Daily Bread for 11.20.17

Good morning.

Monday in Whitewater will be partly cloudy with a high of forty-nine. Sunrise is 6:54 AM and sunset 4:27 PM, for 9h 32m 46s of daytime. The moon is a waxing crescent with 4.1% of its visible disk illuminated. Today is the three hundred seventy-sixth day.Days since Trump’s election, with 11.9.16 as the first day.

Whitewater’s Police and Fire Commission meets at 6:30 PM, and her Library Board also meets at 6:30 PM. The Whitewater Unified School Board meets (in open session) beginning at 7 PM.

On this day in 1789, New Jersey becomes the first state to ratify the Bill of Rights.

On this day in 1859, the Milwaukee’s  first recorded game of ‘base ball’ is played: “An impromptu game of base ball , as it was spelled in the early years, was played by two teams of seven at the Milwaukee Fair Ground. The game was organized by Rufus King, publisher of the Milwaukee Sentinel, and is believed to have been the first baseball game played in Milwaukee. In spite of cold weather, two more games were played in December, and by April 1860 the Milwaukee Base Ball Club was organized. View early baseball photographs at Wisconsin Historical Images, and read about baseball’s first decades in Wisconsin at Turning Points in Wisconsin.”

Recommended for reading in full — 

Mike Levine reports Special Counsel sends wide-ranging request for documents to Justice Department:

Special Counsel Robert Mueller‘s team investigating whether President Donald Trump sought to obstruct a federal inquiry into connections between his presidential campaign and Russian operatives has now directed the Justice Department to turn over a broad array of documents, ABC News has learned.

In particular, Mueller’s investigators are keen to obtain emails related to the firing of FBI Director James Comey and the earlier decision of Attorney General Jeff Sessions to recuse himself from the entire matter, according to a source who has not seen the specific request but was told about it.

Issued within the past month, the directive marks the special counsel’s first records request to the Justice Department, and it means Mueller is now demanding documents from the department overseeing his investigation.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein played key roles in Comey’s removal. And Sessions has since faced withering criticism from Trump over his recusal and Rosenstein’s subsequent appointment of Mueller….

(Sessions is variously a forgetful, evasive, and arrogant man.)

Alex Eule asks Unicorns: What Are They Really Worth?:

When a venture capitalist coined the concept “unicorn club” in 2013, it referred to software start-ups valued at $1 billion or more—just 39 at that time.

“We like the term because, to us, it means something extremely rare, and magical,” Cowboy Ventures founder Aileen Lee wrote in a column for Techcrunch. Four years later, the rarity—and the magic—has worn off. Today, Dow Jones VentureSource tracks 170 unicorns in its database.

Equity investors once held high hopes for these companies to come to market and become the next Facebook or Google. But in recent years, the unicorns have preferred to raise funds behind closed doors. Just 32 have gone through with initial public offerings since they became a class unto themselves, according to VentureSource, and they have tended to be smaller names. Large companies like Uber Technologies, Dropbox, Lyft, Spotify, and Airbnb have so far spurned the public market.

As the private companies become household names, they face questions about their workplace cultures, business models—and valuations.

The unicorn experience is teaching us an unexpected lesson: The public markets remain the best place to achieve long-term corporate success….

(The public markets remain the best – if not perfect – place to achieve long-term success because they’re exposed to the greatest range of market forces, of decisions of buyers and sellers. Simplified, yet fundamentally true true.)

Desmond Butler, Mary Clare Jalonick, and Eric Tucker report Moscow meeting in June 2017 under scrutiny in Trump probe:

WASHINGTON (AP) — Earlier this year, a Russian-American lobbyist and another businessman discussed over coffee in Moscow an extraordinary meeting they had attended 12 months earlier: a gathering at Trump Tower with President Donald Trump’s son, his son-in-law and his then-campaign chairman.

The Moscow meeting in June, which has not been previously disclosed, is now under scrutiny by investigators who want to know why the two men met in the first place and whether there was some effort to get their stories straight about the Trump Tower meeting just weeks before it would become public, The Associated Press has learned.

Congressional investigators have questioned both men — lobbyist Rinat Akhmetshin and Ike Kaveladze, a business associate of a Moscow-based developer and former Trump business partner — and obtained their text message communications, people familiar with the investigation told the AP.

Special counsel Robert Mueller’s team also has been investigating the 2016 Trump Tower meeting, which occurred weeks after Trump had clinched the Republican presidential nomination and which his son attended with the expectation of receiving damaging information about Democrat Hillary Clinton. A grand jury has already heard testimony about the meeting, which in addition to Donald Trump Jr., also included Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law, and his then-campaign chairman Paul Manafort.

The focus of the congressional investigators was confirmed by three people familiar with their probe, including two who demanded anonymity to discuss the sensitive inquiry….

(The closer one looks, the more one finds.)

Ashley Parker and Carol D. Leonnig write of ‘A long winter’: White House aides divided over scope, risks of Russia probe:

…. [One of Trump’s lawyers, Ty] Cobb added that those who have already been interviewed by Mueller’s team have left feeling buoyed. “The people who have been interviewed generally feel they were treated fairly by the special counsel, and adequately prepared to assist them in understanding the relevant material,” he said. “They came back feeling relieved that it was over, but nobody I know of was shaken or scared.”

But the reassurances from Cobb and others — which seem at least partially aimed at keeping the president calm and focused on governing — are viewed by others as naive.

“The president says, ‘This is all just an annoyance. I did nothing,’?” said one person close to the administration. “He is somewhat arrogant about it. But this investigation is a classic Gambino-style roll-up. You have to anticipate this roll-up will reach everyone in this administration”….

(Those of us in opposition will hold fast far longer than a single season, however long, however cold.)

Yesterday was turkey, and today it’s a recipe for Simple Mashed Potatoes:

2 thoughts on “Daily Bread for 11.20.17

  1. Alabama will be an interesting place, come election night next month. We will get a direct measurement of Tribal Identity vs. Family Values with the Moore/Jones competition. Gov. Kay Ivey has already made it clear that she will vote for a child molester, rather than a Democrat, because the Republican party means more to her than the “family values” of Moore.

    What is happening in AL is the merkin called “Family Values” is being torn off the private parts of the AL “conservative” Republican party, exposing the syphilitic chancres thereunder for all to see. “Family Values” has always been code for “my tribe good–your tribe bad”, and we are seeing that play out in AL.

    Roy Moore is considered a local paragon of religious virtue, and maybe he is in those parts. He’s got cred, for his 5000 lb. Ten Commandments gravestone in the statehouse lobby and his up-front LGBT sexual discrimination. He got thrown off the Supreme Court twice for that set of values. He also got thrown out of a third court, in the Gadsden Mall in front of the Cinnabon, for creeping on Mall-Rats, but that just was revealed recently.

    AL politics has long been a cesspool of corruption and sex-fiending, so maybe this sort of thing is no big deal to the fine folks of Alabama. It is worth noting that Ivey got to the governorship because “suddenly retired” Gov. Bentley had a sex and corruption problem. Bentley appointed his prosecutor (Big Luther Strange) to Session’s Senate Seat, and the investigation withered. Strange getting clobbered by Moore in the primary gets us to where we are now.

    Sessions is “in the barrel” now. He turns out to be a drawling compulsive liar. I’m thinking his time is getting short, too. Mueller looks to be throwing down on him.

    I suspect that Moore will win, despite some polls going Jones’s way. It’s hard to admit to a pollster that you really prefer the child molester, but polling booths are private and you can let your inner impulses run wild, there. I don’t have a lot of faith in Alabamians.

    1. It’s quite a test: will Alabama turn away from Moore?

      Like you, I don’t think they will. For his supporters, there’s a defiance in all this that outweighs the moral scorn of the rest of America. Indeed, a defiance of morality, like something from Milton:

      Here we may reign secure, and in my choyce
      To reign is worth ambition though in Hell:
      Better to reign in Hell, then serve in Heav’n.

      Sessions went to the Federalist Society, and joked about whether there were Russians in the room. Trump did something similar on another occasion. How corrupt does a man have to be to laugh about a dictator’s support? Hundreds of millions of free people, and a republic, but these men turned to Putin.

      They proclaim that this is a new era, one in which they’ll not be criticized, but rather eternally praised, for all they’ve done.

      They’re like men who, while falling from a great height, insist that they’ve discovered a method for defying gravity.

      I’d not invest in their supposed discovery…

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