Daily Bread for 9.14.18

Good morning.

Friday in Whitewater will be mostly sunny, with a high of eighty-four.  Sunrise is 6:34 AM and sunset 7:05 PM, for 12h 31m 10s of daytime.  The moon is a waxing crescent with 27.1% of its visible disk illuminated.

Today is the six hundred seventieth day.Days since Trump’s election, with 11.9.16 as the first day.

On this day in 1812, French dictator Napoleon enters Moscow, only to find the city abandoned:

On September 14, 1812, Napoleon moved into Moscow. However, he was surprised to have received no delegation from the city. At the approach of a victorious general, the civil authorities customarily presented themselves at the gates of the city with the keys to the city in an attempt to safeguard the population and their property. As nobody received Napoleon he sent his aides into the city, seeking out officials with whom the arrangements for the occupation could be made. When none could be found, it became clear that the Russians had left the city unconditionally.[85] In a normal surrender, the city officials would be forced to find billets and make arrangements for the feeding of the soldiers, but the situation caused a free-for-all in which every man was forced to find lodgings and sustenance for himself. Napoleon was secretly disappointed by the lack of custom as he felt it robbed him of a traditional victory over the Russians, especially in taking such a historically significant city.[85] To make matters worse, Moscow had been stripped of all supplies by its governor, Feodor Rostopchin, who had also ordered the prisons to be opened.

Before the order was received to evacuate Moscow, the city had a population of approximately 270,000 people. As much of the population pulled out, the remainder were burning or robbing the remaining stores of food, depriving the French of their use. As Napoleon entered the Kremlin, there still remained one-third of the original population, mainly consisting of foreign traders, servants and people who were unable or unwilling to flee. These, including the several hundred strong French colony, attempted to avoid the troops.

Recommended for reading in full — 

Patrick Marley reports Legal woes at teen prison have cost Wisconsin $20.6 million and counting:

Lawsuits over the problems at Wisconsin’s juvenile prison complex have cost the state $20.6 million so far and those costs will continue to rise — possibly by large sums if some cases aren’t resolved in the state’s favor.

The facility for more than three years has been under criminal investigation for prisoner abuse and child neglect. If charges are issued, that could open the state to more legal exposure from lawsuits.

“It’s the cost of getting it wrong,” state Rep. Evan Goyke (D-Milwaukee) said of the state’s legal tab.

RELATED: Wisconsin will pay nearly $19 million to former teen inmate injured in suicide attempt

The legal fees and settlements come on top of an $80 million plan by Gov. Scott Walker and lawmakers to close Lincoln Hills School for Boys and Copper Lake School for Girls by 2021 and replace them with regional facilities for teen inmates.

Glenn Kessler writes Anatomy of a Trump rally: 68 percent of claims are false, misleading or lacking evidence:

More than two-thirds of every factual claim made by President Trump at two of his rallies turns out to be false, misleading or unsupported by evidence.

In July, The Fact Checker examined every factual claim made by the president at a rally in Montana. He returned to Montana on Sept. 6, and we decided once again to put every statement of material fact to the truth test to see whether the July rally was an outlier.

In July, 76 percent of his 98 statements were false, misleading or unsupported by the evidence. Last week the tally, out of 88 statements, was 68 percent. The average percentage for the two rallies was 72 percent.

Trump may have done slightly better, fact-wise, at the more recent rally because he spoke more about bills he had signed and actions he had taken. But he veered off course with his tendency to unnecessarily hype good economic data with assertions that it was the best in U.S. history.

John Wagner and David Fahrenthold report Trump asked to have Braille removed from elevators in early 1980s, executive says:

Barbara Res, a former vice president in charge of construction, made the allegation in an op-ed published Wednesday by the New York Daily News and in a subsequent interview with The Washington Post, in which she said the incident happened in 1980 or 1981 as Trump Tower was being designed.

According to Res’s account, an architect came to Trump’s office to show him designs for the interiors of residential elevator cabs in Trump Tower, which also hosts businesses. He noticed dots next to the buttons and asked what they were, she said.

“Braille,” the architect replied, according to Res.

Trump then told the architect to “get rid of it,” and the architect resisted, saying doing so would be against the law, she said.

“Get rid of the (expletive) Braille. No blind people are going to live in Trump Tower. Just do it,” Trump told the architect, according to Res’s account.

The Committee to Investigate Russia writes Following the Money that Followed the Meeting:

According to BuzzFeed News, federal law enforcement officials are investigating two waves of curious financial transfers involving Aras and Emin Agalarov that took place at two key points in time that could be relevant to the Russia investigation.

The first set came just 11 days after the June 9 meeting, when an offshore company controlled by [Aras] Agalarov wired more than $19.5 million to his account at a bank in New York.

The second flurry began shortly after Trump was elected. The Agalarov family started sending what would amount to $1.2 million from their bank in Russia to an account in New Jersey controlled by the billionaire’s son, pop singer Emin Agalarov, and two of his friends. The account had been virtually dormant since the summer of 2015, according to records reviewed by BuzzFeed News, and bankers found it strange that activity in Emin Agalarov’s checking account surged after Trump’s victory.

After the election, that New Jersey account sent money to a company controlled by Irakly “Ike” Kaveladze, a longtime business associate of the Agalarovs and their representative at the Trump Tower meeting. Kaveladze’s company, meanwhile, had long funded a music business set up by the person who first proposed the meeting to the Trump camp, Emin Agalarov’s brash British publicist, Rob Goldstone.


The transactions came to light after law enforcement officials instructed financial institutions in mid-2017 to go back through their records to look for suspicious behavior by people connected to the broader Trump-Russia investigation. The bankers filed “suspicious activity reports” to the Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, which in turn shared them with the FBI, the IRS, congressional committees investigating Russian interference, and members of special counsel Robert Mueller’s team.

Suspicious activity reports are not evidence of wrongdoing, but they can provide clues to investigators looking into possible money laundering, tax evasion, or other misconduct. In the case of the Agalarovs and their associates, bankers raised red flags about the transactions but were unable to definitively say how the funds were used.


Over the past nine months, BuzzFeed News has reported on the financial behavior of Manafort, former Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak, accused foreign agent Maria Butina, GOP operative Peter W. Smith, and others.

In the case of the Agalarovs and their associates, the documents show funds moving quickly between accounts across the globe, often, bankers said, with no clear reason and with no clear purpose for how the money was supposed to be used.

BuzzFeed details exactly why the money transfers raised red flags. The timeline starts with the Trump Tower meeting between Donald Trump Jr.Jared KushnerPaul ManafortNatalia VeselnitskayaKaveladze, and others, set up for the Agalarovs through Goldstone, which took place on June 9, 2016.

Eleven days later — on June 20, the day Trump fired campaign chief Corey Lewandowski and put Manafort in charge — Aras Agalarov used a company called Silver Valley Consulting to move millions that bankers flagged as suspicious.

Silver Valley’s only address is a post office box in the capital of the British Virgin Islands, a country seen as a haven for money laundering and tax evasion. On June 20, Silver Valley sent through its Zurich-based account at Societe Generale Suisse a wire transfer for a little more than $19.5 million to Agalarov’s account at Morgan Stanley in the US.

That same day, another entity controlled by Agalarov — ZAO Crocus International, an arm of his business empire — sent a wire transfer through Societe Generale Suisse for about $43,000 to the same Morgan Stanley account.


Swiss employees of the bank told their American colleagues that the account was closed in May 2017, but that “due to Swiss confidentiality laws the requested information cannot be provided.”


Between 2006 and 2016, Silver Valley made nearly 200 transactions for $190 million. Bankers believed that most were legitimate and were part of Agalarov’s global construction business. But some of the transactions raised red flags.

Bank officials said they found high, round-dollar amounts sent to or received from shell companies. Round-dollar wire transfers often trigger alarm bells because most transactions are not that clean. Bankers also noted that some of the transactions passed through multiple companies, a process that can indicate “layering,” a way to hide the original source of funds.

US bank examiners also found that Silver Valley received nearly $900,000 in 2012 from a Russian investigated in the past for tax evasion and embezzlement.


The following year, Silver Valley received two payments from an aviation firm that were flagged by bankers because they learned that a shareholder was involved with a suspected Russian money laundering scheme.

(I’ve linked here to the Committee to Investigate Russia as a friendly reminder that it’s a good collection – from national and international sources – of information on Russian interference in American democracy.)

The Curious Case of Shizo Kanakuri’s 1912 Olympic Marathon Run:

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