Thursday in Whitewater will be sunny with a high of twenty-seven. Sunrise is 7:18 AM and sunset 4:21 PM, for 9h 03m 04s of daytime. The moon is a waning crescent with 11.5% of its visible disk illuminated. Today is the four hundredth day.Days since Trump’s election, with 11.9.16 as the first day.
Whitewater’s Police & Fire Commission meets at 6:30 PM.
On this day in 1911, Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen and his team become the first people to reach the South Pole. On this day in 1893, historian Frederick Jackson Turner delivers his address on the “Significance of the Frontier in American History” at the forty-first annual meeting of the State Historical Society of Wisconsin.
Recommended for reading in full —
Trump’s started a trend for the autocratic – Meet the Strongmen Who’ve Started Blaming ‘Fake News’ Too:
Sarah Kendzior contends With Trump, The GOP Is Playing A Game Of Diminishing Returns:
In December 2016, South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham emerged as one of the strongest Republican critics of Donald Trump, and particularly, of his ties with Russia. Graham called for a bipartisan investigation, warning that while the Kremlin had targeted the Democrats this time, it could be the Republicans next. He noted that Russians had hacked his email, and proclaimed: “Russian hacking during the U.S. presidential election is not a Republican or Democrat issue. It’s an American issue. We must stand together.”
One year later, Lindsey Graham is taking a different stand–alongside Donald Trump at his golf course, which Graham deemed “spectacular” in his latest bout of gushing sycophancy toward the POTUS he once rejected. On November 30, Graham slammed the press for characterizing Trump as “some kind of kook not fit to be president,” directly contradicting his own words from 2016, when he said: “I think he’s a kook. I think he’s crazy. I think he’s unfit for office”….
Given that some of Graham’s worst fears about Trump’s Kremlin ties and mental state have been legitimized, what accounts for the senator’s changed attitude toward the president? There are a variety of possible rationales available for conjecture, many of which apply to the GOP at large. Opportunism may play a role, as Graham complies with Trump in order to pursue right-wing extremist economic policies and war. Blackmail may also be an issue, given that Graham has admitted his email was hacked, as was the RNC’s, by Russia. Trump has derided and threatened members of Congress and private citizens, and it’s not a stretch to imagine him unleashing his fire– publicly or privately–on Graham.
Graham’s radical change in rhetoric is reminiscent of the behavior one sees in autocratic regimes when potential political opponents are mollified or threatened into compliance. But the truly troubling question is not what is driving his changed behavior, but what it means for the rest of the GOP, especially as speculation mounts that the Trump administration could end Mueller’s investigation and propagandists recast Republicans like James Comey and Mueller as enemies of the state. In 2016, Graham initiated the call for an investigation into Trump’s Kremlin ties. In 2018, judging by his recent actions, Graham may lead the way in ensuring there are no consequences for what investigators have discovered….
Kelly Weill reports Alt-Right Hyped Anti-Schumer Forgery That Plagiarized Conyers Complaint:
A forged document accusing the top Democrat in the Senate of sexual harassment copied language verbatim from a real sexual-harassment complaint filed against Rep. John Conyers.
On Tuesday afternoon, right-wing social media personalities Charles Johnson and Mike Cernovich boasted of obtaining a document that would put a senator out of a job….
The senator was Minority Leader Charles Schumer of New York, Axios first reported.
But the document was fake. A copy of the document obtained by The Daily Beast purports to be draft lawsuit complaint against Schumer by a former staffer, accusing him of sexual harassment. Schumer’s office told The Daily Beast the document and her signature are forgeries. Schumer’s office said the senator was not in Washington, D.C. or the United States during several dates in the document when he is said to have harassed the staffer.
“The document is a forged document and every allegation is false,” Schumer spokesperson Matt House told The Daily Beast. “We have turned it over to the Capitol Police and asked them to investigate and pursue criminal charges because it is clear the law has been broken. We believe the individual responsible for forging the document should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law to prevent other malicious actors from doing the same”….
The Conyers complaint references “House Rule 23” and a “mediation” process between Conyers and his accuser. The fake Schumer complaint also describes allegations as falling under “House Rule 23,” which of course does not exist in the Senate. The “mediation” process in the Schumer document was never mentioned again.
(White nationalists – and that’s the alt-right most simply defined – are perverse, but imitatively so. Copying another document must have seemed clever to them, even when using a term for a House procedure that would be inapplicable in the Senate.)
Sarah Pulliam Bailey describes ‘A spiritual battle:’ How Roy Moore tested white evangelical allegiance to the Republican Party:
Roy Moore’s failed run for Alabama’s Senate seat tested white evangelicals’ allegiance to the Republican Party. Would they vote for a candidate who shares their conservative views on social issues even though he was accused of sexual misconduct by multiple women?
Exit polls suggest they did just that, with 80 percent of white evangelicals who voted selecting Moore in Tuesday’s special election, which was narrowly won by Doug Jones, the Democratic candidate.
Part of Moore’s campaign strategy was to appeal to Christian nationalism — the belief that God has a uniquely Christian purpose for the United States. It has long made him a polarizing figure nationwide but has also kept him popular in his own state.
Andrew Whitehead, a sociologist at Clemson University in South Carolina who studies Christian nationalism, said evangelicals are the religious group most likely to identify with Christian nationalism. Alabama has one of the highest percentages of white evangelicals, and, he said, more than half of Southerners identify with a Christian nationalist narrative.
“The view is that God can use anybody as long as they’re promoting Christian nationalist or ideals or values,” Whitehead said. “It’s all about a quest for power and what serves the purpose in the political moment”….
(Trumpist evangelicals push this false – and indeed heretical – ideology, and dare other religious people to challenge it. So be it – act utilitarianism is not a Christian tenet, and never was, never will be.)
Ross Douthat contends As Goes Moore, So Goes Trumpism:
….But who are we kidding [about a Trump course correction]? The Obama White House considered a course correction [after Republican Scott Brown’s election in Massachusetts] because for all its flaws it was a rational and functional place, capable of doing cost-benefit analyses and changing strategies as the political situation altered. And team Obama decided to stay the course for what were debatable but also rational reasons — the theory that a sweeping health care bill would be simply worth the political pain and midterm election losses required to get it passed.
No such rationality exists in the Trump White House, no such cost-benefit analyses are conducted, no such vision for what the president wants as his legacy exists. You can’t change course without a map; you can’t change your plan when you don’t have one to begin with. Maybe we’ll get a new and “presidential” Trump for a few days or even a couple of weeks after this debacle; maybe there will be talk of reaching out beyond the Hannity demographic and trying to act like the president of all Americans for a while. But none of it should be taken seriously. Trump can control himself for a short time here and there, but tomorrow is always another day. And Twitter is always waiting — filled with liberals asking for a triggering, all the haters and losers waiting to get owned.
No, there will be no course correction — only the Trump we’ve seen so far, the Trump who would rather have the G.O.P. fall in ruins around him than give up on his feuds and insults and absurd behavior, the Trump who made Senator Doug Jones our strange reality, and the Trump who is also responsible for the larger wave that’s building, building, for next fall.