Daily Bread for 8.3.18

Good morning.

Friday in Whitewater will be mostly sunny, with a high of eighty-one.  Sunrise is 5:49 AM and sunset 8:12 PM, for 14h 23m 15s of daytime.  The moon is a waning gibbous with 62.3% of its visible disk illuminated.

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

On this day in 1776, the USS Nautilus (SSN-571) travels under the polar ice cap to the geographic North Pole:

She submerged in the Barrow Sea Valley on 1 August and on 3 August, at 2315 (EDT) she became the first watercraft to reach the geographic North Pole.[16] The ability to navigate at extreme latitudes and without surfacing was enabled by the technology of the North American Aviation N6A-1 Inertial Navigation System, a naval modification of the N6A used in the Navaho cruise missile; it had been installed on Nautilus and Skate after initial sea trials on USS Compass Island in 1957.[17] From the North Pole, she continued on and after 96 hours and 1,590 nautical miles (2,940 km; 1,830 mi) under the ice, surfaced northeast of Greenland, having completed the first successful submerged voyage around the North Pole. The technical details of this mission were planned by scientists from the Naval Electronics Laboratory including Dr. Waldo Lyon who accompanied Nautilus as chief scientist and ice pilot.

Navigator’s report: Nautilus, 90°N, 19:15U, 3 August 1958, zero to North Pole.

Navigation beneath the arctic ice sheet was difficult. Above 85°N both magnetic compasses and normal gyrocompasses become inaccurate. A special gyrocompass built by Sperry Rand was installed shortly before the journey. There was a risk that the submarine would become disoriented beneath the ice and that the crew would have to play “longitude roulette”. Commander Anderson had considered using torpedoes to blow a hole in the ice if the submarine needed to surface.[18]

The most difficult part of the journey was in the Bering Strait. The ice extended as much as 60 feet (18 m) below sea level. During the initial attempt to go through the Bering Strait, there was insufficient room between the ice and the sea bottom. During the second, successful attempt to pass through the Bering passage, the submarine passed through a known channel close to Alaska (this was not the first choice, as the submarine wanted to avoid detection).

Recommended for reading in full — 

The Committee to Investigate Russia shares the trailer for the upcoming documentary ACTIVE MEASURES, about Russian covert actions against the United States:

ACTIVE MEASURES chronicles the most successful espionage operation in Russian history, the American presidential election of 2016. Filmmaker Jack Bryan exposes a 30-year history of covert political warfare devised by Vladimir Putin to disrupt, and ultimately control world events. In the process, the filmmakers follow a trail of money, real estate, mob connections, and on the record confessions to expose an insidious plot that leads directly back to The White House. With democracy hanging in the balance, ACTIVE MEASURES is essential viewing. Unraveling the true depth and scope of “the Russia story” as we have come to know it, this film a jarring reminder that some conspiracies hide in plain sight.

(The film will be in theaters on Friday, August 31st.)

 The press secretary for the president of the United States refuses to say (refuses to deny, truly) whether she believes the press is the enemy of the people:

Jennifer Rubin writes Trump’s Tampa circus proves you can’t reason with his base:

First, this is the behavior Trump incites and amplifies with his attacks on the free press. When he says the media is the “enemy of the people” or the worst people or the most dishonest people, his followers take it as license to treat members of the media as something less than human. Trump has defined the press as part of “the other,” and his cult responds with the kind of venom used to keep a foreign body at bay.

The Trump administration blocked a CNN correspondent from attending an open media event. That’s an assault on press freedom. 

Second, let’s not be surprised when 35 percent or so of voters consistently tell pollsters that the president is the victim of a witch hunt or that they agree with every policy position and action he takes. Trump fans’ politics is not the politics of rationality, considered judgment or empirical observation. Blind hatred and unthinking boorishness are not moderated by new facts or observable phenomena. We should stop marveling as his “success” in holding his base as if this were a reflection of his political skill, let alone the efficacy of his policies. Rather, the unbreakable and unblinking devotion of his unhinged base is confirmation that he now must rely on support from people oblivious to reality.

Third, we should stop infantilizing Trump supporters, treating them as hapless victims of forces beyond their control. We’ve done them wrong. They come from “real America.” Bunk. Whatever one’s economic hardships, any threatening, unhinged conduct and crude insults shouldn’t be excused. Trump cultists claim to be injured by the disrespect of “elites”; the only ones showing disrespect in Tampa were those in the mob. (And anyway, what ever happened to personal responsibility for one’s life choices?)

(Our forefathers opposed Tories, Know Knothings, Confederates, Copperheads, Klan, and Bund – we in our time are called to face Trumpism.  The proper focus is Trump, His Inner Circle, Principal Surrogates, and Media Defenders and this focus necessarily extends to officials supportive of Trumpism Down to the Local Level, but Rubin correctly sees that Trump begets Trumpism, and Trumpism begets a threat to the democratic order.)

Peter Suderman explains How Republican Hypocrisy Lifts Social Democrats (“By its astoundingly cynical approach to deficits and debt, the G.O.P. has opened the door to an expansive left”):

Republican governance has shown how much the party actually cares about the deficit: not one bit.

The party’s hypocrisy on the budget is not new. After Bill Clinton dramatically shrank both deficits and government spending as a share of the economy, George W. Bush took office and proceeded to dramatically increase both.

Yet the thoroughness of the Republicans’ insincerity is still remarkable.Through their actions, they have proven that they cared about the deficit primarily for its usefulness as a political cudgel, an easy way to curtail Democratic policy goals.

So it is hardly surprising that Democrats, driven by young progressives, would respond by moving toward an agenda that no longer treats those concerns as genuine. True, even Ms. Ocasio-Cortez has not entirely given up the pretense of caring about deficits. In a recent “The Daily Show” appearance, she was asked how she would pay for her agenda, and she responded by proposing a series of tax increases and a significant reduction in military spending.


One can perhaps imagine a Republican Party that could defend conventional notions of fiscal responsibility with some semblance of integrity, a conservative movement that governed according to its professed principles; even some deficit doves might find such a party useful as a pragmatic counterweight to progressive ambitions.

But although Republicans will surely attack the new class of Democratic Socialists and their policies as debt-increasing budget busters — that is, after all, what Republicans do — their own actions will ensure that those criticisms have no real authority. Their opposition to the socialist agenda will be hollow, because they helped make that agenda possible.

(It’s worth noting that although I do not – indeed cannot – support Ocasio-Cortez’s economic agenda, I don’t dislike her, so to speak.  Her economics are, to me, misguided, but then Trumpism is far worse than misguided, on matters far beyond economics. A libertarian could sit with Sanders or Ocasio-Cortez and discuss economic policy, although a deal would likely be impossible. By contrast, there’s no reason even to sit with Trump and his ilk.

This reminds of something LeBron James recently said about Trump:

Don Lemon asks LeBron what he would say to Trump if he were seated with them during today’s interview.

LeBron: “I would never sit across from him.”

Well said.)

  Here’s What’s Up for August 2018:

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