Daily Bread for 7.24.18

Good morning.

Tuesday in Whitewater will be mostly sunny with a high of eighty-four.  Sunrise is 5:38 AM and sunset 8:24 PM, for 14h 48m 19s of daytime.  The moon is a waxing gibbous with 90.7% of its visible disk illuminated.

Today is the six hundred eighteenth day.Days since Trump’s election, with 11.9.16 as the first day.

On this day in 1911, American explorer Hiram Bingham discovers Machu Picchu:

Most archaeologists believe that Machu Picchu was constructed as an estate for the Inca emperor Pachacuti (1438–1472). Often mistakenly referred to as the “Lost City of the Incas” (a title more accurately applied to Vilcabamba), it is the most familiar icon of Inca civilization. The Incas built the estate around 1450 but abandoned it a century later at the time of the Spanish Conquest. Although known locally, it was not known to the Spanish during the colonial period and remained unknown to the outside world until American historian Hiram Bingham brought it to international attention in 1911.

Machu Picchu was built in the classical Inca style, with polished dry-stone walls. Its three primary structures are the Intihuatana, the Temple of the Sun, and the Room of the Three Windows. Most of the outlying buildings have been reconstructed in order to give tourists a better idea of how they originally appeared.[14] By 1976, thirty percent of Machu Picchu had been restored[14] and restoration continues.[15]

Recommended for reading in full — 

  Salvador Rizzo, Glenn Kessler, and Meg Kelly write Over four days, false claims dominated Trump’s Twitter feed:

President Trump tweeted a series of false or misleading claims over four days, ranging from the Russia investigation to NATO funding to North Korea to the price of soybeans.

From July 20 to July 23, accurate statements on the president’s Twitter feed were swamped by faulty claims. We rounded up 14 tweets worth fact-checking. Let’s dive in.

“Congratulations to @JudicialWatch and @TomFitton on being successful in getting the Carter Page FISA documents. As usual they are ridiculously heavily redacted but confirm with little doubt that the Department of ‘Justice’ and FBI misled the courts. Witch Hunt Rigged, a Scam!” (July 22)

Trump posted a series of misleading tweets about the FBI’s court application requesting wiretap surveillance of former Trump campaign aide Carter Page, often citing statements made by supporters that were factually wrong or politically biased.

(Trump uses his Twitter feed, in part, to tell his hardcore followers what they want to hear, knowing that they’ll not care about the truth of his claims.)

  Greg Sargent reports As Trump’s latest lies implode, one party tries to smuggle out the truth:

This morning, the New York Times’s Charlie Savage has a great piece on the White House’s decision over the weekend to release documents revealing the FBI’s application to a FISA court to run secret surveillance on former Trump campaign official Carter Page. The bottom line: The documents lay waste to much of the narrative about the FBI investigation pushed by Trump — and GOP Rep. Devin Nunes of California, the House Intelligence Committee chairman who enshrined that story line in his much-discussed memo — while largely confirming that Democratic efforts to correct that narrative have been offered accurately and in good faith.

The Trump/Nunes narrative rests heavily on the idea that the FBI probe into the Trump campaign was illegitimate, because it was triggered by the “Steele Dossier.” The Nunes memo in January charged that to spy on the Trump campaign, the FBI failed to disclose that former British spy Christopher Steele’s research had originally been funded for political purposes (which Trump and his allies maintain shows the probe had tainted origins). In his rebuttal memo at the time, Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff of California — Nunes’s counterpart — disputed this, noting that the FBI’s application for the warrant did, in fact, disclose that Steele was hired by “politically motivated persons” to “discredit” the Trump campaign.

The newly released documents — in particular, the FBI’s FISA applications — show that Nunes was engaged in disingenuous parsing designed to deceive and that Schiff was telling the truth. The application contained a whole page detailing the FBI’s conclusion that Steele had been hired to do “research” to “discredit” the Trump campaign, and that the FBI deemed Steele credible anyway, having relied on his information in the past. As Savage puts it, the new release offers a “page-length explanation” that confirms what Democrats contended “at the time” about the research’s “politically motivated origins.”

(Sergeant’s right that Trump’s and Nunes’s lies here are soundly refuted; those two are, however, playing to a diehard audience that doesn’t care if they lie.)

  Matthew Yglesias observes Donald Trump is actually a very unpopular president (“Yes, his base likes him, but his overall numbers are terrible”):

A useful corrective to these niche polls [showing Trump doing well with Republicans] showing Trump’s appeal to select segments of the electorate is to use FiveThirtyEight’s presidential approval tracker to compare his overall popularity to that of other presidents.

As you can see, at this point in their presidencies, every president going back 60 years — Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush, Ronald Reagan, Jimmy Carter, Gerald Ford, Richard Nixon, Lyndon Johnson, John Kennedy, and Dwight Eisenhower —was more popular than Trump is.


And it seems plausible to attribute those numbers to the all-base, all-the-time refusal to do anything on either a symbolic or a policy level to try to reassure people who aren’t in his base that their worst fears about him are mistaken. Trump’s strength with his base, meanwhile, isn’t a mitigating factor — it’s part of the overall problem. In a divided country, he makes no effort to serve as a unifying figure.

(Republicans who talk to each other, watch Fox, and assume that their neighborhoods reflect the national mood have made the same mistake that liberals did in, let’s say, 1984: they have shielded themselves from the weaknesses of their own candidate.)

Krishnadev Calamur writes The French President Had a More American Response to Putin Than Trump Did:

Compare Trump’s remarks on Monday with similar news conferences Putin held with French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, both Western peers of Trump. Those countries have deeply entrenched economic relations with Russia—and are reliant on Moscow for their energy needs. Their news conferences were held in May in the wake of the U.S. withdrawal from the nuclear deal with Iran, an agreement to which Russia, France, and Germany are also party (along with China, the U.K., and the EU). The French and German leaders sharply criticized Moscow when policies diverged—as they do on several fronts.

“I am well aware of Russia’s indispensable role in solving some international issues, but I believe that Russia, for its part, should also respect our interests, the interests of our sovereignty as well as the interests of our partners,” Macron said on May 24. Standing beside Putin, he cited “deep differences” between the two countries on the Assad regime’s use of chemical weapons (Syria and Russia deny that such weapons were used, in the face of evidence to the contrary) but added: “I believe that we should coordinate our efforts to create a mechanism for determining responsibility in the event of fresh cases of chemical weapons being used by this or that side.”


Macron also spoke about Russia’s alleged cyberattacks across Europe.“This is a real problem today,” he said. “It is fueling some of the issues on human rights that exist in our society because cyberattacks have their economic and security aspects.” It wasn’t the first time Macron had called out Putin this way. In a news conference with Putin soon after his election, Macron singled out Sputnik and RT, the state-funded Russian media organizations, as “being agencies of influence and propaganda, lying propaganda—no more, no less.”

Here’s How Movie Theaters Are Ruining Your Movie Experience:

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments