The CNN Washington Bureau’s morning speed read of the top stories making news from around the country and the world.
CNN: President Obama unveils $3.8 trillion budget
President Obama unveiled a $3.8 trillion budget request Monday that hikes taxes on the rich, spends new money on infrastructure and education, but does little to reform the entitlement programs that pose the biggest long-term threat to the federal budget.
CNN: Analysis: Politics trumps policy in Obama budget
A piece of advice: If you're worried about President Barack Obama's budget, find something else to fret over. The president's blueprint has about as much chance of becoming law as yours. It's all about election year 2012, not fiscal year 2013.
CNN: GOP leaders drop key demand in payroll tax cut standoff
In a sharp turnaround, House Republican leaders Monday dropped a key demand that the cost of extending the payroll tax cut be offset by spending cuts elsewhere in the budget.
CNN: As campaign heats up, Michelle Obama settles into first lady role
First lady Michelle Obama is a popular American political figure, even more so than her husband. Her name, face and stories of her influence behind the scenes are a constant in the media, and sometimes in not so flattering words and images.
CNN: Houston's body being flown to New Jersey for funeral this week, source says
What killed Whitney Houston is still an official mystery despite widespread media speculation, but a Los Angeles County coroner official downplayed the suspicion that drugs played a major role Monday.
CNN: Sandusky can see most of his grandchildren, judge rules
The former Penn State assistant football coach currently awaiting trial on child sex assault charges can visit with some of his grandchildren, a judge ruled Monday.
CNN: Supreme Court Justice Breyer robbed at knifepoint during Caribbean vacation
Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer was robbed last week by an intruder armed with a machete while Breyer was vacationing on the Caribbean island of Nevis, court officials said Monday.
CNN: Opposing conservative group counters Occupy DC
In what is being called "Occupy Occupy DC," conservative counterprotesters Monday held the first of what they say will be daily rallies at the site of the Occupy encampment at Washington's Freedom Plaza.
CNN: Syria draws U.N. ire as it heads toward 'war'
As diplomats at the United Nations slammed Syria, violence continued to rage on the ground and residents wondered out loud what the implications of total war might be.
CNN: Greece cleans up after night of rioting
Anger over Greece's austerity measures exploded in the streets of Athens early Monday as tens of thousands of protesters clashed with police in riots that left 106 police officers and dozens of civilians injured, according to police.
CNN: Radical cleric released from UK jail
Abu Qatada, a radical Jordanian cleric described by authorities as an inspiration to September 11 hijacker Mohammed Atta and other terrorists, has been released from British jail on bail, a spokeswoman for the British Ministry of Justice said Monday.
CNN: Japan: False thermometer may be behind high readings
A faulty thermometer is likely to blame for rising temperatures inside a stricken nuclear reactor at the Fukushima-Daiichi plant, authorities said Monday, as Japan prepares to mark one year since a devastating earthquake and tsunami triggered a nuclear meltdown.
CNN Money: Our love-hate relationship with China
President Obama has a date with China's Vice President Xi Jinping on Valentine's Day, and despite tensions between the world's two largest economies, they're both likely to put on a happy face.
CNN Money: Stocks gain after Greece OKs austerity
U.S. stocks rose Monday after the Greek government approved a key austerity package, lifting hopes the nation will qualify for more bailout money and avoid a messy default.
CNN Money: Moody's downgrades European countries
Moody's cut the credit ratings of six European countries on Monday amid continued anxiety over the continent's debt crisis and its sluggish economy.
In Case You Missed It…
Anderson Cooper talks to Arwa Damon about the activist organization in Syria and the use of weapons in the conflict.
Lesson we need to modernize our country by fixing our crumbling infrastructure. We need to prepare our country people educationally to compete with the rising fluxes of countries which wants to take our spot on the world stage.
Does Pres. Obama risk alienating Catholic voters because of the birth control part of his health care law ?
Short Answer : Not Necessarily.
I'm a catholic , born catholic, raised catholic – but just like a lot of other "catholics" – we attend Church Service every week, or whenever we can go, either a Service on Saturday evening, or on Sunday Morning, and IF you cannot attend a Service on Sunday Morning, then you can Still Attend a Service on Sunday evening. That being said, a lot of us "catholics" don't necessarily agree with the "Pope" regarding the birth control Issue. I Agree, Obama doesn't need this, especially in an Election Year.
""The Catholic Church opposes the use of contraceptives even though a large number of rank-and-file Catholics disagree""
Does that tell you anything ? If you read my first paragraph, you will see that I pretty much said the same thing, regarding "don't necessarily agree" got it ?
If somebody took a Poll, I'd say, The poll would tell you that "most catholics" would agree with the fact – that IF a female got pregnant through either Incest or Rape, they would tell their daughter to go Directly & Immediately to the E.R. – so she could get an Estrogen Shot. okay ? But let me be clear. They will Also Tell You, that they believe that "Life Begins at Contraception" get that also ?
Moral of this is, or the bottom line is : There's a fine line – between Their OWN Daughter – and somebody else's Daughter.