Infographic: The Fiscal Cliff - http://abcn.ws/UrwRNQ
Friday Shocker - Petraeus Resigns, Citing Affair - A seriously unexpected development for one of the most respected generals and public servants of his generation and a man renowned for his discipline. Full story - http://abcn.ws/S67HOC
Martha Raddatz will have more on World News
The following message was released to the CIA workforce this afternoon:
Yesterday afternoon, I went to the White House and asked the President to be allowed, for personal reasons, to resign from my position as D/CIA. After being married for over 37 years, I showed extremely poor judgment by engaging in an extramarital affair. Such behavior is unacceptable, both as a husband and as the leader of an organization such as ours. This afternoon, the President graciously accepted my resignation.
As I depart Langley, I want you to know that it has been the greatest of privileges to have served with you, the officers of our Nation's Silent Service, a work force that is truly exceptional in every regard. Indeed, you did extraordinary work on a host of critical missions during my time as director, and I am deeply grateful to you for that.
Teddy Roosevelt once observed that life's greatest gift is the opportunity to work hard at work worth doing. I will always treasure my opportunity to have done that with you and I will always regret the circumstances that brought that work with you to an end.
Thank you for your extraordinary service to our country, and best wishes for continued success in the important endeavors that lie ahead for our country and our Agency.
With admiration and appreciation, David H. Petraeus
On This Week - Intel Committee Member Saxby Chambliss and Defense Approps Committee Member Patty Murray - http://abcn.ws/SROh3h
Back to the Cliff - The threat in this season's Washington drama is hurtling off a fiscal cliff instead of bursting through a debt ceiling. But the players are the same. The deficit negotiations of John Boehner and Barack Obama could have been just a clever one-act play. But the president's reelection changes for a second time the dynamic between the two men. "I'm not wedded to every detail of my plan. I'm open to compromise, I'm open to new ideas, I'm committed to solving our fiscal challenges, but I refuse to accept any approach that isn't balanced," the president said in his first statement since winning re-election. He also made it clear that being balanced means having the wealthiest pay more. "As I've said before, we can't just cut our way to prosperity," Obama said. "If we're serious about reducing the deficit we have to combine spending cuts with revenue. That means asking the wealthy to pay a little more in taxes." http://abcn.ws/VXVAVn
Obama to Host Party Leaders in Bid for Deficit Deal- Flashing a spirit of bipartisanship in his first post-election public comments, President Obama said today that he plans to meet next week at the White House with the leaders of both parties to "start to build consensus" for a deal to avoid the catastrophic "fiscal cliff." http://abcn.ws/SVGylP (Devin Dwyer)
What About Boehner? John Parkinson writes "Boehner's negotiations between the White House on one side and House Republicans on the other are a high-wire act that's difficult to execute and it's not Boehner's first attempt. The last time the speaker engaged the president in one-on-one negotiations, some members of his party revolted at the notion that Boehner was open to new revenues. In one of his last news conferences before the election, the speaker said his failure to strike a Grand Bargain negotiations with the president was "the biggest disappointment of my speakership." Boehner is certainly looking to redeem himself this time around."
President Obama to Call for Deal on Tax Cuts, Argue that Impact on Economy for Tax Increases on Wealthy Will Be Minimal-President Obama called upon Congress to work with him on preserving the lower tax rates first pushed by President Bush for those Americans who earn under $200,000 a year, but he will state his belief that voters were clear in re-electing him that they support a "balanced approach" to deficit reduction - meaning that the lower tax rates for higher wage earners should expire. http://abcn.ws/QtNyqF (Jake Tapper)
McCain Tweets Support for Push on Immigration Reform - http://abcn.ws/UzT0UD
Why Demographics Didn't (And Won't Ever) Help House Democrats - Amy Walter reports: Despite the fact that Democrats narrowly won more of the popular vote than Republicans, Democrats fell at least 15 seats short of a majority in the House of Representatives.
How does that happen?
From the Cook Report's David Wasserman:
"In the Obama era, the nonwhite voter boom is allowing Democrats to win statewide races, in some cases fairly easily. But these nonwhite voters are too clustered in too few Congressional districts to allow Democrats to win the House in the absence of a massive wave. There's little doubt that generic ballot polls were accurate and that Democrats narrowly won a majority of all votes cast for House, but a symbiosis of Democratic clustering and GOP redistricting still produced a clear Republican majority."
Leftovers from Election Night -
One of Three Marijuana Referenda Failed - Why? - Chris Good writes - Perhaps it's also that Oregon's law was kind of wacky: It would have turned the state, effectively, into a pot dealer. In Oregon, had Measure 80 passed, the state would have licensed sellers and processors - but instead of regulating its sale, the state would have bought the weed, packaged it, stamped it with a state seal and a potency grade, and sold it to customers at a profit. This all would have been done by something like ABC stores in liquor-controlled states: An Oregon Cannabis Commission (OCC) would have run all ends of the process, finally selling it at OCC stores. Profits would have gone to purchases, testing, grading, shipping, promotion of Oregon hemp and hemp-made biodiesel, and back to the state's general fund. Like an actual drug dealer, the state could have stopped selling it to any legal, 21-and-over buyers who became pot-addled derelicts (failing to live up to "statutory or common-law dut[ies]").
Texas State Senator Wins Election After Death-Democrat Mario Gallegos won re-election to his Texas state Senate seat on Tuesday. Gallegos, who had served since 1994, overwhelmingly beat his challenger, Republican newcomer, R.W. Bray. But the victory is, to say the least, bittersweet. http://abcn.ws/Q2s8B0 (Jilian Fama)
Tulsi Gabbard, Mazie Hirono Break Congressional Barriers for Non-Christians-Tuesday's election brought some religious firsts for Congress, with a victory for Tulsi Gabbard, who will be the first Hindu congresswoman, and Mazie Hirono, the first Buddhist senator. Both are Democrats from Hawaii. http://abcn.ws/VNscG0 (Sarah Parnass)
Candidate's Wife Sleeps In, Misses Tie-Breaking Vote-Katie MacDonald was joking the night before Tuesday's election when she told her husband - a candidate for city council in the small town of Walton, Kentucky - that if he didn't wake her up to vote the next day, the race would end up as a tie. http://abcn.ws/WLJVPE (Kyle Blaine)
Real Men Cry: Crying Politicians-Real men cry and so do politicians. Though it's rare to catch a politician shedding a tear on the job, sometimes their emotions just seem to get the best of them. http://abcn.ws/RpwBKR (Jilian Fama)
Washington Approves Same-Sex Marriage, Marking Shift in Nation's Views-On Thursday, opponents of the same-sex marriage referendum on the ballot in Washington state conceded the race, marking a full slate of victories for gay rights on Election Night. Same-sex marriage was legalized by popular vote for the first time in our nation's history in not one, but all three states where it was on the ballot: Maine, Maryland and Washington. In Minnesota, a proposed ban on same-sex marriage that would have defined marriage as between one man and one woman in the state's constitution was defeated. http://abcn.ws/WLM0v3 (Elizabeth Hartfield)
'Bronco Bamma' Girl Happy With Election Results-Abigael Evans, the crying four-year-old also known as 'Bronco Bamma' girl, has wiped away her tears now that the election is over. It seems that she is happy with the results, or perhaps just happy that the whole thing is over. http://abcn.ws/Txwf2o (Jilian Fama)
Supreme Court Will Hear VRA Case - Ariane de Vogue - Only three days after the contentious 2012 election, the Supreme Court announced today that it would take up a major voting rights case; it will be heard in the next few months and decided by June. At issue is Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, which was passed in 1965. It's a central provision of the law that requires states with a history of voter discrimination, mostly in the South, to clear any changes to their election laws with federal officials in Washington. The Supreme Court's decision today comes just after a long and bitter election during which Democrats accused Republicans of voter supression tactics and Republicans feared voter fraud. "After the biggest push to restrict voting in decades, the battle over voting rights is now moving to the Supreme Court with a major case, which could determine the future of a critical provision of the federal voting law that guarantees equal voting rights," said Wendy Weiser, director of the democracy program at the Brennan Center for Justice. a liberal-leaning think tank/advocacy group at New York University. - http://abcn.ws/TxAaMN