Friday in Whitewater will be partly sunny with a high of 78. Sunrise is 5:31 AM and sunset 8:30 PM, for 14h 58m 15s of daytime. The moon is a waxing crescent with 39.5% of its visible disk illuminated.
On this day in 1945, the Atomic Age begins when the United States successfully detonates a plutonium-based test nuclear weapon near Alamogordo, New Mexico.
Recommended for reading in full —
David Frum writes There’s a Word for What Trumpism Is Becoming:
The relentless messaging by Trump and his supporters has inflicted a measurable wound on American democracy. Before the 2020 election, about 60 percent of Democrats and Republicans expected the election to be fair. Since Trump began circulating his ever more radical complaints, Republican confidence in the election has tumbled by half, to barely more than 30 percent, according to polling supported by the Democracy Fund.
The Trump movement was always authoritarian and illiberal. It indulged periodically in the rhetoric of violence. Trump himself chafed against the restraints of law. But what the United States did not have before 2020 was a large national movement willing to justify mob violence to claim political power. Now it does.
In the United States, the forces of legality still mobilize more strength than their Trumpist adversaries. But those who uphold the American constitutional order need to understand what they are facing. Trump incited his followers to try to thwart an election result, and to kill or threaten Trump’s own vice president if he would not or could not deliver on Trump’s crazy scheme to keep power.
Dan Diamond, Hannah Knowles, and Tyler Pager report Vaccine hesitancy morphs into hostility, as opposition to shots hardens:
On July Fourth, President Biden celebrated dramatic progress in the war on the coronavirus, with more than 150 million adults fully vaccinated and infections plunging 93 percent since Inauguration Day. “Together, we’re beating the virus,” Biden said at a party on the White House lawn.
But at the recent Conservative Political Action Conference, attendees celebrated a different — essentially opposite — milestone: that Biden had missed his goal of vaccinating 70 percent of adults.
“Clearly they were hoping — the government was hoping — that they could sort of sucker 90 percent of the population into getting vaccinated,” activist Alex Berenson told the crowd Saturday, seeming to inflate Biden’s target. “And it isn’t happening.”
The crowd clapped and cheered at that failure.
What began as “vaccine hesitancy” has morphed into outright vaccine hostility, as conservatives increasingly attack the White House’s coronavirus message, mischaracterize its vaccination campaign and, more and more, vow to skip the shots altogether.
And it’s dissonance that becomes all the more pronounced when you consider that Paxton, the man leading the fight against this kind of fraud in Texas, is himself under indictment for…fraud. First elected attorney general after admitting to violating securities laws, [Texas A.G. Ken Paxton was indicted for security fraud during his first year in office and has been under indictment ever since without going to trial—six years, all told—because political allies succeeded in effectively defunding the prosecution. Even while styling himself as a champion of law and order and democratic institutions, he has used his enormous privilege and donor networks to thus far evade accountability for his own alleged transgressions (which now include a staff revolt and additional federal investigation into an entirely separate allegation of corruption).