Daily Bread for 3.1.17

Good morning.

A new month begins in this small town, on a day of rain & snow, with a high of thirty-six. Sunrise is 6:28 AM and sunset 5:45 PM, for 11h 17m 00s of daytime. The moon is a waxing crescent with 10.1% of its visible disk illuminated. Today is the one hundred thirteenth day.Days since Trump’s election, with 11.9.16 as the first day.

On this day in 1872, Pres. Grant signs the Act of Dedication law that creates Yellowstone National Park. On this day in 1924, astronaut Donald ‘Deke’ Slayton is born in Sparta, Wisconsin.

Recommended for reading in full — 

Jennifer Rubin observes that Trump’s speech to Congress was mostly devoid of substance: “if you were looking for real details about policy matters, you no doubt were disappointed. Most critically, GOP members of Congress got little sense as to what the president would and would not accept as an Obamacare replacement. That means they’ll be flying blind, hoping to reach consensus that won’t be so unpopular with voters that Trump turns on his own party members. One cannot over-emphasize how strange it is that the White House is providing no cover, let alone direction, on arguably the most important aspects of its own agenda. Happy talk and mindless phrases, of course, leave Trump with wiggle room to blame Democrats or Republicans, or both, when things don’t work out, but it makes success on complex and controversial issues much more difficult.”‘

Glenn Kessler and Michelle Ye Hee Lee were Fact-checking President Trump’s address to Congress: “President Trump’s maiden address to Congress was notable because it was filled with numerous inaccuracies. In fact, many of the president’s false claims are old favorites that he trots out on a regular, almost daily basis. Here’s a roundup of 13 of the more notable claims, in the order in which the president made them….”

Alan Blinder, Serge Kovaleski, and Adam Goldman report that Threats and Vandalism Leave American Jews on Edge in Trump Era: “In a meeting with state attorneys general earlier Tuesday, Mr. Trump suggested that the threats and destruction might be a politically coordinated effort to “make people look bad,” according to the attorneys general of Pennsylvania and the District of Columbia. “First, he said the acts were reprehensible,” said Attorney General Josh Shapiro of Pennsylvania, a Democrat who asked Mr. Trump about the episodes during a session at the White House. “Second, he said: ‘And you’ve got to be careful; it could be the reverse. This could be the reverse, trying to make people look bad.’” Jewish leaders denounced Mr. Trump’s comments to the attorneys general, and some urged the federal government to accelerate its investigation of the threatening calls, the latest of which came on Monday.”

Jim Rutenberg considers When a Pillar of the Fourth Estate Rests on a Trump-Murdoch Axis: “The Financial Times reported the latest example of their closeness last week: that Mr. Trump’s daughter Ivanka was a trustee of the nearly $300 million fortune Mr. Murdoch set aside for the two children he had with his third wife, Wendi, who arranged the trusteeship. Ms. Trump gave up that oversight role in December, before her father’s inauguration but well after Election Day. That means the whole time that Mr. Murdoch’s highly influential news organizations were covering Mr. Trump’s campaign and transition, their executive chairman was entangled in a financial arrangement of the most personal sort — tied to his children’s financial (very) well being — along with the president’s daughter. Referring to her only as the president’s “daughter” fails to capture her true role. She is Mr. Trump’s most trusted confidante. And she is married to a key presidential adviser, Jared Kushner, who, as it happens, is so close with Mr. Murdoch that he even helped Mr. Murdoch set up his bachelor pad after his last divorce, The New Yorker reported. The latest news about the Murdoch-Trump axis is acutely problematic for the leadership at The Wall Street Journal — owned by News Corp. — as it seeks to quell a rebellion by a group of staff members who believe that the paper has held them back from more aggressively covering Mr. Trump, they suspect, under pressure from Mr. Murdoch. (As Joe Pompeo of Politico first reported last week, a meeting to discuss their grievances is to take place at The Journal on Monday.)”

A robot named Handle, from Boston Dynamics, is amazingly agile, and can jump four feet, vertically: