Daily Bread for 12.1.17

Good morning.

Whitewater’s December begins with partly cloudy skies and a high of fifty-two. Sunrise is 7:06 AM and sunset 4:21 PM, for 9h 14m 48s of daytime. The moon is a waximng gibbous with 93.8% of its visible disk illuminated. Today is the three hundred eighty-seventh day.Days since Trump’s election, with 11.9.16 as the first day.

Whitewater will hold a Parade of Lights tonight, under the theme I’m Dreaming of a Whitewater Christmas. The parade begins at 6 PM, but there are events beforehand.

On this day in 1862, Pres. Lincoln delivered his Second Annual Message to Congress. In that message, he concluded in part:

Fellow-citizens, we can not escape history. We of this Congress and this Administration will be remembered in spite of ourselves. No personal significance or insignificance can spare one or another of us. The fiery trial through which we pass will light us down in honor or dishonor to the latest generation. We say we are for the Union. The world will not forget that we say this. We know how to save the Union. The world knows we do know how to save it. We, even we here, hold the power and bear the responsibility….

Lincoln refers here to ending slavery, but these words apply equally well to our present national challenges. Every event, day, season, and year will be better when these challenges are swept from our nation.

Recommended for reading in full —

Josh Dawsey and Devlin Barrett report Michael Flynn scheduled to plead guilty to lying to FBI:

Former national security adviser Michael Flynn has agreed to plead guilty Friday to lying to the FBI about his contacts with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, marking another monumental development in the wide-ranging probe of Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III.

Flynn was expected to enter a plea at 10:30 a.m. Eastern time, according to the special counsel’s office. The charge relates to false statements Flynn made to the FBI on January 24, four days after President Trump was inaugurated, about his conversations with Kislyak during the transition.

Flynn is accused of making false statements to the FBI about asking the ambassador in late December to “refrain from escalating the situation in response to sanctions that the United States had imposed on Russia that same day.” Flynn also told authorities he did not recall the ambassador saying the Russians would moderate their response to the Obama administration sanctions after the conversation….

(Matthew Miller’s likely right about this: “With all his exposure, if this is all he’s pleading to, he has given something pretty important to Mueller in return.”)

Jonathan Martin, Maggie Haberman, and Alexander Burns report Trump Pressed Top Republicans to End Senate Russia Inquiry:

WASHINGTON — President Trump over the summer repeatedly urged senior Senate Republicans, including the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, to end the panel’s investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election, according to a half dozen lawmakers and aides. Mr. Trump’s requests were a highly unusual intervention from a president into a legislative inquiry involving his family and close aides.

Senator Richard Burr of North Carolina, the intelligence committee chairman, said in an interview this week that Mr. Trump told him that he was eager to see an investigation that has overshadowed much of the first year of his presidency come to an end.

“It was something along the lines of, ‘I hope you can conclude this as quickly as possible,’” Mr. Burr said. He said he replied to Mr. Trump that “when we have exhausted everybody we need to talk to, we will finish.”

In addition, according to lawmakers and aides, Mr. Trump told Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican leader, and Senator Roy Blunt, Republican of Missouri and a member of the intelligence committee, to end the investigation swiftly….

(Unsurprising: where an honest official would want a full inquiry, Trump seeks a rushed and incomplete one.)

The Washington Post Editorial Board calls to Rename the block in front of the Russian Embassy:

In 1984, Congress voted to name a stretch of 16th Street immediately outside the then-Soviet Embassy “Andrei Sakharov Plaza,” in honor of the Soviet Union’s best-known dissident. The move infuriated Moscow, whose diplomats were confronted with Sakharov’s name every time they entered or left the building or received a piece of mail. But the tactic raised awareness of Sakharov’s courage and, according to his family, contributed to his release from internal exile two years later.

The D.C. Council is now to consider a new renaming that would be equally worthy. A measure sponsored by Council Chairman Phil Mendelson (D) and Ward 3 member Mary M. Cheh (D) would name a block of Wisconsin Avenue, outside the current Russian Embassy compound, “Boris Nemtsov Plaza,” in honor of the opposition leader who was gunned down in February 2015. Nemtsov dedicated his life to the cause of Russian democracy and had a large public following, making him a prime target for the regime of Vladi­mir Putin. The Kremlin, which has never identified or held responsible those who ordered his murder, deserves a constant reminder of his case.

Nemtsov’s career flourished during the 1990s, when Russia experimented with democracy: He was elected to parliament and to the governorship of the Nizhny Novgorod region, then served as deputy prime minister under President Boris Yeltsin. When Mr. Putin rose to power and began dismantling the country’s fragile new institutions, Nemtsov became a determined opponent. He persisted even after Mr. Putin consolidated power and eliminated fair elections, and after a series of Kremlin opponents were murdered. One of his final acts was to denounce Mr. Putin’s invasion of Ukraine….

Trump wanted to have a contest to see which network would win a ‘fake news’ contest. Conservative pollster Rasmussen decided to take a poll. The results weren’t what Trump would have wanted or expected:

There is such beauty in creation. Consider How Animals See the World:

2 thoughts on “Daily Bread for 12.1.17

  1. It’s a Friday FunDay Fish-Fry! Flynn just did a triple-half-gainer, with a twist, in the pike-position, on Trump. Trump is now officially rolled in beer batter, dredged in cracker crumbs, and feeling the first hot spatter from the deep-fryer.

    Based on the Flynn cop, it looks like side dishes will include French-fried Pence-potatoes and creamy Jared-slaw. Shit is getting serious, and the slope just got a lot slipperier for Trump, as well as anyone who has anything to do with him. There is a retirement gig awaiting me in DC remediating the shit splatters on the Republican party. It may be more work than I want to do, at this point in my life…

    Trump’s sunny prognostication that it will be all over by Christmas seems to be about as connected to reality as anything else he says.

    This is Fukushima for Trump. I am bracing for a personal Tsunami of Tshadenfreude. We are on the brink of viewing a karmic blow-back of atomic proportions.

    Say hello to President Orrin Hatch.

    1. There’s much to be said for a diet that includes a good portion of fish. There are dishes to be prepared, and like retribution, I’d guess Mueller sees that it’s best to serve them cold.

      All of this is so impressively methodical, Mueller moving deliberately, advancing without (seeming) concern for Fox News’s excuses for Trump. All the Fox & Friends in the world is no match for a smart, firm, inexorable march.

      Atty. Cobb’s reassurance that this would be over by Christmas (and Trump’s confidence in that reassurance) is a marriage of over-promising and under-thinking. If good lawyering required no more than instilling confidence, one might suitably replace Cobb with a tranquilizer. Then again, there’s probably a sound reason for someone – anyone – to keep Trump tranquilized.

      If there should be remediation possible for the GOP in D.C., it’s going to be of a thick-gloves-strong-disinfectant kind. Hope springs eternal.

      We are watching events that are monumental, that are – as you write – ‘a blow-back of atomic proportions.’

      Astonishing.

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