Daily Bread for 1.15.17 – 2017

Good morning.

Sunday in Whitewater will be a partly sunny day with a high of thirty-six. Sunrise is 7:21 AM and sunset 4:47 PM, for 9h 25m 26s of daytime. The moon is a waning gibbous with 88% of its visible disk illuminated. Today is the sixty-eighth day.Days since Trump’s election, with 11.9.16 as the first day.

On this day in 1929, Martin Luther King Jr. is born. On this day in 1967, it’s Packers 35, Kansas City 10 in the first Super Bowl.

Recommended for reading in full — 

The AP reports on Ringling Bros. calling it quits after 146 years: “Ellenton, Fla. — After 146 years, the curtain is coming down on “The Greatest Show on Earth.” The owner of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus told The Associated Press that the show will close forever in May. The iconic American spectacle was felled by a variety of factors, company executives say. Declining attendance combined with high operating costs, along with changing public tastes and prolonged battles with animal rights groups all contributed to its demise.”

Michelle Goldberg thinks that Democrats Should Follow John Lewis’ Lead (but I don’t think her advice applies only to Democrats): “Lewis was speaking for many of us who are aghast at the way Trump benefited from Russian hacking and now appears to be returning the favor by taking a fawning stance toward Putin. He spoke for those of us who are shocked by the role of the FBI, which improperly publicized the reopening of its investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails but refuses to say whether it is investigating Trump’s ties with Russia. Trump lost the popular vote; he is president-elect only because the country values fidelity to the democratic process over popular democracy itself. (The Constitution, it turns out, may in fact be a suicide pact.) If the process itself was crooked—if Trump’s campaign colluded in any way with Russia—his legitimacy disappears. If he scorns the Constitution by, say, violating the Emoluments Clause, it disappears as well. A president who lost the popular vote, who may have cheated to win the Electoral College, and who will be contravening the Constitution the second he’s sworn in is due neither respect nor deference.”

Brian Buetler asks Who’s the Illegitimate President Now, Mr. Birtherism?: “But if it’s ironic that Trump rose to the pinnacle of global power on the strength of a failed campaign to delegitimize Obama, it’s also fitting that his own presidency will begin under a mix of suspicions and legitimacy questions that are very real and that Trump brought upon himself. Nobody who’s reasonable questions Trump’s eligibility for the presidency, but questions surrounding his entitlement to keep the job are widespread, and not just on the left-wing fringe. Birtherism may have been Trump’s accidental springboard to the presidency, but the next four years are set to express themselves as a continuous fight over the legitimacy of his presidency in ways that will make birtherism seem like a footnote.”

Sarah Oates describes How Russian ‘kompromat’ destroys political opponents, no facts required: “Kompromat has evolved well beyond the clumsy photo-editing of the Stalin era, when political opponents were carefully airbrushed out . Several opponents of Russian President Vladimir Putin or the Russian regime find themselves facing charges of possession of child pornography that they believe was planted by Russian operatives — in Russia, but also in Lithuania and Britain. Another tactic of choice involves sex tapes. In 2010, videos of Russian opposition journalists and politicians who had been filmed separately having sex with the same young Russian woman were leaked online. Last year, an opposition political party was damaged when a tape emerged of a married party leader having sex with an aide. Putin has been involved in such operations for years: In 1999, when he was the head of the FSB (the post-Soviet successor to the KGB), Putin reportedly helped then-President Boris Yeltsin to discredit and dismiss powerful prosecutor Yuri Skuratov, who had threatened to reveal which Russian officials were siphoning money to foreign bank accounts. When Yeltsin could not persuade the parliament to fire Skuratov, a video of the prosecutor — or at least a man who resembled him — having sex with prostitutes was aired on television. This all may sound like something out of “The Americans,” but it’s politics as usual in Russia.”

For a snowboarder in Canada, an inflatable backpack made all the difference:

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