Daily Bread for 3.21.17 – 2017

Good morning.

Tuesday in Whitewater will be partly cloudy with a high of forty-six. Sunrise is 6:54 AM and sunset 7:09 PM, for 12h 15m 13s of daytime. The moon is a waning crescent with 42.3% of its visible disk illuminated. Today is the one hundred thirty-third-third day.Days since Trump’s election, with 11.9.16 as the first day.

Whitewater’s Common Council meets tonight at 6:30 PM.

On this day in 1965, the third of three civil rights marches begins “[p]rotected by 1,900 members of the Alabama National Guard under federal command, and many FBI agents and Federal Marshals, the marchers averaged 10 miles (16 km) a day along U.S. Route 80, known in Alabama as the “Jefferson Davis Highway“. The marchers arrived in Montgomery on March 24 and at the Alabama State Capitol on March 25.[11] With thousands having joined the campaign, 25,000 people entered the capital city that day in support of voting rights. The route is memorialized as the “Selma To Montgomery Voting Rights Trail,” and is designated as a U.S. National Historic Trail.” On this day in 1865, the 21st, 22nd and 25th Wisconsin Infantry regiments take part as three Union armies totaling 100,000 men capture the city of Goldsborough, North Carolina and its railroad facilities.

Recommended for reading in full — 

Benjamin Wittes explains How to Read What Comey Said Today [3.20.17]: “First off, the scope of the investigation explicitly includes not merely the Russian government’s hacking and attempts to interfere in the U.S. election. It also includes both “the nature of any links between individuals associated with the Trump campaign and the Russian government” and “whether there was any coordination between the campaign and Russia’s efforts.” These are framed as active investigative questions, not—as White House and Republican officials have repeatedly suggested in recent weeks—matters of investigative conclusion. Comey offered the White House no solace of any time of time frame for resolution. Indeed, he announced that there was no time frame. Second, Comey specifically included the fact that the investigation “will also include an assessment of whether any crimes were committed.” This is an interesting point for him to include, and it may (or may not) be a signal.”

Peter Stone and Greg Gordon report that FBI’s Russian-influence probe includes a look at far-right news sites: “Federal investigators are examining whether far-right news sites played any role last year in a Russian cyber operation that dramatically widened the reach of news stories — some fictional — that favored Donald Trump’s presidential bid, two people familiar with the inquiry say. Operatives for Russia appear to have strategically timed the computer commands, known as “bots,” to blitz social media with links to the pro-Trump stories at times when the billionaire businessman was on the defensive in his race against Democrat Hillary Clinton, these sources said. The bots’ end products were largely millions of Twitter and Facebook posts carrying links to stories on conservative internet sites such as Breitbart News and InfoWars, as well as on the Kremlin-backed RT News and Sputnik News, the sources said. Some of the stories were false or mixed fact and fiction, said the sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the bot attacks are part of an FBI-led investigation into a multifaceted Russian operation to influence last year’s elections. Investigators examining the bot attacks are exploring whether the far-right news operations took any actions to assist Russia’s operatives. Their participation, however, wasn’t necessary for the bots to amplify their news through Twitter and Facebook.”

Richard Cohen writes that Bannon’s origin story doesn’t add up: “It is a story oft-repeated and, at first, quite moving. It is the story of Marty Bannon, father of the White House chief strategist, Stephen K. Bannon, and how he lost much of his nest egg when the financial system cratered in 2008. He had worked for AT&T for 50?years, buying the stock when it was as safe as gold (only gold paid no dividend) and was now watching it go south at such an alarming rate that he decided to sell it. In a flash, the system turned on Marty and a lifetime of savings was gone. For his son Steve, it was an unforgettable lesson. It made him the revolutionary he is today….I have heard too many people in business and finance complain about excessive regulation not to think there is something of a problem there. Maybe Dodd-Frank is too burdensome. Maybe class-action suits need to be limited. Maybe Obamacare really was a fiasco. Maybe. Maybe. Maybe. But Bannon’s “administrative state” boogeyman is not what flattened his father’s nest egg. It was not excessive regulation that fleeced his father or, for that matter, changed AT&T from Ma Bell into just another business behemoth. Go home, Steve. You need to think.”

David Leonhardt ponders All the President’s Lies: “The ninth week of Donald Trump’s presidency began with the F.B.I. director calling him a liar. The director, the very complicated James Comey, didn’t use the L-word in his congressional testimony Monday. Comey serves at the pleasure of the president, after all. But his meaning was clear as could be. Trump has repeatedly accused Barack Obama of wiretapping his phones, and Comey explained there is “no information that supports” the claim. I’ve previously argued that not every untruth deserves to be branded with the L-word, because it implies intent and somebody can state an untruth without doing so knowingly. George W. Bush didn’t lie when he said Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, and Obama didn’t lie when he said people who liked their current health insurance could keep it. They made careless statements that proved false (and they deserved much of the criticism they got). But the current president of the United States lies. He lies in ways that no American politician ever has before. He has lied about — among many other things — Obama’s birthplace, John F. Kennedy’s assassination, Sept. 11, the Iraq War, ISIS, NATO, military veterans, Mexican immigrants, Muslim immigrants, anti-Semitic attacks, the unemployment rate, the murder rate, the Electoral College, voter fraud and his groping of women. He tells so many untruths that it’s time to leave behind the textual parsing over which are unwitting and which are deliberate — as well as the condescending notion that most of Trump’s supporters enjoy his lies.”

How would humans size up compared to dinosaurs? Like this —

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