Daily Bread for 11.8.18

Good morning.

Thursday in Whitewater will be cloudy with a high of thirty-nine.  Sunrise is 6:39 AM and sunset 4:38 PM, for 9h 59m 11s of daytime.  The moon is a waxing crescent with 1.1% of its visible disk illuminated today.

Today is the seven hundred thirtieth day.

Whitewater’s Common Council meets at 6:30 PM.

On this day in 1895, Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen (awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1901 for his work) discovers X-rays:

On the evening of November 8, 1895, he found that, if the discharge tube is enclosed in a sealed, thick black carton to exclude all light, and if he worked in a dark room, a paper plate covered on one side with barium platinocyanide placed in the path of the rays became fluorescent even when it was as far as two metres from the discharge tube. During subsequent experiments he found that objects of different thicknesses interposed in the path of the rays showed variable transparency to them when recorded on a photographic plate. When he immobilised for some moments the hand of his wife in the path of the rays over a photographic plate, he observed after development of the plate an image of his wife’s hand which showed the shadows thrown by the bones of her hand and that of a ring she was wearing, surrounded by the penumbra of the flesh, which was more permeable to the rays and therefore threw a fainter shadow. This was the first “röntgenogram” ever taken. In further experiments, Röntgen showed that the new rays are produced by the impact of cathode rays on a material object. Because their nature was then unknown, he gave them the name X-rays. Later, Max von Laue and his pupils showed that they are of the same electromagnetic nature as light, but differ from it only in the higher frequency of their vibration.

Recommended for reading in full —   the WOW counties begin to lose their wow, the battle against Trumpism is just beginning, Trump leaves ruin, sizing up the blue wave, and video on the origin of the expression ‘a penny for your thoughts’ — 

Craig Gilbert observes 2018 midterms expose Wisconsin’s shifting political fault lines:

So many factors figured into the narrow defeat of GOP Gov. Scott Walker on Tuesday, among them a tsunami of Democratic votes in the blue bastions of Dane and Milwaukee counties.

But one with major implications for the future involved the suburban counties outside Milwaukee that have long been Walker’s political bedrock.

Instead, they contributed to his undoing Tuesday, when they failed to give Walker the same spectacular margins he had won in the past.

Waukesha and Ozaukee counties, two of the state’s wealthiest, most-educated and most-Republican counties, “underperformed” for Walker on Tuesday. The governor, who won Waukesha County by 46 points in 2014, carried it by 34 this time. He won Ozaukee by 41 points in 2014 but by 27 in 2018. Nowhere in Wisconsin did Walker’s winning margins decline as much as it did in those two counties.

You could write it off as a blip, but for four things:

One, these places had always come through for Walker. They were Walker Country.

Two, they were the same GOP counties where Republican Donald Trump showed striking weakness in 2016 despite his statewide victory. Comparing the Trump vote in 2016 to Mitt Romney’s presidential vote in 2012, nowhere in Wisconsin did Trump lag further behind the Romney vote than in Ozaukee and Waukesha.

Three, these counties until 2016 had entirely resisted a national demographic trend in which suburban areas in northern metros have moved away from the Republican Party.

And four, the suburbs have been a minefield for the GOP under Trump and they cost the party its House majority Tuesday.

(It’s point three that’s the most significant: the WOW counties are losing their wow for the GOP; others have speculated about the arrival of this change for years.  The Milwaukee suburbs weren’t going to be outliers forever.)

  Max Boot observes The battle with Trumpism is just beginning:

The glass-is-half-full nature of the election outcome is most evident at the Justice Department. The GOP’s enlarged Senate majority will make it easier for Trump to get rid of Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein and replace them with lickspittles eager to obstruct justice on the president’s behalf. But the Democratic majority in the House will make it impossible for Trump’s lackeys to bury special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s report: Democrats can subpoena his findings.

Partisan rancor, already high, will reach stratospheric levels in the next two years. But that is the price of checks and balances — which have been mainly lacking so far. The election results restore some of my faith in our democracy, but I am sobered by the realization that the battle is far from over. It could last another two years, or even six years. It is quite possible the Democrats will overplay their hand and that Trump will use his demagogic skills to win reelection. To paraphrase Winston Churchill, this is not the end of Trumpism. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.

Michael Gerson notes Trump is leaving a trail of ruin behind him:

In the spirit of the political season, I want to claim credit for the most STUPENDOUS, INSIGHTFUL and POWERFUL political strategy since Pericles boundthe DELIAN LEAGUE into an empire to resist THE PERSIANS. I urged voters to support reasonable Republican candidates in the Senate and to vote for every Democrat in House races. And the country rose up in TOTAL VINDICATION of my IDEOLOGICALLY INCOHERENT but PERFECTLY PRACTICAL suggestion for strategic voting.

Judged purely by their outcome, the 2018 midterm elections were significantly north of acceptable. Any evening in which future former congressman Dave Brat and and appears-to-be-ousted Dana Rohrabacher— who help constitute the right wing of GOP lunacy — feel dejected is emotionally satisfying. The Democrat-controlled House of Representatives will be a check on an administration in desperate need of checking. At the same time, the Senate will continue its originalist shift in the federal courts — the support of which separates conservative Never Trumpers from those who have simply become liberals.

With an economic growth rate above 3 percent, and an unemployment rate below 4 percent, and a relatively peaceful world — and following a Supreme Court nomination battle that rallied and united the GOP — the president and his party lost control of the House. The #MeToo movement rolled along, bringing the voices of younger women to Washington. Democrats carried independent voters. The “blue wall” was partially reconstructed in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. It was, by any standard, a major defeat for the Republican Party. Or, as President Trump calls it, a major victory.

Derek Watkins, K.K. Rebecca Lai, Larry Buchanan, and Karen Yourish are Sizing Up the 2018 Blue Wave:

the overwhelming trend on Tuesday was a blue shift: 317 districts swung to the left.


The districts that flipped to Democrats had an average shift of 21 percentage points.


But the swing districts don’t tell the whole story — they represent the crest of the wave. The average district nationwide moved 10 percentage points to the left this year.

Where Did the Expression A Penny for Your Thoughts Come From?:

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