SWEATHEART DEALS

Dodd Cleared of Countrywide Charges

Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT) got a nice start to the weekend Friday as the Senate Ethics Committee determined that he did not receive "sweetheart" loans for his 2003 mortgages from Countrywide. However, in a letter to both Dodd and Sen. Kent Conrad (who was also the subject of a probe and cleared), the panel advised being more careful with their dealings with the firm. This is good news for Dodd, who recently began treatment for early-stage prostate cancer.