Toronto Star's Daniel Dale was doing the work of the angels by live-tweeting it. His thread begins here:

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[CN: Nativism; racism; abuse of immigrant children. Covers entire section.]

Caitlin Dickerson at the New York Times: Migrant Children Moved Under Cover of Darkness to a Texas Tent City.
In shelters from Kansas to New York, hundreds of migrant children have been roused in the middle of the night in recent weeks and loaded onto buses with backpacks and snacks for a cross-country journey to their new home: a barren tent city on a sprawling patch of desert in West Texas.

Until now, most undocumented children being held by federal immigration authorities had been housed in private foster homes or shelters, sleeping two or three to a room. They received formal schooling and regular visits with legal representatives assigned to their immigration cases.

But in the rows of sand-colored tents in Tornillo, Tex., children in groups of 20, separated by gender, sleep lined up in bunks. There is no school: The children are given workbooks that they have no obligation to complete. Access to legal services is limited.

These midnight voyages are playing out across the country, as the federal government struggles to find room for more than 13,000 detained migrant children — the largest population ever — whose numbers have increased more than fivefold since last year.

The average length of time that migrant children spend in custody has nearly doubled over the same period, from 34 days to 59, according to the Department of Health and Human Services, which oversees their care.

To deal with the surging shelter populations, which have hovered near 90 percent of capacity since May, a mass reshuffling is underway and shows no signs of slowing. Hundreds of children are being shipped from shelters to West Texas each week, totaling more than 1,600 so far.
This, among other stories, prompted the New York Times editors to publish this editorial: Hundreds of Children Rot in the Desert. End Trump's Draconian Policies. "How to best handle the cases of unaccompanied minors has perplexed immigration authorities since the Obama administration. But the current crowding is not the result of some dramatic increase in the number of children stealing across the southern border. In fact the influx is no greater now than it has been for the past two years. Instead, the Trump administration's own draconian policies are to blame." But her emails, amirite, editors?

Rebekah Entralgo at ThinkProgress: ICE Detains Man During Marriage Interview. "Oscar Hernández and his wife María Eugenia Hernández waited three years for their marriage interview last week with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). But by mid-interview, the Hernándezes were separated and Oscar was on his way to an immigration detention facility, according to the Miami Herald. ...The Hernándezes brought with them to the interview a small album of wedding and family photos, their marriage certificate, and a statement from their joint bank account. Oscar is the primary wage-earner in the household. The couple has been together for four years and married for three." Rage seethe boil.

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Tony Romm and Brian Fung at the Washington Post: The Trump Administration Is Suing California to Quash Its New Net Neutrality Law. "California on Sunday became the largest state to adopt its own rules requiring Internet providers like AT&T, Comcast, and Verizon to treat all web traffic equally. Golden State legislators took the step of writing their law after the Federal Communications Commission scrapped nationwide protections last year, citing the regulatory burdens they had caused for the telecom industry. Mere hours after California's proposal became law, however, senior Justice Department officials told The Washington Post they would take the state to court on grounds that the federal government, not state leaders, has the exclusive power to regulate net neutrality." Shit.

Also in California... [CN: War on agency] Melody Gutierrez at the San Francisco Chronicle: Abortion Pills at UC, California State University Clinics Vetoed by Brown. "Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed a bill Sunday that would have required public universities in California to offer abortion pills on campus. ...In a veto message, Brown said such services are 'widely available' to students at off-campus clinics. 'This bill is not necessary,' the governor wrote." Fuck you, Jerry Brown. If this is the shit we can expect from Democratic governors who profess to be allies, then we are well and truly doomed.

E.A. Crunden at ThinkProgress: In a Boon to the Coal Industry and Blow to Human Health, EPA to Roll Back Mercury Rule. "The Trump administration is preparing to weaken a major environmental regulation targeting the toxic chemical mercury. The proposed change will heavily weigh costs to the industries the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is meant to regulate while largely ignoring dangers to human health. A proposal from the EPA expected to head to the White House in coming days would greatly reduce current mercury regulations in a boon to coal-burning power plants. Two senior officials told The Washington Post that the new proposed rule would target the Obama administration's 2011 Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS), which limits mercury emissions from power plants." Goddammit.

Alison Kodjak at NPR: Buyer Beware: New Cheaper Insurance Policies May Have Big Coverage Gaps.
If you're looking for cheaper health insurance, a whole host of new options will hit the market starting Tuesday.

But buyer beware!

If you get sick, the new plans — known as short-term, limited duration insurance — may not pay for the medical care you need.

...Short-term health insurance isn't entirely new. But the Obama Administration issued regulations that limited them to just three months, and they couldn't be renewed.

The Trump Administration has changed that. Now people in some states will be able to buy policies that last a year, and consumers can renew them twice, for a total of three years' coverage.

The administration says that Affordable Care Act insurance is too expensive for some people and this provides people a way to buy a less expensive health insurance policy.

...But if you're considering one of these plans, there's a few things to keep in mind. Short-term policies are regulated by the states, so they don't have to comply with the consumer protections laid out in the Affordable Care Act. This means insurers can refuse to offer these policies to people with pre-existing health problems, or charge people more who are likely to need medications and health care.

They also don't have to cover all the of the 10 essential health benefits that must be included in Affordable Care Act policies. Those benefits include maternity coverage and mental health care.
Justin Rohrlich at Quartz: That Sign Telling You How Fast You're Driving May Be Spying on You. "According to recently released U.S. federal contracting data, the Drug Enforcement Administration will be expanding the footprint of its nationwide surveillance network with the purchase of 'multiple' trailer-mounted speed displays 'to be retrofitted as mobile LPR [License Plate Reader] platforms.' The DEA is buying them from RU2 Systems Inc., a private Mesa, Arizona company. ...Two other, apparently related contracts, show that the DEA has hired a small machine shop in California, and another in Virginia, to conceal the readers within the signs. ...What is a game-changing crime-fighting tool to some, is a privacy overreach of near-existential proportion to others. License plate readers, which can capture somewhere in the neighborhood of 2,000 plates a minute, cast an astonishingly wide net that has made it far easier for cops to catch serious criminals. On the other hand, the indiscriminate nature of the real-time collection, along with the fact that it is then stored by authorities for later data mining is highly alarming to privacy advocates." Yikes.

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

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