Daily Bread for 10.11.17

Good morning.

Midweek in Whitewater will be cloudy with a high of sixty-two. Sunrise is 7:04 AM and sunset 6:17 PM, for 11h 12m 56s of daytime. The moon is a waning gibbous with 60.5% of its visible disk illuminated. Today is the three hundred thirty-sixth day.Days since Trump’s election, with 11.9.16 as the first day.

On this day in 1942, the Battle of Cape Esperance begins (concluding with an American victory the next day): “The naval battle was the second of four major surface engagements during the Guadalcanal campaign and took place at the entrance to the strait between Savo Island and Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands. Cape Esperance (9°15’S 159°42’E) is the northernmost point on Guadalcanal, and the battle took its name from this point.”

Recommended for reading in full —

Patrick Marley reports Internal affairs: Gov. Scott Walker’s team shut unit down for exposing Lincoln Hills problems:

MADISON – The leaders of a Department of Corrections internal affairs unit that was recently shut down by Gov. Scott Walker’s administration said changes were ordered because they had done too good a job at exposing problems at the state’s juvenile prison.

A Department of Corrections spokesman discounted that contention, saying the decision to close the unit was unrelated to the wide-ranging internal investigation into Lincoln Hills School for Boys and Copper Lake School for Girls.

The department’s Office of Special Operations in 2014 launched a review of those two juvenile prisons, which share a campus 30 miles north of Wausau. It uncovered extensive problems that grew into a criminal investigation that has been ongoing for nearly three years.

Walker’s administration shut down the Office of Special Operations in June, contending doing so would allow it to concentrate its resources on investigating and preventing sexual assault behind bars….

Steve Wierenga, the head of the office, and Cheryl Frey, the special investigations chief, said they believe “they have done ‘too good a job’ … and are now being pulled from employee investigations because they ‘found out too much’ at (Lincoln Hills) and ‘made the DOC look bad’ ”….

Ellen Nakashima reports Israel hacked Kaspersky, then tipped the NSA that its tools had been breached:

In 2015, Israeli government hackers saw something suspicious in the computers of a Moscow-based cybersecurity firm: hacking tools that could only have come from the National Security Agency.

Israel notified the NSA, where alarmed officials immediately began a hunt for the breach, according to people familiar with the matter, who said an investigation by the agency revealed that the tools were in the possession of the Russian government.

Israeli spies had found the hacking material on the network of Kaspersky Lab, the global anti-virus firm under a spotlight in the United States because of suspicions that its products facilitate Russian espionage.

Last month, the Department of Homeland Security instructed federal civilian agencies to identify Kaspersky Lab software on their networks and remove it on the grounds that “the risk that the Russian government, whether acting on its own or in collaboration with Kaspersky, could capitalize on access provided by Kaspersky products to compromise federal information and information systems directly implicates U.S. national security.” The directive followed a decision by the General Services Administration to remove Kaspersky from its list of approved vendors. And lawmakers on Capitol Hill are considering a governmentwide ban….

Courtney Kube, Kristen Welker, Carol E. Lee and Savannah Guthrie report Trump Wanted Tenfold Increase in Nuclear Arsenal, Surprising Military:

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump said he wanted what amounted to a nearly tenfold increase in the U.S. nuclear arsenal during a gathering this past summer of the nation’s highest ranking national security leaders, according to three officials who were in the room.

Trump’s comments, the officials said, came in response to a briefing slide he was shown that charted the steady reduction of U.S. nuclear weapons since the late 1960s. Trump indicated he wanted a bigger stockpile, not the bottom position on that downward-sloping curve.

According to the officials present, Trump’s advisers, among them the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, were surprised. Officials briefly explained the legal and practical impediments to a nuclear buildup and how the current military posture is stronger than it was at the height of the build-up. In interviews, they told NBC News that no such expansion is planned….

(Trump is so ignorant that he cannot see an increase of this kind would be limited by existing treaties, and that in any event our current force is more advanced and capable than any on Earth.)

David A. Graham asks Are Trump’s Feuds With Tillerson and Corker a Prelude to War?:

….Trump keeps telegraphing a desire to start a war with North Korea. Having first drawn blood with his missile-strike on Syria, and been pleased with the reaction from the public and press, Trump seems to want more. Although the official U.S. position, as outlined by other officials, is that all options are on the table, the president keeps suggesting that really only one is on the table. Why else would he so publicly slam the door shut on Tillerson’s open channel to Pyongyang? What else might he mean when he promised that the U.S. will “do what has to be done”?

There are other indications, too. In August, after a North Korean missile test, he said, “They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen. He has been very threatening beyond a normal statement, and as I said they will be met with fire, fury, and frankly power, the likes of which this world has never seen before.” (Aides said the language was improvised, and could not explain what he meant by it.)

In mid-September, at the United Nations General Assembly, Trump said that if Pyongyang’s aggression continued, the U.S. “will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea,” also saying, “The United States is ready, willing and able, but hopefully this will not be necessary”….

The new Star Wars: The Last Jedi trailer is available: