Daily Bread for 1.7.17

Good morning.

Whitewater’s Saturday will be sunny with a high of thirteen degrees. Sunrise is 7:24 AM and sunset 4:38 PM, for 9h 13m 24s. The moon is a waxing gibbous with 69.9% of its visible disk illuminated. Today is the sixtieth day. Today is the sixtieth day.Days since Trump’s election, with 11.9.16 as the first day.

On this day in 1953, Pres. Truman announced that America had (the previous year) successfully tested a hydrogen bomb. On this day in 1901, Robert Marion La Follette is inaugurated as governor of Wisconsin.

Recommended for reading in full — 

Greg Miller and Adam Entous report Declassified report says Putin ‘ordered’ effort to undermine faith in U.S. election and help Trump: “Russia carried out a comprehensive cyber campaign to sabotage the U.S. presidential election, an operation that was ordered by Russian President Vladi­mir Putin and ultimately sought to help elect Donald Trump, U.S. intelligence agencies concluded in a remarkably blunt assessment released Friday. The report depicts Russian interference as unprecedented in scale, saying that Moscow’s role represented “a significant escalation in directness, level of activity, and scope of effort” beyond previous election-related espionage. The campaign initially sought to undermine public faith in the U.S. democratic process, “denigrate” Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and damage her expected presidency. But in time, Russia “developed a clear preference for President-elect Trump” and repeatedly sought to artificially boost his election chances. The report released to the public is an abbreviated version of a highly classified multiagency assessment requested by President Obama. Even so, it amounts to an extraordinary postmortem of a Russian assault on a pillar of American democracy. The 14-page document made public also serves as an explicit rebuttal to Trump’s repeated assertions that U.S. spy agencies cannot determine who was responsible for a hacking operation that extracted thousands of emails from Democratic Party computer networks and dumped them into public view via the WikiLeaks website.”

Jim Higgins writes that Ayad Akhtar’s ‘Disgraced’ pushes hot buttons: “In “Disgraced,” hard-charging New York attorney Amir appears to have a good life: He lives in a gorgeous New York residence with Emily, his beautiful artist spouse, and is on the verge of making partner in his firm. But a dinner party with another couple — one of his colleagues and her husband, Emily’s art dealer — erupts into an argument with explosive consequences. In Akhtar’s tragedy, Amir, who has obscured his background, will suffer both for hiding his Muslim roots and reluctantly helping an imam in trouble. “Disgraced” was the most-produced play in the United States during the 2015-’16 season (excluding Shakespeare and versions of “A Christmas Carol”), according to American Theatre magazine. That popularity continues: it’s tied for second-most productions in 2016-’17, American Theatre reports.”

Ronald Brownsten explains Why the European Right-Wing Loves Putin: “But the conservative-populist nationalists in both the United States and Europe view Putin as a potential ally because they are focused on a sharply contrasting set of international priorities: resisting Islamic radicalization, unwinding global economic integration, and fighting the secularization of Western societies. Top Trump advisers like incoming White House chief strategist Stephen Bannon and National Security Adviser Michael Flynn have expressed strikingly similar views….“It’s certainly not that they follow him the way Communist parties used to follow the Soviet Union. That’s a misrepresentation,” said Cas Mudde, a University of Georgia associate professor of international affairs who studies these movements. “But … they do like his strength, what they perceive as defense for strong traditional values, nationalism, and opposition to Islam.”

David Leonhardt considers Lies, Journalism and Objectivity: “The reality is, media organizations sometimes have to decide between the risk oflooking like they’re not being objective and the risk that they’re actually not being objective. (Hat tip to Adam Serwer of The Atlantic, who made this point on Twitter.) Each of the following factual statements, to pick a few disparate examples, runs the risk of appearing subjective to large numbers of readers:

Capitalism has worked better than any other economic system.
Tax cuts generally fail to pay for themselves and cause the budget deficit to increase.
Human actions are warming and damaging the planet.

There is no escaping this tension at times. News organizations have to decide whether they place a higher priority on seeming subjective to some readers or on stating the facts.” [Leonhardt’s essay is in response to Wall Street Journal editor Gerard Baker’s view that newspapers should largely avoid using the word “lie.”]

One good way to prepare for life in space is by living in a cave —