We Resist: Day 259

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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:

Yesterday by me, in case you missed it: Every. Damn. Time.

Arelis R. Hernández and Jenna Johnson at the Washington Post report that Donald Trump is mystified equally by science and by altruism:
Trump passed out yellow bags of rice and then started tossing rolls of towels into the crowd as if he were shooting free throws. The crowd laughed and cheered him on. When he contemplated doing the same with the cans of chicken, the crowd gently told him no.

The church is also distributing water purification kits, and a member explained the process to the president.

"Wait," Trump said, "you put it in dirty water?"

"And then you can drink it after 10 to 12 hours," she explained.

"Would you do it? Would you drink it?" he asked.

"Sure," she said.

"Really?" Trump said, a disgusted look coming across his face.

"Really," she said.

"Is this your company or something?" Trump asked the woman, seeming suspicious of the aggressive pitch.

"No," she said, "I'm part of the church."
There are no words.

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Lisa Friedman at the New York Times: Trump Takes a First Step Toward Scrapping Obama's Global Warming Policy. "The Trump administration will repeal the Clean Power Plan, the centerpiece of President Barack Obama's effort to fight climate change, and will ask the public to recommend ways it could be replaced, according to an internal Environmental Protection Agency document. The draft proposal represents the administration's first substantive step toward rolling back the plan, which was designed to curb greenhouse gas emissions from the power sector, after months of presidential tweets and condemnations of Mr. Obama's efforts to reduce climate-warming pollution. But it also lays the groundwork for new, presumably weaker, regulations by asking for the public and industry to offer ideas for a replacement."

Sam Thielman at TPM: Russia Appeared to Target Wisconsin's Elections Body Via a Banner or Popup Ad. "Nearly lost amid the deluge of reports about Kremlin-run Facebook and Twitter campaigns designed to influence the American electorate, the Department of Homeland Security last week messily notified 21 states, including Wisconsin, that Russia had targeted their election systems. The Wisconsin Elections Commission (WEC) then quietly issued a press release describing an unsuccessful August 2016 cyberattack that took the form of neither a targeted phishing attack nor an attempt to crack a password, but an ad. The elections commission said that the state IT division's protective measures had 'blocked an advertisement embedded in a publicly available website from being displayed on a WEC computer.' When the state Department of Enterprise Technology provided the IP address it had blocked to DHS, the agency identified that address as 'connected to Russian government cyber actors,' according to the release."

Bright Line Watch: The Health of American Democracy: Comparing Perceptions of Experts and the American Public. "The public is quite concerned about the state of U.S. democracy, especially those who disapprove of [Donald] Trump. Americans' ratings of democratic performance are often worse than those of experts, especially in the areas experts identify as the most important. ...Far from being complacent, the American public is in many ways more alarmed than political scientists are about the health of U.S. democracy. They are, for instance, less sanguine about the administration of elections and about protections for free speech and less certain that political parties can compete freely and that people's rights to protest are protected."

[Content Note: Video may autoplay at link] Jon Delano at CBS Pittsburgh: Pro-Life Rep. Tim Murphy Will Not Seek Re-Election After Reports of Urging Abortion. "Published reports said Murphy met earlier on Wednesday with Republican leadership in Washington DC, after a report surfaced Tuesday that he suggested his mistress have an abortion, despite the congressman's [anti-choice] stance." Welp.

Darryl Fears at the Washington Post: Interior Department Whistleblower Resigns, Calling Ryan Zinke's Leadership a Failure. "An Interior Department executive turned whistleblower who claimed the Trump administration retaliated against him for publicly disclosing how climate change affects Alaska Native communities resigned Wednesday. Joel Clement, a scientist and policy expert, was removed from his job by Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke shortly after the disclosure and reassigned to an accounting position for which he has no experience. Clement was among dozens of senior executive service personnel who were quickly, and perhaps unlawfully, reassigned in June, but he was the only person who spoke out."

[CN: White supremacy] David Lewis at the Stranger: We Snuck into Seattle's Super Secret White Nationalist Convention.
White nationalists generally don't want to look like characters out of American History X anymore. Fashion choices at the convention ranged from Ruby Ridge to Mad Men, but most of the people there looked like you might run into them on Capitol Hill or in the U-District. That said, there is a type. According to my observations, the standard Seattle Nazi is a white male under 30 who either works in the tech industry or is going to school to work in the tech industry. "You're also a coder? Do you mind if I send you something I've been working on?" I heard that more than once.

...Speakers encouraged followers to take the Gandhi approach and continue getting punched in the face a la Richard Spencer. The media will have no choice but to turn to its side, their reasoning went. Taylor, Dr. Johnson, and the other speakers are all pretty married to this strategy. They also disapprove of their followers using ethnic slurs in public because it gives the media soundbites to latch onto.

Much bleaker is Dr. Johnson's Seattle-suitable, "secret agent" racism plan. Basically, white nationalists meet in secret at conventions like Northwest Forum while paying "lip service to diversity" at their day jobs. They move into positions of power where they can hire other racists and keep non-whites from getting into the company. Two years ago, this method would have seemed like a total joke, but these guys really do mostly work in tech, and they were doing a lot of networking.

...In the two years since I'd interviewed Charles Krafft, Seattle had somehow gone from virtually no open racists (although I've worked retail at places with pretty open whites only management policies) to being the kind of place to which you'd travel all the way from Sweden to study a new style of racism.
[CN: White supremacy] Zoe Tillman at BuzzFeed: The Justice Department Is Investigating Harvard's Admissions Practices. "'This is further proof that Attorney General Sessions and the Trump administration will continue to invoke civil rights only to further their own political agenda — not provide equal protections for all Americans. It speaks volumes that Jeff Sessions' Justice Department is prioritizing attacking affirmative action at a time when white nationalists are marching openly in the streets,' American Oversight executive director Austin Evers said in a statement." Fucking hell.

[CN: White supremacy] Breanna Edwards at the Root: Federal Judge Officially Dismisses Guilty Verdict Against Joe Arpaio, Who Purposefully Ignored Court Order, Illegally Detained Latinos While Sheriff.
Former Maricopa County, Ariz., Sheriff Joe Arpaio will officially have his criminal record scrubbed clean after a federal judge accepted his presidential pardon Wednesday.

According to the Arizona Republic, at the request of Arpaio's defense lawyers as well as lawyers from the U.S. Department of Justice, U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton dismissed Arpaio's guilty verdict with prejudice, meaning that the case can never be tried again.

You'd think the DOJ lawyers especially would have other things to work on and worry about given, you know, how many accusations of police brutality the nation has been grappling with for the past few years. But, yet, here we are, securing the freedom of a windbag who continually harassed Latino people, has a laundry list of horrific things that happened in his jail while he was running it, and, because one cannot be too much of a racist caricature apparently, continues to insist that our former President Barack Obama's birth certificate is fake.

[CN: Homophobia; shooting] Joe Jervis at Joe My God: Man Whose Life Was Saved by Married Lesbian Cop to Speak at National Convention of Anti-LGBT Groups. "Via press release from hate group leader Tony Perkins: 'There were times when we wondered if House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) would ever speak at VVS again. But next week, the miraculous recovery of my good friend will literally take center stage, as Steve makes a return trip to the biggest gathering of pro-family conservatives in the country after a shooting that rocked the country.'" Gross.

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

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