We Resist: Day 320

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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 Fannie: Dispatches From the Queer Resistance (No. 5). And by me: Mueller Pursues Trump's Relationship with Deutsche Bank and Powerful Man Confronts Powerful Man.

[Content Note: Islamophobia] Tom McCarthy and Oliver Laughland at the Guardian: Trump Travel Ban: Supreme Court Allows Enforcement as Appeals Proceed. "The US Supreme Court ruled on Monday that a ban ordered by Donald Trump on travelers from six Muslim-majority countries and two other countries could be immediately imposed while multiple court cases challenging the ban are resolved. The ultimate disposition of the ban was expected to take months to resolve. But the 7-2 ruling by the high court was a blow to anti-discrimination advocates, who vowed to protest against the decision. The ban means that the United States would categorically refuse entry visas to prospective travelers from Chad, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen, plus North Korea and Venezuela." Goddammit.

Selina Wang at Bloomberg: How the Kremlin Tried to Pose as American News Sites on Twitter.
The Kremlin-backed Russian Internet Research Agency operated dozens of Twitter accounts masquerading as local American news sources that collectively garnered more than half-a-million followers. More than 100 news outlets also published stories containing those handles in the run-up to the election, and some of them were even tweeted by a top presidential aide. These news imposter accounts, which are part of the 2,752 now-suspended accounts that Twitter Inc. has publicly disclosed to be tied to the IRA, show how the Russian group sought to build local communities of followers to disseminate messages.

Many of the news imposter accounts amassed their following by tweeting headlines from real news sites, while others sought to represent certain communities. They targeted a diverse set of regions across the political spectrum, including Chicago, Los Angeles, Seattle, San Francisco, and Boston. Several of the accounts were impersonating local news outlets in swing states, like @TodayPittsburgh, @TodayMiami, and @TodayCincinnati.

...Researchers have concluded that many of the IRA-linked accounts were created to sow social discord, by trying to "put left-wing people further to the left and right-wing people further to the right," said Ben Nimmo, a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council Digital Forensic Research Lab. "It's that attempt to amplify the differences in society."

Researchers say another purpose of the accounts was to establish them as trusted news sources, and then activate them later to spread propaganda and disinformation.
Damn. Damn.

Colin Kahl at Foreign Policy: The Evidence Is Damning: What Team Trump Knew and When. "The circumstantial evidence suggesting that the Trump campaign collaborated with the Kremlin to get [Donald] Trump elected continues to mount. But even if it turns out that there was no direct 'collusion' to shape the 2016 election, what we have learned so far — including most recently from retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn's guilty plea this past week — is incredibly troubling. The evidence is now irrefutable that Trump, his associates, and Republican leadership more broadly conspired to give Moscow a pass despite (or perhaps because of) Russia's attack on our democracy. While much remains unknown about the full extent and nature of the relationship between Team Trump and Russia's 2016 election activities, we actually know a great deal already." A must-read. Excellent summary.

[CN: Video may autoplay at link] Sahil Kapur at Bloomberg: 'Death to Democrats': How the GOP Tax Bill Whacks Liberal Tenets.
Trump and GOP leaders have promised that the two main goals of a tax code revamp are to benefit middle-class families and to slash the corporate tax rate. But paying for those changes has come in large part at the expense of breaks that are important to residents of high-tax states, which tend to be Democratic.

Benefits used by universities and graduate students are also on the chopping block. And the repeal of the Obamacare individual mandate to buy insurance — a centerpiece of Democrats' biggest achievement in a generation — is estimated to generate some $300 billion to pay for tax cuts.

"It's death to Democrats," said conservative economist Stephen Moore, who advised Trump's campaign on tax policy.

"They go after state and local taxes, which weakens public employee unions. They go after university endowments, and universities have become play pens of the left. And getting rid of the mandate is to eventually dismantle Obamacare," Moore said in an interview, arguing that it would accelerate "a death spiral" in the health-care law's marketplaces.

[CN: White supremacy] Tasneem Nashrulla at BuzzFeed: Masked White Supremacists Gave the Nazi Salute at a Texas School. "Masked members of a white supremacist group hung racist banners and signs and gave the Nazi salute at the Southern Methodist University in Texas on Sunday. The signs — one of which said, 'White men! Save your people. Reject the opioid beast!' — were posted by the Texas Vanguard, a part of Vanguard America which is a white supremacist group that frequently targets campuses across the country in an attempt to recruit students." Fucking hell.

Travis Gettys at Raw Story: Oliver North Urging White House to Build Private Spy Army Overseen by Betsy DeVos' Brother. "The Trump administration is considering a scheme by a cast of shady characters to build a private network of spies to bypass U.S. intelligence services. Blackwater founder Erik Prince and retired CIA officer John Maguire developed the plan, which was pitched to the administration by Iran-Contra figure Oliver North, reported The Intercept. Sources told the website the plan would give the White House a way to counter 'deep state' political enemies in the intelligence community and give the CIA director an army of spies with no official cover in countries such as North Korea and Iran, which are considered 'denied areas' for American covert operations."

This is the fulfillment of a threat I noted almost exactly one year ago: Kellyanne Conway Says Trump is "Going to Put His Own People" in the Intelligence Community. Welp.

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[CN: Sexual harassment and assault. Covers entire section.]

Stephanie McCrummen at the Washington Post: Woman Shares New Evidence of Relationship with Roy Moore When She Was 17. "'He called me a liar,' said Gibson, who says she not only openly dated Moore when she was 17 but later joined him in passing out fliers during his campaign for circuit court judge in 1982 and exchanged Christmas cards with him over the years. 'Roy Moore made an egregious mistake to attack that one thing — my integrity.'"

Also at the Washington Post today, this piece by Sean Sullivan, Michael Scherer, and David Weigel: RNC to Support Roy Moore in Senate Race in Alabama, Weeks After Cutting Ties with His Campaign. "Trump led an aggressive charge Monday on behalf of embattled Senate nominee Roy Moore, with the Republican National Committee rejoining Moore's side in Alabama weeks after cutting ties with him following allegations of sexual misconduct. Before dawn, Trump took to Twitter to declare his strongest support yet for Moore. By day's end, the RNC was back in his corner and America First Action, a pro-Trump group, said it would spend $1.1 million to try to push Moore across the finish line."

[CN: Video may autoplay at link] Todd Spangler at the Detroit Free Press: Another John Conyers Accuser Comes Forward, Saying He Groped Her in Church. "Another former staff employee of U.S. Rep. John Conyers, D-Detroit, came forward late Monday to publicly accuse the congressman of sexual harassment, saying he once slid his hand up her skirt in church. Attorney Lisa Bloom, who is representing Marion Brown, the former staffer who first accused Conyers, 88, of sexual harassment, on Monday night made public on Twitter an affidavit from Elisa Grubbs making many of the same accusations."

Caitlin MacNeal at TPM: Rep. Conyers Announces Retirement Amid Sexual Misconduct Allegations. "Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) announced Tuesday morning that he will retire from Congress more than a week after allegations of sexual misconduct against the congressman started surfacing. 'I'm retiring today,' he announced on the Detroit radio show 'The Mildred Gaddis Show.' He endorsed his son, John Conyers, III, to replace him in Congress."

[CN: Video may autoplay at link] Yashar Ali at the Huffington Post: Netflix Ousts Actor Danny Masterson Amid Rape Allegations. "Actor Danny Masterson has been ousted from the Netflix show 'The Ranch' amid multiple rape allegations, the streaming service announced in a statement sent to HuffPost on Tuesday. His last day of filming on the program took place on Monday. Four women have accused Masterson of violently raping them in the early 2000s. Masterson has been under investigation by the Los Angeles Police Department and the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office for just under a year. 'As a result of ongoing discussions, Netflix and the producers have written Danny Masterson out of 'The Ranch.' Yesterday was his last day on the show, and production will resume in early 2018 without him,' a Netflix spokesman said. The news comes a day after HuffPost reported that a Netflix executive told one of Masterson's accusers on Sunday that higher-ups at the company don't think the allegations are credible. The company says the executive was unaware at the time that the woman was one of the alleged victims."

[CN: White supremacy] Rachel Leah at Salon: "Alt-Right" Women Are Upset That "Alt-Right" Men Are Treating Them Terribly. "There's trouble brewing in the MAGA world, as prominent women in the 'alt-right' are upset that white nationalists are being misogynistic towards them. Women in the 'alt-right' 'are constantly harassed by low level anonymous trolls trying to put us in our place,' self-described 'Ethno Nationalist' Tara McCarthy wrote on Twitter Sunday, in a moment of revelation that was well-known to basically anyone else. 'The ultimate goal seems to be to bully us off the internet.'" Uh, yeah. That's because the patriarchy and white supremacy exist in a constantly reinforcing loop. Did these women seriously imagine that white men who hate people of color and religious minorities et. al. were really going to make an exception for women?! LOL whoooooooops.

John Rogers at the AP: In Wake of Weinstein, Men Wonder If Hugging Women Still Okay. NO, UNWANTED HUGGING IS NOT OKAY AND IT NEVER HAS BEEN. "Steve Wyard thought he knew what sexual harassment looked like: a put-out-or-lose-your-job overture. Now he's not so sure. 'Have we gotten to the point now where men can't say, 'That's a nice dress' or 'Did you do something with your hair?'' says the veteran sales associate for a Los Angeles company. 'The potential problem is you can't even feel safe saying, 'Good morning' anymore.'" STFU.

I was so enraged by this horseshit that I did a Twitter thread about it and created a moment of it: On the Poor Men Whining That Sexual Harassment Isn't Allowed Anymore.

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[CN: Wildfires; climate change] AP/Guardian: Rapidly Spreading California Wildfire Forces Thousands from Homes. "Nearly 8,000 homes have been evacuated in southern California after ferocious winds whipped up an explosive wildfire that could soon threaten a city of more than 100,000. ...Evacuation orders were expanded to include homes in Ventura, a city 12 miles south-west of Santa Paula, with more than 100,000 residents. 'The fire growth is just absolutely exponential,' the Ventura county fire chief, Mark Lorenzen, said. 'All that firefighters can do when we have winds like this is get out ahead, evacuate people, and protect structures.'"

I'm thinking about the people and animals who are affected by this wildfire, hoping that everyone can evacuate safely and that the devastation is not vast, and wishing desperately that we had leadership who would make better choices across the board, from funding firefighting to addressing the climate change that exacerbates wildfires.

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

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