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Daily Bread for 1.9.19

Good morning.

Wednesday in Whitewater will be partly sunny with a high of twenty-two.  Sunrise is 7:24 AM and sunset 4:39 PM, for 9h 15m 24s of daytime.  The moon is a waxing crescent with 10.3% of its visible disk illuminated.

Today is the seven hundred ninety-first day.

 

On this day in 1493, Italian explorer Christopher Columbus, while sailing near the Dominican Republic, sees what he believes to be three mermaids – truly manatees–and describes them as “not half as beautiful as they are painted.”

 

Recommended for reading in full:

 Jennifer Rubin describes Trump’s nothingburger speech:

The only thing surprising about President Trump’s address from the Oval Office on Tuesday night was how totally unnecessary and un-newsworthy it was. Trump did not declare he was reopening the government. He did not issue an “emergency” declaration. He did not even offer any new arguments for a border wall that voters say they don’t want for a crisis that doesn’t exist. Instead, he delivered a weak, unconvincing promise to sit down with Democrats. Never has he looked so helpless and small.

….

the speech was littered with falsehoods. He claimed there was a growing crisis along the U.S-Mexico border, though illegal crossings are a fraction of what they were in 2000. He bemoaned the influx of heroin, but didn’t mention that the vast majority of heroin doesn’t come over the border but through airports and other ports of entry. He claimed the wall would be paid for by NAFTA 2.0, the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, but that’s bunk, and no official has adequately explained how it would work.

 Sharon LaFraniere, Kenneth P. Vogel, and Maggie Haberman report Manafort Accused of Sharing Trump Polling Data With Russian Associate:

As a top official in President Trump’s campaign, Paul Manafort shared political polling data with a business associate tied to Russian intelligence, according to a court filing unsealed on Tuesday. The document provided the clearest evidence to date that the Trump campaign may have tried to coordinate with Russians during the 2016 presidential race.

Mr. Manafort’s lawyers made the disclosure by accident, through a formatting error in a document filed to respond to charges that he had lied to prosecutors working for the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, after agreeing to cooperate with their investigation into Russian interference in the election.

The document also revealed that during the campaign, Mr. Manafort and his Russian associate, Konstantin V. Kilimnik, discussed a plan for peace in Ukraine. Throughout the campaign and the early days of the Trump administration, Russia and its allies were pushing various plans for Ukraine in the hope of gaining relief from American-led sanctions imposed after it annexed Crimea from Ukraine.

Prosecutors and the news media have already documented a string of encounters between Russian operatives and Trump campaign associates dating from the early months of Mr. Trump’s bid for the presidency, including the now-famous meeting at Trump Tower in Manhattan with a Russian lawyer promising damaging information on Hillary Clinton. The accidental disclosure appeared to some experts to be perhaps most damning of all.

An AI that thinks like a scientist:

2 comments for “Daily Bread for 1.9.19

  1. joe
    01/09/2019 at 10:33 AM

    I watched the President do his thing yesterday evening. It was, as Rick Wilson accurately reported, a wet fart of a speech. Just another recitation of unsubstantiated fear-mongering, read off a teleprompter and punctuated by giant snorts. Trump is a tortured reader. You could see his eyes doing carriage returns/line feeds while he stumbled thru it. It was abundantly clear that he really wanted to declare martial law, but somebody talked him down from doing so. The result was a listless “Oh shit, I really wanted to crown myself king” recitation of tired, and long discredited, talking points. His re-election campaign cranking out fundraising e-mails both before and after the speech was instructive. The speech had nothing to do with national security and was a purely political event, meant to tickle the G-spots of his increasingly unhinged base, and shuck a few more bux out of them at the same time. Trump is a well-oiled rube-gulling machine. He has unquestioned talents in that category.

    Trump has a couple of substance issues. The major item, of course, is that his issues revolve exclusively around hating others and fearing others. That is all that he has. It worked for a while, but is getting pretty stale.

    The other substance problem may be a bit more dusty. His speech sounded a lot like rants that I, as a child of the ‘60s, have seen before. All that snorting and sniffing might just be a head-cold. Or maybe not… I half expected him to whip a mirror out of an Oval Office desk drawer, cut out a generous line with a ceremonial Kamikaze sword, and toot it up with a giant, bi-tonal, perforated-septum, honk thru a gold vuvuzela emblazoned with the Trump logo. Too bad he didn’t do so. It would have livened the speech significantly. Maybe next time…

    Trump is rapidly running out of options. It’s going to get crazier before this is over.

    • JOHN ADAMS
      01/09/2019 at 11:24 AM

      Wow, honest to goodness, and holy cow – he looked far worse than normal. He’s a wasted, depleted man (and he was never much, to be honest). One really sees how much he relies on the energy of a rally crowd of fanatical dunces. Sitting at a desk like a normal person, he’s a husk.

      He’s bigoted and ignorant, but this was – as you write – “read off a teleprompter and punctuated by giant snorts. Trump is a tortured reader. You could see his eyes doing carriage returns/line feeds while he stumbled thru it.”

      There would have been some excitement for him if he had declared himself a king (and in America, any king would be a tyrant), but he wasn’t – yet – so brazen. Perhaps at a rally, he will find sufficient encouragement from fanatics and seal his political doom then and there.

      On substances, of one kind or another – yes, indeed – this is a man who’s inadequate even on his own terms without pharmacological assistance. (Other than chemistry, as you note, nothing animates Trump like bigotry & hatred.)

      As bad as it is politically for Trump now, he’ll find – and deserve – worse conditions ahead.