Thursday in Whitewater will partly sunny with a high of seventy-eight. Sunrise is 5:15 AM and sunset 8:33 PM, for 15h 18m 00s of daytime. The moon is a waning gibbous with 67.1% of its visible disk illuminated.
On this day in 1776, the Continental Congress appoints a Committee of Five to draft a declaration of independence.
Recommended for reading in full —
Over the previous week, thousands of National Guard troops from states across the country arrived in Washington, D.C., as part of the Trump administration’s response to the largely peaceful protests taking place across the city. After a great deal of controversy—including an argument over whether troops were allegedly kicked out of their hotels by D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser—they have now departed back to their home states. But under what legal authority were they deployed to D.C. in the first place? The answer was not obvious, and the administration initially remained silent as to its reasoning. Now, in a letter to Mayor Bowser, Attorney General William Barr has cleared up that mystery, explaining that the out-of-state National Guard troops were there under the authority of 32 U.S.C. § 502(f).
In solving one mystery, however, Barr unearthed several more. One of two things is true: Either § 502(f) does not authorize the use of out-of-state National Guard troops in the manner in which they were deployed in Washington last week, or it does—and is therefore a stunningly broad authorization for the president to use the military at any time and for any reason, including as a backdoor around the Posse Comitatus Act. Simply put, either Barr is wrong, or he’s right—in which case Congress should immediately close the loophole he’s identified (and, apparently, seized upon).
Masha Gessen describes Donald Trump’s Fascist Performance:
Trump thinks power sounds like this: “Our country always wins. That is why I am taking immediate Presidential action to stop the violence and restore security and safety in America . . . dominate the streets . . . establish an overwhelming law-enforcement presence. . . . If a city or state refuses . . . I will deploy the United States military and quickly solve the problem for them. . . . We are putting everybody on warning. . . . One law and order and that is what it is. One law—we have one beautiful law.” To Trump, power sounds like the word “dominate,” repeated over and over on a leaked call with governors. It sounds like the silence of the men in uniform when they are asked who they are.
Trump got these ideas from television and Hollywood movies, and he had the intuition to recognize them. He knew what he wanted to imitate. We know that he likes the military and its parades. (A senior Administration official, speaking with the Daily Beast, attempted to downplay the President’s interest in tanks: “I think that is just one of the military words he knows.”) Perhaps he has seen many movies that feature the Black Hawk, that monster of military-industrial production, the metal embodiment of brute force. Perhaps Trump heard that, when Russia occupied Crimea, it flooded the peninsula with men in unmarked uniforms—they dominated without ever identifying themselves. Perhaps he heard the word “dominate” in his recent telephone conversation with Vladimir Putin.