Daily Bread for 4.21.17

Good morning.

Friday win Whitewater will be partly cloudy with a high of fifty-nine. Sunrise is 6:01 AM and sunset 7:44 PM, for 13h 43m 14s of daytime. The moon is a waning crescent with 27.7% of its visible disk illuminated. Today is the one hundred sixty-fourth day.Days since Trump’s election, with 11.9.16 as the first day.

Today is the anniversary of the legendary date on which Rome was founded (April 21, 753 B.C.). Conservationist John Muir is born on this day in 1838.

Recommended for reading in full — 

Tim Cato writes that the Bucks annihilated the Raptors in Game 3 and it showed a glimpse of their future: “The Milwaukee Bucks stole Game 1, and they nearly did the same in Game 2. They’ll live with the small consolation prize that is Game 3. It was a thorough, brutal beatdown of the Toronto Raptors as the series shifted back to Wisconsin, starting the moment the game began and never letting up for a second. The 104-77 win puts Milwaukee up two games to one, with another game at home coming up. It’s too soon to count out Toronto, because we’ve seen them power through ugly series and inexplicably win them. But right now, it looks like the Raptors are headed for a couple more games, and then a quick extinction. They could easily be down 3-0, and they would need a lot going right to get the turnaround they desire. We’ll have a long talk about Toronto if they do indeed lose. Right now, this is about Milwaukee, and how the Bucks have maybe come together to play incredible basketball….The Bucks have made a clear statement that they should be feared. Even if they somehow seize up and fall apart in a series loss, something nobody is predicting at this point, consider how damn young they are. We see teams rise and fall out of the Eastern Conference constantly — remember how the Knicks were good for a season, and only that? Remember the Indiana dynasties that fell obsolete so, so quickly? Now, Milwaukee might be doing the same thing to Toronto, who has run in the top of the East for a few seasons now. The Bucks, unlike any of those teams mentioned before, are built to last long into the future.”

Michael Wines writes of a ‘Pivotal Moment’ for Democrats? Gerrymandering Heads to Supreme Court: “A bipartisan group of voting rights advocates says the lower house of the Wisconsin Legislature, the State Assembly, was gerrymandered by its Republican majority before the 2012 election — so artfully, in fact, that Democrats won a third fewer Assembly seats than Republicans despite prevailing in the popular vote. In November, in a 2-to-1 ruling, a panel of federal judges agreed. Now the Wisconsin case is headed to a Supreme Court that has repeatedly said that extreme partisan gerrymanders are unconstitutional, but has never found a way to decide which ones cross the line. Some legal scholars believe this could be the year that changes that. If that happens, they say, an emphatic ruling against partisan gerrymanders would rank with another redistricting decision: Baker v. Carr, the historic 1962 case that led to the principle of one person, one vote.”

Charlie Savage writes that Jeff Sessions Dismisses Hawaii as ‘an Island in the Pacific’: “WASHINGTON — Attorney General Jeff Sessions spoke dismissively about the State of Hawaii while criticizing a Federal District Court ruling last month that blocked the Trump administration from carrying out its ban on travel from parts of the Muslim world. “I really am amazed that a judge sitting on an island in the Pacific can issue an order that stops the president of the United States from what appears to be clearly his statutory and constitutional power,” Mr. Sessions said this week in an interview on “The Mark Levin Show,” a conservative talk radio program….“Hawaii was built on the strength of diversity & immigrant experiences — including my own,” Senator Mazie Hirono, Democrat of Hawaii, wrote on Twitter. “Jeff Sessions’ comments are ignorant & dangerous.” The other senator from Hawaii, Brian Schatz, who is also a Democrat, expressed similar sentiments, writing on Twitter: “Mr. Attorney General: You voted for that judge. And that island is called Oahu. It’s my home. Have some respect.”

Jeremy Venook explains The Product-Placement Presidency: “Nevertheless, Ivanka’s quest to legally protect her own name is yet another demonstration of the ethical ambiguities that arise from a powerful businessman in the White House, staffed by members of his family. Quite often, the line between the Trump brand and the Trump administration is not a clear one. Famous (and profitable) as the family’s names were before Donald became president—there’s speculation that the name is the Trump Organization’s most valuable asset—Trump’s ascension to arguably the highest office on earth, and his subsequent decision to bring his daughter into the White House, have drastically increased their visibility. This fact has not escaped them. Speaking to The New York Times in March, Eric Trump said he believes “the stars have all aligned” to make their brand “the hottest it has ever been”—although he didn’t go so far as to explicitly acknowledge the role his father’s presidency may be playing in that heat. Likewise, the Trump Organization’s decision to double the initiation fee at Mar-a-Lago in January has been read by many critics as an implicit acknowledgement that Trump’s brand is more valuable now that he’s in the Oval Office.”

Why do we have grass lawns? Here’s why —