Daily Bread for 1.29.21

Good morning.

Friday in Whitewater will be cloudy with a high of twenty-seven.  Sunrise is 7:11 AM and sunset 5:05 PM, for 9h 54m 12s of daytime.  The moon is a waning gibbous with 99.4% of its visible disk illuminated.

On this day in 1980, the Rubik’s Cube makes its international debut at the Ideal Toy Corp. in Earl’s Court, London.

Recommended for reading in full — 

 David E. Sanger reports Biden Team Rushes to Take Over Government, and Oust Trump Loyalists (‘President Biden named nearly all of his cabinet secretaries and their immediate deputies before he took office, but his real grasp on the levers of power has come several layers down’):

When President Biden swore in a batch of recruits for his new administration in a teleconferenced ceremony late last week, it looked like the country’s biggest Zoom call. In fact, Mr. Biden was installing roughly 1,000 high-level officials in about a quarter of all of the available political appointee jobs in the federal government.

At the same time, a far less visible transition was taking place: the quiet dismissal of holdovers from the Trump administration, who have been asked to clean out their offices immediately, whatever the eventual legal consequences.

If there has been a single defining feature of the first week of the Biden administration, it has been the blistering pace at which the new president has put his mark on what President Donald J. Trump dismissed as the hostile “Deep State” and tried so hard to dismantle.

David Smith reports ‘The perfect target’: Russia cultivated Trump as asset for 40 years – ex-KGB spy:

Donald Trump was cultivated as a Russian asset over 40 years and proved so willing to parrot anti-western propaganda that there were celebrations in Moscow, a former KGB spy has told the Guardian.

Yuri Shvets, posted to Washington by the Soviet Union in the 1980s, compares the former US president to “the Cambridge five”, the British spy ring that passed secrets to Moscow during the second world war and early cold war.

Now 67, Shvets is a key source for American Kompromat, a new book by journalist Craig Unger, whose previous works include House of Trump, House of Putin. The book also explores the former president’s relationship with the disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein.

“This is an example where people were recruited when they were just students and then they rose to important positions; something like that was happening with Trump,” Shvets said by phone on Monday from his home in Virginia.

Shvets, a KGB major, had a cover job as a correspondent in Washington for the Russian news agency Tass during the 1980s. He moved to the US permanently in 1993 and gained American citizenship.

(Trump could be wholly sympathetic [to Russia] without being either an agent or an asset.)

 David Folkenflik reports Trumpism At Voice Of America: Firings, Foosball And A Conspiracy Theory:

(Michael) Pack’s seven-month tenure offered a near-perfect encapsulation of Trumpism. Once confirmed by the Senate, Pack announced his charge was “to drain the swamp, to root out corruption, and to deal with these issues of [anti-Trump] bias,” as he put it on The Federalist Radio Hour, a conservative podcast. Pack obsessed over staff loyalty, embraced conspiracy theories and refused to allow visa extensions for his foreign journalists.


“I have dealt with federal agencies for almost 30 years, through both Democrat and Republican leadership,” said Mark S. Zaid, an attorney who has been representing several USAGM and VOA senior leaders who filed formal whistleblower complaints against Pack. “I have never encountered as many senior political officials to be so petty, vindictive, arrogant, egotistical and mean-spirited, epitomizing the worst of Trump, as I did since Michael Pack arrived at USAGM as CEO.”

Dominion to Sue More People Over Election Misinformation:

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