Daily Bread for 6.27.20

Good morning.

Saturday in Whitewater will see scattered thundershowers with a high of eighty-six. Sunrise is 5:18 AM and sunset 8:37 PM, for 15h 18m 29s of daytime.  The moon is waxing crescent with 40.6% of its visible disk illuminated.

Today is the one thousand three hundred twenty-seventh day. 

On this day in 1937, Solomon Juneau founds the Milwaukee Sentinel.

Recommended for reading in full —

Charlie Savage, Eric Schmitt, and Michael Schwirtz report Russia Secretly Offered Afghan Militants Bounties to Kill U.S. Troops, Intelligence Says (‘The Trump administration has been deliberating for months about what to do about a stunning intelligence assessment’):

American intelligence officials have concluded that a Russian military intelligence unit secretly offered bounties to Taliban-linked militants for killing coalition forces in Afghanistan — including targeting American troops — amid the peace talks to end the long-running war there, according to officials briefed on the matter.

The United States concluded months ago that the Russian unit, which has been linked to assassination attempts and other covert operations in Europe intended to destabilize the West or take revenge on turncoats, had covertly offered rewards for successful attacks last year.

Islamist militants, or armed criminal elements closely associated with them, are believed to have collected some bounty money, the officials said. Twenty Americans were killed in combat in Afghanistan in 2019, but it was not clear which killings were under suspicion.

The intelligence finding was briefed to President Trump, and the White House’s National Security Council discussed the problem at an interagency meeting in late March, the officials said. Officials developed a menu of potential options — starting with making a diplomatic complaint to Moscow and a demand that it stop, along with an escalating series of sanctions and other possible responses, but the White House has yet to authorize any step, the officials said.

 Philip Bump describes The ridiculous coronavirus denialism of Trump’s top economic adviser:

Larry Kudlow came to President Trump’s National Economic Council by way of a stint on cable television, a not-uncommon path for members of Trump’s team. His job is straightforward: He is responsible for ensuring that the administration enacts policies aimed at bolstering the economy, a central concern for the president as his reelection looms.

Kudlow’s most obvious efforts at massaging the economy, though, seem to echo those of Trump: assuring Americans and U.S. businesses that the coronavirus pandemic is under control.

That’s been his role for a while. In late February, Kudlow appeared on television to assure the country that the virus was contained “pretty close to airtight.” It wasn’t: The virus was already spreading without detection and the first case of that spread would be reported less than 48 hours later. It’s not just that Kudlow was incorrect. It’s that he was obviously incorrect at the time he made the claim he made.


“There are some hot spots. We’re on it,” Kudlow reiterated Monday. “We know how to deal with this stuff now, we’ve come a long way since last winter and there is no second wave coming.”

That was Monday, when the seven-day average of new cases in the United States was 27,645, according to a Washington Post analysis. That was already up 28 percent from the average June 15. Since Monday, that average has climbed another 12 percent, leading to one of the highest averages the country has seen since the pandemic emerged.

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