We Resist: Day 628

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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: The Lives of Women and Nikki Haley Has Resigned and Trump's War on Immigrants: The Latest. Also, ICYMI late yesterday: "This is going to be very contentious and no one really knows how it is all going to shake out."

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

[Content Note: Rape culture] Andy Towle at Towleroad: Trump Apologizes to Brett Kavanaugh for His 'Pain and Suffering', Declares Him 'Proven Innocent'. "Donald Trump apologized to alleged rapist Brett Kavanaugh before his ceremonial swearing in at the White House on Monday night... Said Trump: 'On behalf of our nation, I want to apologize to Brett and the entire Kavanaugh family for the terrible pain and suffering you have been forced to endure. Those who step forward to serve our country deserve a fair and dignified evaluation, not a campaign of personal and political destruction based on lies and deception. What happened to the Kavanaugh family violates every notion of fairness, decency, and due process. In our country, a man or a woman must always be presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. And with that, I must state that you, sir, under historic scrutiny, were proven innocent.'"

Mick Krever and Devan Cole at CNN: Clinton Says Trump Remarks at Kavanaugh Swearing-In Undermine Supreme Court.
Hillary Clinton said Tuesday that [Donald] Trump staged a "political rally" at Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh's ceremonial swearing-in that "further undermined the image and integrity of the court."

"What was done last night in the White House was a political rally. It further undermined the image and integrity of the court," Clinton, Trump's Democratic 2016 election opponent, told CNN's Christiane Amanpour in an exclusive interview.

"And that troubles me greatly. It saddens me. Because our judicial system has been viewed as one of the main pillars of our constitutional government. So I don't know how people are going to react to it. I think, given our divides, it will pretty much fall predictably between those who are for and those who are against," Clinton said.

"But the President's been true to form," she continued. "He has insulted, attacked, demeaned women throughout the campaign — really for many years leading up to the campaign. And he's continued to do that inside the White House."
Thank Maude for her. I'm so grateful to her for saying that.

Especially when Republican men are out here saying shit like this:

And this: Justin Wise at the Hill: McConnell: GOP Senators Were 'Literally Under Assault' in Days Before Kavanaugh Vote. "'I couldn’t be prouder of the Senate Republican Conference. We were standing up for the presumption of innocence in this country …And secondly, we were literally under assault,' McConnell said at a press conference in Kentucky. 'These demonstrators, I'm sure some of them were well-meaning citizens. But many of them were obviously trying to get in our faces, to go to our homes. Basically almost attack us in the halls of the capitol. There was a full-scale effort to intimidate.'" FUCKKKKKKKKK YOUUUUUUUUUU.

Speaking of Mitch McConnell being FUCKING TERRIBLE... [CN: Video may autoplay at link] Paul Begala at CNN: McConnell Has Done Grave Damage to All Three Branches of Government. "Richard Nixon damaged the presidency, Newt Gingrich turned the House of Representatives into a mixed martial arts arena, and Roger Taney forever stained the Supreme Court with the Dred Scott decision. But it takes someone special, someone rare, someone spectacularly Machiavellian and malevolent, to screw up all three branches of government. Ladies and gentlemen: Mitch McConnell. The soft-spoken Kentuckian has, in just a few short years, done lasting damage to the presidency, the Senate, and the Supreme Court: the hat trick of democracy destruction."

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Josh Israel at ThinkProgress: 'Balanced-Budget' Republicans Vote to Add a Half Trillion to the Deficit with New Tax Cut Bill. "As the nation watched the Senate Judiciary Committee meet to consider whether to rush through the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh, the House Republican majority was quietly passing the Protecting Family and Small Business Tax Cuts Act of 2018 — a bill to make the Trump tax cuts for the rich permanent. According to the GOP-controlled Joint Committee on Taxation and the Congressional Budget Office, the bill would add another $545 billion to the federal budget deficit over the next decade. This would be on top of the trillions already added to the debt by the original tax bill and the omnibus budget signed by Trump earlier this year."

Paul A. Eisenstein at NBC News: Trump's Tariffs Have Already Cost Ford $1B; Now It's Planning Layoffs. "Ford will be making cuts to its 70,000-strong white-collar workforce in a move it calls a 'redesign' of its staff to be leaner, have fewer layers, and offer more decision-making power to employees, the company announced. ...Ford has already warned that [Donald] Trump's auto tariffs have impacted the company to the tune of $1 billion, and the president's trade policies threaten to play havoc with Ford's ongoing reorganization."

Noah Smith at the Guardian: America's First Robot Farm Replaces Humans with 'Incredibly Intelligent' Machines. "America's first autonomous robot farm launched last week, in the hopes that artificial intelligence (AI) can remake an industry facing a serious labor shortage and pressure to produce more crops. Claiming an ability to 'grow 30 times more produce than traditional farms' on the strength of AI software, year-round, soilless hydroponic processes, and moving plants as they grow to efficiently use space, the San Carlos, California-based company Iron Ox aims to address some of the agricultural industry's biggest challenges. Such challenges have also caught the attention of investors, who made more than $10bn in investments last year, representing a 29% increase from 2016."

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Sounds legit. (Does not sound legit.)

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Tim Johnson at McClatchy: Are Wireless Voting Machines Vulnerable? Florida, Other States Say They're Safe Enough. (Oh, that's exactly what you want to hear about voting machines. They're SAFE ENOUGH.) "Barely a month before midterm elections, voting integrity advocates and electronic voting experts want the federal government to issue an official warning to states that use voting machines with integrated cellular modems that the machines are vulnerable to hacks, potentially interfering with the ballot counting. Once seen as a useful tool to provide quick election results, voting machines with cellular modems are now subject to fierce debate over how easy it would be to break into them and change the results. Such machines are certified for use in Florida, Illinois, Michigan, and Wisconsin."

Julia Carrie Wong and Olivia Solon at the Guardian: Google to Shut Down Google+ After Failing to Disclose User Data Breach.
This March, as Facebook was coming under global scrutiny over the harvesting of personal data for Cambridge Analytica, Google discovered a skeleton in its own closet: A bug in the API for Google+ had been allowing third-party app developers to access the data not just of users who had granted permission, but of their friends.

If that sounds familiar, it's because it's almost exactly the scenario that got Mark Zuckerberg dragged in front of the U.S. Congress. The parallel was not lost on Google, and the company chose not to disclose the data leak, the Wall Street Journal revealed Monday, in order to avoid the public relations headache and potential regulatory enforcement.

Disclosure will likely result "in us coming into the spotlight alongside or even instead of Facebook despite having stayed under the radar throughout the Cambridge Analytica scandal," Google policy and legal officials wrote in a memo obtained by the Journal. It "almost guarantees Sundar will testify before Congress," the memo said, referring to the company's CEO, Sundar Pichai. The disclosure would also invite "immediate regulatory interest."

Shortly after the story was published, Google announced that it will shut down consumer access to Google+ and improve privacy protections for third-party applications.

Laura Geggel at LiveScience: Huge Iceberg Poised to Break Off Antarctica's Pine Island Glacier. "A newly discovered long and craggy rift is splintering across West Antarctica's Pine Island Glacier, satellite images show. The nearly 19-mile-long (30 kilometers) rift started in the middle of the ice shelf, where the ice shelf touches warmer ocean waters that are melting it from underneath, said Stef Lhermitte, an assistant professor in the Department of Geoscience and Remote Sensing at the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands. The rift only has about another 6 miles (10 km) to go before one or more icebergs calf, breaking off from the glacier, Lhermitte said."

Staff at the Weather Channel: Hurricane Michael Intensifies to Category 2; May Be Florida Panhandle's Strongest Landfall in 13 Years Wednesday. "Hurricane Michael has strengthened to Category 2 intensity, and is forecast to strike the Florida Panhandle at least as strong as a Category 3 with dangerous storm surge flooding, destructive winds, and flooding rainfall. Michael will also bring heavy rain and strong winds to other parts of the southeastern United States after it moves inland. 'Michael could develop into a potentially catastrophic event for the northeastern Gulf Coast,' the National Weather Service office in Tallahassee, Florida, wrote in its area forecast discussion Monday afternoon."

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

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