Daily Bread for 7.3.21

Good morning.

Saturday in Whitewater will be sunny with a high of 89. Sunrise is 5:22 AM and sunset 8:36 PM, for 15h 14m 30s of daytime.  The moon is a waning crescent with 33.8% of its visible disk illuminated.

Whitewater’s Independence Weekend events include amusements (with a wristband special of $20 from 12-4 PM), food vendors from Noon to 10 PM,  a car show 2 – 7 PM, the band Wunderlich from 7-10 PM, and fireworks @ 10 PM.

On this day in 1863, the Union is victorious on the third and final day of the Battle of Gettysburg.

Recommended for reading in full — 

David Frum writes Trump Is Preparing for the Worst:

So far, the danger is to Trump’s friends and his business, not the former president himself. But the danger could spiral, because Trump knew only so many tricks. If Trump’s company was bypassing relatively moderate amounts of tax on the income flows to Trump’s friends, what was it doing with the much larger income flows to Trump and his own family? Even without personal testimony, finances leave a trail. There is always a debit and a credit, and a check issued to the IRS or not.

An early indication that things may end badly for Trump is the statement released today from the Trump Organization. “Allen Weisselberg is a loving and devoted husband, father and grandfather who has worked for the Trump Organization for 48 years. He is now being used by the Manhattan District Attorney as a pawn in a scorched earth attempt to harm the former President. The District Attorney is bringing a case involving employee benefits that neither the IRS nor any other District Attorney would ever think of bringing. This is not justice; this is politics.”

Here is what is missing from that statement: “I’m 100 percent confident that every investigation will always end up in the same conclusion, which is that I follow all rules, procedures, and, most importantly, the law.” That’s the language used by former Trump Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke when he was facing ethics charges in 2018. Likewise, when Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe was accused of violating campaign-finance laws in 2016, he too was “very confident” that “there was no wrongdoing.” Plug the phrases very confident and no wrongdoing into a search engine and you will pull up statement after statement by politicians and business leaders under fire. For some, their matter worked out favorably; for others, not so much. Either way, everybody expects you to say that you’re confident you didn’t do anything wrong. It’s the thing an innocent person would want to say. So it’s kind of a tell when it goes unsaid.

 Catherine Rampell writes One economic prediction I’m glad to have been wrong about:

Early in the pandemic — with entire industries shuttered and millions of workers laid off — state tax revenue plummeted. Demand for government-supplied assistance of various kinds spiked. Understandably, forecasts for state budgets looked ugly.

The implications for the economy were troubling, since state budget problems can drag on the private-sector recovery.

This is what happened during and after the Great Recession. That downturn left states and municipalities strapped for cash; state and local governments’ own-source revenues (those excluding federal grants) plunged by 8 percent and stayed below their prerecession level for years. Balanced-budget requirements and insufficient federal aid forced states to implement austerity measures, which then rippled throughout the rest of the economy.

More than a year into the pandemic, though, things look quite different.

After an initial dip, tax revenue quickly rebounded. Nominal state and local tax receipts over the past four quarters were slightly higher than over the preceding year, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Recent state tax revenue data from the Urban Institute shows strong growth so far in 2021, with states’ coffers likely to fatten further as the economy rebounds.

Siberian center uses tattoos to protect rare falcons:

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