The Note: Naughty and Nice

Be sure to Note the tough words from the Weekly Standard's Bill Kristol: "North Korea is firing missiles. Iran is going nuclear. Somalia is controlled by radical Islamists. Iraq isn't getting better, and Afghanistan is getting worse. . . I gave the president a lot of credit for hanging tough on Iraq. But I am worried that it has made them too passive in confronting the other threats."

The Wall Street Journal's ed board writes that "the last thing" the US should do is "reward" North Korea's missile "provocation" with direct talks while Noting that that is "exactly what Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Richard Lugar advised."

On CBS this morning, Gov. Bill Richardson (D-NM) discussed the North Korea situation, calling the country "surreal" and stating that "they don't act like you and I do; it's not give and take." Gov. Richardson suggested that North Korea truly is dangerous with its possible nuclear weapons capabilities, fourth largest standing army, and very unpredictable leader. Perhaps the best solution is to deal with them one-on-one because "the current situation is unhealthy for everyone," said Richardson, sounding, dare we say, to some perhaps, presidentialish.

"President Bush was measured, almost hesitant, in his comments, speaking slowly and not particularly forceful," during his Oval Office on camera remarks yesterday observes ABC News' Karen Travers.

The Washington Post's Dana Milbank has ABC News' Martha Raddatz asking Tony Snow: "You anticipated this launch for a month and yet you still don't have a clear idea of what options there are. Why not?" LINK

The New York Times' David Sanger, writing from an undisclosed (or, at least, an undatelined) location, has it, of course, perfectly right: "[T]he reality, administration officials acknowledge, is that China fears a collapsed and chaotic North Korea more than it fears a nuclear-armed North Korea." LINK

Sanger also explores how the legacy-effect might fine-tune the President's North Korea pitch as well.

On the diplomatic front, the New York Times highlights Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill's unusually public demand that China be "very firm" with North Korea. LINK

Politics of immigration:

Columnist and Senate hater Robert Novak directs you to Section 240d, a "terrorist loophole" in the Senate's immigration bill, and an example, he argues, of how "the entire Senate version is honeycombed with undigested provisions." LINK

Bloomberg's Nicholas Johnston and Ari Levy report that Sens. Arlen Specter (R-PA) and Ted Kennedy (D-MA) hinted at possible support for a border security-first compromise on immigration reform. LINK

The Wall Street Journal's Sarah Lueck has White House spokesman Tony Snow saying: "What this White House has been clear about is that you don't do borders only."

In a story that closes with Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) saying "the president of the United States has not been doing his job" when it comes to tightening the border, the Washington Post's Shailagh Murray and Charles Babington call immigration "one of the most intractable and divisive issues to confront the GOP in years" LINK

The House International Relations Subcommittee's nationwide immigration tour officially kicked off in San Diego yesterday with a four-hour hearing designed to arouse public support for the House approach. The San Diego Union-Tribune has the story. LINK

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