The Note: Sweat the Big Things

The House meets for a pro forma session at 6:00 pm ET.

If you want to know where the House budget reconciliation bill and the Senate tax cut bill stand, we urge you to check the Hastert, Blunt, Thomas, DeLay, Frist, McConnell, and Grassley call logs from the weekend.

DCCC Chair Rahm Emanuel (D-IL) hosts a conference call early this afternoon to discuss the ways in which the Republican House leadership and Big Oil's profits are connected through "millions and millions in campaign contributions and subsequent tax subsidies."

At 12:15 pm ET, the New America Foundation and the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget host a luncheon discussion on specific proposals for closing the fiscal gap and how to offset the federal costs for Katrina, as well as the war, prescription drug programs, tax cuts and other entitlement programs.

Rep. Mike Castle (R-DE) delivers an 11:30 am ET keynote address on "Stem Cell Research; The Legislative Landscape" at today's stem cell seminar sponsored by Johns Hopkins University at the Washington Hilton & Towers.

Gov. Jennifer Granholm (D-MI) discusses "Leadership Challenges in a Shifting Global Economy" at Harvard's Kennedy School in Cambridge, MA.

Gov. Schwarzenegger (R-CA) is in Beijing, China promoting California trade initiatives.

Former New York Times reporter Judith Miller appears on The Kalb Report, to discuss the CIA leak story at the National Press Club at 8:00 pm ET.

Today's must-reads:

1. In one of the major scoops of the day, the Washington Times' Bill Sammon reports that when Alito applied to be deputy assistant to Attorney General Edwin Meese III, the future Supreme Court nominee wrote that "the Constitution does not protect a right to an abortion." LINK

"'I personally believe very strongly' in this legal position," wrote Alito.

"The document, which is likely to inflame liberals who oppose Judge Alito's nomination to the Supreme Court, is among many that the White House will release today from the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library," reports Sammon, though it remains unclear if it is the White House or the National Archives that would release such documents.

2. Bob Novak reports that some conservatives are none too pleased with the "coddling" of Republican moderates by the House leadership last week -- and to no avail. LINK

The final graph: "The Republican Party does not know how to save the budget bill that it cannot afford to lose. A weakened Bush, off to Asia Tuesday, will not be around for one-on-one lobbying. A way out is to pass a budget with neither ANWR nor budget cuts and approve a tax bill without investment tax cuts. The Grand Old Party's mission, apart from a vigorous foreign policy, then would be legislation fitting the special needs of its top business contributors -- a role the moderates could accept."

Alito for Associate Justice:

Meta-responding to the Washington Times story cited above, White House spokesguy Steve Schmidt tells ABC News:

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