Daily Bread for 12.21.18

Good morning.

Friday in Whitewater will be mostly cloudy with a high of thirty-three.  Sunrise is 7:22 AM and sunset 4:24 PM, for 9h 01m 40s of daytime.  The moon is a waxing gibbous with 98.2% of its visible disk illuminated.

Today is the seven hundred seventy-second day.


On this day in 1968, the Apollo 8 spacecraft begins its successful journey to become “the first manned spacecraft to leave low Earth orbit, reach the Moon, orbit it, and safely return.”



Earthrise as seen from Apollo 8.






Recommended for reading in full:

In July 2017, Charlie Savage reported Can the President Be Indicted? A Long-Hidden Legal Memo Says Yes:

WASHINGTON — A newfound memo from Kenneth W. Starr’s independent counsel investigation into President Bill Clinton sheds fresh light on a constitutional puzzle that is taking on mounting significance amid the Trump-Russia inquiry: Can a sitting president be indicted?

The 56-page memo, locked in the National Archives for nearly two decades and obtained by The New York Times under the Freedom of Information Act, amounts to the most thorough government-commissioned analysis rejecting a generally held view that presidents are immune from prosecution while in office.

“It is proper, constitutional, and legal for a federal grand jury to indict a sitting president for serious criminal acts that are not part of, and are contrary to, the president’s official duties,” the Starr office memo concludes. “In this country, no one, even President Clinton, is above the law.”

Asawin Suebsaeng and Lachlan Markay report Trump on Coming Debt Crisis: ‘I Won’t Be Here’ When It Blows Up:

Since the 2016 presidential campaign, Donald Trump’s aides and advisers have tried to convince him of the importance of tackling the national debt.


“Yeah, but I won’t be here,” the president bluntly said, according to a source who was in the room when Trump made this comment during discussions on the debt.

 John Carlin writes The ‘Global Cybercrime Problem’ Is Actually the ‘Russia Problem’:

A series of explosive Department of Justice filings—outside the special counsel’s probe—makes clear that Russia is a rogue state in cyberspace. Now the United States needs a credible system to take action, and to sanction Russia for its misdeeds.

Consider what we learned from last month’s criminal charges filed by the Department of Justice against the “chief accountant” for Russia’s so-called troll factory, the online-information influence operations conducted by the Internet Research Agency in St. Petersburg. The indictment showed how Russia, rather than being chastened by Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s detailed February indictment laying out its criminal activities, continued to spread online propaganda about that very indictment, tweeting and posting about Mueller’s charges both positively and negatively—to spread and exacerbate America’s political discord. Defense Secretary James Mattis later told the Reagan National Defense Forum in Simi Valley, California, that Vladimir Putin “tried again to muck around in our elections this last month, and we are seeing a continued effort along those lines.”

Do People Who Get Knighted by the Queen Get Anything for It?:

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5 years ago

The Wisco-Kid is heading home for the holidays, presumably to spend more time with his family.

So leaveth a tragic man. He had it all. He ran for vice president, he was speaker of the house, he was a “Young Gun”, with nothing but political blue skies and calm water ahead of him. He was close enuf to being president to taste the West Wing morning buns.

Then came Trump…And Ryan got too close to him, and so has succumbed to the inexorable force of Joe’s First Law of Trump. He leaves as merely the latest casualty of the Trumpian turdnado, besplattered with shit and likely asking himself “What was I thinking??”. Nobody yet has gotten anywhere near Trump without being fecally frosted. Whittaker, Barr, Mulvaney, and whoever takes over for Mattis should send out for jugs of Fabreeze, as they will soon need it to freshen the air around them.

Ryan leaves congress exposed as a spineless, Trump-enabling, toady. He got nothing done, save for a corporate tax giveaway. He sat around the gym while Gowdy, Gohmert, Chaffetz and Nunes made a mockery of oversight. At least there does not seem to be any evidence that he molested children, unlike Hastert. Will he now lobby for industrial weed, like Boehner?

Or…Is there something else going on? Why would the Wisco-Kid just chuck it all? He was in Republican leadership during the heyday of NRA/Russian support of Republican candidates. Will Schiff or Cummings invite him in to talk about that? I can’t shake the feeling that Ryan is bailing before the hounds catch him.