We Resist: Day 280

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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: U.S. Immigration Policy Is Breathtaking Malice and Georgia Election Server's Data Destroyed After Suit Filed.

Chris McGreal at the Guardian: Trump to Declare Health Emergency over Opioids But No New Funds to Help. "Donald Trump is to order his health secretary to declare a public health emergency in response to the US's escalating opioid epidemic. But while the announcement that the president intends to 'mobilise his entire administration' to combat the crisis will be seen as an important symbolic moment, there will be no new funds to deal with an epidemic claiming 100 lives or more a day. ...The White House said it is having a 'conversation with Congress' about new funding." So, a big media splash and lots of headlines with no real action to effectively help people? That sounds about right.

[Content Note: Misogynoir; threats] Nicole Lafond at TPM: Rep. Frederica Wilson Away from Washington Amid Ongoing Threats. "Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-FL) did not return to Washington this week after receiving a barrage of threats, according to her D.C. office spokesperson. 'We have received a lot of threats and rude phone calls since [Donald] Trump started this feud with her,' Wilson's spokeswoman Joyce Jones told TPM Thursday. Because of her absence, Wilson has missed at least 20 votes in the House since Monday, a move the congresswoman doesn't take lightly, Jones said. 'Voting is extremely important to her. That's how she expresses the views of her constituents and she wouldn't miss votes if not for extraordinary circumstances,' she said." And now we see another way that Trump and his deplorables have to stymie democracy.

[CN: War on agency]

Goddammit. Rage seethe boil. This shit isn't fucking cute. Lives hang in the balance. People die because they don't want to be or cannot safely be pregnant.

Christine Grimaldi at Rewire: One Way to Resist Trump's Bureaucratic War on Birth Control. "People who identify with the resistance can't expect to have the same direct effect on unelected bureaucrats, some plucked straight from extremist anti-choice groups and anti-LGBTQ hate groups, as they did on their elected officials. But resisters can still make a difference, a big one, by submitting comments registering their displeasure with the Trump administration's bombshell counter-regulations, which provide religious and moral cover for any employer or university to opt out of contraceptive coverage in their health insurance offerings."

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[CN: Sexual assault] Dave McKenna at Deadspin: Second Woman: George H.W. Bush Groped Me.
Rumors about Bush groping actresses in this manner have been circulating for a while. More than a year ago, a tipster passed word about the Heather Lind incident to Deadspin. We were told that Bush had, during a photo opp, groped her and told her that his favorite magician was "David Cop-a-Feel" while fondling her.

(Reached for comment, Bush spokesperson Jim McGrath provided the following statement: "At age 93, President Bush has been confined to a wheelchair for roughly five years, so his arm falls on the lower waist of people with whom he takes pictures. To try to put people at ease, the president routinely tells the same joke — and on occasion, he has patted women's rears in what he intended to be a good-natured manner. Some have seen it as innocent; others clearly view it as inappropriate. To anyone he has offended, President Bush apologizes most sincerely.")

In reporting out the tip, I found two actresses—Lind and Grolnick—who had accused Bush of groping, and also two Twitter users who, on April 4, 2014, made reference to the "David Cop-a-Feel" joke.

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Alex Finley at Politico: The Recruitables: Why Trump's Team Was Easy Prey for Putin. "By now, it should be clear to anyone following the news that Russian intelligence made a formidable effort to approach the Trump campaign and assess the potential to manipulate its members. As a former officer of the CIA's Directorate of Operations, I can tell you that Russian security services would have been derelict not to evaluate the possibility of turning someone close to Trump. ...Generally, an intelligence officer looks for a person's vulnerabilities and explores ways to exploit them. It usually comes down to four things, which — in true government style — the CIA has encompassed in an acronym, MICE: Money, Ideology, Coercion, Ego. Want to get someone to betray his country? Figure out which of these four motivators drives the person and exploit the hell out of it."

"Money, Ideology, Coercion, Ego." Oh look — it's Trump's actual four-word résumé!

This is a very good piece, but I want to make two quick points for you to consider as you read it: 1. Finley doesn't mention or even allude to the fact that people in Trump's orbit could have themselves been reaching out to the Russians. That is definitely something that is under investigation, and I don't think it's accurate to portray Team Trump as just being targeted and not potentially as more active players in any potential collusion. 2. Finley also fails to mention it makes a huge difference that all of the people with bolded names in that piece have ZERO previous government experience. That, too, made them ripe for the picking. (If they were indeed "picked.")

Relatedly, Rep. Maxine Waters, who continues to be fucking amazing on the daily, has made clear that she's been targeted by Russian interlopers: "Since much of the public discussion of Russia's interference in our democratic process thus far has focused on Russia's influence in the presidential election, I think it is important for the American people and my colleagues in Congress to understand that Members of Congress and their efforts to communicate with their constituents may also be vulnerable to this type of foreign disruption."

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Whitefish Energy is, as you may recall, the utility company which was awarded a $300 million recovery contract in Puerto Rico, despite having "a reported staff of only two full-time employees," but also happens to be "primarily financed by a private-equity firm founded and run by a man who contributed large sums of money" to Trump.

Grifting pieces of shit.

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Shut up, Joe Biden.

You know what I really dislike about Biden? As far as I can tell, Hillary Clinton has never been anything but nice to that old shitbird. And he is repeatedly mean to her in public, except when she's standing beside him. That not only makes him a real fucking jerk; it also makes him untrustworthy as hell.

[CN: Harassment] Jason Johnson at the Root: Hey, I Can Play This Game Too, Guys. "Journalist Lee Fang (also from The Intercept) sent a Freedom of Information Act request to the university for my emails. While it's common for professors and academics to receive FOIA requests, let's be clear: Fang was not reaching out to me as an academic. He wanted to know what I was doing as a journalist, and as journalistic standards go, this is about as out-of-bounds, despicable, and cowardly as you can get. FOIA requests are a tactic used to expose vast corruption, dirty cops, and human rights abuses, not to snoop after other journalists who say things you don't like."

[CN: Threats; harassment; mass shooting] Sam Levin at the Guardian: Online Conspiracy Theorists Harass Vegas Victims.
Braden Matejka survived a bullet to the head in the Las Vegas massacre. Then, the death threats started coming.

"You are a lying piece of shit and I hope someone truly shoots you in the head," a commenter wrote to Matejka on Facebook, one week after a gunman killed 58 people and injured hundreds more. "Your soul is disgusting and dark! You will pay for the consequences!" said another. A Facebook meme quickly spread with a photo of him after the shooting, captioned: "I'm a lying cunt!"

The 30-year-old victim – who narrowly escaped death in the worst mass shooting in modern US history – has faced a torrent of online abuse and harassment, forcing him to shut down his social media accounts and disappear from the internet. The bullying, taunting, and graphic threats have also spread to his family and friends.

...Conspiracy theorists – some of whom claim that the government staged the shooting on 1 October or that the tragedy was a hoax – have targeted survivors and victims' loved ones, spamming every social media platform with misinformation and abuse. On Facebook and YouTube in particular, users have published viral posts and videos calling people like Braden "crisis actors," alleging they were hired to pose as victims.

While fringe conspiracies have often emerged after national tragedies and major historical events, social media has dramatically expanded the scope and scale of the problem, making it easy for false claims to reach massive audiences and giving trolls easy access to targets online.
I am so fucking angry about this behavior I can't even convey my rage in complete sentences. It's just hot fury and the sound of my teeth grinding.

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

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