February 1st, 2020

dara

Today's News (2020/2/1): Early Edition

The intended test-case law in South Dakota, at the bottom, is being passed because they feel they have enough stolen seats on the Supreme Court to at very least really put the hurt on queer kids. The specifically unconstitutional parts (banning marriage equality in defiance of current Supreme Court rulings) will be intended to overturn that, too, but it's a little more speculative - they're hoping Ruth Bader Ginsberg dies while Trump is still in office. That'll give them a clear majority to overturn.

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Memo shows border officers were directed to stop Iranian Americans at Canada border, despite agency’s claims

‘Updated procedures’ from the Seattle field office of U.S. Customs and Border Protection told agents to also detain people with ties to Palestine and Lebanon, and to ask about their religion.

https://crosscut.com/2020/01/memo-shows-border-officers-were-directed-stop-iranian-americans-canada-border-despite

Crosscut has obtained a copy of a directive that appears to be the impetus for a rash of unusual interrogation and detaining of Iranian Americans at the U.S.-Canada border earlier this month.

The directive, issued by the Seattle field office of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, was sent to immigration lawyer Leonard Saunders in Blaine by an anonymous source. Saunders says someone dropped off the memo in an unmarked envelope at his office on Wednesday.

The “updated procedures” outlined in the memo, first reported on by Blaine’s community newspaper, The Northern Light, come from Customs and Border Protection's Tactical Analytical Unit, which provides immediate response to high-risk incidents.

The memo seems to indicate the new procedures came because of the U.S. killing of Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani earlier this month and the subsequent promise of retaliation by Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Customs and Border Protection has publicly denied the existence of a directive ordering enhanced screening at the U.S.-Canada border.

The directive says all persons born after 1961 and before 2001 with links — such as place of birth, travel or citizenship — to Palestine, Lebanon and Iran should be vetted at the border. The memo specifies that individuals with connections to the military, extremist ideology, criminality and terrorism should be highly vetted and that what the agency was looking for were members of Iran’s Quds Force, part of the country’s Revolutionary Guard that has developed ties with armed groups in various countries.

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The God President

Impeachment is a tool of accountability, but Trump’s defenders are using it to give him the powers of a dictator

https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/political-commentary/trump-president-impeachment-dictator-945579/

We may be witnessing the end of the United States presidency as we know it. It doesn’t come in large, destructive gestures, like the demolition of the White House. Instead, we most often see it arrive in the mild utterances of old men. Such was the case on the Senate floor on Wednesday, when Alan Dershowitz spoke up in favor of President Trump’s autocracy.

We should have seen this coming, as Trump hardly ever misses an opportunity to reach for more power, not even amidst a process ostensibly about stripping it from him. Ironically and most unfortunately for the Democrats who sought even a modicum of accountability for President Trump’s high crimes and misdemeanors, the impeachment process is being perverted into a process to make Trump into a dictator.

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Fake cow account must go, Devin Nunes demands in letter to Democrat over Twitter taunts

https://www.fresnobee.com/news/local/article236999224.html

Rep. Devin Nunes’ attorney last month demanded that his 2018 Democratic political opponent pressure an anonymous social media writer to delete comments on Twitter that mock Republican Nunes “day and night.”

Andrew Janz, the Fresno County prosecutor who ran against Nunes in 2018, interpreted the Oct. 11 letter from Nunes’ attorney Steven Biss as a threat to sue him.

“This is the first step in a lawsuit, to send a demand letter like this,” Janz said.

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[NOTE: THIS WAS A YEAR AGO. I MISSED IT.

This is the kind of shit misogynists do. And it has Pence's fingerprints all over it.]

Trump administration ‘rolling back women’s rights by 50 years’ by changing definitions of domestic violence and sexual assault

'I was massively surprised and really shocked. It’s quite scary how quietly it’s happened. It’s a massive step backwards. We have literally gone back to the 70s,' says academic

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/trump-domestic-abuse-sexual-assault-definition-womens-rights-justice-department-a8744546.html

Donald Trump’s decision to change definitions of domestic violence and sexual assault has rolled back women’s rights by half a century, campaigners have warned.

The Trump administration quietly changed the definition of both domestic violence and sexual assault back in April but the move has only just surfaced.

The change could have significant repercussions for millions of victims of gender-based violence.

The Trump Justice Department’s definition only considers physical harm that constitutes a felony or misdemeanour to be domestic violence – meaning other forms of domestic violence such as psychological abuse, coercive control and manipulation no longer fall under the department’s definition.

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Unprecedented South Dakota Bill Aims to Erase LGBTQ People From Public Life Entirely
HB 1215 would outlaw marriage equality and permanently legalize gay conversion therapy, among other anti-LGBTQ measures.

http://www.newnownext.com/south-dakota-bill-erases-lgbtq-people-from-public-life-entirely/01/2020/

LGBTQ South Dakotans are facing the fight of a lifetime.

On Thursday, Republican state Rep. Tony Randolph introduced a bill that would outlaw marriage equality, permanently legalize conversion therapy, ban changes to legal gender markers, and block the passage of LGBTQ nondiscrimination protections.

House Bill 1215 is the third in a trio of anti-LGBTQ bills brought to the state’s legislature this month. On Wednesday, the House passed a bill that would criminalize trans-affirming medical care for minors. The other, Senate Bill 88, would require mental health providers to out kids expressing gender dysphoria to their parents. Anti-LGBTQ lawmakers and organizers use the state as a test case for the nation, experts say.

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