Friday’s Mini-Report


Today’s edition of quick hits:

* Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in South Korea today, and participated in a press conference in which he reminded North Korea that the United States will “defend our allies.”

* Exit strategy? “Faced with annoyed allies and unblinking enemies, North Korea is likely to pull the plug on the current crisis by test-firing a missile or two and declaring victory ahead of a national celebration on Monday, analysts say.”

* Gun violence: “Two women were shot Friday at a Virginia mall that houses a community college, and police have the gunman in custody, authorities said. One victim was airlifted to a hospital. The other was taken to the hospital by ambulance and was in stable condition, officials said.”

* Maybe Wall Street should lend more? “JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo, two of the biggest US banks by assets, kicked off Wall Street’s earnings season on Friday by reporting record profits thanks to cost-cutting and lower provisions for potentially bad loans.”

* The scourge of TRAP laws: “The Virginia Board of Health voted Friday to require abortion clinics to meet strict, hospital-style building codes that operators say could put many of them out of business.”

* Steady progress: “[Q]uietly, lawmakers have been working on several plans that would lead to some of the most significant advancements in treating mental illness in years, proponents said. All stand a good chance of being in the final gun-control bill the Senate is now taking up.”

* The Obamas and Bidens released their tax returns today.

* There’s been considerable discussion today about Kermit Gosnell’s murder trial, and I found the pieces from Irin Carmon and Ari Rabin-Havt especially compelling.

* True: “It’s illuminating, of course, to see liberals in and beyond Kentucky distancing themselves from the would-be guerillas of Progress Kentucky; you rarely see conservatives do that when a Breitbart-inspired stunt backfires.”

* Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.) is so worried about imaginary gun registries, he’s comparing Democratic gun-safety measures to “Rwandan genocide” for reasons that only make sense to him.

* Rep. Steve Stockman (R-Texas), who is so comically conservative he might be a liberal performance artist trying to make right-wing lawmakers appear foolish, tweeted today, “If babies had guns they wouldn’t be aborted.” It’s hard to argue with logic like that.

Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.

Friday's Mini-Report