We Resist: Day 431

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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: Students Lead Historic March Against Gun Violence. And by me: Stormy Daniels Speaks on 60 Minutes and Trump Is Disloyal, and I Care About That a Great Deal.

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

Michael Holden and Roberta Rampton at Reuters: U.S. and E.U. Expel Scores of Russian Diplomats in Response to U.K. Nerve Attack. "Besides the United States, 14 European Union countries also expelled Russian diplomats, European Council President Donald Tusk said. Ukraine and Canada also took action, and in total Monday's announcements affected more than 100 Russian diplomats — the biggest Western expulsion of Russian diplomats since the height of the Cold War. ...'To the Russian government we say: when you attack our friends, you will face serious consequences,' a senior U.S. administration official told reporters, speaking on condition of anonymity."

It doesn't bode well that no one at the White House will go on record to say Russia will face consequences for attacking our closest ally.


Harry Yorke at the Telegraph: Kremlin Warns Boris Johnson It Has a 'Surprise' for Those Who Compare Russia to Nazi Germany.
The Kremlin has warned Boris Johnson that it has a "surprise" in store for those who have the "impudence" to compare Russia with Nazi Germany.

In a veiled warning to the Foreign Secretary, Maria Zakharova, a spokesman for the Russian foreign ministry, claimed that the UK is using the Salisbury attack as part of a "black PR" campaign to turn the West against Russia.

Describing Mr Johnson's comparisons between Adolf Hitler and Vladimir Putin as a "colossal provocation," Ms Zakharova told Russian reporters that there would be repercussions for Britain.

"We have a surprise for all who have the impudence to compare, to draw parallels between, Russia and the Third Reich," she added.
That is very worrying. As is the silence from Donald Trump as Russia publicly threatens the United States' closest ally, which brings us to our next item.

In related news...

Craig Timberg and Tom Hamburger at the Washington Post: Former Cambridge Analytica Workers Say Firm Sent Foreigners to Advise U.S. Campaigns.
Cambridge Analytica assigned dozens of non-U.S. citizens to provide campaign strategy and messaging advice to ­Republican candidates in 2014, according to three former workers for the data firm, even as an attorney warned executives to abide by U.S. laws limiting foreign involvement in elections.

The assignments came amid efforts to present the newly created company as "an American brand" that would appeal to U.S. political clients even though its parent, SCL Group, was based in London, according to former Cambridge Analytica research director Christopher Wylie.

Wylie, who emerged this month as a whistleblower, provided The Washington Post with documents that describe a program across several U.S. states to win campaigns for Republicans using psychological profiling to reach voters with individually tailored messages. The documents include previously unreported details about the program, which was called "Project Ripon" for the Wisconsin town where the Republican Party was born in 1854.
Not coincidentally, Wisconsin is currently serving as a testing ground for the Republican takeover of everything by any means possible. To wit: Emily Mills at Rewire: The Unbelievable True Story of Wisconsin's Supreme Court and What's at Stake. "For well over a century, Wisconsin's state Supreme Court was largely considered to be an exemplary legal body, lauded for its fair-minded and rigorous approach. In the past decade, however, there's been a significant erosion of that reputation... Now, influence from outside donor groups and a recent lack of accountability for justices presiding over related cases could have serious repercussions for everything from reproductive health and voter access to campaign finance law. There is almost no regulation remaining in Wisconsin when it comes to when and if judges must pull themselves off cases involving campaign donors. That's largely thanks to a series of decisions on the part of the conservative-dominated court over the past decade."

See also: Charles Pierce at Esquire: Wisconsin Republicans Are Desperate to Not Hold an Election. "The Republicans in Wisconsin are notable for not taking Rule of Law for an answer. As we noted last week, a judge appointed by Scott Walker, the goggle-eyed homunculus hired by Koch Industries to manage this particular midwest subsidiary, whacked the governor for stalling a couple of special elections just because the Democrats might win them. Up in Madison, Walker, and the Republican majorities in the state legislature, have decided to be quite contemptuous of that particular court."

Anyway. Going back to that WaPo report on Cambridge Analytica for a moment...

I'm sure we can all appreciate the profound irony of Donald fucking Trump being aided by a company that may have committed immigration fraud. JFC.

Barbara Ortutay at AP/TPM: Federal Trade Commission Confirms Facebook Probe As Its Shares Plunge.
The Federal Trade Commission is investigating Facebook's privacy practices following a week of privacy scandals including allegations a Trump-affiliated political consulting firm got data inappropriately from millions of Facebook users.

Facebook's stock, which already took a big hit last week, plunged as a result.

Tom Pahl, acting director of the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection, said the probe would include whether the company engaged in "unfair acts" that cause "substantial injury" to consumers.

Facebook's privacy practices have come under fire after revelations that Cambridge Analytica got data on Facebook users, including information on friends of people who had downloaded a psychological quiz app, even though those friends hadn't given explicit consent to sharing. Facebook is also facing questions over reports that it collected had years of contact names, telephone numbers, call lengths, and information about text messages from Android users.
Fucking hell.

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[Content Note: Trans hatred] Andy Towle at Towleroad: Trump Issues Late Night Policy Memo Banning Most Transgender Servicemembers. "The Trump administration issued a new policy on transgender servicemembers late Friday night that was immediately slammed by LGBTQ and civil rights groups as discrimination masked as policy. The Washington Post reported: 'The decision revokes a full ban that Trump issued last summer but disqualifies U.S. troops who have had gender reassignment surgery, as recommended by Defense Secretary Jim Mattis…'" So much for all that stellar punditry about how Mattis would moderate Trump.

Naturally, a policy that sounds like it has Mike Pence's name written all over it has Mike Pence's name written all over it.

Zack Ford at ThinkProgress: Pence Secretly Drafted Trump's Latest Transgender Military Ban. "Vice President Pence and some of the country's most prominent anti-LGBTQ activists had a role in reversing the outcome, which explains why the report explaining the decision is rife with anti-trans junk science. Slate's Mark Joseph Stern reported Friday night that, according to multiple sources, Pence played 'a leading role' in creating the report, along with Ryan T. Anderson of the Heritage Foundation, which has been dubbed 'Trump's favorite think tank,' and Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council (FRC), an anti-LGBTQ hate group. Both Heritage and FRC praised the report Friday. According to Stern's reporting, it was true that Mattis favored allowing transgender military service, but Pence 'effectively overruled' him." Goddammit.

[CN: Nativism] Theresa Waldrop at CNN: U.S. Army Veteran Who Served Two Tours in Afghanistan Has Been Deported to Mexico. "A U.S. Army veteran who served two tours in Afghanistan has been deported to Mexico, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said. The deportation follows an earlier decision by U.S. authorities to deny Miguel Perez's citizenship application because of a felony drug conviction, despite his service and the PTSD he says it caused. Perez, 39, was escorted across the U.S.-Mexico border from Texas and handed over to Mexican authorities Friday, ICE said in a statement. Perez, his family, and supporters, who include Sen. Tammy Duckworth of Illinois, had argued that his wartime service to the country had earned him the right to stay in the United States and to receive mental health treatment for the PTSD and substance abuse." YES. Correct. I'm an enraged that anyone who risked their life for this nation would be denied the opportunity to live within its borders.

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[CN: Gun violence; harassment] Alex Horton at the Washington Post: A Fake Photo of Emma González Went Viral on the Far Right, Where Parkland Teens Are Villains. "A doctored animation of González tearing the U.S. Constitution in half circulated on social media during the rally, after it was lifted from a Teen Vogue story about teenage activists. In the real image, González is ripping apart a gun-range target. ...The animation bounced around conservative Twitter before it received a signal boost Saturday from actor Adam Baldwin. He tweeted to a quarter of a million followers with a hashtag reading '#Vorwärts!' — the German word for 'forward' and an apparent reference to the Hitler Youth, whose march song included the word."

Kristen Reed, Julie Wolfe, Kaitlyn Ross, and Tim Darnell at 11Alive: Cyberattack Hits Atlanta Computers — 'Everyone Who Has Done Business' with City May Be at Risk. "In a story first reported by 11Alive, city of Atlanta computers have been cyber attacked by ransomware that has encrypted some personal and financial data. 'We don't know the extent of the attack,' said Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms in a Thursday afternoon press conference. ...Officials also said Thursday afternoon they are working with the FBI, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Cisco cybersecurity officials, and Microsoft to determine what information has been accessed and how to resolve the situation. Bottoms said everyone who has done business with the city is potentially at risk, and advised businesses and consumers to check their bank accounts." The situation remains unresolved. Damn.

Ricardo Arduengo/AFP/Getty Images at the Guardian: Puerto Rico Six Months After Hurricane Maria: Then and Now. It is good, very good, to see evidence of progress, because people's lives, and the quality of those lives, depend on that progress. Still: Much more is required. Much more.

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

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