Daily Bread for 11.12.20

Good morning.

Thursday in Whitewater will be partly cloudy with a high of fifty-one.  Sunrise is 6:44 AM and sunset 4:33 PM, for 9h 48m 48s of daytime.  The moon is a waning crescent with 10.7% of its visible disk illuminated.

Today is both the one thousand four hundred sixty-fifth day and the sixth day. 

On this day in 1927, Leon Trotsky is expelled from the Soviet Communist Party, leaving Joseph Stalin in undisputed control of the Soviet Union.

Recommended for reading in full — 

 Andrew Higgins writes Trump’s Post-Election Tactics Put Him in Unsavory Company (‘Denying defeat, claiming fraud and using government machinery to reverse election results are the time-honored tools of dictators’):

There is little indication that Mr. Trump can overcome the laws and institutions that ensure the verdict of American voters will carry the day. The country has a free press, a strong and independent judiciary, election officials dedicated to an honest counting of the votes and a strong political opposition, none of which exists in Belarus or Russia.

Still, the United States has never before had to force an incumbent to concede a fair defeat at the polls. And merely by raising the possibility that he would have to be forced out of office, Mr. Trump has shattered the bedrock democratic tradition of a seamless transition.

The damage already done by Mr. Trump’s obduracy could be lasting. Ivan Krastev, an expert on East and Central Europe at the Institute for Human Sciences in Vienna, said Mr. Trump’s refusal to concede would “create a new model” for like-minded populists in Europe and elsewhere.

“When Trump won in 2016 the lesson was that they could trust democracy,” he said. “Now, they won’t trust democracy, and will do everything and anything to stay in power.” In what he called “the Lukashenko scenario,” leaders will still want to hold elections but “never lose.” President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia has been doing that for two decades.

Among the anti-democratic tactics Mr. Trump has adopted are some that were commonly employed by leaders like Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe, Nicolás Maduro of Venezuela and Slobodan Milosevic of Serbia — refusing to concede defeat and hurling unfounded accusations of electoral fraud. The tactics also include undermining confidence in democratic institutions and the courts, attacking the press and vilifying opponents.

Like Mr. Trump, those leaders feared that accepting defeat would expose them to prosecution once they left office. Mr. Trump does not have to worry about being charged with war crimes and genocide, as Mr. Milosevic was, but he does face a tangle of legal problems.

Michael McFaul, the U.S. ambassador to Russia under President Barack Obama and a frequent critic of Mr. Trump, described the president’s “refusal to accept the results of the election” as “his parting gift to autocrats around the world.

David A. Fahrenthold, Rosalind S. Helderman, and Tom Hamburger report In poll watcher affidavits, Trump campaign offers no evidence of fraud in Detroit ballot-counting:

On Wednesday, President Trump’s campaign asked a federal judge to take a drastic step: block the state of Michigan from certifying the results of its presidential election. President-elect Joe Biden now leads Trump by about 148,000 votes there.

To back up that lawsuit, Trump’s campaign had promised “shocking” evidence of misconduct.

Instead, the campaign produced 238 pages of affidavits from Republican poll watchers across Michigan containing no evidence of significant fraud but rather allegations about ballot-counting procedures that state workers have already debunked — and in some cases, complaints about rude behavior or unpleasant looks from poll workers or Democratic poll watchers.

Bigfin squid filmed in Australian waters for the first time:

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