Friday’s Mini-Report

FRIDAY’S MINI-REPORT…. Today’s edition of quick hits:

* Crisis on the Korean Peninsula: “Tension mounted Friday near a South Korean island bombarded this week by North Korea, as the North’s military again fired artillery, this time in what appeared to be a drill on its own territory. As an American aircraft carrier steamed toward the Yellow Sea for joint exercises with South Korea, the North’s state-run media warned that the maneuvers could push the Korean Peninsula closer to ‘the brink of war,’ while China also raised objections.”

* Following up on that last point: “This weekend’s arrival of a U.S. aircraft carrier in the Yellow Sea poses a dilemma for Beijing: Should it protest angrily and aggravate ties with Washington, or quietly accept the presence of a key symbol of American military pre-eminence off Chinese shores?”

* Europe can afford to bailout Greece. And Ireland. Perhaps even Portugal. Spain is a different story.

* Presidential stitches: “President Obama had to get 12 stitches in his lip after getting a blow from an opposing player’s elbow during a basketball game Friday morning, White House officials said.” (Lazy media folk looking for a metaphor: the president may get banged up, but at least he’s not afraid to get in the game.)

* As if health care wasn’t already facing political difficulties: “As the Obama administration presses ahead with the health care law, officials are bracing for the possibility that a federal judge in Virginia will soon reject its central provision as unconstitutional and, in the worst case for the White House, halt its enforcement until higher courts can rule.”

* John Judis weighs the evidence and concludes, “[T]he Obama administration’s failure to seize the political opportunity afforded by the Great Recession has not necessarily opened the way to a new Republican majority. More likely, it will lead to a period where the two parties exchange power, and where neither can establish a long-lasting majority.”

* And based on Fox News’ own standards, such as they are, shouldn’t senior judicial analyst Andrew Napolitano “be fired immediately” for dipping his toe into 9/11 Trutherism? This week, the far-right analyst appeared on a radical radio show and declared that the attacks of 911 “couldn’t possibly have been done the way the government told us.”

Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.

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