We Resist: Day 337

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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: Judge Rules Congress Should Do Something About Trump.

[Content Note: Update on October mass shooting in Vegas; death; injury; guns.] Yesterday, the Clark County coroner's office released the cause of death for each of the 58 victims killed by Stephen Paddock on October 1 in Las Vegas. Because of the scope of death and injury, and because the massacre was waged on a large crowd, many people speculated at the time that some of the deaths may have been due to trampling. But in a gruesome commentary on the efficacy of Paddock's weaponry, every one of the 58 people killed died from at least one gunshot wound.

Rachel Crosby at the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports:
In his first interview since the Oct. 1 shooting, Coroner John Fudenberg said it took his office so long to release the information because his staff was striving for accuracy and wanted to update the families first.

"Because of the impact that this incident had on our community, and the attention that this incident received, it became very important for us to ensure that all of the families had the information prior to us releasing it to the public," said Fudenberg, who responded to the scene the night of the shooting.

Most of those killed at the Route 91 Harvest festival died from a single gunshot wound, according to the coroner's office. Six died from multiple wounds.

Hundreds of others were injured but survived.

Of the homicide victims, 18 died from at least one gunshot wound to the head, 21 died from at least one gunshot wound to the chest, 15 died from at least one gunshot wound to the back, and three died from a gunshot wound to the neck.

Rocio Guillen of Corona, California, was the only person who died from a gunshot wound to the leg.
Fucking hell. My condolences, again and always, to the families, friends, colleagues, and communities of those who were killed. My thoughts are also with those injured and/or traumatized during the shooting.

Separately, the coroner's office also ruled Paddock's death a suicide.

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Martin Belam at the Guardian: U.S. Ambassador to Netherlands Describes Own Words as 'Fake News'. "Trump's new choice for ambassador, Pete Hoekstra, who was only sworn in by the vice president, Mike Pence, on 11 December, was being interviewed for current affairs programme Nieuwsuur by reporter Wouter Zwart. Zwart says: 'You mentioned in a debate that there are no-go zones in the Netherlands, and that cars and politicians are being set on fire in the Netherlands.' Hoekstra replies: 'I didn't say that. This is actually an incorrect statement. We would call it fake news.' Hoekstra is then shown clips of him saying: 'The Islamic movement has now gotten to a point where they have put Europe into chaos. Chaos in the Netherlands, there are cars being burnt, there are politicians that are being burnt...and yes there are no-go zones in the Netherlands.' Challenged about having called this 'fake news,' Hoekstra then went on to deny to Zwart that he had in fact used the phrase 'fake news.' [Which he'd literally used moments before.—Liss] 'I didn't call that fake news. I didn't use the words today. I don't think I did.'"

Zwart's expression of disbelief after Hoekstra says this. OMG. This is the state of diplomacy under the Trump regime. We are an international disgrace and a laughingstock. With good reason. Sob.

Kevin Robillard, Nancy Cook, and Cristiano Lima at Politico: Republicans Plan Mega Marketing Push to Sell Unpopular Tax Plan. "Conservative groups are planning a multimillion-dollar effort to sell the GOP's tax cut law, hoping the American electorate can learn to love the party's signature — but massively unpopular — legislative achievement. ...The Koch network will launch a multimillion-dollar push next year to sell the bill, with paid advertising and town halls to educate voters. A major GOP super PAC is planning to spend $10 million to protect House members. And another group, the Committee to Unleash Prosperity, plans to spend the majority of its $1 million annual budget selling the tax plan next year, according to one of the group's founders, Stephen Moore, a distinguished visiting fellow at The Heritage Foundation and an informal economic adviser to the president."

Josh Dawsey and Robert Costa at the Washington Post: Trump Advisers Vent Frustrations About 2018 Strategy as President Listens. "The gathering saw tempers flare as aides vented their frustrations with electoral defeats this year and concerns about the 2018 political map, according to several people with knowledge of the discussion. Complaints about the president's political operation and the Republican National Committee boiled over, playing out in front of the president as an inner-circle drama. The late-afternoon meeting — attended by White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly, counselor Kellyanne Conway, political director Bill Stepien, marketing and data specialist Brad Parscale, communications director Hope Hicks, and political consultant and confidant Corey Lewandowski, among others — quickly became a griping session for Lewandowski and others about the way the White House manages the GOP and handles its planning for what is sure to be a hotly contested campaign season, people familiar with the meeting said."

Though you may be inclined to delight at reports of turmoil in Trump's White House, this type of discord will ultimately only result in Trump feeling increasingly insecure about his inner circle and doubling down on his reactionary authoritarianism as a result. That's no good for any of us.

Caitlin MacNeal at TPM: Top Trump Aide Rick Dearborn to Leave White House Early Next Year. "Rick Dearborn, a deputy chief of staff and key aide to [Donald] Trump, will leave the White House in early 2018. ...News of Dearborn's departure followed the announcement that Deputy National Security Adviser Dina Powell will leave the White House early next year. More departures are expected at the beginning of Trump's second year in office." One year on the resume and OUT.

Devlin Barrett, Ellen Nakashima, and Carol Leonnig at the Washington Post: FBI's Top Lawyer Said to Be Reassigned. "The FBI's top lawyer, James Baker, is being reassigned — one of the first moves by new director Christopher A. Wray to assemble his own team of senior advisers as he tries to fend off accusations of politicization within the bureau." What a remarkable lede. Wray is axing the top lawyer in a profoundly political move to avoid accusations of politicization. LOL. Welcome to the other side of the looking glass.

[CN: Nativism; child abuse] Caroline Bankoff at NY Mag: Trump Administration Might Start Separating Undocumented Parents and Children. "The Department of Homeland Security is considering separating parents and children who are caught entering the United States illegally. Officials say that the potential new policy is intended to discourage families from trying to come to the U.S. via the border with Mexico. Currently, families taken into custody along the border are either kept together at a DHS detention center or released and given a court date. Under the changes being considered, adults and kids would be sent to separate facilities. White House chief of staff John Kelly previously suggested the idea back when he was head of the DHS, but claimed to have abandoned it after it became clear that it sounded too cruel." I hate this administration so much.

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Raphael Satter, Jeff Donn, and Nataliya Vasilyeva at the AP: Russian Hackers Targeted More Than 200 Journalists Globally.
The Associated Press found that Lobkov was targeted by the hacking group known as Fancy Bear in March 2015, nine months before his messages were leaked. He was one of at least 200 journalists, publishers, and bloggers targeted by the group as early as mid-2014 and as recently as a few months ago.

The AP identified journalists as the third-largest group on a hacking hit list obtained from cybersecurity firm Secureworks, after diplomatic personnel and U.S. Democrats. About 50 of the journalists worked at The New York Times. Another 50 were either foreign correspondents based in Moscow or Russian reporters like Lobkov who worked for independent news outlets. Others were prominent media figures in Ukraine, Moldova, the Baltics, or Washington.

The list of journalists provides new evidence for the U.S. intelligence community's conclusion that Fancy Bear acted on behalf of the Russian government when it intervened in the U.S. presidential election.
That 200 journalists were targeted doesn't mean 200 were successfully hacked. But some number were. And I'm very curious to know how much overlap there is, if any, between journalists who were successfully hacked and journalists who have been shit-canned for "sexual misconduct."

Because evidence of sexual harassment and/or assault in the hands of Russian hackers is prime blackmail material. That means:

1. Publications could have had an additional incentive to stop protecting journalists who were vulnerable to extortion. The "sea change" we're seeing, at least in political media, could be less about some newfound priority to keep women safe and more about keeping news organizations safe from Russian infiltration via compromised men.

2. We know that some outlets started working on big takedowns a year ago or more. (Matt Lauer quit right before an expose long in the works on him was about to be published, for example.) It occurs to me that it's possible Russian hackers posed as anonymous tipsters. What better way to sow discord in U.S. newsrooms than have reporters reporting on each other, no less largely along gendered lines? And, of course, to sow discord among their readership, as well. We know the Kremlin tried to exploit racial divisions. This could have been a strategy to exploit gender divisions among the populace, too.

3. It also occurs to me that journos on whom hackers had blackmail material because of "sexual misconduct" could have also been extorted to color their coverage of Clinton. Remember Lauer's famously bad performance at the Commander in Chief forum? Now that he has been exposed, his wife is divorcing him and planning to take him to the cleaners. He had both professional and personal reasons to do the bidding of anyone who was trying to compromise him.

Maybe it really is just as simple as misogynist men covered Clinton in a misogynist way, and now they're getting their comeuppance via karma and the bravery of the women they victimized.

But given that we know Russia targeted dozens of U.S. journalists, it's worth asking the question if the Kremlin's campaign to defeat Hillary Clinton leveraged accessed evidence of predatory men's abuse to enlist their service to the cause.

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

Cora Lewis at BuzzFeed: Five Women Are Accusing a Top Left-Leaning Media Executive of Sexually Harassing Them. "Don Hazen has been an executive at left-leaning media outlets since the 1980s, first helming the influential Mother Jones magazine as publisher and in 1997 starting AlterNet, an online outlet publishing and syndicating reporting on 'the environment, human rights and civil liberties, social justice, media, and health care issues.' But five women journalists have told BuzzFeed News that Hazen sexually harassed them while they worked for AlterNet... A sixth journalist said she was sexually harassed by him, though she wasn't his employee at the time. After BuzzFeed News asked Hazen and the board of the Independent Media Institute, AlterNet's nonprofit parent, for comment, the board returned a statement on Wednesday saying Hazen has been placed on 'indefinite leave' as a result of the accusations."

Jon Levine at the Wrap: Young Turks' Founder Cenk Uygur Apologizes for 'Ugly,' 'Insensitive' Old Blog Posts.
Young Turks creator and host Cenk Uygur made multiple graphic and disparaging remarks about women in his early days as a blogger, including saying that women were genetically 'flawed' because they don't want to have sex often enough.

...In an entry from 2000, Uygur complained about not having enough sex while living in Miami: "It seems like there is a sea of tits here, and I am drinking in tiny droplets. I want to dive into the whole god damn ocean," he wrote. "Obviously, the genes of women are flawed. They are poorly designed creatures who do not want to have sex nearly as often as needed for the human race to get along peaceably and fruitfully."

...In a a post archived in 2003, he wrote about carousing with numerous women in New Orleans while drunk.

"I had one of the best nights of my life at Mardi Gras. I kissed over 23 different women, saw and felt countless breasts, and was in a wonderful drunken stupor thanks to my friend John Daniels," reads the post.

John Daniels is sometimes used as a nickname for Jack Daniels whiskey. Uygur told TheWrap that all of the behavior he described had been consensual.
Mm-hmm. I'm sure he recalls asking "over 23" women if he could kiss them and "countless" women if he could fondle their breasts while he was in a "drunken stupor." Sounds legit. As legit as this shit:

And while we're on the subject of how reprehensibly misogynistic the Dirtbag Left is, here's a timely reminder that Chapo Trap House's Felix Biederman still has not apologized to me for mocking me for being a rape survivor and then lying about me. Nor has Jon Lovett, or anyone at Pod Save America, apologize to me for having Felix on as a guest, even after publicly telling me that he does "care about this and take it seriously," right before ignoring me and never responding to me when I pointed out he did not understand how ugly Felix's treatment of me had been and that he had not apologized.

Meanwhile, these assholes all continue to raise more per month for their shitty podcasts than I make in an entire year trying to dismantle the rape culture, so progressives are still doing the most for women.

Anyway! More disgusting abuser news...

Caitlin MacNeal at TPM: House Ethics Committee Says It Will Expand Probe into GOP Rep. Farenthold. "The House Ethics Committee on Thursday announced that it will expand its investigation into Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-TX) to examine allegations that he lied to the committee and improperly used House resources for campaign work. ...The committee is already investigating sexual harassment allegations that several former staffers have made against Farenthold. Other former employees in recent weeks have accused the congressman of creating a hostile work environment and making sexually demeaning and other abusive remarks to his aides."

Sam Levin at the Guardian: As Google AI Researcher Accused of Harassment, Female Data Scientists Speak of 'Broken System'. "The allegations against [Steven Scott, a senior artificial intelligence (AI) researcher at Google], who declined to comment, has shone a harsh light on harassment in the male-dominated field of statistics, data science, and machine learning. Some said misconduct was common — especially at conferences that blend professional work with socializing — and that serial harassers rarely face consequences. In some cases, sexual misconduct has pushed women out of the field altogether. Beyond the personal devastation, there is long-term damage for machine learning and AI, a sector that is dramatically reshaping society, sometimes with powerful technology plagued by harmful biases."

Yashar Ali at the Huffington Post: The Miss America Emails: How the Pageant's CEO Really Talks About the Winners. "Many prior winners, or as they're called, 'formers,' consider the pageant a wonderful, wholesome activity for young women. But Haskell's behavior behind closed doors shows he regularly maligned, fat-shamed, and slut-shamed the former Miss Americas, calling them shocking names and in one case laughing at the suggestion that one of the women should die." Jesus fucking Jones.

Denise Petski at Deadline: Mark Schwahn Fired from The Royals Amid Sexual Harassment Allegations. "The Royals' creator/executive producer/showrunner was suspended last month following sexual harassment allegations against him made by the female cast and crew of his previous series, One Tree Hill. Now the network, producer Lionsgate TV, and Universal Cable Productions have opted to fire him. 'We have concluded our investigation and Mark will not be returning to The Royals,' Lionsgate said in a statement."

Jocelyn Gecker at the AP: Famed Conductor Accused of Sexual Misconduct. "In separate interviews with The Associated Press, the accusers provided detailed accounts of incidents they say occurred between 1985 and 2010 in a moving car, [world-renowned conductor Charles Dutoit]'s hotel suite, his dressing room, an elevator, and the darkness of backstage. The women accuse the 81-year-old artistic director and principal conductor of London's Royal Philharmonic Orchestra of sexual misconduct on the sidelines of rehearsals and performances in five cities — Chicago, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Philadelphia, and Saratoga Springs, New York. Within hours of the story's release Thursday, the Boston Symphony Orchestra and San Francisco Symphony severed all ties with Dutoit."

BBC News: Sylvester Stallone Denies Rape as Police Investigate. "Santa Monica police said they were examining a complaint of sexual misconduct dating from the 1990s. The Rocky star said the allegation was 'completely fabricated.' His lawyer, Martin Singer, said a woman had filed a police report 'alleging a rape that occurred 27 years ago. My client categorically disputes the claim,' Singer continued. ...A 'thorough investigation' will be made before the case is presented to the district attorney, [Santa Monica police spokesman Lieutenant Saul Rodriguez] said. Lt Rodriguez told the Reuters news agency the accusation could fall within California's complex statute of limitations for criminal prosecutions of sexual abuse. Offences must generally be prosecuted within 10 years, Reuters said." Stallone has been accused of sexual assault at least once before, but he has never faced charges.

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And finally, some good resistance news...

Keith L. Alexander and Ellie Silverman at the Washington Post: Not-Guilty Verdicts for First Six People on Trial in Violent Inauguration Day Protests. "The first six people to face trial in Inauguration Day protests that turned destructive in the nation's capital were acquitted of all charges, a victory not only for the defendants but also for advocates who argued the government overreached in its effort to prosecute more than 200 people arrested as they marched through the city. Following a nearly four-week trial and two full days of deliberations, a D.C. Superior Court jury delivered not-guilty verdicts Thursday on multiple charges of rioting and destruction of property." Fuck yeah!

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

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