1. WHITE HOUSE
Obama stakes out battle position with budget proposal that's unlikely to go far
President Obama today tweaked several of his administration's core energy and environmental initiatives in a fiscal 2013 budget plan that has more to do with his 2012 re-election effort than with the actual spending authorities that agencies will see next year. Few policymakers in Washington expect the budget that was released this morning -- which includes new cuts for U.S. EPA and modest increases at the Department of Energy -- to gain any sort of traction in a split Congress during an election year. But what the president's fiscal 2013 request does do is set the debate at a time when the White House is looking to draw sharp contrasts with his critics on Capitol Hill and in the Republican presidential primary.