The Note: Bad Humor

Obama talks faith with Newsweek: "The story of Obama's religious journey is a uniquely American tale. It's one of a seeker, an intellectually curious young man trying to cobble together a religious identity out of myriad influences. Always drawn to life's Big Questions, Obama embarked on a spiritual quest in which he tried to reconcile his rational side with his yearning for transcendence. He found Christ -- but that hasn't stopped him from asking questions. 'I'm on my own faith journey and I'm searching,' he says. 'I leave open the possibility that I'm entirely wrong.' "

This is some big spending: "Peter G. Peterson wants people to focus on what he considers real news: the nation is going broke," John Harwood writes in The New York Times. "Because he wasn't born yesterday, Mr. Peterson, co-founder of the Blackstone Group and a secretary of commerce under President Richard M. Nixon, will spend $1 billion in an effort to get the public's attention. The money, which comes from the windfall Mr. Peterson received when Blackstone went public last year, will finance a media blitz, starting with a documentary, 'I.O.U.S.A.' "

Cracks in GOP unity? "After 18 months of holding together on issues big and small, Senate Republican leaders last week found the first major crack in their foundation as some of their most loyal colleagues defected in the face of political headwinds," Roll Call's Erin P. Billings and John Stanton report. "Democrats brought back an ailing Sen. Edward Kennedy (Mass.) to get them to the 60 ayes they needed to overcome GOP objections and pass [last week's Medicare bill]. Kennedy's return -- and subsequent vote -- also pushed nine of the previously opposed Republicans to buck their top leaders and side with the Democrats."

"Afterward, many Senators were left wondering whether the Republicans' difficult odds this fall, and the challenges for GOP incumbents in 2010, had taken over. And some Senators questioned whether the 18 turncoats represent a weakening of influence of Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and his No. 2, Whip Jon Kyl (Ariz.)."

Cracks in Democratic unity? "Barack Obama could have long coattails this fall. That doesn't mean that every Democrat is going to want to grab on to them," June Kronholz writes in The Wall Street Journal. "A few of those Democrats facing tough races already have signaled their ambivalence toward Sen. Obama, the Democratic candidate."

If he didn't have enough on his plate: "Sen. Barack Obama will have to compete against space aliens for some of the media attention during the Democratic National Convention next month," Daniel J. Chacon writes in the Rocky Mountain News. "Jeff Peckman, who is proposing the creation of an Extraterrestrial Affairs Commission in the Mile High City, is planning a news conference during the DNC to talk about space aliens and the 'technologies that they appear willing to offer,' Peckman said."

(Think they have any fundraising hints they can share?)

The Kicker:

"Yeah. I mean, for instance, take you know -- take, for instance, the issue of -- of -- I'm drawing a blank, and I hate it when I do that, particularly on television." -- Gov. Mark Sanford, R-S.C., asked by CNN's Wolf Blitzer to identify areas where McCain has different views on the economy than President Bush. (He eventually identified earmarks as a difference.)

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