Daily Bread for 3.26.19

Good morning.

Tuesday in Whitewater will be sunny with a high of forty-nine.  Sunrise is 6:46 AM and sunset 7:14 PM, for 12h 28m 24s of daytime.  The moon is a waning gibbous with 66.6% of its visible disk illuminated.

Today is the eight hundred sixty-seventh day.


On this day in 1881, civil war mascot Old Abe dies:

Old Abe, famous Civil War mascot, died from injuries sustained during a fire at the State Capitol. Old Abe was the mascot for Company C, an Eau Claire infantry unit that was part of the Wisconsin 8th Regiment. During the Capitol fire of 1881, smoke engulfed Old Abe’s cage. One of his feathers survived and is in the Wisconsin Historical Museum. [Source: Wisconsin Lore and Legends, pg. 51]

Recommended for reading in full:

Thomas Heath reports Trump blames Fed for sub-4 percent growth; economists blame Trump:

Economists cast doubt on President Trump’s assertion in an interview aired Friday that the economy would have grown at a faster pace in 2018 — even as high as 4 percent — had the Federal Reserve not raised interest rates last year.

“If we didn’t have somebody that would raise interest rates and do quantitative tightening, we would have been at over 4 instead of a 3.1,” Trump said in a sit-down with anchor Maria Bartiromo on Fox Business Network.

The comments come just days after the Federal Reserve signaled it would not be raising rates again this year. The president has been critical of Fed Chairman Jerome H. Powell for the central bank’s gradual raising of interest rates — it did so four times last year. The president was reportedly so frustrated with his appointee that he asked internal and external advisers late last year whether he could fire Powell.

Economists say a 4 percent growth rate is difficult to reach.

”Four is just too high,” said Douglas Holtz-Eakin, president of the American Action Forum, referring to the gross domestic product. Even with the Fed’s four rate increases last year, “by any historic standard, monetary policy remains loose.”


Holtz-Eakin said Trump’s policies actually contributed to holding economic expansion in check.

“Most people believe that the combination of a government shutdown, trade tensions, things (Trump) is responsible for, caused the slowing economy in the second half of 2018. He can complain all he wants, but I am not sure the evidence is on his side.”

Phillip Swagel, an economics professor at the University of Maryland, said the U.S. economy would have grown faster had Trump had not initiated a trade war with China.

“I don’t know if it would have reached 4 percent, but it would have been stronger,” Swagel said.

  Economist Justin Wolfers writes of Stephen Moore, Trump’s latest nominee to the Federal Reserve:

Here’s my challenge to any informed voter of any partisan leaning: Call your favorite economist. Whether they’re left, right, libertarian or socialist, none of them will endorse Stephen Moore for the Fed. He’s manifestly unqualified.

  How Did the Tradition of Cutting the Nets in Basketball Start?:

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