Daily Bread for 1.18.17

Good morning.

Wednesday in town will see afternoon clouds give way to afternoon sunshine, with a high of forty-four. Sunrise is 7:20 AM and sunset 4:51 PM, for 9h 30m 51s. The moon is a waning gibbous with 63.3% of its visible disk illuminated. Today is the seventy-first day.Days since Trump’s election, with 11.9.16 as the first day.

Whitewater’s Parks & Recreation Board meets at 6:30 PM.

Recommended for reading in full — 

Conservative Jennifer Rubin asks Can Democrats learn to fight fire with fire?: “Democrats will need to shape the political battlefield if they want to stop elements of President-elect Donald Trump’s agenda and set themselves up to at least hold even, if not gain seats, in 2018. They have figured out that Trump watches TV a lot, so their opposition must often take the form of big events (e.g. marches to preserve Obamacare) or ready-made media narratives (e.g. more than 50 Democrats won’t go to the inauguration). They will have another chance on Saturday with the Women’s March on Washington (and local marches all over the country) for which they hope crowds and participants will be nearly as big as, or bigger than, the inauguration audience. Flashy, dramatic, made for TV. Using the Trump playbook against him may be the most effective way to at least get his attention, if not persuade him.”

David A. Graham considers Monica Crowley and the Limits of Trump’s Dismissal of the Press: “But Trump’s repeated claims that the press was irrelevant and powerless should never have been taken at face value, and Crowley’s withdrawal underscores this. Trump’s political genius was not in steering away from the press. It was recognizing how important the press was and figured out ways to marshal it to his own ends. When he blasted the press as powerless early in the campaign, it was disingenuous posturing. Throughout his career as a businessman, Trump grasped the power of using the media to his own ends, and that may be the most important lesson he brings to Washington. (By the end of the campaign, his attacks on the media seemed to become personal, as he got angrier and angrier at the stories about him.) The Crowley affair shows that while the president-elect may be unusually skilled at manipulating the press, he is not omnipotent.”

Conor Friedersdorf ponders  The Irrationally Divided Critics of Donald Trump: “A large cohort of Americans have reservations about the presidency of Donald Trump, who lost the popular vote by 2.9 million, strikes many who did vote for him as a highly flawed “lesser of two evils,” and has a dismal 37 percent approval rating. These ideologically diverse skeptics must cooperate if they hope to minimize the damage they believe the Trump Administration will do to America if left unopposed. But so far, they are easily divided. In fact, they cannot even refrain from attacking or alienating one another on matters where they are mostly in agreement.”

Gael Fashingbauer Cooper reports that Chewbacca rips off arm in deleted ‘Force Awakens’ scene: “The dramatic scene is less than a minute long, but it shows heroine Rey (Daisy Ridley) being threatened by hulking junk boss Unkar Plutt, who wants revenge and the return of the Millennium Falcon. As you can guess, Falcon co-pilot Chewbacca isn’t going to let that happen, and he rips Unkar Platt’s entire arm off and tosses it onto a table. The scene is included as an extra on the “Force Awakens” 3D Blu-ray. It started trending this weekend after a fan posted it to YouTube.”

There are alligators, and then there are alligators –