We Resist: Day 558

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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 Is Brazenly Setting the Stage to Declare Elections Illegitimate and Still Not Over It.

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

Today begins the trial of Paul Manafort. Andrea Chalupa has marked the day by doing a terrific Twitter thread with crucial background on Manafort, which begins here:

Speaking of collusion, cough... Duncan Campbell at Computer Weekly: Briton Ran Pro-Kremlin Disinformation Campaign That Helped Trump Deny Russian Links.
A British IT manager and former hacker launched and ran an international disinformation campaign that has provided [Donald] Trump with fake evidence and false arguments to deny that Russia interfered to help him win the election.

The campaign is being run from the UK by 39-year-old programmer Tim Leonard, who lives in Darlington, using the false name "Adam Carter." Starting after the 2016 presidential election, Leonard worked with a group of mainly American right-wing activists to spread claims on social media that Democratic "insiders" and non-Russian agents were responsible for hacking the Democratic Party. The hacking attacks had damaged Trump rival Hillary Clinton's campaign.

The claims led to Trump asking then CIA director Mike Pompeo to investigate allegations circulated from Britain that the Russian government was not responsible for the cyber attacks, and that they could be proved to be an "inside job," in the form of leaks by a party employee. This was the opposite of the CIA's official intelligence findings.

Trump went further at his July 2018 summit with President Putin in Helsinki, saying he believed Putin's claim that Russia had not interfered. In doing so, he rejected multiple highly classified US intelligence agency reports given to him over the past 18 months, including by former president, Barack Obama.
It isn't just right-wing sources who have bought this garbage. As you may recall, Shaker Aphra_Behn called bullshit a year ago on a Nation article promulgating this nonsense.

D. Parvaz at ThinkProgress: With the U.S. Focused on Election Interference, Putin Puts His Energy Gambit into Action. "Russia's expansion in the energy market goes beyond Europe, spanning continents, conflicts, and economies. It can take the form of selling energy (natural gas), building and protecting infrastructure (Syrian oil fields), or investment (Iran's oil fields). It can take the form of debt relief that then yields preferential rights or contracts for Russian businesses, including energy companies. ...'Russia's energy tactics are a global strategy that seeks to influence current and future energy markets,' said Theodore Karasik, project investigator for the Russia in the Middle East Project at the Jamestown Foundation. 'Influencing energy markets is part of the equation in order to garner political advantage, and specifically, geopolitical advantage,' he told ThinkProgress. ...'The energy gambit is the long game.'"

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Ellen Nakashima and Joby Warrick at the Washington Post: U.S. Spy Agencies: North Korea Is Working on New Missiles. "U.S. spy agencies are seeing signs that North Korea is constructing new missiles at a factory that produced the country's first intercontinental ballistic missiles capable of reaching the United States, according to officials familiar with the intelligence. Newly obtained evidence, including satellite photos taken in recent weeks, indicates that work is underway on at least one and possibly two liquid-fueled ICBMs at a large research facility in Sanumdong, on the outskirts of Pyongyang... The new intelligence does not suggest an expansion of North Korea's capabilities but shows that work on advanced weapons is continuing weeks after [Donald] Trump declared in a Twitter posting that Pyongyang was 'no longer a Nuclear Threat.'"

Thomas Kaplan at the New York Times: Trump Is Putting Indelible Conservative Stamp on Judiciary.
With another judge expected to be confirmed Tuesday by the Senate, [Donald] Trump and Senate Republicans are leaving an ever-expanding imprint on the judiciary, nudging powerful appeals courts rightward through a determined effort to nominate and confirm a steady procession of young conservative jurists.

The confirmation of Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court would tilt the balance of the nation's highest court, but, already, the president and the Senate have proved strikingly efficient at installing judges to lifetime appointments on appeals courts that handle far more cases.

The expected appeals court confirmation on Tuesday of Britt C. Grant, 40, a Georgia Supreme Court justice who was once a clerk for Judge Kavanaugh, would be Mr. Trump's 24th circuit court appointment — more than any other president had secured at this point in his presidency since the creation of the regional circuit court system in 1891, according to an analysis of judicial records by The New York Times.

...The judges will be leaving their mark on the court system long after Mr. Trump has left the White House. The average age of Mr. Trump's first-year circuit court nominees was 49, according to the Congressional Research Service, younger than the first-year nominees of Presidents Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton. The vast majority of the Trump nominees were white, and most were male.
This is a very long piece at the Times, and the name "Mike Pence" was not mentioned a single time. That is a significant oversight.

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[Content Note: Wildfires; death] Alissa Greenberg and Jason Wilson at the Guardian: As California Burns, Many Fear the Future of Extreme Fire Has Arrived. "Recent California wildfires in California are notable for their ferocity. At least six people have died, including two firefighters, in the past month in fires that continue to blaze, and 44 died as a result of last year's wine country fires. The conflagrations have also spawned bizarre pyrotechnics, from firenados to towering pyrocumulus clouds that evoke a nuclear detonation. These events are not aberrations, say experts. They are California's future."

[CN: Guns] Doug Criss and Kimberly Berryman at CNN: More Than 1,000 People Have Already Downloaded Plans to 3-D Print an AR-15. "Under a court settlement, people aren't supposed to be able to legally download plans for 3-D printed guns until Wednesday. But because designs for the guns have already been posted online, by Sunday more than 1,000 people had already downloaded plans to print an AR-15-style semiautomatic assault rifle... Do-it-yourself firearms like The Liberator have been nicknamed 'Ghost Guns' because they don't have serial numbers and are untraceable. On the website run by Defense Distributed, people can download plans for building the Liberator, as well as files for an AR-15 lower receiver, a complete Beretta M9 handgun, and other firearms. Users also will be able to share their own designs for guns, magazines, and other accessories. The site on Monday showed more than 12,000 downloads of seven models of guns."

[CN: Misogyny] Stephanie Griffith at ThinkProgress: FEMA Official Hired Women Workers Based on Their Desirability for Sex. "Women applying to work at FEMA were hired by the former head of personnel based on their sexual desirability, the agency's head said following a sweeping investigation of alleged sex abuse and possible criminal misconduct. Brock Long, administrator at the Federal Emergency Management Agency, told The Washington Post that the former official is under investigation for creating a 'toxic' atmosphere that permitted widespread sexual harassment and a degrading work environment stretching back for years. The newspaper said that the official's name had been redacted from the documented, but later was confirmed to be Corey Coleman, who led FEMA's personnel department from 2011 until his resignation last month."

Melanie Sevcenko at the Guardian: How Legal Cannabis Actually Made Things Worse for Sick People in Oregon. "Oregon's medical marijuana market has been on a downward spiral since the state legalized cannabis for recreational use in 2014. The option of making big money inspired many medical businesses to go recreational, dramatically shifting the focus away from patients to consumers. In 2015, the Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC) took over the recreational industry. Between 2016 and 2018, nine bills were passed that expanded consumer access to marijuana while changing regulatory procedures on growing, processing and packaging. In the shuffle, recreational marijuana turned into a million-dollar industry in Oregon, while the personalized patient-grower network of the medical program quietly dried up. Now, sick people are suffering."

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

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