We Resist: Day 676

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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: The Trump Regime Escalates Its War on Immigrants and Keep Your Eyes on Nick Ayers, Too and Russia Launches New Attack on Ukraine.

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

Let's start with some good news! Jessica Mason Pieklo at Rewire.News: Judge Blocks Mississippi's 15-Week Abortion Ban, Rips State's GOP Legislature.
A federal judge on Tuesday permanently blocked a Mississippi Republican law that would ban abortion after 15 weeks' pregnancy, declaring the measure "unequivocally" unconstitutional.

...U.S. District Judge Carlton W. Reeves took lawmakers to task for the law in a strongly worded opinion that said the ban was obviously unconstitutional but that Mississippi lawmakers enacted it anyway.

"The Court's frustration, in part, is that other states have already unsuccessfully litigated the same sort of ban that is before this Court and the State is aware that this type of litigation costs the taxpayers a tremendous amount of money," Reeves wrote. "No, the real reason we are here is simple. The State chose to pass a law it knew was unconstitutional to endorse a decades-long campaign, fueled by national interest groups, to ask the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade."

"This Court follows the commands of the Supreme Court and the dictates of the United States Constitution, rather than the disingenuous calculations of the Mississippi Legislature," Reeves wrote.

Reeves dismissed the GOP-held Mississippi legislature's claims that the measure was designed to protect "women's health" as "pure gaslighting."

Reeves noted that there is a "sad irony" to the fact that men, who face no risk of pregnancy, are dictating the reproductive rights of others.

"The fact that men, myself included, are determining how women may choose to manage their reproductive health is a sad irony not lost on the Court," Reeves wrote. "As Sarah Weddington argued to the nine men on the Supreme Court in 1971 when representing 'Jane Roe,' 'a pregnancy to a woman is perhaps one of the most determinative aspects of her life.' As a man, who cannot get pregnant or seek an abortion, I can only imagine the anxiety and turmoil a woman might experience when she decides whether to terminate her pregnancy through an abortion."

"Respecting her autonomy demands that this statute be enjoined," he continued.
Right on! Jessica also notes that Reeves' decision means "a nearly identical 15-week ban passed by Republican lawmakers in Louisiana will not go into effect. That law's effective date depended on the outcome of the lawsuit challenging Mississippi's 15-week ban." GOOD.

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[Content Note: Climate change. Covers entire section.]

Brady Dennis and Chris Mooney at the Washington Post: Major Trump Administration Climate Report Says Damage Is 'Intensifying Across the Country'.
The federal government on Friday released a long-awaited report with an unmistakable message: The effects of climate change, including deadly wildfires, increasingly debilitating hurricanes, and heat waves, are already battering the United States, and the danger of more such catastrophes is worsening.

The report's authors, who represent numerous federal agencies, say they are more certain than ever that climate change poses a severe threat to Americans' health and pocketbooks, as well as to the country's infrastructure and natural resources. And while it avoids policy recommendations, the report's sense of urgency and alarm stands in stark contrast to the lack of any apparent plan from [Donald] Trump to tackle the problems, which, according to the government he runs, are increasingly dire.

The congressionally mandated document — the first of its kind issued during the Trump administration — details how climate-fueled disasters and other types of worrisome changes are becoming more commonplace throughout the country and how much worse they could become in the absence of efforts to combat global warming.

...The authors argue that global warming "is transforming where and how we live and presents growing challenges to human health and quality of life, the economy, and the natural systems that support us." And they conclude that humans must act aggressively to adapt to current impacts and mitigate future catastrophes "to avoid substantial damages to the U.S. economy, environment, and human health and well-being over the coming decades."

"The impacts we've seen the last 15 years have continued to get stronger, and that will only continue," said Gary Yohe, a professor of economics and environmental studies at Wesleyan University who served on a National Academy of Sciences panel that reviewed the report. "We have wasted 15 years of response time. If we waste another five years of response time, the story gets worse."
I have observed many times before that the Bush v. Gore might have been the deadliest Supreme Court decision of all time, and this is precisely why. Of course it isn't certain that we wouldn't have wasted 15 years (and even more) of response time had the decision not halted the recount in Florida and Gore had been allowed to win the election via the completed recount. But it is far more likely, inestimably more likely, that we would be on a completely different course than we are now had our president been the man who has dedicated his life, before and since, to climate change.

Joe Romm at ThinkProgress: White House Admits Trump Climate Policies Will Cost Americans $500 Billion a Year. "The congressionally-mandated National Climate Assessment (NCA) by hundreds of the country's top scientists warns that a do-nothing climate policy will end up costing Americans more than a half-trillion dollars per year in increased sickness and death, coastal property damages, loss of worker productivity, and other damages. Building on a 600-page analysis of climate science from 2017, the NCA details just how dangerous Trump administration's policy of climate inaction is to Americans. ...The White House oversaw the report's review and clearance process — and tried to bury the findings by releasing it at 2 p.m. on the Friday after Thanksgiving."

Maddie Stone at Earther: The Trump Administration's Attempt to Bury a New Climate Report on Black Friday Totally Backfired. "No doubt, dropping the second volume of the fourth National Climate Assessment — a nearly 2,000 page report that includes contributions from 13 federal agencies — on Black Friday takes the 'Friday news dump' cliché to new heights. [But by] releasing the report on a very slow news day, the White House might have inadvertently made it easier for publications to [prominently] feature its dire conclusions. ...E&E News climate reporter Scott Waldman told Earther : 'Like any other reporter, I pay closer attention to any document the government doesn't want me to see. My colleagues and I will probably look at it more closely.'" Do that.

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[CN: Drones] Spencer Ackerman at the Daily Beast: Trump Ramped Up Drone Strikes in America's Shadow Wars. "In 2009 and 2010, Obama launched 186 drone strikes on Yemen, Somalia, and especially Pakistan. Donald Trump's drone strikes during his own first two years on the three pivotal undeclared battlefields, however, eclipse Obama's — but without a corresponding reputation for robot-delivered bloodshed, or even anyone taking much notice. In 2017 and 2018 to date, Trump has launched 238 drone strikes there, according to data provided to The Daily Beast by U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) and the drone-watchers at the Bureau of Investigative Journalism in London."

[CN: Terrorism] Wesley Lowery, Kimberly Kindy, and Andrew Ba Tran at the Washington Post: In the United States, Right-Wing Violence Is on the Rise. "Over the past decade, attackers motivated by right-wing political ideologies have committed dozens of shootings, bombings and other acts of violence, far more than any other category of domestic extremist, according to a Washington Post analysis of data on global terrorism. While the data show a decades-long drop-off in violence by left-wing groups, violence by white supremacists and other far-right attackers has been on the rise since Barack Obama's presidency — and has surged since [Donald] Trump took office. This year has been especially deadly." That's in no small part because the president is running an aggressive campaign of stochastic terrorism.

[CN: Anti-choice terrorism] Jon Swaine at the Guardian: Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker Favors Hardline Anti-Abortion Policies. "A review by the Guardian of previously unreported remarks revealed Whitaker has advocated for hardline anti-abortion policies that would drastically reshape laws affecting American women seeking to terminate a pregnancy. Whitaker, a conservative Christian, endorsed 'personhood' bills that would effectively outlaw abortion, and said as a Senate candidate that he would spend every day in Washington pushing anti-abortion policy. He also once said that as a federal prosecutor, he personally disagreed with having to use a clinic protection law against a man who crashed his car into a women's health facility and tried to set it on fire while complaining about abortion."

Jennifer Jacobs at Bloomberg: Trump's Personal Aide Karem Is Said to Intend to Resign Post. "Donald Trump is losing his personal aide, Jordan Karem, who plans to resign after less than a year on the job, according to people familiar with the matter. Karem serves as Trump's so-called 'bodyman,' an aide who accompanies the president on travel and looks after his personal needs. He's also a Trump confidant, familiar with his moods and thinking. The president relies on him for advice and to relay messages between Trump's advisers inside and outside the White House, the people said. Karem is often the first aide Trump sees in the morning and the last to see him at night. He joined the Trump campaign in July 2015 as an advance staffer before becoming press director for then-vice presidential candidate Mike Pence. He became Trump's personal aide in March."

(That's not so much a resistance item as it is something of note. I'm not sure what it means, but I don't think it's insignificant.)

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[CN: Misogyny; sexual harassment]

Related Reading: Gee, This Seems Familiar. See in particular "Step Four."

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[CN: Racism; death; gun violence; police brutality] Miranda Fulmore at NPR: Family Demands Video Release After Alabama Mall Shooting Death.
The family of Emantic "E.J." Bradford Jr., who died Thanksgiving night after he was shot by a police officer working security at an Alabama mall, is calling on the Hoover Police Department to release the mall video, witness videos, and body camera footage of Bradford's death.

Initially, officials said Bradford was engaged in a fight with an 18-year-old at the Riverchase Galleria Mall in Hoover, Ala. when he pulled out a gun and shot the teen. A 12-year-old bystander also was wounded that night. That night, police and city officials hailed the quick response as "heroic."

But officials later retracted the statement saying it was "highly unlikely" that Bradford fired the shots that injured two people.

In a statement early Monday, city and police officials said they can "say with certainty Mr. Bradford brandished a gun during the seconds following the gunshots, which instantly heightened the sense of threat to approaching police officers responding to the chaotic scene." Body camera and other available video was turned over to the Jefferson County Sheriff's Department as part of the investigation, and the evidence is now with the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency.

...Bradford's family spoke at a press conference Sunday, accompanied by their attorney, Ben Crump.

Crump says several witnesses have come forward since shooting to say the police officer who killed Bradford didn't give any verbal commands to Bradford before shooting him in the face.

Officials also say the shooter could still be at large. Crump says they offered Bradford no medical assistance after the shooting.

If you're thinking, "Didn't this just happen to someone else?" the answer is yes, and his name was Jemel Roberson.

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And finally: Bernie Sanders continues to make the case for anyone who has ever observed that he's far too brittle (among other negative characteristics) to be an effective president. Gabriel Debenedetti at NYMag: Inside Bernie Sanders's Head.
For a 77-year-old man fixated on the popularity of his ideas and his candidacy — "Harry, have you seen my crowds?" he once asked then-Senator Harry Reid by way of a greeting in the heat of the 2016 campaign — Sanders sometimes finds opportunities like these to enjoy his newfound influence in the Democratic Party. But mostly, he is ill at ease. He talks in private much as he does in front of a microphone, except with a lot more sarcasm. He continues to get angry at Establishment liberals, whose dismissals of how he sees the world he takes personally and judges personally. (He believes their positions and motivations can rarely be disentangled from their funding.) His frustration with the press has only grown. "You mean inside-the-Beltway writers may have missed the point here?" he says to me recently, eyebrows up, when we sit down to talk.

And he still thinks he should be president. He doesn't say this out loud, exactly. "I'm not one of those sons of multimillionaires whose parents told them they were going to become president of the United States," he says. "I don't wake up in the morning with any burning desire that I have to be president." Still, he's pretty certain he's already the country's second-most-important politician, and the logic for running in 2020 is obvious to him: His ideas are the best for the country, a majority of Americans will agree once they're exposed to them, no other national politician has proved to be as uncompromised or effective a messenger of his platform as he is, and no one else seems better positioned to actually win. "If there's somebody else who appears who can, for whatever reason, do a better job than me, I'll work my ass off to elect him or her," he says. But "if it turns out that I am the best candidate to beat Donald Trump, then I will probably run." He's been mulling the question all year as he bounds across the country. A longtime friend of Sanders's characterizes his position as, "At this point, what does he have to lose?"
Never mind, of course, what we all might have to lose if Sanders pulls the same shit this time that he did last time around.

There is a lot at the link, but let me just address this single point, evident in the two paragraphs excerpted above: Bernie Sanders will always hate the Democrats for being a party that recognizes we don't live in a homogenous country with broad agreement on what should constitute our social contract. He insists on believing, like all the other left-wing dipshits who spout the same nonsense, that Americans are all in basic agreement on the role of the federal government; it's just that people voting for Republicans haven't encountered their great ideas.

That is simply incorrect. Wildly so.

And Sanders' refusal to get outside that bubble of intransigent belief makes him unfit to lead the nation. He doesn't understand the first goddamn thing about the nation he ostensibly wants to lead, which is that we are fundamentally not a nation of leftists and future leftists, but a nation with profound ideological differences that are further exacerbated by extreme religious differences, violent bigotries, regional idiosyncrasies, and a political system that is unjust as it is entrenched.

Sanders hasn't spent enough time outside Vermont, off of stages in front of adoring fans. He doesn't know this country. And his stubborn refusal to admit he doesn't have all the answers means he never will.

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

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