We Resist: Day 742

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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: Polar Vortex: It's Still Cooooooooold! and Trump Reportedly Drafting Emergency Declaration for Border Wall. And ICYMI late yesterday: Discussion Thread: Election Dread.

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

[CN: Transphobia]

I take up space in solidarity with Sarah McBride, who is terrific and on whose team I always want to be.

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The media has learned nothing since the last election. JFC.

Meanwhile, the Republicans have learned that they will be able to continue to get away with killing our democracy. Mark Niesse at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Firm's Close Ties to Georgia Stir Concerns About Voting System Purchase. "When Gov. Brian Kemp hired an election company's lobbyist this month, the move raised alarm bells about one company's influence on Georgia's upcoming purchase of a new statewide voting system. Concerns from government accountability advocates only grew days later, when a commission created by Kemp recommended that the state buy the type of voting machines sold by the lobbyist's company, Election Systems & Software." For fuck's sake!

And, of course, Republicans continue to punish anyone who tries to hold them accountable. Laura Strickler and Peter Alexander at NBC News: Whistleblower in White House Security Clearance Office Gets Suspended.
A White House security specialist has been suspended without pay for defying her supervisor Carl Kline, less than a week after NBC News reported Kline approved Jared Kushner for top secret clearance over the objections of career staff.

The specialist, Tricia Newbold, had filed a discrimination complaint against Kline three months ago.

Newbold's two-week suspension from the White House security office was for failure to supervise, failure to follow instructions and defiance of authority, according to the suspension decision notice obtained by NBC News. Security office chief Crede Bailey first proposed the suspension on Dec. 3, 2018.

Wednesday's notice is signed by Bailey and mentions that in Newbold's 18-year career she has not faced any "prior formal disciplinary action." The document also harshly criticizes Newbold for her "defiance" and notes that Newbold said she would "continue to do what is best for the Executive Office of the President."

...In her EEOC complaint, Newbold, who has a rare form of dwarfism, accused Kline of discriminating against her because of her height.

Her complaint states that, in December 2017, Kline moved security files to a new location that were too high and out of her reach. "You have people, have them get you the files you need; or you can ask me," he told Newbold, according to her complaint.

Two sources who did not want to be identified confirmed that Kline had moved files out of Newbold's reach.
Absolute scum. This country is being run by despicable scoundrels.

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[Content Note: Nativism; carcerality; abuse] Garance Burke and Martha Mendoza at the AP: ICE Force-Feeding Detainees on Hunger Strike.
Federal immigration officials are force-feeding six immigrants through plastic nasal tubes during a hunger strike that's gone on for a month inside a Texas detention facility, The Associated Press has learned.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement says 11 detainees at the El Paso Processing Center have been refusing food, some for more than 30 days. Detainees who reached the AP, along with a relative and an attorney representing hunger strikers, said nearly 30 detainees from India and Cuba have been refusing to eat, and some are now so weak they cannot stand up or talk.

Another four detainees are on hunger strikes in the agency's Miami, Phoenix, San Diego, and San Francisco areas of responsibility, said ICE spokeswoman Leticia Zamarripa on Wednesday.

The men say they stopped eating to protest verbal abuse and threats of deportation from guards. They are also upset about lengthy lock ups while awaiting legal proceedings.

In mid-January, two weeks after they stopped eating, a federal judge authorized force-feeding of some El Paso detainees, Zamarripa said. She did not immediately address the detainees' allegations of abuse but did say the El Paso Processing Center would follow the federal standards for care.

ICE officials say they closely monitor the food and water intake of detainees identified as being on a hunger strike to protect their health and safety.

The men with nasal tubes are having persistent nose bleeds, and are vomiting several times a day, said Amrit Singh, whose two nephews from the Indian state of Punjab have been on hunger strike for about a month.

"They are not well. Their bodies are really weak, they can't talk, and they have been hospitalized, back and forth," said Singh, from California. "They want to know why they are still in the jail and want to get their rights and wake up the government immigration system."
The Daily Beast notes: "Force-feeding can be very painful and has been condemned by both the American Medical Association and the World Medical Association." It's torture, is what it is.

[CN: Torture; carcerality] Spencer Ackerman at the Daily Beast: Detainees Describe an American Presence in Their Torture Chambers. "Salvatore's account is fragmentary, as is that of another ex-detainee interviewed by The Daily Beast named Adel Salem Nasser al-Hasani, who gave similar accounts of a U.S. presence in Yemeni torture prisons based on what he saw — victims weren't always blindfolded — heard, and heard other prisoners say. You don't have to take these two former detainees' word for it, however: The U.S. military now admits that American troops are in the facilities. But Salvatore and al-Hasani's accounts also challenge the official U.S. position, which is that despite American service-members being present in Yemeni prisons, the U.S. doesn't know anything about any torture that happens in detention centers run by U.S. allies." Rage seethe boil.

Cassandra Garrison at Reuters: China's Military-Run Space Station in Argentina Is a 'black box'. "Shrouded in secrecy, the compound has stirred unease among local residents, fueled conspiracy theories, and sparked concerns in the Trump administration about its true purpose, according to interviews with dozens of residents, current and former Argentine government officials, U.S. officials, satellite and astronomy specialists, and legal experts. The station's stated aim is peaceful space observation and exploration and, according to Chinese media, it played a key role in China's landing of a spacecraft on the dark side of the moon in January. But the remote 200-hectare compound operates with little oversight by the Argentine authorities, according to hundreds of pages of Argentine government documents obtained by Reuters and reviewed by international law experts." Good lord.

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

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