Daily Bread for 11.29.17

Good morning.

Wednesday in Whitewater will be partly cloudy with a high of forty-five. Sunrise is 7:04 AM and sunset 4:22 PM, for 9h 17m 34s of daytime. The moon is a waxing gibbous with 78.8% of its visible disk illuminated. Today is the {tooltip}three hundred eighty-fifth day.{end-texte}Days since Trump’s election, with 11.9.16 as the first day.{end-tooltip}

On this day in 1961, Enos the Chimpanzee orbits Earth:

He was the first chimpanzee, and third hominid after cosmonautsYuri Gagarin and Gherman Titov, to achieve Earth orbit. Enos’ flight occurred on November 29, 1961.

Enos was brought from the Miami Rare Bird Farm on April 3, 1960. He completed more than 1,250 training hours at the University of Kentucky and Holloman Air Force Base. Training was more intense for him than for his predecessor Ham, because Enos was exposed to weightlessness and higher gs for longer periods of time. His training included psychomotor instruction and aircraft flights.

Enos was selected for flight only three days before launch. Two months prior, NASA launched Mercury Atlas 4 on September 13, 1961, to conduct an identical mission with a “crewman simulator” on board. Enos flew into space aboard Mercury Atlas 5 on November 29, 1961. He completed his first orbit in 1 hour and 28.5 minutes.[1]

Recommended for reading in full —

Maggie Haberman and Jonathan Martin report Trump Once Said the ‘Access Hollywood’ Tape Was Real. Now He’s Not Sure:

Mr. Trump’s falsehoods about the “Access Hollywood” tape are part of his lifelong habit of attempting to create and sell his own version of reality. Advisers say he continues to privately harbor a handful of conspiracy theories that have no grounding in fact.

In recent months, they say, Mr. Trump has used closed-door conversations to question the authenticity of President Barack Obama’s birth certificate. He has also repeatedly claimed that he lost the popular vote last year because of widespread voter fraud, according to advisers and lawmakers….

Mr. Trump’s friends did not bother denying that the president was creating an alternative version of events. One Republican lawmaker, who asked not to be identified, said that Mr. Trump’s false statements had become familiar to people over time. The president continues to boast of winning districts that he did not in fact win, the lawmaker said, and of receiving 52 percent of the women’s vote, even though exit polls show that 42 percent of women supported him….

(Trump’s serial lying makes him harder to overcome, but once overcome, will contribute to a legacy as a freakish misfit.)

Justin Glawe reports Trump Is Selling New Merchandise Made in China and Bangladesh:

President Donald Trump’s company started selling a new line of Trump-branded merchandise this month and some of the products are manufactured overseas, The Daily Beast found.

The Trump Organization launched and sells a $32 Trump Golf hat made in Bangladesh and a $25 faux gold bouillion “TRUMP” coin bank made in China. The Trump Organization is still owned by the president and is managed by his sons, Eric and Donald Jr. (who promoted the opening on his Facebook page). It appears then that Trump is profiting off of foreign-made goods despite his promise to put “America first” when it comes to manufacturing.

The Trump Organization and the White House did not respond to requests for comment.

“Even though he’s taken some steps to separate himself from his business, we know that he can still receive reports about the Trump Organization and that he can directly profit from the sale of those goods,” said Larry Noble of the Campaign Legal Center, an ethics watchdog group in Washington, D.C.

Trump was criticized during the presidential campaign for bashing Mexico and China for “stealing” U.S. jobs even though his ties were made in Mexico and he applied for trademarks in China….

(Trump’s cheap trinkets, crudely designed and poorly made, are appealing only to the aesthetically stunted.)

Ari Berman reports Kris Kobach Wants to Make It Harder to Vote Nationwide—But He’s Already Failing Back Home in Kansas:

….To hunt for double voting, Kobach’s office administers the Interstate Voter Registration Crosscheck Program, which is used by 30 states to compare their voter rolls to flag any voters who are registered in multiple states and might be voting illegally. Kobach has cited the program as a model for Trump’s fraud commission. Crosscheck “illustrates how a successful multistate effort can be in enhancing the integrity of our elections and in keeping our voter rolls accurate,” he said at the first meeting of the commission in July.

But Crosscheck has been found to produce false matches 99 percent of the time. Academics from universities including Stanford, Harvard, Yale, and the University of Pennsylvania who studied Crosscheck found that purging the voter rolls based on the program “would eliminate more than 300 registrations used to cast a seemingly legitimate vote for every double vote prevented.” Because the program searches for double voting using only voters’ first and last names and dates of birth, it generates thousands of false matches, which make double voting seem far more common than it is and can cause people to be incorrectly taken off voter rolls and even wrongly prosecuted for illegal voting.

In addition to the program’s inaccuracy, Crosscheck has serious security flaws. It could easily be hacked because states are uploading voter data using a non-secure server, and election officials are exchanging the usernames and passwords to access the server over unsecured emails. “It’s completely vulnerable and wide open,” one security expert told me last month….

(Kobach, the Kansas Secretary of State and vice chair of Trump’s ‘voter fraud’ commission fits well with Trump: as Trump pushes to fables about Obama’s birthplace, Kobach pushes fables about voter fraud. These tales are appealing to ignorant nativists.)

Rebecca Ruiz reports Olympic Doping Diaries: Chemist’s Notes Bolster Case Against Russia:

The chemist has kept a diary most of his life. His daily habit is to record where he went, whom he talked to and what he ate. At the top of each entry, he scrawls his blood pressure.

Two of his hardback journals, each embossed with the calendar year and filled with handwritten notes from a Waterman pen, are now among the critical pieces of evidence that could result in Russia being absent from the next Olympic Games.

The chemist is Grigory Rodchenkov, who spent years helping Russia’s athletes gain an edge by using banned substances. His diaries cataloging 2014 and 2015 — his final years as Russia’s antidoping lab chief before he fled to the United States — provide a new level of detail about Russia’s elaborate cheating at the last Winter Games and the extent to which, he says, the nation’s government and Olympic officials were involved.

His contemporaneous notes, seen by The New York Times and previously unreported, speak to a key issue for Olympic officials: the state’s involvement in the massive sports fraud. In recent days, it has become clear that the International Olympic Committee is convinced of the authenticity of the notes and that they are likely to contribute to the group’s decision to issue severe penalties….

(Putin’s Russia, like Trump’s part of America, rests on a foundation of falsehoods.)

Josh Marshall observes Flynn’s Deeds Are Much Worse Than We Thought:

….Flynn looks like a man who was desperate to make money fast and seemingly willing to contemplate almost anything to get it. Think about it – being paid by a foreign government to kidnap a legal American resident and send them to another country? Or consider, as now seems to be the case, that he was discussing taking payments to protect an indicted sanctions buster while he was serving as the head of the National Security Council – the person in the US government who has access to more secret information than anyone save the President.

I don’t have any illusions that the highest echelons of the US officer corps are untouched by greed and corruption. There is a well-tended path that top generals can and often do take sitting on corporate boards of defense contractors or operating as consultants where they can make very good money after they retire. In Flynn’s case, two years running the NSC would have set him up for putting up a private sector shingle that could have netted him a small fortune in just a few short years. Clearly, there’s more going on here than the desire to make a lot of money, at least money that could have been scooped up over three or four years rather than seven or eight months.

It is very hard not to reach the conclusion that something happened to Flynn, some clear break or event that put him on the course he was on by 2015, only months after he left the DIA.

So, Could Robotic Birds Lead to Safer Air Travel?

Birds and planes don’t mix — so some airports are testing whether drones (with flapping wings) can scare flocks away. We take you inside a trial program in Alberta, Canada.

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
6 years ago

It sure seems like the Republican party, between death rattles and final writhings, is focused on getting to the bottom of their bucket list before it all goes dim. Their legislative agenda makes that very clear. The usual technique of building popular support and consensus for major policy change has been brutally abandoned in favor of a “we don’t care how we get it done, as long as we prevail” attitude.

Consider the Trumpcare issue: That bill was supported by 17% of the population, yet it came very close to passing, and may still come back as a guerilla action in the tax bill. By better than four to one, the country opposed the bill, yet support among Republicans in congress was almost unanimous. That they were willing to take this suicidal position is a strong hint that they know the end is near and there isn’t much they can do about it, so why not bliss-out on a “stick it to the libruls” trip? There isn’t any way to build a sustained political majority on the platform of fcking with the citizens access to seeing a doctor, yet that is just what the R-Team is all about.

The current abomination of a tax “reform” bill is another case in point: About 25% of the country thinks it is good policy, yet the R-team is willing to support a child-molester for Senate in order to get it thru. That is another profoundly short-term strategy. Roy Moore in the Senate will be a daily reminder of just how craven the R-team has become. Perhaps the cynical play is to get tax-cuts thru, then throw Moore out, as he will be the bow-sprite on the Titanic that the Republican party has turned into. Roy Moore is an unambiguously bad front-man for the R-team, but tax cuts are really important! Important enuf to elect Trump…

Supporting Trump, as he becomes increasingly beset, is adopting the attitude of a suicide bomber in a crowd, who just wants to do as much damage as possible on the way to a certain death. Trump is some hybrid of a demented old man and a delusional snake-oil seller. He is not in contact with anything approaching reality. He is back to insisting that Obama is a Muslim and he never bragged about grabbing pussy to Billy Bush. He has copped to the Bush incident, and confessed that the birther bullshit was just that, but he is exceedingly close to the wet-paint line in the corner and needs to fall back on the tried-and-true diversions. Trump is flailing wildly as Mueller closes in on him. He is well north of Nixon talking to the paintings on the wall. The end-times are near for Trump.

Yet the Republicans are willing to risk it all to enable a certifiably insane and frighteningly dangerous president, because tax cuts really, really, matter! What have we, as a country, come to??

If this is American Exceptionalism, I want no part of it.