Daily Bread for 2.25.20 | FREE WHITEWATER

Daily Bread for 2.25.20

Good morning.

Tuesday in Whitewater will be cloudy with a high of thirty-six.  Sunrise is 6:36 AM and sunset 5:39 PM, for 11h 03m 28s of daytime.  The moon is a waxing crescent with 3.2% of its visible disk illuminated.

Today is the one thousand two hundred fourth day.

Whitewater’s Finance Committee meets at 5:30 PM.

  On this day in 1991, the Soviet-controlled Warsaw Pact is declared disbanded at a meeting of defense and foreign ministers from remaining Pact countries meeting in Hungary.

Recommended for reading in full —

Samantha Weller writes ‘One big crony boondoggle’: Trump’s border wall is now just a gigantic grift for his campaign donors:

The company, Atlas Tube, is run by Barry Zekelman, who donated $1.75 million to a pro-Trump PAC in 2018 to urge Trump to place tariffs and quotas on steel.

The New York Times says that there is enough evidence to suspect that he violated the law. Brendan Fischer, a lawyer at the Campaign Legal Center, put it simply:

“Foreign nations have no right to interfere in U.S. elections and certainly do not have the right to buy the policies that benefit them.”

The other company, Fisher Sand and Gravel, is under review by the Department of Defense, who says there are “concerns about the possibility of inappropriate influence on USACE’s contracting decision,” according to ABC News.

The Washington Post says Trump has continuously pressured the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to award border wall contracts to firms that are pro-Trump.

Simon Tisdale writes Putin, a criminal and incompetent president, is an enemy of his own people:

In any free and fair election, his criminal legacy of economic incompetence, abuse of power and shameless venality would be sure to sink him without trace. But free and fair elections now look ever more remote, especially following the brutal suppression of pro-democracy protesters in Moscow last summer.

On the contrary, Putin grows ever more intolerant of any form of actual or suspected opposition, whether it be in the form of civil society organisations, the media, or courageous, much persecuted activists such as Alexi Navalny.

Thanks to Putin’s mismanagement and neglect, Russia’s economy is in terrible shape, over-reliant on energy exports, lacking foreign investment and suffering chronic capital flight. That’s because businesses cannot rely on the rule of law to safeguard their dealings or prevent attempts at extortion, kickbacks and bribery.

Putin’s supposedly transformative national spending projects worth an eye-watering $390bn have largely failed to materialise. His promises of economic modernisation and raised living standards must be set against a consecutive five-year fall in real wages and cuts to state pensions.

At the same time, it is crystal clear Putin fears the sort of political liberalisation that might facilitate greater economic competitiveness and international investment. On the contrary, his latest proposals seek to further limit foreign influence.

The continuing drag on Russia’s development caused by western sanctions, imposed after the illegal annexation of Crimea, symbolises the broader, negative aspects of perpetual Putinism.

Putin not only refuses to get out of Crimea but actively fuels the separatist conflict in eastern Ukraine. And this conflict is but a smaller version of the murderous mayhem wrought by Russian forces in Syria since 2016, where killing and mass displacement continue in Idlib.

China Is Censoring Coronavirus Stories. These Citizens Are Fighting Back:

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