Daily Bread for 12.12.17

Good morning.

Tuesday in Whitewater will be sunny with a high of twenty-two. Sunrise is 7:17 AM and sunset is 4:21 PM, for 9h 04m 07s of daytime. The moon is a waning crescent with 27% of its visible disk illuminated. Today is the {tooltip}three hundred ninety-eighth day.{end-texte}Days since Trump’s election, with 11.9.16 as the first day.{end-tooltip}

On this day in 1925, the first motel in the world, the Motel Inn (originally known as the Milestone Mo-Tel) opens in San Luis Obispo, California.

Recommended for reading in full —

Karen Yourish asks Confused by all the news about Russia and the 2016 presidential election? We are here to help [illustrations include additional detail in text]:

Jennifer Rubin writes Even without Roy Moore, the GOP is in a downward spiral:

The GOP has a bunch of problems, including these: Its signature bill is a dud, it is shedding voters and it is led by someone who, in the midst of a cultural revolution regarding sexual assault, is widely believed to be a serial sexual predator.

USA Today reports:

“A new USA TODAY/Suffolk University Poll finds just 32% support the GOP tax plan; 48% oppose it. That’s the lowest level of public support for any major piece of legislation enacted in the past three decades, including the Affordable Care Act …

Americans are skeptical of the fundamental arguments Republicans have made in selling the bill: A 53% majority of those surveyed predict their own families won’t pay lower taxes as a result of the measure, and an equal 53% say it won’t help the economy in a major way. … Overall, only 35% believe that the bill will boost the economy, and 31% that their own families’ tax bills will be lowered as a result. Nearly two-thirds, 64%, say the wealthy will get the most benefits; just 17% say the middle-class will.

Republicans, however, remain enthusiastic about the bill, supporting it by a wide margin, 71 percent to 12 percent.”

The poll also shows that while sentiment about the economy is very positive (56 percent), voters’ opinion of President Trump continues to deteriorate. (“Trump now has a favorable-unfavorable rating of 34%-58%, a net negative of 24 percentage points. His standing has worsened through the year, from a net negative of just 2 points in March and 15 points in June.”) The Republican Party as a whole has a dreadful favorable-unfavorable rating of 24 percent/61 percent; almost as bad as Congress overall (17 percent favorable to 64 percent unfavorable). Democrats do somewhat better (36 percent to 47 percent)….

Lena H. Sun and Alice Crites report New CDC head faces questions about financial conflicts of interest:

ATLANTA — After five months in office, President Trump’s new director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has been unable to divest financial holdings that pose potential conflicts of interest, hindering her ability to fully perform her job.

Brenda Fitzgerald, 71, who served as the Georgia public health commissioner until her appointment to the CDC post in July, said she has divested from many stock holdings. But she and her husband are legally obligated to maintain other investments in cancer detection and health information technology, according to her ethics agreement, requiring Fitzgerald to pledge to avoid government business that might affect those interests. Fitzgerald provided The Post with a copy of her agreement.

Last week, Sen. Patty Murray (Wash.), the senior Democrat on the Senate committee that oversees CDC, wrote that Fitzgerald is raising questions about her ability to function effectively.

“I am concerned that you cannot perform the role of CDC director while being largely recused from matters pertaining to cancer and opioids, two of the most pervasive and urgent health challenges we face as a country,” Murray wrote….

Michael Gerson writes It’s America’s turn to ‘fight on the beaches’:

….From Churchill, we learn to resist pessimistic extrapolation. May 1940 was terrible, but not permanent. We learn the power of unreasonable optimism — the value of planning for revival in the midst of defeat. We see the possibility of leadership that can not only ride the tide but summon it.

Many of us view this example, not only with appreciation, but with longing. The problem of our time is not only arrogance without accomplishment or swagger without success. These are common enough in politics. Rather, it is the arrival of leadership that survives by feeding resentment, hatred and disorienting flux. Leadership urging us — at angry rallies, in ethnic stereotyping, through religious bigotry — to forget who we really are as a people. Leadership that has ceased to believe in the miracle at our country’s heart — the inclusive, unifying power of American ideals.

One needs a map when Searching for Copenhagen’s Hidden Giants:

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