Daily Bread for 10.15.18

Good morning.

Monday in Whitewater will be partly sunny with a high of forty-five.  Sunrise is 7:09 AM and sunset 6:11 PM, for 11h 02m 21s of daytime.  The moon is a waxing crescent with 38.4% of its visible disk illuminated.

Today is the seven hundred sixth day.

Whitewater’s Library Board meets at 6:30 PM.

On this day in 1885, Marinette-Menominee lumbermen strike:

On this date 2,500 Marinette-Menominee lumbermen walked off the job to support a reduction in workday hours. Mill owners locked out the workers in an attempt to force acceptance of an eleven-hour workday. The lockout failed as many lumbermen simply moved away from the area rather than agree to work eleven hour days. The employers were forced to negotiate with unions and conceded to a ten-hour work day and cash payment for wages.

Recommended for reading in full —  GOP majority leader’s family benefited from program for minorities, the relationship with Saudi Arabia is out of control,  Trump’s Middle East policy is a fantasy, Trump admits Putin is ‘probably’ a murderer, and video about a woman who searches for missing women — 

Paul Pringle and Adam Elmahrek report House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s family benefited from U.S. program for minorities based on disputed ancestry:

A company owned by House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s in-laws won more than $7 million in no-bid and other federal contracts at U.S. military installations and other government properties in California based on a dubious claim of Native American identity by McCarthy’s brother-in-law, a Times investigation has found.

The prime contracts, awarded through a federal program designed to help disadvantaged minorities, were mostly for construction projects at the Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake in McCarthy’s Bakersfield-based district, and the Naval Air Station Lemoore in nearby Kings County.

Vortex Construction, whose principal owner is William Wages, the brother of McCarthy’s wife, Judy, received a total of $7.6 million in no-bid and other prime federal contracts since 2000, The Times found.


Wages says he is one-eighth Cherokee. An examination of government and tribal records by The Times and a leading Cherokee genealogist casts doubt on that claim, however. He is a member of a group called the Northern Cherokee Nation, which has no federal or state recognition as a legitimate tribe. It is considered a fraud by leaders of tribes that have federal recognition.

Aaron David Miller and Richard Sokolsky write The U.S.-Saudi Relationship Is Out of Control:

Possible Saudi involvement in the disappearance—and alleged murder—of the Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi presents the U.S.-Saudi relationship with its greatest crisis since 9/11. If the Saudis are proven guilty of this heinous crime, it should change everything about the United States’ long-standing relationship with Saudi Arabia. Regrettably, it probably won’t.


Donald Trump’s enabling of Saudi Arabia began even before he became president. He talked openly on the campaign trail about his admiration for Saudi Arabia and how he couldn’t refuse Saudi offers to invest millions in his real-estate ventures. His predecessors may have gone to Mexico or Canada for their first foreign foray; Trump chose Saudi Arabia. In a trip carefully choreographed by his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, who quickly established close personal ties with the soon-to-be crown prince, Trump was feted, flattered, and filled with hopes of billions in arms sales and Saudi investment that would create jobs back home. Trump’s aversion to Barack Obama’s Iran deal also fueled the budding romance. Trump used his anti-Iranian animus (even while he boasted that he’d make a better deal with the mullahs) to energize his ties with Riyadh, and MbS [crown prince Mohammed bin Salman] was only too happy to exploit his eagerness. Reports that MbS saw Trump’s team, particularly Kushner, as naive and untutored should have come as no surprise.

Previous administrations—both Republican and Democratic—also pandered to the Saudis, but rarely on such a galactic, unrestrained, and unreciprocated scale. Through its silence or approval, Washington gave MbS—the new architect of the risk-ready, aggressive, and repressive Saudi policies at home and in the region—wide latitude to pursue a disastrous course toward Yemen and Qatar. The administration swooned over some of MbS’s reforms while ignoring the accompanying crackdown on journalists and civil-society activists. Indeed, The Guardian and other outlets reported that MbS had told Kushner in advance of his plans to move against his opponents and wealthy businessmen, including some royals, in what might be termed a “shaikhdown.”

Jackson Diehl writes Trump’s Middle East ambitions have been exposed as misguided fantasies:

When Donald Trump was unexpectedly elected president, two nations in the Middle East that had been particularly aggrieved by the policies of the Obama administration rushed to take advantage. They were Saudi Arabia and Israel — and they succeeded beyond their wildest expectations.


Trump and his supporters argued that this radical shift would lead to Mideast breakthroughs that eluded the Obama administration, including a settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that the Saudis would help to broker. His son-in-law and Middle East point man, Jared Kushner, talked expansively both of forging that “ultimate deal” and of an “Arab NATO” to roll back Iranian influence across the region.

Today, those ambitions have been revealed as the misguided fantasies they always were. The disappearance and alleged murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul has exposed the real return on Trump’s gambits: a string of reckless acts by the Saudis and Israelis that have made the region more rather than less unstable.

The leaders of the two countries, Mohammed bin Salman and Benjamin Netanyahu, have given Trump what he most craves: sycophantic support. On substance, however, they have done next to nothing to reciprocate unilateral Trump concessions such as the embassy move or the resumption of U.S. support for Saudi bombing in Yemen. Netanyahu expanded West Bank settlements and rejected confidence-building steps with the Palestinians. The Saudis, predictably, have failed to deliver on the $110 billion in arms purchases Trump boasted about last year.

Most U.S. presidents make their first foreign trip to our neighbors, Canada and Mexico. Trump went to Riyadh, where he was lavishly flattered and feted. He deputized his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, to manage the relationship with the Gulf states, which were more than willing to mentor the young presidential aide in the ways of Middle Eastern diplomacy while dangling the ever elusive proposition of Gulf support for Israel (which they still do not recognize). Trump touted the potential for tens of billions of dollars in Saudi investment in the U.S., and heaped praise on the Saudi leadership. In a picture that seemed to capture perfectly the way in which the dynamic in the Middle East had changed, Salman, Trump, and the Saudi-backed Egyptian strongman Abdel Fattah el-Sisi placed their hands on a glowing orb as if they were masters of the globe. The days of Egyptian democracy and of diplomacy with Iran were a thing of the past, and so were any U.S. restraints on Saudi foreign policy or attention to complaints about human rights.

Felicia Sonmez reports Putin is ‘probably’ involved in assassinations and poisonings, but ‘it’s not in our country,’ Trump says:

President Trump said he believes that Russian President Vladi­mir Putin “probably” has been involved in assassinations and poisonings, but he appeared to dismiss the gravity of those actions, noting that they have not taken place in the United States.

“Probably he is, yeah. Probably,” Trump told CBS’s Lesley Stahl when asked during an interview on “60 Minutes” whether he thinks Putin is involved “in assassinations, in poisonings.”

“But I rely on them; it’s not in our country,” Trump added.

A long line of Russian dissidents, journalists and others critical of Putin have been poisoned or died under mysterious circumstances; in one of the most recent cases, Sergei Skripal, a former Russian spy, and his daughter were poisoned in Britain, allegedly by Russian operatives. Russia denies any involvement in the attack.

Meet The Amateur Sleuth Who Hunts Down the Missing:

“If you’re just out there somewhere on the land, dead, and nobody’s looking for you—that’s the worst thing in the world,” says Lissa Yellowbird-Chase in Vanished, a new documentary from The Atlantic. Yellowbird-Chase, a private citizen and volunteer investigator, has devoted her life to searching for missing American Indians.

American Indian women and girls are reported missing at a disproportionately high rate compared with most other demographics. Although there is no federal database that tracks their disappearances, Mary Kathryn Nagle, a tribal sovereignty attorney, told The Atlantic that legal structures help to “create a climate in the United States where Native women go murdered and missing.”

Recently, Yellowbird-Chase has been focused on one case in particular: that of Melissa Eagleshield, who disappeared in 2014 in Minnesota. “It was like she just vanished,” says Jodi Dey, Eagleshield’s aunt. No arrests have been made in relation to her case. In the film, Yellowbird-Chase and Eagleshield’s family visit the last place that Melissa was seen alive in order to search for clues.

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