We Resist: Day 286

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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 Immediately Politicizes Terror Attack.

[Content Note: War on agency; misogyny.]

You probably already know what I have to say about that. 1 Fuck those guys. And 2.

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Also today, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence is holding a hearing on Social Media Influence in the 2016 U.S. Elections. My friend Leah McElrath is live-tweeting the hearing; the thread starts here.

Yesterday, the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism had a hearing on Extremist Content and Russian Disinformation Online, and one of the people who testified was the terrific Clint Watts, a former special agent with the FBI. His prepared testimony, during which he explained how Russia used 2014 as a dry-run to test its ability to manipulate American politics and opinion, is available here.

At Axios, Steve LeVine notes that Watts said "he has no evidence that Russia attempted to manipulate the 2014 midterm elections. Instead, he said Russia was initially attempting to steer American opinion on issues like Syria. But early in 2015 and on into 2016, he said, the bots began to get into American political issues, like stirring up a rumor that a planned U.S. military exercise in Texas, called Jade Helm, was actually a plot to take over the state."

Again, this is — and will continue to be — an ongoing problem unless we take meaningful steps to prevent it. The Russians were never going to walk away from exploiting social media platforms after they were wildly successful in 2016, and they haven't.

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Esme Cribb at TPM: Trump in 2016 'Didn't Say Yes and He Didn't Say No' to Idea of Putin Meet. "CNN reported, citing an unnamed source in the room when Trump met with foreign policy advisers in March 2016, that Trump 'didn't say yes and he didn't say no' when his former campaign adviser George Papadopoulos floated the idea [of meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin]. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, then the chairman of Trump's national security team and a Republican senator, firmly rejected the idea, according to CNN's report." Is that "unnamed source" Jeff Sessions, by any chance, lol?

Noor Al-Sibai at Raw Story: Devin Nunes Wants to Bring Democrats and FBI Officials to Congress for Questioning as Early as This Week. "Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee who claimed he was 'recusing' himself from the Russia investigation only to go lone wolf earlier this year, is making more moves to pin the infamous 'golden showers' dossier on Democrats. According to The Washington Post's Robert Costa, Nunes 'is ramping up efforts to bring FBI officials and Dems to Hill,' and Republicans briefed on the chairman's moves learned that 'invites and possible subpoenas coming this week.'" Of course. Of course it's Nunes who's pushing the Russia Reversal hardest in Congress.

Eric Schmitt at the New York Times: Navy Collisions That Killed 17 Sailors Were 'Avoidable,' Official Inquiry Reports. "Two collisions between Navy destroyers and commercial vessels in the Western Pacific earlier this year were 'avoidable' and the result of a string of crew and basic navigational errors, the Navy's top officer said in reports made public on Wednesday. ...In the case of the Fitzgerald, the Navy determined in its latest reports that the crew and leadership on board failed to plan for safety, to adhere to sound navigation practices, to carry out basic watch practices, to properly use available navigation tools, and to respond effectively in a crisis. ...In the case of the John S. McCain, the investigation concluded that the collision resulted from 'a loss of situational awareness' while responding to mistakes in the operation of the ship's steering and propulsion system while in highly trafficked waters." Awful.

Elizabeth Warren at Politico: The Supreme Court Has an Ethics Problem.
The Code of Conduct for United States Judges requires judges to recuse themselves when certain potential conflicts arise, such as in cases in which the judge, the judge's spouse, or the judge's minor children have a financial interest or in cases in which the judge has a "personal bias or prejudice" against or for any party in the case. But those rules don't apply to Supreme Court justices.

In fact, Supreme Court justices are the only federal judges who are not bound by a formal code of conduct. The reason, as explained by Chief Justice Roberts, is that the Supreme Court is the only court created under Article III of the Constitution, while the lower courts are created by Congress. For Chief Justice Roberts, it's sufficient that the justices consult the code when determining their ethical duties and voluntarily abide by rules on a case-by-case basis.

The chief justice's argument is exactly backward. When an ethical cloud hangs over the court, its fundamental integrity is compromised. At a time when Gallup polls have found that fewer than half of Americans approve of the way the court is handling its job, the justices ought to be making every effort to show that their personal integrity is above reproach.
Absolutely correct.

[Content Note: Terrorism; video may autoplay at link] Stefan Becket at CBS News: NYC Terror Suspect Sayfullo Saipov Brags About Attack from Hospital Bed. "The suspect in Tuesday's terrorist attack in lower Manhattan bragged to police about the deadly attack from his hospital bed, saying he would have continued mowing down bikers and pedestrians had he not crashed. Sayfullo Habibullaevic Saipov, 29, told police he is pleased with his actions and is unapologetic for the attack, sources tell CBS News. One source said Saipov made 'no bones' about the attack, which killed 8 people and injured at least 12." If that report is accurate, he's one nasty piece of shit. I mean, that was already clear after he deliberately killed people, but there's nothing worse to say about someone who unrepentantly causes harm and then expresses that unrepentance.

[CN: Terrorism; death] Amy B Wang and Samantha Schmidt at the Washington Post: Old Friends from Argentina Reunited in New York; Five Died Together in a Terrorist Attack. "Through the decades — despite job changes, marriage, children, moves to far-flung corners of the world — they remained close friends. And on Saturday, eight of the former classmates gathered to fly to the United States to celebrate their 30th graduation anniversary. ...As they pedaled along the West Side Highway, a white rented Home Depot truck turned onto the path as well. The truck would soon plow into a crowd of pedestrians and cyclists, killing at least eight people — including five of the Argentine men. At least one other former classmate from the group was injured." Sob.

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

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