We Resist: Day 797

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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: Justice Dept. Defends Trump's Twitter Blocking in Court and Primarily Speaking.

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

Chris Kahn at Reuters: Despite Report Findings, Almost Half of Americans Think Trump Colluded with Russia. "Nearly half of all Americans still believe [Donald] Trump worked with Russia to interfere in the 2016 presidential election, according to a new Reuters/Ipsos poll conducted after [Attorney General Bill Barr claimed that] Special Counsel Robert Mueller cleared Trump of that allegation. ...Among those familiar with Barr's summary, only 9 percent said it had changed their thinking about Trump's ties to Russia and 57 percent said they want to see the entire report." MAKE THE REPORT PUBLIC.

Karoun Demirjian at the Washington Post: 'Undoubtedly There Is Collusion': Trump Antagonist Adam Schiff Doubles Down After Mueller Finds No Conspiracy. Chair of the House Intelligence Committee Rep. Adam Schiff "refuses to let the matter go until lawmakers can assess the investigative materials that informed Mueller's findings. 'Undoubtedly there is collusion,' Schiff said in an interview this week, after Attorney General William P. Barr submitted a four-page letter to Congress summarizing key aspects of Mueller's report. 'We will continue to investigate the counterintelligence issues. That is, is the president or people around him compromised in any way by a hostile foreign power? ...It doesn't appear that was any part of Mueller's report.'"

Thank Maude for Adam Schiff. MSNBC's Rachel Maddow has no intention of letting this shit go, either — and neither do I. I categorically refuse to gaslight myself and pretend I haven't seen what I have indeed seen with my own goddamned eyes.

And once again, I just want to make the point that there is a very important bit of fuckery going on re: the definition of collusion. Special Counsel Bob Mueller limited his investigation of "collusion" to Russian government officials, ignoring that figures like Maria Butina and Oleg Deripaska, though not members of the Russian government, are agents of Vladimir Putin. That's a big fucking loophole. There was also no investigation of whether the sitting president is currently compromised, so if anyone thinks that I'm about to "move on" from this subject with those galactic caverns unexplored, they don't know my tenacious ass very well.

Casey Michel at ThinkProgress: Russia's Influence Efforts Had Plenty of American Help Outside of the Trump Campaign.
Special counsel Robert Mueller may not have found the Trump campaign colluding with Russia, but plenty of Americans — wittingly or otherwise — have helped Moscow's election meddling efforts in recent years...

According to Barr, Mueller's report found that Russian operatives reached out to Trump's campaign, but that no member of the campaign actively colluded with the Russian government. However, Barr wrote that Mueller also "determined that there were two main Russian efforts to influence the 2016 election." Both of these efforts — social media interference, and stealing and disseminating internal Democratic documents and emails — were widely known before the report's conclusion.

From fake Facebook pages to networks of Twitter bots, from posing as Romanian hackers to transferring stolen emails to Wikileaks, the details of these operations have been previously reported or described by intelligence analysts. And they've already resulted in numerous criminal indictments, for everything from illegally accessing emails to stealing Americans' identities.

But those weren't the only ways the Kremlin tried to put its fingers on American scales in 2016.
Michel goes on to discuss Russian cultivation of American secessionists, the cozy relationship between Russia and the NRA, Christian fundamentalists' bridge-building to Russia, and the far-left and third-party candidates with ties to Russia. Read and bookmark this one.

Julia Ainsley at NBC News: James Comey Says He Is Confused by Mueller's Decision on Obstruction. "Former FBI Director James Comey told an audience in Charlotte on Tuesday that he is confused by Special Counsel Robert Mueller's decision to neither charge nor exonerate [Donald] Trump on obstruction of justice. 'The part that's confusing is, I can't quite understand what's going on with the obstruction stuff,' Comey told an audience of roughly 2,000 people gathered at the Belk Theatre for an event sponsored by Queens University. 'And I have great faith in Bob Mueller, but I just can't tell from the letter why didn't he decide these questions when the entire rationale for a special counsel is to make sure the politicals aren't making the key charging decisions,' the former FBI chief said."

Well, I don't understand your flaming trash decision to throw the election to Trump, James Comey, so welcome to the Confused Club!

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In good news... Matthew S. Schwartz at NPR: Federal Judge Blocks North Carolina Ban on Abortions Later Than 20 Weeks. "A law making it harder for women in North Carolina to get an abortion after 20 weeks is unconstitutional, a federal judge has declared. The law, which had been on the books since 1973, banned abortion after 20 weeks with only certain exceptions to protect the life of the mother. A 2015 amendment tightened those exceptions, criminalizing abortion unless the woman's life or a 'major bodily function' were at immediate risk. Pro-abortion rights groups challenged the law, and on Monday U.S. District Judge William Osteen sided with them. ...'The Supreme Court has clearly advised that a state legislature may never fix viability at a specific week but must instead leave this determination to doctors,' Osteen wrote." RIGHT ON.

[Content Note: Guns; domestic violence]

Despite the fact that domestic violence is a precursor to virtually every act of mass gun violence, the NRA thinks that it's "too low a bar" to take away someone's access to firearms. Fucking assholes.

Doha Madani at NBC News: Betsy DeVos Grilled in Congress over Proposed Elimination of Special Olympics Funding.
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos struggled before a congressional subcommittee on Tuesday to defend at least $7 billion in proposed cuts to education programs, including eliminating all $18 million in federal funding for the Special Olympics.

Wisconsin Democratic Rep. Mark Pocan pushed DeVos on her proposed cuts to the Special Olympics and other special education programs during her testimony before a House Appropriations subcommittee.

When Pocan asked whether she knew how many children would be affected by the elimination of federal funding to the Special Olympics, DeVos said she did not know.

"I'll answer it for you, that's okay, no problem," Pocan said. "It's 272,000 kids that are affected."

...Pocan wasn't the only House member to criticize DeVos over the proposed cuts to special education.

Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Calif., noted that past proposed budgets also attempted to eliminate federal funding for the Special Olympics.

"I still can't understand why you would go after disabled children in your budget," Lee said Tuesday. "You zero that out. It's appalling."
It certainly is.

[CN: Islamophobia] Stephen Caruso and Elizabeth Hardison at the Pennsylvania Capital-Star: Pennsylvania Legislature's First Muslim Woman Calls Prayer Delivered by Fellow House Member Blatant Islamophobia. "A first-year member of the Pennsylvania House on Monday offered a prayer laden with political and Christian imagery shortly before the swearing in of the chamber's first Muslim woman. ...[Movita Johnson-Harrell, the first Muslim woman elected to the General Assembly] said the prayer was 'highly offensive to me, my guests, and other members of the House.'" It is also highly offensive to me as a Pennsylvania resident.

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[CN: Nativism. Covers entire section.]

Christina Goldbaum at the New York Times: Trump Crackdown Unnerves Immigrants, and the Farmers Who Rely on Them. "It has long been an open secret in upstate New York that the dairy industry has been able to survive only by relying on undocumented immigrants for its work force. Now, this region has become a national focal point in the debate over [Donald] Trump's crackdown on undocumented immigrants and their role in agriculture. ...The pressures here reflect broader challenges facing farmers across the country who rely on undocumented workers. The farmers are struggling with a shrinking labor pool as fewer migrants cross illegally into the country and migrants who are long-term residents become too old for field work. This year the labor shortage has been compounded by Mr. Trump's trade war and extreme weather, forcing some small farmers to switch to higher-value crops, to reduce their acreage and to consider selling their farms." Is it enough that farmers who supported Trump won't support him again, though?!

Rebekah Entralgo at ThinkProgress: Hundreds of Activists Protest Florida Lawmakers' Secret Immigration Deal. "Senate Bill 168, and its sister legislation HB 527 in the House, would prevent municipalities from designating themselves as sanctuary cities — despite the fact that no sanctuary cities currently exist in the state of Florida. Nearly every municipality already shares information with federal immigration authorities, but the new bill would require local law enforcement to comply with federal requests to detain undocumented immigrants for potential deportation proceedings. Immigration activists worry that the bill will incentivize racial profiling and fracture the fragile trust between immigrant communities and local police."

Tina Vasquez at Rewire.News: Exclusive: Immigration Agencies Communicated Prior to Arrest of Sanctuary Leader.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), once considered the services arm of federal immigration agencies, is engaging in immigration enforcement under the Trump administration to what advocates fear is an unprecedented level.

Confirming what advocates had suspected, the agency communicated with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) about an upcoming appointment for Samuel Oliver-Bruno, a former member of North Carolina's immigrant community, in early November, according to documents obtained by Rewire.News through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request.

At that appointment three weeks later — the existence of which ICE officials sought to verify with USCIS after seeing a social media post, as the FOIA documents show — plain-clothed immigration officials ultimately took the husband and father into custody. Soon after he was deported to Mexico.

Oliver-Bruno was a member of Colectivo Santuario, comprised of people in sanctuary nationwide who were organizing together to one day move out of their churches without fear of deportation.
This is a very big deal. It's a big deal for the immigrant community, and it's a big deal for the rest of us, because, as I warn continuously, the Trump Regime is using undocumented immigrants as their canary in the coalmine. If they get away with this, you can bet that the government will start coordinating to target dissidents of all types.

Resist mightily everything you see happening at the intersection of the Trump Regime's war on immigrants and its war on dissidents.

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Tom Phillips at the Guardian: Venezuela Hit by Fourth Massive Blackout in Less Than Three Weeks. "Venezuela has suffered its fourth massive blackout in less than three weeks, leaving at least of 12 of its 23 states without electricity and reinforcing the sense of crisis in the country. Many of the cities and regions affected by Wednesday's outage had yet to recover from two other crippling blackouts on Monday that forced the government to close schools and businesses and left the country's biggest airport in the dark. ...[T]here was anger and on the streets of Venezuela's capital — where many citizens are now living without water as well as light — as citizens faced up to another period of profound uncertainty and deprivation. Despite government claims, many people suspect the blackouts are the result of crumbling infrastructure caused by years of corruption, incompetence, and under-investment. 'I feel hopelessness and despair,' said Nohelia van Praag, a 43-year-old preschool teacher from Caracas."

Staff at the Daily Beast: Cholera Confirmed in Mozambique After Cyclone Idai. "Five people in Mozambique have tested positive for cholera, just two weeks after a brutal cyclone left tens of thousands of people without consistent clean water and sanitation, The Guardian reports Wednesday. The cases of the deadly waterborne disease all came from Munhava, an impoverished enclave of Beira. Many of Beira's nearly 500,000 residents still lack access to clean water in the aftermath of Cyclone Idai, stoking authorities' fears that it will spread. The cyclone killed approximately 700 people when it struck on March 14. ...The World Health organization is planning to send 900,000 doses of the vaccine later this week to help stop the outbreak."

[CN: Genocide] Tiemoko Diallo at Reuters: U.N. to Investigate Massacre of 157 Malian Villagers. "The United Nations has dispatched human rights experts to central Mali to investigate a weekend massacre of at least 157 villagers seen as one of the worst acts of bloodshed in a country beset by ethnic violence. The attack, in which women and children were burned in their homes by gunmen, escalated a conflict between Dogon hunters and Fulani herders that killed hundreds of civilians in 2018 and is spreading across the Sahel, the arid region between the Sahara desert to the north and Africa's savannas to the south."

[CN: Islamophobia; human rights abuse] Reuters Staff at the Guardian: Xinjiang Crackdown Must Continue, Top China Leader Says. "Xinjiang needs to 'perfect' stability maintenance measures and crack down on religious extremism, the ruling Communist party's fourth-ranked leader has said on a tour of the region where China is running a controversial deradicalisation programme. Critics say China is operating internment camps for Uighurs and other Muslim peoples who live in Xinjiang, though the government calls them vocational training centres and says it has a genuine need to prevent extremist thinking and violence. The government has not said how many people are in these centres. Adrian Zenz, a leading independent researcher on China's ethnic policies, said this month an estimated 1.5 million Uighurs and other Muslims could be held in the centres in Xinjiang, up from his earlier figure of 1 million."

I remember when the United States had a president who might have said something about these things. Smart and decent things. That time has passed. I hope not permanently.

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

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