Daily Bread for 3.24.17 – 2017

Good morning.

Friday in Whitewater will be warm, with a high of seventy, and an even chance of afternoon thunder showers. Sunrise is 6:48 AM and sunset 7:12 PM, for 12h 23m 59s of daytime. The moon is a waning crescent with 15.7% of its visible disk illuminated.Today is the one hundred thirty-sixth day.Days since Trump’s election, with 11.9.16 as the first day.

On this day in 1989, the oil tanker Exxon Valdez strikes Prince William Sound’s Bligh Reef at and spills 10.8 million US gallons of crude oil over the next few days. On this day in 1874, legendary magician Harry Houdini (who claimed to be born in Appleton and actually lived there for a bit) is born in Budapest.

Recommended for reading in full — 

Andrew Roth and Natalie Gryvnyak report that Days before his death, Putin critic said in interview he knew he was in danger: “ In the plush, crimson-decked lobby bar of Kiev’s five-star Premier Palace Hotel, Denis Voronenkov, a Russian lawmaker who had defected to Ukraine, knew he was in danger. “For our personal safety, we can’t let them know where we are,” he said Monday evening as he sat with his wife for an interview with The Washington Post. Less than 72 hours later, he was dead, shot twice in the head in broad daylight outside the same lobby bar. It was a particularly brazen assassination that recalled the post-Soviet gangland violence of the 1990s. His wife, dressed in black, sobbed as she stooped down to identify Voronenkov’s body, which lay beneath a black tarp in a pool of blood. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, just hours later, called the attack an “act of state terrorism by Russia.” As of Thursday evening, police had not identified the assailant, who died in police custody after being shot by Voronenkov’s bodyguard. Dmitry Peskov, a spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin, called the accusation a “fabrication.” In the weeks before his death, Voronenkov, a former member of Russia’s pliant Communist Party, had told friends he was being targeted. Hackers had been trying to pry into his Twitter account and his wife’s email. He had received threatening text messages, and the police had recently assigned him a bodyguard. There were rumors he was under surveillance.”

James B. Stewart observes that Pages From Trump’s Tax Returns Raise a Decade’s Worth of Questions: “But scratch the surface, and a far more complicated and troubling picture emerges. On the line for “other income,” the Trumps reported negative $103 million. Tax experts told me that is almost certainly what was left of the $916 million loss reported on the 1995 returns reported by The Times, an amount that could be carried over and used to offset income in future years.  “That’s my assumption,” said Leonard C. Green, a certified public accountant who is president of the Green Group, a tax and accounting advisory firm, and author of “The Entrepreneur’s Playbook.” That means that in the years between 1996 and 2005, Mr. Trump was able to use the enormous loss to offset $813 million in income. It’s possible, though unlikely, that some of those tax-loss carry-forwards, as they’re known, expired unused. In 1995 they could be used for up to 18 years, which means any of the losses incurred before 1987 would have expired by 2005. But there’s no evidence Mr. Trump had losses of anywhere near that magnitude that early in his career. Most of the losses are presumed to date from the problems his casino operations ran into in the early 1990s.”

Mark Sommerhauser reports concerning Wisconsin’s Fiscal bureau: Scott Walker’s budget leaves $1.1 billion hole starting in 2019: “Gov. Scott Walker’s proposal for the state’s next budget creates a larger structural deficit than previously thought, nearly $1.1 billion, in the ensuing budget cycle beginning in 2019, the state’s nonpartisan fiscal office said Thursday. The Legislative Fiscal Bureau released the findings in a memo made public late Thursday. It shows Walker’s plan for the 2017-19 budget, which back-loads spending and tax cuts into its second fiscal year, leaves a structural deficit of $1.1 billion that lawmakers would have to erase in crafting the 2019-21 budget. A previous estimate from Walker’s office pegged the number at about $740 million. The structural deficit figure compares projected revenue to expenditures if Walker’s plan were enacted this year as-is, and if no changes were made to its revenue or spending levels in the following budget in 2019. Both are unlikely to happen, but the figure gives policymakers “an indication of the beginning point for the budget of the succeeding biennium” under Walker’s plan, according to the memo.”

Michael D. Shear explains What Trump’s Time [Magazine] Interview Shows About His Thinking: “Just Quoting. ‘Why do you say that I have to apologize? I’m just quoting the newspaper, just like I quoted the judge the other day, Judge Napolitano. I quoted Judge Napolitano, just like I quoted Bret Baier. I mean Bret Baier mentioned the word wiretap. Now he can now deny it, or whatever he is doing, you know. But I watched Bret Baier, and he used that term. I have a lot of respect for Judge Napolitano, and he said that three sources have told him things that would make me right. I don’t know where he has gone with it since then. But I’m quoting highly respected people from highly respected television networks.’President Trump Among Mr. Trump’s more bizarre assertions in recent days — and repeated in the Time interview — is the idea that he should not be held accountable for merely quoting someone who makes a controversial, even unproven, claim or allegation.”

Sometimes there are alligators in the sewer:

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