Daily Bread for 9.27.17

Good morning.

Midweek in Whitewater will be partly cloudy with a high of sixty-nine. Sunrise is 6:48 AM and sunset 6:41 PM, for 11h 53m 01s of daytime. The moon is a waxing crescent with 44.7% of its visible disk illuminated. Today is the three hundred twenty-second day.Days since Trump’s election, with 11.9.16 as the first day.

Whitewater’s Fire Department has a business meeting scheduled for 6:30 PM.

On this day in 1862, the 29th Wisconsin Infantry musters in: “It would go on to participate in the battles of Port Gibson, Champion Hill, the Sieges of Vicksburg and Jackson, the Red River Campaign, the siege of Spanish Fort and the capture of Fort Blakely, Alabama.”

Recommended for reading in full — 

Adam Serwer sees A Nation of Snowflakes (“The greatest threats to free speech in America come from the state, not from activists on college campuses”):

The American left is waging war on free speech. That’s the consensus from center-left to far right; even Nazis and white supremacists seek to wave the First Amendment like a bloody shirt. But the greatest contemporary threat to free speech comes not from antifa radicals or campus leftists, but from a president prepared to use the power and authority of government to chill or suppress controversial speech, and the political movement that put him in office, and now applauds and extends his efforts….

Neither have some conservatives disdained to use of the power or authority of the state to censor free speech. Republican legislators have proposed “Blue Lives Matter” bills that essentially criminalize peaceful protest; bills that all but outlaw protest itself; and bills that offer some protections to drivers who strike protestors with automobiles. GOP lawmakers have used the state to restrict speech, such as barring doctors from raising abortion or guns with patientsopposition to the construction of Muslim religious buildings, and attempts to stifle anti-Israel activism.

There’s physical assault of a reporter by a Republican candidate in Montana; Attorney General Jeff Sessions’s prosecution and re-prosecution of an activist who laughed at him during his confirmation hearing; his multiple public refusals to rule out prosecuting journalists; the president’s vows to imprison his political rivals; his encouragement of violence against protesters; Trump’s threat to tax Amazon because its owner Jeff Bezos is also the owner of The Washington Post, which has published coverage critical of the president; the White House’s demands that ESPN fire Jemele Hill, a black on-air host who called the president a white supremacist; and Trump’s attempt to chill press criticism by naming the media an “enemy of the people” have all drawn cheers from some conservative commentators.

In this sense, Trump’s views on free speech, exemplified by his threat to cut off federal funding to Berkeley on free-speech grounds, and his later demand that NFL team owners fire players who protest police brutality, perfectly exemplify the strain of conservatism that insists those on the left are sensitive snowflakes who cannot sustain a dissenting view, and that simultaneously angrily demands that the state and society sanction the left for the expression of political views it finds distasteful….

(Trumpists insist others are snowflakes, but they are, themselves, the first ones to melt when the temperature rises.)

Patrick Marley reports In reversal, feds proclaim Russians did not seek to hack Wisconsin’s election system:

MADISON – The federal Department of Homeland Security reversed itself Tuesday and told Wisconsin officials that the Russian government had not tried to hack the state’s voter registration system last year.

Instead, Homeland Security said, the Russians had attempted to access a computer system controlled by another state agency.

The development — disclosed during a meeting of the Wisconsin Elections Commission — came four days after federal officials told the state that Russians had tried to hack systems in Wisconsin and 20 other states….

(The Trump Administration cares so little about Russian interference in the American electoral process that it cannot even produce an accurate accounting hundreds of days after Trump’s poorly-attended inaugural.)

Joseph Bernstein reports that Steve Bannon Sought To Infiltrate Facebook Hiring:

Steve Bannon plotted to plant a mole inside Facebook, according to emails sent days before the Breitbart boss took over Donald Trump’s campaign and obtained by BuzzFeed News.

The email exchange with a conservative Washington operative reveals the importance that the giant tech platform — now reeling from its role in the 2016 election — held for one of the campaign’s central figures. And it also shows the lengths to which the brawling new American right is willing to go to keep tabs on and gain leverage over the Silicon Valley giants it used to help elect Trump — but whose executives it also sees as part of the globalist enemy.

The idea to infiltrate Facebook came to Bannon from Chris Gacek, a former congressional staffer who is now an official at the Family Research Council, which lobbies against abortion and many LGBT rights.

“There is one for a DC-based ‘Public Policy Manager’ at Facebook’s What’s APP [sic] division,” Gacek, the senior fellow for regulatory affairs at the group, wrote on Aug. 1, 2016. “LinkedIn sent me a notice about some job openings.”

“This seems perfect for Breitbart to flood the zone with candidates of all stripe who will report back to you / Milo with INTEL about the job application process over at FB,” he continued….

Josh Dawsey reports that Russian-funded Facebook ads backed Stein, Sanders and Trump:

Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein was the beneficiary of at least one of the Russian-bought political ads on Facebook that federal government officials suspect were intended to influence the 2016 election.

Other advertisements paid for by shadowy Russian buyers criticized Hillary Clinton and promoted Donald Trump. Some backed Bernie Sanders and his platform even after his presidential campaign had ended, according to a person with knowledge of the ads.

The pro-Stein ad came late in the political campaign and pushed her candidacy for president, this person said.

“Choose peace and vote for Jill Stein,” the ad reads. “Trust me. It’s not a wasted vote. … The only way to take our country back is to stop voting for the corporations and banks that own us. #GrowaSpineVoteJillStein.”

The ads show a complicated effort that didn’t necessarily hew to promoting Trump and bashing Clinton. Instead, they show a desire to create divisions while sometimes praising Trump, Sanders and Stein. A number of the ads seemed to question Clinton’s authenticity and tout some of the liberal criticisms of her candidacy….

(This is predictable: Putin’s primary aims were to undermine the American constitutional order generally, and Sec. Clinton specifically. Trump wasn’t the only candidate by which Putin sought to weaken Clinton – Trump was simply the best means by which to damage America.)

There are model builders, but this man built a giant model of a “Star Wars” AT-AT in his yard:

Well done, very well done.