We Resist: Day 827

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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: An Observation and Joe Biden: A Man of His Era and Primarily Speaking.

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

[Content Note: Nativism; militarization of the border] Greg Jaffe, Missy Ryan, and Nick Miroff at the Washington Post: Pentagon Set to Expand Military Role Along Southern Border.
The Pentagon is preparing to approve a loosening of rules that bar troops from interacting with migrants entering the United States, expanding the military's involvement in [Donald] Trump's operation along the southern border.

Senior Defense Department officials have recommended that acting defense secretary Patrick Shanahan approve a new request from the Department of Homeland Security to provide military lawyers, cooks, and drivers to assist with handling a surge of migrants along the southern border.

The move would require authorizing waivers for more than 300 troops to a long-standing policy prohibiting military personnel from coming into contact with migrants.
It's "lawyers, cooks, and drivers" now, but naturally the loosening of this policy is opening the door to a militarization of the border that will result in violence that Trump desperately wants and for which he continually invents justifications.

Caitlin Oprysko at Politico: Rosenstein Defends Russia Investigation, Takes Shots at Obama Administration. "Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein on Thursday [at the Public Servants Dinner of the Armenian Bar Association] teed off on the Obama administration's handling of Russian election interference and hit back at critics of the Russia probe in his first public remarks since special counsel Robert Mueller's report dropped last week. ...[H]e defended the investigation and its findings in his speech, as well as DOJ's dedication to the rule of law and staying above the fray of partisanship, declaring that 'today, our nation is safer, elections are more secure, and citizens are better informed about covert foreign influence schemes.'"

This is just a good reminder that Rod Rosenstein has always been a partisan hack.

Missy Ryan and John Hudson at the Washington Post: Trump Administration Expected to Distance Itself from Global Arms Treaty. "The Trump administration is expected to curtail U.S. support for a global arms treaty, the latest illustration of its aversion to international pacts and world governance. Arms control advocates, diplomats, and former officials said [Donald] Trump is likely to refer to his decision to revoke the United States' status as a signatory of the Arms Trade Treaty as soon as Friday, when he will speak to the National Rifle Association. The NRA has long opposed the pact."

[CN: White supremacy] Katie Galioto at Politico: Trump Says He Answered Charlottesville Questions 'Perfectly'.
Donald Trump on Friday defended his 2017 statement that there were "very fine people" on both sides of the deadly white supremacist protests in Charlottesville, Virginia, comments that recently came under fire again after former Vice President Joe Biden attacked Trump for them.

When asked for clarification on his remark about the racially charged clash that left one person dead, Trump stood by his claim made more than one-and-a-half years prior.

"If you look at what I said you will see that that question was answered perfectly," Trump told reporters on the White House lawn ahead of a trip to Indianapolis to speak at the National Rifle Association's annual meeting. "I was talking about people that went because they felt very strongly about the monument to Robert E. Lee, a great general."
First of all, no he wasn't. Secondly, even if he had been, describing superfans of Robert E. Lee as "very fine people" isn't acceptable, either!

[CN: White supremacy] Maxwell Tani and Andrew Kirell at the Daily Beast: Fox News Reporter Rips Colleagues over Charlottesville: You Sound Like 'White Supremacist Chat Room'. "A Fox News reporter on Thursday called out two of his colleagues for sounding 'like a White Supremacist chat room' when they attempted to defend [Donald] Trump's infamous 'both sides' comment about white supremacists in Charlottesville, according to internal emails reviewed by The Daily Beast. ...[Wrote Fox News Radio's White House correspondent Jon Decker:] 'Based upon the slew of emails that I've received today, both of you should send an apology to your Fox News colleagues — many of whom are hurt and infuriated by your respective posts. Your posts read like something you'd read on a White Supremacist chat room.'"

[CN: White supremacy] Ian Millhiser at ThinkProgress: GOP Judges Launch Bizarre Attack on Black Lives Matter and the First Amendment. "An opinion handed down Wednesday by three Republican judges could chill the First Amendment rights of protesters — and potentially allow police to shut down political movements by filing lawsuits harassing movement leaders. The United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit's decision in Doe v. McKesson effectively strips First Amendment protections from protest leaders who commit minor offenses, ignoring longstanding Supreme Court precedents in the process." You've got to head over and read the details of this case, which I can't easily summarize here. This is absolutely absurd and profoundly chilling.

[CN: Trauma] Amanda Holpuch and Hazar Kilani at the Guardian: Hurricane Maria's Lasting Impact on Puerto Rico's Children Revealed in Report.
More than half of young people in Puerto Rico saw a friend or family member leave the island after Hurricane Maria, according to a study published on Friday which reveals the dramatic extent to which young Puerto Ricans were exposed to damaged homes, shortages of food and water and threats to their lives.

In contrast to most comparable disasters, the physical and mental effects of the category four storm which hit the island in September 2017 were "nearly ubiquitous regardless of geographical location or socioeconomic status," according to a study about its impact on young Puerto Ricans published on Friday in the journal Jama Network Open.

"The magnitude was so large that all children were exposed," said Joy Lynn Suárez, a psychology professor at Carlos Albizu University in San Juan and a report co-author.

The death toll from Maria is estimated at between 2,975 and 4,645. The storm cut nearly all communication across the island and destroyed the power grid.

Those who survived still feared for their lives. According to the new study, 30% of children reported that they perceived their lives or the lives of people they loved to be at risk — a strong predictor of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Researchers tied to Puerto Rico government agencies and universities also found:
  • 47.5% of children's family's homes were damaged, while 83.9% of children saw damaged homes
  • 24% of youth helped rescue people
  • 25.5% of youth were forced to evacuate
  • 32% of youth experienced shortages of food and water
  • 16.7% of youth still did not have electricity five to nine months after the storm
The study is one of the largest attempts in US history to survey young people after a major natural disaster. It is also the largest sample ever of Hispanic youth impacted by disaster, a group underrepresented in existing research.
[CN: Climate change; trauma] Brian Kahn at Earther: Cyclone Kenneth Poses a Humanitarian Nightmare as It Slams into Mozambique. "For the second time in a month, Mozambique is dealing with a catastrophic cyclone. On Thursday night local time, Cyclone Kenneth roared ashore on the country's north coast with the strength of a major hurricane. Like its predecessor Cyclone Idai, the storm is expected to linger inland and dump feet of rain. The combination of back-to-back powerful cyclones means that the already underfunded response to Idai will likely be stretched gossamer thin. The timing and strength of the storms will also aggravate food insecurity and could lead to dam breaches in the coming days, unleashing a whole new wave of humanitarian disasters."

[CN: Climate change; creepy-crawlies] Eun Kyung Kim for NBC News at CNYCentral: Deadly "Kissing Bug" Making Its Way North. "Bloodsucking insects known as 'kissing bugs,' because of their tendency to bite people around the mouth, are spreading across the country after working their way north from South America. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed last week that a girl in Delaware was bitten by one of the critters, which are formally known as triatomine bugs. ...The bugs can spread a parasite that causes Chagas' disease through its feces. ...But the CDC said not all triatomine bugs are infected with the parasite that causes Chagas' disease. The disease can be dangerous, but chances of contracting it are low, according to the agency."

And finally, in good news...

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

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