Daily Bread for 11.7.18

Good morning.

Wednesday in Whitewater will be mostly cloudy with a high of forty.  Sunrise is 6:37 AM and sunset 4:39 PM, for 10h 01m 33s of daytime.  The moon is new today.

Today is the seven hundred twenty-ninth day.

There is scheduled a joint meeting of Whitewater’s Common Council, Community Development Authority, and Plan and Architectural Review Commission for 6 PM, and a Police & Fire Commission meeting at 6:30 PM.

On this day in 1863, the 5th Wisconsin Infantry fights in the Second Battle of Rappahannock Station, Virginia. The battle was a Union victory:

In all, 1,670 Confederates were killed, wounded, or captured in the brief struggle, more than eighty percent of those engaged. Union casualty figures, by contrast, were small: 419 in all.[3]

For the North the battle had been “a complete and glorious victory,” an engagement “as short as it was decisive,” reflecting “infinite credit upon all concerned.”[3] Maj. Gen. Horatio G. Wright noted that it was the first instance in which Union troops had carried a strongly entrenched Confederate position in the first assault. Brig. Gen. Harry Hays claimed to have been attacked by no less than 20,000 to 25,000 Union soldiers—a figure ten times the actual number.[3]

The battle had been as humiliating for the South as it had been glorious for the North. Two of the Confederacy’s finest brigades, sheltered behind entrenchments and well supported by artillery, had been routed and captured by an enemy force of equal size. Col. Walter H. Taylor of Lee’s staff called it, “the saddest chapter in the history of this army,” the result of “miserable, miserable management.” An enlisted soldier put it more plainly. “I don’t know much about it,” he said, “but it seems to be that our army was surprised.”[3]

Recommended for reading in full —  Evers wins, a record number of women in Congress, thinking about the national results, Russia’s continuing disinformation, and video on what it takes to become an astronaut  — 

 Patrick Marley and Molly Beck write Tony Evers denies Scott Walker a third term as Wisconsin’s governor:

MADISON – After upending Wisconsin politics and infuriating liberals across the country, Gov. Scott Walker narrowly lost his bid for a third term Tuesday to Tony Evers, the leader of the education establishment Walker blew up eight years ago.

The Associated Press called the race for Evers about 1:20 a.m. Wednesday based on unofficial returns.

The race was so close that Walker’s team said a detailed review of balloting and a recount were possible. But an unofficial tally had Evers winning by 1.1 percentage points — a margin that would be too large for a recount if it held.

“It’s time for a change, folks,” Evers, the state schools superintendent, told supporters in front of a large Wisconsin flag on the stage of Madison’s Orpheum Theater.

(A shorter, more apt, title would have been Evers Wins.)

Danielle Kurtzleben reports A Record Number Of Women Will Serve In Congress (With Potentially More To Come):

After Tuesday’s elections, a record number of women will serve in Congress come January 2019.

With results still coming in, 94 women have won or are projected to win their House races as of early Wednesday morning, up from the current 84. In addition, at least 13 women won win Senate seats. That’s in addition to the 10 female senators who were not up for re-election this year.

That means at least 117 women will serve in the 116th Congress, up from the current 107. And it will bring the share of Congress members who are women up from the current 20 percent to at least 22 percent.

These new records represent the culmination of a record-setting year for female candidates. In elections for Congress, governorships and state legislatures alike, the number of women who ran outstripped previous years, as did the number of women nominated.

Many first-time candidates this year were inspired to run for office at least in part by the 2016 presidential election — both the fact that the first female major-party nominee ever lost, and that Donald Trump, who is very unpopular among women (particularly Democratic women), won.

 The Washington Post editorial board sees A great day for democracy:

THE DEMOCRATS’ return to control over the House of Representatives is much more than a victory for one party. It is a sign of health for American democracy.

Distrustful of untrammeled majorities, the authors of the Constitution favored checks and balances, including, crucially, the check that the legislative branch might place upon the executive. Over the past two years, the Republican majorities in the House and Senate have failed to exercise reasonable oversight. Now the constitutional system has a fresh chance to work as intended.

The Democratic victory is also a sign of political health, to the extent it is a form of pushback against the excesses, rhetorical and in terms of policy, committed by the Trump administration and propounded by President Trump during this fall’s campaign. Turning against the dominant party in Washington even in a moment of economic prosperity, voters from Key West to Kansas refused to accept the continued degradation of their nation’s political culture. Republicans retained control of the Senate, where the map this year favored their defense. But voters nationwide refused Mr. Trump’s invitation to vote on the basis of fear of immigrants; they did not respond to his depiction of his opposition as dangerous enemies.

The Committee to Investigate Russia writes Russian Operatives Still Rampant:

Russian operatives continue to spread disinformation and divisive content online, but as social media platforms, tech companies, and intelligence experts become more aware of foreign interference efforts, Russian agents invent new ways to disguise their work.


Experts say foreign actors now are spending more time spreading homegrown divisive content and disinformation rather than creating it from scratch.

“We’ve done a lot research on fake news and people are getting better at figuring out what it is, so it’s become less effective as a tactic,” said Priscilla Moriuchi, a former National Security Agency official who is now a threat analyst at the cybersecurity firm Recorded Future threat manager.

Instead, Russian accounts have been amplifying stories and internet “memes” that initially came from the U.S. far left or far right. Such postings seem more authentic, are harder to identify as foreign, and are easier to produce than made-up stories.

What It Takes To Become An Astronaut:

2 comments for “Daily Bread for 11.7.18

  1. joe
    11/07/2018 at 10:15 AM

    The elections were interesting, as they always are. Not as exhilarating as I would have liked, but some positive results. My township has 533 registered voters and 476 of them voted. That is an amazing 89% voting rate in a midterm election. We take our democracy seriously, out here in the sticks. Walker lost 2:1 and pot legalization won by 3:1.

    A couple of the more Frankenstein-like experiments in the “Laboratories of Democracy” have been mercifully terminated. Kriss Kobach, America’s most ardent vote-suppressor, was sent packing in KS. That was a direct response to the looting of the state by Sam Brownback. KS can now start to repair the damage Sam did to them. It will take decades to fix, but at least it can now get started. And right here in Wisco-World, Scott Walker and AG Brad Schimel got booted!

    Walker getting evicted has long term consequences for the restoration of representative democracy in WI. The vicious Gerrymander of 2010 isn’t going to happen again in 2020. Evers and the Lege are not going to agree on redistricting maps, so it will go to the courts to make the map. If they do their job, the map will be a lot less biased than it now is, and we can get back to having more fair elections. In any account, any new map will be less R-Friendly than the one we now labor under.

    Other consequences of the turnover in Wisco-World is that we will now no longer have to listen to two of the most annoying members of the R-Team, Leah Vukmir and Roberta Kleefish. Vukmir got smoked by an out-lesbian for US Senate and ex-Lt Gov Kleefish can now go back to hunting Mourning Doves and Sandhill Cranes with her also-retired-from-politics hubby, Joel. The state is well quit of them both. Schimel getting dumped means that WI will immediately withdraw as the lead plaintiff in the anti-Obamacare lawsuit brought by 20-some Republican state AG’s. That may actually be a blessing for the R-Team, as pre-existing condition coverage is likely the reason Walker and Schimel lost. Walker certainly realizes that, as his pre-election flip on the subject told us.

    The other salutary effect of the Governor turning is that state agencies can now be returned to actually doing their jobs, rather than being run by people directly opposed to the agency’s missions. The DNR won’t be run by a land-developer any more. The Economic Development agency, whatever it turns into post-WEDC, it will no longer be openly transferring state tax money to Walker’s re-election funders. Maybe, even, the Public Service commission will get back to regulating public services, rather than being a wholly owned subsidiary of the state chamber of commerce and the Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce lobbies. Dare to dream…..

      11/07/2018 at 2:09 PM

      Good afternoon.

      I’d say your summary speaks for many of us, today (‘not as exhilarating as I would have liked, but some positive results’). Spot on. The turnout was huge, wasn’t it? Craig Gilbert writes in Wisconsin saw record-breaking mid-term turnout in 2018 that

      Nearly 2.7 million people voted, according to unofficial returns from the Associated Press, in an election that saw Democrats win a narrow victory for governor and a bigger one for US Senate.

      That is easily the most ever votes cast in a mid-term election in Wisconsin. It is also higher than the 2,516,065 that voted in the 2012 recall election for governor.

      Based on state population estimates from earlier this year, turnout was equal to almost 60 percent of the voting-age population, though that number is likely to change when the official count is complete.

      Kobach, among candidates for major offices, was one of the most dishonest and malicious men in America. It will take many years to put that state on the right path. I saw that Ann Coulter tweeted that “Kansas is dead to me.” Well done, people of Kansas, well done.

      Gerrymandering – or the end of it through an Evers veto – is a return to a more normal Wisconsin. It won’t get us to that destination, but it is a necessary stop along the way.

      Baldwin’s win was a policy win, but also in her manner and approach, it’s easily Baldwin who was more appealing (and more like most Wisconsinites). Vukmir presented herself as more traditional Wisconsinite, but it was an unconvincing presentation – Baldwin is much closer to a Midwestern manner than Vukmir will ever be. One doesn’t write this to detract from Baldwin’s policy-oriented win, but to emphasize that it was Vukmir – despite her rhetoric of traditionalism – who was in an everyday way only grating and out of place in Wisconsin.

      It’s probable that the post-WEDC world will bring a state-level department of commerce rather than a public money fat-cat compensation project. No campaign-money-laundering operation in America was quite like it.

      Funny story: A rightwing man in town who once ran a local website touted an award he received from the WEDC for being a ‘best business citizen’ or some such. Holy cow – imagine bragging about an award from the WEDC. A sensible person would be unsettled that the WEDC even considered him or her for an award. Imagine being proud of it. No and no again – I’d only be satisfied if I found myself on a WEDC enemies list.

      Now that would be an accomplishment!