We Resist: Day 398

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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: The Thing About Mental Illness and Mass Shootings and "It Was This Zoo, This Complete S--tshow."

[Content Note: Nativism] Ron Nixon at the New York Times: Under Trump, Border Patrol Steps up Searches Far from the Border.
Border Patrol officers are working without permission on private property and setting up checkpoints up to 100 miles away from the border under a little-known federal law that is being used more widely in the Trump administration's aggressive crackdown on illegal immigration.

In Texas, a rancher has accused the Border Patrol of trespassing after he said he found a surveillance camera the agency placed on his property.

In New Hampshire, border officers working with state officials conducted what the American Civil Liberties Union described as illegal drug searches after residents were arrested at immigration checkpoints set up on a major interstate highway. One of the checkpoints was set up just before a local marijuana festival.

And recently in Florida, New York, and Washington State, Border Patrol officers have been criticized for boarding buses and trains to question riders — mostly American citizens — about their immigration status.

Trump administration officials defend the government's decades-old authority to search people and property, even without a warrant, far from the border. They call it a vital part of preventing weapons, terrorists, and other people from illegally entering the United States.
This is profoundly alarming. The Trump administration is using its despicable war on undocumented immigrants, migrant workers, and refugees to justify a chilling abuse of power. And they are hoping we will not pay attention — or care — because, hey, it's just targeting people who aren't supposed to be here and are breaking the law, anyway, right?

But that is simply not the case. And, even if it were, it would still be heinous. Despite Donald Trump's incessant, incendiary arguments to the contrary, most of the undocumented people residing in the United States are not dangerous criminals; they are refuge-seekers. They want to live and work in safety, just like most everyone else does.

Meanwhile, a Republican legislator from the state of New York has introduced legislation that would strip naturalized citizens of their citizenship:

This is terrifying. Naturalized citizens are meant to have the same rights as any citizen who was born on U.S. soil.

I have been warning over and over and over and over and over and over and over etc. for a year now that the Trump administration, with the assistance of the rest of the Republican Party, will come for documented immigrants.

This is not hyperbole.
This is happening.

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[CN: Parkland shooting. Covers entire section.]

Andy Towle at Towleroad: Florida House Rejects Assault Weapons Ban, Then Declares Porn a Public Health Risk. "As hundreds of Parkland, Florida shooting survivors looked on, the Florida House of Representatives last night rejected a motion to consider a ban on assault rifles and less than an hour later passed a bill to declare porn a public health risk." What is there to even say anymore?

Anne Branigin at the Root: Why Are You Like This?: Far Right Cooks up Conspiracy Theories, Bullies Victims of Parkland, Fla., Shooting Seeking Gun Reform. "The far right doesn't want you to 'politicize' recurring national tragedies like the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School mass shooting. They just prefer you make up a bunch of wild-ass garbage about them. ...Perhaps no one captured the deplorable spirit of the whole affair better than convicted felon and global brand ambassador of the sunken place, Dinesh D'Souza, who spent much of Tuesday mocking the Parkland students via his Twitter account. 'Worst news since their parents told them to get summer jobs,' D'Souza wrote Tuesday as his commentary on a photo of the students appearing to be shocked and dismayed as Florida lawmakers voted down a bill to ban assault weapons." Such a dirtbag, that guy.

Richard Luscombe at the Guardian: Florida Students Confront Lawmakers on Gun Control as Thousands Walk Out. "Student survivors of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school shooting confronted Florida's lawmakers on Wednesday to demand gun control reforms, as thousands of teenagers walked out of lessons in solidarity at schools across the state. About 100 students from the Parkland school travelled 450 miles to the state capital of Tallahassee to spend the morning meeting with Republican and Democratic party legislators, and the Florida governor Rick Scott, in small groups. 'Some heard us loud and clear, others did not,' Spencer Blum, a Stoneman Douglas junior, said of the meetings." Hmm, I wonder which legislators from what party listened to them j/k j/k j/k I know who listened and who fucking didn't.

Ari Shapiro with Aarti Shahani at NPR: Russian Bots Are Spreading False Information After the Florida Shooting. "SHAPIRO: We're joined now by NPR's Aarti Shahani, who's following how social networks are responding. ...Let's start with last week's school shooting in Florida. How did trolls online exploit that tragedy? SHAHANI: Well, I spoke with a researcher at New Knowledge — that's a group that studies pro-Russia trolls — and he gave me a chilling timeline. By 2:30 p.m. Eastern that day he saw an uptick of messages by this one troll network. And they just started sharing breaking news, okay? But by 3 p.m. Eastern, a half hour later, they quickly pivoted to conspiracy theories, speculating it was a Democrat conspiracy and also advancing an extreme pro-gun position, saying teachers need to carry concealed handguns to protect students. Now, that latter talking point made its way into mainstream news." Goddammit.

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Speaking of Russian bots...

Matt Novak at Gizmodo: Conservative Twitter Users Lose Thousands of Followers, Mass Purge of Bots Suspected. "Twitter suspended thousands of accounts overnight and conservatives on the platform aren't happy about it. Twitter has yet to make a public statement about the issue, but right-wing users believe that they're being targeted in a mass purge of suspected Russian bot accounts. ...Bill Mitchell, a popular voice on the right who's known for his controversial tweets defending [Donald] Trump, claims that he lost roughly 4,000 followers overnight." Naturally, conservatives are screaming about "censorship," but if you lose 4,000 followers in a Russian bot purge, censorship ain't the issue.

[CN: Video may autoplay at link] Donie O'Sullivan, Drew Griffin, and Scott Bronstein at CNN: The Unwitting: The Trump Supporters Used by Russia. "A Donald Trump supporter who unwittingly helped a Kremlin-linked operation to meddle in American politics says he only learned of his part in the Russian plot when the FBI showed up at his doorstep months later. Harry Miller was paid as much as $1,000 by the Russians to build a cage that was used to depict a person dressed as Hillary Clinton in a prison cell at a rally in West Palm Beach, Florida in August 2016. The stunt was part of an elaborate scheme run by the Internet Research Agency, a troll group in St Petersburg, Russia with links to the Kremlin, that was designed to undermine the American political system, according to a new federal indictment."

I'll say the same thing I said about Bernie Sanders supporters reportedly being "unwitting" agents of the Russians: They may've been "unwittingly" abetting Russian interference, but they were "wittingly" participating in gleeful bigotry and seething hatred of Hillary Clinton, so.

The truth is that the Russians wouldn't have been nearly as successful if there weren't so much divisive hatred among Americans for them to exploit.

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Tom Winter and Hallie Jackson at NBC News: Mueller Asking If Manafort Promised Banker White House Job in Return for Loans. "Federal investigators are probing whether former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort promised a Chicago banker a job in the Trump White House in return for $16 million in home loans, two people with direct knowledge of the matter told NBC News. Manafort received three separate loans in December 2016 and January 2017 from Federal Savings Bank for homes in New York City and the Hamptons. Stephen Calk, who was announced as a member of candidate Trump's council of economic advisers in August 2016, is the president of Federal Savings Bank. Special counsel Robert Mueller's team is now investigating whether there was a quid pro quo agreement between Manafort and Calk."

Josh Gerstein at Politico: New Charges Filed in Manafort-Gates Case. "New charges have been filed in Special Counsel Robert Mueller's criminal case against former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and aide Rick Gates, but the charges were put under seal by the court, obscuring the nature and import of the development. The new charging document filed in federal court in Washington could be a superseding indictment, adding new charges or even new defendants to the charges filed last October, accusing Manafort and Gates of money laundering and failing to register as foreign agents for their work related to Ukraine, among other crimes."

Caitlin MacNeal at TPM: Trump Misspells Sessions' Name in Tweet Urging AG to Investigate Dems. "Donald Trump used one of his favorite tactics to attempt to shift focus away from his campaign and administration: blame the Democrats. In a Wednesday morning tweet, Trump tried to pin Russian election meddling on the Obama administration by stressing that the meddling took place while Barack Obama was President. Trump urged Attorney General Jeff Sessions to investigate Obama's response and 'Dem crimes,' though he misspelled Sessions' name. ...A few minutes later, Trump fixed the tweet to spell Sessions' name correctly."

screen cap of Trump's tweet, reading: 'Question: If all of the Russian meddling took place during the Obama Administration, right up to January 20th, why aren’t they the subject of the investigation? Why didn’t Obama do something about the meddling? Why aren’t Dem crimes under investigation? Ask Jeff Session!'

Muneeza Naqvi at the AP: Trump Jr: 'Nonsense' That Family's Profiting from Presidency. "Donald Trump Jr. said that any talk of his family profiting from his father's presidency is 'nonsense' as he embarked on a trip to India that has raised ethical concerns about using the name of the American president to promote international business ventures." LOL welp! That about sums it up.

Caitlin MacNeal at TPM: Kushner Pushing Back on Kelly's Effort to Revoke Interim Clearance. "Jared Kushner, son-in-law and senior adviser to [Donald] Trump, has pushed back on chief of staff John Kelly's effort to rein in the use of interim security clearance and argued that he needs to keep his interim access to classified material, the New York Times reported Tuesday night, citing White House officials and others briefed on the situation." Get that fucko outta the White House!

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

Maria Puente and Cara Kelly at USA Today: How Common Is Sexual Misconduct in Hollywood? A USA Today survey of 843 women in the entertainment industry found 94% say they've experienced harassment or assault. The first number you see is 94% — and your eyes pop with incredulity. But it's true: Almost every one of hundreds of women questioned in an exclusive survey by USA TODAY say they have experienced some form of sexual harassment or assault during their careers in Hollywood." I am not surprised, but I am thoroughly disgusted.

Staff at the Daily Beast: Disney's Broadway Boss Accused of Sexual Harassment. "Tom Schumacher, the Disney theatrical executive who has spearheaded the Broadway musical The Lion King and the about-to-open Frozen production, allegedly has a history of crossing 'boundaries of appropriate workplace behavior,' including sexual harassment, according to The Wall Street Journal. The report, citing two witnesses to each allegation, claims Schumacher, previously a top animation executive on hits like Pocahontas and film The Lion King, allegedly routinely commented on the sexual attractiveness of colleagues in the workplace, talked about pornography, and walked around the office in a bathrobe with supposedly nothing underneath, between the 1990s and early 2000s." JFC.

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

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