We Resist: Day 323

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One of the difficulties in resisting the Trump administration, the Republican Congressional majority, and Republican state legislatures (plus the occasional non-Republican who obliges us to resist their nonsense, too, like we don't have enough to worry about) 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 Campaign Was Offered Wikileaks Docs and Today in Republican Men Being Gross AF.

Rosalind S. Helderman, Anton Troianovski, and Tom Hamburger at the Washington Post: Russian Social Media Executive Sought to Help Trump Campaign in 2016, Emails Show.
An executive at a leading Russian social media company made several overtures to Donald Trump's presidential campaign in 2016 — including days before the November election — urging the candidate to create a page on the website to appeal to Russian Americans and Russians.

The executive at Vkontakte, or VK, Russia's equivalent to Facebook, emailed Donald Trump Jr. and social media director Dan Scavino in January and again in November of last year, offering to help promote Trump's campaign to its nearly 100 million users, according to people familiar with the messages.

"It will be the top news in Russia," Konstantin Sidorkov, who serves as VK's director of partnership marketing, wrote on Nov. 5, 2016.

While Scavino expressed interest in learning more at one point, it is unclear whether the campaign pursued the idea. An attorney for Trump Jr. said his client forwarded a pitch about the concept to Scavino early in the year and could not recall any further discussion about it.

Scavino, now the White House social media director, did not respond to requests for comment. A White House spokeswoman declined to comment.
Just to be clear, this is an entirely different story from this morning's story about emails reaching out to the Trump campaign to invite collusion. If the Trump campaign was as innocent as it would have us believe, why weren't they wondering why the fuck so many Russians were reaching out to them with ideas to rig the election, and why didn't they report any of it to U.S. authorities? That's rhetorical, of course. They were and are not innocent. That's why they have never behaved and continue not to behave like people who are.

Esme Cribb at TPM: Goldstone Followed Up on Trump Tower Meet with Trump Aide, His Client. "Rob Goldstone, the British music publicist who set up a meeting in June 2016 between Donald Trump Jr. and a Kremlin-linked lawyer, sent emails later in the summer to another Russian who attended the meeting, and one of [Donald] Trump's aides, CNN reported on Thursday. CNN reported, citing multiple unnamed sources, that Goldstone emailed Dan Scavino, who was director of social media for Trump's campaign and now fills the same position in the White House. According to the report, Goldstone also emailed Emin Agalarov, a Russian pop star and his client, and Irakly 'Ike' Kaveladze, who was accused of having a pivotal role in a large-scale alleged scheme to funnel hundreds of millions of dollars in Russian money through U.S. banks in the 1990s. Kaveladze attended the meeting in Trump Tower between Trump Jr. and the Russian lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya."

In one of the emails, Goldstone urged Scavino "to have Trump create a page on VK, a Russian-based social media website, and told him that 'Don and Paul' supported the idea, referring to Trump Jr. and Paul Manafort, then Trump's campaign chair."

So, Sidorkov sends an email offering to set up the page, and then Goldstone sends a separate email urging them to set up the page, noting that Don Jr. and Manafort are into it.


[CN: Video may autoplay at link] Rhonda Schwartz and Matthew Mosk at ABC News: George Papadopoulos' Fiancee: He's a Patriot, Not a Trump Campaign Coffee Boy. "Mangiante said she decided to speak publicly to counter claims from [Donald] Trump and his aides that Papadopoulos was, as Trump tweeted, a 'young, low level volunteer.' Or in the words of campaign adviser Michael Caputo, a 'coffee boy.' Mangiante said he was far from a bit player in the historic Republican campaign. ...Mangiante said Papadopoulos 'set up meetings with leaders all over the world' for senior campaign officials. He was 'constantly in touch with high-level officials in the campaign,' she added. That included direct communication with now-former senior Trump advisers Steve Bannon and Michael Flynn, Mangiante said, adding that she had seen correspondence supporting the assertion."

Pew Research Center: Stark Partisan Divisions over Russia Probe, Including Its Importance to the Nation. "A majority of Americans say they think senior members of Donald Trump's administration definitely or probably had improper contacts with Russia during last year's presidential campaign. ...Republicans and Democrats are deeply divided in views of possible wrongdoing by senior administration officials, as well as in confidence in Mueller to conduct a fair investigation. In addition, while just 19% of Republicans view the Russia probe as 'very important' to the nation, more than three times as many Democrats (71%) say the same."

Where have all the Real AmericansTM of the Republican Party gone...?

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Bella DePaulo at the Washington Post: I Study Liars; I've Never Seen One Like Trump. "I spent the first two decades of my career as a social scientist studying liars and their lies. I thought I had developed a sense of what to expect from them. Then along came [Donald] Trump. His lies are both more frequent and more malicious than ordinary people's. ...Starting in early October, The Post's tracking showed that Trump told a remarkable nine lies a day, outpacing even the biggest liars in our research. But the flood of deceit isn't the most surprising finding about Trump. ...The most stunning way Trump's lies differed from our participants', though, was in their cruelty. An astonishing 50 percent of Trump's lies were hurtful or disparaging. ...By telling so many lies, and so many that are mean-spirited, Trump is violating some of the most fundamental norms of human social interaction and human decency."

Mark Hand at ThinkProgress: Ryan Zinke Orders Helicopter to Get Him to Horseback Ride with Mike Pence on Time. Ben Lefebvre, an energy reporter for Politico, reported "that Zinke spent more than $14,000 on government helicopters this past summer 'to take himself and staff to and from official events near Washington, D.C.' Based on documents released to Politico in response to a Freedom of Information Act request, Zinke ordered a U.S. Park Police helicopter to take him and his chief of staff to an emergency management exercise in Shepherdstown, West Virginia, on June 21. Zinke also ordered a Park Police helicopter to fly him and another Interior official to and from Yorktown, Virginia, on July 7 in order to be back in Washington in time for a late-afternoon horseback ride with Vice President Mike Pence."

Aram Roston at BuzzFeed: Private War: Erik Prince Has His Eye on Afghanistan's Rare Metals. "Controversial private security tycoon Erik Prince has famously pitched an audacious plan to the Trump administration: Hire him to privatize the war in Afghanistan using squads of 'security contractors.' Now, for the first time, Buzzfeed News is publishing that pitch, a presentation that lays out how Prince wanted to take over the war from the US military — and how he envisioned mining some of the most war-torn provinces in Afghanistan to help fund security operations and obtain strategic mineral resources for the US." What a disgusting person he is.

Speaking of gross people... [CN: Sexual assault] Stephanie Convery at the Guardian: Bryan Singer Denies Sexually Assaulting 17-Year-Old Boy at Yacht Party in 2003. "Director Bryan Singer has denied sexual assault allegations after being sued for allegedly sexually assaulting a 17-year-old boy. The news comes just days after he was fired from his role as director of the Queen biopic, Bohemian Rhapsody. Cesar Sanchez-Guzman alleged in court filings obtained by Deadline that he was sexually assaulted by the director of X-Men and Superman Returns on a yacht in 2003. Singer has denied the allegations, according to reports." Of course he has. He has denied all of the very many allegations against him in which all of the accusers tell very similar stories about how he assaulted them.

[CN: Class warfare; appropriation] Andy Towle: Trump Supporter Peter Thiel Is Funding a Members-Only LGBTQ Social Club in SF Called 'Yass'. "A venture capital firm co-founded by Peter Thiel, the gay conservative who donated $1.25 million to Trump, is the sole backer of Yass, a new members-only LGBTQ 'co-working space and social club.' Yass is set to open in San Francisco's Mission District in the spring. But it already has expansion plans, given a poll on its homepage asking if visitors want a 'Yass' in their city. ...Critics of the project cite dues which they feel will keep lower-income queers out, the need of existing organizations for financial support, the appropriation of the term 'Yass' from drag ball culture, and of course, Thiel." This fucking guy.

[CN: Police misconduct; sexual assault; bigotry; abuse] Maya Lau, Ben Poston, and Corina Knoll at the LA Times: Inside a Secret 2014 List of Hundreds of L.A. Deputies with Histories of Misconduct. "Ovalle kept his job, but his name was placed on a secret Sheriff's Department list that now includes about 300 deputies with histories of dishonesty and similar misconduct, a Los Angeles Times investigation has found. The list is so tightly controlled that it can be seen by only a handful of high-ranking sheriff's officials. Not even prosecutors can access it. Amid growing public scrutiny over police misconduct, Sheriff Jim McDonnell wants to give the names on the list to prosecutors, who are required by law to tell criminal defendants about evidence that would damage the credibility of an officer called as a witness. But McDonnell's efforts have ignited a fierce legal battle with the union that represents rank-and-file deputies. The dispute, which the California Supreme Court is expected to decide next year, is playing out in a state with some of the nation's strictest secrecy laws on police misconduct."

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[CN: Environmental racism; class warfare] Jay Hancock, Rachel Bluth, and Daniel Trielli at the Washington Post: Hospitals Find Asthma Hot Spots More Profitable to Neglect Than Fix.
Summerville and her family live in the worst asthma hot spot in Baltimore: Zip code 21223, where decrepit houses, rodents, and bugs trigger the disease and where few community doctors work to prevent asthma emergencies.

Residents of this area visit hospitals for asthma flare-ups at more than four times the rate of people from the city's wealthier neighborhoods, according to data analyzed by Kaiser Health News and the University of Maryland's Capital News Service.

...The supreme irony of the localized epidemic is that Keyonta's neighborhood in southwest Baltimore is in the shadow of prestigious medical centers — Johns Hopkins, whose researchers are international experts on asthma prevention, and the University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC).

Both receive massive tax breaks in return for providing "community benefit," a poorly defined federal requirement that they serve their neighborhoods. Under Maryland's ambitious effort to control medical costs, both are supposed to try to improve residents' health outside the hospital and prevent admissions.

But like hospitals across the country, the institutions have done little to address the root causes of asthma. The perverse incentives of the health-care payment system have long made it far more lucrative to treat severe, dangerous asthma attacks than to prevent them.
Another supercool feature of our for-profit healthcare system: Make more money letting children struggle to breathe. Seethe.

[CN: Misogynoir; maternal death] Nina Martin and Renee Montagna at STAT: Nothing Protects Black Women from Dying in Pregnancy and Childbirth. "The researcher working to eradicate disparities in health access and outcomes had become a symbol of one of the most troublesome health disparities facing black women in the U.S. today, disproportionately high rates of maternal mortality. The main federal agency seeking to understand why so many American women — especially black women — die and nearly die from complications of pregnancy and childbirth had lost one of its own. Even Shalon's many advantages — her B.A. in sociology, her two master's degrees and dual-subject Ph.D., her gold-plated insurance, and rock-solid support system — had not been enough to ensure her survival. If a village this powerful hadn't been able to protect her, was any black woman safe?"

[CN: War on agency] Betsy Woodruff at the Daily Beast: Justice Department Moves to Investigate Planned Parenthood's Fetal Tissue Practices. "The head of Justice's office of legislative affairs has sent a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee asking for documents from its investigation of Planned Parenthood's fetal tissue practices. The Daily Beast reviewed the letter, which says the requested documents are 'for investigative use.'" Oh for fuck's sake.

[CN: Misogyny] Mona Chalabi at the Guardian: Read This Before You Have a Baby (Especially If You're a Woman). "It seems so obvious: having kids affects men and women differently. Sure, emotionally and financially but most clearly in the simple way mothers and fathers spend their time. And when you actually look at how 10,900 Americans carve up 24 hours, the conclusion is pretty stark: If you're a woman who enjoys paid work or relaxing activities, having kids will cramp your style."

[CN: White supremacy; homophobia] Jessica Mason Pieklo at Rewire: Cakes for the Klan? Conservatives Craft a Trojan Horse in Supreme Court's LGBTQ Discrimination Case. "Then came U.S. Solicitor General Noel Francisco to the podium to argue on behalf of the Trump administration's support of Phillips. Francisco is no stranger to the culture wars or to [the conservative litigation advocacy organization Alliance Defending Freedom]. Francisco has been affiliated with the legal advocacy organization, a fact he failed to disclose and a fact ADF was desperately trying to scrub prior to arguments, lest there be an appearance of bias from the federal government. There was no appearance of bias during Francisco's case. The bias was front and center to the administration's arguments. Francisco insisted that under the Colorado law, a Black baker would be forced to create a cake for the Ku Klux Klan. This is a point the conservative justices jumped on, despite knowing that the KKK is not a protected class and therefore not subject to the same anti-discrimination protection as a same-sex couple."

[CN: Nativism] Alfonso Serrano at Colorlines: Will Congress Shut Down the Government for the Dreamers? "House Republicans are expected to introduce a short-term spending bill today (December 7) that would keep the federal government running until December 22, but top Democrats say they won't vote for the year-end funding bill unless it contains provisions that protect young immigrants, called Dreamers, from the threat of deportation. ...House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) are expected to meet [Donald] Trump at the White House today, where they will attempt to resolve major differences, including immigration, before reaching a deal on the funding bill. Trump has not budged from his demand for border wall funding and a hard-line immigration stance."

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

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