Daily Bread for 12.29.16 – 2017

Good morning.

Thursday in Whitewater will be overcast and windy, with a high of thirty-four. Sunrise is 7:25 AM and sunset 4:29 PM, for 9h 04m 40s of daytime. The moon is new, with .1% of its visible disk illuminated. Today is the fifty-first day.Days since Trump’s election, with 11.9.16 as the first day.

It’s the birthday (12.29.1766) of Charles Macintosh, Scottish chemist and inventor of waterproof fabric: “His experiments with one of the by-products of tar, naphtha, led to his invention of waterproof fabric, the essence of his patent was the cementing of two thicknesses of cloth together with natural rubber, the rubber is made soluble by the action of the naphtha. In 1823 he was elected a fellow of the Royal Society, for his chemical discoveries.”

Recommended for reading in full —

For Wisconsin, Patrick Marley reports Major road delays in store: “Madison — If Wisconsin officials don’t put more money toward roads, the full Zoo Interchange won’t be completed until 2020, the north-south portion of I-94 until 2025 and the east-west section of I-94 until 2029, a report released Wednesday found. A related consultant’s report — which cost nearly $1 million — found that the state could take in hundreds of millions of dollars a year from tolling drivers on Wisconsin interstates but that state officials would face difficulties getting federal approval and raising the money necessary to launch such tolling. Together, the reports underscore many of the points Gov. Scott Walker and lawmakers have long known about the challenges to funding Wisconsin’s highways. They were issued a day after Walker’s transportation secretary, Mark Gottlieb, announced he would step down next week.”

Jay Rosen writes that Winter is coming: prospects for the American press under Trump (it’s the first of two parts, with part one listing 26 points): “For a free press as a check on power this is the darkest time in American history since World War I, when there was massive censorship and suppression of dissent. I say this because so many things are happening at once to disarm and disable serious journalism, or to push it out of the frame. Most of these are well known, but it helps to put them all together. Here is my list: 1. An economic crisis in (most) news companies, leaving the occupation of journalism in a weakened state, especially at the state and local level, where newsrooms have been decimated by the decline of the newspaper business. The digital money is going to Google and Facebook, but they do not have newsrooms….”

Nathanael Johnson asks Can capitalism, conservation, and cosmopolitanism coexist?:  “When people have to make short-term, urgent decisions to survive, the natural world suffers. The poverty that forces such decisions renders both land and people vulnerable to exploitation. Where there is prosperity, by contrast, there are institutions to protect natural resources. Historically, there’s only one way large numbers of people have escaped poverty:An economic transformation from an agrarian majority to a modern economy where just a few farmers feed everyone else. Farms become more productive, people move to cities, incomes rise, forests rebound, women gain power, and populations level off.”

Alana Semuels writes that It’s Not About the Economy (‘In an increasingly polarized country, even economic progress can’t get voters to abandon their partisan allegiance’): “This city exemplifies the economic recovery the country has experienced since the Great Recession ended. Elkhart’s unemployment rate, which had reached a high of 22 percent in March of 2009, is now at 3.9 percent. Hiring signs dot the doors of the Wal-Mart, the McDonald’s, and the Long John Silver’s. The RV industry makes 65 percent of its vehicles in Elkhart, and the industry is producing a record number of vehicles, which is creating a lot of jobs in this frosty town in northern Indiana….But despite the decisions that the Obama administration made that might have helped Elkhart, many people here have a strong dislike of Obama, who presided over an economic recovery in which the unemployment rate fell nationally to 4.6 percent from a high of 10 percent in October 2009. They say it’s not Obama who is responsible for the city or the country’s economic progress, and furthermore, that the economy won’t truly start to improve until President-elect Donald Trump takes office.”

A video from Tech Insider explains the origins of seven brand names

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