We Resist: Day 144

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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.

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Here are some things in the news today:

Earlier today by me: Trump Sued by D.C. and Maryland for Corruption.


Earlier this month, I shared a Politico article by Ali Watkins which opens with a story about Russian diplomats, presumed to be Russian intelligence, "waging a quiet effort to map the United States' telecommunications infrastructure, perhaps preparing for an opportunity to disrupt it."

I wanted to remind you of that before sharing this new piece by Ellen Nakashima at the Washington Post: Russia Has Developed a Cyberweapon That Can Disrupt Power Grids, According to New Research.
Hackers allied with the Russian government have devised a cyberweapon that has the potential to be the most disruptive yet against electric systems that Americans depend on for daily life, according to U.S. researchers.

The malware, which researchers have dubbed CrashOverride, is known to have disrupted only one energy system — in Ukraine in December. In that incident, the hackers briefly shut down one-fifth of the electric power generated in Kiev.

But with modifications, it could be deployed against U.S. electric transmission and distribution systems to devastating effect, said Sergio Caltagirone, director of threat intelligence for Dragos, a cybersecurity firm that studied the malware and issued a report on Monday.

And Russian government hackers have already shown their interest in targeting U.S. energy and other utility systems, researchers said.

"It's the culmination of over a decade of theory and attack scenarios," Caltagirone warned. "It's a game changer."
It's not difficult to imagine the sort of chaos an enemy could cause by simultaneously disrupting telecoms and electrical infrastructure across large parts of the United States.

And is the president taking this threat seriously? No. To the contrary, he seems keen to abet it, by handing back to the Russians control of the compounds from which they are thought to have orchstrated the infrastructure mapping intel operations.

In related news, Ben Schreckinger reports at Politico: How Russia Targets the U.S. Military. "With hacks, pro-Putin trolls, and fake news, the Kremlin is ratcheting up its efforts to turn American servicemembers and veterans into a fifth column." Fuck. "In addition to propaganda designed to influence service members and veterans, Russian state actors are friending service members on Facebook while posing as attractive young women to gather intelligence and targeting the Twitter accounts of Defense Department employees with highly customized 'phishing' attacks." Fuck. "Serena Moring, a former military contractor from a military family...said she has become further alarmed as friends of hers in the military, including military intelligence, have become avowed admirers of Putin, and that she now expends considerable effort arguing about Russia on Instagram and Facebook channels geared to military audiences." Fuckkkkkkkkkk.

Sabrina Siddiqui and Lauren Gambino at the Guardian: How Trump's Actions and Tone Affect US Alliances and Perception on Global Stage. "Since taking office in January, Trump has repeatedly stunned observers both at home and abroad with his irreverence for American foreign policy norms and unconventional approach to relations with allies and foes alike. But recent weeks have underscored, even according to some within his own party, the potential ramifications of the president's loose rhetoric and abrupt policy shifts. The past few weeks alone brought a number of diplomatic fissures. ...By stepping back from the space the US has long occupied on the global stage, Trump could soon be responsible for fundamentally reshaping traditional alliances. The growing impatience with his unpredictable behavior has been increasingly palpable among world leaders, who have begun to respond to Trump's critiques in kind."

Marina Fang at the Huffington Post: Attorney General Jeff Sessions Will Testify Publicly Before Senate Intelligence Committee. "Attorney General Jeff Sessions will testify publicly before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday afternoon, the committee's chair, Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.), announced Monday. ...Burr's announcement followed speculation that Sessions may not testify in an open session. But Sessions himself wanted the hearing to be public, according to Department of Justice spokeswoman Sarah Isgur Flores. 'The Attorney General has requested that this hearing be public,' Flores said in a statement. 'He believes it is important for the American people to hear the truth directly from him and looks forward to answering the committee's questions tomorrow.'"

Hahahahahaha he asked for the hearing to be public because he believes in truth lol okay.

Sessions is literally using the open session as an excuse to not have to answer the committee's questions, and you bet your ass that the committee members know that, and the Republican majority is going along with it anyway. Because it's another opportunity for them to run interference for Trump, while pretending like they are interested in holding him accountable.

I'm not sure they've correctly assessed how it's going to play with the public, watching Sessions claim "executive privilege" over and over, though. We'll see.

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This happened today:

What is there to left to say anymore? Trump thinks he is a king, and there are all too many people happy to oblige him.

Amanda Holpuch at the Guardian: Ivanka Trump Says Father Is 'Optimistic' After James Comey's Testimony. Well, he shouldn't be. But that's not why I'm sharing this article. I'm sharing it because of this garbage: "[S]he said she was not prepared for the 'viciousness' that came with working in the White House. 'It is hard. There's a level of viciousness that I was not expecting,' Trump said. 'I was not expecting the intensity of this experience, but this isn't supposed to be easy. My father and this administration intends to be transformative, and we want to do big, bold things, and we're looking to change the status quo. I think some of the distractions and some of the ferocity, I was a little blindsided by on a personal level.'" I AM SO TIRED OF LISTENING TO THE TRUMP KIDS COMPLAIN ABOUT HOW "VICIOUS" EVERYONE IS TO DADDY, AFTER HE'S SPENT HIS WHOLE CAREER PUBLICLY SAYING HORRIBLE THINGS ABOUT PEOPLE. YOUR DAD IS A NIGHTMARE BULLY. SHUT THE FUCK UP.

Timothy L. O'Brien at Bloomberg: My Lawyers Got Trump to Admit 30 Lies Under Oath. "A decade ago, my lawyers questioned Trump under oath during a deposition in a libel case he filed against me for a biography I wrote, 'TrumpNation.' (Trump lost the case in 2011.) Trump had to acknowledge 30 times during that deposition that he had lied over the years about a wide range of issues: his ownership stake in a large Manhattan real estate development; the cost of a membership to one of his golf clubs; the size of the Trump Organization; his wealth; the rate for his speaking appearances; how many condos he had sold; the debt he owed, and whether he borrowed money from his family to stave off personal bankruptcy. Trump also lied during the deposition about his business relationships with organized crime figures."

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

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