Daily Bread for 3.14.20

Good morning.

Saturday in Whitewater will be mostly cloudy with a high of thirty-eight.  Sunrise is 7:05 AM and sunset 7:01 PM, for 11h 55m 31s of daytime.  The moon is a waning gibbous with 69.1% of its visible disk illuminated.

Today is the one thousand two hundred twenty-second day.

  On this day in 1903, Pres. Roosevelt establishes the Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge by executive order.

Recommended for reading in full —

Linda Qiu reports Trump’s False Claims About His Response to the Coronavirus:

WHAT MR. TRUMP SAID: “If you go back to the swine flu, it was nothing like this. They didn’t do testing like this, and actually they lost approximately 14,000 people, and they didn’t do the testing. They started thinking about testing when it was far too late.”

False. This is blatantly wrong. Diagnostic tests for the swine flu were approved and shipped out less than two weeks after the H1N1 virus was identified and a day before the first death in the United States.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention identified the first case of the virus on April 14, 2009. The Obama administration declared swine flu a public health emergency on April 26. The Food and Drug Administration approved a rapid test for the virus two days later. At the time, the C.D.C. had reported 64 cases and zero deaths. The C.D.C. began shipping test kits to public health laboratories on May 1 (at 141 cases and one death) and a second test was approved in July. From May to September 2009, the agency shipped more than 1,000 kits, each one able to test 1,000 specimens.


WHAT MR. TRUMP SAID: “When you say me, I didn’t do it. We have a group of people I could ask — perhaps my administration — but I could perhaps ask Tony about that because I don’t know anything about it.”

This is misleading. The top White House official tasked with leading the country’s response to a pandemic left the administration in May 2018 and his team was disbanded by Mr. Trump’s national security adviser at the time, John R. Bolton, The Washington Post has reported.

While there is no evidence that Mr. Trump personally directed the ousting of these officials, he also did not replace them in the nearly two years since, despite repeated bipartisan urgings from lawmakers and experts.

The Washington Post editorial board writes Putin is brazenly trying to make himself president for life:

Mr. Putin described his maneuver as necessary for Russia’s “internal stability.” In fact, it is a recipe for stagnation, akin to the corrosive paralysis that plagued Moscow during the late Soviet era. Even Mr. Putin appears to recognize that, at least as a theoretical matter: He said the limit on two terms for president ought to be left in the constitution to apply to future presidents. “Alternation of power …. is necessary for the development of the country,” he said in a speech to the State Duma. But not as necessary, evidently, as preserving his own authority.

It’s not hard to see why. During his time in office, Mr. Putin and his cronies have accumulated not only extraordinary power but also vast riches, including sprawling compounds and billions stashed in foreign banks. A change of power, even to a successor of Mr. Putin’s choosing, might imperil those gains, or even expose the ex-leader to accountability.

The Future Of Energy Storage Beyond Lithium Ion:

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