Daily Bread for 8.8.17

Good morning.

Tuesday in Whitewater will be mostly sunny with a high of eighty-one. Sunrise is 5:54 AM and sunset 8:05 PM, for 14h 10m 52s of daytime. The moon is almost full, with 99.3% of its visible disk illuminated. Today is the two hundred seventy-second day.Days since Trump’s election, with 11.9.16 as the first day.

On this day in 1974, Richard Nixon announces that he will resign the presidency, effective the following day. Six years earlier, on this day in 1968, the Wisconsin Republican Party nominates Nixon for president at the GOP convention in Miami.

Recommended for reading in full —

The Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab (@DFRLab) describes a Twitter campaign in #FireMcMaster, explained:

On August 3, a handful of Twitter accounts launched a media campaign under the hashtag #FireMcMaster. The hashtag appeared in response to United States National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster’s recent personnel decisions at the National Security Council (NSC) and his recently leaked letter to former President Barack Obama’s National Security Advisor Susan Rice.

The ensuing social media campaign to #FireMcMaster spread virally and, ultimately, forced President Trump to affirm support for his closest advisor on matters relating to national security and foreign policy, for now. Mobilization across alt-right social media platforms is commonplace, and this case shows another correlation between their mobilization and high-performing bot networks….

Aaron Blake contends that Trump TV’s ‘real news’ sounds more like real propaganda:

Kayleigh McEnany, who has been plying her trade as a pro-Trump pundit on CNN for a while, jumped ship to the Trump Team over the weekend. And Sunday, she debuted a Trump TV segment that she labeled the “real news.”

It is real spin, at best. And it feels a lot like real propaganda — or state TV.

In her first 90-second segment, McEnany makes a number of questionable claims, most notably about the credit President Trump deserves for continued strong economic growth. Below, I’ve transcribed the whole segment, with some reality checks interjected.

Hey, everybody. I’m Kayleigh McEnany. Thank you for joining us as we provide the news of the week from Trump Tower here in New York. More great economic news on Friday: The July jobs report added a better-than-expected 209,000 new jobs. Overall, since the president took office, President Trump has created more than 1 million new jobs, the unemployment rate is at a 16-year low, and consumer confidence is at a 16-year high — all while the Dow Jones continues to break records. President Trump has clearly steered the economy back in the right direction.

First off, it is true that the July jobs report was “better than expected.” It is also true that the unemployment rate is the lowest it’s been since 2001. And these are legitimately good stories for Trump to tell.

But like Trump, McEnany takes it too far. Saying that Trump “has created more than 1 million jobs” and that Trump “has clearly steered the economy back in the right direction” is taking some real liberties. And that’s for one big reason: The jobs picture has largely continued the trends from late in President Barack Obama’s administration. In his first six months, the economy under Trump has indeed added more than 1 million new jobs — 1.07 million, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. But in the last six months under Obama, the economy added slightly more jobs than that — 1.08 million. And if anything, the average jobs growth under Trump is actually slightly slower than it was in Obama’s final years….

(One should expect Trump TV for as long as Trump is in power: his base consumes what he serves, and by consuming what he serves they remain mired as his base.)

Bess Levin writes that The Trumpian “Dealmaker” Myth is Finally, Truly Dead (“Leaked transcripts of Trump’s phone call with the Australian prime minister reveal the profound depths of the president’s ignorance”):

For all of his adult life, Donald Trump has been telling people that he’s a brilliant businessman, a habit he continued, to great effect, on the campaign trail. So you’ll have to forgive Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull,who may have been laboring under a similar assumption when he got on the phone last January with the newly sworn-in president. One of the primary purposes of the call was to discuss a deal that had been struck by Barack Obama to take in 1,250 refugees who had been detained by Australia, which Turnbull was worried would not be honored in light of the travel ban Trump had ordered the day before. But as Turnbull quickly realized, as revealed Thursday [8.3.17] by a leaked transcript of their conversation, Trump is completely incapable of grasping even basic facts about foreign policy—and is too ignorant to negotiate even the most basic deals. In fact, it seems highly possible Turnbull came away from the conversation not confident the president of the United States knows what Australia is….

(Levin is wholly right that Trump’s no deal-maker, but she’s only partly right about Trump’s reputation as such being dead: his base will still see him this way, as Trump is an ignorant person’s idea of a knowledgeable person, to paraphrase Jennifer Rubin’s description of Trump.)

Sarah Wire reports on Why Dana Rohrabacher’s name keeps coming up in the Russia investigation:

There is no indication Rohrabacher is under investigation by the FBI or the House and Senate committees looking into what happened, but his name keeps popping up in connection to key figures and events in the investigation.

It’s a story that involves Russian tax fraud, foreign adoptions, dinner with a foreign agent and a meeting in Trump Tower with the soon-to-be president’s son. And much of it has just recently come to light….

FBI agents sat Rohrabacher down in the Capitol and warned him that a Russian spy was trying to recruit him as an “agent of influence” — someone the Russian government might be able to use to steer policymaking.

(One can’t show that Rohrabacher’s a fifth columnist, but by his own expressed suppport for Putin he’s an undeniable fellow traveler.)

Geoffrey Glassner met some bears on a trail, and recorded his meeting, while walking backwards away from them: