We Resist: Day 733

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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: MAGA Teen Harasser Force and Kamala Harris Announces Candidacy for President and I'm with Leslie.

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

Catherine Rampell at the Washington Post: The GOP Has Become the Soviet Party. "Once upon a time, Ayn Rand-reading, red-baiting Republicans denounced Soviet Russia as an evil superpower intent on destroying the American way of life. My, how things have changed. The Grand Old Party has quietly become the pro-Russia party — and not only because the party's standard-bearer seems peculiarly enamored of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Under Republican leadership, the United States is starting to look an awful lot like the failed Soviet system the party once stood unified against." Damn. Say it, Catherine!

Catherine Garcia at the Week: Sanctions Deal Actually Boosts Russian Oligarch Oleg Deripaska. "The Times reviewed a confidential document, signed by a Treasury official and representatives of Deripaska's companies, which shows that under the deal, he will have the opportunity to wipe out hundreds of millions of dollars in debt by transferring some of his shares to the Russian government-owned bank VTB, which has lent him a substantial amount of money. At the same time, Deripaska's allies — who are also close to the Kremlin — will still have major stakes in his companies." How utterly not shocking.

Staff at the Daily Beast: Leaked Audio Suggests Oleg Deripaska Planned Anastasia Vashukevich's Arrest. "A leaked audio tape allegedly shows that Russian aluminum oligarch Oleg Deripaska and his associates planned the arrest of Anastasia Vashukevich — the Belarusian model who claimed to have evidence of Kremlin interference in Donald Trump's election. ...Vashukevich insists she is being framed for a crime she didn't commit and apologized to Deripaska in court last week, saying: 'Please forgive me. I was just a tool and people used me.' Deripaska reportedly loaned Paul Manafort in excess of $10 million before the U.S. political adviser became Donald Trump's campaign chairman in 2016." Goddammit.

[Content Note: Video may autoplay at link] Matthew Mosk, Katherine Faulders, and John Santucci at ABC News: U.S. Banker with Ties to Putin's Inner Circle Sought Access to Trump Transition. "Nine days after Donald Trump won the presidency, as scores of supporters clamored for meetings with his transition team, the Hollywood producer of The Apprentice, Mark Burnett, reached out to one of Trump's closest advisers to see if he would sit down with a banker who has long held ties to Russia. The banker, Robert Foresman, never got the role he was seeking with the fledgling Trump administration. But he has recently attracted the attention of congressional investigators as one more name on an expanding list of Americans with established ties inside the Kremlin who appears to have been seeking access to the newly elected president's inner circle, according to three sources familiar with the matter."

Andy Towle at Towleroad: Donald Trump Jr. on Buzzfeed and Trump Tower Moscow: 'The Media Is Trying to Subvert This Democracy'. "Donald Trump Jr. claimed to know nothing about the Trump Tower Moscow project in an astonishing interview with FOX News' Laura Ingraham on Monday night... Said Trump Jr., placing all the onus for the Trump Tower Moscow project on former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen: '…the reality is this wasn't a deal — we don't know the developer. We don't know the site. We don't know anything about it. Ultimately, it was Michael Cohen essentially trying to get a deal done.' ...Of the media's (and in reaction to Buzzfeed's) continued scrutiny of the Trump campaign's ties to Russia, Donald Jr. added: '...And the media right now is really trying to subvert this democracy. They've done more to hurt the credibility of this country's institution as a democracy than anything in history.'" The chutzpah of this traitor! OMG.

In other foreign policy news, the AFP reports that Mike Pence has told the Venezuelan opposition: "We are with you."

Pence in the Oval Office would not be an improvement. You can take that to the bank. Unfortunately.

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Let's take a break for a good piece of resistance news, which is really more of a reminder, that Terry Crews is awesome.

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[CN: Trans hatred] Robert Barnes and Dan Lamothe at the Washington Post: Supreme Court Allows Trump Restrictions on Transgender Troops in Military to Go into Effect as Legal Battle Continues. "The Supreme Court on Tuesday allowed [Donald] Trump's broad restrictions on transgender people serving in the military to go into effect while the legal battle continues in lower courts. The justices lifted nationwide injunctions that had kept the administration's policy from being implemented. ...The court's five conservatives — Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel A. Alito Jr., Neil M. Gorsuch, and Brett M. Kavanaugh — allowed the restrictions to go into effect while the court decides to whether to consider the merits of the case. The liberal justices — Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen G. Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan — would have kept the injunctions in place." This decision is both indecent and terrible law.

[CN: Guns] Ian Millhiser at ThinkProgress: Supreme Court Will Hear the First Big Second Amendment Case of the Kavanaugh Era. "In an ominous sign for potential victims of gun violence, the Supreme Court announced on Tuesday that it will hear New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. v. City of New York, a challenge to New York City's gun licensing regime. It's the first Second Amendment case the Supreme Court will hear since 2010, and only the second such case since 2008's District of Columbia v. Heller, which held for the first time in American history that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to bear arms. ...The case involves such a minor and incidental burden on gun rights that it is unclear why the Court would pick this case as their first foray into Second Amendment litigation in nearly a decade. If the Court sides with the plaintiffs in this case, that would suggest that many gun laws must fall in this decision's wake."

[CN: Nativism; misogyny; video may autoplay at link] Chantal da Silva at Newsweek: ICE Agents Detain Woman Despite High-Risk Pregnancy and Deny Her Medication for Days, Immigration Lawyers Say. "The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE) has come under fire after its agents arrested a woman who was five and a half months into a high-risk pregnancy during a green card interview with her husband, a U.S. citizen, according to immigration lawyers. They then allegedly detained her for days and denied her access to the medication she needed to ensure a safe pregnancy. ...[Immigration lawyer Greg Siskind] said that the situation only began to turn around after his law firm called on social media users to put pressure on ICE, flooding the LaSalle Detention Center with phone calls demanding [Carmen Puerto Diaz]'s release. After facing pressure from immigration advocates, as well as from at least one member of Congress, Siskind said ICE finally allowed Puerto Diaz to take her medication late on Friday evening and eventually released her the following day."

[CN: Violent misogyny; toxic masculinity] Adam Forgie at KUTV: Provo Man Facing Terrorism Charge After Making Mass Shooting Threat Targeting Women. "According to a probable cause statement,27-year-old Provo resident Christopher Cleary posted the following threat on Facebook: 'All I wanted was a girlfriend, not 1000 not a bunch of hoes not money none of that. All I wanted was to be loved, yet no one cares about me I'm 27 years old and I've never had a girlfriend before and I'm still a virgin, this is why I'm planning on shooting up a public place soon and being the next mass shooter cause I'm ready to die and all the girls the turned me down is going to make it right by killing as many girls as I see. There's nothing more dangerous than man ready to die.' ...The arresting officer spoke with Cleary's probation office who said Cleary has a history of making threats of killing women as well as felony stalking."

[CN: Police brutality; racism] Kenrya Rankin at Colorlines: Jason Van Dyke Sentenced to 6 Years, 9 Months for Murdering Laquan McDonald. "On October 5, a jury found former Chicago Police Department officer Jason Van Dyke guilty of second-degree murder and aggravated battery. [On January 18], Van Dyke was sentenced to six years and nine months for killing 17-year-old Laquan McDonald. The decision comes more than four years after Van Dyke, who is White, shot the Black teenager 16 times, prompting protests against the department and a government that worked overtime to hide details of the shooting. ...[Judge Vincent Gaughan's decision to use the single murder charge as his guide, rather than 16 counts of aggravated battery — one for each shot Van Dyke fired into McDonald's body — which could have drawn a sentence of 96 years] means that Van Dyke could be out of prison in less than three-and-a-half years, as the sentence allows for a 50 percent reduction for good behavior."

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[CN: Climate change. Covers entire section.]

Robinson Meyer at the Atlantic: There's Snow on TV, So Trump's Tweeting About Climate Change.
It's something of an annual tradition for the president. On Sunday morning, as the eastern half of the country endured driving snow and frigid winter winds, Donald Trump asked on Twitter how climate change could be real if it was so cold outside.

"Be careful and try staying in your house," he said. "Large parts of the Country are suffering from tremendous amounts of snow and near record setting cold. Amazing how big this system is. Wouldn't be bad to have a little of that good old fashioned Global Warming right now!"

Trump has raised similar concerns about that "good old fashioned Global Warming" nearly every year since 2012. If it snows near Manhattan, the president says he isn't sure about climate change.

Unfortunately, even as New York has occasionally been blasted with frozen precipitation, the world has kept warming. The past four years have been the four warmest years on record — a fact that nasa and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration were due to announce this past week, were the government not shut down. Earlier this winter, Washington, D.C., experienced a shocking 22 days of above-average temperatures, and the Northeast as a whole saw a balmy January. [Donald] Trump did not seize that opportunity to affirm that global warming was real.

The simple, tedious fact is that two things can be true at the same time: The world's average temperature can be clearly and dangerously increasing, and it can still snow sometimes in the northeastern United States.
Yessenia Funes at Earther: Australia Just Experienced Its Hottest Night Ever. "Thursday night set a new minimum temperature record of nearly 97 degrees Fahrenheit in New South Wales. This is the highest daily low temperature Australia has ever seen. And it's just latest in a string of brutally hot days for the country. Victoria and New South Wales, which sit on Australia's southeast corner, have seen temperatures soar above 107 degrees Fahrenheit for five days in a row. The capital of Canberra is set to see temperatures reach 104 degrees Fahrenheit four days in a row, which hasn't happened since 1939 when the country started keeping records."

Oliver Milman at the Guardian: Greenland's Ice Melting Faster Than Scientists Previously Thought. "Greenland's ice is melting faster than scientists previously thought, with the pace of ice loss increasing fourfold since 2003, new research has found. Enormous glaciers in Greenland are depositing ever larger chunks of ice into the Atlantic Ocean, where it melts. But scientists have found that the largest ice loss in the decade from 2003 actually occurred in the southwest region of the island, which is largely glacier-free. This suggests surface ice is simply melting as global temperatures rise, causing gushing rivers of meltwater to flow into the ocean and push up sea levels. Southwest Greenland, not previously thought of as a source of woe for coastal cities, is set to 'become a major future contributor to sea level rise,' the research states."

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

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