We Resist: Day 427

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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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Earlier today by Fannie: Cambridge Analytica Stirred the (Supposedly Non-Existent) Bigotries of White America. And by me: Another White Man Who Isn't Troubled Enough to Be Called a Terrorist and Trump Responds to Biden by Saying HE'D Beat HIM Up, Because This Is Our Politics Now.

Here are some more things in the news today...

[Content Note: Police brutality; racism; descriptions of violence. Covers entire section.]

In yesterday's thread, I wrote about the police execution of Stephon Clark, who shot at him at least 20 times because he was holding a cell phone they claimed they thought was a gun (an excuse that was always garbage but is exponentially intolerable given the current ubiquity of cell phones). Footage of the killing has now been released, and, as usual, the video reveals the official police account of the shooting to be a total lie.

Monique Judge at the Root: Stephon Clark Shooting Video Released by Police.
In the helicopter video, a deputy can be heard guiding the officers to Clark's location, behind his house on his block. The officers approach his location, see him around a corner, and begin firing within seconds. The helicopter video also shows the officers cowering behind a wall. Clark appears to be walking slowly through the yard, and not charging toward them as police said in their statement. Even as Clark lies on the ground after being shot, both officers continue firing their weapons. Each shot at Clark at least 10 times.

...The police officer body camera footage shows us what happened on the ground. As soon as the officers spot Clark from their hiding place around the wall, we hear one of them yell, 'Show me your hands! Gun! Gun! Gun!' and they both unload their weapons on him. They continue to yell for him to show his hands after he is down and no longer moving.

...Again, the video appears to refute what police said in their statement. At no point in either video can we see Clark charging at officers with anything in his hands."
I am so fucking angry. I am so fucking sad. I am so fucking tired of police killing unarmed people and then lying about the circumstances. This is intolerable.

My sincerest condolences to Stephon Clark's family, friends, colleagues, and community. I am so sorry.

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[CN: Guns; toxic masculinity. Covers entire section.]

In Tuesday's thread, I covered a school shooting in Maryland, in which one female student and one male student were injured, and the shooter shot himself as school officer shot at him. At the time, I wrote: "It sounds a lot like the shooter shot at a specific girl and boy before turning the gun on himself."

And indeed, it turns out that the shooter, 17-year-old Austin Rollins "had been in a relationship that recently ended" with the girl, 16-year-old Jaelynn Willey. (It's unclear whether the boy who was injured was deliberately targeted because of some connection to Willey.)

A number of media outlets have reported this news under headlines calling Rollins "lovesick."

Example, care of ABC News: Police: Maryland School Shooter Apparently Was Lovesick Teen. That's the headline they plopped on the AP wire story, the lede of which reads: "Tuesday's school shooting in southern Maryland that left the shooter dead and two students wounded increasingly appears to be the action of a lovesick teenager."

Incorrect. It was the action of an entitled, violent misogynist.

Fuck any news outlet that is promulgating this horrendous narrative that the attempted murder of a girl who refuses to be owned by a boy is somehow "romantic."

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Matt Shuham at TPM: Trump Defends Congratulating Putin: 'Getting Along...Is a Good Thing'. "In the wake of a report that he ignored his national security team's advice not to congratulate Russian president Vladimir Putin on Putin's recent re-election, [Donald] Trump defended the exchange [on Twitter] Wednesday: 'I called President Putin of Russia to congratulate him on his election victory (in past, Obama called him also). The Fake News Media is crazed because they wanted me to excoriate him. They are wrong! Getting along with Russia (and others) is a good thing, not a bad thing... They can help solve problems with North Korea, Syria, Ukraine, ISIS, Iran and even the coming Arms Race. Bush tried to get along, but didn't have the 'smarts.' Obama and Clinton tried, but didn't have the energy or chemistry (remember RESET). PEACE THROUGH STRENGTH!'" This fucking guy.

Karen DeYoung, John Hudson, and Josh Dawsey at the Washington Post: Trump's Remark to Putin That They Could Meet Soon Caught White House Advisers by Surprise. "Trump's senior advisers were thrown when he told Russian President Vladi­mir Putin on Tuesday that he expected to meet with him soon, as briefings before the call to Moscow included no mention of a possible meeting, and aides have not been instructed to prepare for one, senior administration officials said. Although Trump told reporters that 'probably we'll be seeing President Putin in the not-too-distant future,' several officials said there are no plans for the two even to be in the same country until November, when both are expected to attend a Group of 20 summit in Argentina." No official plans, anyway.

Ian Millhiser at ThinkProgress: Before Being Fired by Sessions, Andrew McCabe Reportedly Authorized a Criminal Probe into Sessions. "Former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe, who was fired by Attorney General Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III less than two days before he became eligible for a federal pension, reportedly oversaw a criminal probe into Sessions himself. ...Sessions claimed that he fired McCabe last week due to the former FBI official's lack of candor regarding his conduct during an probe into former Democratic president candidate Hillary Clinton — in announcing the firing, Sessions said that 'the F.B.I. expects every employee to adhere to the highest standards of honesty, integrity, and accountability.' Ironically, the FBI's criminal probe into Sessions involves allegations that the attorney general was not honest under oath."


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If anyone thought that Republicans only hate democracy outside the walls of Congress, what happened during the proceedings on the budget omnibus today should swiftly disabuse them of that notion:

"Hardball politics" is one way to describe it. Cheating by authoritarian democracy-killers is another. Potato potahto.

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Benjamin Haas at the Guardian: China Vows to Take 'All Legal Measures' to Protect Interests as U.S. Trade War Looms. "As the Trump administration prepared on Thursday to slap trade sanctions on China, perhaps including restrictions on investment and tariffs on as much as $60bn worth of products, fears of a trade war heightened. A Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman said her country would 'take all legal measures to protect our interest' if the U.S. took 'actions that will harm both China and itself.'" Everything is going great under the president who makes the best deals or whatever.

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Frank Bajak and Lise Olsen at the AP: Hurricane Harvey's Toxic Impact Deeper Than Public Was Told. "A toxic onslaught from the nation's petrochemical hub was largely overshadowed by the record-shattering deluge of Hurricane Harvey as residents and first responders struggled to save lives and property. More than a half-year after floodwaters swamped America's fourth-largest city, the extent of this environmental assault is beginning to surface, while questions about the long-term consequences for human health remain unanswered. County, state, and federal records pieced together by The Associated Press and The Houston Chronicle reveal a far more widespread toxic impact than authorities publicly reported after the storm slammed into the Texas coast in late August and then stalled over the Houston area."

George Dvorsky at Gizmodo: The Great Pacific Garbage Patch Has Way More Trash Inside It Than We Thought. "For years, scientists have been tracking a large accumulation of floating trash, mostly bits of plastic, in the north Pacific ocean called the 'Great Pacific Garbage Patch,' or the 'trash vortex.' This region, according to the latest research, has more lost and discarded plastic inside it than previous surveys suggested — like, a lot more. And it's still growing. The GPGP is filled with 79,000 metric tonnes (87,000 tons) of plastic, which is between 10 to 16 times higher than previous estimates, according to new research published today in Scientific Reports. Disturbingly, plastic pollution inside the GPGP 'is increasing exponentially and at a faster rate than in surrounding waters,' the authors state in the paper."

Damian Carrington at the Guardian: Paul Ehrlich: 'Collapse of Civilisation Is a Near Certainty within Decades'. "'Population growth, along with over-consumption per capita, is driving civilisation over the edge: billions of people are now hungry or micronutrient malnourished, and climate disruption is killing people.' ...Ehrlich is also concerned about chemical pollution, which has already reached the most remote corners of the globe. 'The evidence we have is that toxics reduce the intelligence of children, and members of the first heavily influenced generation are now adults.'"

I mention that last piece for two reasons: 1. Because Ehrlich's concerns are notable, given that it was research "published by Ehrlich and colleagues in 2017 [that] concluded that this is driving a sixth mass extinction of biodiversity, upon which civilisation depends for clean air, water, and food." 2. Paul and Anne Ehrlich's previous work has been (mis)used by white supremacists to argue in favor of some seriously gross population control strategies (and were able to do so because of failures in their work, which he admits), and it seems possible that their new work could be (mis)used in the same way, if they haven't made necessary corrections, especially given the current resurgence of white supremacist nationalism and nativism.

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Charles Pierce at Esquire: 15 Years. More Than 1 Million Dead. No One Held Responsible. "Except for Sinan Antoon's richly deserved jeremiad, the 15th anniversary of the worst foreign policy disaster in modern American history went sailing by largely unremarked, at least in this country. After all, over here, everyone was too busy keeping track of the latest news involving the vulgar talking yam the country had installed as president... But, overseas, particularly in that part of the world where ruined Iraq has been turned into little more than an occupied battlefield, the people living there marked the anniversary the same way they've marked every day since George W. Bush launched his war based on lies. They were trying to stay alive."

[CN: Video may autoplay at link] Related to the above item, via CBS News: "The 60 Minutes interview with Stormy Daniels, the adult-film star and director who says she had an affair with Donald Trump, will be broadcast on Sunday, March 25 at 7:00 p.m. ET/PT on CBS."

And finally, in case there was any lingering question that Facebook is anti-democratic in its mission:

Meanwhile... Andy Towle at Towleroad: Facebook Blocks Ad Targeting by Sexual Orientation. "As it wrestles with the controversy over Cambridge Analytica's improper harvesting of user data, news has emerged that Facebook has blocked ad targeting by sexual orientation, meaning that companies and organizations will no longer be able to target specific areas of the LGBTQ community. This has made it impossible for some organizations whose mission it is to reach at-risk individuals to reach those people." Goddammit.

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

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