We Resist: Day 685

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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: Mueller Recommends No Jail Time for Michael Flynn and LOL Bernie and Putin Threatens New Arms Race. And ICYMI late yesterday: An Observation.

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

This isn't really a resistance item, except insomuch as it's another example of how truly undeserving every goddamned Republican is of being part of government or even a media commentator on politics:

[Tweet authored by Ari Fleischer: "Every VP since 1977 is at President Bush's funeral, except one. Mondale, Quayle, Gore, Cheney, Biden, and Pence are there. The only one missing is President Reagan's VP, George HW Bush." My response: "This is one of those rare occasions to think *inside* the box."]

In case you've forgotten, or never new, Fleischer was the White House Press Secretary for former president George W. Bush.

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Asawin Suebsaeng and Lachlan Markay at the Daily Beast: Trump on Coming Debt Crisis: 'I Won't Be Here' When It Blows Up.
Since the 2016 presidential campaign, Donald Trump's aides and advisers have tried to convince him of the importance of tackling the national debt.

Sources close to the president say he has repeatedly shrugged it off, implying that he doesn't have to worry about the money owed to America's creditors — currently about $21 trillion — because he won't be around to shoulder the blame when it becomes even more untenable.

The friction came to a head in early 2017 when senior officials offered Trump charts and graphics laying out the numbers and showing a "hockey stick" spike in the national debt in the not-too-distant future. In response, Trump noted that the data suggested the debt would reach a critical mass only after his possible second term in office.

"Yeah, but I won't be here," the president bluntly said, according to a source who was in the room when Trump made this comment during discussions on the debt.
That sounds about right.

Josh Israel at ThinkProgress: These Companies Claimed the GOP Tax Bill Would 'Boost Jobs'; Now They're Laying Off Employees. "In the lead-up to the enactment of the Tax Cut and Jobs Act, Donald Trump's massive tax cut that mostly benefited rich people and big corporations, a coalition of powerful business interests formed with one major priority in mind: slashing the corporate tax rate. The Reforming America's Taxes Equitably (RATE) Coalition comprised dozens of companies and trade groups that all insisted lowering corporate taxes would mean more jobs. A ThinkProgress review found that about half of RATE Coalition's members have made layoffs since the law's enactment. In other words, not only did the expensive tax cut not bring more jobs; it couldn't even forestall significant job losses." As predicted.

Speaking of Republicans being fucking terrible...

David Eggert at the AP/Washington Post: Michigan Legislature Okays Gutting Wage and Paid Sick Time Laws. "The Republican-led Michigan Legislature on Tuesday passed bills that would delay a minimum wage hike and scale back paid sick leave requirements, an unprecedented lame-duck strategy that was endorsed legally by the state's conservative attorney general despite criticism that it is unconstitutional. ...To prevent minimum wage and paid sick time ballot initiatives from going to the electorate last month, after which they would have been much harder to change if voters had passed them, GOP legislators — at the behest of business groups — preemptively approved them in September so that they could alter them after the election with simple majority votes in each chamber."

Scott Bauer and Todd Richmond at the AP: Wisconsin Republicans Weaken Incoming Dem Governor and Attorney General. "Wisconsin Republicans passed sweeping legislation Wednesday that shifts power to the Republican-controlled Legislature and weakens the Democrat replacing Republican Gov. Scott Walker. Republicans pushed on through protests, internal disagreement, and Democratic opposition in a lame-duck legislative session to reduce the powers of Gov.-elect Tony Evers and Democratic Attorney General-elect Josh Kaul. ...Republicans were battered in the midterm election — losing all statewide races amid strong Democratic turnout — but they retained legislative majorities thanks to what Democrats say are gerrymandered districts that tilt the map against them."

Brianna Sacks and Otillia Steadman at BuzzFeed: Inside the North Carolina Republican Vote Machine: Cash, Pills, and Ballots. "The allegations that Republicans tampered with absentee ballots in a close North Carolina election represent the most serious federal election tampering case in years, one that allegedly stole votes from elderly black voters in the state's rural south. Now two women intimately involved with McCrae Dowless's absentee ballot machine have revealed to BuzzFeed News its grim and chaotic workings, in which Dowless tracked votes on yellow paper and paid his workers, including family members, from stacks of cash, which some used to keep themselves high on opioids while they worked."

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[Content Note: Privacy violations] Adam Satariano at the New York Times: Facebook Gave Some Companies Special Access to Users' Data, Documents Show. "Emails and other internal Facebook documents released by a British parliamentary committee on Wednesday show how the social media giant gave favored companies like Airbnb, Lyft, and Netflix special access to users' data. ...The committee said the documents show Facebook entering into agreements with select companies to allow them access to data after the company made policy changes that restricted access for others."

[CN: Violence] Ryan Broderick at BuzzFeed: Here's How Facebook's Local News Algorithm Change Led to the Worst Riots Paris Has Seen in 50 Years.
This week, protesters scaled the Arc de Triomphe, burned cars, and clashed with police in the third consecutive weekend of riots in France. More than 300 people were arrested in Paris last weekend alone, and 37,000 law enforcement officers have been deployed around the country to restore order.

The "Gilets Jaunes" or "Yellow Jackets" protests have only gotten more violent since they began last month. Three people have died, hundreds more have been injured. To hear the protesters tell it, they're marching through the streets to fight back against rising fuel prices and the high cost of living in the country. Beyond that, though, it's an ideological free-for-all. Fights have also been witnessed among demonstrators, and some have sent death threats to other protesters.

But what's happening right now in France isn't happening in a vacuum. The Yellow Jackets movement — named for the protesters' brightly colored safety vests — is a beast born almost entirely from Facebook. And it's only getting more popular. Recent polls indicate the majority of France now supports the protesters. The Yellow Jackets communicate almost entirely on small, decentralized Facebook pages. They coordinate via memes and viral videos. Whatever gets shared the most becomes part of their platform.

Due to the way algorithm changes made earlier this year interacted with the fierce devotion in France to local and regional identity, the country is now facing some of the worst riots in many years — and in Paris, the worst in half a century.

This isn't the first time real-life violence has followed a viral Facebook storm and it certainly won't be the last. Much has already been written about the anti-Muslim Facebook riots in Myanmar and Sri Lanka and the WhatsApp lynchings in Brazil and India. Well, the same process is happening in Europe now, on a massive scale.
Looking good, Facebook. J/k looking the woooooorst, as usual. Relatedly:

And they're using social media to do it, of course.

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[CN: Climate change] Nicole Gaouette at CNN: Trump EPA to Strike Blow Against Climate Rules, Reports Say. "The Trump administration is set to roll back Obama-era rules on climate change regulation that will make it easier to build new coal plants... Environmental Protection Agency acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler, a former coal industry lobbyist, is expected to make the announcement Thursday. The move is another indication of the Trump administration's determination to buck both global consensus about the need to act on climate change and market trends, as the President courts what he calls the 'beautiful, clean coal' industry."

[CN: Sexual assault and harassment]

[CN: Sexual assault and harassment] Dominic Rushe at the Guardian: Les Moonves Destroyed Evidence in Sexual Misconduct Investigation. "The longtime CBS chief Les Moonves allegedly destroyed evidence and misled investigators as he attempted to protect his reputation and a $120m severance payment, according to a report by CBS lawyers. The draft report into allegations of sexual misconduct, seen by the New York Times, cites 'multiple reports' about a network employee who was 'on call' to perform oral sex on Moonves. 'A number of employees were aware of this and believed that the woman was protected from discipline or termination as a result of it,' it cited the report as saying. 'Moonves admitted to receiving oral sex from the woman, his subordinate, in his office, but described it as consensual.'" Sure.

And finally, in good news:

Please give Joe Biden's family some encouragement. Thanks.

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

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