Daily Bread for 12.7.20

Good morning.

Monday in Whitewater will be partly cloudy with a high of forty-one.  Sunrise is 7:13 AM and sunset 4:20 PM, for 9h 07m 43s of daytime.  The moon is a waning gibbous with 55.5% of its visible disk illuminated.

Today is both the one thousand four hundred ninetieth day and the thirty-first day. 

On this day in 1941, the Imperial Japanese Navy carries out a surprise attack on the United States Pacific Fleet and its defending Army and Marine air forces at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

Recommended for reading in full — 

 Jaclyn Peiser reports Arizona legislature closes after Giuliani spent two days with maskless GOP lawmakers:

For more than 10 hours last Monday, President Trump’s personal attorney, Rudolph W. Giuliani, convened in a Phoenix hotel ballroom with more than a dozen current and future Arizona Republican lawmakers to hear testimony from people who supposedly witnessed election fraud.

Giuliani and other attendees were shown maskless and not social distancing, and the Arizona Republican Party tweeted an image of Giuliani and lawmakers flouting coronavirus guidelines.

That defiance of public health advice came to a head on Sunday when Trump announced on Twitter that Giuliani had contracted the coronavirus. Hours later, legislative staff in Arizona’s Capitol abruptly announced a week-long closure of the state Senate and House starting on Monday.

An email announcement to members of the Arizona House said the move was “out of an abundance of caution for recent cases and concerns relating to covid-19″ and noted that “no one will have permission to work or meet in the building.”

Anita Kumar and Andrew Desiderio report Trump mulls preemptive pardons for up to 20 allies, even as Republicans balk:

President Donald Trump is considering preemptively pardoning as many as 20 aides and associates before leaving office, frustrating Republicans who believe offering legal reprieves to his friends and family members could backfire.

Trump’s strategy, like much of his presidency, is nontraditional. He is eschewing the typical protocol of processing cases through the Justice Department. And he may argue that such preemptive pardons for his friends and family members are necessary to spare them from paying millions in legal fees to fight what he describes as witch hunts. Those up for clemency include everyone from Trump’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, to several members of his family — all people who haven’t been charged with a crime. Weighing on Trump’s mind is whether these pardons would look like an admission of guilt.

Svetlana Tikhanovskaya writes The people of Belarus are still marching against dictatorship. The U.S. can help:

Alexander Lukashenko refuses to step down or hold a new round of elections. His armed thugs are brutalizing ordinary people who hold up flowers and signs as they call for a different life. Thousands have been rounded up and housed like cattle in tiny, overcrowded jail cells without access to water, sanitation or horizontal sleeping positions. Torture is now commonplace. Belarusian Nobel Prize-winning writer Svetlana Alexievich has remarked, “I only know such stories from the Stalin era.” Such crimes have only strengthened the conviction of the Belarusian people that Lukashenko has to go.


We need more help from the United States, even in this complex transitional period. I appeal to the U.S. Congress to swiftly pass the Belarus Democracy, Human Rights, and Sovereignty Act of 2020.

This bill will expand the scope of those who can be sanctioned under U.S. law for their complicity in the repressions. At the same time it will provide support to independent media and technology for circumventing state censorship. Access to information is the strongest weapon in our possession. Lukashenko’s efforts to stifle the free flow of information and hide his violent crackdown cannot go unanswered.

‘Hug bubble’ safely connects care home residents to their families in France:

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