We Resist: Day 743

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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: Cory Booker Announces Candidacy for President and Trump Officially Pulls U.S. out of INF Treaty and Black History Month. And ICYMI late yesterday: Things That Make Me Go Hmm.

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

One thing in the news today is that Donald Trump did a big interview with the New York Times and said a bunch of heinous shit, and I am not going to link to it and I am not going to quote it, because fuck him.

[Content Note: Nativism; video may autoplay at link] Kate Smith at CBS News: Immigrants Drove Hours for Fake, ICE-Issued Court Dates on Thursday. "Immigration attorneys told CBS News that there was confusion, crowds, and long lines at immigration courts around the country on Thursday morning. ICE agents had issued thousands of Notice to Appear documents — essentially a court summons for immigration court — telling immigrants to appear in court or risk permanent removal from the U.S. It wasn't until hundreds of those people arrived at court Thursday morning that they realized those dates weren't real." Sickening.

[CN: Nativism] Tina Vasquez at Rewire.News: 'We Have No Stability Right Now': When Your Husband's Freedom Is at ICE Agent's Discretion.
"¿Cómo estás, mi amor?" This is how Berenilsse Marcial greets her son Louis after picking him up from his after-school program the evening of January 23. She has been going out of her way to seem chipper in front of the second grader, who has been having trouble concentrating at school and won't sleep alone anymore. Marcial doesn't have the words to explain why his step-father has been absent for nearly a month because he is being held in Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody, or that their family's fate rests in the hands of two immigration officials they've never even seen before.

On January 4, ICE agents detained Marcial's husband, Hector Baca Gutierrez, in New York at a scheduled appointment. Back in November, Baca Gutierrez received a letter from Thomas Decker, the field office director of the District of New York's Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) for ICE, telling him to appear on the tenth floor of 26 Federal Plaza on December 13 to meet with "Officer Almodovar." The reason for the appointment simply said "interview."

"We knew it couldn't be good," said Neal Datta, Baca Gutierrez's attorney. "The ninth floor of 26 Federal Plaza is where you go to report [to ICE]; the tenth floor is where you go and don't come back out."

Baca Gutierrez has been detained for 26 days. His family has struggled over the past four weeks with the emotional and financial impact of his departure.

"This has been devastating to my family," said Marcial. "I don't know what we're going to do."
Sob. I am so fucking angry at this regime's vile nativist agenda and their relentless malice. And I am so frustrated by how little sustained front-page press this issue is getting, despite the fact that it's still destroying families every day. We talk about "the wall," but not about the people whose lives are being affected by the nativism underwriting Donald Trump's policies, including a border wall, which he justifies by demonizing those people.

I know there is a lot about which to be angry, every day, but it's like people think this issue is solved, because Trump signed a bullshit executive order last summer. It isn't over. Goddammit.

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[CN: Extreme weather; death] Jessica Glenza at the Guardian: Polar Vortex: Cold That Has Killed at Least 16 to Give Way to 'Spring-Like' Weather. And not a moment too soon. Not that such a huge swing in temperature will be a unilaterally good thing. "The bitter cold gripping the American midwest is expected to turn into spring-like weather by early next week, according to forecasters. Just days after arctic conditions, temperatures are expected to climb by as much as 80 degrees Fahrenheit in some regions. Experts said the rapid thaw is unprecedented, and could create its own problems — bursting pipes, flooding rivers, and crumbling roads." It can also cause enormous sinkholes.

[CN: White supremacy] Christopher Mathias at the Huffington Post: Congressman Alerts Ethics Committee over Steve King's Continued White Nationalism. "Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) alerted the House Ethics Committee this week that racist Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) continues to use his official government website to promote a white nationalist blog — potentially reviving Ryan's effort to censure King or even expel him from Congress. Ryan sent a letter to the Ethics Committee on Tuesday stating he wanted to 'make the Committee aware of the continued use of government resources on the part of Rep. King to promote and advance white nationalism.' 'A HuffPost report published today, January 29, details how King is continuing to use his government website to promote the white nationalist website VDare.com,' the letter reads, referring to this HuffPost report."

[CN: Right-wing terrorism] Sam Levin at the Guardian: FBI Investigated Civil Rights Group as 'Terrorism' Threat and Viewed KKK as Victims.
The FBI opened a "domestic terrorism" investigation into a civil rights group in California, labeling the activists "extremists" after they protested against neo-Nazis in 2016, new documents reveal.

Federal authorities ran a surveillance operation on By Any Means Necessary (BAMN), spying on the leftist group's movements in an inquiry that came after one of BAMN's members was stabbed at the white supremacist rally, according to documents obtained by the Guardian. The FBI's BAMN files reveal:

  • The FBI investigated Bamn for potential "conspiracy" against the "rights" of the "Ku Klux Klan" and white supremacists.

  • The FBI considered the KKK as victims and the leftist protesters as potential terror threats, and downplayed the threats of the Klan, writing: "The KKK consisted of members that some perceived to be supportive of a white supremacist agenda."

  • The FBI's monitoring included in-person surveillance, and the agency cited BAMN's advocacy against "rape and sexual assault" and "police brutality" as evidence in the terrorism inquiry.

The FBI's 46-page report on Bamn, obtained by the government transparency non-profit Property of the People through a records request, presented an "astonishing" description of the KKK, said Mike German, a former FBI agent and far-right expert who reviewed the documents for the Guardian.
JFC. Meanwhile... Sarada Peri at the Daily Beast: Powerful Men Can't Stop Complaining That They're Being Bullied. "For the most part, what Schultz has faced is not bullying but questioning and criticism. ...It was the Wall Street Journal editorial page, which has frequently railed against liberal 'snowflakes,' which called the treatment of Schultz bullying. But it's not alone in using the term as a catch-all for any and all criticism directed at the wealthy and political elite. ...The pattern first took shape with the Victim-in-Chief, Donald Trump, whose insecurity and paranoia lead him to see a world that is pitted against him. The Democrats are unfair. The media is fake. The rules are rigged. The Deep State is out to get him. 'No politician in history has been treated worse or more unfairly,' he once said — never mind the time they shot Lincoln."

My heart bleeds. Meanwhile... [CN: Violent misogyny; gun violence; toxic masculinity] Will Bunch at the Philly Inquirer: A Domestic Terrorist Slaughtered 5 Women in a Florida Bank and Hardly Anyone Noticed. "If you watched TV news over the last week, it's all but guaranteed that you never heard the names of these female victims or even the despicable shooter, even as the name of another alleged Florida criminal, a huckster named Roger Stone, was uttered thousands of times. But not only that — you also probably saw next to nothing about another mass gun murder of five Americans that took place just three days later, when a different 21-year-old white male killed his girlfriend, her parents, and his own parents. ...The way these shootings are all happening — the almost robotic similarity of these young and male and alienated and isolated killers, the recurring links to domestic violence or repressed sexuality and the large number of female victims, and the fact that these killings happen in everyday locales like a bank or a motel bar — scream out one word to me. Terrorism."

[CN: Gun violence] Vivian Ho at the Guardian: 'An Indelible Mark': Effects Related to Gun Violence Are Widespread and Lasting. "Fifty-eight percent of American adults have experienced trauma related to gun violence in their lifetime, according to a report released on Friday by Everytown for Gun Safety, a non-profit for gun policy reform. More people are killed in the U.S. with guns within the first month of the year than are killed in any of the nation's high-income peer countries in an entire calendar year. Each year, more than 100,000 Americans survive a gunshot wound and 15,600 children and teens are shot and injured, the report states. The violence doesn't only alter the lives of the victims, but those of their entire network, the report stresses. 'Gun violence in any form leaves an indelible mark on the lives of those who are affected,' said Christopher Kocher, director of the Everytown Survivor Network."

[CN: Sexual assault; sex abuse by clergy] Staff at AP/NBC News: Hundreds of Accused Abusers Named by Catholic Leaders in Texas. "Catholic leaders in Texas on Thursday identified 286 priests and others accused of sexually abusing children, a number that represents one of the largest collections of names to be released since an explosive grand jury report last year in Pennsylvania. Fourteen dioceses in Texas named those credibly accused of abuse." 286. Fucking hell.

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Allegra Kirkland at TPM: All the Reasons the 2020 Census Is Shaping Up to Be a Disaster. "Inadequate funds, insufficient outreach, a wave of high-profile data breaches, and a deep mistrust of the Trump administration among minority communities compound the bureaucratic challenge inherent in moving the census online for the first time. Even if the Trump administration fails in what experts say would be a catastrophic bid to add a citizenship question to the census, advocates fear that this potent combination of factors will lead to a significant miscount of the state population figures used to divvy up congressional and legislative districts and allocate tens of billions of dollars in federal resources. The anticipated undercount of vulnerable populations in the 2020 Census will have consequences that shape national politics and reverberate through Americans' day to day lives for the next decade." This is so, so bad.

Jessica M. Goldstein at ThinkProgress: The Weaponization of 'Learn to Code'. "'Learn to code' is a linguistic dog whistle. ...Its origins are in an overblown and willfully misremembered spate of news stories about a man named Rusty Justice (yes, his real name) teaching web development to out-of-work coal miners in Kentucky. ...Its current usage, as formally documented by Know Your Meme, is as 'an expression used to mock journalists who were laid off from their jobs, encouraging them to learn software development as an alternate career path.'" Such assholes.

Lauren Thomas at CNBC: The CEO of the Biggest Mall Owner in the U.S. Says He's 'Nervous' About More Retail Bankruptcies This Year. "The biggest mall owner in the U.S. is warning of more store closures and even bankruptcies to rattle the retail industry in 2019. 'There are some retailers out there that we're nervous about,' Simon Property Group CEO David Simon said Friday during a call with analysts after the company reported earnings, though he didn't name those companies. 'We are concerned about a few [retail bankruptcies] that should shake out in the first quarter. ...The days of a rising economic tide...don't lift all retail boats. You've got a lot of out-performance and a lot of under-performance.'" Yikes.

And let us end on a hopeful note! Andy Towle at Towleroad: Joy Behar to Pete Buttigieg: 'Do You Think This Country Is Ready for a Gay President?'. "South Bend, Indiana, mayor Pete Buttigieg, who last week announced his intention to explore a run for president in 2020, sat down with the ladies of The View on Thursday. Buttigieg talked about his experience as a mayor, his time serving in Afghanistan, his position on Israel, and why he thinks someone from his generation (he's 37) is qualified to be Commander-in-Chief. He was also asked whether or not America's ready for a gay president. Replied Buttigieg: 'Well, there's only one way to find out.'" Right on, Mayor Pete!

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

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