Daily Bread for 9.12.17

Good morning.

Tuesday in Whitewater will be sunny with a high of seventy-nine. Sunrise is 6:32 AM and sunset 7:08 PM, for 12h 36m 12s of daytime. The moon is a waning gibbous with 57.9% of its visible disk illuminated. Today is the three hundred seventh day.Days since Trump’s election, with 11.9.16 as the first day.

On this day in 1814, at the Battle of North Point, American forces successfully delayed a British advance near Baltimore, giving that city additional time to prepare for an expected British assault. On this day in 1892, the University of Wisconsin opens  schools of Economics, Political Science and History under the leadership of Professor Richard T. Ely.

Recommended for reading in full — 

Peter Nicholas, Rebecca Ballhaus, and Erica Orden report that Some Trump Lawyers Wanted Kushner Out:

Some of President Donald Trump’s lawyers earlier this summer concluded that Jared Kushner should step down as senior White House adviser because of possible legal complications related to a probe of Russia’s involvement in the 2016 presidential election and aired concerns about him to the president, people familiar with the matter said.

Among their concerns was that Mr. Kushner was the adviser closest to the president who had the most dealings with Russian officials and businesspeople during the campaign and transition….

(That’s telling concerning Kushner, but also telling about Trump’s leagal team. Former federal prosecutor Renato Mariotti has an excellent Twitter thread explaining now unusual it is that Trump’s legal team is leaking internal disagreements to the press. Astonishing really – they have shown a lack of coordination and discipline that a team should exhibit. But as Mariotti notes, they may have hit upon a new strategy of accusing Comey of crimes.)

Christina Pazzanese reports on Campaign ’16: How coverage rerouted (“With surprising ease, the far right led mainstream media to cover its preferred issues, massive Berkman Klein study finds”):

If you thought that media coverage during the 2016 presidential election seemed, more often than not, to boost Donald Trump and criticize Hillary Clinton, you didn’t imagine it, a new report says.

According to the report from Harvard’s Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society, which applied data analysis techniques to 2 million election stories to understand better what people were reading and sharing, Trump not only got the most attention from media outlets across the political spectrum, but his preferred core issues — immigration, jobs and trade —  received significant coverage and were widely shared online. In contrast, news about Clinton focused negatively on her family charitable foundation, her use of a private email server as U.S. secretary of state, and the 2012 terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya, the study found.

Surprisingly, while “center-left” mainstream news organizations such as The New York Times and CNN remained popular and influential news sources, far-right upstarts such as Breitbart and Daily Caller, and even hoax-peddling sites such as Gateway Pundit, were able to drive mainstream election news coverage and dominate social media sharing of election news with far greater power and effectiveness than previously understood, the researchers found….

Abigail Tracy reports that Republicans Abandoning Re-election Bids as Trump Fatigue Sets In:

Faced with a historically unpopular president and a stalled agenda, a growing number of Republicans in Congress are saying they will not run for re-election in 2018, increasing the odds that Democrats could retake the House in a wave election next year. The latest to withdraw his bid is Michigan Republican Dave Trott, who was facing an uphill battle to re-election in a swing district. Trott joined the ranks of Republicans Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida, Dave Reichert of Washington, and Charlie Dent of Pennsylvania—all of whom hail from what are expected to be highly competitive districts in next year’s midterms. Another Michigan Republican, Rep. Fred Upton, may also retire or run for the Senate, according to The New York Times. According to the Cook Political Report, Trott and Reichert’s districts are now toss-ups, while Dent’s previously solid red district has moved into the “Lean Republican” column.

Republicans in vulnerable districts have few good options as they head into 2018. Public sentiment typically turns against the party in control of the White House in midterm elections, and there have rarely been presidents as unpopular as Donald Trump. But as David Drucker reported for Vanity Fair last month, G.O.P. consultants are still advising incumbents and potential candidates to stand by the president. “Your heart tells you that he’s bad for the country. Your head looks at polling data among Republican primary voters and sees how popular he is,” one Republican strategist said. “It would be malpractice not to advise clients to attach themselves to that popularity.

But standing by the president is exhausting. Even in the Senate, where the G.O.P. is expected to maintain its majority, Republicans are not immune to Trump fatigue. Senator Bob Corker, the chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, is considering not running for a third term next year, Politico reports. Utah’s Orrin Hatch, the Senate’s oldest member, is also considering retirement, potentially giving a seat to Mitt Romney. Trump himself has suggested that he could endorse primary challengers of Republican senators who have criticized him, like Arizona Senator Jeff Flake and Dean Heller of Nevada….