Guess I should have mentioned the North Korean nuclear threat “crisis” at some point today, but quite honestly, I don’t know how seriously to take it. An obviously unstable regime with nuclear weapons and at least some missile capability can’t be dismissed as harmless. But everything we know about the regime’s endless self-aggrandizement as the source of its domestic power and international influence leads me to downgrade every threat as just another effort to shake some money trees. Hope I’m right.

Here are some remainders of the day:

* Matt Yglesias is right that the President’s self-imposed pay cut is absurd. But these sort of gestures by elected officials are wildly popular.

* Brother Benen notes Rand Paul’s special affinity for the kind of conspiracy theories that have so often driven the GOP around the bend.

* Greg Sargent reports that even Republicans opposing background check expansion are getting hit with negative ads from gun groups.

* At Ten Miles Square, Jonathan Bernstein sorts through the various strategies for making action on climate change politically feasible.

* At College Guide, Daniel Luzer argues that too much reliance on bad tests, not too much testing, is what’s bedeviling educational evaluation.

And in non-political news:

* Roger Ebert dies at 70. Salon republishes a passage from his memoir anticipating his own death.

Tomorrow we’ll get the March Jobs Report and the usual spin battle over economic trends. At least a presidential election doesn’t seem to hang over each of these suckers, eh?

To end the day, here is a much later version of The Seeds, performing “Evil Hoodoo” in Paris in 2008.

YouTube video


Our ideas can save democracy... But we need your help! Donate Now!

Ed Kilgore is a political columnist for New York and managing editor at the Democratic Strategist website. He was a contributing writer at the Washington Monthly from January 2012 until November 2015, and was the principal contributor to the Political Animal blog.