We Resist: Day 350

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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: Wolff, Bannon, Trump, and Useful Scandal and Trump Will Find a New Way to Disenfranchise Voters.

Samuel Gibbs at the Guardian: Meltdown and Spectre: 'Worst Ever' CPU Bugs Affect Virtually All Computers.
Serious security flaws that could let attackers steal sensitive data, including passwords and banking information, have been found in processors designed by Intel, AMD, and ARM.

The flaws, named Meltdown and Spectre, were discovered by security researchers at Google's Project Zero in conjunction with academic and industry researchers from several countries. Combined they affect virtually every modern computer, including smartphones, tablets, and PCs from all vendors and running almost any operating system.

Meltdown is "probably one of the worst CPU bugs ever found," said Daniel Gruss, one of the researchers at Graz University of Technology who discovered the flaw.

Meltdown is currently thought to primarily affect Intel processors manufactured since 1995, excluding the company's Itanium server chips and Atom processors before 2013. It could allow hackers to bypass the hardware barrier between applications run by users and the computer's core memory. Meltdown, therefore, requires a change to the way the operating system handles memory to fix, which initial speed estimates predict could affect the speed of the machine in certain tasks by as much as 30%.

The Spectre flaw affects most modern processors made by a variety of manufacturers, including Intel, AMD, and those designed by ARM, and potentially allows hackers to trick otherwise error-free applications into giving up secret information. Spectre is harder for hackers to take advantage of, but is also harder to fix and would be a bigger problem in the long term, according to Gruss.
This whole thing is just unreal. Cybersecurity reporter Nicole Perlroth has a detailed thread on Twitter, which I highly recommend. Holy shit.

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Sadie Gurman at the AP: U.S. to End Policy That Let Legal Pot Flourish. (And medical marijuana.) "Attorney General Jeff Sessions is rescinding the Obama-era policy that had paved the way for legalized marijuana to flourish in states across the country, two people with knowledge of the decision told The Associated Press. Sessions will instead let federal prosecutors where pot is legal decide how aggressively to enforce federal marijuana law, the people said. ...The move by [Donald] Trump's attorney general likely will add to confusion about whether it's OK to grow, buy, or use marijuana in states where pot is legal, since long-standing federal law prohibits it. It comes days after pot shops opened in California, launching what is expected to become the world's largest market for legal recreational marijuana and as polls show a solid majority of Americans believe the drug should be legal."

Gavin Newsom is California's Lt. Governor. Colorado Democrats also had a response, very different in tone but just as terrific:

This is going to be bad for a lot of folks who need pot for health reasons — among which I definitely include dealing with the anxiety produced by awful governance precisely like this decision.

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Kevin Robillard at Politico: Republican Wins Drawing to Decide Control of Virginia Statehouse. "Republicans will fully control Virginia's House of Delegates after an incumbent GOP member won a drawing Thursday to decide a tied election... The state elections board chairman pulled a film canister out of a ceramic bowl containing the name of Republican David Yancey, giving him the victory over Democrat Shelly Simonds. Each received 11,608 votes in the race for a Newport News-based seat in the Virginia legislature's lower chamber. ...Thursday's drawing came after a three-judge panel refused to hear Simonds' arguments over a single contested ballot. While an initial recount gave Simonds a one-vote lead, Yancey's lawyers successfully argued a discarded ballot should have been counted as a vote for the Republican."

More background on that story here, in case you missed it.

And as Republicans were killing democracy in Virginia, back in D.C., they were busy continuing to usher in authoritarianism...

...and, naturally, waging class warfare. Molly Hensley-Clancy at Buzzfeed: A New Betsy DeVos Proposal Would Make It Much Tougher for Students to Get Loan Forgiveness. "The Education Department is planning to suggest new rules that would make it far more difficult for borrowers to obtain student loan forgiveness after being defrauded by their colleges, according to drafts circulated by the department and obtained by BuzzFeed News. The department's plan would require individual students to prove that their college intentionally deceived them — something that sparked alarm among student advocates, who argue it would push loan forgiveness out of reach for the vast majority of borrowers. The proposal is part of the early stages of an effort by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos to rewrite the government's standards for loan forgiveness, called the 'borrower defense' regulations."

Oh, and of course the GOP is still obsessing about Hillary Clinton's fucking emails. Betsy Woodruff at the Daily Beast: Justice Department 'Looking Into' Hillary Clinton's Emails — Again. "Justice Department officials are taking a fresh look at Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server while she served as secretary of State, The Daily Beast has learned. An ally of Attorney General Jeff Sessions who is familiar with the thinking at the Justice Department's Washington headquarters described it as an effort to gather new details on how Clinton and her aides handled classified material. ...A former senior DOJ official familiar with department leadership's thinking said officials there are acutely aware of demands from [Donald] Trump that they look into Clinton's use of a private email server while secretary of State — and that they lock up her top aide, Huma Abedin." Jesus fucking Jones.

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[Content Note: Police brutality; death; racism] AP/Guardian: Ohio Police Officer Who Shot and Killed Black 22-Year-Old Says He Faced 'Imminent Threat'. "A white Ohio police officer who fatally shot a black man in a Walmart store says he believed he faced an 'imminent threat,' although he acknowledges he never saw the man point what turned out to be an air rifle or threaten anyone. Beavercreek officer Sean Williams made his statements during a deposition in a federal lawsuit filed by the family of John Crawford III. Crawford, 22, was killed 5 August 2014, after police responded to a 911 call about someone waving a rifle in a store in Beavercreek, a Dayton suburb. ...The civil case is scheduled for trial next month. Crawford's relatives sued Beavercreek police and Arkansas-based Walmart, alleging negligence and civil rights violations. Police and Walmart have denied the allegations."

My previous coverage of the murder of John Crawford can be found here.

[CN: Homophobic violence; sexual assault; carcerality] Michael Fitzgerald at Towleroad: Corrections Officers Ignored Gay Prisoner's Pleas for Help as He Was Repeatedly Raped and Beaten. "A gay prisoner has filed a federal lawsuit claiming he was repeatedly raped and beaten after he was assigned to a cell with a man who had earlier threatened him. The then 21-year-old inmate is seeking damages for physical and emotional pain and suffering as well as a punitive award. Representing the alleged victim, Denver attorney David Lane said: 'This is malice. This is sadistic. They set him up to be beaten and raped and that is exactly what happened to him.'" Fucking hell.

[CN: Nativism; privacy violations] Phuong Lee at the Seattle Times: Washington State AG Sues Motel 6 over Giving ICE Info on 9,000 Guests. "Washington's attorney general sued Motel 6 on Wednesday, alleging the national budget chain disclosed the private information of thousands of its guests to U.S. immigration authorities in violation of the state consumer-protection law. Attorney General Bob Ferguson said motel employees divulged the names, birth dates, driver's license numbers, license-plate numbers, and room numbers of at least 9,150 guests to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents without a warrant. At least six people were detained on or near motel property during a two-year period." Good lord.

Kira Lerner at ThinkProgress: New Hampshire Democrats Call out Republicans for Attempting to Pass 'Poll Tax' on College Students. "New Hampshire's Senate voted on Tuesday to advance legislation that would require voters to be residents of the state, effectively disenfranchising thousands of college students who are currently considered eligible voters. All 14 Republicans voted to advance House Bill 372, which would tighten the state's voter registration requirements to require eligible voters to be legal 'residents' of New Hampshire." These fucking assholes.

[CN: Sexual harassment] Caitlin MacNeal at TPM: CBS News Fires Political Director over Allegations of Inappropriate Behavior. "CBS News said on Wednesday that the network parted ways with political director Stephen Chaggaris over allegations of inappropriate behavior. 'In the last two weeks, accounts of inappropriate behavior by Steve Chaggaris were brought to our attention and were immediately investigated,' CBS said in a statement to CNN. 'As a result, CBS News has severed ties with Mr. Chaggaris for violating company policy, effective immediately.'" Another dude who had undue influence over the tone of coverage during the last presidential election.

[CN: Sexual assault] Stephanie Chan at the Hollywood Reporter: Terry Richardson Under Investigation by NYPD. "Terry Richardson is under investigation by the New York Police Department. On Tuesday, the New York Daily News reported that the controversial fashion photographer is the target of NYPD's Special Victims Squad, after several women told the news organization that investigators reached out in recent weeks for interviews about their experiences with Richardson. The non-profit advocacy organization Model Alliance confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter that they are cooperating as well. The investigation comes after Richardson was accused of rape by model Caron Bernstein, 47, who was among those to be contacted by a special victims detective for a meeting, according to the Daily News." About time this guy was seriously investigated. Fuck.

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And some good resistance news: Miriam Zoila Pérez at Rewire: New Study Shows a Historic Increase in Laws Supportive of Reproductive Rights in 2017. The bad news is that there are more anti-choice laws being passed than ever. But let's focus on the good news: "According to a Guttmacher Institute analysis released [January 2], 21 states adopted 58 proactive measures, a sharp increase from the 28 enacted in 2016. The 2017 measures included 12 on abortion, 35 on contraception, and 11 on issues such as sex education. These state policies can have a major impact on women seeking access to abortion and contraception in those states, particularly those who rely on public funding like Medicaid. Women of color are disproportionately impacted because they are more likely to be using Medicaid and more likely to be low-income."

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

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