Daily Bread for 12.2.19

Good morning.

Monday in Whitewater will be partly sunny with a high of thirty-three.  Sunrise is 7:07 AM and sunset 4:21 PM, for 9h 14m 08s of daytime.  The moon is a waxing crescent with 33.5% of its visible disk illuminated.

Today is the one thousand one hundred nineteenth day.

On this day in 1954, the United States Senate votes (67-22) to censure Wisconsin Sen. Joe McCarthy.

Recommended for reading in full:

Bill Lueders writes Robin Vos Stonewalls on Public Records:

One of the requesters who was told by Vos’ office “We have no records responsive to your request” was Grafton resident Robert W. Chernow, who has asked for records regarding the way that state Senate District 8 was redistricted after the 2010 Census.

Chernow, in an interview, says he was trying to learn more about how the voter boundaries of this Senate district were redrawn to the advantage of Republican incumbent Alberta Darling.

After being told that no responsive records exist, Chernow says he repeatedly called Vos’ office and asked to talk to Fawcett. “Every time they heard my name the word came back that he’s not available,” Chernow says. “After about six times, I got the hint that he would not talk to me.”

And so Chernow sent a letter dated Nov. 13 to the office of the State Attorney General, which has statutory authority for interpreting and enforcing Wisconsin’s open records law. His letter notes that there have been repeated mentions in the press regarding the $850,000 fee paid by the state to a law firm advising Vos on the issue of redistricting.

“Would not Mr. Vos still have possession of this information?” Chernow asks, adding, “I cannot understand the statement that there are no records.” He continues: “Were these records destroyed? Are taxpayer funded projects that affect [the public’s] representation not public?”

Chernow says that the only response he’s gotten from Vos’ office is an Oct. 15 letter from Fawcett informing him that it had no records at all in response to his request, adding, “We now consider this matter closed.”

Elyse Samuels and Monica Akhtar write Are ‘bots’ manipulating the 2020 conversation? Here’s what’s changed since 2016:

The term “bots” often refers to automated accounts that publish lots of content and infiltrate online communities to try to sway online conversations.


“So the battle-space in 2020 is going to be a lot more complicated. And the hardest part of the response is going to be attributing any particular piece of activity to any particular actor,” Ben Nimmo, director of investigations at network analysis firm Graphika, told The Washington Post. “The most important thing is to isolate the behavior which is trying to distort the debate, is trying to interfere with the election, and make sure that that behavior doesn’t actually have an impact.”


Data scientists also point to new, more evolved tactics such as “inorganic coordinated activity” as a more nuanced online threat. “Inorganic coordinated activity” is when a group of humans, bots or a combination of both attempts to influence the online conversation by strategically releasing premeditated messaging at a specific time. The goal is for a small number of accounts — human or automated — to appear larger on Twitter than they are in reality.

Can Planting Billions Of Trees Halt Climate Change?:

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