We Resist: Day 678

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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 President Is a Megalomaniacal Fantasist and "Wilder, I wish you well." and Putin Really Hopes You'll Blame Ukraine for His Aggression. And ICYMI late yesterday: Trump Regime Isn't Doing Background Checks on Staff at Child Detention Camp.

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

Let's start out with the Democrats! In good resistance news, Stacey Abrams continues to be fucking awesome! Richard L. Hasen at Slate: Stacey Abrams' New Lawsuit Against Georgia's Broken Voting System Is Incredibly Smart.
Defeated Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams and her allies are taking on Georgia's shoddy election system in the right way: through a big and bold lawsuit. At the very least, the lawsuit will shine the light of day on how Georgia makes it much harder than many other states to register and successfully cast a ballot. If the lawsuit achieves its more ambitious aims, a court could put Georgia's voting system back under federal supervision for up to 10 years.

Rather than how a typical voting lawsuit works with a singular focus on a problematic aspect of Georgia's electoral process — like overexuberant voter purges or its shoddy voting machinery — the lawsuit makes an argument that the cumulative effect of Georgia's system is to deny voters, especially voters of color, the opportunity to easily cast a ballot which will be fairly and accurately counted.

...[I]t is smart to make an argument that the system cumulatively disenfranchises voters. Rather than focusing on one of the hurdles facing voters, this suit lays out all of the hurdles together. Voting should not be an obstacle course, but the lawsuit claims that's exactly what Georgia has created through a combination of misfeasance and malfeasance.
And in more good resistance news, House Democrats are taking voters' message that their mandate is to hold Donald Trump accountable. Greg Sargent at the Washington Post: The True Depths of Trump's Cruelty Are About to Be Exposed.
The House GOP's near-total abdication of any oversight role has done more than just shield [Donald] Trump on matters involving his finances and Russian collusion. It has also resulted in almost no serious scrutiny of the true depths of cruelty, inhumanity and bad-faith rationalization driving important aspects of Trump's policy agenda — in particular, on his signature issue of immigration.

That's about to change.

In an interview with me, the incoming chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee [Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.)] vowed that when Democrats take over in January, they will undertake thorough and wide-ranging scrutiny of the justifications behind — and executions of — the top items in Trump's immigration agenda, from the family separations, to the thinly veiled Muslim ban, to the handling of the current turmoil involving migrants at the border.
Right on.

In not-good news... Frank Dale at ThinkProgress: WTF Is Schumer Doing? "[Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY)], who has made a series of pointless deals allowing confirmations of dozens of Trump judicial nominees, said on Tuesday that he's willing to offer Trump $1.6 billion for border security. ...Schumer has previously offered Trump funding for the border wall that he keeps falsely claiming is already under construction."

Honest to Maude, I have no fucking idea why there are Democrats who think Nancy Pelosi is our biggest problem and ignore the giant turd that is Chuck Schumer's senate leadership. HAHA J/K I KNOW WHY LADIES AMIRITE.

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[Content Note: Rape culture; sexual assault; child sex abuse] Julie K. Brown at the Miami Herald: How a Future Trump Cabinet Member Gave a Serial Sex Abuser the Deal of a Lifetime. "Palm Beach multimillionaire Jeffrey Epstein, 54, was accused of assembling a large, cult-like network of underage girls — with the help of young female recruiters — to coerce into having sex acts behind the walls of his opulent waterfront mansion as often as three times a day, the Town of Palm Beach police found. ...Facing a 53-page federal indictment, Epstein could have ended up in federal prison for the rest of his life. But on the morning of the breakfast meeting, a deal was struck — an extraordinary plea agreement that would conceal the full extent of Epstein's crimes and the number of people involved. Not only would Epstein serve just 13 months in the county jail, but the deal — called a non-prosecution agreement — essentially shut down an ongoing FBI probe into whether there were more victims and other powerful people who took part in Epstein's sex crimes."

Aaron Blake at the Washington Post: Giuliani's Bizarre Bragging About the Manafort-Trump Alliance Raises New Obstruction Questions. "The first two paragraphs of this New York Times story are remarkable enough: Despite Paul Manafort having agreed to cooperate with special counsel Robert S. Mueller III's Russia investigation, his lawyer, Kevin Downing, continued to brief [Donald] Trump's legal team. That's a highly unusual setup, and one that is generally frowned upon in legal circles. The next two paragraphs, though, might take the cake. In them, Trump lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani practically brags about having pulled one over on Mueller by gleaning key information from the arrangement. ...[T]he Trump team is saying this highly unusual arrangement was used to gain a strategic advantage. It isn't even pretending these were harmless status updates. Giuliani is gloating about having gamed the legal system."

Jake Sherman and Anna Palmer at Politico: Trump Threatens Government Shutdown over Border Wall Funding. "Nine days ahead of a deadline that could trigger a partial government shutdown, with no solution in sight, the president told Politico in a Tuesday Oval Office interview that he is unflinchingly firm Congress must send him a bill approving $5 billion for his wall on the U.S.-Mexico border, and said he would 'totally be willing' to shut down the government if he doesn't get it. ...Sitting at the Resolute Desk in the Oval Office, with a stack of papers, magazines, and a soda at the ready, Trump said he now believes that a pitched battle over the border is a 'total winner' politically for his party, and a loser for Democrats. 'I don't do anything...just for political gain,' Trump said. 'But I will tell you, politically speaking, that issue is a total winner.'"

Erin Durkin at the Guardian: 'There Is No Attempt to Hide': Ivanka Trump Defends Use of Private Email. "Ivanka Trump reportedly used her personal account up to 100 times in 2017 to contact other Trump administration officials. The news drew immediate comparisons with Hillary Clinton's use of a private server as secretary of state, which still prompts Donald Trump's supporters to chant 'lock her up' at rallies. The president apparently wanted Clinton prosecuted after he took the White House. But on Wednesday Ivanka Trump insisted there was no comparison between the two cases. 'In my case, all of my emails are on the White House server. There's no intent to circumvent,' she told ABC. 'There's no equivalency to what my father's spoken about.'" Okay, player.

Rebecca Morin at Politico: Trump Retweets Fake Pence Account Giving Thanks for Clinton's 2016 Loss. "Donald Trump on Wednesday shared a post from a parody account of Vice President Mike Pence giving thanks 'for every day Hillary Clinton is not president.' The post was originally shared by @MikePenceVP, a profile that uses the same photo as one of Pence's verified accounts but describes itself as a 'fan account.' ...'I'm thankful for every day Hillary Clinton is not President!' the @MikePenceVP account tweeted on Thanksgiving. Trump retweeted the post Wednesday morning to his 56 million Twitter followers. ...It is unclear whether the president thought he was retweeting the vice president or knew it is a parody account."

It's equally possible that Trump was too daft to realize in the middle of another tweetshitz frenzy that he wasn't retweeting the actual veep, and that Trump knew exactly what he was doing and decided to try to create a distraction from his daughter's email scandal. Scary.

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[CN: Corruption; exploitation] Ayana Byrd at Colorlines: Puerto Rican Homeowners Suffer as FEMA Pays Exorbitant Prices for Home Repairs. "More than 100,000 homeowners in Puerto Rico may be victims of a widespread corruption scheme involving a government-run program to fix their properties, according to an investigative report from the New York Times. ...The program received $1.2 billion to repair up to 120,000 homes that were damaged, but not destroyed, by Hurricane Maria. ...Luis Vega Ramos, a member of the Puerto Rico House of Representatives, said [the program] was a mixture of 'incompetence and corruption.' 'The government's responsibility is to watch out, to be custodians of the proper and effective use of those funds,' he told the Times. 'I don't understand why they need to pay hundreds of millions of those dollars to middlemen who turn around and permit overpricing.'" Because the entire Trump administration is a giant grift.

Speaking of which... [CN: Wildfires] Oliver Milman at the Guardian: Trump Officials Accused of Using Deadly Wildfires to Boost Logging. "Ryan Zinke, the interior secretary, said that he hoped new legislation would allow for the 'thinning' of forests to help prevent wildfires. He said he was confident Congress would soon pass a new farm bill that would remove environmental reviews for the removal of trees and brush, as well as the building of roads through federal forests. 'We have to manage our forests,' said Zinke on a visit to the charred remains of Paradise, a town in northern California that has been razed by the so-called Camp fire. ...Zinke was joined on the Paradise tour by Sonny Perdue, the agriculture secretary, who also backs greater intervention in forests. 'People say they want pristine forests — well, this doesn't look pristine to me,' Perdue said, referencing the ashy remains of Paradise." Rage seethe boil.

[CN: Nativism] Tina Vasquez at Rewire.News: When Love Is Not Enough: The Health Toll of Immigration Enforcement.
Julia Perez Pacheco and Samuel Oliver-Bruno have been together for more than 20 years and for the entirety of that time, Oliver-Bruno has been Perez Pacheco's rock. He has supported her financially and emotionally, paying her medical expenses, driving her to doctor's appointments, and caring for her during hospital stays.

...The effect his deportation will have on his life is clear, after having spent over two decades in the United States. Less acknowledged has been the effect his deportation will have on the health of his family members, who have already been shaken to their core by his detainment.

For his wife, his deportation could have potentially "life-ending" and "life-changing" effects, according to her cardiology physician assistant, who wrote a letter of support for the family as Oliver-Bruno pursued deferred action.

Perez Pacheco has pulmonary arterial hypertension, an "aggressive and progressive" condition caused by lupus, a diagnosis she received at 15. Lupus affects most of the tissues in the body, causing them to become inflamed and scarred. For Perez Pacheco, this primarily has meant that lupus is affecting the blood vessels in her lungs and her heart. Pulmonary arterial hypertension is not curable, the physician assistant explained in the letter, and ultimately Perez Pacheco's condition will "deteriorate."

Presently, she is devastated. She told Rewire.News the past several days have been hellish. She is tired and has "no willingness to do anything."

"I have horrible headaches and mentally, I don't know how much longer I can keep carrying all of this pain," Perez Pacheco said late Monday afternoon. "I don't know how much longer I can do this."

Although her particular situation is unique, the negative health impacts of detainment and deportation on families is an underreported, yet increasingly common, issue. Fear, trauma, and stress are having very real and damaging effects on immigrant communities that researchers are still working to understand. Adults who are subjected to immigration enforcement are experiencing severe and wide-ranging health implications. And these outcomes, medical professionals say, should be viewed as a public health crisis.
It is absolutely and unquestionably a public health crisis. Sustained anxiety and trauma are serious health concerns.

Opheli Garcia Lawler at the Cut: Another Ferguson Protester Has Died. "Bassem Masri, a Palestinian-American activist who live-streamed throughout the protests against police brutality and the murder of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, has died. ...Masri is not the first person connected to the Ferguson protests to die in the years since the protests against the killing of Michael Brown. Danye Jones and Darren Seals have both been found dead since 2014. Jones death was considered by police to be a suicide, but his mother Melissa McKinnies — who is a prominent activist herself — suspected foul play. Seals was found shot to death and set on fire, and his murder has not been solved. The circumstances of Masri's death have not been released or confirmed." My condolences to his family, friends, and community.

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

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