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David's Must Reads - April 7, 2013

Korean Roulette - The Economist's take on how the United States should deal with North Korea.

  • "Even by its own aggressive standards, North Korea’s actions over the past couple of weeks have been extraordinary. Kim Jong Un, the country’s young dictator, has threatened the United States with nuclear Armageddon, promising to rain missiles on mainland America and military bases in Hawaii and Guam; declared a “state of war” with South Korea; announced that he would restart a plutonium-producing reactor at its Yongbyon nuclear site, while enriching uranium to build more nuclear weapons; and barred South Korean managers from entering the Kaesong industrial complex, almost the only instance of North-South co-operation. All this comes after the regime set off a nuclear test, its third, in February. Tensions are the worst on the peninsula since 1994, when North Korea and America were a hair’s breadth from war."

Senator's Big to Fix Immigration Starts in His Backyard - Ashley Parker writes in The New York Times about the work Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) is doing in his home state to convince voters of the need for comprehensive Immigration reform. 

  • "Mr. Graham, too, has made something of a comeback. He led the charge against the Obama administration on Benghazi — “President Obama’s leading from behind is a debacle in Libya; what he’s doing in Syria is unconscionable,” he said — and was a vocal critic of Chuck Hagel’s nomination as secretary of defense. His outspokenness on national security has endeared him to his grass-roots conservative base, though skeptics wonder if it is for show, to give him cover to move toward Democrats on immigration or a budget compromise, a charge Mr. Graham rejects."

Farewell to a generous colleague and friend - Chicago Tribune film critic Michael Phillips on the loss of Roger Ebert this week. 

  • "The loss is instantaneous, the absence crushing. Chicago’s own journalist, film critic, media personality and civic conscience will no longer explain, with the sort of stylistic ease only a truly gifted writer can manage, what he saw in the last movie he saw. Or why gun control mattered to him. Or climate change. Or why life itself, which is what he called his autobiography, is such precious stuff."

Jimmy Fallon: The New King of Late Night TV - GQ's Jeanne Marie Laskas talks with Jimmy Fallon about his rise to host of "Late Night" and what lies ahead.

  • "People criticized him for it, but audiences didn't care. Fallon's brand of comedy included the audience in the experience, and that, it would turn out, was prescient. "On Late Night, it's like we're all in on the joke," he says "That's what I wanted it to be. I'm not doing something sneaky. Inside jokes, I don't like those. We can all ride together, and everyone's on the same thing going, 'Aha, I know where you're going here.' And if we get weird, everyone knows, 'Okay, we'll go for that little ride of being weird.' Or if I go, okay, I'm going to try to be Neil Young and sing 'Pants on the Ground.' We're all just going to ride it out, laugh, and we're going to be like, 'This is so silly,' but it's happening."