We Resist: Day 623

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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: After Sham FBI Investigation, GOP Moves Ahead with Kavanaugh Nomination and GOOD NEWS: Judge Blocks Trump's Mass Deportation Attempt and Submitted Without Further Comment.

Virtually the entire political media is consumed today with documenting which Republican Senators have confirmed they will vote yes on Kavanaugh, as if this hasn't been a foregone conclusion from Day One. So I will dispatch with any more coverage of that depressing subject and move on to some other stuff in the news today...

That, on the same day that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that the U.S. is canceling a diplomatic treaty with Iran. So everything is terrific, as usual.

On Monday, I wrote about a U.S. destroyer having an "unsafe" encounter with a Chinese warship in the South China Sea last weekend. Which is the backdrop for this item, care of Barbara Starr at CNN: U.S. Navy Proposing Major Show of Force to Warn China.
The U.S. Navy's Pacific Fleet has drawn up a classified proposal to carry out a global show of force as a warning to China and to demonstrate the U.S. is prepared to deter and counter their military actions, according to several U.S. defense officials.

The draft proposal from the Navy is recommending the U.S. Pacific Fleet conduct a series of operations during a single week in November.

The goal is to carry out a highly focused and concentrated set of exercises involving U.S. warships, combat aircraft, and troops to demonstrate that the U.S. can counter potential adversaries quickly on several fronts.

The plan suggests sailing ships and flying aircraft near China's territorial waters in the South China Sea and Taiwan Strait in freedom of navigation operations to demonstrate the right of free passage in international waters. The proposal means U.S. ships and aircraft would operate close to Chinese forces.

The defense officials emphasized that there is no intention to engage in combat with the Chinese.

[Content Note: Moving GIF at link] Jordan Robertson and Michael Riley at Bloomberg: The Big Hack: How China Used a Tiny Chip to Infiltrate U.S. Companies. "Nested on the servers' motherboards, the testers found a tiny microchip, not much bigger than a grain of rice, that wasn't part of the boards' original design. Amazon reported the discovery to U.S. authorities, sending a shudder through the intelligence community. Elemental's servers could be found in Department of Defense data centers, the CIA's drone operations, and the onboard networks of Navy warships. And Elemental was just one of hundreds of Supermicro customers. During the ensuing top-secret probe, which remains open more than three years later, investigators determined that the chips allowed the attackers to create a stealth doorway into any network that included the altered machines. Multiple people familiar with the matter say investigators found that the chips had been inserted at factories run by manufacturing subcontractors in China."

[CN: Video may autoplay at link] AP at CBS News: How North Korea's Ever-Bolder Cyberattacks Target Banks. "U.S. security firm FireEye raised the alarm Wednesday over a North Korean group that the company says has stolen hundreds of millions of dollars by infiltrating the computer systems of banks around the world since 2014. Those hackers used highly sophisticated and destructive attacks that have spanned at least 11 countries. FireEye says the group is still operating and poses 'an active global threat.' ...[C]ybersecurity experts tell The Associated Press that they also see continued signs that North Korea's authoritarian government, which has a long track record of criminality to raise cash, is conducting malign activity online. That activity includes targeting financial institutions and cryptocurrency-related organizations, as well as spying on its adversaries."

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A couple of significant pieces related to Russia today at the Daily Beast:

Betsy Woodruff and Erin Banco: Erik Prince's Russian Connection Trawled Trumpland for 'Boss' Putin.

Betsy Woodruff and Jamie Ross: Russia's Global Hacking Op Busted, Seven Agents Indicted.

And this quick hit: Over 80% of Twitter Accounts Linked to 2016 Fake News Are 'Still Active'.

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Yessenia Funes at Earther: Trump's Plan to Scrap Mercury Regulations Won't Save Coal But It Will Cost Lives. "Trump wants to either scrap the mercury standards completely or re-write them after changing the way the EPA does its cost-benefit analysis. Which of the two the EPA is planning remains speculative as the agency hasn't released a formal public comment and has not responded to a comment request from Earther, either. ...And the effects could reverberate far beyond mercury if the Trump administration decides to adopt a narrower rule that ignores co-benefits. Other rules under the Clean Air Act, like Obama's defeated Clean Power Plan, look at co-benefits, too. If this becomes the norm, other rules that include co-benefits in their analysis may also be deemed not 'appropriate and necessary.'"

Mark Hand at ThinkProgress: Donald Trump Accused of 'Waging a War on Children' Through EPA Regulatory Rollbacks.
Child Health Day, celebrated on Monday, was meant to highlight efforts taken by the nation to protect children's health. As it turned out, Child Health Day, which kicked off Children's Health Month, served as a moment for the nation to come to terms with how the Trump administration has prioritized the removal of industry regulations over health protections for children.

Since [Donald] Trump took office in January 2017, his Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has taken numerous actions that do not bode well for the future health of American children.

And in the past week alone, the administration has introduce plans to rollback back key pollution rules, removed the head of the EPA's children's health office, and was shown to have scrubbed any mention of the impact of climate change on children from a draft document.

..."Every day we see more evidence that this administration is actively working against the health and safety of the most vulnerable Americans — our children," Ken Cook, president of the Environmental Working Group, said Wednesday in a statement. "Tragically, it's not an exaggeration to say that the Trump administration is waging a war on children."
Oliver Milman at the Guardian: Scientists Say Halting Deforestation 'Just as Urgent' as Reducing Emissions. "The role of forests in combating climate change risks being overlooked by the world's governments, according to a group of scientists that has warned halting deforestation is 'just as urgent' as eliminating the use of fossil fuels. Razing the world's forests would release more than 3 trillion tons of carbon dioxide, more than the amount locked in identified global reserves of oil, coal, and gas. ...'We must protect and maintain healthy forests to avoid dangerous climate change and to ensure the world's forests continue to provide services critical for the well-being of the planet and ourselves,' the statement reads."

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

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