It's the big day, finally, for President Obama's announcement of the next phase in the war in Afghanistan: the president has already made his plans known to Gen. Stanley McChrystal, and he'll lay it out for the American people in a prime time speech tonight, at 8 p.m. Eastern at West Point.

Before that, he'll meet with leaders of both parties from both houses to talk about the new plan...so perhaps we'll get an early word on what, exactly it is...or perhaps not.

It's also World AIDS Day, and former President Bill Clinton will deliver a speech and host a panel discussion, through his foundation, at Columbia University in New York City.

The Senate will handle one of its more routine, though sometimes controversial, duties: nominations. The Foreign Relations Committee will hold one on the nomination of Rajiv Shah as administrator of USAID; nominations, the chamber will vote on Jacqueline Nguyen to be U.S. district judge for the Central District of California, and the Judiciary Committee will hold a haring on the nomination of O. Rogeriee Thompson to be U.S. Circuit Judge for the First Circuit.

The Homeland Security Committee, not to be left out, will hold a markup on the nomination of Alan Kessler to be a governor of the Postal Service.

The Senate Intel Committee will hold a hearing on the nominations on two intelligence officials at the State Department...and the list goes on further.

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