In The Star:
- Matt Stearns looks at how the early primary stampede in 2008 could affect Missouri's primary. Will it be an afterthought or the site of a showdown?
- Scott Canon interviews Ronen Sen, India's ambassador to the United States.
- Mara Rose Williams reports on the controversy over a Missouri Senate committee axing six projects from a higher-ed bill because they may have something to do with stem-cell research.
- Lynn Horsley has a full report on the proposed KC budget.
- Kit Wagar reports that the Missouri House passed the Medicaid fraud bill.
- Wagar also reports that brushing aside concerns about cost, a Senate panel on Wednesday discussed a huge expansion of a subsidy program that rewards businesses for creating jobs.
- In his column, Mike Hendricks takes a poke at KC mayoral candidate Stan Glazer's plan for a giant Ferris wheel on the bank of the Missouri River.
Elsewhere: Selections from The Hotline's "Wake-Up Call," ABC's The Note and others.
- Sen. Barack Obama will announce his presidential run tomorrow. In a USA Today interview, Obama says, "I am absolutely convinced that . . . We've got a message that I think will appeal to the American people."
- Hotsoup's Ron Fournier thinks that Congress' failure to make progress on Iraq this week is a "Katrina moment" which could remind Americans about Washington's "failure to lead." Newt Gingrich tells Fournier that "legislative fights over slavery and the Vietnam War were messy, but those debates 'weren't as childish or trivial' as what we saw this week." More Gingrich: "What is particularly sad is that the public has a correct understanding that none of the maneuvers matter because it's all so petty and, basically, public relations."
- Here's a couple of stories about Sen. John Edwards' decision to keep a couple of chastised bloggers on the payroll. Before they joined his campaign, they had personal Web logs on which they posted highly critical and profane thoughts about topics including the Roman Catholic Church, The Washington Post reports. The Politico notes the Edwards is taking heat from the religious left over his bloggers.
- Sen. Sam Brownback is in Michigan today as he begins weekend meetings with Republican activists, donors, and elected officials at the annual Michigan GOP state convention in Grand Rapids.
- On his Political Punch blog, Jake Tapper tests your political smarts with an Air Pelosi Quiz.
Posted by Keith Chrostowski