1. Benghazi is a serious problem for the Obama administration. Four Americans, including the brave ambassador, were killed--and Obama did nothing, except lie to the public afterwards. Benghazi is every bit the scandal many of us thought it was at the time, as Bill Kristol recently noted, and Congress has real leverage to investigate what happened and hold the administration accountable. The confirmation of John Brennan as CIA director is one pressure point; Congress can also set up its own investigative apparatus to probe for the truth. The Obama administration has no defense on this issue, save for the feeble charge that Republicans are hell-bent on politicizing Benghazi--after Obama himself politicized it by falsely blaming an anti-Islamic video.
2. There will be no new taxes and no new hikes in tax rates. Obama and the Democrats are insisting on new tax hikes and new revenues from closing tax loopholes. There's a slim chance they will get the latter, but zero chance they will get the former. Speaker of the House John Boehner would immediately lose his job for entertaining tax hikes after leading a (partial) retreat on tax hikes in the fiscal cliff talks in late 2012. The GOP majority itself would likely not survive any vote for higher tax rates, or for higher revenues without serious spending cuts. Republicans' hands are tied--which, ironically, gives the party unusual leverage in budget talks.