What if H.R. McMaster is right about North Korea? The national-security adviser is one of the biggest hawks in the Trump administration. CIA boss Mike Pompeo gives latest indication Trump may consider preemptive strike on North Korea. It’s time to bomb North Korea: Destroying Pyongyang’s nuclear arsenal is still in America’s national interest. The US military is preparing for a possible war against North Korea — but there’s an active diplomacy campaign right now to ensure it doesn’t happen. The North Korea deal: Why diplomacy is still the best option. How the U.S. and North Korea could stumble into World War III.

Want to strike North Korea? It’s not going to go the way you think. Abraham M. Denmark on the myth of the limited strike on North Korea: Any U.S. attack would risk a war. Victor Cha: Giving North Korea a “bloody nose” carries a huge risk to Americans. Disagreement on North Korea policy derails White House choice for ambassador to South Korea. Don’t the South Koreans get a vote on war with the North? Why China won’t rescue North Korea: Oriana Skylar Mastro on what to expect if things fall apart. North Korea is not building nuclear weapons to destroy the US or unify Korea — the real reasons are much more surprising.

A new Korean war would kill more U.S. military personnel than you might think. Matthew Walther on Trump’s glib complacency about nuclear war — and ours. Nuclear war won’t hit suburbs, conservative magazine assures readers. How they learned to stop worrying and love the bomb (to spite the libs).

Hawaii’s missile false alarm spurs worries about US-North Korea war. Thread: “You need to know the story of KAL-007, a Korean airliner shot down in 1983, to understand why those 38 minutes in Hawaii put the whole world in danger”.

David S. Rubenstein (Washburn): Taking Care of the Rule of Law. From Research Matters, an interview with Rien Fertel, author of The One True Barbecue: Fire, Smoke, and the Pitmasters Who Cook the Whole Hog. “There are higher laws”: Katie McDonough goes inside the archives of an illegal abortion network. Vladimir Putin is not an all-powerful mastermind — Donald Trump is proof. In age of Trump, political reporters are in demand and under attack. Artificial intelligence may have cracked freaky 600-year-old Voynich manuscript. Sarah Miller on a new Google doc of media men. FEMA cutting off food and water aid to Puerto Rico. Amazon should not be in charge of solving our health-care crisis.

The real state of the union in 2018, explained: What Donald Trump won’t tell you. The state of the union is weird: The state of the economy is pretty good; the state of the polity is not. How American democracy survived President Trump’s first year: The state of the union is strong — we know because it stopped Trump’s most authoritarian moves. The psychology of how Trump divides and distracts us: Trump may have low approval ratings — but he still has power over hearts and minds. Who really writes Trump’s speeches? The White House won’t say.

From Lawfare, what’s going on with sanctions on Russia? There’s a second Trump-Russia dossier: Conservatives aren’t going to like this (and more). Release the Memo is a farce: House Republicans are now actively working to impede the Russian investigation. Now Paul Ryan is casually throwing around the word “cleanse”. Trump’s law enforcement purge is now Republican policy. As Trump’s exposure has grown, Republicans have carved out a berth of impunity around him large enough to steer him through the biggest scandal in American political history. Republicans have all but given up on opposing Trump.

Trump warned America about his abuse of power: As a candidate, he promised to erode the Justice Department’s independence and prosecute his political enemies — now he’s delivering. Trump keeps throwing tantrums when he remembers he isn’t a dictator. We are in the midst of a trickle-down constitutional crisis. Thread: “It may be time to start thinking about how we can effectively push back against authoritarianism once the last of the checks and balances have fallen”. Senate Dems plot moonshot attempts to save Robert Mueller from Trump. There’s no way Mueller will indict Trump: Those hoping the special counsel will prosecute the president are engaging in fantasy. Mueller won’t indict Trump — but here’s what he can do.