Daily Bread for 1.8.17

Good morning.

Sunday in Whitewater will be mostly sunny with a high of eighteen. Sunrise is 7:24 AM and sunset 4:39 PM, for 9h 14m 42s of daytime. The moon is a waxing gibbous with 80% of its visible disk illuminated. Today is the sixty-first day.Days since Trump’s election, with 11.9.16 as the first day.

On this day in 1877, Crazy Horse fights his last battle at the Battle of Wolf Mountain. On this day in 1910, a plan to use vagrants to shovel snow in a Janesville, Wisconsin rail yard hits a snag when the shovelers strike for twenty-five cents per hour and better food.

Recommended for reading in full —

Judd Legum observes that Trump mentioned Wikileaks 164 times in last month of election, now claims it didn’t impact one voter: “President-elect Trump says that information published by Wikileaks, which the U.S. intelligence community says was hacked by Russia, had “absolutely no effect on the outcome of the election.” This was not the view of candidate Trump, who talked about Wikileaks and the content of the emails it released at least 164 times in last month of the campaign. ThinkProgress calculated the number by reviewing transcripts of Trump’s speeches, media appearances and debates over the last 30 days of the campaign. Trump talked extensively about Wikileaks in the final days of a campaign that was ultimately decided by just 100,000 votes in Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania combined.”  [Clinton won the national popular vote by 2,864,974 votes, or 2.1%]

Aaron Blake describes Trump’s bogus claim that intelligence report says Russia didn’t impact the 2016 election outcome: “So while Trump says the intelligence report “stated very strongly there was absolutely no evidence that hacking affected the election results,” the intelligence report itself says it “did not make an assessment of the impact that Russian activities had on the outcome of the 2016 election.” No assessment does not mean no evidence. It means they’re not attempting to answer that question.”

Greg Sargeant observes that Yes, Donald Trump ‘lies.’ A lot. And news organizations should say so: “Take Trump’s biggest lie of all — his racist birther claim. Trump himself originally conceived of it as a means of entree into the political consciousness of GOP primary voters. It was debunked countless times over many years. Yet Trump kept his birther campaign going all throughout anyway. In these cases, was Trump lying? The standard that Baker adopts — that there must be a provable intent to mislead — seems woefully inadequate to informing readers about what Trump is really up to here. Sure, it’s possible that Trump continued to believe these things after they were debunked. We cannot prove otherwise. But so what? If we accept that it’s possible to prove something to be false — which [Wall Street Journal editor Gerard ]Baker does [on an episode of Meet the Press], judging by his own comments — then we presumably also accept that this can be adequately proved to Trump. And so, Trump is telling a falsehood even though it has been demonstrated to him to be a falsehood. If we don’t call that “lying,” or if we don’t squarely and prominently label these claims as “false,” don’t we risk enabling Trump’s apparent efforts to obliterate the possibility of agreement on shared reality?”

Anna Fifield finds that Japan’s trains are in a league of their own. Japan’s subculture of train fanatics is no different: “TOKYO — Just as Japan’s trains are in a league of their own, so too are its trainspotters. This country, where a 20-second delay leads to profuse apologies on the platforms and conductors bow to passengers as they enter the train car, has taken train nerd-dom to a new level. Sure, there are the vanilla trainspotters who take photos of various trains around the country. They’re called tori-tetsu. (Tori means to take, and tetsu means train.) But there are also nori-tetsu, people who enjoy traveling on trains; yomi-tetsu, those who love to read about trains, especially train schedules; oto-tetsu, the people who record the sound of trains; sharyo-tetsu, fans of train design; eki-tetsu, people who study stations; and even ekiben-tetsu, aficionados of the exquisite bento lunchboxes sold at stations. And that’s not even getting into the subcultures of experts on train wiring, the geeks who intercept train radio signals or the would-be conductors. Even in the internet age, Japan still prints phone-book sized tomes of train timetables. “It’s really hard to find people here who hate taking trains,” said Junichi Sugiyama, a journalist who writes about trains and the author of train-related books including “How to Enjoy Railroads From Train Schedules.”

So how is tweed made? This way —