(CNN) - President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama shared a Valentine's Day dinner at an upscale Washington restaurant Thursday evening.
The first couple dined at Minibar, a restaurant in the district's Penn Quarter neighborhood that sits only 24 guests per night and where the window for reservations opens at least a month in advance.
(CNN) - President Barack Obama has weighed in with his two cents on the 1-cent coin.
But penny pinchers looking for a plan to make the penny less expensive may be disappointed.
Washington (CNN) - Tracy Schmaler, the chief spokeswsoman for Attorney General Eric Holder and the Justice Department for the past four years, is leaving to take a job working for former White House senior adviser David Axelrod.
In a statement provided to CNN, Schmaler said she will leave Justice in early March.
(CNN) - Continuing his charge against the Obama administration on gun control proposals, Wayne LaPierre of the National Rifle Association charged Thursday that President Barack Obama's proposals in the State of the Union address were "not about keeping kids safe at school" but rather part of a broad campaign to "dismantle the Second Amendment."
"When nothing else matters to every parent in America, President Obama had nothing to say about school security and nothing he proposed has anything to do with protecting one child in any school in this country," LaPierre said in remarks billed as a response to Tuesday's speech.
CNN's GUT CHECK | for February 14, 2013 | 5 p.m.
– n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle
DEVELOPING: VOTE TO BREAK HAGEL FILIBUSTER FAILS, AS EXPECTED… The Senate failed to garner enough votes Thursday to stop a filibuster of Defense Secretary nominee Chuck Hagel. Fifty-eight senators voted to move forward with the nomination, while 40 voted to hold it up. The chamber largely voted along party lines, with the exception of four Republicans – Thad Cochran of Mississippi, Susan Collin of Maine, Lisa Murkoswki of Alaska and Mike Johanns of Nebraska – who voted with Democrats. One Republican, Sen. Orrin Hatch, announced present. Democrats needed 60 votes to end a filibuster, but the move failed due to GOP opposition surrounding questions about Hagel's finances, as well as remaining tension between some Republican senators and the White House over the terror attack in Benghazi, Libya.
REID: “WE’RE NOT GOING TO GIVE UP”: Immediately following the vote, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on the Senate floor: “He saved his brother's life in combat in Vietnam. They are filibustering him. I'm going to call Chuck Hagel when I finish here and say I'm sorry this is happening. I'm sorry for the President. I'm sorry for the country. I'm sorry for you, but we're not going to give up on you.”
(CNN) - It's far from unusual to hear that a senator is seeking to score political points.
But summing up points in a board game? That's a much less frequent happening on Capitol Hill.
New York (CNN) – Mayor Michael Bloomberg, known in New York City for his tough regulations on everything from large sodas to smoking in Central Park, proposed a new target during his final State of the City speech Thursday: plastic foam containers.
"Styrofoam increases the cost of recycling by as much as $20 per ton because it has to be removed," the mayor said. "Something we know is environmentally destructive, that is costing tax payers money, and that is easily replaceable, I think, is something we can do without."
(CNN) - Frank Lautenberg, the New Jersey Democrat who has served five terms in the U.S. Senate since 1982, will not seek re-election next year when his term expires, the senator said in a statement Thursday.
Lautenberg is 89 years old and returned to the Senate in mid-January after missing key votes over a weeks-long absence due to a cold which "turned into the flu, turned into a severe case of bronchitis with fluid in the chest," he said last month.
Washington (CNN) – Senate Democrats proposed a $110 billion measure on Thursday to put off mandatory across-the-board spending cuts set to take effect on March 1.
The package made public by Senate Democratic leaders calls for replacing the so-called sequester cuts with a combination of increased tax revenue from millionaires, ending agriculture subsidies and reducing defense spending after the war in Afghanistan ends.