October 5, 2017 Last Updated 7:59 am

Being called a moron leads president to more tweets against the media; The troubles of three western democracies

Morning Brief: Discovery of the tomb of St. Nicholas has papers proclaiming the death of Santa Claus, followed by the very predictable backlash from readers

The president again decide to wake-up and tweet about the media and to call on the Senate Intelligence Committee to look into “Fake News Networks” — though what exactly is saying is unknown as these episodes of the president irrationally lashing out never contain any actual accusation that could be investigated by a committee designed to look into foreign activities.

But, then again, is the president really the one lashing out?

Just like the Twitter bot that forgot to disable geotagging and ended up revealing they were tweeting from Vladivostok Russia, yesterday White House social media manager Dan Scavino Jr. got caught being the one tweeting for the president.

This leads to the big question? When exactly is the president tweeting? And does he even know what he is supposedly tweeting?



Three western democracies are facing leadership crises, each caused by minority governments where the party in power refuses to recognize that a change in leadership might ease the tension.

In the US, we await a report from Robert Mueller, but some fear that the special prosecutor will return with something less than definitive, and even if he does, the House may still not act.

In the UK, the pressure on the Tories to replace Teresa May is growing following a disastrous speech at the Tory conference.

In Spain, the minority government of Mariano Rajoy has made it clear that should Catalunya declare its independence, which is probably will do on Monday, he is willing to continue his bloody crackdown with the support of the king.

Democracies stop acting like democracies when they cannot admit mistakes and in the name of democracy continue to lead the nation into disaster. In every case, the solution is probably to hold another election, and where that is not possible, for the party in power to make a change at the top.



It is hard to believe that it is time to start talking about another hurricane already. But the media better wake up quickly because Tropical Depression 16 is forecast to become Hurricane Nate.

And now its projected path has shifted west and it is forecast to hit Louisiana dead on.

The Times-Picayune, Carlie Kollath Wells:

Tropical Storm Nate forms, heads for Louisiana, Gulf Coast

Tropical Storm Nate formed Thursday morning (Oct. 5) in the Caribbean, the National Hurricane Center said at 6:40 a.m. The storm is expected to approach the Louisiana coast as a hurricane this weekend.

Overnight, the storm’s track shifted west toward Louisiana. The “large shift to the west now brings risk of greater impacts to the region,” forecasters at the New Orleans/Baton Rouge office of the National Weather Service said Thursday morning. In the latest track, the storm could approach the Louisiana coast as Hurricane Nate early Sunday morning.



I was rather surprised how many newspaper were willing to go with the “Santa Claus is dead” idea on this story. I guarantee you some readers won’t be happy about it.

The background is that archaeologists in southern Turkey believe they gave found the tomb of St. Nicholas, the man whose legend may have eventually led to the creation of Santa Claus. Yes there really was an old St. Nick, and throughout the middle ages miracles were attributed to the man.

Nikolaos of Myra was born in 270 in what is now Turkey and at some point was made Bishop of Myra. He was thrown into prison during persecution of Christians by the Roman emperor Diocletian, but released under Constantine, the emperor who made Christianity the state religion of Rome.

In the Middle Ages, well after his death, Nicholas was celebrated via plays that featured tales of his miracles including one named Iconia Sancti Nicolai which many would consider rather anti-semitic today. Still, if you can find the LP, the ancient music ensemble Studio Der Frühen Musik recorded two of the plays in an LP released in 1978 (and now sadly out of print).

The Washington Post, Cleve R. Wootson Jr.:

Santa dead, archaeologists say

First the good news:

Whoever told you that Santa Claus was an impostor with a fake beard collecting a Christmastime check at the mall or a lie cooked up by your parents to trick you into five measly minutes of quiet was, at minimum, misinformed.

The bad news: Santa Claus is definitely dead.

Archaeologists in southern Turkey say they have discovered the tomb of the original Santa Claus, also known as St. Nicholas, beneath his namesake church near the Mediterranean Sea.

National Geographic, Sarah Gibbens:

Could the Remains of Santa Claus Be in This Turkish Church?

Like his reputation, the location of his bones depends on who you ask.

Traditionally, it was believed that the bones of St. Nicholas were stolen by Italian sailors during the 11th century. Demre—called Myra in ancient times—was occupied by Arab forces during this period. And the stolen bones were believed to have been taken to the crypt of the Basilica di San Nicola on the southeast coast of Italy.

Then, in 1993, a team of archaeologists claimed the Mediterranean island of Gemile was the saint’s final resting place. They came to this conclusion based on circumstantial evidence, namely that the island had been called St. Nicholas by sailors, archaeological remains dated to the 4th century, and that ruins there suggest a processional burial. Under this theory, archaeologists believe the bones were moved to Myra to evade a 7th century Arab fleet.

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