We Resist: Day 832

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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 Should Be Impeached Because We're Debating Whether Trump Should Be Impeached and Mueller Was Displeased by Barr's Summary of His Report and Primarly Speaking.

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

Attorney General Bill Barr is testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee regarding the Mueller report. It is exactly as infuriating as you'd imagine, following the same exhausting pattern of Democratic Senators trying to get to the truth (and being stonewalled) and Republican Senators acting like a line of fence posts to protect the president and his minions.

If you want to catch up and/or follow along, the great Aaron Rupar has, as always, a thread with video.

I did a thread on Twitter summarizing my thoughts in this moment (parts of which I've published here before, so they may be familiar; content note for discussion of threats and harassment):
It's just enraging listening to the Republican Senators during this hearing. They have absolutely zero interest in protecting the integrity of our democracy, or even, apparently, the sovereignty of our nation. They are the antithesis of patriotism.

All my life, I have had to listen to narratives about how Republicans are the "Real Americans." I have had to listen to Republicans call me a traitor for supporting Democrats, for protesting war, for marrying an immigrant.

I have seen pick-up trucks drive by my house sporting bumper sticks reading "Liberal Hunting License," and fielded threats from self-identified Republicans because I am a progressive writer.

I have been mercilessly inundated for 15 years with gross harassment, much of it from self-identified Republicans. I have been sent death threats from Republican officeholders, so brazen that they sent them from their government emails.

I have watched other progressive political writers, especially if they are women, go through the same thing. I have watched as many of them have quit, because the cost of doing this job was too high.

I have watched John Kerry, a war hero, be diminished as a coward by men who avoided service. I have watched Barack Obama, our first Black president, be subjected to delegitimizing tactics on the basis of his race by people who believe only white people can be truly American.

I have watched Hillary Clinton, a woman who has given her life to public service, accused of being careless with classified information by people who now tolerate Russian meddling to destroy the core of our democracy.

All my years have been spent listening to Republicans tell me how it is they who are the great patriots of this nation. That people like me would see America brought to its knees with our capitulation.

Yet now, in the middle of a profound and urgent national crisis, with evidence of foreign election meddling and a president whose own fealty to this nation is deeply suspect and his contempt for the law evident, the Great Patriots of the Republican Party are nowhere to be found.

It has always been a demonstrable lie, the Republicans' divisive rhetoric about "Real Americans" and who constitutes the "True Patriots," but never has that lie been more irrefutably clear. It's time to fight for the country, for real, and their vaunted patriotism is AWOL.

They are opportunists and cowards. And the patriots are the ones who have loved this country enough to try to make it better all along. We always knew that, but now it is undeniable by even the most cynical wrecks of the GOP.
Relatedly... Erin Banco and Sam Stein at the Daily Beast: Mueller's Willing to Testify, but Trump DOJ Is Holding It Up. "House Democrats tell The Daily Beast they've been told Special Counsel Robert Mueller is willing to testify before them about his report on Russian interference in the 2016 election, but the Department of Justice has been unwilling to set a date for it to happen. ...Shortly after it was reported on Tuesday night that Mueller had written and called Barr to complain that the attorney general had not fully represented the special counsel's findings, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY) sent out a statement demanding both men appear before his committee and saying he had been stonewalled so far."

If you're wondering why Barr is willing to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee today, but unwilling to testify before the House Judiciary Committee, the answer is in which party holds the majority in each house of Congress: Republicans hold the majority (and thus control the committee hearing) in the Senate, while Democrats hold the majority in the House.

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[CN: Nativism] Rebekah Entralgo at ThinkProgress: Trump Administration to Begin DNA Testing Migrant Families at the Border.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will next week implement a pilot DNA testing program at the U.S.-Mexico border in order to help identify people "posing as families," according to a report from CNN.

The program, known as Rapid DNA, will run for two to three days at two separate locations on the border. It uses a cheek swab and can produce results in roughly 90 minutes.

The Trump administration has repeatedly warned of human traffickers forming "fake families" and falsifying documents to enter the country between ports of entry. "Cases of 'fake families' are popping up everywhere. And children are being used as pawns," former Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen in a speech last month.

...But the process could have adverse effects. There are concerns over whether certain familial relationships — like an aunt and her nephew, for example — would constitute a valid relationship in the eyes of the federal government. There's also the issue of privacy concerns. Misuse of data has led to wrongful convictions. Some researchers are concerned that these families, who are primarily from Central America and speak indigenous dialects, may not fully understand the concept of DNA testing well enough to give informed consent.
This is breathtakingly bad. There are multiple serious problems with this policy, which isn't even rooted in reality ("fake families" are not any more a problem at the southern border than any of the other bullshit the president claims), and I am additionally worried for the precedent this sets with the federal government defining "families" rigidly as blood relations only, which could have consequences in future for queer families and/or families formed via adoption and/or families of choice.

[CN: War on agency] Yesterday, I mentioned that Nurse Julia Pulver had written an excellent Twitter thread pushing back on Donald Trump's mendacious claims about infanticide, and now Rewire.News has published a piece by Pulver expanding on her thoughts: "I'm a Former NICU Nurse. Trump's Claims About Later Abortion Couldn't Be More Wrong."

[CN: Rape culture] In another follow-up to an item I mentioned last week, the Missouri lobbyist who launched a campaign to change the Title IX law for every campus in the state after "his son was accused and subsequently expelled from Washington University in St. Louis last year through the school's Title IX process," the bill that resulted from his campaign is almost certainly dead: "The Senate version of the bill was debated earlier this month but met a multi-hour filibuster by Democrats. ...Sen. Jamilah Nasheed, D-St. Louis, who led the Senate filibuster against the Title IX bill earlier this month, said she didn't learn of McIntosh's son's expulsion until The Star published its story. 'When I heard it I was just like, 'Wow,'' she said. 'To have someone push legislation simply because of what happened to his son, that really took me aback. I'm not into revenge legislation, and that was truly revenge legislation.'" Republicans were also worried it made them look bad. Correct!

Derek Kravitz at ProPublica: How Taxpayers Covered a $1,000 Liquor Bill for Trump Staffers (and More) at Trump's Club. "At some point later that evening, a group repaired to Mar-a-Lago's Library Bar... The group asked the bartender to leave the room so it 'could speak confidentially,' according to an email written by Mar-a-Lago's catering director, Brooke Watson. The Secret Service guarded the door, according to the email. The bartender wasn't allowed to return. And members of the group began pouring themselves drinks. No one paid. Six days later, on April 13, Mar-a-Lago created a bill for those drinks, tallying $838 worth of alcohol plus a 20% service charge. It covered 54 drinks (making for an average price of $18.62 each) of premium liquor."

[CN: Sexual assault] John Wagner at the Washington Post: Roy Moore Cites Brett Kavanaugh's Survival of Sexual Misconduct Allegations as He Ponders Another Senate Race. "A new fundraising pitch for Roy Moore, the Republican who lost a special Senate election in Alabama amid accusations of sexual misconduct in the 1970s, cites the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh as a reason he might run again next year. The fundraising message, signed by Moore's wife, Kayla Moore, points to Kavanaugh's ability last year to 'survive' accusations of sexual misconduct in the 1980s and says Moore is still 'seriously considering another run for the United States Senate!'" Goddammit.

Jason Wilson at the Guardian: Republican Lawmaker and Ally Urged Crowd to Prepare for Civil Unrest.
Washington state Republican representative Matt Shea and several associates regaled an audience with conspiracy theories, separatist visions, and exhortations for listeners to arm themselves ahead of a looming civil war, at a gathering at a remote religious compound in the north-east of the state last year.

In recordings obtained by the Guardian, Shea and Jack Robertson, also known as radio personality John Jacob Schmidt, invoked their visions and fears of a violent leftist revolt in speeches at the 2018 God and Country event in Marble.

...Robertson — who aired fantasies of extreme violence against liberal activists in the leaked chats — told the audience at the 2018 event that they should be prepared for civil war.

In his speech at God and Country last June, which immediately followed Shea's speech, Robertson said: "Of course, you all know that you should have an AR-15 and a thousand rounds of ammo, right? Because Antifa is kicking up and getting ready to defend, right?"
This is beyond stochastic terrorism. This is incitement.

It's particularly chilling that Robertson explicitly invoked the AR-15:

It's also not a coincidence.

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Maddie Stone at Earther: World's Oldest Rainforest Is Being Cooked to Death by Climate Change, Authorities Warn. "A statement issued Monday by the management authority for the Wet Tropics of Queensland World Heritage Area warns that site, which spans 450 kilometers (280 miles) along Australia's northeast coast, is experiencing 'accelerating decline' as a result of human-caused climate change, and that several species found nowhere else on Earth are on the verge of disappearing forever. 'The Board of the Wet Tropics Management Authority has now become aware that, following the hottest summer ever recorded, some of the key species for which the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area was listed are at imminent risk of extinction,' the statement reads."

Oliver Milman at the Guardian: Microsoft Joins Group Seeking to Kill Off Historic Climate Change Lawsuits. "Microsoft has joined a conservative-led group that demands fossil fuel companies be granted legal immunity from attempts to claw back damages from the climate change they helped cause. The stated goals of the Climate Leadership Council (CLC) include a $40-a-ton fee on carbon dioxide emissions in return for the gutting of current climate change regulations and 'protecting companies from federal and state tort liability for historic emissions.' Microsoft has become the first technology company to join the CLC, which includes oil giants BP, ExxonMobil, Shell, Total, and ConocoPhillips among its founding members."

Joe Romm at ThinkProgress: Facebook's Newest 'Fact Checkers' Are Koch-Funded Climate Deniers. "In its latest disastrous move to fight the online epidemic of fake news, Facebook's fact-checking effort announced last week that it was teaming up with CheckYourFact.com — an arm of the conservative, anti-science media site The Daily Caller. The Daily Caller, which has published misinformation about climate science for years, was co-founded by the science-denying Fox News host Tucker Carlson and is backed by major conservative donors, including Charles and David Koch, the billionaire fossil fuel barons who are the single biggest funders of climate science misinformation."

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[CN: Intersex bias; misogynoir] Sean Ingle at the Guardian: Caster Semenya Loses Landmark Legal Case Against IAAF over Testosterone Levels. "The South African 800m Olympic champion Caster Semenya has lost her landmark legal case against athletics' governing body, the IAAF, in a decision that will send shockwaves through sport. It means Semenya will have to take medication to reduce her testosterone if she wants to run internationally at events between 400m and a mile. The surprise verdict, which was announced by the court of arbitration for sport after three arbitrators had spent more than two months deliberating over the complex and highly contentious case, came even though CAS agreed that the IAAF's policy was 'discriminatory' to athletes with differences in sexual development (DSDs) such as Semenya."

I am so filthy fucking angry about this. Here is a piece I wrote about Semenya nine years ago (that's how long she has been harassed with this trash) that links within to a number of other pieces I've written about her. This should have been settled long ago. For fuck's sake.

[CN: Violence; abuse] Lindsay Gibbs at ThinkProgress: The World of Professional Tennis Has Enabled Justin Gimelstob Long Enough. "It's been over a week since tennis power broker Justin Gimelstob pleaded 'no contest' to violently assaulting his ex-wife's friend, Randall Kaplan, in front of Kaplan's pregnant wife and child on Halloween night. ...Gimelstob's crime didn't occur in a vacuum; rather, he has a well-documented history of abusive and misogynistic behavior. According to one person who works in tennis and spoke to ThinkProgress on the condition of anonymity out of fear of retribution, people who work in the sport are terrified about the prospect of working in close quarters with Gimelstob right now."

[CN: Domestic violence; disablist language] Laura Wagner at Deadspin: Football Writers Dust Off Their Old Inadequate Takes About Domestic Violence, Somehow Make Them Even More Inadequate. "What the actual problem being solved is doesn't seem to matter as much as action being taken and someone being held accountable for something. For years, every time a player has gotten in trouble 'off the field,' NFL writers have rushed to ask Roger Goodell to do something to make it stop, to get tough, to do something, and to fix it. ...Apparently being incapable of thinking about it for two seconds, some of the most prominent voices in NFL journalism are as one: Do what hasn't worked but more so, and give a failed authority figure, who cares first and foremost about protecting the shield, more power to do it."

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Tom Phillips at the Guardian: Venezuela Crisis: Maduro Claims Victory over 'Deranged' Coup Attempt.
Nicolás Maduro claimed his troops have thwarted a botched attempt to topple him masterminded by Venezuela's "coup-mongering far right" and Donald Trump's deranged imperialist "gang" — while on Wednesday morning the U.S. Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, said U.S. military action in the country was a possibility "if required."

...Wednesday morning, Pompeo spoke out on U.S. TV, having previously claimed that Maduro had been on the verge of fleeing to Cuba, to say that the U.S. would prefer a peaceful transition of power in Venezuela but that he was prepared to consider military intervention to stem the turmoil.

"Military action is possible. If that's what's required, that's what the United States will do," Pompeo said in an interview with Fox Business Network.

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

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