Politics in 60 Seconds: What You Need To Know Right Now

New York Stock Exchange On New Years

1. Iranian security forces today have taken up positions across Tehran to prevent a planned opposition rally.  The Iranian regime, which has repeatedly praised the popular uprising in Egypt, is unnerved by the prospect of a popular uprising in its own country.

2. Demands for political reform are sweeping across North Africa and the Middle East.  The Wall Street Journal provides an overview of the roiling discontent

3. NYT columnist Tom Friedman lambastes the Israeli cabinet for its response to the uprising in Egypt. “Out-of touch, in-bred, unimaginative and cliche-driven,” he calls them. 

4. Yasmine El Rashidi reports on what it was like to be in Cairo in Tahrir Square on the day that Mubarak fell. Worth reading in full.

5. President Obama’s 2012 budget, which will be released at 10:30 this morning, calls for $1.1 trillion in deficit reduction over the next 10 years. Roughly two-thirds of that reduction comes from (proposed) spending cuts, the other third from revenue increases.

6. The Federal budget is compromised of five pieces: pensions, health, defence, interest payments and “all other discretionary spending.” The GOP and Democratic proposals to cut the deficit only address “all other discretionary spending,” which is 15% of the total budget

7. Key Republican lawmakers indicated that they would block any renewal of the Build America Bonds (BABs) program. The BABs program offered federally-subsidized funding for state and local governments. 

8. Texas Congressman Ron Paul won the straw poll at the Conservative Political Action Committee conference in Washington, which ended Saturday night. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney placed second.

9. Governor Mitch Daniels (R-IN) delivered the best-received speech at CPAC Friday night. Gov. Daniels has still not decided whether to seek the 2012 GOP presidential nomination.

10. The Germans are buying the NYSE for its derivatives platforms. The stock market itself is increasingly irrelevant. Felix Salmon on the rise and fall of the Big Board

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