We Resist: Day 652

a black bar with the word RESIST in white text

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.

* * *

Earlier today by me: The Familiar Bad News from Hungary and Sometimes I Still Can't Even Believe This Fu@#er Is the President. And ICYMI late yesterday: Trump Says He's Instructed Military to Treat Rocks Like a Rifle at the Border.

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

In yesterday's thread, I linked a piece about right-wing groups targeting teachers for their political views. Today, I read the following, care of Eastsidekate, who got it from Andrew Kaczynski on Twitter...

Chris Dunker at the Lincoln Journal Star: Fortenberry Complains About Facebook Reaction to Vandalized Sign; UNL Professor Says He's Bullying.
Thumbing through his Facebook feed, Ari Kohen came across the now widely shared photo of a defaced campaign sign for Rep. Jeff Fortenberry.

Shared on the social media platform by Seeing Red Nebraska, a progressive political blog, the photo depicts Fortenberry with a pair of oversized googly eyes, while a strip of tape turned the incumbent Republican's name into a sophomoric joke.

Kohen, an associate professor of political science at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, clicked like on his cellphone screen.

"I know this is not high comedy," said Kohen, who originally thought the photo was a Photoshop prank. "It was Sunday, I was bored and got a laugh out of it. I clicked like because I found it amusing."

But leaving a like on the photo was anything but amusing, according to the man whose face was on the sign.

While Lincoln Police began investigating, a Fortenberry campaign staffer in Lincoln sent a screenshot showing Kohen's like to the congressman's Washington, D.C., office, and the next day, Dr. William "Reyn" Archer III, his chief of staff, called Kohen to talk about it.

"It's against the law and uses the resources of the city, and (Kohen) thinks it's okay to like it," Archer said in a phone interview.

When Archer didn't hear back from Kohen immediately, he emailed the chair of the UNL political science department, copying the interim dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and Chancellor Ronnie Green on the message.

"As Chairman of the Department of Political Science at the University of Nebraska, I would like to find a time to speak to you about the support one of your faculty has shown for political vandalism," Archer wrote to Kevin Smith, Kohen's department chair
That's just straight-up harassment. Meanwhile, Fortenberry is claiming that the vandalization of his sign is tantamount to "political violence," tweeting: "Political violence, including the vandalism we see right here in Lincoln, is a threat to good citizenry and free expression in our republic. It is not funny. It is never acceptable."

Just so we're all on the same page, this is what Fortenberry is calling political violence:

image of a political yard sign featuring Jeff Fortenberry's face, to which googly eyes have been affixed, and his name, which has been altered to 'Fartenberry'

If Fortenberry imagines that constitutes political violence, I'd like to see what he'd make of the harassment I've been getting from his party's deplorable base for the last 14 years.

Honestly, if some troll did something that equivalently hilarious to my picture and name, I would congratulate them. This guy thinks it's political violence. Hahahahahahaha. Dude.

This is some of the most cynical (and dangerous) bothsideserism I've seen. This is not political violence. Knock it the fuck off, Republicans.

Meanwhile... [Content Note: Anti-semitism] Nicole Brown at AM New York: Union Temple of Brooklyn Vandalized with Anti-Semitic Messages, NYPD Says. "The hateful messages, which included 'Jews better be ready' and 'Hitler,' were found written in black marker on multiple floors of the Union Temple of Brooklyn on Eastern Parkway, near Grand Army Plaza, in Prospect Heights, an NYPD spokesman said. Another epithet called for the death of Jews and used a hateful historic comparison to vermin. A political event hosted by Broad City actress Ilana Glazer was supposed to take place in the building Thursday night, but was canceled after the messages were found, state Senate candidate Andrew Gounardes said."

The message that "called for the death of Jews" was "Kill All Jews." And Republicans are whining about googly eyes being added to a yard sign. Fuck off.

In related news... [CN: Christian Supremacy; eliminationism] Josh Kovensky at TPM: State Rep's Outline for Killing Non-Believers in Holy War Is Referred to FBI. "Five-term Washington state Rep. Matt Shea has been circulating a manual for holy war in the United States, the Seattle Times reported. The four-page document, titled 'Biblical Basis for War,' goes point-by-point over how a Christian theocratic movement could — and should — exterminate its opposition in a battle to win a hypothetical holy war. At the outset, Shea's holy army would issue terms of surrender to its enemies. The demands include 'stop all abortions,' 'no same-sex marriage,' 'no idolatry or occultism,' 'no communism,' and 'must obey Biblical law.' If the rest of the country refuses to 'yield' to these terms, the document advocates a final solution: 'kill all males.'"

Fortenberry has some fucking nerve complaining about googly eyes as "political violence" when members of his own goddamned party are engaging in eliminationist shit like this.

* * *

I just read these two articles back-to-back:

1. Jack Gillum and Jeff Kao at ProPublica: File-Sharing Software on State Election Servers Could Expose Them to Intruders. "As recently as Monday, computer servers that powered Kentucky's online voter registration and Wisconsin's reporting of election results ran software that could potentially expose information to hackers or enable access to sensitive files without a password. The insecure service run by Wisconsin could be reached from internet addresses based in Russia, which has become notorious for seeking to influence U.S. elections. Kentucky's was accessible from other Eastern European countries."

2. Tim Starks at Politico: DHS Secretary on Midterms: 'Most Secure Election We've Ever Had'. "The 2018 cycle is 'going to be the most secure election we've ever had,' DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said today, just days before the midterms, but she is worried about a 'dynamic threat' that could include foreign attempts to portray the results as invalid afterward. Nielsen said DHS has had no indication of a 'sustained effort to hack voting infrastructure' from any foreign government. But that doesn't mean they haven't tried, she said."

So, everything is terrific, as usual. (Btw, in case you didn't twig to it, that's the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security essentially laying the groundwork for precisely the scenario that Shaker BrianWS and I discussed here.)

In other election news...

Lauren Holter at Rewire.News: Abortion Is on the Ballot in These States Next Week. "Whether Democrats or Republicans win control of state governments next week may determine how each state legislates reproductive rights in the coming years. But voters will weigh in directly in three states where abortion is literally on the ballot: Alabama, Oregon, and West Virginia — two of which are moving to explicitly state that abortion rights aren't protected within their borders."

And FiveThirtyEight has numbers on some key governors' races across the country: Forecasting the Races for Governor.

I'm so fucking glad that Tom Wolf retains a solid lead. I don't want to lose my terrific Democratic governor!

* * *

[CN: Nativism. Covers entire section.]

Rebekah Entralgo at ThinkProgress: Trump Claims a Majority of Undocumented Immigrants Skip Their Court Dates — Here Are the Facts.
Donald Trump made an outrageous claim during a Thursday afternoon briefing on immigration. His assertion: Only 3 percent of undocumented immigrants released while their asylum cases are pending ever show up for their court hearing.

"We're not letting them into our country, and they never show up. Almost like a level of 3 percent," the president said Thursday. "They never show up for the trial, so by the time their trial comes, they are gone."

Wrong. The government's own data even proves that statement is incorrect. According to a Justice Department report from the Executive Office For Immigration Review, in 2017 that number was actually 89 percent, and has consistently remained high. In 2016 it was 91 percent and from 2014 to 2015, it was higher than 93 percent.

This data is also backed up by the American Immigration Council, which concluded that from 2001 to 2016, 90 percent of asylum-seeking families show up at the courthouse. Even the Republican-friendly Center For Immigration Studies concedes that these families consistently follow the rules and meet their court dates.

[CN: Violence; video may autoplay at link] Mary Papenfuss at the Huffington Post: Cop Killer in Trump Video Returned to U.S. During the Bush Administration. "An incendiary video tweeted Thursday by [Donald] Trump not only shockingly compared members of a migrant caravan heading to the U.S. to an immigrant cop-killer, it also falsely held the Democrats solely responsible for his presence in America. Luis Bracamontes, now on death row at San Quentin for killing a California sheriff's deputy and detective in 2014, is featured in the fearmongering video [which] blames Democrats for letting Bracamontes into the U.S. and allowing the undocumented immigrant to stay in the country. 'Who else would the Democrats let in?' the video asks. But Bracamontes was first deported during the Clinton administration and later slipped back into the U.S. during the George W. Bush administration, according to federal documents obtained by the Sacramento Bee."

Thirsty jerk.

* * *

Staff at BBC News: Trump Administration to Reinstate All Iran Sanctions. "The Trump administration is reinstating all U.S. sanctions on Iran that were removed under the 2015 nuclear deal. The White House said it was 'the toughest sanctions regime ever imposed on Iran' and targeted Iran's energy, shipping, and banking sectors. ...The US has been gradually re-imposing sanctions since it unilaterally withdrew from the agreement [in May], but analysts say this move is the most important because it targets the core sectors of Iran's economy."

And naturally Trump accompanied the news with an aggressively inappropriate tweet featuring a photo of him walking through the mist with text in a Game of Thrones-style font reading: "Sanctions Are Coming | November 5."

If only we had some relevant history that taught us men who fancy themselves epic heroes don't make good leaders. OH WELL.

[CN: Murder] Michelle Boorstein at the Washington Post: Trump's Evangelical Advisers Meet with Saudi Crown Prince and Discuss Jamal Khashoggi's Murder and "Human Rights," Spokesman Says. "A group of prominent U.S. evangelical figures, including several of [Donald] Trump's evangelical advisers, met Thursday with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, whose role in the killing of Washington Post contributing columnist Jamal Khashoggi remains unclear. In a statement that included photos of those present smiling, a member of the group said 'it is our desire to lift up the name of Jesus whenever we are asked and wherever we go.'"

What the fuck? There's more: "The American group was led by Joel Rosenberg, an evangelical political strategist-turned-novelist who lives in Israel and writes books about biblical prophesies. Others in the delegation were: Former U.S. congresswoman Michele Bachmann; Jerry A. Johnson, president and CEO of National Religious Broadcasters; Michael Little, former president and COO of the Christian Broadcasting Network; writer Mike Evans; [Johnnie Moore, who also serves as the White House's unofficial liaison to a group of well-known conservative evangelicals]; [PR executive A. Larry Ross]; Skip Heitzig, a New Mexico pastor; and former NRB CEO Wayne Pederson. The Jerusalem Post news site framed the group of evangelicals as unofficial ambassadors of an Israeli government that wants to ally with Saudi Arabia in confronting Iran."

I don't even fucking know.

Zach Dorfman and Jenna McLaughlin at Yahoo News: The CIA's Communications Suffered a Catastrophic Compromise; It Started in Iran. "From around 2009 to 2013, the U.S. intelligence community experienced crippling intelligence failures related to the secret internet-based communications system, a key means for remote messaging between CIA officers and their sources on the ground worldwide. The previously unreported global problem originated in Iran and spiderwebbed to other countries, and was left unrepaired — despite warnings about what was happening — until more than two dozen sources died in China in 2011 and 2012 as a result, according to 11 former intelligence and national security officials. The disaster ensnared every corner of the national security bureaucracy — from multiple intelligence agencies, congressional intelligence committees, and independent contractors to internal government watchdogs — forcing a slow-moving, complex government machine to grapple with the deadly dangers of emerging technologies." Holy shit.

* * *

And finally... [CN: Guns] Michelle Goldberg at the New York Times: Rise of the Armed Left. "[G]un culture has become virtually synonymous with American conservatism. The National Rifle Association is now perhaps the most powerful Republican lobby in the country, and its rhetoric increasingly echoes that of the apocalyptic far right. Over the last 20 or 30 years, [UCLA law professor Adam Winkler] told me, 'not only has the NRA become more and more associated with the right, but there's an increasingly militaristic, rebellious tone to the NRA and the gun rights movement.' It's become, he said, 'all about arming up to fight the tyranny that's coming.' ...[I]t was probably inevitable that, as our politics have become more polarized and violent, a nascent left-wing gun culture would emerge."

This is terrifying to me. I'm not even saying anyone is wrong to take this position. There's definitely a part me of me, despite how I feel about guns, that thinks maybe liberals should be arming ourselves at this point. It's just terrifying that this is what it's come to!

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

Shakesville is run as a safe space. First-time commenters: Please read Shakesville's Commenting Policy and Feminism 101 Section before commenting. We also do lots of in-thread moderation, so we ask that everyone read the entirety of any thread before commenting, to ensure compliance with any in-thread moderation. Thank you.

blog comments powered by Disqus