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Al Franken: Bulletproof?

Meet the new President Obama

Who is Jack Lew?

Why things might not be as bad as they look for Republicans — in 3 charts

Stanley McChrystal on the intersection of politics and the military (video)

Trillion dollar coin: The new nuclear option

Why Joe Biden needs the NRA


* Labor Secretary Hilda Solis resigned on Wednesday, opening up another spot in President Obama's cabinet as Obama has been working to fill other vacancies. The departure of Solis, who is Hispanic, adds to the issue of racial and gender diversity in Obama’s cabinet, a matter that has received increased scrutiny this week. Meanwhile, White House aides said that Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki and Attorney General Eric Holder will remain in their current positions.

* Vice President Biden vowed that Obama will use executive action where he can to help stop gun violence as part of  the White House’s response to the recent mass shooting at a Newtown, Conn., school.

* Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) responded to Biden's remarks by releasing a statement via Facebook, saying: "Let us hope that this is just another one of the Vice President's infamous gaffes and not another end-run of Congress and the Constitutional balance of powers through unilateral action by the President. I stand ready to defend the Second Amendment and efforts to undermine our God-given rights."

* Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel said Wednesday that he stands behinds his comments about an extramarital relationship with an attorney, despite suggestions from the woman that he wasn’t completely truthful. McDaniel is the only declared Democratic gubernatorial candidate in Arkansas.


* Former secretary of state Colin Powell will defend former Nebraska senator Chuck Hagel's credentials for secretary of state on NBC News's "Meet The Press" This Sunday.

* Former White House chief of staff Bill Daley commissioned a poll to test his prospects in the 2014 Illinois governor's race. Daley's father and brother served as mayor of Chicago. If Daley runs, it would set up a primary against current Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn, who polls show is very unpopular.

* Democratic National Committeewoman Erin Bilbray is seriously considering challenging Rep. Joe Heck (R-Nev.). Bilbray said she plans to meet with Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Steve Israel (N.Y.) next week to discuss the possibility. Heck won reelection by 7 points in 2012.

* White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said RGIII's knee injury was "painful to watch."

* GOP strategist Ken McKay will become political director of the Republican Governors Association as its political director. McKay is a former Republican National Committee chief of staff.


Dubstep seizing the animal kingdom.

With Aaron Blake