(CNN) – Edith "Edie" Windsor lost her spouse in 2009, her grief compounded by an estate tax bill much larger than other married couples would have to pay.
Because her decades-long partner was also a woman, the federal government in legal terms did not recognize the same-sex marriage, even though their home state of New York did.
(CNN) - This year's session, with fiscal cliff negotiations and lively nomination controversies, is anything but lame. But it's still a lame-duck Congress. Just how did a meeting of one Congress that occurs after a new one is elected but not yet sworn-in get that name?
We're slow roasting the answers to those questions and serving them up by the numbers.
CNN's GUT CHECK | for November 29, 2012 | 5 p.m.
– n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle
DEVELOPING: HOUSE SPEAKER JOHN BOEHNER: 'NO SUBSTANTIVE PROGRESS' IN FISCAL CLIFF TALKS… After meeting Thursday with President Barack Obama's point man on fiscal cliff talks, House Speaker John Boehner said he was disappointed that "no substantive progress" has occurred due to what he called the failure of the White House to propose serious spending cuts. – Tom Cohen
SPEAKER BOEHNER AT A HIS WEEKLY CAPITOL HILL NEWS CONFERENCE: “The president has warned us about the dangers of going over the fiscal cliff but his actions have not matched his public statements. … Based on where we stand today, I would say two things. First, despite the claims that the president supports a balanced approach, Democrats have yet to get serious about real spending cuts. And secondly, no substantive progress has been made in the talks between the White House and the House over the last two weeks.”
WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY JAY CARNEY AT A BRIEFING: “In the summer of 2011, there was the possibility of reaching what was then called a grand bargain and the obstacle that prevented that was, in the end, the refusal of Republicans to go along with the fundamental principle that a deficit reduction plan needed to be balanced and it needed to include real, tangible revenues that the wealthy ought to pay a little bit more. Since that time, and I think in an accelerated sense in the last several weeks, we have seen progress. We have seen that obstacle partly overcome because Republicans have acknowledged that revenue must be part of a balanced approach to deficit reduction and that that revenue must come from those who can afford it most. We're not there yet.”
(CNN) - The Secret Service said an unidentified man was arrested Thursday at the White House after running at the vehicle carrying former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney to a lunch there.
The man reached into Romney's open vehicle window as the SUV stopped at a White House gate. He was yelling the candidate's name when he was hauled away, apparently by a security officer.
Washington (CNN) - Mitt Romney's lunch at the White House Thursday was not how the former GOP nominee would have imagined it a month ago, but it did provide a postscript to this year's punishing presidential battle.
The former candidate, whose motorcade during the campaign could shut down streets and stretch entire city blocks, arrived at a side entrance of the executive mansion in a single black Lincoln SUV. He sat in the front passenger seat.
Washington (CNN) - Staff and cabinet reshuffles are one of the many unknowns in Washington as impending departures leave question marks about who will fill the roles of treasury secretary, chief of staff, secretary of state and secretary of defense.
Jack Lew, President Barack Obama's current chief of staff, is the frontrunner for the top position at Treasury, according to senior Democratic sources. The budget expert has a 30-plus year record in government. He formerly served under Obama as director of the Office of Management and Budget, deputy secretary of state for management and resources for Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and as a special assistant to former President Bill Clinton. He was a longtime aide to former Democratic House Speaker Tip O'Neill.
(CNN) - The 2012 elections are barely in the rearview mirror, but two candidates have already jumped into 2014 Senate races.
Former South Dakota Gov. Mike Rounds announced on Thursday his bid for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Democratic Sen. Tim Johnson.
(CNN) - Former GOP presidential running mates Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan met Thursday morning in a Washington hotel, a Republican official told CNN.
The meeting ended around 11 a.m. ET, the official said. Following the meeting, Ryan issued a statement saying he was "grateful to Governor Romney for the honor of joining his ticket this fall, and I cherish our friendship."
Washington (CNN) - After two years of endless debate and a national election, Democrats and Republicans on Thursday found themselves right where they started - blaming each other for stagnant negotiations on taxes and government spending.
House Speaker John Boehner declared himself disappointed that "no substantive progress" has occurred in two weeks of talks, saying Republicans were waiting for the White House to propose significant spending cuts.