We Resist: Day 686

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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: Hannah Gadsby Is Very Smart and Very Good at Her Job and Democrats to Propose Gun Control Measures and Trump's Ego Makes Him So Daft About Pence.

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

Stephanie Kirchgaessner and Jon Swaine at the Guardian: Trump Aide's Appearances on RT Channel Are Focus for Russia Inquiry. "Robert Mueller is allegedly examining a Trump campaign adviser's appearances on the Kremlin-controlled broadcaster RT, offering new hints about the investigation into possible collusion between Moscow and Donald Trump's associates. Mueller's investigators have asked Ted Malloch, the London-based American academic who is also close to Nigel Farage, about his frequent appearances on RT, which U.S. intelligence authorities have called Russia's principal propaganda arm."

Elaina Plott at the Atlantic: The White House Has No Plan for Confronting the Mueller Report. "According to a half-dozen current and former White House officials, the administration has no plans in place for responding to the special counsel's findings — save for expecting a Twitter spree. The one thing they do know, Rudy Giuliani told me, is that they're going to fight. If Robert Mueller's team tries to subpoena the president, 'we're ready to resist that,' Trump's attorney said. Giuliani said it's been difficult in the past few months to even consider drafting response plans, or devote time to the 'counter-report' he claimed they were working on this summer as he and Trump confronted Mueller's written questions about the 2016 campaign. 'Answering those questions was a nightmare,' he told me. 'It took him about three weeks to do what would normally take two days.'" There is so much there to unpack. Woo.

Betsy Woodruff at the Daily Beast: Senate Intelligence Committee Grilled Steve Bannon About Cambridge Analytica. "The sources said [Senate Intelligence Committee] investigators asked [Steve Bannon] about Cambridge Analytica, the controversial and now defunct data firm he co-founded. ...The company's former chief, Alexander Nix, once offered to help WikiLeaks distribute emails stolen from Hillary Clinton, as The Daily Beast first reported. Julian Assange confirmed the overture and said he turned it down. Later, a Channel 4 News hidden-camera sting captured Nix admitting his firm used prostitutes and blackmail to try to damage its clients' political opponents. Bannon had close connections to the firm. His former patron, heiress Rebekah Mercer, was on its board and also helped fund Breitbart."

Philip Bump at the Washington Post: The Man at the Center of Fraud Probe in North Carolina May Have Been Doing This for Eight Years.
Bladen County was the only county in the 9th District in which Republican candidate Mark Harris won a majority of mailed-in absentee votes last month. As was the case with Pope's race in 2010, Harris's support in mailed-in absentee votes was more than 20 percentage points higher than his performance in the rest of the district. It was in the primary, too, when Harris earned a stunning 98 percent of the mailed-in absentee votes in Bladen.

In each election, Harris's campaign was working with a consulting firm called Red Dome Group, which hired [Leslie McCrae Dowless] for an absentee-ballot outreach program. Dowless's effort, as The Washington Post has reported, included hiring people out of an office in Bladen County to encourage voters to request absentee ballots and then allegedly collecting those ballots from voters. Dowless staffers appear to have frequently signed as witnesses to the voters' vote choices and then submitted the ballots to the state.

According to campaign finance records and data from the Federal Election Commission and the state of North Carolina, Dowless has worked on at least five campaigns since 2010 in which his candidates earned much more of the vote in Bladen County than the candidates earned elsewhere. In three races, the candidate earned less support in Bladen than outside the county.
That voter fraud that Republicans have been looking for all these years? Oh it's right in their party. Quelle surprise.

Addy Baird at ThinkProgress: All the Ways Republicans Are Working to Undermine Voters, from Wisconsin to Pennsylvania to Utah. "Republicans across the country are undermining voters, with lame duck legislatures aiming to strip power from incoming Democratic governors, threatening not to seat a state senator-elect in Pennsylvania, and refusing to implement a ballot initiative in Utah. ...A little further east, in Pennsylvania, state Sen.-elect Lindsey Williams (D) was required to provide copies of her driver's licenses, employment history, tax information, and home purchase or rental agreements, among any other documents she thinks are relevant, as Republicans claim she's lying about meeting residency requirements. Williams was given just one week, as the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette recently reported, to produce the paperwork, and Republicans are threatening not to seat her, despite the fact that she repeatedly has said that she has lived in the state for at least four years, a requirement for state senators outlined in the state constitution. Just weeks before the election, Republicans unsuccessfully tried to get her removed from the ballot."

Matt Shuham at TPM: Baldwin: Wisconsin GOP Legislators Are 'Disrespecting the Voters' with Power Grab. "Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) on Thursday excoriated Republican state lawmakers in Wisconsin for their last-minute power grab after a Democrat was elected governor. 'I do believe that the legislature is overreaching and really just disrespecting the voters of my state,' the senator said. She added later, referring to House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI), who is retiring from that chamber soon: 'I hope that Speaker Ryan is still as invested as he ever was in the success of Wisconsin, so I think he absolutely should speak up about this.'" Oh, I'm pretty sure that Paul Ryan is exactly as invested as he ever was in the success of Wisconsin, lolsob.

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[Content Note: Nativism; child abuse] Colleen Long at the AP: 81 Migrant Children Separated from Families Since June. "The Trump administration separated 81 migrant children from their families at the U.S.-Mexico border since the June executive order that stopped the general practice amid a crackdown on illegal crossings, according to data provided by the government to The Associated Press. Despite the order and a federal judge's later ruling, immigration officials are allowed to separate a child from a parent in certain cases — serious criminal charges against a parent, concerns over the health and welfare of a child, or medical concerns. ...The government decides whether a child fits into the areas of concern, worrying advocates of the families and immigrant rights groups that are afraid parents are being falsely labeled as criminals."

[Related Reading: "Wilder, I wish you well."]

[CN: Sexual assault and harassment] Azeen Ghorayshi at BuzzFeed: Nobody Believed Neil deGrasse Tyson's First Accuser; Now There Are Three More. "With three women now making allegations on the record, the Patheos article spread far and wide, prompting Fox Broadcasting Company, which produces [Cosmos], and National Geographic, which airs it, to announce an official investigation. ...Now a fourth woman has told BuzzFeed News her experience of sexual harassment from Tyson. In January 2010, she recalled, she joined her then-boyfriend at a holiday party for employees of the American Museum of Natural History. Tyson, its most famous employee, drunkenly approached her, she said, making sexual jokes and propositioning her to join him alone in his office. ...Over the course of nearly three years, BuzzFeed News has spoken with more than 30 people for this story, including the alleged victims and their families, Cosmos crew members, and graduate students and professors who were at UT Austin 30 years ago."

[CN: Anti-choicery]

[CN: LGBTQ hatred] Staff at Towleroad: The Justice Dept's New Spokesperson Came Directly from a Leading Anti-LGBTQ Hate Group. "Kerri Kupec, new top spokesperson for the U.S. Department of Justice, came directly from anti-LGBTQ hate group Alliance Defending Freedom. Kupec was just hired as director of the DOJ's Office of Public Affairs. At ADF, she was responsible for East Coast and Supreme Court media operations. According to the Daily Beast, 'she also spent time at the White House helping with Justice Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation to the Supreme Court.'" JFC.

[CN: Carcerality] Myaisha Hayes at Colorlines: #NoMoreShackles: Why Electronic Monitoring Devices Are Another Form of Prison. "At this time, there are 5 million people under some version of correctional control — usually within the form of probation or parole. This expansion of parole in particular is ushering in a new wave of technological incarceration with a heavy reliance on electronic monitors. Electronic monitors are hardly a new invention and have been in use for at least the past 30 years. However, their usage has increased by 140 percent in the last decade. Our research shows that four large private corporations control a majority of the contracts for electronic monitoring for people on parole across the country. They make at least $200 million a year just from these contracts, and the market continues to grow."

[CN: Climate change] Staff at Yale Environment 360: Greenland Ice Sheet Melting at Fastest Rate in 350 Years. "The Greenland ice sheet is melting faster today than at any point in the last 350 years, according to a new study published in the journal Nature. The research is the first continuous, multi-century analysis of melting and runoff on the ice sheet, one of the largest drivers of sea level rise globally. ...'From a historical perspective, today's melt rates are off the charts,' Sarah Das, a glaciologist at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and co-author of the new study, said in a statement. 'We found a 50 percent increase in total ice sheet meltwater runoff versus the start of the industrial era, and a 30 percent increase since the 20th century alone.'"

[CN: Animal harm]

Joseph Morton at the Omaha World-Herald: Trade Conflicts Have Cost Nebraska Economy More Than $1 Billion, Farm Bureau Says.
Nebraska farmers have lost upward of a billion dollars in revenue from ongoing trade conflicts, according to a new report issued Monday by the Nebraska Farm Bureau.

The hit to agriculture from the ongoing tariff wars has been clear for some time, but the new report uses some eye-popping numbers to illustrate the pain.

"Retaliatory tariffs make our U.S. products more expensive for international customers, meaning they buy less or buy from someplace else," Nebraska Farm Bureau President Steve Nelson said in a press release. "This report provides a clear picture of how much we've lost due to those tariffs and the need to improve our trade relations."

[Donald] Trump continues to tout the tariffs imposed, saying, in particular, that they have benefited American steel interests and rejecting the suggestion that they have contributed to problems for U.S. automakers.

..."To put a $1.2 billion loss into perspective, every person in the state of Nebraska would need to contribute $632 to cover that volume of lost dollars. That's a significant hit to our state's economy," [Jay Rempe, Nebraska Farm Bureau senior economist] said.

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

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