MORNING READ

The Battle of Basra, between Iraqi government forces and the Shiite militias who have controlled much of the southern Iraqi city, is keeping the blogs busy Monday morning.

While the Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr has offered a truce, Allahpundit at Hot Air isn't sure whether government forces have succeeded. The Weekly Standard's Michael Goldfarb argues that, at the very least, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has "bet big" on confronting one of the major threats to his government's sovereignty, the Shiite militias. Goldfarb notes that is something other leaders, including Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf, have yet to do.

smintheus at Daily Kos, however, claims that Maliki blinked by extending the deadline for the militias to lay down their arms, an action that also shows he's incapable of governing. And firedoglake's Siun argues that Maliki's inability to make headway against al-Sadr's forces, even with support from American air strikes, demonstrates "the futility of our occupation."

Looking at the presidential race, California Yankee at RedState praised Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) for his comment that John McCainJohn McCainMcCain granddaughter comes out in support of Clinton With reservations, moving toward Hillary Clinton FULL SPEECH: Hillary Clinton closes out Democratic convention MORE, not the Democratic candidates, represents the legacy of John Kennedy. Two Kleins, Ezra and Joe, analyze Barack ObamaBarack ObamaNigeria is making progress on economic reform and security Obama the 'X' factor of the 2016 cycle FULL SPEECH: Hillary Clinton closes out Democratic convention MORE's failure to secure John Edwards's endorsement (as reported by New York magazine), and what it means for Obama's policies and candidacy.


And in the fight over FISA, Glenn Greenwald claims that Attorney General Michael Mukasey is "exploiting" 9/11 and peddling "falsehoods" in making the White House's case for expanded intelligence powers.



FROM THE BLOGS:
What's Really Going On In Basra -- Allahpundit, Hot Air
Basra: Maliki "Bet Big" -- Michael Goldfarb, Weekly Standard
Maliki Blinks -- smintheus, Daily Kos
What We Learned in Iraq This Week -- Siun, firedoglake
Closing the Message Gap on Iraq -- A. Huffington, HuffPo
Clinton: All The Way to Denver -- Josh Marshall, TPM
Say It Ain't So, Joe -- Michael Scherer, Swampland
No Longer Your Father's Dem Party -- Calif. Yankee, RedState
Obama Diplomacy? -- Joe Klein, Swampland
How Health Care Hurt Obama -- Ezra Klein
MyDD: Watch Out for Evil GOP -- Ed Morrissey, Hot Air
Clinton's Campaign and Feminism -- K.J. Lopez, The Corner
Michael Mukasey's Tearful Lies -- Glenn Greenwald

OTHER NEWS SOURCES:
Shiite Cleric Sadr Offers Conditions for Truce -- Wash. Post
New Backing For Obama As Party Seeks Unity -- WSJ
Lieberman in McCain's Corner -- This Week
Who'll Stop the Pain? -- New York

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