Daily Bread for 12.5.16 – 2017

Good morning.

Whitewater’s week begins with cloudy skies and a high of thirty-five. Sunrise is 7:11 AM and sunset 4:20 PM, for 9h 09m 44s of daytime. The moon is a waxing crescent with 30.9% of its visible disk illuminated.

On this day in 1933, national Prohibition comes to an end when Utah becomes the 36th state to ratify the 21st Amendment to the Constitution. On this day in 1879, Wisconsin’s humane society is organized.

Worth reading in full —

Italy’s Premier, Matteo Renzi, Says He’ll Resign After Reform Is Rejected: “ROME — Italy plunged into political and economic uncertainty early Monday as Prime Minister Matteo Renzi said he would resign after voters decisively rejected constitutional changes, a step certain to reverberate across a European Union already buffeted by anti-establishment anger. “The ‘no’ won in an incredibly clear way,” Mr. Renzi said from the Chigi Palace. Holding back tears as he spoke in front of Italian and European Union flags, the usually brash and confident 41-year-old said, “I assume all the responsibility of the defeat,” adding that “my experience of government ends here.” He said he would go later on Monday to the country’s president, Sergio Mattarella, and “tender my resignation.”

Austria Rejects Far-Right Presidential Candidate Norbert Hofer: “VIENNA — In rejecting a far-right candidate for president on Sunday, voters in Austria showed the limitations of President-elect Donald J. Trump’s tailwinds on a continent where extremist politics have traditionally brought cataclysm. Call it the other Trump effect, one that may sow caution among some European voters suspicious of the advances of populist politicians. Populist forces have unsettled politics in Europe and the United States, frequently by using fake news and fanning fears of globalization and migration. The British vote to leave the European Union this year was complicated by such anxieties. The rejection of constitutional changes in Italy on Sunday hinged on a variety of issues. But the choice before Austrians was perhaps the starkest. The bitter yearlong campaign for the presidency pitted Norbert Hofer, a leader of the far-right Freedom Party, founded in the 1950s by former Nazis, against a mild-mannered 72-year-old former Green Party leader, Alexander Van der Bellen.”

Trump’s Taiwan phone call was long planned, say people who were involved: “Donald Trump’s protocol-breaking telephone call with Taiwan’s leader was an intentionally provocative move that establishes the incoming president as a break with the past, according to interviews with people involved in the planning. The historic communication — the first between leaders of the United States and Taiwan since 1979 — was the product of months of quiet preparations and deliberations among Trump’s advisers about a new strategy for engagement with Taiwan that began even before he became the Republican presidential nominee, according to people involved in or briefed on the talks. The call also reflects the views of hard-line advisers urging Trump to take a tough opening line with China, said others familiar with the months of discussion about Taiwan and China.”

You Heard It Here First: Trump May Not Propose A Budget Next Year: “The Trump administration is seriously thinking about not submitting a budget to Congress next year. Although the Congressional Budget Act requires the president to submit the fiscal 2018 budget to Congress between January 2 and February 6, Trump could easily say that it was the responsibility of the outgoing Obama administration to comply with the law before the new president was sworn in on January 20. But while the new president not sending a budget to Congress might not be illegal, it would clearly be unprecedented….So why might the Trump administration want to punt on this major opportunity by not submitting a budget? First, it would allow Trump to avoid the complaints that always come from those the budget proposals would harm by denying them a platform to criticize the White House. No proposals on paper would mean nothing to disparage.”

We should thank Carmela Vitale for her clever invention, the reason that pizzas come with that plastic table in the center:

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