Wiretap: The problem we’re facing with North Korea is not that Kim is a ‘crazy fat kid’

Now that North Korea has launched an ICBM that could reach Alaska, and possibly Hawaii, the biggest concern should not be that its leader, Kim Jong Un, is a “crazy fat kid,” as John McCain once, uh, colorfully described him. The real problem is that North Korea under Kim is insecure, poor and extremely dangerous. Via Vox.

The Pentagon has long considered all the possible game plans for a military option against North Korea, and, despite the bluster we’ve heard, none of them could be called good. A so-called surgical strike aimed at North Korea’s nuclear capability could well end with what Defense Secretary Jim Mattis calls the “worst kind of fighting in most people’s lifetime.” Via The New York Times.

Josh Marshall: Trump’s approach on the North Korea issue is very similar to George W. Bush’s. Only significantly dumber. Via Talking Points Memo.

White House advisers, and a whole lot of other people, are nervous about what Donald Trump will say when he meets with Vladimir Putin Friday. But as Trump begins his G-20 trip with a stop in Poland, the word from insiders is that Trump is far more concerned about being scolded by Angela Merkel over his decison to leave the Paris accords. Via The New York Times.

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams may be happy with Trump’s voter fraud commission. But officials in very few other states are. They’re either not complying with the commission at all or complying while attacking the premise that there’s a problem. Via The Washington Post.

The Los Angeles Times says the CNN-Reddit-wrestlemania-neo-Nazis story is 2017 in a nutshell, topped, of course, by what it calls “a hashtag campaign that adds blackmail to the list of offenses of which the news media stands accused.” From The National Review: What CNN did right and what it did wrong in its pursuit of the alt-right wrestling video poster.

The Trump administration has decided to deport Iraqi Christians back to their homeland, leading some to wonder if the motive is to force the question whether it can be a Muslim ban if you’re also banning Christians. Via Foreign Policy.

Climate scientist writes in a Washington Post op-ed that he won’t let what he calls “trickle-down ignorance” get in the way of scientific inquiry.

One thing we can be pretty sure of is that whoever runs for president on the Democratic ticket in 2020 will be an advocate for single-payer healthcare. The problem is that there are many different kinds of single-payer and many of those — say, Medicare for all — aren’t actually single-payer at all. Via American Prospect.

Hobby Lobby,  famous for the Supreme Court case in which religious beliefs overruled Obamacare requirements on birth control, agrees to pay $3 million for its president having purchased thousands of ancient artifacts that were illegally smuggled out of Iraq. Via The Atlantic.

Photo by Jerry and Pat Donaho, via Flickr: Creative Commons