With the 'fiscal cliff' unresolved and other big issues still on the table, President Obama didn't need a confirmation battle. Realistically, Susan Rice had little choice but to take her name out of the mix.
Some Democrats had sought an income threshold well above $250,000. But since the election campaign and in 'fiscal cliff' talks, that's the number President Obama has settled on. Here's what's behind it.
As part of any deal on the 'fiscal cliff,' Congress will likely take up comprehensive tax reform. That's a worthy goal, but it will involve more political and economic pain than most would like to admit. Every line in the tax code has its own constituency and rationale.
Yes, another debt-ceiling debate is looming, and the Senate's attempt to deal with the issue Thursday involved complex legislative machinations that appeared to backfire on Mitch McConnell.