We Resist: Day 700

a black bar with the word RESIST in white text

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.

* * *

Earlier today by me: Putin Is Pleased with Trump's Syria Withdrawal and North Korea Has No Plans to Denuclearize (Of Course) and Trump's Acting and Nominated AG Both Criticized Mueller Probe.

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

Dan De Luce, Josh Lederman, and Courtney Kube at NBC News: Trump's Withdrawal from Syria Is Victory for Iran and Russia, Experts Say. "Although Russian and Iranian forces had already turned the tide of the civil war in favor of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, the presence of U.S. troops has served as an obstacle to their ambitions and a source of leverage for Washington in any potential political settlement of the conflict. Just within the last week, senior U.S. officials had argued that the American military mission was needed to ensure the lasting defeat of ISIS militants and to serve as a bulwark against Iran. But with Trump's move to pull out the U.S. troops, Russia and particularly Iran — which sent thousands of proxies and its own elite forces into Syria — stand to emerge as the dominant players."

Joby Warrick and Souad Mekhennet at the Washington Post: The Islamic State Remains a Deadly Insurgent Force, Analysts Say, Despite Trump's Claim It Has Been Defeated. "In some regions, the Islamist militants appear to be gaining ground, reconstituting themselves as a brutal insurgency bent on killing local leaders and police officers and terrorizing populations, officials and analysts say. ...For many security experts, the depiction of the Islamic State as 'defeated' — as [Donald] Trump declared in a Twitter post Wednesday — is not only inaccurate, but is also dangerously misleading. Despite its setbacks, the group maintains a formidable presence in Syria and Iraq, commanding cadres of fanatical, highly trained fighters believed to number in the thousands, including many who went into hiding after the fall of the group's self-declared caliphate."

Caitlin Oprysko at Politico: Trump Defends Surprise Syria Withdrawal Despite Withering GOP Criticism. "'Getting out of Syria was no surprise. I've been campaigning on it for years, and six months ago, when I very publicly wanted to do it, I agreed to stay longer,' Trump wrote in one tweet. 'Russia, Iran, Syria & others are the local enemy of ISIS. We were doing there [sic] work. Time to come home & rebuild. #MAGA.' ...Although the president claimed Thursday that his decision to pull U.S. troops from Syria should come as 'no surprise,' several of his administration's top national security officials appeared to be caught off-guard by the move. Congressional Republicans, including some close allies of the president, panned the notion that the Islamic State had been defeated." BUT WHAT ARE THEY GOING TO DO ABOUT IT, THO? Presumably nothing. As usual.

Hopefully Senate Democrats will use whatever power they've got in their minority position to do whatever they can.

Over in the House, Nancy Pelosi is on it, and she isn't pulling any punches.

In other collusion news...

Great question.

* * *

[Content Note: Class warfare; food insecurity] Staff at the AP/Guardian: Trump Administration Puts Squeeze on Food Stamps Recipients. "The Trump administration is setting out to do what this year's farm bill did not: Tighten work requirements for millions of Americans who receive federal food assistance. The agriculture department on Thursday proposed a rule that would restrict the ability of states to exempt work-eligible adults from having to obtain steady employment to receive food stamps." This is classist, disablist trash that will leave millions of people hungry because they are simply unable to meet these bullshit work requirements. MALICE IS THE AGENDA. Nothing could make that more clear than this abominable cruelty.

[CN: War on agency] Amanda Michelle Gomez at ThinkProgress: States Are Already Pre-Filing 'Fetal Heartbeat' Bans for the New Year.
Fetal heartbeat bills aim to outlaw abortion when a "heartbeat" is detected and, in recent days, it's the ban Republican state lawmakers have been coalescing around — a trend signaling the anti-abortion movement is ready for a complete ban if the Supreme Court is.

There was a rise in state legislatures considering fetal heartbeat bills in 2018, and it's certain to continue in the new year. The Ohio legislature just sent its heartbeat ban to the governor, who'll likely veto it; however, the incoming governor promised he'd sign such a ban into law when he takes office next year. Iowa was the first state in 2018 to effectively ban abortions up to six weeks, considered to be "the most restrictive" ban nationwide, and now tied up in court. State lawmakers elsewhere are already planning to introduce similar measures in 2019, with pre-files in South Carolina, Kentucky, and Missouri.

Lawmakers in Texas and South Dakota, meanwhile, are teeing up bills next year that try to humanize a fetus by affording it rights and requiring pregnant people to listen to the heartbeat, respectively.

The heartbeat ban, itself, is a misnomer. While a fetus' heart begins to form as early as six weeks of pregnancy, or around the time a "heartbeat" can be detected, it's still not a fully developed organ. Cardiac activity also isn't a credible measure of viability, as there's still a high chance of miscarriage and pregnancy complications. What these heartbeat bans do is outlaw abortions early during the first-trimester, before many people know they are pregnant.

It appears the objective with these measures is to make abortion more and more inaccessible.
[CN: Gun violence; death] Melissa Healy at the LA Times: More Than 15% of Childhood Deaths in America Are Due to Guns, Study Says. "More than 3,000 children and adolescents died of a gunshot wound in the United States in 2016, a new tally of childhood deaths finds. These episodes accounted for 15.4% of all Americans between the ages of 1 and 19 who died in 2016, and a quarter of those killed by injury rather than disease. ...'Children in America are dying or being killed at rates that are shameful,' [Dr. Edward W. Campion, executive editor of the New England Journal of Medicine] wrote in an editorial published alongside the new report."

[CN: Nativism] Yeganeh Torbati for Reuters/USNWR: U.S. to Send Some Migrants Back to Mexico as Immigration Cases Proceed. "The United States will soon begin returning individuals who illegally cross the U.S. southern border back to Mexico to wait there while their immigration cases proceed, U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said on Thursday. ...'Aliens trying to game the system to get into our country illegally will no longer be able to disappear into the United States, where many skip their court dates,' Nielsen said in a statement. 'Instead, they will wait for an immigration court decision while they are in Mexico.'" 1. It is a straight-up lie that many undocumented immigrants skip their court dates. 2. As I noted just yesterday, asylum-seekers from the caravan have been killed in Mexico while waiting their chance to enter the U.S. Nielsen knows she will be sending some people to their deaths, and she doesn't fucking care.

[CN: HIV stigma] Savas Abadsidis at Towleroad: Trump Fires HIV-Positive Airmen Right Before Christmas. "In a bold move pernicious even for the Trump administration, two U.S. Air Force service members have been discharged for their HIV status. According to an exclusive in today's Washington Post, 'two U.S. airmen filed suit on Wednesday against Defense Secretary Jim Mattis in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, arguing that the Pentagon's decision last month to discharge them from the military owing to their HIV status violates the Constitution's equal protection clause and federal law. They have asked the court to strike down the decision.' Lambda Legal quickly issued a statement in support that said, in conjunction with OutServe-SLDN and with the law firm Winston & Strawn, they filed a lawsuit on behalf of two HIV-positive members of the United States Air Force who were given discharge orders just days before the holiday season." Goddammit.

[CN: Carcerality; murder; wrongful conviction] Pamela Colloff at ProPublica: Bloodstain Analysis Convinced a Jury She Stabbed Her 10-Year-Old Son; Now, Even Freedom Can't Give Her Back Her Life. "Four years later, Julie Rea was acquitted at a retrial, after a legal team assembled by the Center on Wrongful Convictions at Northwestern University's Pritzker School of Law in Chicago mounted a vigorous defense that challenged the state's forensic testimony. They also presented new evidence that a serial killer of children — a lifelong drifter who was on Texas death row for a nearly identical crime — had confessed to killing Joel. Rea was formally exonerated in 2010. Today, she belongs to a growing community of victims: Americans who were wrongly convicted with the help of forensic disciplines allowed into courtrooms despite little to no proof of their reliability. Of the 362 people who have been exonerated based on DNA tests in the United States, faulty forensics contributed to almost half of the underlying convictions."

Luke Barnes at ThinkProgress: The Terrifying Consequences of a 'No-Deal' Brexit. "[A 'No Deal' scenario, in which the UK abruptly withdraws from the EU without any deal agreed] would mean that border checks would have to be re-imposed, the UK would lose its access to the EU single market, and EU citizens in the UK (and vice-versa) would be left in legal limbo. ...Time-sensitive supply chains, including for food and medicine, could be severely disrupted by massive backlogs in ports since goods would no longer be transferred seamlessly from the EU into the UK. The UK would also no longer be governed by EU aviation standards, which could effectively ground flights until they renegotiated. ...In the worse case scenario, the government would need to 'explore how we would deal with a rise in homelessness and other potential societal impacts like a rise in suicide rates or an increase in food banks use.'" Truly frightening.

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

Shakesville is run as a safe space. First-time commenters: Please read Shakesville's Commenting Policy and Feminism 101 Section before commenting. We also do lots of in-thread moderation, so we ask that everyone read the entirety of any thread before commenting, to ensure compliance with any in-thread moderation. Thank you.

blog comments powered by Disqus