Daily Bread for 2.6.18

Good morning.

Tuesday in Whitewater be mostly sunny with a high of fourteen. Sunrise is 7:02 AM and sunset 5:15 PM, for 10h 13m 06s of daytime. The moon is a waning gibbous with 60.2% of its visible disk illuminated. Today is the four hundred fifty-third day.Days since Trump’s election, with 11.9.16 as the first day.

Whitewater’s Alcohol Licensing Committee meets at 6:10 PM, and Common Council at 6:30 PM.

On this day in 1778, the United States of America and France enter into the  Treaty of Alliance: “a defensive alliance between France and the United States of America, formed in the midst of the American Revolutionary War, which promised mutual military support in case fighting should break out between French and British forces, as the result signing the previously concluded Treaty of Amity and Commerce.[1] The alliance was planned to endure indefinitely into the future. Delegates of King Louis XVI of France and the Second Continental Congress, who represented the United States at this time, signed the two treaties along with a separate and secret clause dealing with future Spanish involvement, at the hôtel de Coislin (4, place de la Concorde) in Paris on February 6, 1778.[2] 

Recommended for reading in full —

➤ Nora Ellingsen, Quinta Jurecic, Sabrina McCubbin, Shannon Togawa Mercer, Benjamin Wittes write FBI Messages Show the Bureau’s Real Reaction to Trump Firing James Comey:

In a … then-Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders claimed that the president had “lost confidence in Director Comey” and that “the rank and file of the FBI had lost confidence in their director.” She stated that the president had “had countless conversations with members from within the FBI” in the course of making his decision to fire Comey. , Sanders stated that she personally had “heard from countless members of the FBI that are grateful and thankful for the president’s decision” and that the president believed “Director Comey was not up to the task…that he wasn’t the right person in the job. [Trump] wanted somebody that could bring credibility back to the FBI.”

Trump himself blasted Comey too, stating  that the former director was “a showboat. He’s a grandstander” and that the FBI “has been in turmoil. You know that, I know that, everybody knows that. You take a look at the FBI a year ago, it was in virtual turmoil—less than a year ago. It hasn’t recovered from that.” A few days later, the New York Times  that Trump had told Russian officials visiting him in the Oval Office the day after Comey’s firing that Comey was a “nut job.”

Over the next few days,  to suggest that Trump and Sanders were playing fast and loose with the truth. But we now have the documents to prove that decisively. Their disclosure was not a leak but an authorized action by the FBI, which released to us under the Freedom of Information Act more than 100 pages of leadership communications to staff dealing with the firing. This material tells a dramatic story about the FBI’s reaction to the Comey firing—but it is neither a story of gratitude to the president nor a story of an organization in turmoil relieved by a much-needed leadership transition.

Within a few days of the firing, both current and former FBI officials began pushing back against the White House’s claims. Then-Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe, testifying before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence,  that Comey “enjoyed broad support within the FBI” and that “the vast majority of employees enjoyed a deep and positive connection to Director Comey.”

(Emphasis added. Over 100 pages of documents show that Trump and Sanders simply lied when they said there was meaningful FBI turmoil or opposition to Comey.)

➤ Ben White reports ‘The president clearly set himself up’: Trump’s stock market miscalculation:

NEW YORK — President Donald Trump is learning a basic and painful lesson of Wall Street: Stocks also go down.

A global market sell-off that began Friday continued into Monday with the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropping more than 1,500 in afternoon trading.

The big slide comes alongside growing concern that an economy juiced by a massive corporate tax cut, and already at full employment, could overheat and require forceful action from a new and untested Federal Reserve chairman — installed by Trump — to cool things down.

On top of concerns about rising inflation, the tax cuts are already increasing the federal government’s need to borrow and accelerating the date by which Congress must raise the federal debt limit. And as of Monday, there was still no plan in Washington to raise the limit and avoid a catastrophic default.

The result is that a president who tossed aside traditional presidential caution in cheerleading the stock market now stands poised to take the blame for any correction.

(Live by boosterism, perish by boosterism. No serious understanding of markets would have so personalized their movement as Trump did. )

➤ Conservative Michael Gerson contends The cowardice among Republicans is staggering:

According to House Speaker Paul D. Ryan, the declassified Devin Nunes memo — alleging FBI misconduct in the Russia investigation — is “not an indictment of the FBI, of the Department of Justice.” According to President Trump, the memo shows how leaders at the FBI “politicized the sacred investigative process in favor of Democrats” and “totally vindicates ‘Trump’ in probe.”

Both men are deluded or deceptive.

Releasing the memo — while suppressing a dissenting assessment from other members of the House Intelligence Committee — was clearly intended to demonstrate that the FBI is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Democratic Party. The effort ended in a pathetic fizzle. Nunes’s brief, amateurish documentfailed to demonstrate that FBI surveillance was triggered solely or mainly by a Democratic-funded dossier. But for cherry-picking above and beyond the call of duty, Nunes (R-­Calif.) deserves his own exhibit in the hackery hall of fame. This was a true innovation: an intelligence product created and released for the consumption of Fox News.

➤ Jennifer Rubin explains How you can tell Nunes shot himself in the foot:

What was evident is that the memo helped call attention to Carter Page’s Russia ties, a bad fact for a campaign claiming no “collusion” with Russia. Former Intelligence Committee chairman Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) acknowledged, “So, this is the problem with Carter Page. He had a problem of connections with people that the FBI believed were Russian intelligence officials or were at least passing information back to Russian intelligence officials. … The FISA warrant was really targeted at somebody they knew to be — to have a relation with Russians. And so all of this spin about what it means for Trump or not I think is, well, overblown, candidly.”

Not even Gowdy would accept the premise that the FISA warrant affected the rest of the investigation: “So to the extent the memo deals with the dossier and the FISA process, the dossier has nothing to do with the meeting at Trump Tower. The dossier has nothing to do with an email sent by Cambridge Analytica. The dossier really has nothing to do with George Papadopoulos’s meeting in Great Britain. It also doesn’t have anything to do with obstruction of justice. So there’s going to be a Russia probe, even without a dossier.”

Even on Fox News, the designated Republican, Rep. Chris Stewart (Utah), backpedaled. “I think it would be a mistake for anyone to suggest the special counsel should not continue his work. This memo, frankly, has nothing at all to do with the special counsel.” You know, if you can’t find a booster to spin on Fox News, it’s probably not going well for Republicans.

➤ How ’bout an Aerial tour of San Francisco Cali Coast & Yosemite: