February 1st, 2010
03:56 PM ET

Eight things you need to know about the budget

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/POLITICS/02/01/white.house.budget/story.budgetbook.afp.gi.jpg caption="The budget offers new tax breaks and incentives for small businesses and includes money for clean energy technology." width=300 height=169]


President Obama on Monday unveiled a $3.8 trillion budget for next year. Here are some key points. Remember, these are Obama's suggestions. Congress controls the purse strings.

Still a little extra in your paycheck

The Making Work Pay tax breaks would be extended for a year. These were part of last year's stimulus and resulted in slightly higher paychecks for 110 million families, the White House said.

More money for education

Obama wants $3 billion more for elementary and secondary education programs and $1.35 billion for his Race to the Top program. Pell grants, which help students pay for college, would increase by $17 billion.

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Filed under: Economy • President Barack Obama
February 1st, 2010
03:47 PM ET

Interactive: Obama's 2011 budget plan


President Obama revealed a $3.8 trillion budget for 2011 on Monday that tries to balance two competing goals: continued government spending to boost the fragile economic recovery and controlling the nation's deficit.

Go here to check out the budget plan in detail...

Filed under: Economy • President Barack Obama
February 1st, 2010
03:06 PM ET

Toyota recall: What to do if your car's on the list

Toyota has announced it would expand its recall of millions of vehicles due to a defect in the accelerator pedal assembly.

Peter Valdes-Dapena
CNN Money Senior writer

Millions of Toyotas - some of them among America's most popular cars - are under scrutiny as the result of two separate recalls, both involving problems with the gas pedal.

Here is what Toyota owners need to know as the carmaker scrambles to find a fix for the problems.

How big is the problem? All major auto manufacturers have gotten at least some complaints of "unintended acceleration" in their vehicles. According to a December 2009 analysis by Consumer Reports looking at a federal database, Toyota has received a disproportionate number of complaints.

How many deaths have there been? In the past 10 years, according to some analyses, there have been 19 deaths in Toyota vehicles connected to some form of unintended acceleration, a figure that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration calls "plausible" based on its data.

Similar statistics have not been provided for other automakers, so there's no way to know how Toyota compares to other major automakers in this regard.

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Filed under: 360° Radar
February 1st, 2010
02:34 PM ET

Obama's anti-terror policy is a mess

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/02/01/t1.obama.0224.jpg caption="Obama administration reconsidering plan to try 9/11 defendants in New York City." width=300 height=169]

David Frum
CNN Contributor

It took the United States government 18 months to capture Khalid Sheikh Mohammed - and seven years to figure out what to do with him.

The Bush administration wanted to try the organizer of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks before a military tribunal in Guantanamo Bay. The Obama administration rejected that plan and decided instead on a civilian trial in federal court in lower Manhattan.


New York officials balked: The trial would snarl traffic, impose huge security costs on the city and incentivize terrorists to strike again while world media were conveniently concentrated on the spot.
The public balked too. Even in liberal Massachusetts, voters have rallied to the Republican anti-trial message. Scott Brown's campaign hammered the theme: "Our tax dollars should pay for weapons to stop terrorists, not lawyers to defend them."

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Filed under: 360° Radar • Barack Obama • Terrorism
February 1st, 2010
02:07 PM ET

Obama's math doesn't add up

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/02/01/art.obama.0201.gi.jpg caption="A new laundry list of projects and a second stimulus plan will not help the president reconnect to the voters."]

Erick Erickson
Special to CNN

The White House is willing to admit after the drubbing in Massachusetts last week that President Obama has lost a key connection to middle-class voters.

It was refreshing to hear the president acknowledge that political reality during his State of the Union address. But a new laundry list of projects and a second stimulus plan couched as a jobs plan will not help the president reconnect to those voters - or even reboot his agenda, despite his best attempt this week.

Barack Obama took to the podium before a joint session of Congress with an exceedingly difficult balancing act. He needed, on one hand, to show voters that he is concerned about spending and, on the other hand, to unveil policy initiatives for the coming year. Policy initiatives equal spending to most voters.

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Filed under: Economy • President Barack Obama • Stimulus
February 1st, 2010
01:30 PM ET

Life of a Muslim De-Radicalizer

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://www.cnn.com/2009/CRIME/12/26/airline.attack/story.us.airline.suspect.cnn.jpg caption="Officers take suspect into custody in Detroit, Michigan, after an attempt to destroy a Northwest Airlines flight." width=300 height=169]

Arsalan Iftikhar | BIO
AC360° Contributor

Founder, TheMuslimGuy.com

He is a lifelong Texan, registered Republican, die-hard Dallas Cowboys fan and professional Muslim ‘de-radicalizer’ all-in-one. Especially in light of both the recently-foiled Christmas day airline bombing plot in Detroit and earlier high-profile arrests of 5 young American Muslim men in Sargodha, Pakistan; the current debate within the chattering class of our political zeitgeist is revolving around ensuring that young impressionable Western Muslims are not radicalized within the dark recesses of cyberspace and the Internet.

This is where professional de-radicalizers like Mohamed Elibiary come into play.

As founder and president of The Freedom and Justice Foundation in Dallas, Mr. Elibiary has recently found himself serving the American Muslim community by helping to serve families and communities who are concerned about some of their youngsters naively falling prey to the lure of a ‘new jihadi cool’; a sociopolitical term coined by former CIA forensic psychiatrist Dr. Marc Sageman to categorize some of these young impressionable men who seek to perform acts of criminal vigilante terrorism contrary to every normative mainstream teaching of Islam.


Filed under: Arsalan Iftikhar • Terrorism
February 1st, 2010
12:44 PM ET
February 1st, 2010
12:20 PM ET
February 1st, 2010
11:32 AM ET

Massive food distribution begins in quake-ravaged Haitian capital

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/WORLD/americas/01/30/haiti.food.aid/story.haiti.aid.gi.jpg caption="More than 376 metric tons of rice were distributed to 100,368 people at nine locations in Haiti on Sunday." width=300 height=169]

Moni Basu

A massive two-week food distribution effort aimed at reaching 2 million people began Sunday in Haiti's quake-ravaged capital.

Slightly more than 376 metric tons of rice were distributed to 100,368 people at nine locations during the day, World Food Programme spokesman Marcus Prior said.

The food distribution plan, coordinated by the United Nations World Food Programme, international aid agencies and the Haitian government, was to hand out food at 16 identified points across the city. But on Sunday, people at only nine of those places were able to collect, Prior said.

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Filed under: Haiti Earthquake
February 1st, 2010
11:24 AM ET

Obama unveils $3.8 trillion budget

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/03/19/geithner.qanda/art.geithnerobama.gi.jpg caption="The Obama administration revealed a $3.8 trillion budget for 2011 on Monday. To his left, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner."]

Jennifer Liberto
CNN Money Senior writer

President Obama revealed a $3.8 trillion budget for 2011 on Monday that tries to balance two competing goals: continued government spending to boost the fragile economic recovery and controlling the nation's deficit.

"We simply cannot continue to spend as if deficts don't have consequences, as if waste doesn't matter," Obama said at a White House presentation. "It's time to save what we can, spend what we must and live within our means once again."

The budget calls for $53 billion in tax cuts and $50 billion job-creating measures, including small-business tax cuts, as well as new investments in green technology and infrastructure programs for work on roads and bridges.

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Filed under: Economy • President Barack Obama
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