Daily Bread for 8.14.18

Good morning.

Election day in Whitewater will be partly sunny, with a high of eighty-six.  Sunrise is 6:01 AM and sunset 7:57 PM, for 13h 56m 29s of daytime.  The moon is a waxing crescent with 13.7% of its visible disk illuminated.

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

Whitewater’s Public Works Committee meets at 6 PM.

On this day in 1864, a Union expedition into Georgia begins: “The 1st Wisconsin Cavalry was among the Union forces beginning an expedition to Jasper, Georgia.”


Recommended for reading in full — 

Jim Sciutto and Jenna McLaughlin report Kremlin “pleased” with Helsinki summit, US and Western intelligence assesses:

Russian officials were “pleased” with the Helsinki summit between Presidents Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin, US and Western intelligence agencies have found, according to two intelligence sources with knowledge of the assessments.

The assessments, based on a broad range of intelligence, indicate that the Kremlin believes the July 16 summit delivered a better outcome than it had expected, but that Moscow is perplexed that Trump is not delivering more Russia-friendly policies in its aftermath.

The intelligence sources say the Russians were particularly satisfied with the press conference the two leaders gave in Helsinki after Trump and Putin met for about two hours without staff and accompanied only by translators. In the 45-minute press conference, Trump discredited US intelligence and American policies more broadly, saying “the United States has been foolish” about ties with Russia, a country that has engaged in ongoing attacks on US democracy.

John Sipher contends Convergence Is Worse Than Collusion (“Trump and Putin share many more goals than just Trump’s election”):

Two Donald Trump supporters were recently photographed at a rally wearing shirts emblazoned with the phrase I’D RATHER BE RUSSIAN THAN A DEMOCRAT. To some supporters of President Trump, praising Russia and denigrating Democrats is simply a means of expressing tribal loyalties, or of goading liberals. However, as heated political rhetoric becomes part of the media landscape, such fringe views are becoming more mainstream, displaying an increasing convergence of interests between Vladimir Putin’s Russia and the views of Trump supporters.

While many Americans are concerned that the Trump campaign may have colluded with Russia to influence the 2016 election, Trump’s outright convergence of interests with Putin’s Russia may well prove far more damaging for U.S. interests in the long run. Convergence can be defined as distinct groups doing the same things for different reasons, or as a unity of interests evolving from separate starting points. Both Putin and Trump seek to inject chaos into the U.S. political system. They support an assault on U.S. foreign-policy elites, encourage fringe and radical groups, and envision a United States untethered from traditional allies. They also share a willingness to utilize informal and semi-legal means to achieve their goals. The common interest shown by Russia and the alt-right in exploiting fears surrounding the routine Jade Helm military exercise in Texas in 2015? That’s convergence.

As the Trump T-shirts signify, even collusion can be easy to justify if you view your domestic opponents as the real enemy. But having a U.S. president who shares character deficiencies with the president of Russia is one thing. Becoming the enemy is worse. Trumpism shares a disturbing amount in common with Putinism, including promoting racist hatred of outsiders; the belief that the rich are above the law; the reflexive use of propaganda lies and denial; and the shredding of legal and political norms.

(As with members of the Bund generations ago, the democratic order now faces a large & organized domestic movement with expressed sympathies for a foreign dictator.)

Tim Craig reports Once a rising star, Scott Walker is still looking for his path in Trump’s Republican Party:

Amid uncertainty over how Trump’s bombastic presidency would translate to the 2018 elections here, Walker has been trying to insulate himself from a potential Democratic onslaught.

In April, after Democrats won a hard-fought race for a state Supreme Court seat, Walker tweeted that he was likely to face a “blue wave” this year. More recently, he’s blasting donors with appeals citing various public opinion polls that show a Democratic challenger as much as 13 points ahead.

In a sign of just how competitive the race could be, the Republican Governors Association has reserved $5.1 million in television ad spending here. Last month, the Democratic Governors Association announced it had reserved $3.8 million in airtime.

(Any accommodation with Trumpism is error: cooperation is humiliation, collaboration is degradation.  A path in a party Trump dominates is the wrong path.)

  Andrew Lawler writes Colonial America’s Little Secret: It’s Always Been Miscegenation Nation (“The very first English colonists brought with them people of varied ethnicities, and the historical record is clear that they also promptly intermarried with Native Americans”):

“America was founded by white people,” says David Duke. “It was founded for white people. America was not founded to be a multiracial, multicultural society.” It’s an old belief, but one that is factually incorrect.

There is no denying the American debt to British representative democracy and common law, not to mention our language. And it is true that the bulk of our citizens trace most of their ancestry back to Europe. But thanks to excavations in trenches and among archives, we know that the United States was, from its very beginning, a multiracial and multicultural society, and it never ceased being so.

Of course, myths can’t be conquered by facts, and beliefs are not subject to scientific proof. But if we want to prevent the sort of violence that wracked a quiet Virginia college town one year ago, we will have to move beyond the corrosive concept of a nation founded by only one sort of people. We will have to embrace an America that is, as Vice President Hubert Humphrey said, is “all the richer for the many different and distinctive strands of which it is woven.”

Divers Rescue Whale Shark From Fishing Rope:

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