Daily Bread for 3.28.17 – 2017

Good morning.

Whitewater’s Tuesday will be increasingly sunny with a high of fifty-four. Sunrise is 6:41 AM and sunset 7:17 PM, for 12h 35m 38s of daytime. The moon is new, with .2% of its visible disk illuminated.Today is the one hundred fortieth day.Days since Trump’s election, with 11.9.16 as the first day.

On this day in 1979, the Three Mile Island nuclear plant in Pennsylvania has a partial nuclear meltdown in reactor number 2: “It was the most significant accident in U.S. commercial nuclear power plant history.[2] The incident was rated a five on the seven-point International Nuclear Event Scale: Accident With Wider Consequences.[3][4]On this day in 1954, a “Joe Must Go” a bipartisan grassroots campaign to recall Sen. Joe McCarthy from the Senate, begins in earnest with an organizational meeting in Sauk City. The campaign failed, but not before garnering 335,000 signatures.

Recommended for reading in full — 

Max Ehrenfreund sees The looming split between Trump and Ryan: “President Trump and House Speaker Paul D. Ryan both want to rewrite the tax code, but their proposals differ on how much tax relief to give the middle class. Trump wants a tax cut across the board, according to the plan he published during the campaign. He has proposed relief for the wealthy especially, but also for less affluent households. The plan that Ryan (R-Wis.) and his colleagues in the House have put forward would not substantially reduce taxes for the middle class, and many households would pay more. Trump’s plan arguably reflects his unique style of conservative populism. The proposal would be extremely costly for the government, and the president’s past comments suggest he would be willing to put the federal government deeper into debt to fund breaks for the middle class. Ryan’s plan would instead simplify and streamline the tax code in accordance with conservative orthodoxy, eliminating the goodies for households with modest incomes that Trump would preserve or expand. In all, taxpayers with roughly average incomes could expect a tax cut of around $1,100 a year under Trump’s plan, compared to just $60 under Ryan’s plan once the proposals were fully implemented. Now, after even a united Trump-Ryan effort on health care failed to win over enough Republicans to get through the House, their hopes of passing a tax plan depend on getting on the same page quickly.”

Jeet Heer writes about The Death of Paul Ryan, Policy Genius: “Ryan’s sparkly reputation rested partly, of course, on the soft bigotry of low expectations (better than you would expect a Republican to be!), but also on appearance. Ryan looks like a thoughtful man. He can furrow his brow in simulation of abstract reasoning. Not everyone was fooled. Paul Krugman called him a “flimflam man,” pointing out that the numbers Ryan touted in his imaginary budget didn’t add up, with the proposed tax cuts creating much bigger deficits than Ryan acknowledges. The AHCA fiasco vindicates Krugman’s harsh judgment. The “reform” was hated not just by Democrats but by actual Republican policy wonks—people who were critical of Obamacare, but saw the AHCA as doing nothing to make it better. In a devastating critique in Forbes, Avik Roy, one of the foremost conservative experts in the field, got to the heart of Ryan’s plan. “Expanding subsidies for high earners, and cutting health coverage off from the working poor: It sounds like a left-wing caricature of mustache-twirling, top-hatted Republican fat cats.” Roy, the president of the Foundation for Research on Equal Opportunity, is a genuine conservative wonk with a real concern for the impact of policy. Paul Ryan is a pretend wonk who throws around numbers to impress the likes of Mitt Romney and Donald Trump. Unfortunately, the Republican Party only uses real wonks like Roy when they want to criticize Democrats. When policy gets made, it falls to Ryan. Perhaps the only positive outcome of the current turmoil is that it might, at long last, destroy Ryan’s reputation for policy expertise.”

Julia Ioffe considers What Russia’s Latest Protests Mean for Putin: “First and foremost, it was a tremendous show of power by Navalny, who has declared that he is running for president of Russia in 2018. He is a long shot at best, and the Kremlin may not even allow him on the ballot. Yet he showed he has real political power and that tens of thousands of people across the country see him as a legitimate leader, despite the Kremlin’s assiduous work to marginalize him by keeping him off government-controlled television—still Russians’ main source of news—and inventing a half-dozen criminal cases against him. Second, it indicated that despite the government’s total control of television and creeping control of the web, technology and social media are still powerful tools. By Sunday, the Medvedev expose had been viewed nearly 12 million times. By comparison, 52 million people voted in September’s parliamentary elections. It doesn’t mean that all those viewers believed it or agreed with its anti-Kremlin message, but it means they at least saw it, even though it wasn’t shown on state TV. It also means that Navalny, with his YouTube channel, which was doing a live broadcast during the protests, can reach past Kremlin TV and influence people even in the heart of Putin country.”

Laura Schulte reports that the Hodag [has been] added to ‘Fantastic Beasts’ roster: “RHINELANDER – Those on the hunt for magic creatures in central Wisconsin won’t have to travel far to spot one. The legendary Hodag has officially been deemed a “fantastic beast” by J.K. Rowling, the author of the “Harry Potter” series. Rowling added the beast to her book “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” on March 14. The book was originally released in 2001, as one of Harry Potter’s textbooks, written by fictional author Newt Scamander, according to Rowling’s site, www.pottermore.com. The small book was also the basis for the movie of the same name, released in 2016. In the book, Rowling describes the Hodag as “horned, with red, glowing eyes and long fangs, and the size of a large dog. The Hodag’s magic resides largely in its horns which, when powdered, make a man immune to the effects of alcohol and able to go without sleep for seven days and seven nights.” The passage also notes the Hodag is found in a “protected area around Wisconsin.”

Robert Lustig reveals foods with loads of hidden sugar:

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