The North Korean nuclear threat, which had been unfolding over years and even over presidencies, now hits ominous milestones by the week.
In what Kim Jong-un had taunted was an Independence Day "gift," the regime on July 4 launched an intercontinental ballistic missile that could reach Alaska.
By the end of the month, he was gloating about a test that could reach California (per the N.Y. Times), or even Denver or Chicago (per the Wall Street Journal).
Then came yesterday's WashPost scoop that North Korea has "produced a miniaturized nuclear warhead that can fit inside its missiles, crossing a key threshold on the path to becoming a full-fledged nuclear power."
It's the big idea of Tom Friedman's book last year about the "age of accelerations": that Moore's Law, about the rate of doubling in computer power, now applies to basically everything.
Shortly after the Post's huge story, Trump poured on accelerant with remarks that were a quick coda to a statement on the opioid crisis that he delivered at his Summer White House at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J..
A reporter asked if he had any comment on the reports about North Korea's nuclear capabilities. He sure did:
"North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States. They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen. He has been very threatening beyond a normal state. And as I said, they will be met with fire, fury, and, frankly, power, the likes of which this world has never seen before."
Be smart: Of all the dumb things North Korea says, the idea of threatening Guam is one of the dumber. An all-around wise man points out: "Makes no sense. Attacking anywhere is a suicide mission for the regime. U.S. retaliation would be devastating and complete. Most Korea experts would tell you that if they are going to take their one shot, it will be at a more populated and emotionally connected target."
As the cable coverage got increasingly apocalyptic (here's how to shelter in place!), we asked Council on Foreign Relations President Richard Haass, who has been golfing, riding and hiking in Wyoming (Susan does the fishing), for the least-hysterical way to think about the day's developments.
Here's his Axios smart-brevity take:
The Google bro's memo wasn't far off on at least one point: Axios' Kia Kokalitcheva reports from S.F. that Google has little to show for the $265 million spent since 2014 on recruiting a more diverse workforce.
The conversation ahead ... N.Y. Times' Nick Wingfield reports on the front page ("Rising Dissent From the Right In Silicon Valley"): "The culture wars that have consumed politics in the United States have now landed on Silicon Valley's doorstep."
"Walt Disney Co. will launch two Netflix-like streaming services — one for sports and another for films and television shows — in one of the boldest moves by an entertainment company to address the changing media landscape," the L.A. Times' Daniel Miller and Meg James write on the front page:
Axios' Sara Fischer looks ahead: "Disney needs to move its business model closer to consumers and cut out the distribution middle man that is Netflix. With a standalone streaming package, Disney will need to negotiate new distribution deals with multichannel video programming distributor (MVPD) providers, like satellite providers and cable operators."
"Stephen Crowley: a Visual Historian in Real Time" ... "After 25 years as a photographer for The New York Times based in Washington, D.C., Stephen Crowley has retired. His incisive and revealing photographs pierced the public veneer of Washington politics, bringing the viewer into the back rooms of power."
Crowley insights from a Q&A with James Estrin, for the paper's Lens blog:
"Two years after signing off CBS' The Late Show, David Letterman is returning to the small screen," The Hollywood Reporter writes: