We Resist: Day 714

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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 Fannie: You're Not Interesting Because You're Cruel. And by me: 2020 Foresight and Quote of the Day. And ICYMI late yesterday: An Observation About Bernie.

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

[Content Note: Nativism; white supremacy] Rebekah Entralgo at ThinkProgress: The Lies Trump Is Using to Justify His Border Wall Shutdown. "Faced with a federal government shutdown entering into its 12th day, Trump maintained his hardline stance on immigration and request for $5 billion in border wall funding. By deploying fear-mongering tactics and lies about immigration, the president is attempting to gin up his Republican base while simultaneously trying to convince Democrats of the wall's necessity."

Tarini Parti at BuzzFeed: Trump's Allies Want Him to Keep the Government Shut Down. "Trump continuing to dig in is 'all around a good move,' said a former White House official. 'In Trump's own words: 'What the hell do you have to lose?' This is why he got elected. ...He wasn't elected to do things the way they've always been done.' ...Florida GOP Rep. Matt Gaetz, a close Trump ally and a regular on Fox News, also pointed out in a recent appearance on the president's favorite network that many of the districts in Maryland and Virginia where government employees live are now represented by Democrats. 'As we roll deeper into the shutdown, I think that the Democrats will experience more pain than the Republicans,' he said." Wow.

Casey Quinlan at ThinkProgress: Federal Workers Are Illegally Forced to Work without Pay During Shutdown, Lawsuit Says. "It's unclear when the shutdown, which has now entered its 13th day, will end, as the president and Congress remain at odds over funding for a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border. The federal employees union and a D.C.-based law firm, Kalijarvi, Chuzi, Newman & Fitch filed a lawsuit on Monday, arguing that it is illegal under the Fair Labor Standards Act to make federal employees work without pay. In its complaint, the union says the Trump administration's violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act is 'willful, and in conscious or reckless disregard of the requirements' of the the law."

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Laura Meckler and Devlin Barrett at the Washington Post: Trump Administration Considers Rollback of Anti-Discrimination Rules.
The Trump administration is considering a far-reaching rollback of civil rights law that would dilute federal rules against discrimination in education, housing, and other aspects of American life, people familiar with the discussions said.

A recent internal Justice Department memo directed senior civil rights officials to examine how decades-old "disparate impact" regulations might be changed or removed in their areas of expertise, and what the impact might be, according to people familiar with the matter. Similar action is being considered at the Education Department and is underway at the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

...Civil rights advocates said diminishing this tool could have sweeping consequences.

"Disparate impact is a bedrock principle," said Kristen Clarke, president and executive director of the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. "Through the courts, we've been able to marshal data and use the disparate-impact doctrine as a robust tool for ferreting out discrimination."
Which, of course, is precisely why the Trump Regime wants to undermine it.

Amie Ferris-Rotman at the Washington Post: American Paul Whelan Charged with Espionage in Russia, News Agency Reports. "An American arrested in Russia has been formally charged with espionage, a Russian news agency reported Thursday, moving the case into Russia's justice system and possibly deepening the diplomatic tensions with the United States. The Interfax news agency report on Paul Whelan's status could not be independently verified. 'An indictment has been presented. Whelan dismisses it,' Interfax quoted a person familiar with the situation as saying."

Brendan Skwire at Raw Story: Former Defense Official Visibly Infuriated by Trump's Ignorance after He Praises the Soviets for Invading Afghanistan. "MSNBC host Hallie Jackson noted that the president's comments had caused outrage in Afghanistan, reading from a blistering statement that country's foreign minister had released on Twitter setting Trump straight, and asked what the impact on 'on-the-ground operations' would be. 'This one was appalling, it was almost on the level of Helsinki,' replied [former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Russia/Ukraine/Eurasia Evelyn Farkas], who was visibly angry. ...'Once again, he's doing this really odd and alarming thing of almost siding with not only Russia, but the Soviet Union, against America and America history and American values,' she said."

Jennifer Bendery at the Huffington Post: Trump Is in His Best Position Yet to Confirm Incompetent Judges.
Senate Republicans have been confirming ideologues and otherwise unqualified people to be lifetime federal judges ever since Donald Trump became president. As they head into 2019 with a strengthened majority, they are positioned to do more of the same ― and then some.

Republicans gained two Senate seats in November, giving them a 53-47 majority in the new year. That means Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) can now afford to lose a handful of GOP votes as he forges ahead with drastically reshaping the courts.

"We intend to keep confirming as many as we possibly can for as long as we're in a position to do it," he told reporters after the November election. "It will still be my top priority in setting the agenda here in the Senate. In the next Congress as well."

Republicans have already put record numbers of Trump's judges onto the federal bench: 30 circuit judges, 53 district judges, and two Supreme Court justices. That's so many circuit judges — more than any other president has seen confirmed by this point in his first term — that 1 in 6 seats on the U.S. circuit courts are now filled by judges nominated by Trump.

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

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