Thursday in Whitewater will be sunny with a high of seventy-eight. Sunrise is 6:10 AM and sunset 7:43 PM, for 13h 32m 48s of daytime. The moon is a waxing gibbous with 92.5% of its visible disk illuminated.
On this day in 1861, Confederate spy Rose O’Neal Greenhow is arrested:
Allan Pinkerton was made head of the recently formed Secret Service and one of his first orders was to watch Greenhow, because of her wide circle of contacts on both sides of the sectional split. Due to the activities of visitors, he arrested Greenhow and placed her under house arrest at her 16th Street residence on August 23, 1861, along with one of her couriers, Lily Mackall. His agents traced other leaked information to Greenhow’s home. While searching her house, Pinkerton and his men found extensive intelligence materials left from evidence she tried to burn, including scraps of coded messages, copies of what amounted to eight reports to Jordan over a month’s time, and maps of Washington fortifications and notes on military movements.
Recommended for reading in full —Adam Serwer writes Trump’s Troubles Are Just Getting Started (“The conviction of his former campaign chair and the guilty plea of his former personal attorney will not be the end of the president’s legal difficulties”):
William Saletan contends Donald Trump Is Losing His War on Truth:
“We haven’t been in this territory very often,” John Q. Barrett, a law professor at St. John’s University and a former associate counsel in the Iran-Contra affair, told me. “I think the naming of Richard Nixon as an unindicted co-conspirator in the Watergate investigation is the parallel, or the previous analogous event.”
The turbulent pace of the news cycle in the Trump era has habituated political observers to dramatic developments. But even by recent standards, Tuesday’s events represent a dramatic escalation of legal peril for the president and his allies. Trump’s former campaign chair, his former deputy campaign chair, his former national-security adviser, and his former attorney have all been implicated in federal crimes. That fact is already remarkable, even before considering that the Cohen plea deal suggests that list is likely to grow, and that the president has few options to shield himself that would not fatally undermine democratic governance and the rule of law.
Trump’s whole presidency has been a tower of lies: that Mexico would pay for a border wall, that man-made climate change is a hoax, that workers would get the money from corporate tax cuts, that trade wars are easy to win, that North Korea is dismantling its nuclear program. At a rally on Tuesday night, the president lied to West Virginians, telling them that the coal industry was coming back. Trump’s followers love these fantasies. But eventually, truth does to his lies what the ocean does to sandcastles.
Trump’s political success has infuriated and alarmed people who detest him. They can’t believe that so many Americans voted for, and continue to support, such an egregious fraud. His critics worried that his base would ignore most of his fabrications, and they were right. No one is going to punish Trump for falsely claiming, as he did at the West Virginia rally, that Hillary Clinton “said there’s no such thing as manufacturing jobs anymore.”
But Trump’s bigger lies can be falsified, and the falsification hurts. When crop prices plummet, interest rates rise, health insurance premiums go up, coal jobs don’t come back, and shareholders take the tax cuts, Trump voters feel it. The mounting evidence that Trump approved and covered up pre-election payoffs to his accusers is just the beginning of his exposure. Voters who don’t care what he’s done with Russia or with Stormy Daniels will care about what he’s doing to America.
(Saletan here refers to voters, generally; he wisely doesn’t suggest that the most obdurate of Trump’s followers will ever relent. No matter: a strong majority exists without those followers.)Aaron C. Davis reports Trump called this White House defender ‘wonderful.’ He was fired from his previous job for alleged sexual harassment:
Peter Beinart tackles Why Trump Supporters Believe He Is Not Corrupt:
A conservative commentator who was lauded by President Trump this week as “wonderful” and who has argued that past sexual indiscretions should have no bearing on Trump’s presidency was fired from Arizona State University four years ago for making sexually explicit comments and gestures toward women, according to documents and a university official.
An internal investigation by the university concluded that Paris Dennard, a surrogate during the campaign and now a member of the President’s Commission on White House Fellowships, told a recent college graduate who worked for him that he wanted to have sex with her. He “pretended to unzip his pants in her presence, tried to get her to sit on his lap, and made masturbatory gestures,” according to a university report obtained by The Washington Post.
According to the 2014 report, Dennard did not dispute those claims but said he committed the acts jokingly. The investigation began after the woman and a second female employee told superiors Dennard’s actions went too far and had made them uncomfortable.
Visit the Garage Converting Classic Cars to Electric Vehicles:
The answer may lie in how Trump and his supporters define corruption. In a forthcoming book titled How Fascism Works, the Yale philosophy professor Jason Stanley makes an intriguing claim. “Corruption, to the fascist politician,” he suggests, “is really about the corruption of purity rather than of the law. Officially, the fascist politician’s denunciations of corruption sound like a denunciation of political corruption. But such talk is intended to evoke corruption in the sense of the usurpation of the traditional order.”
Cohen’s admission makes it harder for Republicans to claim that Trump didn’t violate the law. But it doesn’t really matter. For many Republicans, Trump remains uncorrupt—indeed, anticorrupt—because what they fear most isn’t the corruption of American law; it’s the corruption of America’s traditional identity.