Daily Bread for 5.31.20

Good morning.

Sunday in Whitewater will be mostly sunny with a high of sixty-nine.  Sunrise is 5:18 AM and sunset 8:26 PM, for 15h 07m 59s of daytime.  The moon is a waxing gibbous with 65.5% of its visible disk illuminated.

Today is the one thousand three hundredth day.

 On this day in 1889, the Johnstown Flood claims over 2,200 lives after a dam fails and sends a 60-foot wall of water over the town of Johnstown, Pennsylvania.

Recommended for reading in full —

Jonathan Chait writes New Transcript Shows Trump Adviser Michael Flynn Colluding With Russia in 2016:

Michael Flynn, the former Trump national security adviser, pleaded guilty in federal court to the charge of lying to FBI officials about a conversation he had with the Russian ambassador. Flynn’s defenders have insisted his lie was innocent and immaterial.

Late Friday afternoon, the Trump administration released the transcript of that conversation. The timing itself does not indicate much confidence that the transcript would support Flynn’s interpretation (late Friday afternoons not being the customary time to drop favorable news stories). And indeed, the transcript makes Flynn’s call look even less innocent

The transcripts today quote Flynn telling Kislyak, “Do not, do not uh, allow this (Obama) administration to box us in, right now, okay?” If that does not constitute “undermined the outgoing administration’s policy,” what does?

Two days later, the two men held a follow-up call, in which Kislyak made the premise more explicit. “I just wanted to tell you that we found that these actions have targeted not only against Russia, but also against the president elect.” Flynn replied, “Yeah, yeah,” accepting the premise. Kislyak then said he agreed with Flynn’s request not to retaliate. “We have decided not to act now because, it’s because people [presumably the outgoing Obama administration] are dissatisfied with the loss of elections, and it’s very deplorable.”

Flynn’s discussions with Kislyak were not part of a criminal conspiracy. They were, however, part of a secret channel of communications, the premise of which was that the two parties had a secret common interest against the United States government. One word that might describe this relationship would be “collusion.”

 Julia Davis writes Russian State Media Wonder if They Created an Orange-Haired Monster:

The sense of alarm was palpable on Russian state TV this week. Images of nuclear explosions flashed on an oversize screen as Evgeny Popov, host of the popular program 60 Minutes, talked about reports that Donald Trump may reverse a decades-long moratorium on nuclear testing.


The initial reaction of the Russian experts was to rejoice at the damage Trump’s nuclear adventurism would inflict upon the United States, but the potential effect on their own country is now starting to sink in.

Having helped Trump’s 2016 candidacy and supported his presidency, the Kremlin seems to have painted itself into a corner. It’s not like they could turn to Joe Biden for reassurance. Russian shills have been promoting smears and conspiracy theories about him in Ukraine, and Russian analysts recoil at the notion of a Biden victory. Russian pundits openly describe Trump as someone “stupid enough to start a war,” but roundly reject Biden’s candidacy as an even less appealing alternative.

 Historic SpaceX Demo-2 mission launches to space station:

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