· The Senate passes President Barack Obama's $838 billion economic recovery plan. Only three Republicans supported the plan on a 61-37 vote and they're "already signaling they'll play hardball to preserve more than $108 billion in spending cuts made last week in deal making. Obama wants to restore cuts in funds for school construction jobs and help for cash-starved states."
· Wall Street not impressed with the spending plan. Dow Jones falls 382 points.
· Education Secretary Arne Duncan: $39 billion in aid to states proposed in stimulus bill is "not nearly as much as we need." Duncan cites a new University of Washington study that estimates "almost 600,000 education jobs are at risk of state budget cuts."
· Michelle Obama covers March Vogue. She becomes only the second First Lady to grace the cover and will wear a "magenta silk dress by inaugural gown designer Jason Wu." Obama is captured by celebrity photographer Annie Leibovitz—who lensed the image at right for Paris Match—and "also shot inside photographs for the article by André Leon Talley, who discloses that he is a 'passionate supporter' and 'volunteered in the campaign trenches.' "
· Openly gay legislator in Illinois files legislation to allow same-sex marriage. "Two years ago, a civil union bill introduced by Rep. Greg Harris (D-Chicago) died when the session ended and conservative groups already have made it known they will fight the marriage bill. They [are] pushing for a state constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage they hope will make it to the ballot in 2010." Harris admits "it will be tough" to get a vote in the House.
· Telstra, Australia’s largest phone company, signs openly gay Olympic gold medal diver Matthew Mitcham to a one-year deal. Oustports reports, "This is Mitcham’s first endorsement contract since the Olympics. While no dollar figure was disclosed, Mitcham said it would be a 'significant' help as he trains for competitions, with his goal being a repeat gold medal-winning performance in the 2012 Games in London." Mitcham covers the current issue of The Advocate.
· After Elton has a list of Mitcham's fantasy endorsements a considers it their "gay-given duty to help him keep his shirt off for as long as possible."
· Utah's governor supports civil unions? "Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. backs a legislative effort that would provide some rights to gay and transgender Utahns. Even more, the Republican governor favors civil unions," reports the Salt Lake Tribune, noting the position runs counter to his political party "and against the majority of Utahans—70 percent of whom oppose civil unions, according to a recent Lake Tribune poll"