The Angle

The Angle: The Ignorance Edition

Slate’s daily newsletter on South Korea and Japan, NYPD water attacks, Trump’s new boogeyman for mass shootings, and Taylor Swift.

Crisis mode: Today in Trump foreign policy crises: Tensions between South Korea and Japan, both U.S. allies, have been ramping up, and the prez doesn’t seem to want to do anything about it. Fred Kaplan explains why this North Asian diplomatic spat is a big deal for the U.S.—especially as it pertains to North Korea.

Cool down: As videos have gone viral of NYPD officers being doused with water by unhappy New Yorkers, police department officials and even the governor have made a stink over the so-called water-bucket attacks. Rachelle Hampton thinks they need to calm down: “The fact that higher-ups view officers who do their jobs with restraint not as examples but embarrassments speaks volumes. Officers who choose to walk away are conducting themselves much better than those who lose their cool when they’re not shown deference.”

Age of anger: Donald Trump’s latest misguided fixation is on “mental illness” as the catalyst for the tragic mass shootings that have occurred in recent weeks. But, Susan Matthews argues, Trump is just using that as another ploy to crack down on vulnerable populations—and deliberately avoiding the thing that, as a common feature of American life under his rule, actually leads to these harrowing massacres.

Lover’s lane: Taylor Swift is back and, it seems, as ascendant as ever. Carl Wilson reviews her new album, which he finds to be (mostly) a more mature follow-up to her hit project Red. And her new songs are already setting off sparks: As Rhodes Murphy observes, “London Boy” seems to be angering a lot of London boys (and girls).

For fun: The XFL is coming back, and its new team introductions are among the most affecting poetry ever written.

Like William Carlos Williams writing a Dodge Ram ad,