We Resist: Day 630

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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: Well, This Is Very Troubling and Today in Rampaging Authoritarianism and Happy National Coming Out Day!

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

[Content Note: Hurricane damage; death and displacement; climate change. Covers entire section.]

Jonathan Erdman at the Weather Channel: Hurricane Michael Was the Third Most Intense Continental U.S. Landfall on Record, an Unprecedented Location for a Category 4 Landfall. "With an estimated minimum central pressure of 919 millibars, Michael was the third most intense hurricane landfall in the continental United States, according to NOAA's Hurricane Research Division. Only a pair of Category 5 landfalls, Hurricane Camille in 1969 and the Florida Keys Labor Day Hurricane of 1935, had lower central pressure at continental U.S. landfall than Michael. ...Michael was by far the most intense hurricane to landfall in the Florida Panhandle, according to NOAA's 167-year best-track hurricane database."

Mark Berman, Antonia Noori Farzan, Eli Rosenberg, and J. Freedom du Lac at the Washington Post: Violent Storm Claims Second Life, a Child in Mobile Home, on Its Way to Carolinas. "The Gadsden County Sheriff's office said that a man was found dead in his home in a small town outside of Tallahassee after a tree crashed through the roof. Sgt. Angela Hightower did not identify the man but said he had been found at the home in Greensboro around 6 p.m. ...High winds from Hurricane Michael lead to the death of an 11-year-old girl in Seminole County, Ga., EMA Director Travis Brooks told The Washington Post early Thursday morning. The girl had been inside a trailer home in an unincorporated area of the county near Lake Seminole, close to the Florida-Georgia border. ...'It looked like a war zone,' Brooks said, adding that it had taken deputies from the Seminole County Sheriff's Office practically all day to get to the mobile home due to the road conditions in the area."

Elisha Fieldstadt at NBC News: Officials Worry Hurricane Michael Death Toll Could Rise as Crews Struggle to Access Hard-Hit Areas. "With two people killed in the most powerful storm to hit the Florida Panhandle in recorded history, officials warned the number was likely to rise as search crews struggled to gain access to ravaged areas and sift through the piles of debris. ...And Michael isn't finished yet. The Carolinas, still cleaning up from Hurricane Florence, could see 50 mph winds, flooding, tornadoes, and up to 7 inches of rain on Thursday. ...About 400,000 customers were without power in Florida about 450,000 in Georgia, officials in those states said."

I have previously noted that I include extreme weather items in the We Resist thread because they are worsened by climate change, which, unfortunately, remains a political issue urgently in dire of our continued attention. To wit: Miranda Green and Timothy Cama at the Hill: [CN: Video may autoplay at link] GOP Shrugs Off Dire Study Warning of Global Warming. "Few GOP lawmakers on Wednesday said they had read the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) report, which warned that the planet would be unlivable if leaders failed to cut carbon emissions. ...Even fewer said they were heeding the warnings that action needed to be taken to cut emissions by 2030. 'That's the UN. That's the group that was formed to sell this in the first place,' said Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), the former chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee and one of the best-known skeptics of climate change in the Senate. 'They come from that prejudiced perspective,' Inhofe said of the report's author."

Malice is the agenda.

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Shane Harris at the Washington Post: Crown Prince Sought to Lure Khashoggi Back to Saudi Arabia and Detain Him, U.S. Intercepts Show.
The crown prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman, ordered an operation to lure Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi back to Saudi Arabia from his home in Virginia and then detain him, according to U.S. intelligence intercepts of Saudi officials discussing the plan.

The intelligence, described by U.S. officials familiar with it, is another piece of evidence implicating the Saudi regime in Khashoggi's disappearance last week after he entered the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul. Turkish officials say that a Saudi security team lay in wait for the journalist and killed him.

...The intelligence pointing to a plan to detain Khashoggi in Saudi Arabia has fueled speculation by officials and analysts in multiple countries that what transpired at the consulate was a backup plan to capture Khashoggi that may have gone wrong.

A former U.S. intelligence official — who, like others, spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the sensitive matter — noted that the details of the operation, which involved sending two teams totaling 15 men, in two private aircraft arriving and departing Turkey at different times, bore the hallmarks of a "rendition," in which someone is extra­legally removed from one country and deposited for interrogation in another.

But Turkish officials have concluded that whatever the intent of the operation, Khashoggi was killed inside the consulate. Investigators have not found his body, but Turkish officials have released video surveillance footage of Khashoggi entering the consulate on the afternoon of Oct. 2. There is no footage that shows him leaving, they said.

The intelligence about Saudi Arabia’s earlier plans to detain Khashoggi have raised questions about whether the Trump administration should have warned the journalist that he might be in danger.

Intelligence agencies have a "duty to warn" people who might be kidnapped, seriously injured, or killed, according to a directive signed in 2015. The obligation applies regardless of whether the person is a U.S. citizen. Khashoggi was a U.S. resident.
That last bit is important. Especially since Donald Trump is banging on about how Khashoggi wasn't a citizen.

That Khashoggi was not a citizen doesn't matter in terms of the Trump administration's responsibility to warn him that he was in danger, nor should it matter in terms of the actions the Trump administration should take in response to his murder.

But this is Donald Trump we're talking about, so.

Nahal Toosi at Politico: 'Sweep It Under the Rug': Fears Grow Trump Won't Confront Saudis over Journalist's Disappearance. "Calls are mounting for the Trump administration to find out what happened to Jamal Khashoggi. Republicans and Democrats in Congress have taken steps to force a government investigation. Khashoggi's fiancée has pleaded for Trump to 'help shed light on Jamal's disappearance.' The fury has grown after a Washington Post report that U.S. intelligence knew of Saudi plans to abduct Khashoggi, raising questions about whether the administration failed to warn the journalist. The White House insists it's taking the case seriously, with Trump vowing Wednesday to 'get to the bottom of it.' But former officials and analysts, including some friendly with Khashoggi, are dismayed by what they say is a milquetoast response so far by the Trump team."

The essence of milquetoast: "Trump on Thursday morning addressed the report that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered an operation to lure Washington Post contributor and vocal critic Jamal Khashoggi to Saudi Arabia and 'detain' him, telling Fox & Friends that it would be a 'sad thing' if that report turned out to be true. ...When asked specifically what he would do if the report about Mohammed bin Salman — a close ally of Trump adviser/son-in-law Jared Kushner — was true, Trump responded that 'I have to find out what happened. And we're probably getting closer than you might think,' later adding that 'I don't like it. No good.'"

Krishnadev Calamur at the Atlantic: The Disappearance of a Saudi Critic Signals a Broader Danger for Journalists.
Khashoggi's fate reflects a larger pattern of violence inflicted on journalists around the world this year. Year after year, reporters are detained, abducted, and, with some frequency, killed. As Margaux Ewen, the North America director at RSF, told me, "We're seeing targeted killings even outside war zones."

Since January 2018, RSF points out, 57 journalists have been killed, along with 10 citizen journalists and four media assistants. The numbers are already higher than the figures at the same time last year. Additionally, 155 journalists have been imprisoned, along with 142 citizen journalists and 19 media assistants.

"We're ultimately seeing that the press is no longer viewed as a key component of democracy but are more and more viewed as the opposition, the enemy, those that only want to criticize," Ewen said. She added, "It doesn't really help when the president of the country of the First Amendment, the United States, repeatedly refers to journalists as enemies of the people and denigrates their work, compares their negative coverage to fake news. It really sends the wrong signal … in a way that can really embolden other countries who haven't been repressive in the past to start being repressive."

What this does, she said, is embolden already authoritarian regimes, such as Saudi Arabia, to believe there won't be true consequences for their actions.
Trump's war on the press not only consists of intimidating and targeting members of the free press, but also by corrupting friendly conservative media into straight-up propaganda machines: "The White House has vowed to 'look into' a decision taken by Fox News to stop broadcasting Donald Trump's rallies live and in full because they're no longer bringing in high ratings. ...The report states White House figures are concerned Trump is losing control of a key platform ahead of the midterms. One senior White House official told Politico they were unsure why the network is cutting away from the rallies, saying officials planned 'to look into that' and that they expect White House Communications Director Bill Shine, a former Fox News executive, to be in touch with his former colleagues about the move."

When an authoritarian gets his own propaganda outlet, it puts members of the free press in ever graver danger.

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If it seems like Trump's authoritarianism is becoming more brazen and accelerating very quickly now, that's because it is:

Aaron Rupar at ThinkProgress: Trump Hints That He Plans to Seriously Obstruct Justice After the Midterms. "During a lengthy interview on Fox & Friends on Thursday morning, [Donald] Trump hinted he might make serious moves to end the FBI investigation into his own campaign after next month's midterm elections. Asked about a Washington Post report that he's in active talks to replace Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Trump said, 'I'm not doing anything — I want to get the elections over with, we'll see what happens. I'm very disappointed that we go through this witch hunt, this ridiculous witch hunt… There's no collusion.'"

Matthew Choi at Politico: Trump Pledges to 'Weed Out' Administration Officials He Does Not Trust. "Donald Trump said Thursday that he will 'weed out' individuals inside his administration who he does not like, echoing remarks from his wife, who told ABC News that there are people working for her husband who she does not trust. ...Trump said he would do away with those he does not like. 'Are there some I'm not in love with? Yes. We'll weed them out slowly,' the president said. ...Melania Trump was more direct in her negative opinions about some in the administration. [ABC's Tom Llamas] asked her whether there are people in the administration she doesn't trust. She responded flatly: 'Yes.'"

[CN: Nativism] Rebekah Entralgo at ThinkProgress: U.S. Is Violating Human Rights, Lying About How Asylum Seekers Are Treated at Border, Per New Report. "Under orders by the Trump administration, thousands of asylum seekers fleeing dangerous living situations are being arbitrarily detained, forced to return to their country of origin, and separated from their children. According to a scathing new report from Amnesty International, these actions by the U.S. government violate human rights. The U.S. is prohibited from sending asylum seekers back to countries or territories where their lives or freedom would be threatened, either directly or indirectly, yet that is exactly the policy of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Seeking asylum is not a crime, yet the Trump administration continues to treat those who arrive at ports of entry in search of a better life as if they were criminals."

And, of course, members of Trump's party are escalating in their rhetoric as they consolidate power behind him, too. On both the federal level:

Nicole Lafond at TPM: Graham: 'Going Low Is a Step Up' for Dems, They're 'in the Gutter'. "Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) on Wednesday responded to Hillary Clinton's claims that civility will return to Congress if Democrats win in November by invoking former First Lady Michelle Obama. 'So, Michelle Obama said, 'when they go low, we go high.' Here's my view of the Democratic Party regarding Kavanaugh,' he told Fox News' Martha MacCallum. 'Going low is a step up for you. You are in the gutter in terms of the Democratic Party's approach.'"

And the state level:

We are in very scary times, my friends. Resist with all your might.

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

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