We Resist: Day 622

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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: Trump Mocks Christine Blasey Ford at Rally to Uproarious Laughter from Deplorable Crowd and Gross Human Rights Violations at Immigration Jail and Trump Regime Terminates Iran Treaty.

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

I have really been trying to be selective in terms of the news regarding the Kavanaugh nomination that I share, for both my own well-being and yours. This item, however, is something of which we all need to be aware. [Content Note: Rape culture; victim-blaming; slut-shaming] Elise Viebeck at the Washington Post: Republicans on Senate Panel Release Explicit Statement about Kavanaugh Accuser's Sex Life.
In an unprecedented move, Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday released an explicit statement that purports to describe the sexual preferences of a woman who has accused Supreme Court nominee Brett M. Kavanaugh of misconduct.

The statement, which was circulated to the hundreds of journalists on the Judiciary Committee's press list, was from Dennis Ketterer, a former Democratic congressional candidate and television meteorologist who said he was involved in a brief relationship with Kavanaugh accuser Julie Swetnick in 1993.

Swetnick said last week in an affidavit that Kavanaugh was present at a house party in 1982 where she alleges she was the victim of a gang rape, a claim he vehemently denies.

In his statement, Ketterer said Swetnick once told him that she sometimes enjoyed group sex with multiple men and had first engaged in it during high school. Ketterer said the remark "derailed" their relationship, which he described as involving "physical contact" but no intercourse.

Ketterer said Swetnick "never said anything about being sexually assaulted, raped, gang-raped, or having sex against her will" and "never mentioned Brett Kavanaugh in any capacity." He described their relationship as lasting for a "couple of weeks."
It is absolutely outrageous that Republicans would release a letter like this from anyone with whom Swetnick had a relationship, as though every woman who has survived sexual assault tells every man with whom she's subsequently involved, but the fact that they released this horseshit based on the experiences of a man who claims to have dated her for a "couple of weeks" is enraging.

Remember this shit, too, when dipshits demand to know why it is that women don't report. FUCK EVERYTHING.

And while we're on the subject of Senate Republicans being rape apologist, victim-blaming shitwheels...

Breathtaking. Meanwhile...

Leigh Ann Caldwell and Heidi Przybyla at NBC News: FBI Has Not Contacted Dozens of Potential Sources in Kavanaugh Investigation. "More than 40 people with potential information into the sexual misconduct allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh have not been contacted by the FBI, according to multiple sources that include friends of both the nominee and his accusers. The bureau is expected to wrap up its expanded background investigation as early as Wednesday into two allegations against Kavanaugh — one from Christine Blasey Ford and the other from Deborah Ramirez. But sources close to the investigation, as well as a number of people who know those involved, say the FBI has not contacted dozens of potential corroborators or character witnesses."

A sham investigation. And it should have been obvious that it would be, from the moment that asshole Jeff Flake called for it.

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[CN: Rape culture; trauma; misogyny] Mara Gordon at NPR: Sexual Assault and Harassment May Have Lasting Health Repercussions for Women.
The trauma of sexual assault or harassment is not only hard to forget; it may also leave lasting effects on a woman's health. This finding of a study published Wednesday adds support to a growing body of evidence suggesting the link.

In the study of roughly 300 middle-aged women, an experience of sexual assault was associated with anxiety, depression, and poor sleep. A history of workplace sexual harassment was also associated with poor sleep, and with an increased risk of developing high blood pressure.

"These are experiences that [a woman] could have had long ago ... and it can have this long arm of influence throughout a woman's life," says Rebecca Thurston, lead author of the study, and a research psychologist and director of the Women's Behavioral Health Laboratory at the University of Pittsburgh.

..."These [traumatic experiences] are clearly critical things that happen to people early on, that have these really long lasting effects," says Susan Mason, an assistant professor of epidemiology at the University of Minnesota who studies the effects of trauma. "These really shape people's life trajectories."

..."Sexual assault and sexual abuse are much more common than people think," Thurston says. These are "key toxic stressors for women."

While researchers weren't surprised that sexual assault and harassment seemed to be related to the development of mood disorders and poor sleep, they were impressed by the strength of the association.

"These should be urgent public health priorities," Mason says. "How do we address the fundamental ways that our social structure affects health?"
Right now, the way that we're addressing this issue is by tasking (predominantly) women who are themselves frequently survivors of sexual assault and/or harassment with trying to solve the problem, exposing themselves to more abuse, and thus making ourselves sicker and sicker as we try to encourage our culture to get well. That isn't working. It's also aggressively cruel.

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[CN: War on agency] Summer Ballentine at the AP: Missouri Down to 1 Abortion Clinic Amid Legal Battle. "Missouri is down to one clinic providing abortions Wednesday, after the only other clinic in the state that performs the procedure failed to adhere to new state requirements. Federal appeals court judges ruled last month that Missouri can enforce a requirement that doctors must have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals before they can perform abortions. The judges issued a mandate Monday for that rule to officially take effect. ...Women seeking abortions [must now] go to Planned Parenthood's St. Louis clinic — which is now the only facility in Missouri where abortions can be performed — or travel to neighboring states." That is the very definition of an undue burden.

[CN: Class warfare] Tami Luhby at CNN Money: Getting Health Insurance Through Work Now Costs Nearly $20,000. "Employers and workers together are spending close to $20,000 for family health insurance coverage in 2018, according to a new Kaiser Family Foundation report. Although premiums have increased fairly modestly in recent years, the growth has far outpaced workers' raises over time. The average family premium has increased 55% since 2008, twice as fast as workers' wages and three times as fast as inflation, Kaiser's Employer Health Benefits Survey found. Companies pick up most of the tab, shelling out $14,100 a year, on average. Still, workers have to pay an average of $5,550, up 65% from a decade ago. For single coverage, total premiums have reached $6,900, on average, up 47% from 2008. Workers contribute roughly $1,200 a year. Deductibles also continue to burn a deeper hole in workers' pockets. The average deductible now stands at $1,350, up 212% since 2008. That's eight times faster than wage growth."

[CN: Toxic water] Kat Lonsdorf at NPR: 'You Just Don't Touch That Tap Water Unless Absolutely Necessary'. "Aleigha Sloan can't remember ever drinking a glass of water from the tap at her home. That is 'absolutely dangerous,' the 17-year-old says, wrinkling her nose and making a face at the thought. 'You just don't touch that tap water unless absolutely necessary. I mean, like showers and things — you have to do what you have to do. But other than that, no,' she says. 'I don't know anybody that does.' ...Americans across the country, from Maynard's home in rural Appalachia to urban areas like Flint, Mich., or Compton, Calif., are facing a lack of clean, reliable drinking water. At the heart of the problem is a water system in crisis: aging, crumbling infrastructure and a lack of funds to pay for upgrading it."

If Trump really wanted to "Make America Great Again," he could start with a plan to make sure every resident of this nation had reliable access to clean drinking water. That he never even mentions this subject is a pretty good indicator that he has no interest in improving anything for the lives of average Americans, in case literally everything else he does hadn't already tipped his hand.

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

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