We Resist: Day 488

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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: Trump Has Two Unsecured Phones, Because Security Is "Inconvenient" and This Is a Real Thing in the World.

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

Caroline Kelly and Liz Stark at CNN: Former Trump Co-Chairman on Meeting FBI Source: Like Sitting in 'Faculty Lounge Talking About Research'.
Former Trump campaign national co-chairman Sam Clovis broke his silence on the possible FBI confidential source on the Trump campaign during recent appearances on an Iowa radio show, telling listeners he was concerned that the source had been trying to plant an audit trail for investigators to later use to justify surveillance warrants.

Clovis said the two had met over coffee on Sept. 1, 2016, at a DoubleTree hotel in Arlington, Virginia.

"The meeting was very high level; it was like two faculty members sitting down in the faculty lounge talking about research," Clovis said Monday on the "Simon Conway Show." "There was no indication or no inclination that this was anything other than just wanting to offer up his help to the campaign if I needed it."

..."The thing that's unsettling to me," Clovis explained, was the source's apparent motivation "to establish an audit trail from the campaign or somebody associated with the campaign, back to those Clinton emails — whether or not they existed, we don't know."

"The FBI and the Department of Justice, they were attempting to create something that did not exist and there was no evidence that it existed," he added, "to create an audit trail that would lead investigators on something. Then they would have justification to go back for their FISA warrants and all their other things."
So, a couple of things:

1. Was there nothing to the totally conversational meeting (clearly something Clovis is saying to defend himself) or was it "unsettling" because the source was trying to set up the campaign (clearly something Clovis is saying to defend Trump)? It can't be both. Either the source was just talking, or the source was fishing.

2. This bullshit about "creating an audit trail" is truly absurd, even by Trumpian standards. So the theory is that the FBI sent in a mole to plant evidence in order to justify FISA warrants to find evidence that they planted? Hoo boy. Their theory of innocence is getting so convoluted I'm not sure the MAGA drips will understand it, even once it goes through the Sean Hannity Simplification Machine.

3. Part of this theory is based on the idea that if the FBI was so worried about Russian infiltration, then why didn't they just warn Donald Trump? The thing is: They did. And, at the time of that briefing, he was warned to report to the FBI any suspicious contacts. He did not. To the contrary, the Trump campaign was allowing "walkers" like Carter Page to join the campaign because they were desperate for even remotely credible bodies.

Essentially, the Trump administration continues to believe there exists no reason that any intelligence agency or Congressional committee or special counsel had or has to investigate them. Which is laughable.

This is, after all, a president who, as a candidate, stood at a podium and invited Russians to hack the U.S. State Department, in order to harm his opponent. That isn't normal. That is disloyalty so profound that it alone warrants investigation. And it's merely the tip of a colossal iceberg.

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"I honestly can't believe I have to keep doing this," writes Warner at the top of the memo. Yeah. That's a club with a whole lotta members.

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I love Howard Dean.

Natasha Geiling at ThinkProgress: EPA Bans Certain Reporters from Covering a National Summit on Chemicals. "On Tuesday morning, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt greeted a crowed of nearly 200 at the agency's headquarters in Washington, D.C. The attendees were there for a national summit on polyfluoroalkyl and perfluoroalkyl substances — also known as PFAS, a class of chemicals linked to potentially serious health impacts with long-term exposure. But absent from the summit's introductory statement were reporters from several news outlets, including the Associated Press, CNN, and E&E News. One reporter with the Associated Press was allegedly forcibly removed from the EPA headquarters after trying to enter to report on the summit." The assaults on the press continue unabated, then.

Matt Cagle and Nicole A. Ozer at the ACLU: Amazon Teams up with Law Enforcement to Deploy Dangerous New Face Recognition Technology. "The company has developed a powerful and dangerous new facial recognition system and is actively helping governments deploy it. Amazon calls the service 'Rekognition.' Marketing materials and documents obtained by ACLU affiliates in three states reveal a product that can be readily used to violate civil liberties and civil rights. Powered by artificial intelligence, Rekognition can identify, track, and analyze people in real time and recognize up to 100 people in a single image. It can quickly scan information it collects against databases featuring tens of millions of faces, according to Amazon. Amazon is marketing Rekognition for government surveillance. According to its marketing materials, it views deployment by law enforcement agencies as a 'common use case' for this technology." Yikes.

Jessica Mason Pieklo at Rewire.News: Texas Is Once Again Violating Federal Voting Rights Law, Court Rules. "Judge Garcia ordered Texas to change its online process by July 2018 to allow people to simply check a box indicating they wish to register or update their voter registration information when they use the state's online portal to renew their driver's license or change their address. Garcia ordered the state to submit to the court a proposed educational campaign to inform the public about the changes to the online voter registration process. Officials have two weeks to comply with that portion of Garcia's order. He also ordered the state to conduct monthly compliance audits until 2019 and to provide annual updates to the Texas Civil Rights Project of information on the number of voter registrations that were the result of the online process as well as any complaints the state has received about the online voter registration and renewal process."

This is a pretty excellent example of why Trump and the Republican Party are trying to stack the judiciary as swiftly as possible. Judges are the last bulwark against their attempts to wholly undermine free and fair elections.

The last besides We the People, that is. In good resistance news...

You can keep up with the Poor People's Campaign on Twitter by following @UniteThePoor.

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

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