Daily Bread for 7.15.17

Good morning.

Saturday in Whitewater will be sunny with a high of eighty-two. Sunrise is 5:30 AM and sunset 8:30 PM, for 14h 59m 53s of daytime. The moon is a waning gibbous with 64.4% of its visible disk illuminated.Today is the two hundred forty-eighth day.Days since Trump’s election, with 11.9.16 as the first day.

On this day in 1980, the state experiences the Western Wisconsin Derecho, “a severe weather system that moved through several western counties on July 15, 1980. It cut a 20-mile-wide swath through St Croix, Pierce, Dunn, Eau Claire, Chippewa, and Clark counties. Although much of the storm’s damage was caused by straight-line winds in excess of 100 mph, several tornadoes were also reported. The storm caused nearly $160M in damage (1980 dollars) and killed three people.”

Recommended for reading in full —

Rolf Mowatt-Larssen, who served for three years as director of intelligence & counterintelligence at the Dept. of Energy and 23 years as a CIA intelligence officer, writes that Trump Jr.’s Russia meeting sure sounds like a Russian intelligence operation:

Donald Trump Jr. is seeking to write off as a nonevent his meeting last year with a Russian lawyer who was said to have damaging information about Hillary Clinton. “It was such a nothing,” he told Fox News’s Sean Hannity on Tuesday. “There was nothing to tell.”

But everything we know about the meeting — from whom it involved to how it was set up to how it unfolded — is in line with what intelligence analysts would expect an overture in a Russian influence operation to look like. It bears all the hallmarks of a professionally planned, carefully orchestrated intelligence soft pitch designed to gauge receptivity, while leaving room for plausible deniability in case the approach is rejected. And the Trump campaign’s willingness to take the meeting — and, more important, its failure to report the episode to U.S. authorities — may have been exactly the green light Russia was looking for to launch a more aggressive phase of intervention in the U.S. election….

Paul Krugman describes The New Climate of Treason:

The radicalization of the GOP began as a top-down affair, driven by big-money interests that financed campaigns and think tanks, pushing the party to the right. But to win elections, the forces engaged in this push cynically appealed to darker impulses – racism first and foremost, but also culture war, anti-intellectualism, and so on. To make this appeal, they created a media establishment – Fox News, talk radio, and so on – which drew in many working-class whites. This meant that a large segment of the population was no longer hearing the same news – basically not experiencing the same account of reality – as the rest of us. So what had been real but not extreme differences became extreme differences in political outlook.

And political figures either adapted or were pushed out. There once were Republicans who would have reacted with horror to Trump’s embrace of Putin, but they’ve left the scene, or are no longer considered Republicans.

Ryan Reilly reports that Judge Tosses Jury’s Conviction Of Woman Who Laughed At Jeff Sessions, Orders New Trial:

WASHINGTON – A D.C. judge has tossed out a jury’s conviction of a protester who laughed during Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ Senate confirmation hearing, finding on Friday that the government had improperly argued during the trial that her laughter was enough to merit a guilty verdict. The judge ordered a new trial in the case, setting a court date for Sept. 1.

Desiree Fairooz, 61, who was associated with the group Code Pink, had been convicted of disorderly and disruptive conduct and demonstrating inside the Capitol. Fairooz was taken into custody during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing in January after she laughed when Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) claimed Sessions had a “clear and well-documented” record of “treating all Americans equally under the law.” (The Senate rejected Sessions’ nomination for a federal judgeship in the 1980s over concerns about his views on race.)

But Chief Judge Robert E. Morin of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia tossed out the guilty verdict on Friday because the government had argued that the laugh alone was enough to warrant the verdict.

Maureen C. Gilmer writes that in Indiana, a Bride-to-be calls off wedding, invites homeless to her reception:

INDIANAPOLIS — Sarah Cummins was supposed to get married this weekend. The 25-year-old Purdue University pharmacy student had been planning her dream wedding for two years, scrimping and working overtime to save for the $30,000 extravaganza.

A week ago, she called it off (she prefers not to say why) and was left with a broken heart and a nonrefundable contract for a venue and a plated dinner for 170 guests Saturday night at the Ritz Charles in Carmel….

Then she decided to bring some purpose to her pain. She worked with event planner Maddie LaDow at the Ritz Charles to re-arrange the reception area, then started contacting homeless shelters in Indianapolis and Noblesville and inviting residents to her party.

“We’re doing all the same stuff, just arranging the tables differently, so there’s no head table for the bridal party, no cake table or gift table,” she said.

Why is Take Me Out to the Ballgame is Sung During the 7th Inning Stretch? Here’s why: