Hi. Lots of buzz today over Republican senior statesman Richard Lugar's decision to bolt from the GOP fold on Iraq. Plus, VP Cheney in the spotlight, Obama's first commercials, and the best five seconds of video you've ever seen.
The Washington Post is in the midst of its jaw-dropping opus on Vice President Cheney. All of it is "Must-Read" as they say. And Unbossed sums up many a blogger's reaction with the question: what took 'em so long? Also, ThinkProgress updates us on Cheney's ongoing battle with Congress over his prerogatives.
NoMoreMr.NiceBlog looks at the Cheney series and today's L.A. Times piece on Bush aides reportedly considering a "truce" with Congressional Democrats on Iraq policy and sees "the end of High Bushism." And Parapundit thinks there's a good reason why Bush is in a corner on Iraq policy.. and it's not just because the war is going badly. But blogger Strata-Sphere says everyone should quit wringing their hands because Lugar-be-damned the surge IS working.
Glenn Greenwald picks up on how all of a sudden the entire Iraq insurgency is being referred to as al-Qaida.
Gay Patriot is quoting a London tabloid (hmmmm) to warn us that Iran is trying to provoke a war with the U.S.
Politics: the AP sums up Rudy Giuliani's not-good-very-bad-truly-awful week.
The Washington Post's Sally Quinn HEARTS Fred Thompson (and thinks he should replace Dick Cheney!) But Thomas Edsall writing at Huffington Post isn't sure how the whole lobbyist thing is going to go down.
Barack Obama is up with his first TV ads in Iowa. See for yourself.
As its Senate sponsors try to revive the immigration bill today, Matthew Spalding at National Review says nay.
The economy: you may have heard something vaguely bad in the past few days about a couple of hedge funds run by big New York investment bank Bear Stearns. The funds trade in mortgage debt -- specifically the subprime mortgage market that's been in free-fall since February. The Economist talks about the systemic risk posed to the financial markets by leveraged trading in derivatives such as those mortgage debt products (called CDOs) and points out that the mortgage debt problem could be just the opening act to something much bigger. (And here's a reminder: Warren Buffett called derivatives "financial weapons of mass destruction" back in 2003.) Business Week points out that the Bear Stearns funds have gotten the attention of the SEC. (See: barn door closed, horse already out.) Oh and related to The Economist's point about CORPORATE debt ... the Blackstone Group (massive private equity fund) IPO didn't have much staying power.