Daily Bread for 9.18.17

Good morning.

Monday in Whitewater will be partly cloudy with a high of seventy-five. Sunrise is 6:39 AM and sunset 6:58 PM, for 12h 18m 59s of daytime. The moon is a waning crescent with 3.3% of its visible disk illuminated. Today is the three hundred thirteenth day.Days since Trump’s election, with 11.9.16 as the first day.

Whitewater’s Library Board meets at 6:30 PM, and there is also a meeting of the Birge Fountain Committee at 6:30 PM.

On this day in 1759, the French formally surrender Quebec to Britain. On this day in 1942, a severe flood overcomes Spring Valley in Pierce County: “On the evening of September 17, 1942, after a day of heavy rain, water began rolling through the streets of Spring Valley, in Pierce Co. The village, strung out along the Eau Galle River in a deep valley, had been inundated before, but this was no ordinary flood. By 11:30p.m., water in the streets was 12 to 20 feet deep, flowing at 12 to 15 miles an hour, and laden with logs, lumber, and dislodged buildings. Throughout the early morning hours of Sept. 18th, village residents became trapped in their homes or were carried downstream as buildings were swept off foundations and floated away. One couple spent the night chest-deep in water in their living room, holding their family dog above the water and fending off floating furniture. The raging torrent uprooted and twisted the tracks of the Northwestern Railroad like wire, and electricity and drinking water were unavailable for several days. Miraculously, there were no deaths or serious injuries.”

Recommended for reading in full —

Peter Baker and Kenneth Vogel report that Trump Lawyers Clash Over How Much to Cooperate With Russia Inquiry:

….At the heart of the clash is an issue that has challenged multiple presidents during high-stakes Washington investigations: how to handle the demands of investigators without surrendering the institutional prerogatives of the office of the presidency. Similar conflicts during the Watergate and Monica S. Lewinsky scandals resulted in court rulings that limited a president’s right to confidentiality.

The debate in Mr. Trump’s West Wing has pitted Donald F. McGahn II, the White House counsel, against Ty Cobb, a lawyer brought in to manage the response to the investigation. Mr. Cobb has argued for turning over as many of the emails and documents requested by the special counsel as possible in hopes of quickly ending the investigation — or at least its focus on Mr. Trump.

Mr. McGahn supports cooperation, but has expressed worry about setting a precedent that would weaken the White House long after Mr. Trump’s tenure is over. He is described as particularly concerned about whether the president will invoke executive or attorney-client privilege to limit how forthcoming Mr. McGahn could be if he himself is interviewed by the special counsel as requested….

(A key question here is whether both Cobb and McGahn have the same information about Trump’s role. If one attorney – let’s say, McGahn – has more information about Trump’s role from emails & documents, then Cobb’s more liberal position on document production many be ill-informed.)

How is it that the Vogel of the times knows about a clash between Attys. Cobb and McGahn? Because, in part, Vogel sat near Cobb and another Trump attorney – John Dowd – while Cobb and Dowd discussed the matter outside on the patio of a public restaurant:

Astonishingly, truly. Cobb started his role with Trump with a good reputation, but he’s since accused a reporter of taking drugs (in a written accusation Cobb leveled at 1:30 AM in the morning) and now a NYT reporter catches him loud-talking about Trump’s case at a public venue.

Brandon Patterson reports that Since Trump’s Big Photo Op With Black College Leaders, He’s Delivered on Nothing, They Say:

In early February, in a high-profile meeting with black leaders in the Oval Office, President Donald Trump promised to make historically black colleges and universities an “absolute priority.” Leaders of HBCUs left that meeting, the culmination of weeks of frequent communication with the incoming Trump administration, feeling enthusiastic. But then Trump unveiled his budget proposal in May: HBCUs got none of the financial boost leaders anticipated. Moreover, Trump planned to cut key grant programs that help a majority of HBCU students. And now, Trump has yet to make good even on the promises contained in an executive order he signed in February, including moving an HCBU liaison into the White House and convening an advisory board for the schools.

Rep. Alma Adams (D-N.C.), a leader on the issue for the Congressional Black Caucus, offered a blunt assessment to Mother Jones of what the Trump administration has done to date for HBCUs: “Nothing.”

Beyond Trump’s unfulfilled promise to relocate the HBCU office from the Department of Education into the White House, his administration hasn’t even announced a pick to lead the office. According to The Chronicle of Higher Education, the White House has had difficulty finding someone willing to take the job. The advisory board, which would guide Trump on issues important to the HBCU community, has yet to convene, says Michael Lomax, president of the United Negro College Fund. “And we’ve had no real consistent communication with the White House or the Department of Education since the meeting in February,” he adds. (The White House declined to respond to questions from Mother Jones)….

David S. CloudTracy Wilkinson and Joseph Tanfani report that the FBI investigates Russian government media organizations accused of spreading propaganda in U.S.:

….A U.S. intelligence community report on Moscow’s interference in the 2016 presidential race concluded in January that Sputnik and RT, as Russia Today is known, were part of a multi-faceted Russian intelligence operation aimed at discrediting democracy and helping Trump win in November.

Some former employees of the Russian media organizations, which operate from separate offices several blocks from the White House, agree with that assessment.

Sputnik “is not a news agency. It’s meant to look like one, but it’s propaganda,” said Andrew Feinberg, a former White House correspondent for Sputnik. He said FBI agents interviewed him for two hours last month about the Russian government’s influence over the operation.

Feinberg said that during his five months at Sputnik, his editors were interested almost exclusively in stories about political conspiracies, and made clear that the organization took orders from Moscow.

“They always wanted to make the U.S. government look stupid,” he said. “I was constantly told, ‘Moscow wanted this or Moscow wanted that.’”

The question of who dictated editorial decisions was of particular concern to the FBI agents who questioned him, Feinberg said….

(Those who work at RT – Russia Today – or Sputnik are worse even than fellow travelers who walk the same path ideologically, so to speak, at Putin. Those who work at RT and Sputnik are fifth columnists, actively engaged in a coordinated foreign enterprise to undermine American institutions.)

Robots are becoming more commonplace, even as valets: