Daily Bread for 12.10.16 – 2017

Good morning.

Saturday in this small city will be sunny in the morning, with snowfall beginning in the afternoon, and a high of twenty-one. Sunrise is 7:15 AM and sunset 4:20 PM, for 9h 05m 16s of daytime. The moon is a waxing gibbous with 83.5% of its visible disk illuminated.

On this day in 1964, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. gave his acceptance speech for the Nobel Peace Prize. On this day in 1967, Otis Redding and four members of his band die when their twin-engine Beechcraft crashes into Lake Monona in Madison.

Worth reading in full —

Adam Entous, Ellen Nakashima and Greg Miller report that a Secret CIA assessment says Russia was trying to help Trump win White House: “The CIA has concluded in a secret assessment that Russia intervened in the 2016 election to help Donald Trump win the presidency, rather than just to undermine confidence in the U.S. electoral system, according to officials briefed on the matter. Intelligence agencies have identified individuals with connections to the Russian government who provided WikiLeaks with thousands of hacked emails from the Democratic National Committee and others, including Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman, according to U.S. officials. Those officials described the individuals as actors known to the intelligence community and part of a wider Russian operation to boost Trump and hurt Clinton’s chances. “It is the assessment of the intelligence community that Russia’s goal here was to favor one candidate over the other, to help Trump get elected,” said a senior U.S. official briefed on an intelligence presentation made to U.S. senators. “That’s the consensus view.”

Matthew DeFour writes that Paul Ryan says he and Donald Trump don’t talk about areas of disagreement: “U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan said Friday he and President-elect Donald Trump have been so focused on discussing the policy agenda items they agree on, they haven’t discussed areas of disagreement. “All our conversations revolve around getting the big things done,” Ryan said during an interview with Fox News host Sean Hannity. “We don’t really talk about what we disagree on.”

Norman Ohler has a new book [to be published in America in April] that contends the leaders of the Third Reich were Blitzed: Drugs in Nazi Germany: “Mr. Ohler fell back on his interest in sleuthing during the five years it took to research and write “Blitzed.” Through interviews and documents that hadn’t been carefully studied before, he unearthed new details about how soldiers of the Wehrmacht were regularly supplied with methamphetamine of a quality that would give Walter White, of “Breaking Bad,” pangs of envy. Millions of doses, packaged as pills, were gobbled up in battles throughout the war, part of an officially sanctioned factory-to-front campaign against fatigue. As surely as hangover follows high, this pharmacological stratagem worked for a while — it was crucial to the turbocharged 1940 invasion and defeat of France — and then did not, most notably when the Nazis were mired in the Soviet Union. But the most vivid portrait of abuse and withdrawal in “Blitzed” is that of Hitler, who for years was regularly injected by his personal physician with powerful opiates, like Eukodal, a brand of oxycodone once praised by William S. Burroughs as “truly awful.” For a few undoubtedly euphoric months, Hitler was also getting swabs of high-grade cocaine, a sedation and stimulation combo that Mr. Ohler likens to a “classic speedball.”

Harriet Sherwodd writes that Pope Francis compares fake news consumption to eating faeces: “Pope Francis has lambasted media organisations that focus on scandals and smears and promote fake news as a means of discrediting people in public life. Spreading disinformation was “probably the greatest damage that the media can do”, the pontiff told the Belgian Catholic weekly Tertio. It is a sin to defame people, he added. Using striking terminology, Francis said journalists and the media must avoid falling into “coprophilia” – an abnormal interest in excrement. Those reading or watching such stories risked behaving like coprophagics, people who eat faeces, he added. The pope excused himself for using terminology that some might find repellent. “I think the media have to be very clear, very transparent, and not fall into – no offence intended – the sickness of coprophilia, that is, always wanting to cover scandals, covering nasty things, even if they are true,” he said. “And since people have a tendency towards the sickness of coprophagia, a lot of damage can be done.”

Gabon, and an elephant, are striking by air —

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