Wednesday’s Mini-Report, 4.19.17

Today’s edition of quick hits:

* Prepare a back-up plan: “Top generals have been insisting for years that if North Korea launched a missile at the United States, the U.S. military would be able to shoot it down. But that is a highly questionable assertion, according to independent scientists and government investigators.”

* The story at the intersection of other stories: “Exxon Mobil is pursuing a waiver from Treasury Department sanctions on Russia so it may drill in the Black Sea in a venture with the Russian state oil company Rosneft, a former State Department official said Wednesday. An oil industry official confirmed the account.”

* He was rewarded with a seat on the dais, which is unheard of for a donor: “Sheldon G. Adelson, the casino magnate and stalwart Republican donor, gave $5 million to support the festivities surrounding President Trump’s inauguration, according to federal election filings.”

Interesting case: “Supreme Court justices on Wednesday seemed sympathetic to a Missouri church that claimed its exclusion from a state playground improvement program was a violation of constitutional rights.”

* Occasional criticism shouldn’t bother him quite this much: “Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly offered a sharp rebuttal to critics of his department on Tuesday, challenging lawmakers who dislike its approach to immigration enforcement to change the law or ‘shut up.’”

This guys later said he meant “no disrespect,” which only made this more ridiculous: “Miami Republican Sen. Frank Artiles dropped the n-word to a pair of African-American colleagues in private conversation Monday night – after calling one of them a ‘f**king a**hole,’ a ‘b***h’ and a ‘girl,’ the two senators said.”

* In the unlikely event you haven’t heard: “In a stunning and sudden downfall, Bill O’Reilly is out at Fox News. 21st Century Fox, parent company of Fox News, released a statement Wednesday afternoon that read, ‘After a thorough and careful review of the allegations, the Company and Bill O’Reilly have agreed that Bill O’Reilly will not be returning to the Fox News Channel.’”

* And Trump welcomed the New England Patriots to the White House today. Take a look at this photo, note how many players showed up for today’s event, and then compare it to the same picture when President Obama hosted the Patriots a couple of years ago.

Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.