We Resist: Day 666

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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: Scorched Earth, Toxic Air, Raging Fire, and Imminent Water and Meanwhile, in the Midwest and on the East Coast.

Here are some more things in the news today, the 666th day of Donald Trump's presidency...

As a terrible reminder that natural disasters don't end when they fall out of the news: Kyla Mandel at ThinkProgress: Thousands Told to Vacate North Carolina Apartments in Second Wave of People Displaced by Florence.
Some 700 tenants of the Market North affordable housing apartment complex in Wilmington, North Carolina were given one week's notice to leave their homes after black mold was discovered in the wake of Hurricane Florence. Residents were able to push the deadline back one more week, but the entire complex was vacated by October 22.

A second wave of displaced people are finding themselves newly homeless, months after Florence hit the state. Beginning at the end of September, at least six apartment complexes in New Hanover County have issued notices to the majority, or all, of their residents to vacate. Long after the floodwaters receded, thousands of people have had to pack their bags and leave.

With much of the temporary housing — rental apartments, Airbnb, or hotels — already full from the initial impact of Florence, finding a new place to stay in Wilmington is a challenge. Some may stay with family while others will be forced to to look further away for a place to live.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is often one of the first places people turn for disaster assistance. But, as John Mills, a FEMA spokesperson who has been based in North Carolina since just before Florence struck, told ThinkProgress, "FEMA money does not solve the issue of the shortage of available housing."
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This thread by Cecile Richards is a must-read:

In other election news:

Bill Barrow and Kate Brumback at the AP: Abrams Preparing New Challenge in Georgia Race. "Top Stacey Abrams advisers outlined her prospective case to The Associated Press, stressing that the Democratic candidate hasn't finalized a decision about whether to proceed once state officials certify Kemp as the victor. That could happen as early as Friday evening. Allegra Lawrence-Hardy, Abrams' campaign chairwoman, is overseeing a team of almost three-dozen lawyers who in the coming days will draft the petition, along with a ream of affidavits from voters and would-be voters who say they were disenfranchised. Abrams would then decide whether to go to court under a provision of Georgia election law that allows losing candidates to challenge results based on 'misconduct, fraud, or irregularities...sufficient to change or place in doubt the results.'"

Allan Smith at NBC News: Mississippi GOP Sen. Hyde-Smith Calls Voter Suppression 'Great Idea.' Campaign: 'Obviously' Joking. "A video surfaced Thursday of Republican Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith of Mississippi saying it might be a 'great idea' to make it harder for some people to vote, and her campaign quickly responded that she was 'obviously' joking. Hyde-Smith, who is in a runoff against Democrat Mike Espy on Nov. 27, made the remark at a campaign stop in Starkville, Mississippi, on Nov. 3. It was posted to Twitter on Thursday by Lamar White Jr., publisher of The Bayou Brief. Smith earlier this week posted video of Hyde-Smith making a comment on Nov. 2 about a 'public hanging' that started a controversy. 'And then they remind me that there's a lot of liberal folks in those other schools who...maybe we don't want to vote,' Hyde-Smith is heard saying. 'Maybe we want to make it just a little more difficult. And I think that's a great idea.'"

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[CN: Genocide] I wouldn't call this good news, but it is the very least the survivors deserve and I am relieved they are getting it. Hannah Ellis-Petersen at the Guardian: Khmer Rouge Leaders Found Guilty of Genocide in Cambodia's 'Nuremberg' Moment. "The two most senior Khmer Rouge leaders still alive today have been found guilty of genocide, almost 40 years since Pol Pot's brutal communist regime fell, in a verdict followed by millions of Cambodians. Nuon Chea, 92, who was second-in-command to Pol Pot, and Khieu Samphan, 87, who served as head of state, were both sentenced to life imprisonment for genocide and crimes against humanity carried out between 1977 and 1979, in what is a landmark moment for the Khmer Rouge tribunals. The pair are already serving life sentences for crimes against humanity. As senior figures in the Khmer regime, the court declared both men responsible for murder, extermination, enslavement, deportation imprisonment, torture, persecution on religious, racial, and political grounds, enforced disappearances, and mass rape through the state policy of forced marriages."

Foster Klug and Hyung-Jin Lim at the AP: North Korea Tests New Weapon Amid Stalled Nuclear Diplomacy. "North Korean leader Kim Jong Un observed the successful test of an unspecified 'newly developed ultramodern tactical weapon,' state media reported Friday, in an apparent bid to apply pressure on the United States and South Korea. It didn't appear to be a test of a nuclear device or a long-range missile with the potential to target the U.S. A string of such tests last year had many fearing war before the North turned to engagement and diplomacy. Still, any mention of weapons testing could influence the direction of stalled diplomatic efforts spearheaded by Washington and aimed at ridding the North of its nuclear weapons."

In additional foreign policy news — and also Mike Pence continues to make his move news... Ishaan Tharoor at the Washington Post: After Flopping in Europe, Can the White House Succeed in Asia? "The week began with [Donald] Trump lashing out after another rancorous trip to Europe. But it ended with Trump's deputy assuming a more poised role in Asia. Vice President Pence spent the week touring the Asia-Pacific region, meeting with numerous leaders and dignitaries. ...Pence now heads to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit this weekend in Port Moresby, the capital of Papua New Guinea. He'll be joined by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Chinese President Xi Jinping, and other statesmen from around the Pacific Rim. Conspicuously absent here is Trump. He declined the opportunity to make the trip... Pence cuts a more circumspect figure, even while he's enacting Trump's agenda." Doesn't he always.

Here's an example of Pence's cool talking points on his whirlwind trip through Asia: "Authoritarianism and aggression have no place in the Indo-Pacific. And I know this vision is shared by the United States and Japan." LOL. Dude.

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[CN: Rape culture] AP/Guardian: Betsy DeVos to Alter Sexual Misconduct Guidelines to Bolster Rights of Accused. "Betsy DeVos, the U.S. Education Secretary, is proposing a major overhaul of the way colleges handle complaints of sexual misconduct, narrowing the definition of sexual harassment, and increasing protections for students accused of misconduct. The Education Department released a plan on Friday that would require schools to investigate sexual assault and harassment only if the alleged misconduct was reported to certain campus officials and only if it occurred on campus or other areas overseen by the school. The plan would narrow the definition of sexual harassment and allow students accused of misconduct to cross-examine accusers in campus hearings. DeVos' proposal would replace Obama-era guidelines she scrapped last year, saying they were unfair to students accused of sexual misconduct." We knew this was coming, and here it is. Seethe.

Heidi Przybyla at NBC News: U.S. Marshals Service Spending Millions on DeVos Security in Unusual Arrangement. "Education Secretary Betsy DeVos began receiving around-the-clock security from the U.S. Marshals Service days after being confirmed, an armed detail provided to no other cabinet member that could cost U.S. taxpayers $19.8 million through September of 2019, according to new figures provided by the Marshals Service to NBC News. While it remains unclear who specifically made the request, former Attorney General Jeff Sessions granted the protection on February 13, 2017, a few days after DeVos was heckled and blocked by a handful of protesters from entering the Jefferson Academy, a public middle school in Washington." Fucking absurd.

Nicole Gaouette and Elizabeth Landers at CNN: Trump Picks Handbag Designer, Mar-a-Lago Member to Be Envoy to South Africa. Yeah, that sounds about right.

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[CN: War on agency] Jessica Mason Pieklo at Rewire.News: Kentucky Is Trying to Ban Most Abortions After 15 Weeks — and It's Not Alone.
Attorneys from the state of Kentucky are in federal court this week arguing for a law that makes it a felony for doctors to perform the most common form of second-trimester abortion.

Lawyers on behalf of the state's only abortion clinic sued almost immediately to block the law after it became law in April. Kentucky is one of nine states that has in some form tried to ban the dilation and evacuation (D and E) procedure. So far, every court to have considered these bans has found them unconstitutional — including a federal court that in April blocked the Kentucky law from taking effect while it made its way through the courts.

That hasn't deterred anti-choice advocates, however, who insist they will take their fight over these pre-viability abortion bans all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, where they believe a freshly anointed Justice Brett Kavanaugh will provide the fifth vote in their favor.

All they need is one federal court to give them an opening. And with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit currently considering a similar ban in Texas, the Eighth Circuit considering a similar law out of Arkansas, and an appeal all but inevitable at the end of this week's trial in the western district of Kentucky, the fight over D and E bans is shaping up to be the next big abortion rights test before the Roberts Court.
[CN: Homophobia; threats of violence] Andy Towle at Towleroad: Lyft Driver Brandished Gun, Told Passenger He Wanted to Kill All Gay People. "A Miami man says his Lyft driver brandished a gun, used homophobic slurs, and said he wanted to kill all gay people before assaulting him and throwing him out of the car. ...[Andres Berreondo] said the driver became aggravated when it was pointed out that he wasn't following the GPS maps for his ride. The driver then became enraged, pulling out a gun and banging on the steering wheel, telling Berreondo he wanted to kill all gay people. After Berreondo called 911 the driver pulled over and threw him out, assaulting him." Fucking hell.

[CN: Stochastic terrorism] Ian Millhiser: Republican Senator Claims 'the Left' Will Start a Civil War Unless Federal Highway System Abolished. "On Thursday, Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) delivered a speech to the conservative Federalist Society that would have been more at home on Alex Jones' radio show than at a gathering of many of the most powerful lawyers and judges in the country. In it, Lee warned of a brewing civil war, and claimed that the only way to avert violence would be to eradicate a long list of federal programs including 'the interstate highway system,' funding for 'K through 12 public education,' 'federal higher education accreditation,' 'early childhood education, the Department of Commerce,' 'housing policy, workforce regulation,' and what Lee labeled the 'huge glut of federally owned land.'"

This is stochastic terrorism. Openly saying liberals will start a war over and over, for absurd and unsubstantiable reasons, is incendiary, tacitly encouraging violent conservatives to hurt us in order to stop us.

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

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