We Resist: Day 629

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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 Lies About Women; His Crowds Chant for Revenge and Hurricane Michael to Make Landfall in Florida Today and Trump Trauma.

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

[Content Note: Death; descriptions of violence] Betsy Woodruff at the Daily Beast: Jamal Khashoggi Wanted to Launch a Pro-Democracy Group; Then the Saudis Disappeared Him. "Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi Arabian journalist and legal United States resident who wrote for The Washington Post opinion section, entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Sept. 28. Then he disappeared. Turkish government sources have told numerous outlets, including the New York Times, that they believe Khashoggi was killed in the consulate, dismembered, and smuggled out piece by piece. The Saudi government, meanwhile, has maintained that Khashoggi left unharmed. Khashoggi frequently criticized the Saudi government in his newspaper columns. And before his disappearance, he planned to turn his arguments into action. Sources familiar with his plans told The Daily Beast that he was working to launch a non-governmental organization whose stated purpose was to boost democracy and human rights in the Arab world."

I'd really like to know if U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley was aware, when she resigned yesterday, that U.S. intelligence reportedly knew about the plan to capture Khashoggi before it happened.

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Zoe Tillman at BuzzFeed: A Man Charged in Connection with Mueller's Russian Troll Farm Case Was Sentenced to Six Months in Prison. "A California man who pleaded guilty to selling fraudulent bank account numbers — information that Special Counsel Robert Mueller's office says was used to finance Russian election interference efforts — was sentenced on Wednesday to six months of prison followed by six months of home detention. Richard Pinedo, 28, wasn't accused of knowingly helping Russian companies and individuals accused of orchestrating campaigns to influence the 2016 presidential election. But his fraud scheme nevertheless landed him in the middle of the special counsel investigation."

I have repeatedly expressed my grave concerns for nearly a year now that the objective of Mueller's investigation is not to deliver meaningful accountability to a treasonous president and his accomplices, but instead to create the illusion that our institutions still work, long enough to give Republicans time to consolidate power behind this presidency, ensuring that the findings will never matter, anyway.

Fourteen days for Papadopoulos and a sweet deal for Manafort. Now six months for this guy. I don't know, y'all.

There is no urgency in response to this crisis. Too much time has passed for defenses of his allegedly methodical approach to matter.

We're two years into Donald Trump's presidency and less than a month out from midterms, and the Republican Party has consolidated power behind Trump, including a staunchly conservative majority on the Supreme Court.

If Mueller's investigation wasn't explicitly designed to keep us complacent and trusting that our democratic institutions will save us even as the GOP obliterates them, it's effectively working that way all the same.

Suffice it to say, I don't find it reassuring that we're being asked to put our faith in an investigation that hasn't even come close to curtailing the abuses of this administration — and in an election that is indubitably compromised by gerrymandering and voter suppression, and will probably be compromised by election interference both foreign and domestic.

Speaking of which:

Like I keep saying: I am going to vote. I hope it still matters.

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Kate Riga at TPM: FBI Director Wray Confirms That White House Limited Kavanaugh Probe. "During a Senate Homeland Security Committee hearing Wednesday, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) asked FBI Director Christopher Wray if the investigation into sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court justice Brett Kavanaugh was curtailed by the White House. Wray confirmed that it was. 'I think I would say that our investigation here, our supplemental update to the previous background investigation, was limited in scope and that that is consistent with the standard process for such investigations going back quite a long ways,' he said." We all knew it, but there's confirmation under oath, at least. For all it matters.

Staff and agencies at the Guardian: Trump Attacks Democrats as 'Radical Socialists' and Scorns Universal Healthcare Plan. "Donald Trump put his name to an opinion article in USA Today published on Wednesday, in a rallying cry to voters ahead of the midterm elections and warning that a big Democratic win would bring America closer to socialism and 'suffering, misery, and decay.' ...Trump's article warned: 'If Democrats win control of Congress this November, we will come dangerously closer to socialism in America. Government-run healthcare is just the beginning. Democrats are also pushing massive government control of education, private-sector businesses, and other major sectors of the US economy.' He urged that this is a fight the Republicans “must win” and issued further dire predictions about a 'radical' agenda. 'Every single citizen will be harmed by such a radical shift in American culture and life. Virtually everywhere it has been tried, socialism has brought suffering, misery, and decay,' he wrote." Projection.

If you can't see the image in the embedded tweet, the highlighted passage from Pence's interview on China reads: "[Donald] Trump and I, and our administration, are committed to taking the kind of action that will change the trajectory of this relationship. The president's imposed $250 billion dollars in tariffs with the possibility of more. We're rebuilding our military, making historic investments in our military. And make no mistake about it, we will continue to stand by all of our interests across the Asia Pacific." Shiver.

[CN: Racism] Zack Ford at ThinkProgress: Kansas Republican Says Democratic Native American Candidate Should Be Sent Back 'to the Reservation'. "A Republican official in Kansas is under fire for a Facebook message he sent Sunday lashing out at Sharice Davids, the Native American, lesbian, MMA fighter, and lawyer who appears poised to win her race for Congress. Michael Kalny, an elected Republican precinct committeeman, sent the nasty note to Anne Pritchett, president of the north chapter of the Johnson County Democratic Women. She took a screenshot of the message, which subsequently went viral. 'Little Ms. Pritchett – you and your comrades['] stealth attack on Yoder is going to blow up in your leftist face[s],' Kalny wrote, referring to incumbent Rep. Kevin Yoder (R). 'The REAL REPUBLICANS will remember what the scum DEMONRATS tried to do to Kavanaugh in November. Your radical socialist kick boxing lesbian Indian will be sent back packing to the reservation!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!'" JFC.

[CN: Child abuse; hostility to tribal sovereignty]

[CN: Trans hatred; gun violence] Andy Towle at Towleroad: Transgender Student Barred from Taking Shelter in Male and Female Locker Rooms During Active Shooter Drill. "A student at a middle school lockdown in Stafford, Virginia, was barred from taking shelter in the male or female locker rooms with other students during an active shooter drill while the student watched teachers debate where she should go. Equality Stafford's Lesley Woods reported the incident on Facebook... 'Let me be clear. During an event that prepares children to survive an attack by actual assailants, she was treated as if she was so much of a danger to peers that she was left exposed and vulnerable.'" Rage seethe boil.

[CN: War on agency; misogyny; Holocaust reference; video may autoplay at link] Alanna Vagianos at the Huffington Post: Pope Francis Says Getting an Abortion Is Like 'Hiring a Hitman'.
Pope Francis likened getting an abortion to "hiring a hitman" during an address at the Vatican on Wednesday.

"I ask you: Is it right to 'take out' a human life to solve a problem? What do you think? Is it right? Is it right or not?" Francis asked the thousands of people in attendance, according to Reuters.

When the crowd responded "No," the pope continued: "Is it right to hire a hitman to solve a problem? It is not right to kill a human being, regardless of how small it is to solve a problem."

Some outlets, including Reuters and The Guardian, translated Francis' comments as likening abortion to hiring "a hitman." Other outlets, such as Al Jazeera and Politico, translated Francis' quote as saying "a contract killer." Either way, his meaning is clear.

...Francis' comments are in line with his last remarks on abortion, which he made in June. He denounced abortion at the time, and likened it to the "white glove" equivalent to Nazi-era eugenics practices.

"Last century, the whole world was scandalized by what the Nazis did to purify the race. Today, we do the same thing but with white gloves," Francis said.
I have been saying for many years that this Pope is hardly the "progressive" that people inexplicably like to imagine he is, and I've taken a lot of abuse for saying that. Surely, by now, his rank illiberalism is apparent.

Again, another issue in which people could have listened to women instead of shouting at us about what fucking ingrates we are for not "appreciating" men who are supposedly "on our side."

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

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