The Note: Who's in Charge Here?

Sen. Kennedy (D-MA) heads over to the Center for American Progress at 1:30 pm ET to deliver a speech explaining why he sees his vote against Alito's confirmation as a vote for progress.

Judge Alito meets today with Sens. Carper, Sununu, Menendez, and Warner.

MALDEF and LULAC and other national Latino organizations hold a press conference to announce their opposition to Alito's confirmation at 9:45 am ET.

The Senate Republican Policy Committee gathers for a closed press meeting at 12:30 pm ET.

Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) is in Iraq and will hold a media availability there.

Sen. Evan Bayh (D-IN) holds a 2:30 pm ET conference call with reporters to announce his introduction of a resolution calling for sanctions on Iran.

Sen. Schumer (D-NY), Sen. Lautenberg (D-NJ), and Sen. Rockefeller (D-WV) hold a 1:45 pm ET press conference on Medicare Part D.

In Pennsylvania, Democratic Senatorial candidate Bob Casey plans to hold a 5:20 pm ET conference call with supporters to discuss ethical scandals in Washington and question whether or not his opponent, Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA), is the best person to be charged with heading up the lobbying reform effort in the Senate. (Whether or not Casey announces his position on Alito remains to be seen.)

The DSCC will help Casey drive that point home today by unveiling a new web video on its website and as advertisements on nearly 70 blogs. You can watch the web video (with its clear inspiration from Macbeth) here: LINK

Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-CO) is in Arizona today continuing his nationwide tour to "end illegal immigration."

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R-CA) discusses the ways in which he thinks his Strategic Growth Plan will reduce traffic congestion, create jobs, and improve air quality at a Cal Trans construction site in San Diego, CA at 6:00 pm ET.

SEIU President Andy Stern joins Tom Donohue, the President and CEO of the US Chamber of Commerce, at 1:30 pm ET to discuss the importance of a guest worker program.

The five-year suspension of former President Bill Clinton's Arkansas law license ends today. The former University of Arkansas law professor has not indicated whether he will seek reinstatement.

And at 8:15 am ET, our friends and colleagues over at National Journal kicked off their Hotline quarterly political briefing at the Watergate.

SOTU:

Democrats have chosen Tim Kaine, Virginia's newly-elected governor, to deliver the party's State of the Union response.

Roll Call's Erin Billings reports that Kaine is expected to deliver the response from Richmond, VA and that party leaders Reid, Pelosi, and Richardson are expected to extend the offer to him today.

The AP's Jennifer Loven reports, "President Bush's State of the Union address will attempt to shift focus from the polarizing war in Iraq to a more popular domestic priority: taming health care costs." LINK

"Facing congressional elections in November that could end Republican control on Capitol Hill, Bush is hoping his agenda will help his party at the ballot box."

Medicare:

In a must-read that gets only A6 treatment in the Washington Post, Shailagh Murray explains how concerned Republicans held town meetings and workshops all over the country during Congress' winter break to try to "tamp down senior citizens' outrage" over the new Medicare prescription drug program. LINK

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