We Resist: Day 631

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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: An Entire Administration of Misogynist Wrecks and The Trump Regime Is Still Harming Immigrant Children.

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

[Content Note: Hurricane; death] J. Freedom du Lac, Mark Berman, Dana Hedgpeth, and Eli Rosenberg at the Washington Post: Hurricane Michael Aftermath: Death Toll Spikes After Five Storm-Related Fatalities Reported in Virginia. "Michael made landfall in the Florida Panhandle on Wednesday as a Category 4 hurricane — the strongest on record to hit the area — and charged north through Georgia and into the Carolinas and Virginia, wreaking havoc and causing emergencies. In the storm's wake lay crushed and flooded buildings, shattered lives, and at least 11 deaths, a number that officials worry could rise. ...Four of the deaths were related to people being swept away in floodwaters along roads; the fifth was a firefighter who was killed in a crash along a highway, according to the Virginia Department of Emergency Management."

My sincerest condolences to the family, friends, colleagues, and neighbors of the people who died. Officials keep gravely warning that the death toll will rise as they manage to reach devastated residences through nearly impenetrable wreckage. There are also over half a million people without power in Virginia alone, which could have dangerous results if the outages persist.

My thoughts are with everyone in the affected areas.

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[CN: Death penalty] In good news: Nina Golgowski at the Huffington Post: Washington State's Supreme Court Declares Death Penalty Unconstitutional. "Washington state's Supreme Court has ruled that the death penalty is unconstitutional and converted to life in prison all pending death sentences in the state. The court's decision on Thursday was unanimous, with the justices determining that capital punishment is applied 'in an arbitrary and racially biased manner.' 'The use of the death penalty is unequally applied — sometimes by where the crime took place, or the county of residence...or the race of the defendant,' the court said in its opinion. 'The death penalty, as administered in our state, fails to serve any legitimate penological goal; thus, it violates article I, section 14 of our state constitution.'" YES.

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[CN: Violence; death. Covers whole section.]

Shane Harris, Souad Mekhennet, John Hudson, and Anne Gearan at the Washington Post: Turks Tell U.S. Officials They Have Audio and Video Recordings That Support Conclusion Khashoggi Was Killed. "The audio recording in particular provides some of the most persuasive and gruesome evidence that the Saudi team is responsible for Khashoggi's death, the officials said. 'The voice recording from inside the embassy lays out what happened to Jamal after he entered,' said one person with knowledge of the recording who, like others, spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss highly sensitive intelligence. 'You can hear his voice and the voices of men speaking Arabic,' this person said. 'You can hear how he was interrogated, tortured, and then murdered.'"

I don't want these recordings to be made public, because it would be so terribly traumatic for Khashoggi's loved ones. That said, I really wish that someone I felt I could reasonably trust had heard and/or seen the recordings and would give their assessment on the record, because I don't feel like I can trust anonymous Turkish and U.S. officials at this point. (Not that I'm trusting the Saudis' claims for a moment, mind you.) It's so troubling to me that I don't feel there is any reliable state agency involved, including my own government.


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Today in rampaging authoritarianism...

Luke O'Neil at the Guardian: Trump Administration Plans Crackdown on Protests Outside White House.
Donald Trump has frequently and falsely crowed about the idea of so-called paid protesters, including most recently the sexual assault survivors who confronted senators in the lead-up to the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation. Now his administration may be trying to turn that concept on its head, by requiring citizens to pay to be able to protest, among other affronts to the first amendment.

Under the proposal introduced by Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke in August, the administration is looking to close 80% of the sidewalks surrounding the White House, and has suggested that it could charge "event management" costs, for demonstrations.

...Naturally, civil liberties groups consider the proposals an affront to the rights guaranteed under the first amendment. As the ACLU notes, such fees "could make mass protests like Martin Luther King Jr.'s historic 1963 March on Washington and its 'I Have a Dream' speech too expensive to happen."
Which is the entire point.

Susan B. Glasser at the New Yorker: I Listened to All Six Trump Rallies in October; You Should, Too. "Much of the coverage of these events tends to be theatre criticism, or news stories about a single inflammatory line or two, rating Trump's performance or puzzling over the appeal to his followers. But what [Trump] is actually saying is extraordinary... It's not just the whoppers or the particular outrage riffs that do get covered, either. It's the hate, and the sense of actual menace that the President is trying to convey to his supporters. Democrats aren't just wrong in the manner of traditional partisan differences; they are scary, bad, evil, radical, dangerous. Trump and Trump alone stands between his audiences and disaster. I listen because I think we are making a mistake by dismissing him, by pretending the words of the most powerful man in the world are meaningless. They do have consequences. They are many, and they are worrisome."

Jay Michaelson at the Daily Beast: Republicans Have a Secret Weapon in the Midterms: Voter Suppression. "With Democrats furious over Donald Trump, and many Republicans furious over the treatment of Justice Brett Kavanaugh, the 2018 elections are likely to see the highest turnout of midterm voters in recent history. But those voters will be confronted by a byzantine array of voter restrictions, voter-suppression efforts, and voter discrimination standing in their way. A review by The Daily Beast found at least five voter-suppression practices in active use today. All are led by Republicans, all have disproportionate effects on non-white populations, and all are rationalized by bogus claims of voter fraud."

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Some trade and foreign policy news...

Doina Chiacu and Susan Heavey at Reuters: Trump Says He Could Do 'a Lot More' on China Trade. "[Donald] Trump warned on Thursday there was much more he could do that would hurt China's economy further, showing no signs of backing off an escalating trade war with Beijing. ...Trump imposed tariffs on nearly $200 billion of Chinese imports last month and then threatened more levies if China retaliated. China then hit back with tariffs on about $60 billion of U.S. imports. ...'It's had a big impact,' Trump said in a Fox News interview. 'Their economy has gone down very substantially and I have a lot more to do if I want to do it.' ...The growing trade war prompted the International Monetary Fund on Tuesday to cut its global economic growth forecasts for 2018 and 2019."

Patrick Wintour at the Guardian: Yemen: End Airstrikes and Give Child Victims Justice, Says UN Body. "A UN human rights body has called on Saudi Arabia to end airstrikes in Yemen and start ensuring the perpetrators of attacks on children are brought to justice. ...The latest UN report from a 15-strong panel in Geneva found that since March 2015 at least 1,248 children have been killed and the same number injured, amounting to about 20% of the total deaths and injury since the war began. The report condemns 'the dramatic consequences for civilians, and particularly for children who are being killed, maimed, orphaned, and traumatised, of military operations, aggravated by an aerial and naval blockade that has rendered many millions of people, including a high proportion of children, food insecure.' It says the independent assessments undertaken by Saudis of their air raids are 'insufficiently independent, lack detail, and have no mechanism for enforcement.'"

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[CN: Clergy abuse; rape culture] Andy Towle at Towleroad: Pope Accepts Resignation of Washington Archbishop at Center of Pennsylvania Child Sex Abuse Scandal, Praises His 'Nobility'."Pope Francis on Friday accepted the resignation of Washington Archbishop Cardinal Donald Wuerl, who was at the center of the Pennsylvania grand jury report in August which accused more than 300 Catholic priests of the sexual abuse of more than 1,000 children. ...The NYT reports: 'But instead of making an example of Cardinal Wuerl...Francis held him up as a model for the future unity of the Roman Catholic Church. The pope cited Cardinal Wuerl's 'nobility' and announced that the 77-year-old prelate would stay on as the archdiocese's caretaker until the appointment of his successor. In an interview, Cardinal Wuerl said that he would continue to live in Washington and that he expected to keep his position in Vatican offices that exert great influence, including one that advises the pope on the appointment of bishops.'"

And Republicans in Pennsylvania decided to cover themselves in shame, too:

The Catholic Church and the Republican Party continue to abet abusers and fail survivors, deliberately and maliciously. No decent person should ever give a penny to either of these organizations ever again.

[CN: Privacy concerns] Deborah Netburn at the LA Times: So Many People Have Had Their DNA Sequenced That They've Put Other People's Privacy in Jeopardy. "A new study argues that more than half of Americans could be identified by name if all you had to start with was a sample of their DNA and a few basic facts, such as where they live and about how old they might be. It wouldn't be simple, and it wouldn’t be cheap. But the fact that it has become doable will force all of us to rethink the meaning of privacy in the DNA age, experts said. There is little time to waste. The researchers behind the new study say that once 3 million Americans have uploaded their genomes to public genealogy websites, nearly everyone in the U.S. would be identifiable by their DNA alone and just a few additional clues. More than 1 million Americans have already published their genetic information, and dozens more do so every day."

[CN: Anti-vaxxers; video may autoplay at link] Staff at CBS News: Growing Number of U.S. Children Not Vaccinated Against Any Disease. "A small but growing proportion of the youngest children in the U.S. have not been vaccinated against any disease, worrying health officials. An estimated 100,000 young children have not had a vaccination against any of the 14 diseases for which shots are recommended, according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report released Thursday." That is so scary to hear for all of us with compromised immune systems. JFC.

And finally:

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

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