Daily Bread for 1.4.17 – 2017

Good morning.

Here in Whitewater we’ll have a mostly sunny day with a high of thirteen. Sunrise is 7:25 AM and sunset 4:35 PM, for 9h 09m 53s of daytime. The moon is a waxing crescent with 35.5% of its visible disk illuminated. Today is the fifty-seventh day.Days since Trump’s election, with 11.9.16 as the first day.

On this day in 1896, Utah becomes America’s forty-fifth state. On this day in 1923, Milton College’s president, A.E. Whitford, bans dancing by students in off-campus, semi-public places such as confectionery stores.

Recommended for reading in full — 

Efforts to change ethics rules for the House of Representatives as the House Fires at Ethics and Shoots Self: “Even before the new Congress was sworn in on Tuesday, House Republicans made it clear that they had no real intention of draining the Washington swamp. They voted in secret on Monday to gut the one quasi-independent office that investigates House ethics. President-elect Donald Trump, who ran on a promise to drain the swamp, didn’t demand that they stop — he merely asked them to wait awhile. And that they did. Representative Bob Goodlatte of Virginia emerged as an architect of the G.O.P. miasmic agenda with his attack on the Office of Congressional Ethics. A rules change would have prevented the office, known as the O.C.E., from investigating potentially criminal allegations, allowed lawmakers on the House Ethics Committee to shut down any O.C.E. investigation and, for good measure, gagged the office’s staff members in their dealings with the news media. When the public learned about this plan, outraged constituents deluged House members with phone calls.”

Erin Richards reports that Parent demand drives growth in Montessori programs: “Montessori is an educational approach that features multi-age classrooms grouped into clusters of three grades, starting with 3-year-olds. Self-directed activity, hands-on learning, collaborative activities and tactile objects for exploration are key features of Montessori classrooms. Students generally have the same teacher for three years. Montessori has long been associated with private schools, but public options are proliferating. Whitescarver said there are about 520 public Montessori schools nationwide. Traction has picked up in places like Washington, D.C., Virginia, Maryland and Denver.”

Garry Kasparov writes that The U.S. doesn’t have a problem with Russia. It has a problem with Vladimir Putin: “When the entire U.S. intelligence community united to accuse Russia of tampering in the 2016 presidential election, it seemed redundant to later add that Vladimir Putin was directly involved. Nothing significant happens in Russia, and no action is taken by Russia, without the knowledge of the man who has held total power there for 17 years, first as president and later as unchallenged dictator. Having steadily eliminated every form of real political and social opposition in Russia, Putin turned his attacks on the foreign powers that could — should they decide to act — weaken his grip. The United States, in other words, doesn’t have a problem with Russia — it has a problem with Putin.”

Jay Rosen writes of Prospects for the American press under Trump, part two (he published part one on 12.28.16): “Being willing to start over is good, too. If I were running a big national desk in DC, I would try to zero-base the beat structure. Meaning: if you had no existing beats for covering national affairs in Donald Trump’s America, if you had to create them all from scratch, what would that system look like? Is that going to fix what’s broken in political journalism? Nope. But trying it might reveal possibilities that were harder to see before. So let me be clear about this: I don’t have solutions to what I described in part one. And I’m not saying my suggestions are equal to the task. They are not. Rather, this is what I can think of. I have a series of small ideas that might be worth trying and a larger one to spell out. I wish had better answers for you….”

Chas Pope recorded a time-lapse video of smog in Beijing on 1.1.17. It’s quite something:

 

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