We Resist: Day 655

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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 a F#@king Liar and My Nerves Are Rattling Like Ghosts in an Attic About the Midterms Tomorrow.

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

Richard L. Hasen at Slate: Brian Kemp Just Engaged in a Last-Minute Act of Banana-Republic Level Voter Manipulation in Georgia.
In perhaps the most outrageous example of election administration partisanship in the modern era, Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp, who is running for governor while simultaneously in charge of the state's elections, has accused the Democratic Party without evidence of hacking into the state's voter database. He plastered a headline about it on the Secretary of State's website, which thousands of voters use to get information about voting on election day.

It's just the latest in a series of partisan moves by Kemp, who has held up more than 50,000 voter registrations for inconsistencies as small as a missing hyphen, fought rules to give voters a chance to prove their identities when their absentee ballot applications are rejected for a lack of a signature match, and been aggressive in prosecuting those who have done nothing more than try to help those in need of assistance in casting ballots.

But the latest appalling move by Kemp to publicly accuse the Democrats of hacking without evidence is even worse than that: Kemp has been one of the few state election officials to refuse help from the federal Department of Homeland Security to deter foreign and domestic hacking of voter registration databases. After computer scientists demonstrated the insecurity of the state's voting system, he was sued for having perhaps the most vulnerable election system in the country. His office has been plausibly accused of destroying evidence, which would have helped to prove the vulnerabilities of the state election system.

...If anyone is to blame for vulnerabilities with the voting system it is Kemp. And now he's trying to turn those vulnerabilities into crass political advantage by blaming Democrats without evidence for the state's failings.
Adam Gabbatt at the Guardian: Stacey Abrams Condemns Brian Kemp After He Accuses Democrats of Voter 'Hack'. "The Democratic candidate for governor in Georgia, Stacey Abrams, said on Monday her opponent had 'abused his power,' a day after Brian Kemp, who is also Georgia's secretary of state, announced an unexplained investigation into alleged 'cybercrime' by the state Democratic party. ...'I think, unfortunately, Secretary Kemp has not only abused his power, he has failed to do his job,' Abrams said in an interview with ABC. 'And you don't deserve a promotion when you do not serve the people you've been hired to serve.'" Right on.

Jana Winter at the Boston Globe: Hackers Targeting Election Networks Across Country Prior to Midterms. "Hackers have ramped up their efforts to meddle with the country's election infrastructure in the weeks leading up to Tuesday's midterms, sparking a raft of investigations into election interference, internal intelligence documents show. The hackers have targeted voter registration databases, election officials, and networks across the country, from counties in the Southwest to a city government in the Midwest, according to Department of Homeland Security election threat reports reviewed by the Globe. The agency says publicly all the recent attempts have been prevented or mitigated, but internal documents show hackers have had 'limited success.' The recent incidents, ranging from injections of malicious computer code to a massive number of bogus requests for voter registration forms, have not been publicly disclosed until now."

Staff at the AP: What Russians Have Been up to Ahead of 2018 U.S. Midterm Vote. "As Americans prepare for another election, Russian troublemakers have again tried to divide U.S. voters and discredit democracy. ...Russia is not alone — it's just one source of online manipulation ahead of Tuesday's election. Russia denies interference, and may not be able to affect the outcome anyway, but has reason to be interested in the election result." The AP covers four major areas of attempted disruption by Russia: Funding trolls, creating "Faux-American" sites, tricky tweets, and probing candidates.


Dole, who was permanently injured fighting the Nazis in WWII. Wow.

Angela Charlton at the AP/Global News: Here's What Russia and Vladimir Putin Stand to Gain from Meddling in U.S. Elections. "The Kremlin likes Trump because he's one of the rare Western leaders to embrace Russian President Vladimir Putin... Some Russians, meanwhile, wear the U.S. accusations as a badge of honor, a sign that their country is a fearsome world power again. ...By discrediting Western democracy, that strengthens Putin's argument to his own voters that his authoritarian model of governance is best. 'The growing confrontation with the West and a focus on it on national television channels probably helped consolidate this effect of a fortress under siege,' one of Putin's metaphors for modern Russia, [analyst Masha Lipman] said. 'And pledging allegiance to the leader is a matter not only of loyalty but even of national security and national identity.'"

In other election news...

Nicole Lafond at TPM: Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh Set to Appear with Trump at Monday Rally. "According to Variety, the Trump campaign is promoting the rally as an event that will feature special appearances from Limbaugh and Hannity, as well as country music singer Lee Greenwood, but Fox News told TPM that Hannity will only be hosting his show at the rally and interviewing the president. ...Hannity, who maintains a close friendship with the president, has been pegged as Trump's 'shadow' chief of staff who has a significant amount of influence over the president's decisions."

[Content Note: White supremacy] Stephanie Kirchgaessner at the Guardian: Trump Ally Kris Kobach Accepted Donations from White Nationalists. "The Republican candidate for governor of Kansas, Kris Kobach, who has close ties to the Trump administration, has accepted financial donations from white nationalist sympathizers and has for more than a decade been affiliated with groups espousing white supremacist views. Recent financial disclosures show that Kobach, a driving force behind dozens of proposals across the U.S. designed to suppress minority voting and immigrant rights, has accepted thousands of dollars from white nationalists."

Brian Kahn at Earther: A Major Storm Will Hit the Eastern U.S. on Election Day (But Please Go Vote Anyway). "The weather doesn't stop for anyone, including voters. For many folks heading to the polls this week, a big mess of rain, snow, and possibly severe weather is on tap starting on Monday and stretching into Tuesday. But the impacts aren't expected to last all day, so you should be able to find a window to go vote. ...Bundle up if you think there will be a line at your polling place, and drive safe (or tell your free or discounted Uber or Lyft driver to do so). While there's going to be some butt weather out there, there will still likely be times of the day when things are less butt, so hit the polls then if you can."

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Ashley Parker, Josh Dawsey, and Philip Rucker at the Washington Post: Trump Administration Prepares for Massive Shake-Up After Midterms. "Some embattled officials, including Attorney General Jeff Sessions, are expected to be fired or actively pushed out by Trump after months of bitter recriminations. Others, notably Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, may leave amid a mutual recognition that their relationship with the president has become too strained. And more still plan to take top roles on Trump's 2020 reelection campaign or seek lucrative jobs in the private sector after nearly two years in government. The expected midterm exodus would bring fresh uncertainty and churn to a White House already plagued by high turnover and internal chaos."

What should terrify all of us about that is the character and quality of a person who would accept a job in the Trump administration at this point. They know, keenly, that malice is the agenda, and they'll be on board with that. Even more than Jeff Sessions and Kirstjen Nielsen are, which is scary AF.

Staff at the Daily Beast: Trump to Meet Putin and Erdogan at First World War Ceremonies. "Donald Trump will hold meetings with both Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdoğan this week as leaders from around the world descend on Europe to mark 100 years since the end of the First World War. ...Meanwhile, French President Emmanuel Macron is expected to use the events to warn about history repeating itself and that a nationalist resurgence led by authoritarian leaders is threatening liberal democracies."

[CN: Nativism] Amanda Macias at CNBC: Trump's Border Deployments Could Cost $220 Million as Pentagon Sees No Threat from Migrant Caravan. "Donald Trump's move to deploy troops to the U.S.-Mexico border is so far shaping up to have a cost of $220 million, according to two U.S. defense officials who were not authorized to speak publicly. The initial cost estimate, a figure that could change based on the ultimate size and scope of the mission, comes as nearly 4,000 troops moved to the border Saturday as Trump has repeatedly warned of a caravan of migrants from Central America." Imagine what we could do for refugees with $220 million.

[CN: Nativism; video may autoplay at link] Mary Papenfuss at the Huffington Post: Armed Militia Groups Head to the Border, Sparking Military Concerns. "Armed bands of civilian militia members are traveling to the southern U.S. border, where [Donald] Trump has ordered thousands of active-duty troops to rebuff the approaching migrant caravan. About '200 unregulated armed militia members [are] currently operating along the southwest border,' says a planning document for Army commanders leading the 5,200 troops Trump has deployed at the border, according to Newsweek. The groups 'operate under the guise of citizen patrols supporting' border officials, the document says, pointing out 'reported incidents of unregulated militias stealing National Guard equipment during deployments.' The U.S. Border Patrol late last month warned landowners in Texas to expect 'possible armed civilians' to come onto their property because of the caravan, The Associated Press reported."

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[CN: White supremacy; misogyny] Janet Reitman at the New York Times: U.S. Law Enforcement Failed to See the Threat of White Nationalism; Now They Don't Know How to Stop It. "White supremacists and other far-right extremists have killed far more people since Sept. 11, 2001, than any other category of domestic extremist. ...These statistics belie the strident rhetoric around 'foreign-born' terrorists that the Trump administration has used to drive its anti-immigration agenda. They also raise questions about the United States' counterterrorism strategy, which for nearly two decades has been focused almost exclusively on American and foreign-born jihadists, overshadowing right-wing extremism as a legitimate national-security threat."

[CN: Misogynist abuse; racism; gun violence] David Mack, Amber Jamieson, and Julia Reinstein at BuzzFeed News: The Tallahassee Yoga Shooter Was a Far-Right Misogynist Who Railed Against Women and Minorities Online.
The man who shot and killed two women at a yoga studio in Tallahassee, Florida, on Friday before killing himself was a far-right extremist and self-proclaimed misogynist who railed against women, black people, and immigrants in a series of online videos and songs.

Scott Beierle, 40, was named by Tallahassee police as the shooter who opened fire inside the Hot Yoga Tallahassee studio, killing two women, and injuring four other women and a man.

Those killed were identified as Dr. Nancy Van Vessem, 61, who worked at Florida State University's College of Medicine, and FSU student Maura Binkley, 21.

On a YouTube channel in 2014, Beierle filmed several videos of himself offering extremely racist and misogynistic opinions, in which he called women "sluts" and "whores," and lamented "the collective treachery" of girls he had gone to high school with.

"There are whores in — not only every city, not only every town, but every village," he said, referring to women in interracial relationships, whom he said had betrayed "their blood."
Beierle also had a history of arrests for grabbing women on the FSU campus and at a public pool.

Every. Damn. Time.

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Ian Millhiser at ThinkProgress: The Supreme Court Just Agreed to Hear a Case That Could Nuke the Separation of Church and State. "In what will almost certainly be a victory for the religious right, the Supreme Court announced on Friday that it will decide whether the Constitution permits a local government to display 'on public property a 40-foot tall Latin cross, established in memory of soldiers who died in World War I.' Although a federal appeals court held that this cross violates the Constitution's ban on laws 'respecting an establishment of religion,' the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh — which gave Republicans a solid five-person majority on the Supreme Court — all but guarantees that this lower court decision will be reversed."

And finally, some important acts of resistance...

[CN: Nativism; reference to self-harm] Renée Feltz at Rewire.News: Pennsylvania Mural Highlights Migrants Who Were Traumatized in 'Family Prison'.
Karen (a pseudonym) struggled to comfort her then-5-year-old son after he twice attempted suicide during the 651 days they were held in detention, while seeking asylum from extreme violence in El Salvador.

"What would you tell your son if he asked, 'Why can't I be free?'" she once demanded to know from a guard at the Berks County Residential Center.

The trauma they endured there was hard to ignore this week when their eyes — and her son's question — were painted in an 88-foot mural across the steps of Pennsylvania's capitol building in Harrisburg, about an hour's drive from Berks. The massive image is part of a citywide art project that includes several billboards and three bus shelter displays featuring the images and words of parents and children who were held at the controversial facility.
Yessenia Funes at Earther: Opponents Plan to Stop Controversial Hawaiian Telescope's Construction 'at Whatever Cost'. "Last Tuesday, the Hawaiian Supreme Court ruled to approve the construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT), an observatory that would have the ability to gaze farther into the universe than any current telescope can. Its creation could literally transform our understanding of the world. But that's only if community members allow it to be built, and opponents don't plan on backing down easily. 'We're at the last straw,' Hanalei Fergerstrom, a Native Hawaiian priest and opponent to the project who has testified against the project in court, told Earther. 'The last thing we have is our sacred space, and it's come down to the point where we must take a stand. Period. At whatever cost it's gonna cost — and we're prepared to exhaust those costs.'"

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

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