We Resist: Day 792

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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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Late yesterday and earlier today by me: Trump Announces U.S. Will Recognize Israel's Sovereignty over Golan Heights and Trump Still Wants Hillary Clinton "Locked Up" and So Much Anticipatory Mueller Chatter and Primarily Speaking.

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

This is a call to action from Rep. Maxine Waters:

MAKE YOUR CALLS. Let your reps know that you support the Democrats in pursuing impeachment of Donald Trump. They need to hear that we want them to do whatever it takes to disempower Trump.

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I linked this in comments of yesterday's thread, but just in case anyone missed it, especially given its importance...

Andrew Desiderio and Kyle Cheney at Politico: Cummings Demands Docs on Kushner's Alleged Use of Encrypted App for Official Business.
House Democrats are raising new concerns about what they say is recently revealed information from Jared Kushner's attorney indicating that the senior White House aide has been relying on encrypted messaging service WhatsApp and his personal email account to conduct official business.

The revelation came in a Dec. 19 meeting — made public by the House Oversight and Reform Committee for the first time on Thursday — between Reps. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) and Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), the former chairman of the Oversight panel, and Kushner's lawyer, Abbe Lowell.

Cummings, who now leads the Oversight Committee, says in a new letter to White House counsel Pat Cipollone that Lowell confirmed to the two lawmakers that Kushner "continues to use" WhatsApp to conduct White House business.

...Kushner, whom the president charged with overseeing the administration's Middle East policies, reportedly has communicated with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman via WhatsApp.

The details of the discussion about Kushner's email and messaging practices came as part of a new Oversight Committee demand for a slew of new documents from Kushner and other current and former White House officials, including his wife Ivanka Trump, former deputy national security adviser K.T. McFarland, and former top strategist Steve Bannon.

...According to Cummings, Lowell also told him and Gowdy that Ivanka Trump, the president's daughter who also serves as a top adviser, conducts official White House business through her personal email account. Cummings suggested that Ivanka Trump was in violation of the Presidential Records Act because she was not forwarding emails to her official White House account that deal with government-related business.

...Cummings also told Cipollone that the committee obtained a document showing that McFarland was using an AOL.com account to conduct official White House business. Cummings said the document shows that McFarland was in communication with Tom Barrack, a longtime Trump confidant and the chairman of the president's Inaugural Committee, about transferring "sensitive U.S. nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia."

Barrack pitched the plan to Bannon through Bannon's personal email account, according to Cummings.
Fucking hell!

[CN: Video may autoplay at link] Shane Croucher at Newsweek: Jared Kushner's Using WhatsApp for White House Business Is 'Far More Egregious' Than Hillary Clinton's Emails, Cybersecurity Expert Says. No shit! "During a discussion about the Kushner WhatsApp news on MSNBC's The 11th Hour, Clint Watts, a former FBI special agent and a cybersecurity expert, noted a story in The New York Times about 'internet mercenaries' selling their hacking skills to foreign governments. Watts told The 11th Hour that these private security companies were now targeting people 'in their communications at the point of origin — at the phone.' He continued: 'This is what it's about now. It's not about this intercepting en route. It's about companies now that have the ability — and this is well-known in cybersecurity circles, I hear about it all the time — going in and targeting anyone's phone and being able to tap into those communications. We cannot have this.'"

I mean, yes, of course that's correct. But when Jared Kushner is using WhatsApp to communicate directly with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and K.T. McFarland is using an AOL account to discuss transferring U.S. nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia, the concern about hacking is rather less serious than the concern that we have traitors running the government who are using these technologies to operate in secrecy.

It would be bad if they were just being foolish in their top secret communications and risked getting hacked, but it's even worse that they are strategically avoiding transparency because they are apparently committing treason.

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Staff at the Daily Beast: Trump: 'People Will Not Stand for It' If Mueller Report Makes Me Look Bad. "In a new interview with his favorite cable TV network, [Donald] Trump was adamant that 'the people won't stand for it' if a report delivered by Special Counsel Robert Mueller makes him look bad." This, too, must be understood as part of Trump's campaign of stochastic terrorism. He is tacitly urging his supporters to not "stand for it" and to take action if Mueller's report is even critical of their dear leader.

The Christian Broadcasting Network asked Secretary of State Mike Pompeo if he thinks Donald Trump might have been sent by God to save Jews from Iran, and he responded, "As a Christian, I certainly believe that's possible." OMG.

Matt Apuzzo at the New York Times: How Strongmen Turned Interpol into Their Personal Weapon. "Unwaveringly confident in its fellowship of nations, Interpol was slow to recognize an era in which autocrats and strongmen wield increasing power over international institutions. Today, Interpol is scrambling to bolster oversight across 194 countries and review tens of thousands of red notices that have accumulated over the years. Nobody knows how many are tainted by political influence. That leaves governments around the world, including the United States', trying to figure out whether they are arresting a fugitive or employing their police for the whims of a despot."

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[CN: Nativism. Covers entire section. Video may autoplay at first link.]

Danica McAdam and Artie Ojeda at NBC San Diego: Young U.S. Citizen Detained at Border Gave 'Inconsistent Info,' CBP Says. "U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials are defending the decision to detain a 9-year-old girl for more than 30 hours as they worked to verify her identification. Thelma Galaxia said her friend, Michelle Cardenas, was driving each of their two children from Tijuana, where they live, to their schools in San Ysidro Monday morning, as they do nearly every day. ...Galaxia says CBP officers accused her daughter of lying about her identity [because she is younger in her passport photo]. ...CBP said the girl 'provided inconsistent information during her inspection,' and officers took her into custody 'to perform due diligence in confirming her identity and citizenship.'" Goddammit.

Michael Y. Park at the Points Guy: Airline Assured Flight Attendant She'd Be Safe to Fly to Mexico; When She Returned, ICE Detained Her. "Selene Saavedra Roman, 28, a resident of College Station, Texas, had been a crew member for Phoenix-based Mesa Airlines for less than a month in February when she was scheduled for a flight to Mexico out of Houston's George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH), even though she'd already made it clear that she didn't want to work any flights outside the U.S. ...Saavedra immediately told her supervisors she was worried — she was, after all, a so-called Dreamer, one of an estimated 700,000 immigrants to the US who fall under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy. ...But Mesa Airlines insisted she was legally all right to fly to Mexico and back. ...She ended up being held at the Houston airport for 24 hours, then Immigrations and Customs Enforcement transferred her to a privately run immigration detention facility in Conroe, Texas."

This is a situation where Trump's vile nativist agenda has fundamentally changed things for undocumented immigrants living in the United States: "According to [her attorney, Belinda Arroyo], immigration officials at Houston airport previously would have granted Saavedra a parole — a legal exception that would have allowed her, as a DACA recipient, to leave and reenter the country without hassle. But because of DACA's legal limbo, it's not clear whether paroles still apply." Rage seethe boil.

Molly O'Toole at the LA Times: Marine Corps Commandant Says Deploying Troops to the Border Poses 'Unacceptable Risk'. "The commandant of the Marines has warned the Pentagon that deployments to the southwest border and funding transfers under the president's emergency declaration, among other unexpected demands, have posed 'unacceptable risk to Marine Corps combat readiness and solvency.' In two internal memos, Marine Corps Gen. Robert Neller said the 'unplanned/unbudgeted' deployment along the border that [Donald] Trump ordered last fall, and shifts of other funds to support border security, had forced him to cancel or reduce planned military training in at least five countries, and delay urgent repairs at bases." Welp.

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[CN: Anti-choicery; dehumanization of people who can get pregnant] Ari Bee at Rewire.News: Georgia's Total Abortion Ban Would Give Rights to a Fertilized Egg.
Most of Georgia's House Bill 481 focuses on redefining medical and legal viability as beginning when a fetus has "a detectable heartbeat," usually around six weeks' gestational age. This effectively outlaws all abortion, as many people don't know they're pregnant at six weeks. However, the bill slips in language that fundamentally redefines a "natural person," to include "a member of the species Homo sapiens at any stage of development who is carried in the womb."

...Jalessah Jackson, the Georgia coordinator for SisterSong, a women of color reproductive justice collective based in Atlanta, told Rewire.News by email that the so-called fetal personhood language in anti-choice bills like HB 481 is a direct attack on the autonomy and rights of anyone who can become pregnant.

"To be clear, the desired outcome of fetal personhood framing is to remove the pregnant person's human and reproductive rights altogether," Jackson said.
As I have been noting for at least six years, these laws value fetuses more highly than the people who carry them. That's not a bug of anti-choice legislation; that's a feature.

[CN: Gun violence; abuse] Arika Herron at the Indianapolis Star: 'It Hurt So Bad': Indiana Teachers Shot with Plastic Pellets During Active Shooter Training. "An active-shooter training exercise at an Indiana elementary school in January left teachers with welts, bruises, and abrasions after they were shot with plastic pellets by the local sheriff's office conducting the session. The incident, acknowledged in testimony this week before state lawmakers, was confirmed by two elementary school teachers in Monticello, who described an exercise in which teachers were asked by local law enforcement to kneel down against a classroom wall before being sprayed across their backs with plastic pellets without warning. 'They told us, 'This is what happens if you just cower and do nothing,'' said one of the two teachers, both of whom asked IndyStar not to be identified out of concern for their jobs." JFC.

[CN: Trans hatred] Also in Indiana... Casey Quinlan at ThinkProgress: Indiana Republicans Push Anti-Trans Legislation Days After Gender-Neutral License Victory. "Indiana lawmakers are trying to make it harder for transgender and non-binary people to correct the gender on their ID cards and driver's licenses only a few days after Indiana became the sixth state in the nation to provide non-binary people with a gender marker option. A new amendment, introduced by a Republican state representative, would require people who want their correct gender marker on their ID card to first change their birth certificate — something that is often impossible for people born in a different state." Such assholes.

Emily Barrett and Katherine Greifeld at Bloomberg News: U.S. Treasury Yield Curve Inverts for First Time Since 2007. "A closely watched section of the Treasury yield curve on Friday turned negative for the first time since the crisis more than a decade ago, underscoring concern about a possible economic slump and the prospect that the Federal Reserve will have to cut interest rates. The gap between the 3-month and 10-year yields vanished on Friday as a surge of buying pushed long-end rates sharply lower. Inversion is widely considered a reliable harbinger of recession in the U.S. The 10-year slipped to as low as 2.439 percent." Swell.

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

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