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5:25 AM ET, March 31, 2008


 Top Items: 
Leila Fadel / McClatchy Washington Bureau:
Iranian general played key role in brokering Iraq cease-fire  —  BAGHDAD — Iraqi lawmakers traveled to the Iranian holy city of Qom over the weekend to win the support of the commander of Iran's Qods brigades in persuading Shiite cleric Muqtada al Sadr to order his followers to stop military operations …
New York Times:
Cleric Suspends Battle in Basra by Shiite Militia  —  BAGHDAD — The Shiite cleric Moktada al-Sadr on Sunday called for his followers to stop fighting in Basra and in turn demanded concessions from Iraq's government, after six days in which his Mahdi Army militia has held off …
Discussion: Truthdig
Aqeel Hussein / Telegraph:   Iraqi army forces defect to Moqtada al-Sadr
Erica Goode / New York Times:
Sadr Offers Deal for Truce as Fighting Persists in Iraq
Al-Sadr calls off fighting, orders compliance with Iraqi security
Discussion: Donklephant and Danger Room
Jackie Calmes / Wall Street Journal:
New Backing for Obama As Party Seeks Unity  —  WASHINGTON — Slowly but steadily, a string of Democratic Party figures is taking Barack Obama's side in the presidential nominating race and raising the pressure on Hillary Clinton to give up.  —  Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota is expected …
Gallup Daily: Obama Now at 52% to Clinton's 42%  —  McCain still has slight advantage over both Democratic opponents  —  PRINCETON, NJ — Barack Obama has extended his lead over Hillary Clinton among Democrats nationally to 52% to 42%, the third consecutive Gallup Poll Daily tracking report …
Think Progress:
Bush booed loudly while throwing out first pitch in Nationals home opener.  —  President Bush delivered the first pitch tonight at the new Nationals Park in Washington, D.C. to a resounding chorus of boos.  After being announced, Bush was showered by boos as he strode to the mound.
Wall Street Journal:
HUD Secretary Expected to Quit  —  WASHINGTON — Housing and Urban Development Secretary Alphonso Jackson is expected to announce his resignation Monday, according to people familiar with the matter, a decision that will deal a blow to the Bush administration's efforts to tackle the housing crisis.
The New / New York Times:
Report Says HUD Secretary Will Resign  —  WASHINGTON — Housing Secretary Alphonso R. Jackson is expected to resign Monday, The Wall Street Journal reported Sunday night.  —  Mr. Jackson has scheduled a news conference for 9:45 a.m., 15 minutes before Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr …
Discussion: Blue Girl, Red State
HUD chief reportedly close to resigning
Discussion: American Street
How to Win in a Knife Fight  —  The Democratic race could well come down to the first contested convention in years.  Lessons on how to prevail.  —  After the last Democratic primary is held in early June, neither Hillary Clinton nor Barack Obama will have enough votes from delegates elected …
Discussion: Dean's World
Toby Harnden / Telegraph:
Hillary Clinton portrays calls to quit as chauvinism
Discussion: Hot Air
Michael Scherer / Swampland:
Say It Ain't So, Joe  —  It's not news that Sen. Joe Lieberman, the onetime Democratic VP candidate, is backing John McCain for President.  Nor is it news that Lieberman takes a different view of the Iraq War than most Democrats.  But what he said this morning on ABC's “This Week” is certainly news.
Maupin's remains found in Iraq  —  digg us!!  —  Sgt. Matt Maupin is dead, the parents of the missing Clermont County soldier said today.  —  Maupin's remain were found in Iraq, nearly four years after he was captured by insurgents, his parents said.
Michelle Malkin:
Staff Sgt. Maupin's remains found in Iraq
Discussion: BLACKFIVE
Kelley Beaucar Vlahos / Fox News:
Clinton Pushes Housing Market Fixes As Campaign Manager Sits on Board of Bankrupt Lender  —  WASHINGTON - Hillary Clinton spends considerable time on the campaign trail bemoaning unscrupulous lenders who have left millions of Americans scrambling to keep their homes but all the while her campaign manager …
Ezra Klein / Los Angeles Times:
There's nothing funny about prison rape  —  Smirking at sexual attacks on inmates makes us all less safe.  —  'From the studio that brought you ‘Brokeback Mountain,’ " intones the preview for the light comedy “Let's Go To Prison,” “comes a penetrating look at the American penal system.
Discussion: Unfogged
Erik Eckholm / New York Times:
Food Stamp Use at Record Pace as Jobs Vanish  —  Driven by a painful mix of layoffs and rising food and fuel prices, the number of Americans receiving food stamps is projected to reach 28 million in the coming year, the highest level since the aid program began in the 1960s.
Discussion: I Am TRex and American Street
Lawrence Summers / Financial Times:
Steps that can safeguard America's economy  —  Neither US financial institutions nor the economy are likely to suffer from a lack of central bank liquidity provision.  New lending facilities are coming along almost weekly, the safety net has been expanded to include non-bank primary dealers …
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 More Items: 
Tom Maguire / JustOneMinute:
Self-Invention  —  Michael Dobbs of the WaPo busts another part of the Obama myth:
Dave Montgomery / McClatchy Washington Bureau:
Air Force seeks jets powered by liquefied coal
Ann Althouse / Althouse:
Was Barack Obama a “law professor”?
Drake Bennett / Boston Globe:
The sting of poverty  —  What bees and dented cars can teach …
Eric Lichtblau / New York Times:
Debate and Protest at Spy Program's Inception
Judith Klinghoffer / American Thinker:
Scary McCain  —  With McCain you get the real thing while with Obama …
 Earlier Items: 
Michael Powell / The Caucus:
Barack Bowl  —  Barack Obama spent Saturday evening …
Geoffrey Lean / The Independent:
Mobile phones ‘more dangerous than smoking’
Deborah Howell / Washington Post:
Public Death, Private Life
Jane Hamsher / Firedoglake:
No, John McCain Can't Just Quit
Al Norman / The Huffington Post:
Wal-Mart Cancels 45 Superstore Projects
Little Green Footballs:
Photo of the Day  —  From the West Bank town of Hebron …