Daily Bread for 3.9.17

Good morning.

Thursday in Whitewater will see a forty percent chance of snow showers this morning, with a daytime high of thirty-seven. Sunrise is 6:14 AM and sunset 5:55 PM, for 11h 40m 14s of daytime. The moon is a waxing gibbous with 89.3% of its visible disk illuminated. Today is the one hundred twenty-first day.Days since Trump’s election, with 11.9.16 as the first day.

On this day in 1933, the first piece of legislation (the Emergency Banking Act ch. 1, 48 Stat. 1) as part of New Deal legislation is enacted during a special session of the 73rd Congress before regular seating. On this day in 1863, the 5th and 8th Wisconsin Light Artillery batteries support a reconnaissance expedition from Salem to Versailles, Tennessee.

Recommended for reading in full — 

Dylan Byers reports that Sean Spicer wrongly claims Fox reporter’s phones were ‘tapped‘: “White House press secretary Sean Spicer wrongly claimed Wednesday that a Fox News reporter had his phones tapped while Barack Obama was president. “James Rosen had his phone, multiple phones tapped,” Spicer said at the daily press briefing. The comment was made while Spicer was addressing a question about leaks from the intelligence community and new WikiLeaks’ documents detailing alleged CIA hacking operations. That claim, which has been propagating in conservative media for several days, was shot down by none other than Rosen himself during a recent appearance on Fox News. “I was not wiretapped, my parents were not wiretapped, which is where you place a listening device on someone’s telephone line and you listen to their conversations,” Rosen told Fox & Friends on Sunday after the show’s hosts claimed his phones were tapped. Instead, Rosen explained, former Attorney General Eric Holder had secretly designated Rosen a criminal co-conspirator — because he had received classified information from a former State Department contractor — thereby giving the government permission to subpoena Rosen’s emails and phone records, including those of his parents.”

Emily Steele reports that Fox Is Said to Settle With Former Contributor Over Sexual Assault Claims: “Last summer, as it wrapped up multiple settlements after the Roger Ailes sexual harassment scandal, Fox News and its parent company, 21st Century Fox, were trying hard to end the ugliest chapter in its 20-year history. The downfall of Mr. Ailes, the former chairman and chief executive, had exposed a newsroom culture that many women there called hostile and demeaning. 21st Century Fox ordered an internal investigation and stated publicly that “behavior that disrespects women” would not be tolerated. Nearly eight months later, the company finds itself still dealing with fallout from that crisis. In late February, 21st Century Fox reached a settlement worth more than $2.5 million with a former Fox News contributor who reported that she was sexually assaulted by an executive at company headquarters two years ago, according to people briefed on the agreement.”

Adrienne LaFrance asks Why Is Trump Returning to Birther-Style Attacks on Obama?: “Trump had claimed, without evidence or explanation, that President Barack Obama had wiretapped Trump’s phone lines during the 2016 election. The White House confirmed on Sunday that it would neither explain the basis for the president’s accusation or offer additional comment on the matter. The president is calling for a congressional investigation into the alleged wiretapping, the statement said. Guessing at a president’s motivations has long been a national pastime for political junkies and journalists, but never quite like this. There is, however, an unmistakable familiarity to Trump’s latest accusations against Obama. Without knowing whether Trump’s tweets were based on an intelligence report, a news report, a conspiracy theory, or something else entirely—one must consider the possibility that the unsubstantiated claims are, in fact, a political strategy. Trump has peddled a lie as a way to delegitimize Obama in the past. “An ‘extremely credible source’ has called my office,” Trump tweeted on August 6, 2012, “and told me that @BarackObama’s birth certificate is a fraud.” This was more than a year after Obama had publicly shared a copy of his birth certificate. The president was finally compelled to do so because of Trump’s birther crusade, a years-long attempt by Trump to convince people that Obama was born in Kenya and therefore not eligible to be president of the United States. (Obama was born in Hawaii.)”

For Amanda Marcotte, Here’s the key to Trump’s outrageous lies: He sells them with conviction: “Donald Trump lies, a lot. He lies so much it’s usually safer to assume any random statement he makes is false until proven otherwise. The Washington Post has been tracking the president’s falsehoods, and as of this week, he has told an average of 4.5 lies a day in the six weeks he’s been in office. Yet somehow, his supporters cling to this bizarre notion that he’s an honest man who shoots straight from the hip. During the campaign, polling showed that voters thought Trump was more honest than Hillary Clinton, even though PolitiFact has described her as one of the most truthful contemporary politicians, beating not only all available Republicans but also Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders and former Vice President Joe Biden. (Only Barack Obama has been found to be more truthful.) Trump’s supporters continue to believe in their man. While most Americans trust the news media more than Trump, a recent Quinnipiac University poll found that 78 percent of the Republicans surveyed insisted that Trump is more trustworthy. How can Trump’s supporters be so blind to the president’s measurable aversion to facts? Part of the problem, as psychologist Bill von Hippel explained in a phone interview, is that Trump supporters “feel that what he’s saying he genuinely believes.” This sense that Trump believes in himself may matter more than the actual facts. Von Hippel, who teaches at the University of Queensland in Australia, is part of a research team that just published the paper “Self-deception facilitates interpersonal persuasion” in the Journal of Economic Psychology. His study, which involved 306 subjects, suggests that those who excel at deceiving others often deceive themselves first. The best liars, it turns out, are people who can successfully lie to themselves.”

Harley is one cup-wasting cockatoo: