One of the difficulties in resisting the Trump administration, the Republican Congressional majority, and Republican state legislatures 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.
* * *
Here are some things I've read today:
Sheera Frenkel at BuzzFeed: U.S. Intelligence Officials: Latest WikiLeaks Drop "Worse Than Snowden" Docs.
Intelligence officials confirmed to BuzzFeed News that the documents they reviewed appear legitimate, and that they not only put current US cyber operations in danger, but provide a road map for adversaries around the world who want to study US methods and, one day, deploy those methods themselves.There is much more at the link. None of it good.
"We already have this deficit in our ability to defend ourselves and now in the release of the tools we use our ability to scoop up info, our ability to attack is compromised," said Eric O'Neill a former counterintelligence officer for the FBI who now works for the cybersecurity firm Carbon Black. "When these tools get out it proliferates among those who want to attack. They will be taken and modified and used by others who want to attack."
...That a US intelligence agency develops programs that allow it to hack into devices across the world is something any person who has ever watched a spy thriller should be able to guess. Rather, the documents' importance comes from the detailed technical information they reveal about how the CIA conducts its cyber ops, throwing open the door on some of the intelligence community's most closely guarded secrets.
"This is, if you look at the big picture, worse than Snowden. What he released led to big headlines and put a few lives in danger. What we have here could potentially put thousands of people in danger in countries around the world. It's like handing our biggest cyber guns over to anyone with an internet connection," said one US intelligence officer, who spoke to BuzzFeed News on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the documents.
* * *
[Content Note: Video may autoplay at link] Justin Sink at Bloomberg: Trump Met Russian Ambassador During Campaign at Speech Reception. "Donald Trump met last April with the Russian ambassador at the center of a pair of controversies over engagement between Trump allies and the Kremlin, despite claims by his spokeswoman that he had 'zero' involvement with Russian officials during the campaign. Attention to Trump's encounter with Russian Ambassador to the U.S. Sergey Kislyak resurfaced after revelations last week that at least five members of Trump's campaign team—including Attorney General Jeff Sessions—had contact with Kislyak before Trump took office." Whoooooooops!
Josh Meyer and Kenneth P. Vogel at Politico: Trump Campaign Approved Adviser's Trip to Moscow. "Donald Trump's former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski approved foreign policy adviser Carter Page's now-infamous trip to Moscow last summer on the condition that he would not be an official representative of the campaign, according to a former campaign adviser. ...The trip is now a focus of congressional and FBI investigations into Russian influence in the 2016 presidential election. Lewandowski told POLITICO he did not recall the email exchange with Page, but he did not deny that it occurred."
Something worth remembering as Trump et. al. now try to distance themselves from Page:
Tom Hamburger at the Washington Post: Watchdogs Ask U.S. Attorney to Investigate Trump over Foreign Business Deals. "A trio of watchdog groups has asked the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York to investigate whether President Trump has received payments or other benefits from foreign governments through his business interests in violation of an obscure clause in the U.S. Constitution. The request, sent by letter Wednesday morning to U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, is a novel strategy by ethics critics who have been pressing Trump to comply with the Constitution's 'emoluments clause,' which prohibits top officials from receiving payments or favors from foreign governments."
[Content Note: Invasive TSA screenings] Hugo Martin at the Chicago Tribune: TSA Quietly Launches New 'Enhanced' Pat-Down Procedure for Air Travelers. "The TSA on Thursday began using a 'universal pat-down' procedure that includes 'enhanced security measures' to replace several pat-down tactics used in the past by TSA screeners that are presumably less invasive. ...TSA officials declined to detail the new universal procedure or the previous pat-down tactics, but the industry is bracing for passenger unhappiness about more invasive searches. An airport trade group has told its members that TSA screeners will be allowed to use the front of their hands, instead of just the backs of hands, to search passengers if a previous screening indicated the presence of explosives, Bloomberg News reported, based on a 'security notice' distributed by the Airports Council International-North America." This stands to make air travel much more difficult for many trans passengers and/or survivors of sexual violence.
Jacob Kastrenakes at the Verge: ACLU and 170 Other Organizations Urge FCC to Preserve Net Neutrality. "The future of net neutrality is in jeopardy again, so advocates are getting back to the fight. In a letter sent today to FCC chairman Ajit Pai, as well as Senators John Thune and Bill Nelson, over 170 groups ask Congress and the Federal Communications Commission to continue to support and protect the net neutrality rules put into place in 2015. ...The letter comes just a day before the Senate Commerce Committee's first oversight hearing of the FCC while Pai is in charge. ...[Today] will be the committee's first chance to grill Pai on the direction he's taking the commission—the future of the FCC's privacy rules is likely to come up. Coincidentally enough, the letter was also sent just hours before Pai was nominated by Trump for another five-year term at the commission."
ACLU: ACLU Comment on Congressional Move to Allow Internet Providers to Sell Consumer Data without Permission. "The Senate introduced a resolution today that would overturn a Federal Communications Commission rule that requires internet service providers to get customers' permission before they sell sensitive consumer data, such as browsing history. Passage of the resolution by Congress would prevent the FCC from issuing similar rules in the future. ACLU legislative counsel Neema Singh Guliani issued the following statement: 'With this move, Congress is essentially allowing companies like Comcast, AT&T, and Verizon to sell consumers' private information to the highest bidder. Members of Congress should not bow down to industry pressure. Consumers have a right to control how these companies use their sensitive data.'"
Annie Karni at Politico: White House Official Terrorizes Network Green Rooms. "[O]n all three cable news networks, according to more than half a dozen interviews with TV insiders and contributors, [White House official Boris Epshteyn, a combative Trump loyalist tasked with plugging the president's message on television] has earned a reputation as someone who is combative and sometimes difficult to work with, even when he arrives at studios as a guest of a network. He has offended people in green rooms with comments they have interpreted as racially insensitive and demeaning. 'His off-camera behavior was even more distasteful than his on-camera behavior,' said Joy-Ann Reid, a national correspondent for MSNBC, who often sparred with Epshteyn on television during the campaign." A largely unseen front in Trump's war on the press.
[CN: Video may autoplay at link] Susan Page at USA Today: USA TODAY Poll: Tweets and Temperament are Tripping up Trump. "By 2-1, those surveyed disapprove of Trump's temperament, a much more negative rating than he gets for his policy positions. Six in 10, including 40% of Republicans, complain that he tweets too much." The only surprise there is that support for his policy positions isn't swirling the bottom of the bowl, too.
Here's a real headline at the Wall Street Journal today: "Rapport Between Donald Trump, Barack Obama Crumbles." No shit. That tends to happen when someone accuses you of committing a crime, with zero evidence.
MSNBC's Kyle Griffin reports: "The American Medical Association officially comes out against the Republican health plan."
Or as it's known in the Congressional ledger: "H.R. 1275—World's Greatest Healthcare Plan of 2017."
For real. I grabbed a screenshot:
What have you been reading that we need to resist today?