Editor's note: Gloria Borger is a senior political analyst for CNN, appearing regularly on CNN's "The Situation Room," "AC360°," "John King, USA" and "State of the Union."
(CNN) - So I clearly remember one morning last summer when the issue of the Bush-era tax cuts came up during a breakfast with a top Democrat. I naturally asked what the party's game plan might be on extending those tax cuts. Would they make the issue of tax cuts for the middle class a centerpiece of the fall campaign? Or would they punt until after the election?
The Democrat's answer: We're not sure. (Shocking, I know.)
Washington (CNN) - Ken Spain, a highly regarded political strategist being eyed by some potential Republican presidential candidates, is joining a financial services organization after helping the GOP retake control of the House last month.
Spain, who oversaw communications for the National Republican Congressional Committee, has signed on with the Private Equity Growth Capital Council to oversee its public relations arm. Republicans picked up 63 House seats in the November election, enough to comfortably take control of the chamber.
CNN - The U.S. Senate found Federal Judge G. Thomas Porteous Jr. of Louisiana guilty Wednesday of the first of several articles of impeachment; the House impeached Porteous on corruption charges.
Porteous, from the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, was accused of corruption and accepting kickbacks, as well as lying to the Senate and FBI about his past, regarding his nomination to the federal bench.
(CNN) - Republican Randy Altschuler conceded his bid Wednesday to unseat Democratic Rep. Tim Bishop in New York's 1st congressional district, settling the nation's last unresolved House contest from the November midterm elections. Bishop's victory keeps the GOP net gain in the House at 63 seats.
That leaves the final breakdown for the 112th Congress at 242 Republicans and 193 Democrats. The 63-seat gain for the GOP is the largest for any party since 1948.
(CNN) - Mark Sanford, the outgoing South Carolina governor and onetime rising star within the Republican Party, says his 2009 affair with an Argentinean woman that put an end to his promising political career actually made him a more effective governor.
In an hour-long interview with South Carolina station WIS, Sanford, who made a national name for himself a year and a half ago when he mysteriously disappeared, said the incident ultimately was successful in removing the political target from his back as opponents were no longer interested in steamrolling what appeared to be a Republican on the rise.
Washington (CNN) - An upcoming law school graduate with a 3.8 average, Cesar Vargas wants to serve in the U.S. military.
However, when he graduates, Vargas won't even be able, under the law, to hold a job, much less enlist. Vargas is in the country illegally after being brought to New York as a child from Mexico.
Washington (CNN) - When will the nation's last, nasty Senate battle end? Based on one side's determination, there may actually be no end in sight.
Over one month after Election Day, the bitter back-and-forth between Republicans Lisa Murkowski, the incumbent senator, and opponent Joe Miller enters a new arena on Wednesday: a state court.
The CNN Washington Bureau’s morning speed read of the top stories making news from around the country and the world. Click on the headlines for more.
For the latest political news: www.CNNPolitics.com
CNN: Obama slams GOP, calls tax deal politically realistic
President Barack Obama vigorously defended his agreement with Republicans to extend all of the Bush-era tax cuts on Tuesday, arguing that it was a price that had to be paid to spare the middle class from crippling tax hikes. The president promised disheartened Democrats that the fight over the cuts for the highest-income Americans would continue over the next two years. He also urged them to take a long-term view of the bitter policy fights now taking place in Washington. My "number one priority is to do what's right for the American people," he said at a hastily scheduled news conference at the White House. "Because of this agreement, middle class Americans won't see their taxes go up on January 1."
CNN: House Democrats vent on tax plan, focus criticism on estate tax
House Democrats vented their frustrations with President Barack Obama's tax proposal at a closed-door meeting Tuesday night, with rank-and-file members slamming the White House for leaving House Democrats out of final negotiations, and agreeing too quickly to a GOP proposal on the estate tax. According to several Democratic members and aides, much of the discussion centered on the addition of the estate tax exemption to the package extending all the Bush-era tax cuts for two years.
Washington (CNN) - House Democrats vented their frustrations with President Barack Obama's tax proposal at a closed-door meeting Tuesday night, with rank-and-file members slamming the White House for leaving House Democrats out of final negotiations, and agreeing too quickly to a GOP proposal on the estate tax.
According to several Democratic members and aides, much of the discussion centered on the addition of the estate tax exemption to the package extending all the Bush-era tax cuts for two years.
Democrats are fuming that the administration agreed to exempt inheritances up to $5 million and to set the tax rate at 35%. The estate tax is scheduled to be reinstated at a higher rate of 55% next year, with the exemption up to $1 million. A bill passed the House a year ago that set the threshold for the exemption at $3.5 million and the tax rate at 45%.