Daily Bread for 3.7.17

Good morning.

Tuesday in Whitewater will be windy with a one-third chance of isolated thunderstorms, on a day with a high of fifty-one. Sunrise is 6:18 AM and sunset 5:52 PM, for 11h 34m 24s of daytime. The moon is a waxing gibbous with 61% of its visible disk illuminated. Today is the one hundred nineteenth day.Days since Trump’s election, with 11.9.16 as the first day.

On this day in 1876, Alexander Graham Bell receives a patent for the telephone. On this day in 1811, Wisconsin naturalist Increase Allen Lapham is born.

Recommended for reading in full —

Julian Sanchez considers the discussion of surveillance in Tapping Trump: “Taking all these claims with the appropriate sodium chloride seasoning, what can we infer?  First, contrary to what many on social media—and even a few reporters for reputable outlets—have asserted, the issuance of a FISA order does not imply that the FBI established probable cause to believe that any Trump associate was acting as an “agent of a foreign power” or engaged in criminal wrongdoing.  That would be necessary only if the court had authorized direct electronic surveillance of a United States person, which (if we credit the BBC report) the FISC apparently declined to do.  Assuming the initial applications were indeed for full-blown electronic surveillance orders, then the fact that the FBI supposedly did name the Trump associates at first would suggest they may have thought they had such evidence, but one would expect the FISC to apply particularly exacting scrutiny to an application naming persons associated with an ongoing presidential campaign.  An application targeting only foreign corporate entities—especially entities openly controlled or directed by the Russian government—would require no such showing, even if the FBI’s ultimate interest were in communications concerning those U.S. persons.”

Max Boot contends that Trump Knows the Feds Are Closing In On Him: “But why would Sessions’ recusal make Trump so unhinged? The president must have felt relatively confident that the “Kremlingate” probe would go nowhere as long as it was in the hands of Trump partisans such as Sessions, Rep. Devin Nunes of the House Intelligence Committee, and Sen. Richard Burr of the Senate Intelligence Committee. But with Sessions out of the picture, the way is now clear for the deputy attorney general — either the current placeholder, career Justice Department attorney Dana Boente, or Trump’s nominee to replace him, Rod Rosenstein, another career government lawyer — to appoint a special counsel because of the “extraordinary circumstances” surrounding this case.”

Michael Birnbaum reports that Ahead of pivotal European elections, rightist websites grow in influence: “On the brand-new political news website, the headlines could have been ripped from a speech by President Trump: Immigrants commit more crime, Syrian refugees are raping girls, and Muslim education is taking over the school system. But the two-month-old Gatestone Europe website is based in the Netherlands; the contributors are Dutch. And their aim, their editor says, is to swing the debate ahead of European elections this year to deliver a tide of anti-immigrant leaders to office in the Netherlands, France, Germany and elsewhere. Websites that focus on the perils of open borders, immigration and international alliances are expanding in scope and ambition in Europe, seeing a once-in-a-generation opportunity to harness the energy from Trump’s win to drive deep into a continent where traditional political parties are struggling. Some of the websites are registered in Russia. Others, like Gatestone Europe, are being supported by Americans with ties to Trump.”

Annysa Johnson reports that, statewide, Wisconsin school districts’ debt soars after $1.35 billion in new borrowing: “New and remodeled school buildings, performance centers and swimming pools. Upgrades for technology, security and energy efficiency. And just plain old general maintenance  — new roofs and boilers — work that has been delayed by years of razor-thin budgets. Public school districts in Wisconsin are in the midst of a building boom, financed by a surge in new debt not seen since the 1990s, a new analysis by the Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance has found. According to the report, voters in districts across the state approved through referendums borrowing $1.35 billion last year, 10 times more than in 2011 and the most since the alliance began keeping records in 1993. The previous high, adjusted for inflation, was $1.04 billion in 1996. In per-pupil terms, the report says, borrowing has more than tripled from $2,313 in 2010 to $9,733 last year. And it shows no signs of abating. This spring, 23 districts have asked or will ask voters to approve nearly $708 million in new debt.”

Right now, NASA’s Juno spacecraft is orbiting Jupiter. It’s the second spacecraft in history to do so, and its orbit is taking it over Jupiter’s north and south pole. During its latest pass over Jupiter’s south pole, Juno snapped a series of images that reveal Jupiter like never before. Most notably, you can see over a dozen giant, white storms called anticyclones, swirling across the region.