Exit Petraeus — and His Famous Military Doctrine – (via TIME) “The disgrace of David Petraeus has ended more than a great military career. It is also the symbolic end of a major chapter in American security strategy. The fall of the former Iraq and Afghanistan commander adds a tawdry exclamation point to the decline of counterinsurgency, the military theory for which Petraeus offered a heroic public face. The final chapter of the Afghanistan war has yet to be written, but the U.S. seems to have run out of patience — both with that war and with the expensive and grinding work of counterinsurgency. Even before he was sworn in as CIA director in September 2011, Petraeus was bending the rules of his own doctrine in Afghanistan. He reversed McChrystal’s counterinsurgency-inspired limits on air strikes, which can cause heavy civilian casualties, and bombed the hell out of the Taliban. He also oversaw a steep increase in Special Forces raids and armed drone strikes. This is the new American strategy. Hearts and minds have been replaced by drones and SEALs. Working a tribal council is a less valuable skill than piloting a Predator. By the end of his career — in a country exhausted by war and slashing its budget — Petraeus had embraced that shift.”
More Details on the Woman Who Led to Petraeus’ Fall – (via BBC) “The woman who was the target of harassing emails from the lover of former CIA director David Petraeus has been named as Jill Kelley. The FBI probe began after the Tampa resident reported receiving vicious emails accusing her of inappropriate behaviour with Gen Petraeus. The investigation revealed the emails had come from Gen Petraeus' biographer Paula Broadwell. Further inquiry revealed Mrs Broadwell had had an affair with Gen Petraeus. Politicians now want to know why they were not told about the affair sooner, with the focus switching to whether there was any cover-up of the FBI investigation and the Petraeus-Broadwell affair. There is no legal requirement for the FBI to tell members of Congress or the White House about ongoing investigations. … The bureau interviewed Mrs Broadwell, 40, in late October, and she acknowledged the affair. FBI agents then interviewed Gen Petraeus the following week.”
5 Fiscal Cliff Scenarios – (via NJ.com) Here are 5 ways Congress might navigate the labyrinth of the fiscal cliff: 1) Go over the cliff – Top Democrats see a strategic advantage in letting the rates lapse. The logic is that, once taxes rise Jan. 1, lawmakers would then be able to say they voted to cut taxes. This could make it easier to attract Republicans who may otherwise feel locked into Grover Norquist's no-tax-hike pledge. 2) A big deal – This is what Boehner wants: a framework that would force Congress to spend 2013 reforming the Tax Code and stabilizing entitlement programs. A grand bargain is also Obama's first choice. It would allow him to sweep away these major issues at the start of his second term, get the economy moving again and focus on other issues. 3) Tax-free strategy – Democrats could agree to the Republican demands to lift the sequester for a year if it is paid for in a balanced way. In return, Democrats would seek some kind of tax break along the lines of the payroll tax cut, which expires Dec. 31. The package could also deal with other unfinished business, like unemployment benefits, the automatic rate decrease for Medicare providers and the Alternative Minimum Tax. 4) Buy more time – This is the classic Washington solution: When a permanent fix proves too difficult, patch it up for a few months. 5) Buy more time -- but with a down payment – Congress buys itself a few more months or a year but couples it with a small package of spending cuts and revenue increases to signal to Wall Street that it isn't simply avoiding tough choices.
Boehner’s Message to the GOP – (via NY Times) “On a conference call with House Republicans a day after the party’s electoral battering last week, Speaker John A. Boehner dished out some bitter medicine, and for the first time in the 112th Congress, most members took their dose. Their party lost, badly, Mr. Boehner said, and while Republicans would still control the House and would continue to staunchly oppose tax rate increases as Congress grapples with the impending fiscal battle, they had to avoid the nasty showdowns that marked so much of the last two years. Members on the call, subdued and dark, murmured words of support — even a few who had been a thorn in the speaker’s side for much of this Congress. It was a striking contrast to a similar call last year, when Mr. Boehner tried to persuade members to compromise with Democrats on a deal to extend a temporary cut in payroll taxes, only to have them loudly revolt.”
Final Count From the AP – 173,305 of 174,047 precincts (99%): Obama: 62,088,847 (51%); 26 states plus D.C., 332 electoral votes. Romney: 58,783,137 (48%); 24 states, 206 EVs.
The Long Line Outside Romney’s Door – (via ABC News) “On Friday morning, Mitt Romney and his wife Ann drove themselves to campaign headquarters in Boston. Gone were the secret service detail and the motorcade that had trailed them in the final months of the campaign. Instead of the long lines of supporters waiting to see them, there was now a line of dozens of staffers outside Romney's office door; some waiting to shake his hand, others looking for a quiet moment with the Governor after a loss that stunned a confident campaign Tuesday night. One Romney staffer said the line easily reached a hundred employees Friday as the former presidential candidate ate pizza out of the box in his office. Mrs. Romney wore jeans and a sweater. The Romneys came to headquarters every day after the election after telling staffers they would do anything they could to help them find their next job.
Their pledge to help came just hours after the loss Tuesday night. Romney called a staff meeting at headquarters the next morning. With emotions still raw from the night before, Romney and his wife arrived to deafening applause and chants of "Mitt, Mitt, Mitt." As workers wiped away their tears, one staffer said Romney was clearly moved and that Mrs. Romney cried as they stood before the team. Campaign manager Matt Rhoades told the Governor and his wife, "We would rather lose with you than win with anyone else," sources said.
What Romney Will Do Next – When asked about the President's overture to Mitt Romney during his victory speech on election night, a source close to Romney was unsure if Romney would accept the President's invitation adding Romney is still 'tender,' and bruised by the Obama campaign's portrayal of him, particularly his tenure at Bain Capital. Even many of those closest to Romney don't know what he'll do next. The Romneys are expected to travel to their San Diego home to spend time with family. Many expect Romney's focus to include board work and the Mormon Church. On Saturday, Romney sent a note thanking campaign supporters, "This was more than just a campaign, this was a national movement," he wrote. Romney did not specifically reference his loss to President Obama. "We still believe that better days are ahead," Romney wrote.
Obama Will Not Push Gay Marriage in 2nd Term – President Obama told MTV viewers Friday that he will not be pushing gay marriage in his second term. Obama said, “it would be up to future generations of Americans to implement meaningful reform. In May, Obama came out in support of gay marriage, but he also rejected the idea of federal legislation mandating gay marriage and said that it should be decided at the state level. "For us to try to legislate federally into this area is probably the wrong way to go," he said.
Top PolicyMic Stories – What the Hell is This “Fiscal Cliff” Everyone Keeps Talking About?(Mark Kogan) – The election may be over, but the political fight in Washington is just getting started. Here’s a quick primer on how we got to the "fiscal cliff"and how we’re dealing with it.
Petraeus’ Resignation is Not a Benghazi Cover Up, But it Could Be Something Worse (Tom McKay) – Republican Congressman Peter King thinks General Petraeus's surprise resignation is a cover-up of the Benghazi attacks. He's wrong, but the truth could be even worse.
Is Obama the First Feminist President? (Lily Bolourian) – Those who called Obama the first gay president are wrong. He is, instead, the first feminist one.
Papa Johns, Applebees, and the Companies Where Obama Reelection Will Get You Fired(David Allen) – The reasons range from Obamacare to Obama's hostility to coal.
Obama Asia Trip: Obama Could Start a Cold War With China, Here is How (Murray Hunter) – A week after winning a second term, Obama visits Thailand, Burma, and Cambodia, using "warnings," "one-up-manship," and "hearts and minds" tactics. The gloves are off in South East Asia.
What We’re Reading – Who would have won if… (The Society Pages); How to zap photos from Facebook’s new couples pages (Today); Does Facebook hate all women, or just feminists? (Elephant Journal); Why are we so rude online? (WSJ); Weekly Standard’s Bill Kristol admits raising millionaires taxes won’t kill the country (Think Progress).
Dessert – Did you go see Skyfall over the weekend? The new 007 movie pulled in $90 million at the domestic box office, making it the biggest Bond film opening in the 50-year-old franchise’s history.