Wiretap: Trump faces first big international test in North Korea — where all the options are bad

The easy part was confirming that North Korea’s missile launch was an ICBM, a missile capable of reaching as far as Alaska. The next step for North Korea — a missile that could reach the American mainland — now seems well in reach. The question is what Donald Trump — who tweeted back in January that that “won’t happen” — can do about it. And the problem, as past presidents have learned, is that the options are extremely limited. Via The New York Times.

There may be no good options in dealing with North Korea, writes Mark Bowden in The Atlantic, but some options are far worse than others.

An early reaction from Trump: According to The Guardian, he spent his day at one of his golf clubs mocking North Korea on Twitter.

As a rule, Republicans are hiding from their constituents over the Fourth of July break. The New York Times tracks down Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner, who has yet to hold in a town hall in the Trump era, in his hometown of Yuma playing on his front lawn with his kids on July 3rd. On the Fourth, as parades littered the state, he was nowhere to be seen.

During the 2016 campaign, Trump promised to strike a “great deal” someday with Vladimir Putin. As Trump heads to the G-20 for his first meeting with Putin, it’s hard to see how he can afford to strike any kind of deal, great or otherwise. Via The Washington Post.

Carl Hiaasen: It’s time we turn our thoughts to understanding the needs of the ultra-rich and the ultra-healthy. Whoever designed the Republican healthcare bill certainly did. Via The Miami Herald.

Victor Davis Hanson: Here’s the right-wing intellectual pundit to defend Trump’s Twitter habits and suggest that Trump is smarter than most people, certainly most liberals, think he is. Via American Greatness.

Lawrence Wright writes in The New Yorker that Texas is America’s future. And if true that Texas is our political bellwether,  that’s even worse than you might imagine.

Why this female sports owner — of the WNBA’s Seattle Storm — decided to put her franchise directly in the middle of America’s political storms by promising to donate $5 to Planned Parenthood for every ticket sold for a game on July 18th. Via Politico.

This is the story where the picture is worth many thousands of words. The state beaches are shut down, and there’s Chris Christie lounging in his beach chair on his state-owned private beach with his family and friends. What would Bruce say? Via The (North Jersey) Record.

Photo by U.S. Department of Defense, via Flickr: Creative Commons

He has covered Dr. J, four presidential inaugurations, six national conventions and countless brain-numbing speeches in the New Hampshire and Iowa snow.


  1. This is how New York Times reporter Jim Rutenberg began a story, “If you’re a working journalist and you believe that Donald J. Trump is a demagogue playing to the nation’s worst racist and nationalistic tendencies, that he cozies up to anti-American dictators and that he would be dangerous with control of the United States nuclear codes, how the heck are you supposed to cover him?”

    Well, you probably shouldn’t. Unless, of course, you work at the New York Times.


    Some self-described political experts don’t know how or why President Trump was elected so they simply shrug their shoulders and move on to other subjects they can’t explain. But everyone has a theory on why Hillary Clinton lost. The latest—and possibly the greatest—comes from an MSNBC contributor who says Mrs. Clinton lost because……….well, you can’t make this stuff up. Via The Daily Caller.


    According to a new Gallup poll this year more Americans have a “great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in newspapers than last year. That’s good news, right? Well, it is if you consider 27 percent vs. 20 percent good. Via gallup.com


    Left-wing fabulists are taking over the liberal narrative. The election of President Trump has given rise to an alternative left-wing media. Via The Atlantic.


    Well, it’s back to the drawing board. Government officials in Australia have been told to “hit pause” on blind recruitment trials designed to avoid the obvious answer to the question of why men continue to outnumber women in senior ranks. The blind trials failed to prove discrimination on the basis of sex although when first names were assigned to the candidates men were less likely to get hired. Via ABC.net


    Dr. Doug Lake is an Iowa radiologist whose daughter suffers from a rare cardiac condition. He is covered by an insurer that plans to pull out of ObamaCare’s exchange. Now, “Only one insurer remains in their county, and that company has requested a 43% increase in premiums” Elsewhere things are even worse. Via The Wall Street Journal.


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