My new camera produces better, sharper pictures, but that doesn't do me a lot of good if I can only view them on a standard 90 dpi monitor. So I went out last week and bought a 4K monitor.

It rocks. Everything looks better and sharper, as if I've just put on a new pair of glasses. The resolution is good enough that I don't need to bother with ClearType on Windows anymore. In fact, text looks better without it. Here's what the New York Times looks like:

No anti-aliasing, no nothing. It's nearly as sharp as a retina display on a tablet.

The monitor installed with no problems. Windows auto-detect worked fine, and scaling was automatically reset to 200 percent. So far, I've only run into two problems. First, my email client looked terrible. I guess it renders fonts internally or something. However, I've been meaning to switch clients anyway, so this was a good excuse to do it.

The other problem was with Photoshop, which you'd think would be highly attuned to high-res monitors. But one of its functions just doesn't work right anymore. I tried it on my tablet and it failed there too. So it's clearly something to do with the pixel density of the display.

Most people aren't resolution geeks, but I always have been. If you are too, a 4K monitor is very much worth looking into.

It's time for the latest Donald Trump pivot. The Wall Street Journal reports that the crisis in Syria "has sharpened Mr. Trump’s desire to cut some of the drama out of his West Wing." He's finally going to get presidential!

President Donald Trump is considering a major shake-up of his senior White House team, a senior administration official said Friday....In recent days, he has talked to confidants about the performance of chief of staff Reince Priebus and has asked for the names of possible replacements....Another top aide who could be removed or reassigned in a shake-up is Steve Bannon, chief strategist, who has been sparring with Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and one of his closest advisers.

In fairness, Trump can't fire himself, but is he really so clueless that he doesn't realize the infighting springs directly from his own chaotic personality, not from the folks around him? If he provided clear direction on both policy and communications—and stopped tweeting random crap all the time—things would calm down fast.

But he'll never figure that out.

After years of ignoring the pod, Hopper has suddenly taken to it. Sometimes by herself, other times squeezing in beside Hilbert. At the same time, my lap has become a no-go zone. But our bed, which she used to cede to Hilbert at night, is now one of her favorite spots.

What's the deal with cats and their rotating cast of favorite spots? We'll never know, will we?

Here's another look at how the economy is doing:

The overall labor force participation rate is hard to draw conclusions from because it includes students and retirees. Some of the change in these categories might be related to the state of the economy, but some of it is simply voluntary and demographic.

By looking only at prime-age workers, we eliminate this point of confusion. The good news is that the participation rate has been increasing for the past two years. The bad news is that we're still roughly 1 percentage point away from full employment. That's about a million people, give or take. The economy continues to improve, but it still has a ways to go before it's firing on all cylinders.

Come on, Fareed:

God almighty no. When will we ever get over the idea that bombing people is inherently presidential because it shows you're not afraid to bomb people? This is doubly true in this case, since Trump apparently pulled a barely thought-out policy U-turn and ordered the airstrike because he saw some footage of dying children on Fox News. That's horrible, and Assad is a butcher, but it's not a good reason to abruptly upend your own foreign policy and start lobbing cruise missiles.

Instead, allow me to sign on with my conservative buddy David French:

The commander-in-chief has broad, inherent authority to order the military to defend the national security and vital national interests of the United States, but every provision of the Constitution has meaning, and the Constitution gives to Congress the power to “declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water.”

....The existence of a legal and moral justification for war does not always render war wise or just. Nor does it remove the need for congressional approval. There is no reason to forego congressional debate now, just as there was no reason to forego congressional debate when Obama considered taking the nation to war against Syria in 2013.

Congressional approval is not only constitutional, it serves the public purpose of requiring a president to clearly outline the justifications for war and his goals for the conflict. It also helps secure public support for war.

The pretextual argument against this view is that a single airstrike isn't "war," and anyway, the War Powers Act gives the president the authority to do this kind of thing. The real argument is simpler: presidents have done this stuff forever, and Congress has never worked up the gumption to stop them.

Actually, it's worse than that: as near as I can tell, Congress actively doesn't want to exercise its warmaking authority. It's too politically risky. They'd rather have the president do it unilaterally, and then kibitz from the sideline. This is why I don't really blame presidents for authorizing attacks like this. Congress could stop it anytime they want via the power of the purse, and they never have.

The American economy added 98,000 new jobs last month, 90,000 of which were needed to keep up with population growth. This means that net job growth clocked in at 8,000 jobs. That's pretty dismal, but under the surface the news was better: the number of employed people went up by 472,000 and the number of unemployed declined by 326,000. As a result, the headline unemployment rate dropped to 4.5 percent.

Hourly earnings of production and nonsupervisory employees went up at an annual rate of about 2.3 percent for the second month in a row. That's about even with the inflation rate, which means the real increase was close to zero. That's disappointing given recent signs that wages were starting to make gains.

I know I pretty much said this in the previous post, but it bears repeating: what President Trump did tonight was bog ordinary. He called it a "targeted" attack on Syria and the Pentagon called it "proportional." It was precisely the kind of limited strike American presidents are addicted to when public opinion requires them to demonstrate anger over something or other, and it's precisely the language every president uses to describe them. Russia will issue a pro forma denunciation, and the Syrians will rebuild their airfield. In a couple of weeks it will all be forgotten.

Don't make too much of this unless Trump goes further. It doesn't prove that his foreign policy instincts have changed, or that he's demonstrated resolve and decisiveness. He's merely done the smallest, safest, most ordinary thing American presidents do in circumstances like this.

UPDATE: I guess I should clarify a bit. I don't mean that a military strike like this isn't important. I mean only that pundits and the press shouldn't treat it like a huge change in Trump's foreign policy, or in American foreign policy in general. American presidents do this kind of stuff all the time, and Trump was always more likely to do it than most. Remember, he ran as "the most militaristic person you will ever meet" and promised to "bomb the shit out of ISIS."

It's Obama who was the unusual one, resisting enormous pressure to get involved in Syria. Trump is proving himself to be yet another follower of bipartisan foreign policy conventional wisdom.

Trump Bombs Syria

Trump has launched a few dozen cruise missiles at Syrian airfields—in particular, at the airfield that Assad used to launch the chemical attack earlier this week. So far, this is standard stuff for presidents who want to "send a message." Cruise missiles cause some damage but don't endanger any American lives. We'll see if Trump takes things any further.

Marco Rubio is on my TV right now calling this a great thing. "It's not a message, it's an actual degrading of their capabilities." If Obama had done something like this, Rubio would have contemptuously called it a pinprick.

Let's roll the tape on the past few days:

Last Friday: Sean Spicer confirms remarks by Secretary of State Tillerson that Trump is OK with leaving Bashar al-Assad in power in Syria. "There is a political reality that we have to accept," he says.

Tuesday: Trump learns the downside of haphazard policy changes driven mostly by a desire to be different from Obama. Assad, feeling more secure after learning the United States accepts his leadership of Syria, launches a chemical attack on rebels in the town of Khan Sheikhoun.

Wednesday: Trump, apparently shocked to find out that Assad is a butcher, says Assad has "crossed many, many lines."

Today: Trump tells reporters about Assad, "I guess he's running things, so something should happen." Tillerson translates this into English: "It would seem there would be no role for him to govern the Syrian people."

Later today: We learn that the Pentagon is preparing recommendations for military action in Syria.

A few minutes after that: Regime change is once again official policy. "Those steps are underway" for the US to lead an international effort to remove Assad.

So in the space of a week, we've gone from Assad can stay to Assad must go to let's bomb Syria. This is quite the crack foreign policy team we have in Washington these days.

I can hardly wait for Trump to launch a bombing campaign for a few days—something that's a routine favorite of US presidents—and then declare it a massive, game-changing retaliation, "something that's never been done before." But at least that would be better than something that really was a game changer. Just remember: whatever John McCain recommends, do the opposite.

Lunchtime Photo

I'm sure you've all seen those pictures where the camera pans on a moving object, so the object appears still while the background rushes by. Right? Aside from being an object lesson in special relativity, it's also hard to do. You have to pan the camera perfectly at constant speed to get it right, and that's trickier than you might think.

A few days ago I was out trying this on passing cars, and making tough sledding of it. Then a group of bicylists came by, so I panned on them. But I was still panning at automobile speed, so I didn't catch them.

Except I did! By a fluke, one frame turned out nearly perfectly. So here you are, a pair of Irvine bicyclists pedaling along on one of our miles and miles of bike lanes. Next up: panning at night.