Daily Bread for 3.20.17

Good morning.

The first day of spring in Whitewater will be partly cloudy with a high of sixty. Sunrise is 6:55 AM and sunset 7:08 PM, for 12h 12m 18s of daytime. The moon is a waning gibbous with 52% of its visible disk illuminated. Today is the one hundred thirty-second day.Days since Trump’s election, with 11.9.16 as the first day.

On this day in 1815, Napoleon, having escaped from Elba, arrives in Paris, and the Hundred Days begin. On this day in 1958, an angry mob burns down serial killer Ed Gein’s house in Plainfield, Wisconsin.

Recommended for reading in full — 

James Kirchick writes that The Road to a Free Europe Goes Through MoscowThe Kremlin wants to destroy the trans-Atlantic alliance. Does Trump want to save it?): “As Europe’s political stability, social cohesion, economic prosperity and security are more threatened today than at any point since the Cold War, Russia is destabilizing the Continent on every front. Indigenous factors – whether long-extant nationalism, design flaws in the Eurozone lack of a common foreign policy, or incapability at assimilating immigrants – certainly lie at the root of these crises. But all are exploited by Moscow and exacerbated by its malign influence. Fomenting European disintegration from within, Russia also threatens Europe from without through its massive military buildup, frequent intimidation of NATO members and efforts to overturn the continent’s security architecture by weakening the transatlantic link with America. If a prosperous and democratic Europe is a core national security interest of the United States, as it has been for the past 80 years, then the Russian regime is one to be resisted, contained and ultimately dethroned. For none of the existential problems Europe faces will dissipate until the menace to its East is subdued. The road to a Europe whole, free and at peace, in other words, goes through Moscow.”

Jennifer Rubin thinks that Paul Ryan’s health-care ordeal probably won’t end well: “Ryan desperately wants the bill to pass the House to get the weight off his shoulders and be able to blame the Senate. Democrats would love a straight up-or-down vote, getting as many Republicans on record as voting for an unpopular bill. The TV ads for 2018 write themselves. A good number of moderate Republicans in the House don’t want to vote for this (for the very same reason Democrats want a recorded vote) — but frankly, aside from the Freedom Caucus, they would have a hard time passing something that takes away Medicaid benefits or hurts people in their own state (in other words, they cannot really support any GOP bill). The Freedom Caucus Republicans won’t vote for it knowing their Senate fellow hard-liners won’t vote for it. In sum, maybe Ryan pulls out 216 votes, but after that, the prospects for passing something Republicans can call “repealing Obamacare” look dim.”

Simon Denyer reports that In China debut, Tillerson appears to hand Beijing a diplomatic victory: “But some critics say Tillerson has bent too far, handing Beijing what Chinese news media reports are calling a “diplomatic victory.” The phrase “mutual respect” is key: In Beijing, that is taken to mean each side should respect the other’s “core interests.” In other words: The United States should stay away from issues such as Taiwan, Tibet and Hong Kong — and in principle almost anything China’s Communist Party deems a vital national security concern. Increasingly, that also appears to include China’s territorial claims in the contested waters of the South China Sea. Several Chinese foreign policy experts called the comments “very positive” and in line with a concept Beijing has long advocated — what it calls “a new model of great power relationships,” which would put the two nations on a roughly equal footing. Jin Canrong, a Sino-U.S. relations expert at Renmin University of China in Beijing, said Tillerson’s comments came as a surprise. “China has long been advocating this, but the United States has been reluctant to accept the point of ‘mutual respect,’?” Jin said. “Tillerson’s comment will be very warmly welcomed by China.” After meeting China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Saturday, Tillerson voiced Chinese catchphrases about the relationship, including the avoidance of conflict and confrontation and the need to build “mutual respect” and strive for “win-win” cooperation.”

Jeff Potrykus observes that Losing 5 of 6 games steeled UW for March: “Did the players see the turnaround coming? “Yes,” Hayes said emphatically. “Because we know how good we can be. All the film we watch … we told you guys a million times that if we just do the little things better and played more complete games that we’d be able to compete with anybody in the country. “That’s what we said before the season. That’s what we said during the losing streak. That is what we said during the winning streaks. “If we play disciplined basketball, we can win games.” Defeating a Villanova team with key players back from the team that won the national title last season offered proof.”

Four skateboarders in Norway are Northbound:

NORTHBOUND | Skateboarding on Frozen Sand 4K from Turbin Film on Vimeo.

Ice, driftwood, foamy waves and … skateboards? Four skaters head north to the cold Norwegian coast, applying their urban skills to a wild canvas of beach flotsam, frozen sand and pastel skies. The result is a beautiful mashup — biting winds and short days, ollies and one ephemeral miniramp.