Daily Bread for 12.28.16 – 2017

Good morning.

Midweek in this small Midwestern college town will be cloudy with a high of forty degrees. Sunrise is 7:25 AM and sunset is 4:29 PM, for 9h 04m 02s of daytime. The moon is new today, with just .5% of its visible disk illuminated. Today is the fiftieth day.Days since Trump’s election, with 11.9.16 as the first day.

On this day in 1973, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn publishes The Gulag Archipelago in the West.

For reading in full —

Patrick Marley reports that Wisconsin’s Transportation Secretary Gottlieb to step down: “Madison — Gov. Scott Walker’s transportation secretary is stepping down less than a month after he told lawmakers Wisconsin’s roads would worsen under the GOP governor’s plans. Transportation Secretary Mark Gottlieb will retire Jan. 6 and be replaced by Dave Ross, a former mayor of Superior who now serves as Walker’s safety and professional services secretary, according to the governor’s office. Gottlieb has served as transportation secretary since Walker was inaugurated in 2011. A civil engineer, Gottlieb has at times called for increasing taxes and fees to pay for highways. That’s a different approach than the one Walker has touted in recent years. Walker has said he will not raise gas taxes or vehicle fees unless an equivalent cut is made in other taxes. Gottlieb has gone along with that plan, but this month acknowledged it would result in doubling the number of roads in poor condition over the next decade. He made those comments in testimony to the Assembly Transportation Committee.”

Thanassis Cambanis reports that Moscow is ready to rumble: “Incoming President Donald Trump, meanwhile, appears willing to grant Russia the official recognition that Putin has always craved. Trump and Putin — two macho leaders with empire-sized egos — tempt analysts to reduce the US-Russia relationship to personalities. But the unfolding clash stems from essentials. Russia has considerable hard power, starting with its nuclear arsenal and enormous territory. Its interests conflict with those of the United States and frequently of Europe, through tsarist and Soviet times down to the present. And finally, Moscow’s acerbic rhetoric and commitment to sovereignty and consistency place it in constant opposition in international forums to the United States, with its moralistic style and constant talk of human rights and democracy. “Putin is about restoring his country as a major power recognized by the world,” said Dmitri V. Trenin, a former officer in the Soviet and Russian armies who now heads the Carnegie Moscow Center, an international think tank.”

John Broich describes How Journalists Covered the Rise of Mussolini and Hitler: “By the later 1930s, most U.S. journalists realized their mistake in underestimating Hitler or failing to imagine just how bad things could get. (Though there remained infamous exceptions, like Douglas Chandler, who wrote a loving paean to “Changing Berlin” for National Geographic in 1937.) Dorothy Thompson, who judged Hitler a man of “startling insignificance” in 1928, realized her mistake by mid-decade when she, like Mowrer, began raising the alarm. “No people ever recognize their dictator in advance,” she reflected in 1935. “He never stands for election on the platform of dictatorship. He always represents himself as the instrument [of] the Incorporated National Will.” Applying the lesson to the U.S., she wrote, “When our dictator turns up you can depend on it that he will be one of the boys, and he will stand for everything traditionally American.”

Rebecca Ruiz reports that Russians No Longer Dispute Olympic Doping Operation: “MOSCOW — Russia is for the first time conceding that its officials carried out one of the biggest conspiracies in sports history: a far-reaching doping operation that implicated scores of Russian athletes, tainting not just the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi but also the entire Olympic movement….A lab director tampered with urine samples at the Olympics and provided cocktails of performance-enhancing drugs, corrupting some of the world’s most prestigious competitions. Members of the Federal Security Service, a successor to the K.G.B., broke into sample bottles holding urine. And a deputy sports minister for years ordered cover-ups of top athletes’ use of banned substances.”

Dr. Seuss put rhymes to good use

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