We Resist: Day 643

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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: I Remain Very Worried About the Midterms and More "Suspicious Packages" Sent to Clintons, Obamas, and Possibly Others.

The political press is, quite rightly, consumed by the still-unfolding story about explosive devices being sent in attempted assassinations to multiple prominent Democrats. Regrettably, they are not talking about this story in partisan terms, despite the fact that it's clearly a partisan attack, nor as attempted assassinations, despite the fact that they are, nor as the responsibility of Donald Trump, despite the fact that the targets so far are like his own personal hit-list.

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

In good news, Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams handed Brian Kemp his ass in their debate last night! Jennifer Brett at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Stacey Abrams, Brian Kemp Clash in First Debate. "Abrams hit Kemp repeatedly over voting, an issue that's attracted national attention. 'The right to vote is a right. My father was arrested helping people to register,' she said."

In less good news from other states...

[Content Note: Terrorism] Dana Branham at the Dallas News: Campaign Signs for Beto O'Rourke and Colin Allred Set Ablaze. "Five yard signs for Democratic candidates were set on fire in a Richardson neighborhood Monday night, officials said. Police received three calls in a 30-minute span — one at 11 p.m., another at 11:06, and the third at 11:28 — reporting that yard signs for Beto O'Rourke and Colin Allred had been lit on fire in the Arapaho Heights neighborhood west of Heights Park, Sgt. Kevin Perlich said."

[CN: Homophobia] Andy Towle at Towleroad: Governor Bruce Rauner Pronounces Illinois F***ed in Ad Mocking Gay Marriage. "A new ad from Illinois' Republican Governor Bruce Rauner depicts his challenger J.B. Pritzker getting married to House Speaker Mike Madigan. 'Repeat after me: I Mike Madigan, take you, JB Pritzker, as my unlawful partner in destruction,' starts the ad, which predicts corruption and higher taxes for the state should Pritzker win. 'By the power vested in me I now pronounce Illinois f**ked,' says the ad's minister."

Kyla Mandel at ThinkProgress: Early Voter Turnout Is Down in Some North Carolina Counties Hit by Florence. "Among the 28 counties receiving federal assistance for Hurricane Florence recovery, New Hanover has thus far seen the biggest increase in early voting, with more than double the number of ballots cast compared to the 2014 midterm elections. But this isn't the case for other counties still struggling to recover from the hurricane. 'Voting is not a premier issue right now with them,' Courtney Patterson, a local organizer with the North Carolina Hurricane Relief Effort and Community Rapid Response Network, told ThinkProgress. 'Survival is…everything.'"

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Kathleen McLaughlin at the Guardian: I Paid $7,348 for Healthcare Last Week — So Trump's Law Changes Are Personal. "While the illness itself dictates some of the terms of my life, the looming threat of losing insurance has always been for me the bigger obstacle. Throughout my 30s, every major decision — whether to change jobs, whether to move, where to live — revolved around not losing health insurance. Losing my insurance, even in the years when the disease goes into remission, would mean eventual ruin for my health and finances. I am a living, breathing, expensive pre-existing condition, the one who jacks up other people's insurance rates, the one who makes it difficult for insurance companies to profit on healthcare. Yet profit they do."

Speaking of preexisting conditions, this was part of a must-read Twitter thread by former head of Medicare/aid Andy Slavitt:

In case you can't see the list embedded in the tweet, here are just some of the many preexisting conditions listed that may not be covered under the new healthcare bill: AIDS, Alzheimer's, anxiety, asthma, cancer, cerebral palsy, cirrhosis, congestive heart failure, cystic fibrosis, depression, diabetes, menstrual irregularities, multiple sclerosis, obesity, organ transplants, Parkinson's, pregnancy, sleep apnea, transsexualism, and tuberculosis.

[CN: Fat hatred] By way of reminder, in 2013, the American Medical Association made the reprehensible decision to declare obesity a disease. As has been extensively- and long-documented by fat activists, myself included, accessing healthcare as a fat person is a challenge, because it's often impossible to find healthcare providers who will see you as a complete human being whose health is more complicated than "fat." Far too many healthcare providers are inclined to attribute any and every healthcare concern to fatness, even at the expense of our very lives, telling us to "lose weight" to fix problems like, for instance, shortness of breath which is actually being caused by blood clots in the lungs or cancer.

In May of 2017, during a previous round of GOP attacks on healthcare access, I noted that reinstating insurers' ability to deny care on the basis of preexisting conditions takes on a whole new urgency following the AMA classification of obesity as a disease, since anything attributed to fat can subsequently be denied.

If the GOP goes through with this, it will also be a death sentence for many fat people who would otherwise be healthy with basic healthcare.

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[CN: Fascism] Kelly Weill and Spencer Ackerman at the Daily Beast: Army Parrots Racist Right's Talking Points on Antifa. "Internal U.S. Army documents in 2017 on anti-fascists (antifa) parroted a fascist talking point about the far-right's supposedly non-racist creds, according to newly released material reviewed by The Daily Beast. ...'With the newly released documents, we again find a U.S. agency targeting anti-fascists as security threats while downplaying the menace posed by white nationalists,' said Ryan Shapiro, Property of the People's executive director."

[CN: White supremacy] Lisa Rein at the Washington Post: 'I Thought It Was Very Nice': Veterans Affairs Official Showcased Portrait of KKK's First Grand Wizard. "David J. Thomas Sr. is deputy executive director of VA's Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization, which certifies veteran-owned businesses seeking government contracts. His senior staff is mostly African American. Thomas said he took down the painting Monday after a Washington Post reporter explained that its subject, Nathan Bedford Forrest, was a Confederate general and slave trader who became the KKK's first figure­head in 1868. He said he was unaware of Forrest's affiliation with the hate group." The fuck he was.

Jordan Weissmann at Slate: The Actual Tax Bill Didn't Do Much for the Middle Class So Trump Wants Congress to Vote on a Make-Believe One.
Donald Trump has spent the last few days telling anyone who will listen that Republicans are about to introduce a brand new tax cut for middle class families.

...As far as anybody can tell, Trump appears to have made all of this up from scratch. White House staffers are baffled. There is no tax plan. They don't even seem to know where Trump got the idea. ...And the Washington Post reports that the White House may ask congressional Republicans to take a symbolic vote on Trump's idea.
Advisers have discussed the idea of having Congress vote on a symbolic "resolution" for a future 10 percent tax cut for the middle class, people familiar with discussions said, part of their scramble to meet Trump's demand for rapid action to blunt Democrats' economic messaging ahead of the midterm elections.

The resolution would not be binding but would attempt to send a signal to the public that Republicans are focused on helping middle-class families.
...I want to set down a prediction: If Congress does take this vote, Trump will claim they actually passed a tax cut. Because we are that far through the looking glass.
[CN: Nativism] Aaron Rupar at ThinkProgress: Trump Tries to Own Libs by Tweeting Obama Video; Ends up Accidentally Owning Himself. "While Trump seems to think Obama's video highlights how Democrats have become supportive of 'open borders' over the last 13 years, what it really does is illustrate the dishonesty of his own messaging on immigration."

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

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