State of the Union
President Obama's State of the Union speech will emphasize "winning the future" for America by strengthening the nation's ability to compete in a changing world, according to a Democratic source. Excerpts are expected to be released by the White House a few hours before the address.
Two CNN contributors, Roland Martin and Erick Erickson, offer their opinions on what the president should say:
Martin: "What is needed Tuesday in the State of the Union address isn't lofty ideals but clearly established priorities to get this nation moving again."
Erickson: "I will personally be interested to hear Obama's suggestions for entitlement reform and whether he will lead substantively with suggestions or say he wants reform while offering little on exactly what changes he wants. ... Obama will also need to address Afghanistan."
Watch for who sits with whom in Obama's audience. As members of Congress pair off to show bipartisan unity in the wake of the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, even Rep. Joe ("You lie!") Wilson plans to sit with a couple of Democratic colleagues during the speech.
The official Republican response to Obama's address will be delivered by House Budget Committee chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin). To accentuate the GOP's emphasis on fiscal responsibility, Ryan will speak from the Budget Committee room in the Cannon House Office Building. The GOP response will start exactly five minutes after the president leaves the House chamber.
A second response, from the conservative Tea Party wing, will come from Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minnesota), five minutes after Ryan finishes. Bachmann is the founder of the first Tea Party Caucus in Congress and has been a supporter of the Tea Party since its inception.
Guantanamo detainee sentencing
Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani could face life behind bars following a landmark case that made him the first Guantanamo detainee tried in U.S. civilian court. The former bodyguard and cook for Osama bin Laden faces sentencing Tuesday after he was convicted on one charge in connection with the 1998 U.S. embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania. The 36-year-old Tanzanian was convicted by a federal jury in November on a single conspiracy charge to destroy buildings and U.S. property in a pair of attacks that killed 224 people, including 12 Americans. He faces a minimum of 20 years in prison but could be handed a life sentence, according to a statement from the U.S. attorney's office for the Southern District of New York.
Underwear bomber hearing
A judge in Michigan may set a trial date Tuesday during a pretrial hearing for Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the man who allegedly tried to bring down a plane on Christmas Day 2009 with explosives hidden in his underwear. Abdulmutallab is acting in his own defense; the judge wants to move things along as expeditiously as possible. In September, Abdulmutallab fired his court-appointed lawyers and raised the possibility of pleading guilty to some charges. He was indicted in 2010 on six counts, including trying to blow up the plane and attempted murder.
Hearing for Jackson's doctor
Dr. Conrad Murray has been ordered to stand trial on an involuntary manslaughter charge stemming from the death of his patient, singer Michael Jackson. During a hearing Tuesday, Murray is expected to enter a not guilty plea and be advised of his right to a trial within 60 days.
Interest rate meeting
Federal Reserve policy makers begin a two-day meeting on interest rates with a decision expected Wednesday. No change is interest rates is expected, but Fed watchers are anxious to see what the Fed may say about how much longer it will continue its stimulus program.
Best Supporting Actress winner Mo'nique joins Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences President Tom Sherak to announce the nominations for the Oscars, which will be handed out February 27.
Almost as big a deal as the awards themselves are the fashions seen on the red carpet: