Thursday in Whitewater will see times of sun and clouds and a passing shower this afternoon with a high of sixty-eight. Sunrise is 5:49 AM and sunset 7:54 PM, for 14h 04m 10s of daytime. The moon is a waning gibbous with 91.9% of its visible disk illuminated.
On this day in 1986, American and European spy satellites capture the ruins of the 4th reactor at the Chernobyl Power Plant.
Recommended for reading in full —
Ezra Klein writes Democrats and Republicans Can’t Agree on Anything. They Shouldn’t Have To:
If anything, past legislation in America is too stable. More old policy should be revisited, and if it’s not working, uprooted or overhauled. There’s nothing wrong with one party passing a bill that the next party repeals. That gives voters information they can use to decide who to vote for in the future. If a party repeals a popular bill, they will pay an electoral price. If they repeal an unpopular bill, or replace it with something better, they’ll prosper. That’s the way the system should work.
We are a divided country, but one way we could become less divided is for the consequences of elections to be clearer. When legislation is so hard to pass, politics becomes a battle over identity rather than a battle over policy. Don’t get me wrong: Fights over policy can be angry, even vicious. But they can also lead to changed minds — as in the winning coalition Democrats built atop the successes of the New Deal — or changed parties, as savvy politicians learn to accept the successes of the other side. There is a reason Republicans no longer try to repeal Medicare and Democrats shrink from raising taxes on the middle class.
This is what Manchin gets wrong: A world of partisan governance is a world in which Republicans and Democrats both get to pass their best ideas into law, and the public judges them on the results. That is far better than we have now, where neither party can routinely pass their best ideas into law, and the public is left frustrated that so much political tumult changes so little.
Maya Wei-Haas reports Rare chunks of Earth’s mantle found exposed in Maryland:
Standing among patches of muddy snow on the outskirts of Baltimore, Maryland, I bent down to pick up a piece of the planet that should have been hidden miles below my feet.
On that chilly February day, I was out with a pair of geologists to see an exposed section of Earth’s mantle. While this layer of rock is usually found between the planet’s crust and core, a segment peeks out of the scrubby Maryland forest, offering scientists a rare chance to study Earth’s innards up close.
Even more intriguing, the rock’s unusual chemical makeup suggests that this piece of mantle, along with chunks of lower crust scattered around Baltimore, was once part of the seafloor of a now-vanished ocean.
Over the roughly 490 million years since their formation, these hunks of Earth were smashed by shifting tectonic plates and broiled by searing hot fluids rushing through cracks, altering both their composition and sheen. Mantle rock is generally full of sparkly green crystals of the mineral olivine, but the rock in my hand was surprisingly unremarkable to look at: mottled yellow-brown stone occasionally flecked with black.
“Those rocks have had a tough life,” says George Guice, a mineralogist at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History.