A daily afternoon news summary, in five parts; what you need to know; also, a hint of science. We twitter.
1. Jane Mayer: : Ali Saleh al-Marri, the "illegal enemy combatant" held in a Navy brig in Charleston, SC, may soon be indicted in federal court -- this is a definitive break from the Bush Administration's policy and theory of detention for alleged terrorists; proponents will call this a move back toward the sunlight.... .....Obama's budget raises taxes during a recession, right? .... Well.... sort of. Many of the new taxes, including the reduction in itemized deductions for wealthier Americans, don't kick in until 2011... that's after the recession will have ended, according to Obama's own budget assumptions. It's a neat little trick .... Manufacturers are up in arms about budget's cutting of LIFO ...which would change the way they account for the goods they build. The administration calls this a "tax loophole." .... Your Daily Orszag: Federal budget deficits were on track to reach 9 trillion by 2019.... This is a real tweet from Rep. Roy Blunt: "I met with the Missouri Geographic Alliance today. Last year I received their Geography Legislator of the Year award."
2. Patrick Ruffini tweets from CPAC: ""Win a free Wii from Newt for fighting card check. Booth 623 by #rebuild #efcafail." Says a union strategist: "Is this part of Steele's hip hop revolution? Or is being against working families so lame that they have to bribe kids with a Wii to do it?" ..... TIm Gill rules the world, and, apparently, the Log Cabin Republicans. .... President Obama will watch the Chicago Bulls play the Washington Wizards at the Verizon Center tomorrow night.....
3. These aren't breasts. They're atoms. The blurriness isn't related to the resolution of the camera; you're seeing visual evidence of Brownian motion, which is really cool. This, apparently, is the smallest item ever imaged using light waves.
4. A smart reader, on projected deficits past 2013: "Assuming that Obama's budget still counts the Social Security surplus, this isn't remotely surprising. Ignoring the projected increases in healthcare costs (Obama's plan changes the projection there dramatically I assume), Social Security outlays are increasing by about 1.5% GDP / 10 years while revenues are declining. That's way more than a couple hundred billion dollars. This doesn't mean that Social Security is in trouble per se, but it does mean that the utility of employing Social Security revenue as an accounting gimmick is running out. I imagine Obama was tempted to separate Social Security from the budget entirely. It would increase the current year's deficit even more but allow him to project much more substantial declines. I suppose you'd also have to subtract the trust fund dollars from the national debt to do that honestly, though." A dissenting view, here.
5. Everytime chief of staff Rahm Emanuel is referred to in official documents, the White House typists must expend the ATP to write his formal title as "The Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff." That typist could save, oh, 15 seconds a day, if she or he didn't have to write "The Assistant to the President." He's the chief of staff. Everyone knows who he is.