MORNING READ

A report that the Department of Justice had a bias for hiring young conservative lawyers for a non-partisan program gives liberal bloggers another opportunity to pounce on the Bush administration for playing politics. Sen. Gordon Smith (R-Ore.) turns to Barack Obama for help in his re-election race, while Rep. Chris Cannon (R-Utah) falls to an illegal immigration hawk, bloggers on both sides note.

The report, by the Justice Department's inspector general, reveals that hiring committees tried to make sure more conservatives and fewer liberals were hired for the department's honors program. It's evidence that the department tries to politicize everything, writes smintheus at Daily Kos. A player in another Justice Department controversy, fired U.S. Attorney Carol Lam, had appealed the exclusion of one candidate with Democratic credentials, notes Kate Klonick at TPMMuckraker. But the real injustice over the hiring program is that conservatives were only favored during two of the Bush administration's seven years, according to The Corner's Kathryn Jean Lopez.

Smith's new television ad highlights his work with Obama to achieve better car gas mileage rates and a cleaner environment. The ad makes the Republican look desperate and reinforces the idea that Obama, a supporter of Smith's opponent, is a consensus builder, writes MyDD's Todd Beeton. But the ad isn't that surprising since Smith is an anti-war senator in a blue state, writes Hot Air's Allahpundit, who adds that the Republicans need every Senate vote they can get.

"Pro-amnesty" Cannon, who had survived two close primaries in the past two cycles, lost Tuesday in a GOP primary against hard-line illegal immigration opponent Jason Chaffetz even though Cannon raised more money and got President Bush's endorsement, notes Mark Krikorian at The Corner. Cannon's loss, however, merely shows that that the United States is "no country for GOP incumbents" in 2008, writes TalkingPointsMemo's Josh Marshall.

FROM THE BLOGS:
Bush Justice Dept. Politicizes Everything - smintheus, Daily Kos
Fired U.S. Atty. Appealed DOJ's Hiring - K. Klonick, TPMMuck
Time for Inquest into Bush's Crimes - R. Borosage, HuffPo
Department of Injustice - Kathryn Jean Lopez, The Corner
Gordon Smith Clings to Obama - Todd Beeton, MyDD
Sen. Smith: I've Worked W/ Obama - Allahpundit, Hot Air
No Country for GOP Incumbents - Josh Marshall, TPM
Third Time's the Charm Against Cannon - M. Krikorian, The Corner
Obama Says Donors Should Help Clinton w/ Debt - M. Ambinder
McCain Camp Calls Obama 'Dr. No' - Michael Falcone, The Caucus
The Case for Hillary Clinton - Chris Cillizza, The Fix
Rep. Shadegg Says Everyone Has Healthcare - kos, Daily Kos
Second Poll Puts Mark Udall Up by 9 - Jonathan Singer, MyDD
McCain's Luck on Abortion Issue - Isaac Chotiner, The Plank
Virtues of Being a Midwest Dem - Nate Silver, The Plank
Commander in Chief, Not Cmdr. of Clicks - D. Glover, Next Right
Speculating About Speculators - P. Yousefzadeh, RedState

OTHER NEWS SOURCES:
Inquiry Shows Hiring Based on Ideology - Wall Street Journal
Approval is Near For Bill to Help U.S. Homeowners - New York Times
Obama Holds a 12-Point Lead Over McCain - Los Angeles Times
GOP Going for Green - The Hill