Daily Bread for 3.8.17

Good morning.

Whitewater’s midweek will be sunny and windy with a high of forty-five. Sunrise is 6:16 AM and sunset 5:53 PM, for 11h 37m 19s of daytime. The moon is a waxing waxing gibbous with 72% of its visible disk illuminated.

On this day in 1947, Wisconsin defeats Purdue in a continuation of a game postponed after a tragedy: “UW defeated Purdue, 72-60, at an Evanston high school gym to win the Big Ten Conference basketball championship. The game was a continuation of one commenced on February 24 at Purdue. The game was postponed when the stands collapsed, killing three spectators and injuring close to 200.”

Recommended for reading in full —

Patrick Marley reports that the Cost of I-39 expansion south of Madison balloons to nearly $2 billion: “MADISON – A plan to rebuild I-39 from Madison to the Illinois state line will approach $2 billion — nearly two and a half times as much as the Department of Transportation said the project would cost six years ago. The latest figures underscore the challenges lawmakers face in funding roads. Republicans who control state government are split on whether to funnel more money toward roads. In 2011, lawmakers approved rebuilding I-39 with added lanes after the state Department of Transportation determined the job could be done for $715 million. But an updated estimate puts the cost of the project at $1.75 billion. The full cost wasn’t clear until recently because of how Gov. Scott Walker’s DOT had been tabulating the costs.”

Glenn Thrush and Maggie Haberman report that After Tweet Storm, a Quiet Washes Over Trump’s Staff: “WASHINGTON — President Trump has no regrets. His staff has no defense. After weeks of assailing reporters and critics in diligent defense of their boss, Mr. Trump’s team has been uncharacteristically muted this week when pressed about his explosive — and so far proof-free — Twitter posts on Saturday accusing President Barack Obama of tapping phones in Trump Tower during the 2016 campaign. The accusation — and the F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, and the former national intelligence director, James R. Clapper Jr., emphatically deny that any such wiretap was requested or issued — constitutes one of the most consequential accusations made by one president against another in American history. So for Mr. Trump’s allies inside the West Wing and beyond, the tweetstorm spawned the mother of all messaging migraines. Over the past few days, they have executed what amounts to a strategic political retreat — trying to publicly validate Mr. Trump’s suspicions without overtly endorsing a claim some of them believe might have been generated by Breitbart News and other far-right outlets.”

Dan Lamothe, Ashley Halsey III and Lisa Rein report that To fund border wall, Trump administration weighs cuts to Coast Guard, airport security: “The plan puts the administration in the unusual position of trading spending on security programs for other security priorities at the southern border, raising questions among Republican lawmakers and homeland-security experts. The Coast Guard cuts include deactivating Maritime Security Response Teams, which carry out counterterrorism patrols in ports and sensitive waterways, and canceling a contract with Huntington Ingalls Industries to build a ninth national security cutter, with a potential savings of $500 million….Rick “Ozzie” Nelson, a former Navy helicopter pilot and national security expert with the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said that the decisions would effectively sideline the service in missions in which it could be the most effective.”

Mekado Murphy describes The Five Ages of King Kong: “Ever since the first “King Kong” movie in 1933, the giant, chest-pounding, helicopter-smacking, no-nonsense primate has meant different things to different generations, embodying both his science and his fiction. Kong has been a kind of canvas on which to paint the economic and political issues of the time. He’s hovering larger than ever (along with a starry cast) in “Kong: Skull Island” (in theaters March 10). Here is a look back at versions of Kong and the themes that went with the roars….”

One bulldog, one iguana – two pals: