peHUB First Read

Some links to kick off your Thursday:

* KKR has hired former RNC chairman Ken Mehlman as its head of global affairs. That’s a nicer way of saying head of lobbying.

* Blackstone Group has been hit with a class-action lawsuit by disgruntled public shareholders. Seems they were shocked to find out that certain Blackstone portfolio companies weren’t doing too well. I’m shocked to find out they thought Blackstone didn’t have any losers in the bunch.

* A VC fund aimed at the art industry. Really.

* Wilbur Ross wants to do a rollup of U.S. thrift banks, and is asking for financial backing in the Middle East.

* Environmentalists may not have appreciated President Bush’s “let’s get green by 2025” speech, but it did help boost several cleantech stocks.

* Hanging out at the Clear Channel trial.

* Daddy Thomson got married today. It now looks like this: