We Resist: Day 435

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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 me: On Roseanne and People Are Shocked, Confused That Trump Occasionally Agrees to Look Like He Cares About Russian Aggression.

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

Daniel Dale at the Toronto Star: Minute by Minute at Donald Trump's Rambling Ohio 'Infrastructure' Speech. "He had a lot to say. And most of it was false, strange, outlandish, or confusing. The speech, to Ohio workers, was supposed to be about infrastructure, but we know by now that Trump's supposed infrastructure events are almost never actually about infrastructure. As usual, he meandered freely — to make dramatic statements about the Middle East and the Koreas, to disparage Hillary Clinton, to declare his ignorance of what a community college is, and, eventually, to express excitement about the ratings of the sitcom Roseanne. Here's what happened..." A must-read.

John Light at TPM: Trial Run for a Purge? "Yesterday morning, we published a scoop by Alice Ollstein: Congressional Democrats, she reported, are demanding an investigation into Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke's order last summer to reassign dozens of top-level DOI career employees. His choice of who to reassign, Democrats allege, may have been racially discriminatory, in addition to being politically motivated. Government investigators are also currently looking into whether these reassignments may have broken laws protecting civil servants. ...If investigators uphold Zinke's decision to reassign and marginalize DOI employees, one whistleblower told her, it could give the green light for a government-wide purge. 'The concern is that if you let this one fly, they won't hold back,' Joel Clement, a DOI climate scientist who was reassigned to the accounting office, told Alice."

Stephanie Kirchgaessner at the Guardian: FBI Questions Ted Malloch, Trump Campaign Figure and Farage Ally.
A controversial London-based academic with close ties to Nigel Farage has been detained by the FBI upon arrival in the U.S. and issued a subpoena to testify before Robert Mueller, the special counsel who is investigating possible collusion between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin.

Ted Malloch, an American touted last year as a possible candidate to serve as U.S. ambassador to the E.U., said he was interrogated by the FBI at Boston's Logan airport on Wednesday following a flight from London and questioned about his involvement in the Trump campaign.

In a statement sent to the Guardian, Malloch, who described himself as a policy wonk and defender of Trump, said the FBI also asked him about his relationship with Roger Stone, the Republican strategist, and whether he had ever visited the Ecuadorian embassy in London, where the Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has resided for nearly six years.

In a detailed statement about the experience, which he described as bewildering and intimidating at times, Malloch said the federal agents who stopped him and separated him from his wife "seemed to know everything about me" and warned him that lying to the FBI was a felony. In the statement Malloch denied having any Russia contacts.

...News of Malloch's detention by the FBI and subpoena was first reported by the far-right conspiracy theory website InfoWars after the controversial contributor Jerome Corsi said an alarmed Malloch had called him during the FBI interview.
Imagine being a person who is detained by the FBI and questioned about possible collusion with Russia, and the first person you call is a dipshit who works for Infowars. Good grief.

Jeremy Kahn at Bloomberg: Cambridge Analytica Affiliate Gave John Bolton Facebook Data, Documents Indicate. "A British company at the heart of the Facebook Inc. data-privacy scandal agreed to give a political action committee founded by John Bolton, [Donald] Trump's newly appointed national security adviser, data harvested from millions of Facebook users, documents released by Parliament show." So, the new National Security Advisor may have conspired illegally to influence the outcome of the election. Cool.

Ryan Mac, Charlie Warzel, and Alex Kantrowitz at BuzzFeed: Growth at Any Cost: Top Facebook Executive Defended Data Collection in 2016 Memo — and Warned That Facebook Could Get People Killed.
On June 18, 2016, one of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg's most trusted lieutenants circulated an extraordinary memo weighing the costs of the company's relentless quest for growth.

"We connect people. Period. That's why all the work we do in growth is justified. All the questionable contact importing practices. All the subtle language that helps people stay searchable by friends. All of the work we do to bring more communication in. The work we will likely have to do in China some day. All of it," VP Andrew 'Boz' Bosworth wrote.

"So we connect more people," he wrote in another section of the memo. "That can be bad if they make it negative. Maybe it costs someone a life by exposing someone to bullies."

"Maybe someone dies in a terrorist attack coordinated on our tools."

The explosive internal memo is titled "The Ugly," and has not been previously circulated outside the Silicon Valley social media giant.

The Bosworth memo reveals the extent to which Facebook's leadership understood the physical and social risks the platform's products carried — even as the company downplayed those risks in public.
Fucking hell.

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[Content Note: Nativism] Tal Kopan at CNN: U.S. to Require Would-Be Immigrants to Turn over Social Media Handles. "The Trump administration plans to require immigrants applying to come to the United States to submit five years of social media history, it announced Thursday, setting up a potential scouring of their Twitter and Facebook histories. ...According to notices submitted by the State Department on Thursday, set for formal publication on Friday, the government plans to require nearly all visa applicants to the U.S. to submit five years of social media handles for specific platforms identified by the government — and with an option to list handles for other platforms not explicitly required. The administration expects the move to affect nearly 15 million would-be immigrants to the United States, according to the documents."

If you're thinking, "This is fucking terrible — but haven't I heard this before?" you are correct! Back in June of last year, I covered the proposal of this policy. At the time, there was an enormous amount of pushback from civil rights groups, but now, nearly a year later, the administration is moving ahead with the plan, and today's announcement includes the disclosure of a 60-day public comment period.

So, basically: They proposed the rule last year, let everyone get super pissed about it, and now are quietly opening the 60-day comment period, while hopefully no one is looking.

Comments can be sent to PRA_BurdenComments@state.gov.

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Ian Millhiser at ThinkProgress: The Chief Justice of the United States Has No Clue How Elections Work. "The Chief Justice of the United States is allergic to political science. He harbors numerous misconceptions about how voters behave and how they think. And these misconceptions often form the basis for his judicial decisions. With Chief Justice John Roberts poised to become the Supreme Court's crucial 'swing vote' if any of the five justices to his left leave Court, these misconceptions could soon weave themselves into the way the court interprets the Constitution. The laws governing America's elections — our right to choose our own leaders, rather than having them chosen for us — could soon bend to one man's weak understanding of how elections work."

[CN: War on agency] Teddy Wilson at Rewire: Kentucky Republicans Ignore Court Decisions, Ban Common Abortion Procedure. "The Kentucky legislature on Tuesday gave final approval for a ban on the most common type of second trimester abortion care, as similar laws have been blocked by federal and state courts. ...HB 454, sponsored by Rep. Addia Wuchner (R-Florence), prohibits a physician from performing an abortion procedure known as dilation and evacuation (D and E), the most common method of performing second-trimester abortions. The provisions were based on copycat legislation drafted by the National Right to Life Committee, an anti-choice organization that has lobbied GOP lawmakers in eight states to pass similar bills."

Natasha Geiling at ThinkProgress: Trump Administration Determined to Move Ahead with Arctic Drilling. "On Thursday, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) officially began soliciting comments from the oil and gas industry for areas of the Beaufort Sea that might be open to lease late next year, following the release of the administration's finalized offshore plan. But environmental and conservation groups warn that the call for potential lease areas is premature, since the administration hasn't even released its final five-year proposal. Soliciting industry advice on what areas are of interest, they contend, proves that the administration has a predetermined outcome for the Arctic Ocean."

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And finally, I am tired.

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

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