Daily Bread for 2.5.17 – 2017

Good morning.

Sunday in this small town will be partly cloudy with a high of thirty-two. Sunrise 7:03 AM and sunset 5:14 PM, for 10h 11m 10s of daytime. The moon is a waning gibbous with 65.4% of its visible disk illuminated. Today is the eighty-ninth day.Days since Trump’s election, with 11.9.16 as the first day.

On this day in 1937, Pres. Roosevelt proposed the Judicial Procedures Reform Bill of 1937[1] (frequently called the “court-packing plan”)[2] was a legislative initiative proposed by U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt to add more justices to the U.S. Supreme Court. Roosevelt’s purpose was to obtain favorable rulings regarding New Deal legislation that the court had ruled unconstitutional.[3]The legislation met its demise at the hands of a fellow Democrat, “Senate Judiciary Committee committee chair Henry F. Ashurst, who delayed hearings in the Judiciary Committee, saying “No haste, no hurry, no waste, no worry—that is the motto of this committee.”[12] As a result of his delaying efforts, the bill was held in committee for 165 days, and opponents of the bill credited Ashurst as instrumental in its defeat.[5]” On this day in 1849, the University of Wisconsin opens “with 20 students led by Professor John W. Sterling.”

Recommended for reading (or watching) in full —

Dave Itzkoff reports that S.N.L.’ Goes After Trump Again, With Melissa McCarthy as Sean Spicer: “the night belonged to Ms. McCarthy, the star of “Bridesmaids” and “Ghostbusters,” who came out in thinning blond hair and an ill-fitting suit to play an aggressive, gum-chugging version of Mr. Spicer as he led a daily White House press briefing. “I know that myself and the press have gotten off to a rocky start,” she said, starting off the session. “When I say rocky start, I mean it in the sense of ‘Rocky,’ the movie, because I came out here to punch you in the face. And also I don’t talk so good.”


Alana Semuels describes America’s Great Divergence (A growing earnings gap between those with a college education and those without is creating economic and cultural rifts throughout the country): “Half a century ago, economic opportunity and upward mobility were available to many white Americans, regardless of where they lived and what kind of education they had. They could graduate from high school and find a job at a local factory and make a good wage, or graduate from college and sit behind a desk and make a slightly better wage. About 90 percent of kids born in the 1940s earned more than their parents did, according to work by Stanford economist Raj Chetty. But beginning in the 1980s, the returns on a college education started growing, and more of the benefits of economic growth started accruing to only those with an education, as those without an education saw their opportunities shrink. People with a college degree or more now earn 50 percent of aggregate U.S. household income, up from 37 percent in 1991, while people with less than a high school degree now earn 5 percent, down from 12 percent in 1991, according to Census data. (1991 is the earliest year for which there is comparable data.)

Paul Gowder describes The Trump Threat to the Rule of Law and the Constitution: “The election of Donald Trump raises serious worries about the future of the rule of law in the United States. Many an authoritarian has taken power from a democratic state under the banner of populist nationalism, and Trump’s association with illiberal and antidemocratic individuals and groups (from Vladimir Putin to Steve Bannon and the “alt-right”) has raised the worry that Trump does not respect the basic norms of our Constitutional order….Specifically, a political leader has to undermine two key sites of opposition. First, a leader has to undermine the capacity of the population at large to collectively resist his illegal acts, by reducing the capacity of the public to engage in mass coordinated action (which can range from voting, to economic resistance and protest, to outright rebellion) against him. Second, a leader has to undermine the capacity or incentive of mid-level officials and elites, the sorts of people who control things like tax revenue and the transmission of orders to military units, to oppose him, primarily by declining to carry out his wishes. (The reader is advised here to consult the brilliant work of economist Avner Greif on administrative power.)”

The AP reports that About 600 Donald Trump protesters rally near Paul Ryan’s Janesville home: “JANESVILLE – Hundreds of demonstrators rallied Saturday in Janesville to protest President Donald Trump’s now-blocked executive order temporarily limiting immigration. The Janesville Gazette reported about 600 protesters gathered Saturday in a city park a few blocks from House Speaker Paul Ryan’s Janesville home.”

Hannu Huhtamo proudly observes that ‘Darkness Is My Canvas, Light Is My Brush’:

‘Darkness Is My Canvas, Light Is My Brush’ from Great Big Story on Vimeo.

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