We Resist: Day 154

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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 in Iowa: A Disaster Tale and The Latest on Trump and Russia.


[Content Note: Video may autoplay at link] Massimo Calabresi at Time: Election Hackers Altered Voter Rolls, Stole Private Data, Officials Say.
The hacking of state and local election databases in 2016 was more extensive than previously reported, including at least one successful attempt to alter voter information, and the theft of thousands of voter records that contain private information like partial Social Security numbers, current and former officials tell TIME.

In one case, investigators found there had been a manipulation of voter data in a county database but the alterations were discovered and rectified, two sources familiar with the matter tell TIME. Investigators have not identified whether the hackers in that case were Russian agents.

...Congressional investigators are probing whether any of this stolen private information made its way to the Trump campaign, two sources familiar with the investigations tell TIME.

"If any campaign, Trump or otherwise, used inappropriate data the questions are, How did they get it? From whom? And with what level of knowledge?" the former top Democratic staffer on the House Intelligence Committee, Michael Bahar, tells TIME. "That is a crux of the investigation."

...Both intelligence committees are looking at whether and how the intrusions could have furthered Russia's larger strategic goals of undermining U.S. democracy, hurting Hillary Clinton, and helping Donald Trump. During the run up to the vote, Obama Administration cyber-security officials took steps to prepare for widespread voter registration manipulation, fearing Russia might seek to cause chaos at polling places to undermine the credibility of the election. Current and former law enforcement and intelligence officials say Russia could also have tried to use stolen voter data to gain leverage over witting or unwitting accomplices in the Trump camp, by involving them in a broader conspiracy.

The House and Senate Intelligence committees held hearings on June 22 to highlight the ongoing vulnerability of the U.S. election systems. "I'm deeply concerned," said North Carolina Republican Senator Richard Burr who chairs the Senate Intelligence Committee, that "we could be here in two or four years talking about a much worse crisis."
In a private conversation about this, Eastsidekate said (which I'm sharing with her permission): "We've spent at least eight months hearing about how it would be impossible for outsiders to alter voting rolls, yet it turns out some folks already knew it was possible, BECAUSE IT HAPPENED." Yup.

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Annie Linskey at the Boston Globe: Trump's Voter-Fraud Panel Wants to Look into Russian Hacking, Too. "Two members of a presidential commission charged with investigating alleged voter fraud want the panel to focus on what could be the biggest fraudulent scheme of all: attempted Russian hacking of numerous state election systems. The call, by the secretaries of state in New Hampshire and Maine, presents a potential change in direction for a special commission that has widely been seen as a political smoke screen to justify the president's unfounded claims about widespread fraud by individual voters in places like New Hampshire and California." LOLOLOL whoooooooops! That certainly backfired. I mean, this is a commission chaired by Mike Pence. They weren't supposed to do anything but vindicate Donald Trump's bullshit claims about voter fraud.

Jonathan Lemire at the AP: Trump's Tease of Possible Comey Tapes Fits Familiar Pattern. "Trump has stretched out a new high-stakes guessing game, this time in the White House, by hinting that he might have recordings of his conversations with fired FBI Director James Comey. Trump is expected to answer the tapes question this week. If they do exist, they could become a central piece of evidence in the Russia investigation that has transfixed Washington and cast a shadow over the future of Trump's presidency. If they don't, questions will be raised about why the president would stake his reputation and political capital on promoting something that just isn't real." Because he's a garbage-brained dipshit?

UPDATE: Aaaaaaand there are no tapes.

Carrie Levine at the Center for Public Integrity: Trump Appointee Is a Saudi Government Lobbyist. "One of [Donald] Trump's newest appointees is a registered agent of Saudi Arabia earning hundreds of thousands of dollars to lobby on the kingdom's behalf, according to U.S. Department of Justice records reviewed by the Center for Public Integrity. Since January, the Saudi Arabian foreign ministry has paid longtime Republican lobbyist Richard Hohlt about $430,000 in exchange for 'advice on legislative and public affairs strategies.' Trump's decision to appoint a registered foreign agent to the President's Commission on White House Fellowships clashes with the president's vow to clean up Washington and limit the influence of special interests." Haha ya think?

Graham Russell at the Guardian: Trump Says He Doesn't Want a 'Poor Person' Handling Economy.
Donald Trump has said he doesn't want "a poor person" to hold economic roles in his administration as he used an Iowa rally to defend his decision to appoint the wealthy to his cabinet.

The US president told a crowd on Wednesday night: "Somebody said why did you appoint a rich person to be in charge of the economy? No it's true. And Wilbur's [commerce secretary Wilbur Ross] a very rich person in charge of commerce. I said: 'Because that's the kind of thinking we want.'"

The president explained that Ross and his economic adviser Gary Cohn "had to give up a lot to take these jobs," and that Cohn in particular, a former president of Goldman Sachs, "went from massive pay days to peanuts."

Trump added: "And I love all people, rich or poor, but in those particular positions I just don't want a poor person. Does that make sense?"
NOT REALLY. Because this entire premise is made of straw. There is a vast cavern of space between a "poor person" and a billionaire whose only qualification is being a billionaire. There are plenty of people who are non-billionaires with relevant expertise that would have been better suited for the positions Cohn and Ross are holding.

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[CN: Police brutality; racism; disablism] David Perry at the Guardian: Police Killings: The Price of Being Disabled and Black in America. "No one knows how many of the victims of police violence are disabled. We have some national data, which I pulled into a white paper for the Ruderman Foundation in 2015, but we're far too reliant on anecdotes — only because police departments and state governments have been too resistant to tracking use of force. The anecdotes remain telling, though." A must-read in its entirety.

[CN: Police brutality; descriptions of sexual assault] Alan Pyke at ThinkProgress: D.C. Cops Used 'Rape as Punishment' After Inauguration Day Mass Arrests, Lawsuit Says. "The 'guilt by association' round-up and mass arrests, the liberal use of pepper spray, and the kettling itself would all be constitutionally dubious enough on their own, the ACLU's Scott Michelman said Wednesday. But the experiences of the lawsuit's four plaintiffs — independent photojournalist Shay Horse, volunteer legal observer Judah Ariel, and peaceful protesters Elizabeth Legesse and Milo Gonzalez — suggest that MPD sought physical and emotional retribution on the hundreds of people kettled, the ACLU alleges. ...'I felt like they were using molestation and rape as punishment. They used those tactics to inflict pain and misery on people who are supposed to be innocent until proven guilty,' Horse said. 'It felt like they were trying to break me and the others — break us so that even if the charges didn't stick, that night would be our punishment.'" Fucking hell.

[CN: Sexual assault; rape culture] Monica Vendituoli at the Fayetteville Observer: N.C. Law: Woman Can't Back Out of Sex Once Underway. "In 1979, the North Carolina Supreme Court, in State v. Way, ruled that women cannot revoke consent after sexual intercourse begins. Jeff Jackson, a Democratic state senator who represents Mecklenburg County, is working to get the law changed. He said many other women have approached him privately about cases in which they withdrew consent for sex, but the law would not permit the men to be charged. 'Legislators are hearing more and more about women who have been raped and are being denied justice because of this [indecent] loophole,' Jackson said. 'North Carolina is the only state in U.S. where no doesn't mean no.'" Seethe.

Derek Hawkins at the Washington Post: Wisconsin Lawmakers Advance Bill to Suspend or Expel Students Who Disrupt Campus Speakers. "Under a new bill approved Wednesday night by the Wisconsin State Assembly, such student protesters in the UW system could be suspended or even expelled if they repeatedly disrupt campus speakers they disagree with. The Republican-backed legislation, called the Campus Free Speech Act, is part of a national effort by conservative groups to crack down on protests intended to silence controversial speakers on liberal college campuses. Similar measures have been enacted in Colorado and introduced in Michigan, North Carolina, Virginia, and California." What execrable trash.

[CN: Nativism] Tina Vasquez at Rewire: NC Woman's Deportation Order a 'Symbol of Everything Wrong with the Immigration System'. "For the past eight years, Minerva Cisneros Garcia has checked in regularly with Immigration and Customs Enforcement. But on April 23 everything changed for the mother of four children, who is being forced to leave her home of 17 years by bus on June 28." This is just horrendous. I am so goddamned angry that my government behaves like this toward undocumented immigrants whose only transgression is failing to have the right piece of paper.

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

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