Daily Bread for 3.4.18

Good morning.

Sunday in Whitewater will be mild and sunny with a high of forty-seven. Sunrise is 6:23 AM and sunset 5:48 PM, for 11h 24m 59s of daytime. The moon is a waning gibbous with  92.2% of its visible disk illuminated. Today is the four hundred seventy-ninth day.Days since Trump’s election, with 11.9.16 as the first day.

On this day in 1789, the federal government under the U.S. Constitution begins. On this day in 1863, the 22nd Wisconsin Infantry fights in the Battle of Thompson’s Station, also known as the Battle of Spring Hill, approximately 30 miles south of Nashville, Tennessee.

Recommended for reading in full —

➤ The Washington Post‘s Fact Checker reports In 406 days, President Trump has made 2,436 false or misleading claims (Updated March 1, 2018):

(The database is interactive, and lists each false claim and the number of times Trump made it.)

➤ Steven Mufson and Damian Paletta report In his expanding war over global trade, Trump aims harsh rhetoric at close U.S. allies:

In his expanding war over global trade, President Trump has aimed his harshest rhetoric at an unlikely target — the closest U.S. allies.

In Twitter posts while at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida on Saturday, Trump vowed to strike back at European leaders who said they would retaliate for his promised tariffs on aluminum and steel.

Bring it on, Trump warned.

(Trump is both economically ignorant and a helpmate to Putin & Russia’s longstanding policy goal of dividing America from her democratic European allies.)

➤ Christopher Mathias, Jenna Amatulli, and Rebecca Klein report Exclusive: Florida Public School Teacher Has A White Nationalist Podcast (“Dayanna Volitich suggests Muslims be eradicated from the earth, believes anti-Semitic conspiracy theories … and teaches middle school social studies”):

Dayanna Volitich, a 25-year-old social studies teacher at Crystal River Middle School in Florida, has been secretly hosting the white nationalist podcast “Unapologetic” under the pseudonym “Tiana Dalichov” and bragging about teaching her views in a public school, HuffPost has discovered.

In her most recent podcast on Feb. 26, a guest railed against diversity in schools, dismissing the idea that “a kid from Nigeria and a kid who came from Sweden are supposed to learn exactly the same” and have the “same IQ.” Volitich enthusiastically agreed with the guest, and went on to argue that “science” has proven that certain races are smarter than others.

In the same episode, Volitich boasted about bringing her white nationalist beliefs into the classroom and hiding her ideology from administrators. She said that when parents complained to the school’s principal about how she is injecting political bias into the classroom, Volitich lied to the principal and said it was not true.

“She believed me and backed off,” she said.

Volitich also agreed with her guest’s assertion that more white supremacists need to infiltrate public schools and become teachers. “They don’t have to be vocal about their views, but get in there!” her guest said. “Be more covert and just start taking over those places.”

“Right,” Volitich said. “I’m absolutely one of them.”

➤ The Associate Press reports SEC dropped inquiry a month after firm aided Kushner company:

The Securities and Exchange Commission late last year dropped its inquiry into a financial company that a month earlier had given White House adviser Jared Kushner‘s family real estate firm a $180 million loan.

While there’s no evidence that Kushner or any other Trump administration official had a role in the agency’s decision to drop the inquiry into Apollo Global Management, the timing has once again raised potential conflict-of-interest questions about Kushner’s family business and his role as an adviser to his father-in-law, President Donald Trump.

The SEC detail comes a day after The New York Times reported that Apollo’s loan to the Kushner Cos. followed several meetings at the White House with Kushner.

“I suppose the best case for Kushner is that this looks absolutely terrible,” said Rob Weissman, president of Public Citizen. “Without presuming that there is any kind of quid pro quo … there are a lot of ways that the fact of Apollo’s engagement with Kushner and the Kushner businesses in a public and private context might cast a shadow over what the SEC is doing and influence consciously or unconsciously how the agency acted.”

This Pink Winged Stick Insect is Hiding in Plain Sight:

This is a pink winged stick insect at the Montreal Zoo. These guys have quite the camouflage on them. Despite growing up to 21 inches in length, these insects are able to hide in plain sight, blending in among sticks and foliage. As camouflage is their primary defense, many stick insects are nocturnal and will play dead in the face of attack. Unfortunately, heavy deforestation has made the future of this species precarious.