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After initiating a week of deadly fighting, Iraq's Prime Minister al-Maliki looks weaker than when it began. The winners appear to include Iran. What happened to what President Bush called "a defining moment?" Is the US being drawn into local conflicts only Iraqis themselves can resolve? Also, the Bush Administration loses another cabinet member, proposed financial regulatory reform and as the Obama-Clinton campaign continues, party leaders are meeting in the modern equivalent of smoke-filled rooms: e-mails and phone calls.  You already know what they're talking about.

Banner image: Iraqi Madhi army militiamen dance as they stand near a burning Iraqi army vehicle after attacking it on March 30 in Basra, 370 miles south of Baghdad, Iraq. Radical cleric Moqtada al-Sadr ordered his fighters off the streets and to stop fighting government troops. Iraqi authorities have responded by lifting a three-day curfew across Baghdad. Photo: Khaldoon Zubeir /Getty Images

Making News Treasury Secretary Wants Broad Reforms 5 MIN, 5 SEC

Housing and Urban Development Secretary Alphonso Jackson resigned today. The long-time friend of President Bush faces multiple ethics investigations. No successor has been named. Meantime, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson proposed revamping oversight of the financial system, for the first time since the Great Depression. James Politi is US Economics and Trade Correspondent for the Financial Times.

James Politi, US Economics and Trade Correspondent, Financial Times

Main Topic The Iraqi Ceasefire: Winners and Losers 36 MIN, 2 SEC

Baghdad and Basra are calmer now that Muqtada al-Sadr has told his Mahdi Army to stop fighting government forces, but government politicians went to Iran to make the deal. Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's surprise offensive has revealed more weakness than strength. The shaky ceasefire occurred after US forces took sides in a struggle between two groups of Shiites. What’s next for Sunnis, Kurds and other factions?  What’s the role of Iran, now and in the future? Will US troop withdrawal depend on local players and events it has no way to control?

Leila Fadel, Washington Post (@LeilaFadel)
Ned Parker, Reuters News Service (@nedmparker1)
Phebe Marr, former advisor, Iraq Study Group
Fawaz Gerges, London School of Economics and Politics
Stephen Biddle, George Washington University / Council on Foreign Relations (@ElliottSchoolGW)

Reporter's Notebook Democratic Party Leaders Working for June Solution 7 MIN, 1 SEC

Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar today became the second female Senator to endorse Barack Obama. Hillary Clinton has six. Obama says it's alright with him if Clinton stays in the race until the August convention, but many Democrats don’t feel that way. Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen says the super-delegates ought to get together in June. Bill Clinton's reassurance yesterday to Democrats worried about the risks of a nominating campaign that drags on until August has not resolved the anxieties of many party leaders, and they're meeting in the modern equivalent of smoke-filled rooms. That's according to Politico.com in a story co-authored by David Paul Kuhn.

David Paul Kuhn, Chief Political Correspondent, RealClearPolitics.com

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