Monday in Whitewater will partly cloudy a high of forty-four. Sunrise is 7:14 AM and sunset 6:08 PM, for 10h 49m 48s of daytime. The moon is a waxing crescent with 10.3% of its visible disk illuminated.
Whitewater’s Library Board meets via audiovisual conferencing at 6:30 PM.
On this day in 1781, America and France are victorious at the Battle of Yorktown.
Recommended for reading in full —
Heather Long, Andrew Van Dam, Alyssa Fowers, and Leslie Shapiro report The covid-19 recession is the most unequal in modern U.S. history:
The economic collapse sparked by the pandemic is triggering the most unequal recession in modern U.S. history, delivering a mild setback for those at or near the top and a depression-like blow for those at the bottom, according to a Washington Post analysis of job losses across the income spectrum.
Recessions often hit poorer households harder, but this one is doing so at a scale that is the worst in generations, the analysis shows.
While the nation overall has regained nearly half of the lost jobs, several key demographic groups have recovered more slowly, including mothers of school-age children, Black men, Black women, Hispanic men, Asian Americans, younger Americans (ages 25 to 34) and people without college degrees.
The recession’s inequality is a reflection of the coronavirus itself, which has caused more deaths in low-income communities and severely affected jobs in restaurants, hotels and entertainment venues as Americans try to avoid crowded places to protect their own health and slow the spread of the virus. Jobs in these places typically pay, on average, $17 an hour and were overwhelmingly held by women and people of color.
No other recession in modern history has so pummeled society’s most vulnerable. The Great Recession of 2008 and 2009 caused similar job losses across the income spectrum, as Wall Street bankers and other white-collar workers were handed pink slips alongside factory and restaurant workers. The 2001 recession was more unequal than the Great Recession: After the 9/11 terrorist attacks, travel and tourism jobs vanished and low-wage employment fell 7 percent below the previous year’s level, while high earners remained largely unscathed. Yet, even that inequality is a blip compared with what the coronavirus inflicted on low-wage workers this year.
Megan Garber writes How Fox News Became a Language:
The leader and the news network speak, and enforce, the same language. Trump regularly lifts his tweets directly from Fox’s banners and banter. Last year, Media Matters for America’s Matt Gertz counted the times the president tweeted something in direct response to a Fox News or Fox Business program. Gertz found 657 such instances—in 2019 alone. Fox hosts and producers use that power to manipulate the president. “People think he’s calling up Fox & Friends and telling us what to say,” a former producer on the show tells Stelter. “Hell no. It’s the opposite. We tell him what to say.”
But the manipulation flows in both directions. At Fox, Stelter reports, executives live in fear of angering the opinion hosts, who in turn live in fear of angering viewers—who of course have been made angrier by the hosts themselves. A former producer tells Stelter: “We were deathly afraid of our audience leaving, deathly afraid of pissing them off.” Stelter’s sources describe “a TV network that has gone off the rails,” he writes. “Some even said the place that they worked, that they cashed paychecks from, had become dangerous to democracy.” A well-known commentator on the network tells Stelter: “They are lying about things we are seeing with our own eyes.”
Sunday in Whitewater will be rainy with a high of fifty-five. Sunrise is 7:13 AM and sunset 6:05 PM, for 10h 52m 33s of daytime. The moon is a waxing crescent with 4.4% of its visible disk illuminated.
On this day in 1851, Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick is first published as The Whale by Richard Bentley of London.
Recommended for reading in full —
The New York Times editorial board writes End Our National Crisis (‘The Case Against Donald Trump’):
Donald Trump’s re-election campaign poses the greatest threat to American democracy since World War II.
Mr. Trump’s ruinous tenure already has gravely damaged the United States at home and around the world. He has abused the power of his office and denied the legitimacy of his political opponents, shattering the norms that have bound the nation together for generations. He has subsumed the public interest to the profitability of his business and political interests. He has shown a breathtaking disregard for the lives and liberties of Americans. He is a man unworthy of the office he holds.
The editorial board does not lightly indict a duly elected president. During Mr. Trump’s term, we have called out his racism and his xenophobia. We have critiqued his vandalism of the postwar consensus, a system of alliances and relationships around the globe that cost a great many lives to establish and maintain. We have, again and again, deplored his divisive rhetoric and his malicious attacks on fellow Americans. Yet when the Senate refused to convict the president for obvious abuses of power and obstruction, we counseled his political opponents to focus their outrage on defeating him at the ballot box.
Nov. 3 can be a turning point. This is an election about the country’s future, and what path its citizens wish to choose.
The resilience of American democracy has been sorely tested by Mr. Trump’s first term. Four more years would be worse.
But even as Americans wait to vote in lines that stretch for blocks through their towns and cities, Mr. Trump is engaged in a full-throated assault on the integrity of that essential democratic process. Breaking with all of his modern predecessors, he has refused to commit to a peaceful transfer of power, suggesting that his victory is the only legitimate outcome, and that if he does not win, he is ready to contest the judgment of the American people in the courts or even on the streets.
The enormity and variety of Mr.Trump’s misdeeds can feel overwhelming. Repetition has dulled the sense of outrage, and the accumulation of new outrages leaves little time to dwell on the particulars. This is the moment when Americans must recover that sense of outrage.
It is the purpose of this special section of the Sunday Review to remind readers why Mr. Trump is unfit to lead the nation. It includes a series of essays focused on the Trump administration’s rampant corruption, celebrations of violence, gross negligence with the public’s health and incompetent statecraft. A selection of iconic images highlights the president’s record on issues like climate, immigration, women’s rights and race.
The urgency of these essays speaks for itself. The repudiation of Mr. Trump is the first step in repairing the damage he has done. But even as we write these words, Mr. Trump is salting the field — and even if he loses, reconstruction will require many years and tears.
Mr. Trump stands without any real rivals as the worst American president in modern history.
Saturday in Whitewater will be mostly cloudy with a high of sixty. Sunrise is 7:12 AM and sunset 6:07 PM, for 10h 55m 20s of daytime. The moon is a waxing crescent with 0.8% of its visible disk illuminated.
On this day in 1931, Al Capone is convicted of income tax evasion.
Recommended for reading in full —
Matt Wilstein reports Obama [and Reagan] Photographer Pete Souza Exposes Trump’s ‘Obviously’ Staged Pics (‘Pete Souza breaks down what working for Reagan and Obama taught him about Trump’s “disastrous” presidency’):
As soon as Pete Souza saw the photos of President Donald Trump “working” from Walter Reed hospital earlier this month, he knew something was off.
“They were obviously posed pictures,” Souza, who worked as chief White House photographer under both President Barack Obama and President Ronald Reagan, tells me by email a couple of weeks after our longer conversation below about his new documentary The Way I See It, which will premiere commercial-free on MSNBC this Friday night at 10 p.m. ET.
Aside from the seemingly blank sheet of paper Trump can be seen signing in one of the photos, released by the White House in an attempt to prove the president was hard at work, one intrepid reporter determined that another photo, in which Trump is wearing a different outfit, was taken just 10 minutes later.
Comparing them to photos he personally took of Reagan in the hospital after he was shot by a would-be assassin in 1981, Souza says, “The pictures I made of President Reagan in the hospital were authentic and unposed, unstaged photographs.”
Asked why Americans should be outraged about all of the obfuscation by the White House over the reality of Trump’s illness, Souza replies, “I’d pose that question to any of the 215,000 families that have lost a loved one from COVID.”
Dan Alexander reports Donald Trump Has At Least $1 Billion In Debt, More Than Twice The Amount He Suggested:
No aspect of Donald Trump’s business has been the subject of more speculation than his debt load. Lots of people believe the president owes $400 million, especially after Trump seemed to agree with that figure on national televisionThursday night. In reality, however, he owes more than $1 billion.
The loans are spread out over more than a dozen different assets—hotels, buildings, mansions and golf courses. Most are listed on the financial disclosure report Trump files annually with the federal government. Two, which add up to an estimated $447 million, are not.
One reason for all the confusion: Trump’s loans are not fully transparent. It’s still unclear to whom he owes an estimated $162 million against his skyscraper in San Francisco, for example. The loan against 1290 Avenue of the Americas is also something of a mystery. And it’s difficult to pin down the amount the president owes on a loan tied to his Bedford, New York, mansion. When asked about all of this, the Trump Organization did not respond.
FRONTLINE and NPR investigate the billions spent on affordable housing, and why so few get the help they need.
In a nine-month investigation that takes FRONTLINE and NPR from Dallas to Miami, NPR’s Laura Sullivan and FRONTLINE’s Rick Young find that just one in four households eligible for Section 8 assistance are getting it, and the nation’s signature low-income housing construction program is costing more and producing less. The team investigates the inseparability of race and housing programs in America, tracing a legacy of segregation and discrimination that began more than 80 years ago.
Anastasia Tsioulcas reports Man Escapes Cougar: ‘Dude, I Don’t Feel Like Dying Today’:
Twenty-six-year-old Kyle Burgess was on a 10-mile run on Saturday up Slate Canyon in Provo, Utah. He told the Deseret News that when he saw four cougar cubs on the trail, he took out his phone and started filming.
But when Burgess saw the young animals’ mother come along, he knew he was in trouble. For the next six minutes, he recorded their encounter.
The mother cougar followed him — hissing, growling and threatening — as Burgess backed away, keeping his eyes locked on her. Mostly, he alternated between yelling a stream of profanities at the mother mountain lion and calling the animal “dude.”
“Dude, you’re scary!” Burgess tells the animal at one point, adding: “You’re a (bleep) scary kitty cat.” A few minutes later, after she repeatedly lunges in Burgess’ direction, he says, “Come on, dude, I don’t feel like dying today.”
Burgess didn’t get close to the young, but his presence probably set mom off. “Mothers of any animal species become aggressive when protecting their young,” San Bernardino National Forest wildlife biologist Angelica Mendoza wrote in an email. “The lioness in the video was just trying to get the hiker (whom she considered a threat) as far away from her cubs as possible.”
The mountain lion immediately put herself between her young and Burgess and, early in the encounter, more than once looked back in the direction of the kittens because she was concerned about their safety, Riley said.
Beth Schaefer, director of animal programs at the L.A. Zoo, called the mountain lion’s actions typical “escorting behavior” aimed at scaring Burgess. The pounces and jumps the lion made when Burgess bent over to grab a rock, called mock or bluff charges, are something big cats don’t do when they’re going in for a kill.
Friday in Whitewater will be partly cloudy with a high of fifty-two. Sunrise is 7:11 AM and sunset 6:09 PM, for 10h 58m 07s of daytime. The moon is new with 0.2% of its visible disk illuminated.
On this day in 1780, the Great Hurricane of 1780 finishes after its sixth day, killing between 20,000 and 24,000 residents of the Lesser Antilles.
Recommended for reading in full —
James Bandler, Patricia Callahan, Sebastian Rotella, and Kirsten Berg report Inside the Fall of the CDC (‘How the world’s greatest public health organization was brought to its knees by a virus, the president and the capitulation of its own leaders, causing damage that could last much longer than the coronavirus’):
With more than 216,000 people dead this year, most Americans know the low points of the current chapter already. A vaunted agency that was once the global gold standard of public health has, with breathtaking speed, become a target of anger, scorn and even pity.
How could an agency that eradicated smallpox globally and wiped out polio in the United States have fallen so far?
ProPublica obtained hundreds of emails and other internal government documents and interviewed more than 30 CDC employees, contractors and Trump administration officials who witnessed or were involved in key moments of the crisis. Although news organizations around the world have chronicled the CDC’s stumbles in real time, ProPublica’s reporting affords the most comprehensive inside look at the escalating tensions, paranoia and pained discussions that unfolded behind the walls of CDC’s Atlanta headquarters. And it sheds new light on the botched COVID-19 tests, the unprecedented political interference in public health policy, and the capitulations of some of the world’s top public health leaders.
Senior CDC staff describe waging battles that are as much about protecting science from the White House as protecting the public from COVID-19. It is a war that they have, more often than not, lost.
Employees spoke openly about their “hill to die on” — the political interference that would prompt them to leave. Yet again and again, they surrendered and did as they were told. It wasn’t just worries over paying mortgages or forfeiting the prestige of the job. Many feared that if they left and spoke out, the White House would stop consulting the CDC at all, and would push through even more dangerous policies.
To some veteran scientists, this acquiescence was the real sign that the CDC had lost its way. One scientist swore repeatedly in an interview and said, “The cowardice and the caving are disgusting to me.”
Kari Paul reports Twitter suspends accounts for posing as Black Trump supporters:
Twitter has suspended a network of accounts claiming to be owned by Black supporters of Donald Trump and his re-election campaign due to spam and platform manipulation, it said Tuesday.
The company is investigating the activity and may suspend additional similar accounts if they are found to be violating its policies, a spokesperson said.
The Washington Post first reported on the investigation, citing more than a dozen accounts using identical, inauthentic language including the phrase: “YES IM BLACK AND IM VOTING FOR TRUMP!!!”
A review of some of the suspended accounts shows they often used stolen images to appear real. The accounts sometimes claimed to be owned by military veterans or members of law enforcement.
This is not the first time Twitter has had to address a spam operation claiming to be led by Black voters. NBC News also reported spam operations from fake accounts posing as Black Trump supporters in August.
That a rush to re-open would lead to an economic rebound was always doubtful (no economic fix without a pandemic fix), but the data are clear that America is experiencing no national ‘recovery.’
Jason DeParle reports 8 Million Have Slipped Into Poverty Since May as Federal Aid Has Dried Up:
After an ambitious expansion of the safety net in the spring saved millions of people from poverty, the aid is now largely exhausted and poverty has returned to levels higher than before the coronavirus crisis, two new studies have found.
The number of poor people has grown by eight million since May, according to researchers at Columbia University, after falling by four million at the pandemic’s start as a result of an $2 trillion emergency package known as the Cares Act.
Using a different definition of poverty, researchers from the University of Chicago and Notre Dame found that poverty has grown by six million people in the past three months, with circumstances worsening most for Black people and children.
Significantly, the studies differ on the most recent month: While the Columbia model shows an improvement in September, the Chicago and Notre Dame analysts found poverty continued to grow.
Christopher Rugaber of the AP this morning reports that US jobless claims rise to 898,000 with layoffs still high:
The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits rose last week by the most in two months, to 898,000, a historically high number and evidence that layoffs remain a hindrance to the economy’s recovery from the pandemic recession.
Thursday’s report from the Labor Department coincides with other recent data that have signaled a slowdown in hiring. The economy is still roughly 10.7 million jobs short of recovering all the 22 million jobs that were lost when the pandemic struck in early spring.
Confirmed coronavirus cases have been rising again nationwide in the past month, likely causing more Americans to hold back from eating out, shopping and engaging in other commerce. Cases have spiked in Wisconsin, for example, prompting renewed restrictions on business in Milwaukee and Madison.
These data show significant, increasing economic misery. It’s absurdly false to say that conditions are getting better.
One or a hundred rallies can’t hide the suffering of so many millions.
Thursday in Whitewater will be partly cloudy with a high of fifty-seven. Sunrise is 7:09 AM and sunset 6:10 PM, for 11h 00m 55s of daytime. The moon is a waning crescent with 2.9% of its visible disk illuminated.
On this day in 1956, FORTRAN, the first modern computer language, is first shared with the coding community.
Recommended for reading in full —
Kate Kelly and Mark Mazzetti report As Virus Spread, Reports of Trump Administration’s Private Briefings Fueled Sell-Off (‘A hedge fund consultant’s summary of private presentations by White House economic advisers fanned investor worries’):
On the afternoon of Feb. 24, President Trump declared on Twitter that the coronavirus was “very much under control” in the United States, one of numerous rosy statements that he and his advisers made at the time about the worsening epidemic. He even added an observation for investors: “Stock market starting to look very good to me!”
But hours earlier, senior members of the president’s economic team, privately addressing board members of the conservative Hoover Institution, were less confident. Tomas J. Philipson, a senior economic adviser to the president, told the group he could not yet estimate the effects of the virus on the American economy. To some in the group, the implication was that an outbreak could prove worse than Mr. Philipson and other Trump administration advisers were signaling in public at the time.
The next day, board members — many of them Republican donors — got another taste of government uncertainty from Larry Kudlow, the director of the National Economic Council. Hours after he had boasted on CNBC that the virus was contained in the United States and “it’s pretty close to airtight,” Mr. Kudlow delivered a more ambiguous private message. He asserted that the virus was “contained in the U.S., to date, but now we just don’t know,” according to a document describing the sessions obtained by The New York Times.
The document, written by a hedge fund consultant who attended the three-day gathering of Hoover’s board, was stark. “What struck me,” the consultant wrote, was that nearly every official he heard from raised the virus “as a point of concern, totally unprovoked.”
Daniel Lippman reports Another pro-Trump ad uses footage from Russia (‘This is the fourth time a Trump-affiliated group has used Russian footage in an ad’):
A new pro-Trump super PAC ad uses stock footage from Russia and Belarus in a major ad buy that’s airing in three swing states. It’s the fourth time in three months that an ad promoting President Donald Trump’s reelection has used footage from Russia.
America First Action last Thursday launched an ad called “Pandemic Tax” in Florida, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin as part of a $10 million ad campaign slamming Joe Biden for supporting bad trade deals and arguing that he would raise taxes on “all of us.” But some of the people featured in the ad were actors in stock footage from Russia and Belarus.
This is the fourth time a Trump-affiliated group has used Russian footage in an ad. A digital ad last month released by a fundraising arm of the Trump campaign called on people to “support our troops” but used a stock photo of Russian-made fighter jets and Russian models dressed as soldiers.
Another Trump campaign ad also used footage of a conveyor belt with cardboard boxes saying “MADE IN THE USA” that was created by a Russian photographer and illustrator, and a pre-recorded video at the Republican National Convention used stock footage of a factory in Moscow.
Wednesday in Whitewater will be mostly cloudy with a high of sixty-nine. Sunrise is 7:08 AM and sunset 6:12 PM, for 11h 03m 42s of daytime. The moon is a waning crescent with 8.1% of its visible disk illuminated.
Whitewater’s Finance Committee meets via audiovisual conferencing at 4:30 PM.
On this day in 1912, Theodore Roosevelt is shot while delivering a speech in Milwaukee.
Recommended for reading in full —
Matt Zapotosky and Shane Harris report ‘Unmasking’ probe commissioned by Barr concludes without charges or any public report:
The federal prosecutor appointed by Attorney General William P. Barr to review whether Obama-era officials improperly requested the identities of individuals whose names were redacted in intelligence documents has completed his work without finding any substantive wrongdoing, according to people familiar with the matter.
The revelation that U.S. Attorney John Bash, who left the department last week, had concluded his review without criminal charges or any public report will rankle President Trump at a moment when he is particularly upset at the Justice Department. The department has so far declined to release the results of Bash’s work, though people familiar with his findings say they would likely disappoint conservatives who have tried to paint the “unmasking” of names — a common practice in government to help understand classified documents — as a political conspiracy.
(After all the excitement at Fox News, a discovery of nothing.)
Peter Elkind, Meg Cramer, and Doris Burke report (from May) Meet the Shadowy Accountants Who Do Trump’s Taxes and Help Him Seem Richer Than He Is:
But Trump’s accountants are far from bystanders in the matters under scrutiny — or in the rise of Trump. Over a span of decades, they have played two critical, but discordant, roles for Trump. One is common for an accounting firm: to help him pay the smallest amount of taxes possible. The second is not common at all: to help him appear to the world to be rich beyond imagining. That sometimes requires creating precisely the opposite impression of what’s in his tax filings.
Time and again, from press interviews in the 1980s to the launch of his 2016 campaign, Trump has trotted out evermore outsized claims of his wealth, frequently brandishing papers prepared by members of his accounting team, who have sometimes been called on to appear in person when they were presented, offering a sort of mute testimony in support of the findings. The accountants’ written disclaimers — that the calculations rely on Trump’s own numbers, rendering them essentially meaningless — are rarely mentioned.
Trump’s accountants have been crucial enablers in his remarkable rise. And like their marquee client, they have a surprisingly colorful and tangled story of their own. It’s dramatically at odds with the image Trump has presented of his accountants as “one of the most highly respected” big firms, solemnly confirming his numbers after months of careful scrutiny. For starters, it’s only technically true to say Trump’s accounting work is handled by a large firm.
In fact, Trump entrusts his taxes and planning to a tiny, secretive team of CPAs who have operated at various times from humble quarters in Queens and two Long Island office parks.
World’s Smallest Pandemic Problem™— Champagne sales down as coronavirus pandemic rumbles on:
The Whitewater Common Council last met on 10.6.20. The agenda for the meeting is available, and a recording of the early October session appears above. (As always, the best record is a recording.)
Council discussed, among other items, Trick or Treating during the pandemic, a preliminary city budget, whether to return to in-person council meetings, and a closed session to consider the sale of a lot in the business park.
A few remarks —
1. Trick or Treating. Halloween is on a Saturday this year, and the city (under the authority of the Parks & Rec Board) will hold traditional Trick or Treat hours (4 to 7 PM). There were several recommendations about (relatively) safer practices during the pandemic, but community views on what is safe vary. Some families will participate, others are likely to skip this year. (Video, 14:09.)
2. Presentation on a Preliminary City Budget. The council packet for the meeting (linked above) did not include a copy of the preliminary budget presentation. As of this post, that preliminary presentation is yet not online. There are three scheduled finance committee meetings (10.8, 10.13, 10.14) before a final document goes to council. Council will consider that final budget on 11.5 with a public hearing on 11.17.
Whitewater’s city manager and finance director were in attendance for the full council session (and so for the entirety of the budget presentation).
The preliminary budget document was posted online in 2018; a good practice would be to post it consistently each year.
3. Finance and Fiscal Policy.
There are three aspects to the city’s finances, with fiscal being the most limited: (1) competency at basic accounting, (2) competency in funding basic services adequately (safety, public works, etc.), and (3) fiscal policy that aims to uplift the local economy. Most local government spending falls short of true fiscal policy, where government tries to shape economic conditions.
Whitewater’s city government, since the Great Recession and into this pandemic recession, has shown no ability to improve the economic life of its residents in the critical category of individual or household income.
In part, that’s because there’s not much money to spend on items other than ordinary services. In part, it’s because attempts to craft a fiscal policy have been notable failures – wasting significant sums for a small town – even when there has been grant or loan money available.
At the least, however, one should expect that (1) accounting is in order, and (2) basic services are met without impoverishing the residents needing those services.
There is a huge need in Whitewater for poverty relief – this local government has limited resources, and the resources it has come by have been mostly wasted on development schemes no more useful than a few magic beans.
Turning away from a reliance on local development men wasting public monies is the first step toward a normal market economy and normal charitable framework. See Waiting for Whitewater’s Dorothy Day.
4. Property Value Growth. Whitewater’s finance director optimistically observed that property values in the city rose 6.3% from 2019 to 2020. (Video, 34:50.) Reason compels caution: that’s one year’s growth, involving property values rather than individual or household incomes, and is a measurement before the current recession.
5. CDBG Fund Close. The city manager’s discussion of the Community Development Authority’s CDBG (community development block grant) fund was brief, mentioned no concerns, and was not included in an enumerated list of municipal financial concerns. (Video, 38:14 and 40:00.)
6. COVID-19. The current cost to the municipal government of hundreds of thousands would only be a small fraction of the cost to society of a poorly-controlled pandemic.
7. Council Sessions. The council considered whether to return to in-person meetings.
Here is an ethical position: where one sends others one should be prepared to go.… Continue reading
Tuesday in Whitewater will be partly cloudy with a high of sixty-five. Sunrise is 7:07 AM and sunset 6:13 PM, for 11h 06m 31s of daytime. The moon is a waning crescent with 15.8% of its visible disk illuminated.
On this day in 1775, the Continental Congress establishes the Continental Navy (predecessor of the United States Navy).
Recommended for reading in full —
Sam Levine reports More than 10-hour wait and long lines as early voting starts in Georgia:
Voters in Georgia faced hours-long lines on Monday as people flocked to the polls for the first day of early voting in the state, which has developed a national reputation in recent years for voting issues.
Eager voters endured waits of six hours or more in Cobb County, which was once solidly Republican but has voted for Democrats in recent elections, and joined lines that wrapped around buildings in solidly Democratic DeKalb County. They also turned out in big numbers in north Georgia’s Floyd County, where support for Donald Trump is strong.
At least two counties briefly had problems with the electronic pollbooks used to check in voters. The issue halted voting for a while at State Farm Arena, in Atlanta. Voters who cast their ballots at the basketball stadium, which was being used as an early voting site, faced long waits as the glitch was resolved.
Adrienne Crowley, who waited more than an hour to vote, told the Atlanta Journal Constitution there wasn’t anything that would make her get out of the line to vote. “I would have voted all day if I had to.”
Andy Greenberg reports on Russia’s Fancy Bear hackers likely penetrated a federal agency:
A warning that unidentified hackers broke into an agency of the US federal government and stole its data is troubling enough. But it becomes all the more disturbing when those unidentified intruders are identified—and appear likely to be part of a notorious team of cyberspies working in the service of Russia’s military intelligence agency, the GRU.
Last week the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency published an advisory that hackers had penetrated a US federal agency. It identified neither the attackers nor the agency, but it did detail the hackers’ methods and their use of a new and unique form of malware in an operation that successfully stole target data. Now, clues uncovered by a researcher at cybersecurity firm Dragos and an FBI notification to hacking victims obtained by WIRED in July suggest a likely answer to the mystery of who was behind the intrusion: They appear to be Fancy Bear, a team of hackers working for Russia’s GRU. Also known as APT28, the group has been responsible for everything from hack-and-leak operations targeting the 2016 US presidential election to a broad campaign of attempted intrusions targeting political parties, consultancies, and campaigns this year.
The unrest roiling Portland and other cities this year has been a powerful recruiting tool for organizations such as the Proud Boys, Patriot Prayer and the Three Percenters. Patriot Prayer is led by Joey Gibson, a Washington state resident who faces a felony riot charge for brawling with antifa activists in Portland last year and who was recently photographed with a former Ku Klux Klan member.