Today's edition of quick hits:* Oroville crisis: "Nearly 190,000 people in Northern California were ordered to evacuate Sunday after a spillway serving the country's tallest dam developed a hole that threatened to release uncontrolled floodwaters, officials said."* Awkward diplomacy: "President Donald Trump and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tread carefully as the two leaders doubled down on their divergent positions on national security and the admission of Syrian refugees during their joint press conference on Monday."* We talked about this earlier in a political context, but it's also an important story on its own: "North Korea launched a ballistic missile toward the sea off its eastern coast on Sunday, in what South Korea called the North's first attempt to test President Trump's policy on the isolated country."* The walk-back: "Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch has scaled back a description of his pro bono work at Harvard Law School after questions arose about the extent of his involvement with two volunteer criminal-justice programs."* Most new administrations open the doors within a day or so of the inauguration, but not this one: "Want to get a peek inside the Trump White House? Keep checking Twitter and Instagram, because the more traditional method -- a formal White House tour -- isn't an option. The White House Visitors Office typically halts tours during presidential transitions, as the new president brings in staff to run the operation, but the three-weeks-and-counting lull under the new administration is unusually long."* On the other hand, Michelle Obama's vegetable garden is apparently safe for now: "First lady Melania Trump confirmed that although the garden's founder may have vacated the premises, her beloved garden lives on."* Maria Ortega: "Despite repeated statements by Republican political leaders that American elections are rife with illegal voting, credible reports of fraud have been hard to find and convictions rarer still. That may help explain the unusually heavy penalty imposed on Rosa Maria Ortega, 37, a permanent resident and a mother of four who lives outside Dallas. On Thursday, a Fort Worth judge sentenced her to eight years in prison -- and almost certainly deportation later -- after she voted illegally in elections in 2012 and 2014."* A bill in Tennessee worth watching: "Gay rights advocates are sounding the alarm about a Tennessee bill they say could make it impossible for same-sex couples to be recognized as the legal parents of children conceived through artificial insemination."* A "constitutional crisis" is a term of art, and while the status quo is a complete mess, and ongoing scandals may in time grow more serious, at least for now we're probably not in the midst of a constitutional crisis.Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.
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