We Resist: Day 882

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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: Today in Trump's Vile Nativist Agenda and Iran Shoots Down U.S. Drone and Primarily Speaking and Good News (Hopefully) for Impeachment Supporters.

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

[Content Note: Nativism; child abuse.] Helen Christophi at Courthouse News Service: Feds Tell 9th Circuit: Detained Kids 'Safe and Sanitary' without Soap.
The Trump administration argued in front of a Ninth Circuit panel Tuesday that the government is not required to give soap or toothbrushes to children apprehended at the U.S.-Mexico border and can have them sleep on concrete floors in frigid, overcrowded cells, despite a settlement agreement that requires detainees be kept in "safe and sanitary" facilities.

All three judges appeared incredulous during the hearing in San Francisco, in which the Trump administration challenged previous legal findings that it is violating a landmark class action settlement by mistreating undocumented immigrant children at U.S. detention facilities.

"You're really going to stand up and tell us that being able to sleep isn't a question of 'safe and sanitary conditions?'" U.S. Circuit Judge Marsha Berzon asked the Justice Department's Sarah Fabian Tuesday.

U.S. Circuit Judge William Fletcher also questioned the government's interpretation of the settlement agreement.

"Are you arguing seriously that you do not read the agreement as requiring you to do anything other than what I just described: cold all night long, lights on all night long, sleeping on concrete and you've got an aluminum foil blanket?" Fletcher asked Fabian. "I find that inconceivable that the government would say that that is safe and sanitary."
The panel has yet to issue its ruling, but it doesn't look good for the Trump Regime. (Thankfully.) Which, of course, is why Mitch McConnell is stacking the courts with unqualified hacks that will affirm their malice as quickly as he can.

On Twitter, former director of the Office of Government Ethics Walt Schaub notes: "The government attorney, Sarah Fabian, who doesn't think [that] children need soap or toothbrushes, is the same attorney who refused to work over a weekend to address the crisis: 'I have dog-sitting responsibilities that require me to go back to Colorado but I will be back Monday.'"

This is an entire administration of sociopathic wrecks.

[CN: Nativism] At the intersection of the Trump Regime's nativism and trade warring... Neha Dasgupta and Aditya Kalra at Reuters: U.S. Tells India It Is Mulling Caps on H-1B Visas to Deter Data Rules. "The United States has told India it is considering caps on H-1B work visas for nations that force foreign companies to store data locally, three sources with knowledge of the matter told Reuters, widening the two countries' row over tariffs and trade. The plan to restrict the popular H-1B visa program, under which skilled foreign workers are brought to the United States each year, comes days ahead of U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's visit to New Delhi. India, which has upset companies such as Mastercard and irked the U.S. government with stringent new rules on data storage, is the largest recipient of these temporary visas, most of them to workers at big Indian technology firms."

[CN: Nativism; child abuse; homophobia; Christian Supremacy] Scott Bixby at the Daily Beast: Lesbian Couple Barred from Fostering Migrant Kids. "Bryn Esplin and Fatma Marouf knew early into their marriage that they wanted a family. But when early attempts with in vitro fertilization were unsuccessful, the couple started exploring serving as foster parents, opening their home to child refugees held in increasingly draconian conditions by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). ...When they approached a local child-welfare organization contracted by the federal government to help find homes for some of the thousands of migrant and refugee children in the department's care, however, Esplin and Marouf were told that they didn't qualify — not because they couldn't provide a loving home for a child fleeing oppression abroad, but because, as a same-sex couple, their lifestyle doesn't 'mirror the Holy Family.'" (In good news, they sued and won.)

[CN: War on agency] Alice Miranda Ollstein at Politico: Appeals Court Says Trump Family Planning Restrictions Can Take Effect. "A federal appeals court this morning said the Trump administration's family planning rules can take effect nationwide while several lawsuits play out, delivering a major blow to Planned Parenthood and states challenging the overhaul. ...A panel of three judges, all appointed by previous Republican presidents, said the administration will likely prevail in the legal battle over the Title X family planning program since the Supreme Court held up similar Reagan-era rules almost 30 years ago, though they were reversed by the Clinton administration."

Ian Millhiser at ThinkProgress: Justice Alito Just Wrote the Most Terrifying Sentence to Appear in a Supreme Court Opinion in Years. "[T]he fifth vote to maintain SORNA's basic structure came from Justice Samuel Alito. His opinion concurring in the result is just three paragraphs long, and it contains this portentous sentence: 'If a majority of this Court were willing to reconsider the approach we have taken for the past 84 years, I would support that effort.' ...Congress' power to delegate regulatory authority to agencies is a backbone of American law. ...Had Congress known that the Supreme Court would pull this rug out from under it, it may have written some of these laws differently. ...But Congress acted on the assumption that the Supreme Court would not someday be held by nihilist revolutionaries."

[CN: Christian Supremacy] Robert Barnes at the Washington Post: Supreme Court Rules That Maryland 'Peace Cross' Honoring Military Dead May Remain on Public Land. "The Supreme Court ruled Thursday that a 40-foot cross erected as a tribute to war dead may continue to stand on public land in Maryland, rejecting arguments that it was an unconstitutional endorsement of religion. ...Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. wrote the main opinion and said history and tradition must be taken into account when judging modern objections to monuments on public land. 'The cross is undoubtedly a Christian symbol, but that fact should not blind us to everything else that the Bladensburg Cross has come to represent,' Alito wrote." WHUT.

Will Bunch at the Philadelphia Inquirer: Did Russian Hackers Make 2016 NC Voters Disappear? Why Won't We Stop This for 2020?
In the end, we'll never know how folks went home and didn't vote in North Carolina, a key swing state that Trump won by 173,000 votes — and that's neither the only mystery about what happened in Durham, nor the biggest. Just days before the 2016 voting, Greenhalgh and other activists had heard the first reports that Russian operatives had tried to hack into an election technology company called VR Systems. She wondered that day if VR Systems was Durham's vendor.

It was.

Incredibly, it is just now — 32 long months after North Carolina's Election Day snafus — that officials with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security have finally launched a serious probe into the possibility that Russian hackers crashed the computers or altered data that caused those crushing lines. DHS investigators are launching a forensic analysis of those laptops that crashed in Durham County — an effort that North Carolina officials had requested a year and a half ago.

Even more incredible: We might never have gotten here were it not for the actions of a heroic whistleblower — Reality Winner, who leaked federal intelligence about the VR Systems hack when most key state officials knew nothing about it, and who has been prosecuted, imprisoned, and held incommunicado by the Justice Department for her efforts — and the diligence of special counsel Robert Mueller, who confirmed a successful malware plant by Russian agents.

Now here's the most incredible part: U.S. election systems could be every bit as vulnerable to outside monkey business in the 2020 presidential election, because Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and his GOP lawmakers are refusing to vote on critical election security bills that would provide federal dollars and support to local election systems to upgrade cybersecurity, as well as requiring paper ballots and audits that would ensure the integrity of the vote.
Republicans are democracy killers. And the entire party, in failing to prevent foreign interference in future elections, is colluding with any foreign interlopers who decide to interfere.

Josh Kovensky at TPM: FBI Conducting Criminal Probe of Deutsche Bank Money Laundering Lapses. "The Federal Bureau of Investigation has an active criminal probe into whether Deutsche Bank broke anti-money laundering laws, the New York Times reports. Agents have reportedly tried to establish contact with a former Deutsche Bank compliance employee who sounded the alarm about transactions made by Kushner Companies, the family business of [Donald] Trump's son-in-law and White House adviser, Jared Kushner. Those transactions purportedly involved money that was sent to Russian entities. The bank reportedly did not file suspicious activity reports with the Treasury Department, as would have been required by law."

Miranda Bryant at the Guardian: Ivanka Trump's 2020 Tweet Violated Hatch Act, Watchdog Says. "Ivanka Trump has been accused of violating the Hatch Act, which bans government workers from speaking out on political campaign issues, over a tweet she wrote before her father's 2020 presidential campaign launch. The influential Washington-based watchdog Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) has filed a complaint against Donald Trump's daughter, a senior presidential aide who works in the White House as an adviser, albeit unsalaried." It would be great if this mattered. It won't.

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Jamie Ross at the Daily Beast: U.S May Have to Spend over $400 Billion on Seawalls by 2040 to Protect Itself from Rising Seas. "A new report has predicted that the U.S. will have to spend $416bn on seawalls in the next 20 years in order to protect itself from rising seas. The report comes from the Center for Climate Integrity (CCI.) Florida is likely to face the highest bill of $76bn by 2040, according to the research, followed by Louisiana which has a projected bill of $38bn, then North Carolina which stands to pay $35bn. 'I don't think anybody's thought about the magnitude of this one small portion of overall adaptation costs and it's a huge number,' said Richard Wiles, executive director of the CCI. 'So the question is: Who's going to pay for that? Is it really going to be taxpayers? The current position of climate polluters is that they should pay nothing, and that's just not tenable.'" Build those walls.

[CN: Water insecurity; video may autoplay at link] Jessie Yeung and Swati Gupta at CNN: India Is Running Out of Water. "Millions of people are running out of usable water in the southern Indian city of Chennai, which is currently experiencing major droughts and a rapidly worsening water crisis. At least 550 people were arrested Wednesday in the city of Coimbatore for protesting with empty water containers in front of the municipal government's headquarters, accusing officials of negligence and mismanagement. Meanwhile, four reservoirs that supply Chennai, the state capital and India's sixth largest city, have run nearly dry."

Maram Ahmed at the World Economic Forum: How Climate Change Exacerbates the Refugee Crisis — and What Can Be Done About It. "Climate-induced displacement is on the rise. Last year, climate-related factors resulted in the displacement of around 16.1 million people. It is estimated that, by 2050, between 150 to 200 million people are at risk of being forced to leave their homes as a result of desertification, rising sea levels, and extreme weather conditions. ...It is the world's most vulnerable people who are made to bear the brunt of climate change, though they are the least responsible for causing it, and are ill-equipped to deal with the consequences. ...Climate change induced migration is adding a new layer of complexity to the area of gender, as women and girls are more vulnerable to the effects of climate change impacting education, maternal health, and gender-based violence."

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

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