Daily Bread for 3.16.17

Good morning.

Whitewater’s Thursday will be sunny with a high of thirty-seven. Sunrise is 7:02 AM and sunset 5:03 PM, for 12h 00m 35s of daytime. The moon is a waning gibbous with 86% of its visible disk illuminated. Today is the one hundred twenty-eighth third day.Days since Trump’s election, with 11.9.16 as the first day.

Whitewater’s Fire Department has a scheduled business meeting at 7 PM.

James Madison is born on this day in 1751. On this day in 1926, Dr. Robert Goddard successfully tests the world’s first liquid-fuelled rocket.

Recommended for reading in full —

Derek Hawkins reports that Trump’s talk — ‘Muslim ban,’ ‘Islam hates us’ — comes back to bite him in court again: “in his blistering opinion Wednesday freezing Trump’s the new travel ban, U.S. District Judge Derrick K. Watson said statements by Trump and his senior advisers were precisely what called its legality into question. “These plainly-worded statements, made in the months leading up to and contemporaneous with the signing of the Executive Order, and, in many cases, made by the Executive himself, betray the Executive Order’s stated secular purpose,” Watson wrote. And early Thursday morning, a federal judge ruling in a related case in Maryland said the order was “the realization of the long-envisioned Muslim ban,” as The Washington Post reported. Though U.S. District Judge Theodore D. Chuang’s opinion was narrower in scope than Watsons, he still found room to take aim at statements by Trump and his advisers, saying they showed “animus toward Muslims and intention to impose a ban on Muslims entering the United States.” In short, Trump’s loose talk had come back to bite him yet again. Only this time the criticism was coming straight from a federal judge.”

Charles Blow considers the Disciples of a False Prophet: “The con Donald Trump committed on his voters is slowly coming undone. He is not honest. He is not a brilliant deal maker. He is not even competent. His entire life, Trump has sold shimmer and called it silver. It was and is all an illusion, a brand built on selling banality with braggadocio. He shaped vapors into dreams and delivered them to those hungry for a taste of the showy, hollow form of the high life he came to represent. He was successful at exploiting those with an ostentatious appetite for the air of success. Trump’s life story is a pyramid scheme of ambitions. He took that history to a people struggling through a drought of opportunity and he exploited their weaknesses: a shrinking sense of economic security and growing nativist tendencies. But Trump doesn’t speak so much from facts as from feelings. For him, the truth is malleable and a lie is valuable. He creates his own reality rather than living in the reality of others. Deception is just a tool; betrayal is just an inconvenience.”

Peter Baker reports that In Trump Budget, More for Military, as His Supporters May Lose Out: “But in his first spending blueprint since taking office, Mr. Trump also made choices demonstrating that parts of America will be more first than others — and some of the budget losers, it turns out, may be some of the very constituencies that have been most supportive of the new president during his improbable rise to power. While border guards will have more prisons to lock up unauthorized immigrants, rural communities will lose grants and loans to build water facilities and financing to keep their airports open. As charter schools are bolstered, after-school and summer programs will lose money. As law enforcement agents get more help to fight the opioid epidemic, lower-income Americans will have less access to home energy aid, job training programs and legal services.”

Alex Isenstadt and Kenneth P. Vogel describes how Paranoia seizes Trump’s White House: “A culture of paranoia is consuming the Trump administration, with staffers increasingly preoccupied with perceived enemies—inside their own government. In interviews, nearly a dozen White House aides and federal agency staffers described a litany of suspicions: that rival factions in the administration are trying to embarrass them, that civil servants opposed to President Donald Trump are trying to undermine him, and even that a “deep state” of career military and intelligence officials is out to destroy them. Aides are going to great lengths to protect themselves. They’re turning off work-issued smartphones and putting them in drawers when they arrive home from work out of fear that they could be used to eavesdrop. They’re staying mum in meetings out of concern that their comments could be leaked to the press by foes. Many are using encrypted apps that automatically delete messages once they’ve been read, or are leaving their personal cell phones at home in case their bosses initiate phone checks of the sort that press secretary Sean Spicer deployed last month to identify leakers on his team. It’s an environment of fear that has hamstrung the routine functioning of the executive branch. Senior advisers are spending much of their time trying to protect turf, key positions have remained vacant due to a reluctance to hire people deemed insufficiently loyal, and Trump’s ambitious agenda has been eclipsed by headlines surrounding his unproven claim that former President Barack Obama tapped his phone lines. One senior administration aide, who like most others interviewed for this story spoke on the condition of anonymity, said the degree of suspicion had created a toxicity that was unsustainable.”

The Slam Poets of Istanbul are worthy examples for anyone:

Every week, a group of young people meet in Taksim Square to perform spoken-word poems. They are led by a woman named Merve Pehlivan, who is profiled in this short film. “As a Turkish person myself, I feel the extent to which we have been divided as a society and we have stopped talking with each other,” she says. “I’m a very strong supporter of freedom of expression and of diversity of opinion.” This documentary was filmed by Tara Milutis three days after the Reina nightclub attack, which killed 39 people.