Daily Bread for 1.14.19

Good morning.

Monday in Whitewater will be partly sunny with a high of thirty-four.  Sunrise is 7:22 AM and sunset 4:45 PM, for 9h 22m 56s of daytime.  The moon is a waxing gibbous with 52.2% of its visible disk illuminated.

Today is the seven hundred ninety-sixth day.

Whitewater’s Planning Commission meets at 6:30 PM.

On January 14, 1863, the 23rd Wisconsin Infantry leads an expedition to South Bend, Arkansas. On this day in 1865, the 12th, 16th, 17th, 25th, and 32nd Wisconsin Infantry regiments seize Pocotaligo, South Carolina.

Recommended for reading in full:

 Tory Newmyer writes Government shutdown threatens to take real bite out of economic growth:

The longest shutdown is on track to turn a month old this coming weekend, and the economic damage is starting to pile up. 

Given that there’s no end in sight, the damage may need to get significantly worse to break the stalemate.

Economists disagree on what the shutdown has done to broader economic growth so far. The rough standard is that every week or two the government is shuttered trims a tenth of a percent from GDP growth. 

But the knock-on effects — when government contractors or others who rely on federal workers as customers get stiffed, then fail to pay employees or creditors and, potentially, see their businesses fail — are hard to measure, Pantheon Macroeconomics chief economist Ian Shepherdson argued in a research note over the weekend. “Even a one-month shutdown would seriously hit growth, to say nothing of the misery caused,” he wrote. And if the situation drags on for the duration of the first quarter, “we would look for an outright decline in first quarter GDP.”

(Emphasis in original.)

Vanda Felbab-Brown surveys Trump’s bogus justifications for the border wall:

President Trump’s speech this week did not change the fact that a border wall won’t make the United States safer or more prosperous. Despite the president’s spin and pretend newly-found humanitarianism, a wall—whether a steel barrier or concrete—remains a waste of money. No matter how tall, deep, or thick a barrier, illicit flows will find a way around. Instead, the wall would undermine the rights of Native Americans and critically damage U.S. biodiversity.

A wall can’t stop smuggling. Drug smugglers have been using tunnels to get drugs into the United States since 1989. Between 1990 and 2016, 224 tunnels have been discovered underneath the U.S.–Mexico border. With no great difficulty, tunnels can be built under any wall. Drugs are also smuggled through drainage systems between border towns and by drones. People and contraband can be smuggled by boats, landing far north on U.S. coasts. Ports such as Miami and Boston are key drug-trafficking hubs.

Contraband and migrants can be hidden within the legal cargo entering through the 52 ports of entry between the United States and Mexico. Most high-value drugs are smuggled across the land border that way. Checking every car, truck, and train compartment that crosses the border is simply infeasible because of time and costs. It would paralyze legal trade and travel.

Dolphins join surfer for amazing ride off California coast:

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