We Resist: Day 442

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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: Listen to Madeleine Albright and A Reminder That Sanctions Are Worthless Unless They're Enforced.

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

[Content Note: Police brutality; racism; disablism; death] Adam Gabbatt at the Guardian: 'Saheed Is No Gunman': Hundreds Protest in New York Against Police Shooting.
Hundreds of people have marched through the Brooklyn neighbourhood of Crown Heights to protest against police for shooting an unarmed black man.

Saheed Vassell, 34, was shot and killed by police on Wednesday afternoon. The New York police department said it had received calls that a man was wielding a gun, but it turned out to be part of a welding torch.

People blocked the corner of Utica Avenue and Montgomery Street, where Vassell was shot, chanting: "No justice, no peace."

...Vassell would regularly hang out at the corner where he was shot, residents said, and was known to suffer from mental illness.

"I gave him a dollar the day before he was shot," said Mavis Mayfield. "Everybody in the neighborhood knew him."
Everyone except the police.

As I said yesterday: There was a time when police intimately knew the communities they policed, and losing that is one of many factors that contributes to police killings, perhaps especially of disabled people.

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[CN: Drones; death] Caitlin MacNeal at TPM: Trump Apparently Irked Drone Strike Didn't Kill Terrorist's Family. "On his first full day in office, [Donald] Trump was perplexed when he watched a recorded video of a drone strike on a foreign terror suspect in which the CIA waited to strike until the suspect was alone, according to the Washington Post. The recording showed that the waited until the terror suspect walked away from the house in which his family was residing to fire, a part of the agency's push to limit civilian casualties, per the Washington Post. 'Why did you wait?' Trump asked."

[By way of reminder, Trump said during the campaign: "With the terrorists, you have to take out their families. When you get these terrorists, you have to take out their families." Which is a war crime.]

Judd Legum at ThinkProgress: Trump Finally Spoke about Stormy Daniels — and He Made Things Much Worse. "Ever since Daniels burst upon the scene, Trump has made a habit of ignoring the shouted questions of reporters as well as avoiding the topic on Twitter. But on Thursday, Trump broke with this tradition and briefly answered a couple of questions about the affair while en route from West Virginia to Washington, D.C. on Air Force One. ...Professing ignorance about the agreement with Daniels helped Trump deflect the question in the moment. But it put Cohen, his longtime attorney, in legal jeopardy. It also undermines the validity of the contract Trump is current seeking to use to silence Daniels." If anything still mattered, this would be a big deal!

Kevin G. Hall, Ben Wieder, and Greg Gordon at McClatchy: Mueller Probe Tracking Down Trump Business Partners, with Cohen a Focus of Queries. "Armed with subpoenas compelling electronic records and sworn testimony, Mueller's team showed up unannounced at the home of the business associate, who was a party to multiple transactions connected to Trump's effort to expand his brand abroad, according to persons familiar with the proceedings. Investigators were particularly interested in interactions involving Michael D. Cohen, Trump's longtime personal attorney and a former Trump Organization employee. Among other things, Cohen was involved in business deals secured or sought by the Trump Organization in Georgia, Kazakhstan, and Russia." Cohen had his thumbs in lots of Trump pies.

[CN: Video may autoplay at link] Pierre Thomas and James Gordon Meek at ABC News: Mueller Has Evidence That Trump Supporter's Meeting with Putin Ally May Not Have Been a Chance Encounter. "Special Counsel Robert Mueller has obtained evidence that calls into question Congressional testimony given by Trump supporter and Blackwater founder Erik Prince last year, when he described a meeting in Seychelles with a Russian financier close to Vladimir Putin as a casual chance encounter 'over a beer,' sources told ABC News." LOLOLOL no shit! You mean it wasn't just a huge coinkydink that Betsy DeVos' professional mercenary brother bumped into a Putin ally in the Seychelles? SHOCKING.

Kate Riga at TPM: Pruitt Tried to Use Sirens to Get out of a DC Traffic Jam. "The hits just keep coming for EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. CBS News reported Thursday afternoon that early in his tenure at the EPA, Pruitt tried to goad his security detail into turning on the emergency sirens to get through D.C. traffic more quickly, ultimately removing an agent from his detail upon the agent's refusal to use them. Unnamed sources told CBS that Pruitt's lead agent, Eric Weese, a 16-year employee of the EPA, told the administrator that the sirens were just for emergencies. Weese was reportedly replaced shortly thereafter."

Report after report after report about Pruitt's many abuses of power, and this is what Trump tweets today:

Pruitt is "under siege," according to Trump, because the press is continually reporting on endless examples of Pruitt's shameless corruption. Which gives us a pretty clear insight into what Trump wants and expects his administration to be: A bunch of privileged men plundering the federal government for their own personal gain, with no one attempting to hold them accountable or treating their aggressive lack of ethics like it's a problem.

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[CN: Death; drowning] Amy Held at NPR: CDC Epidemiologist Found Dead Weeks After Going Missing, Drowning Suspected. "Timothy Cunningham, a 35-year-old epidemiologist at the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention, vanished after leaving work Feb. 12, complaining he felt unwell; some seven weeks later, his decomposed body was spotted by fishermen in a rugged area along the banks of the Atlanta area's Chattahoochee River, according to officials. ...Fulton County Medical Examiner Jan Gorniak said the cause of death is 'probably' drowning. But tests, including a toxicology screening, are still pending. ...In the days after he went missing, Cunningham's case drew intense media scrutiny and speculation about what had happened in what police called 'unusual' circumstances. ...On Thursday, [Maj. Michael O'Connor with the Atlanta Police Department] said the circumstances around Cunningham's own death may never be understood. 'Barring new information coming forward, we may never be able to tell you how he got into the river.'"

I've been following this story since Cunningham's disappearance was first reported, and it has been so strange and perplexing and troubling and sad. I grieve that he was not found alive, even though I knew there was a very slim chance of that, but I am relieved for his family that they may have some semblance of closure now that his body has been recovered. Still: There are so many unanswered questions. My condolences to them, and to all who knew him.

[CN: Video may autoplay at link] Facebook Sent a Doctor on a Secret Mission to Ask Hospitals to Share Patient Data.
Facebook has asked several major U.S. hospitals to share anonymized data about their patients, such as illnesses and prescription info, for a proposed research project. Facebook was intending to match it up with user data it had collected, and help the hospitals figure out which patients might need special care or treatment.

The proposal never went past the planning phases and has been put on pause after the Cambridge Analytica data leak scandal raised public concerns over how Facebook and others collect and use detailed information about Facebook users.

"This work has not progressed past the planning phase, and we have not received, shared, or analyzed anyone's data," a Facebook spokesperson told CNBC.

But as recently as last month, the company was talking to several health organizations, including Stanford Medical School and American College of Cardiology, about signing the data-sharing agreement.

While the data shared would obscure personally identifiable information, such as the patient's name, Facebook proposed using a common computer science technique called "hashing" to match individuals who existed in both sets. Facebook says the data would have been used only for research conducted by the medical community.

The project could have raised new concerns about the massive amount of data Facebook collects about its users, and how this data can be used in ways users never expected.
Jesus fucking Jones, this company.

[CN: Nativism; misogyny] Miriam Jordan at the New York Times: Thousands of Indian Women Find Their American Dreams in Jeopardy. "Ms. Jalakam and thousands of other spouses of skilled workers have been told that their special work permits — authorization that can mean the difference between struggling and thriving in their adopted homeland — are likely to be revoked. The Trump administration announced last fall that, as part of a crackdown on H-1B visas issued for skilled workers to enter the United States, it plans to rescind an Obama-era program that allowed spouses to work. The change, expected in June, would force thousands of mainly Indian women who followed their husbands to the United States to give up their jobs — even though many are highly educated workers with sought-after skills." Rage seethe boil.

[CN: Misogynoir; white supremacy; ideation of self-harm] Liz Brazile at Rewire: An Ohio Woman Demands Better Care for Black Patients After Her Involuntary Hospitalization. "Based on her past experiences, and the fact that she didn't feel like a danger to herself or others, Muhammad and her parents only expected the hospital to keep her for an overnight examination. Instead, she was involuntarily held in inpatient psychiatric care for 14 days. Muhammad alleges she was ignored as she suffered allergic reactions, was falsely accused of being disorderly, and was over-medicated and psychologically gaslighted during those two weeks at UC. She has filed a grievance with UC and complaints against two of her physicians there with the Ohio Medical Board — and she says her case reflects the broader obstacles Black patients face when they seek psychological care." Awful.

E.A. Crunden at ThinkProgress: Puerto Rico Will Close 283 Schools as Island Continues to Struggle. "Puerto Rico will close 283 schools across the island following a sharp enrollment drop as the U.S. territory continues to languish in recovery efforts almost seven months after a devastating hurricane. Education Secretary Julia Keleher announced Thursday that a portion of the island's more than 1,100 schools won't re-open next fall, citing the loss of 38,762 students. 'Half of the existing schools are at 60% of their capacity,' a statement from the island's Department of Education read. Bowing to what Keleher called the 'fiscal reality' of the island's situation, the education secretary indicated Puerto Rico will work to shift funding towards repairing those schools remaining open." Sob.

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

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