Daily Bread for 3.27.18

Good morning.

Tuesday in Whitewater will see a morning  shower and a high of fifty-two. Sunrise is 6:43 AM and sunset 7:15 PM, for 12h 32m 01s of daytime. The moon is a waxing gibbous with 80.2% of its visible disk illuminated. Today is the {tooltip}five hundred second day.{end-texte}Days since Trump’s election, with 11.9.16 as the first day.{end-tooltip}

On this day in 1794, Congress passes and Pres. Washington then signs an Act to Provide a Naval Armament of “six frigates at a total cost of $688,888.82. These ships were the first ships of what eventually became the present-day United States Navy.”

On this day in 1920, the nation’s first tank company is established in Janesville:

On this date Janesville was chosen as home base for the National Guard’s first tank company in the United States, the 32nd. When activated for duty during WWII, the unit was called Company A, 192nd Tank Battalion. This company fought in the Philippines during World War II. Many of the ninty-nine Janesville men who became prisoners of war and were tortured during the infamous Bataan Death March, were affiliated with this tank company.

Recommended for reading in full —

➤ Michael Gerson contends We are not ‘globalists.’ We’re Americans:

At one haunted moment in American history — early in 1939, not long after Kristallnacht — Sen. Robert Wagner (D-N.Y.) and Rep. Edith Nourse Rogers (R-Mass.) introduced a bill that would have allowed 20,000 unaccompanied Jewish refugee children into the United States. Opponents argued that Congress should focus on the welfare of American children and that German refugees were a Trojan horse. “Twenty thousand charming children,” said President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s cousin, “would all too soon grow up into 20,000 ugly adults.”

The legislation died in committee. And most of the children, presumably, did not grow up at all. At the time, some 80 percent of Americans opposed increasing the quota of European refugees.

Six years later, journalist Marguerite Higgins was among the first to enter the Dachau death camp as it was being liberated by the 42nd Infantry. She found the main yard empty. But then “a jangled barrage of ‘Are you Americans?’ in about 16 languages came from the barracks 200 yards from the gate. An affirmative nod caused pandemonium. Tattered, emaciated men, weeping, yelling and shouting ‘Long live America!’ swept toward the gate in a mob. Those who could not walk limped or crawled.”

An extraordinary group of leaders — politicians, military commanders, diplomats — defined a practical and moral role for America in the global defense of free governments and institutions. “In natural abilities and experience,” writes historian Paul Johnson , “in clarity of mind and in magnanimity, they were probably the finest group of American leaders since the Founding Fathers.” Harry S. Truman lent his defiant moral sensibilities to the enterprise. Dwight D. Eisenhower matched humility with power. John F. Kennedy gave poetry to the struggle. “For it is the fate of this generation,” he said, “to live with a struggle we did not start, in a world we did not make. .?.?. And while no nation ever faced such a challenge, no nation has ever been more ready to seize the burden and the glory of freedom.”

This is what some now dismiss as “globalism” — the combination of America’s founding purpose with unavoidable international responsibilities. The postwar preeminence of the United States has been sustainable, not only because of our military power but also because the global order we shaped is not a zero-sum game. Both America and our allies benefit from American security commitments in Europe and East Asia. Both America and our trading partners can benefit from relatively free global markets.

➤ Ari Berman writes GOP Declares War on the Courts After Rulings That Threaten Its Majorities (“In crucial swing states, Republicans are trying to nullify court orders they don’t like”):

On Thursday, a judge ruled that Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker must hold special elections this spring to fill two vacant state legislative seats that some Republicans fear could flip to the Democrats. But instead of scheduling new elections, Wisconsin Republicans came up with a different plan: They would convene a special legislative session to change the law governing special elections so they wouldn’t have to hold them before November.

Walker had a “plain and positive duty” to hold the elections, Dane County Circuit Court Judge Josann Reynolds, who was appointed by Walker in 2014, ruled on Thursday. She instructed Walker to issue an order within a week scheduling the elections.

But the next day, Walker threw his support behind the plan to change the election law. “It would be senseless to waste taxpayer money on special elections just weeks before voters go to the polls when the Legislature has concluded its business,” Walker said in a statement. “This is why I support, and will sign, the Senate and Assembly plan to clarify special election law.”

Democrats immediately denounced the move, saying Republicans were going to extraordinary lengths to avoid holding an election for two legislative seats previously held by Republicans that have been vacant since December. “Even for Republicans in Wisconsin, this would be a stunning action to keep citizens from exercising their right to vote,” said former Attorney General Eric Holder, who leads a Democratic group that sued Walker on behalf of Wisconsin voters in the two districts. “They appear to be afraid of the voters of Wisconsin.”

Wisconsin Republicans’ refusal to follow the court’s order is part of a broader trend among Republicans at the state level to nullify legal rulings they don’t like and attack judges who rule contrary to their positions.

➤ David Frum writes Trump’s Legal Threats Backfire (“The president is used to getting his way by bluster and intimidation, but the strategy that once worked for him is now working against him”):

Minutes after the Stormy Daniels interview on 60 Minutes, Team Trump fired off a heavy-breathing lawyer’s letter, bristling with phrases like “cease and desist” and “retract and apologize.”

This is exactly the approach by which Donald Trump inadvertently made millions for Michael Wolff. Having so spectacularly backfired the first time, why do it again? The short answer is: Team Trump knows nothing else.

Back when he was a private businessman, Trump learned how to use law as a weapon. The lesson he took from that is that if your pockets are deep enough—and your conscience dull enough—it doesn’t matter that you are wrong. The other party will go broke before you will lose.

A heavy-breathing lawyer’s letter from Team Trump does not frighten a Stormy Daniels. She can release it to The New York Times and watch it dominate the next day’s news cycle. With news domination come economic opportunities for her—and unremitting political damage for the presidency.

(Trump’s too small-minded to see that he now has more to lose than Daniels and other counter-parties.)

➤ Jay Michaelson contends Stormy Daniels’ Legal Strategy Strongly Suggests She Has Photos of Donald Trump (“The hush money and the alleged affair aren’t confidential anymore—she told ‘60 Minutes’ everything—so what is the fight about? Look at the fine print”):

If Daniels has retained copies of pictures or texts, then she is in clear violation of the central parts of the confidentiality agreement. Not only does the agreement explicitly forbid her from keeping copies of images or texts, it actually defines them as Trump’s – oh, sorry, David Dennison’s – personal, copyrighted property.

Incidentally, that, too, is quite unusual. Normally, that kind of provision appears in a consultancy or employment agreement. Here, however, it’s been grafted into a confidentiality agreement. If that DVD has pictures of Trump, it is literally Trump’s copyrighted property.

Unless, of course, the agreement is null and void.

Now the pieces come together. Avenatti wants to void the agreement because that way, Daniels can keep that DVD, or, if you want to be cynical about it, auction it off to the highest bidder.

That DVD could be the stained blue dress of this whole scandal: proof positive that the affair took place, that the coverup took place, and that Cohen and Trump are liars.

Then again, it might just be a blank DVD in a safe.

(Like many plaintiffs’ lawyers, Michael Avanetti is theatrical, flamboyant, but Michaelson’s description of Avanetti’s underlying strategy is plausibile: condidentiality has long ago evaporated with countless press accounts, but evidence of specific conduct may yet await disclosure if a court deems the agreement void.)

➤ James Gorman describes The Amazing Metabolism of Hummingbirds:

Hummingbirds have long intrigued scientists. Their wings can beat 80 times a second. Their hearts can beat more than 1,000 times a minute. They live on nectar and can pack on 40 percent of their body weight in fat for migration.

But sometimes they are so lean that they live close to caloric bankruptcy. At such times, some hummingbirds could starve to death while they sleep because they’re not getting to eat every half-hour or so. Instead they enter a state of torpor, with heartbeat and body temperature turned way down to diminish the need for food.

Kenneth C. Welch Jr. at the University of Toronto, Scarborough has studied the metabolisms of hummingbirds for more than a decade. His most recent research with Derrick J. E. Groom, in his lab, and other colleagues is on the size and energy efficiency in hummingbirds. By using data on oxygen consumption and wing beats to get an idea of how much energy hummingbirds take in and how much work they put out, the scientists found that during strenuous hovering flight, bigger hummingbirds are more efficient energy users than smaller ones.

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
4 years ago

It was yet another fun-filled weekend in Mar-a-Lago for Trump. He went golfing, and likely logged some solo bed-time in the bridal suite, while hundreds of thousands of kids marched in the streets against school killings. Trump had no comment. The kids did. There were 200,000 more of them in the street in front of the White House (800,000 total) than the 600,000 that showed up for Trump’s inauguration. I’m certain that Trump will invite Sean Spicer back for an encore denial-presser.

Trump seems to be having some difficulty finding a lawyer. He can’t seem to even find ones that play lawyers on TV. Vicki and Joe appear to have had a little pillow-talk and decided that they are just too busy to take on the gig with Trump. So did Ted Olson, Dan Webb and Tom Buchanan. Dowd is out, so Trump is down to one TV bloviator, Jay Sekulow. Perhaps Jeanine Pirro will take him on, assuming she gets out of jail on work-release for jetting thru the Pocanos at 119mph in a 65mph zone.

Realistically, you’d have to be really desperate to lawyer for Trump. You would immediately face the choice of destroying your reputation by lying for Trump, or quitting. Joe’s First Law of Trump guarantees that you will be immediately covered in shit. There is no recorded exception to the First law. It is immutable.

Working for the President is a big deal and a feather in any lawyer’s white wig, but the costs to you, and your firm, of doing biz with Trump make him Kryptonite to any lawyer good enuf to do Trump any good. He’s down to getting references from the biz cards thumb-tacked to the cork-board in the entrance of the local diner by ambulance-chasers.

I watched the Stormy show. She came off as totally believable. Her lawyer, Avenetti, is a hungry shark, and Trump is documented to be afraid of sharks. He should be, as Avenetti is owning him. Trump should just hire Avenetti away from Stormy. He is exactly the ruthless lawyer that Trump needs. The Stormy saga is a sideshow to the main-line treason, but has the distinct possibility of going critical on Trump. It’s already blown up his marriage.

What’s gonna happen this week?