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Daily Bread for 3.10.19

Good morning.

Sunday in Whitewater will be cloudy with a high of thirty-seven.  Sunrise is 7:14 AM and sunset 6:55 PM, for 11h 41m 37s of daytime.  The moon is a waxing crescent with 14% of its visible disk illuminated.

Today is the eight hundred fifty-first day.

 

On this day in 1864, the Red River campaign begins in Louisiana:

The Red River Campaign took place in Louisiana and Texas. At a crucial moment in the campaign, Wisconsin Captain Joseph Bailey (1827-1867) of Wisconsin Dells freed 60 stranded transport ships and their accompanying ironclad gunboats as Confederate troops approached to capture them. The 8th, 14th, 23rd, 29th and 33rd Wisconsin Infantry regiments and the 1st Wisconsin Light Artillery participated in the Red River Campaign. The Red River expedition lasted until May 22.

Recommended for reading in full:

  Ron Brownstein writes Trump Settles on His Reelection Message (“I’ll protect you” is the new “I alone can fix it”):

In his marathon speech to a gathering of conservative activists last weekend, Donald Trump unloaded more than 16,000 words, according to the official White House transcript.

But amid all the meandering and asides, the belittling taunts (“Little Shifty Schiff” for Democratic Representative Adam Schiff) and geysers of grievance, Trump may have synthesized the essence of his reelection strategy in just three words toward the back end of his two-hour harangue: “I’ll protect you.”

With that concise phrase, Trump revealed volumes about his view of the electorate and the coalition that he hopes will carry him to a second term. The comment underscored his determination to convince his followers of a two-stage proposition: First, that they are “under siege,” as he put it, by an array of forces that he presented as either hostile to their interests or contemptuous of their values, and second, that only he can shield them from those threats.

That dark and martial message shows that Trump continues to prioritize energizing his core supporters—blue-collar, older, and nonurban whites uneasy about demographic, cultural, and economic change—even at the price of further alienating voters dismayed or disgusted by his behavior as president.

  Margaret Sullivan contends It’s time — high time — to take Fox News’s destructive role in America seriously:

Given First Amendment protections, Fox News can do pretty much what it wants on the air. It can shrug at Hannity’s excesses. It can allow Tucker Carlson’s misleading rants on immigrants and crime. It can constantly undermine special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation of Trump.

….

What Fox News has become is destructive. To state the obvious: Democracy, if it’s going to function, needs to be based on a shared set of facts, and the news media’s role is to seek out and deliver those facts.

And, of course, to double down on its mission, described aptly by my colleague Greg Sargent: “Fox News is fundamentally in the business of spreading disinformation, as opposed to conservative reportage.” And that disinformation “is plainly about deceiving millions into believing that core functionings of our government — whether law enforcement or congressional oversight — no longer have any legitimacy.”

Playing Instruments Made From Ice:

2 comments for “Daily Bread for 3.10.19

  1. joe
    03/10/2019 at 10:49 AM

    Trump, although not all that bright, has instinctively figured out that if you keep them scared, hateful and resentful, you can do anything you want and still keep ’em on your side. “I’ll keep you safe” is the ideal message for his game.

    Trump understands that fear bypasses all cognitive function and produces reflexive “keep me safe, no matter how you do it” responses in about 40% of the population. That is why it is pointless to try to convert Trumpies using any sort of logic. It doesn’t, and won’t, work because there is no logical thought patterns involved for those that are paralyzed by fear. it is a primal emotion that bypasses all higher intellectual functions. Racial hatred and resentment are in the same category. There is no hope of converting those folks with logic or fact or anything else that requires higher-level cognition.

    Fear, loathing and resentment trump all. You can’t just slap Trumpies across the face and tell them to “Snap out of it!”. It won’t work and is pointless to try. The democrats need to stop even trying to reason with the Trumpers and concentrate on getting their side to get off their asses and vote.

    It is still an open question if voting Trump out will actually depose him. I fear that we are on the cusp of some really ugly times, after the next general. The hard right is very unlikely to just go away quietly and say “You won”.

    Ponder where we would be if Hillary had won the electoral college. We would likely be in the middle of brutal, possibly (even more)violent, sectarian warfare right now. I think her life is much better for having lost.

    • JOHN ADAMS
      03/10/2019 at 5:16 PM

      Clinton famously – and accurately, it now seems – contended that about half of Trump’s supporters belonged in a basket of deplorables. That would be about twenty-three percent of the 2016 voting electorate. There’s no hope of reaching those dead-enders through a civilized and humane program. There was no hope of reaching diehard Tories, Know-Nothings, Confederates, Klansmen, or the Bund, either.

      A large and diverse coalition – something Benjamin Wittes calls a Coalition of All Democratic Forces – can be built and win without appealing Trump’s fantastical base. Indeed, acceptance of Trump’s deplorables – so long as they think as they do now – would vitiate any coalition committed to democratic values.

      One can win without them, and there’s no morality in winning with them.