We Resist: Day 657

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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: Midterms 2018: Democrats Win the House and Something Stinks in Florida and Georgia and Trump Is Losing His Shit About the Election, Of Course.

The news is still highly focused on yesterday's election, naturally, so here are some more election items, plus a few other things in the news today...

Ian Millhiser at ThinkProgress with more on The Problem with the Senate That I Keep Talking About: The Senate Is So Rigged That Democrats May Never Control It Ever Again. "In the outgoing Senate — the Senate that placed Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court — the 49 senators in the Democratic 'minority' represent almost 40 million more people than the Republican 'majority.' In the incoming Senate, the Democratic 'minority' will still represent millions more people — despite the fact that Republicans grew their 'majority' last night. And this malapportionment is only going to get worse. By 2040, according to Baruch College's David Birdsell, about 70 percent of Americans are expected to live in just 15 states. That means that the vast majority of Americans will control just 30 percent of the Senate, while the remaining 70 senators are elected by just 30 percent of the nation."

Matt Shuham at TPM: McConnell Warns New House Dem Majority Against 'Presidential Harassment'. "Asked what Senate Republicans would do in the event House Democrats attempt to obtain [Donald] Trump's tax returns, McConnell referenced 'presidential harassment' three times — that is, harassment of the president. ...'So the Democrats in the House will have to decide just how much presidential harassment they think is good strategy,' McConnell said. 'I'm not so sure it'll work for them.'"

Brian Kahn at Earther: Congress' Bipartisan Coalition to Tackle Climate Change Just Collapsed, But That May Be a Good Thing. "The bipartisan Climate Solutions Caucus, known for doing basically nothing but holding meetings, saw its Republican members get decimated. Of the 43 Republicans with voting power, 16 lost their bids for re-election or are in races that haven't been called but lean Democrat. A number have been replaced by scientists who intimately understand climate change, while elsewhere Democrats with big climate ideas won."

Rosalind S. Helderman, Matt Zapotosky, and Carol D. Leonnig at the Washington Post: With the Midterms Over, Mueller Faces Key Decisions in Russia Investigation. "For more than seven weeks, special counsel Robert S. Mueller III has been silent. In the run-up to Election Day, there were no indictments or public pronouncements by the special counsel's office, in keeping with Justice Department guidelines that prosecutors should avoid taking steps that could be perceived as intending to influence the outcome of the vote. With the midterm elections now over, Mueller faces key decision points in his 18-month-old investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 campaign."

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[Content Note: Misogynist violence; domestic violence; injury; death. Videos may autoplay at links. Covers entire section.]

Even as we celebrate the strides made by women in politics, here are three stories I read this morning that are a painful reminder of how dangerous the world still is for women because of toxic masculinity, even and especially at the hands of our intimate partners.

Chris Boyette and Steve Almasy at CNN: Colorado Man Pleads Guilty to Killing Pregnant Wife, Daughters as Part of Plea Deal. "Shanann Watts' body was found in a shallow grave, and the bodies of Bella and Celeste were discovered in commercial oil tanks at a company where Chris Watts had worked. Autopsy results have not been released. In court Tuesday, Watts took responsibility for all three deaths, pleading guilty to nine charges, including first-degree murder and unlawful termination of a pregnancy. In exchange for his pleas, Watts will not face the death penalty, according to Weld County District Attorney Michael Rourke."

As you may recall if you've been following this story, not only did Watts kill the woman to whom he was married and their children, but, at one point, he claimed that he had killed Shannon because she had killed their daughters.

Marlena Baldacci and Darran Simon at CNN: Husband of Florida Woman Who Went Missing at Sea Pleads Guilty to Involuntary Manslaughter. "[Lewis Bennett] reported his wife missing in a distress call to the Coast Guard, who rescued him from a life raft about 30 miles west of Cay Sal, Bahamas, not far from Cuba in May 2017. [Isabella Hellman's] body was never found. On Monday, the 41-year-old Bennett, who is a dual citizen of Australia and the United Kingdom, pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter in the death of his wife. ...Hellman's death resulted in part from her husband's 'gross negligence, amounting to wanton and reckless disregard for human life,' prosecutors said. He did not require that his wife wear a life vest or harness despite her inexperience, nor did he deploy flares or turn the boat around to search for her when he couldn't find the 41-year-old real estate agent from Delray Beach, Florida, prosecutors said."

Prosecutors originally sought a second-degree murder charge against Bennett, whose trial was scheduled for December, but they struck the deal for an involuntary manslaughter plea to avoid the cost of a trial. And honestly it sounds like he got off easy, because the only account they have of events is his. For all we know, he killed her and threw her body overboard.

Will Stewart at the Express: Woman Confronts Husband Who Cut Off Her Hands After He Suspected Her of Cheating. "[Margarita Grachyova's] left hand was sewn back on by surgeons, and she now has a robotic right arm which she is learning to use. In emotion-charged scenes in a courtroom in Serpukhov, footage shows how she stood beside her lawyer and fired questions at the man she divorced after he severed her hands. Branded 'evil' by the Russian media, he claimed he wanted her 'forgiveness' but also smirked as he told how he lied to a policeman called Alexander Gruznov, later fired for failing to prevent the barbaric attack."

Grachyova filed a report with Gruznov that Dmitry Grachyov had threatened to drive her into the woods and hurt her with a knife, but when Gruznov questioned Grachyov, he denied it, and Gruznov did nothing.

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And finally, in good news... Jonathan Stempel at Reuters: Motel 6 to Pay $7.6 Million for Giving Guest Lists to U.S. Immigration. "Motel 6 will pay up to $7.6 million to Hispanic guests to settle a proposed class-action lawsuit claiming that it violated their privacy by regularly providing guest lists to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents. Terms of the preliminary settlement with eight Hispanic plaintiffs — seven from Arizona and one from Washington state — were disclosed in a Nov. 2 filing with the federal court in Phoenix. Motel 6 also agreed to a two-year consent decree barring it from sharing guest data with immigration authorities absent warrants, subpoenas, or threats of serious crime or harm."

Not objectively good news, since they never should have done that shit in the first place, and they shouldn't need to be told not to share guest data with immigration authorities in the future, for two years or ever again. But it's better than nothing even approaching justice at all.

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

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