Daily Bread for 9.13.19

Good morning.

Friday in Whitewater will be partly sunny with a high of seventy-two.  Sunrise is 6:33 AM and sunset 7:07 PM, for 12h 34m 44s of daytime.  The moon is full with 99.7% of its visible disk illuminated.
Today is the one thousand thirty-ninth day.

On this day in 1862, Union soldiers discover Gen. Robert E. Lee’s Special Order 191, detailing Confederate troop movements; the discovery gave Union generals valuable information they used to their advantage at the Battle of Antietam.

Recommended for reading in full:

 David Corn reports How to Stop Russia From Attacking and Influencing the 2020 Election:

And Trump, who has never fully acknowledged Putin’s attack in 2016, recently noted that he would accept secret help, in the form of dirt on a political rival, from a foreign government for his reelection campaign. That remark, his call to allow Russia to reenter the G8, and his general Russia-didn’t-do-anything stance certainly send a signal to Putin: Feel free to do it again. Meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has blocked votes on a variety of election security bills.

All of this is particularly maddening because there are steps the US government could take to prevent a repeat of 2016 or something worse. A new report released by the Center for American Progress, a liberal think tank, chronicles what other Western governments have done to counter Moscow’s efforts and outlines steps that could be adopted in the United States to beat back an attack on the next election. (CAP was founded by John Podesta, who certainly cares a lot about Russian attacks: When he was chair of Hillary Clinton’s campaign, his emails were hacked by Russian operatives and leaked by WikiLeaks through the final four weeks of the 2016 campaign.)

The study, written by James Lamond and Talia Dessel, notes that “Russia is consistently shifting and updating its interference tactics, making it even harder to protect future elections,” and the paper examines several case studies of Russian intervention since the 2016 election. In 2017, Moscow sought to influence the French presidential election to boost the odds for Marine Le Pen, the National Front candidate running against Emmanuel Macron on an anti-immigrant, anti-EU, anti-NATO, and pro-Russia platform. During that race, Russia mounted a disinformation campaign using rumor and forged documents, cyberattacks on campaign officials, and a leak of stolen data. That same year, Russia-linked trolls and bots amplified the messages of the far-right Alternative for Germany party, known as the AfD, in Germany during the federal election there. (The Kremlin also boosted the themes of the left-wing anti-fascists—a sign Moscow was aiming to sow overall political discord.) In 2018, Russian state propaganda outfits consistently smeared Sweden, while a populist, anti-immigrant party was vying for power in that country’s election. In 2019, Russia-linked operatives used disinformation efforts during elections for the European Parliament to suppress voter turnout.

Sen. Harris last night offered a timely reminder about Trump’s intentions:

NASA Goddard has posted Hubble’s Brand New Image of Saturn:

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