Daily Bread for 4.18.17

Good morning.

Tuesday in Whitewater will be partly cloudy with a high of seventy-two. Sunrise is 6:06 AM and sunset 7:41 PM, for 13h 35m 08s of daytime. The moon is a waning gibbous with 59% of its visible disk illuminated. Today is the one hundred sixty-first day.Days since Trump’s election, with 11.9.16 as the first day.

Whitewater’s Common Council meets tonight at 6:30 PM.

On this day in 1775, Paul Revere began his ride from Charlestown to Lexington, Mass., warning American colonists that the British were coming. On this day in 1818, Wisconsin becomes part of the Michigan Territory. (Wisconsin was a part of the Northwest Territory from July 13, 1787-May 11, 1800; the Indiana Territory from May 1800-February 3, 1809; and the Illinois Territory from February 3, 1809-April 18, 1818. The Territory of Wisconsin was formed July 4, 1836.)

Recommended for reading in full —

Roger Cohen asks Meet the new Trump . . . same as the old Trump?: “These reversals represent nothing less than a retreat to the status quo ante — that halcyon era before Trump and his cast of mental munchkins started messing with foreign policy. The policies that now seem to be in place are ones that even former president Barack Obama might support. In fact, with the exception of hitting Syria, he did. But before we start celebrating Trump as a drunk who has suddenly gone sober, additional reversals are in order. The president might want to declare that it is wrong to mock persons with disabilities. He might want to say something nice about Mexicans, and he might want to retract his belittling of John McCain’s heroism — acknowledge how the man suffered as a prisoner of war, choosing to undergo torture and confinement rather than accept freedom without pride. Trump might also want to praise the Khans, the couple who lost a son in Iraq and whose sacrifice he mocked by likening it to what it cost him to build his business. He might also want to say he was wrong to suggest a certain judge could not fairly preside over a case involving Trump University because he was of Hispanic ancestry. Trump was wrong, too, to turn the presidential race into one of schoolyard taunts — “Little Marco,” “Crooked Hillary” and the rest. In short, Trump might want to institute a policy of acting presidential. Now, that would be a reversal.”

Jim Dalrymple II describes how Russia works to divide America in a story entitled The Leader Of “Calexit” Is Giving Up On The Secession Movement To Live In Russia: “The leader of California secession campaign has decided that he would like to live in Russia permanently, and is therefore abandoning his efforts to make the Golden State its own country. In a lengthy statement Monday, Louis Marinelli, president of the separatist group Yes California, announced he was withdrawing his petition for a referendum on secession. Instead, he plans to apply to be a live permanently in Russia, where he currently resides. “I have found in Russia a new happiness, a life without the albatross of frustration and resentment towards ones’ homeland, and a future detached from the partisan divisions and animosity that has thus far engulfed my entire adult life,” Marinelli wrote. “Consequently, if the people of Russia would be so kind as to welcome me here on a permanent basis, I intend to make Russia my new home.” In the statement, Marinelli explained that he was “primarily motivated” to work toward California’s secession due to a “personal struggle” over his wife’s immigration status. But his wife now has a green card, and anyway he is disillusioned with the US and doesn’t “wish to live under the American flag.” It’s a blow to Marinelli’s organization, which rose to prominence after President Trump’s win in November, when its proposal of a so-called “Calexit” carried at least some appeal for many of the state’s liberal voters. Organizers had until July of this year to collect more than half a million signatures to get the issue on the state ballot in 2018.”

(Calexit was a Russian-fed effort to divide resistance to Trump, duping some Americans into believing that separatism was a sensible opposition strategy. Dividing this Union never was, and never will be, the right course; it’s something the Kremlin found appealing as an active measure to weaken America.)

Alan Rappeport writes that Trump’s Unreleased Taxes Threaten Yet Another Campaign Promise: “WASHINGTON — President Trump’s promise to enact a sweeping overhaul of the tax code is in serious jeopardy nearly 100 days into his tenure, and his refusal to release his own tax returns is emerging as a central hurdle to another faltering campaign promise. As procrastinators rushed to file their tax returns by Tuesday, the White House press secretary, Sean Spicer, emphasized again on Monday that Mr. Trump had no intention of making his public. Democrats have seized on that decision, uniting around a pledge not to cooperate on any rewriting of the tax code unless they know specifically how that revision would benefit the billionaire president and his family. And a growing roster of more than a dozen Republican lawmakers now say Mr. Trump should release them. “If he doesn’t release his returns, it is going to make it much more difficult to get tax reform done,” said Senator Chuck Schumer, the Democratic leader, pointing out that the president has significant conflicts of interest on issues such as taxation of the real estate industry and elimination of the estate tax. “It’s in his own self-interest.”

Peter Beinart offers Why Trumpism Will Outlast Steve Bannon: “But if Trump has moved the GOP toward nationalism and nativism, why can’t he—or a future Republican leader—move it back? They could, but it won’t be easy because the Republican coalition has changed. Between 1992 and 2016, the percentage of whites with college degrees that identified as Republicans dropped five points. Over that same period, the percentage of whites with a high-school degree or less who identified as Republicans rose 18 points. Blue-collar Republicans are far more hostile to immigration and free trade than their white-collar counterparts. And as Walter Russell Mead has famously observed, they tend to be “Jacksonian” on foreign policy. When they feel threatened, they support ferocious military attacks. But they have little appetite for expending blood or treasure on behalf of international norms or commitments from which they perceive little personal benefit.”

(One battle at a time: political ruin for Bannon, then Trump, then Trumpism. This long political war will not end until all are finished.)

Tech Insider shows how a Robotic bricklayer builds houses 3x faster than humans: