Daily Bread for 12.6.16 – 2017

Good morning.

Here in Whitewater, we’ll have a partly sunny Tuesday with a high of thirty-five.  Sunrise is 7:12 AM and sunset is 4:20 PM, for 9h 08m 42s of daytime.  The moon is a waxing crescent with 40.9% of its visible disk illuminated.

Whitewater’s city government will hold a public meeting on street reconstruction from 4:30 – 6 PM, and the city’s common council meets tonight at 6:30 PM.

On this day in 1923, Pres. Coolidge delivers the first formal presidential address over the radio. On this day in 1821, Wisconsin’s first post office is established.

Worth reading in full —

Craig Whitlock and Bob Woodward report on how the Pentagon buries evidence of $125 billion in bureaucratic waste:

The Pentagon has buried an internal study that exposed $125 billion in administrative waste in its business operations amid fears Congress would use the findings as an excuse to slash the defense budget, according to interviews and confidential memos obtained by The Washington Post. Pentagon leaders had requested the study to help make their enormous back-office bureaucracy more efficient and reinvest any savings in combat power. But after the project documented far more wasteful spending than expected, senior defense officials moved swiftly to kill it by discrediting and suppressing the results. The report, issued in January 2015, identified “a clear path” for the Defense Department to save $125 billion over five years. The plan would not have required layoffs of civil servants or reductions in military personnel. Instead, it would have streamlined the bureaucracy through attrition and early retirements, curtailed high-priced contractors and made better use of information technology.”

Patrick Marley writes that Wisconsin’s Republicans crank up highway dispute: “Madison– Wisconsin Republicans amped up the debate over road funding Monday, with one side releasing a video to highlight the poor condition of highways and the other warning that drivers could be hit with a big tax increase. Monday’s positioning underscored the deep divisions among Republicans who control Wisconsin’s government when it comes to spending on highways. The state faces a road funding gap of about $1 billion over the next two years. Gov. Scott Walker says he won’t raise gas taxes or vehicle fees unless an equivalent cut is made in other taxes. Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) argues a tax or fee hike may be necessary.”

Alissa Rubin reports that A New Wave of Popular Fury Could Hit Europe in 2017: “PARIS — For Europe, 2016 has brought a series of political shocks: near-record numbers of immigrants arriving from the Middle East and Africa; a vote by Britain to leave the European Union and renewed threats by Russia to meddle on the continent. But 2017 could be even bumpier. There will be at least three elections in Europe next year: in Germany, France and the Netherlands for sure, and now perhaps in Italy, too. Just about everywhere, political establishments are being blamed for tepid growth, for too few jobs and for favoring global financial markets over the common citizen. The latest indicator of popular discontent was Italy’s referendum on Sunday, when voters rejected constitutional changes proposed by Prime Minister Matteo Renzi. That result was a stinging blow to Mr. Renzi, who said he would resign.”

Lawrence Freedman (@LawDavF), now emeritus professor of War Studies at King’s College London, finds himself (as do so many others) needing to defend the nature of historical fact (in response to the claim that “history is a matter of opinion and every player writes his own version):

One reads that “deep in the forest of Overland Park, Kan., little gnomes made a home. But how did they get there? This is the story of paying it forward, one little house at a time….”

The Gnomist: A Great Big Beautiful Act Of Kindness from Great Big Story on Vimeo.

 

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