Daily Bread for 4.1.21

Good morning.

Thursday in Whitewater will be sunny with a high of 40.  Sunrise is 6:34 AM and sunset 7:22 PM, for 12h 47m 20s of daytime.  The moon is a waning gibbous with 81.1% of its visible disk illuminated.

Whitewater’s Landmarks Commission meets via audiovisual conferencing at 3:30 PM, and the Whitewater Fire Department is holding a business meeting via audiovisual conferencing at 6:30 PM.

On this day in 1970, the Milwaukee Brewers are founded.

Recommended for reading in full — 

Jesse McKinley, Danny Hakim, and Alexandra Alter report As Cuomo Sought $4 Million Book Deal, Aides Hid Damaging Death Toll:

As the coronavirus subsided in New York last year, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo had begun pitching a book proposal that would center on his image as a hero of the pandemic. But by early last summer, both his book and image had hit a critical juncture.

Mr. Cuomo leaned on his top aide, Melissa DeRosa, for assistance. She attended video meetings with publishers, and helped him edit early drafts of the book. But there was also another, more pressing edit underway at the same time.

An impending Health Department report threatened to disclose a far higher number of nursing home deaths related to the coronavirus than the Cuomo administration had previously made public. Ms. DeRosa and other top aides expressed concern about the higher death toll, and, after their intervention, the number — which had appeared in the second sentence of the report — was removed from the final version.

The revisions occurred as the governor was on the brink of a huge payoff: a book deal that ended with a high offer of more than $4 million, according to people with knowledge of the book’s bidding process.

 Jessica Brandt writes Washington Needs a Plan for Pushing Back on Autocratic Advances:

The United States and other liberal democracies are engaged in a persistent, asymmetric competition with autocracies—one that is playing out far from traditional military battlefields, in interlocking domains of politics, economics, technology and information. Authoritarian challengers seeking to preserve their grip on power at home have pursued deliberate, though at times subtle, strategies designed to exploit the vulnerabilities of liberal democracies while compensating for vulnerabilities of their own, as they endeavor to fashion a world safe for, if not converted to, their worldview.


The United States has been slow to recognize this contest and to develop a national strategy to push back, allowing autocrats to seize the initiative by taking advantage of the openness of its systems. But it is awakening to the challenge. “We’re at an inflection point between those who argue that, given all the challenges we face … autocracy is the best way forward … and those who understand that democracy is essential to meeting those challenges,” President Biden argued in a speech before the Munich Security Conference in February.

Working with its partners and allies, Washington must regain the initiative, and quickly. Fortunately, there are steps the new administration can take to reset the competition on favorable terms, including several that can be implemented without an act of Congress early in Biden’s presidency. That’s important given the urgency of the task and the likelihood that legislative progress, crucial though it may be, is likely to be slow going—even as unified Democratic control opens up new possibilities to make headway.

With that in mind, the Biden administration should start by organizing itself to integrate technology considerations into policy deliberations, recognizing that technology is the most intense domain of competition today—one that underpins all others. Power and influence are being exercised in new places—from social media platforms on American smartphones to international technical standards-setting bodies that once seemed arcane—and that has challenged policy processes and bureaucratic structures.

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