It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.
With the election settled, Washington, Wall Street and much of the rest world, it seems, are focused on whether Congress and a reelected president can avoid the fiscal cliff. To tell us what's at stake, we turn now to David Wessel. He's the economics editor of The Wall Street Journal and author of "Red Ink," a new primer on the federal budget and the deficit.
Officials in Washington are still trying to make sense of the sudden resignation last week of CIA Director David Petraeus. More details are emerging about the extramarital affair that brought Petraeus down. It came to light following an FBI investigation, which was not focused originally on the CIA director but soon led to him.
A second term means some new Cabinet appointments for President Obama, including at the Treasury. After four pretty grueling years, Secretary Timothy Geithner has made it clear he will be leaving Washington.
White House press secretary Jay Carney said last week that Geithner would be staying on through the inauguration. He's also expected to be a "key participant" in "fiscal cliff" negotiations.
A "return on investment" is a concept better known to Wall Street than to Washington. But after President Obama and the Democrats won most of the close elections last week there are questions about the seven- and eight-figure "investments" made by dozens of conservative donors.
During the election season, it was pretty common to hear about donors making "investments" in superPACs and other outside groups, rather than a "political contribution," perhaps because the phrase has a sort of taint to it.
Weekends on All Things Considered host Guy Raz talks to Micah Zenko of the Council on Foreign Relations about why the United States will never have another peacetime president. Zenko's article, "A Period of Persistent Conflict," appeared this week in Foreign Policy.
Making a deal to avert the fiscal cliff is going to take more than mere consensus on spending and taxes. It'll take political skill on the part of the president; the ability to leverage the power of his office to find new strategies and pressure points to break the gridlock. In short, he'll need to do what appears to be impossible.
ROBERT CARO: Part of the nature of political genius is that you can come along and do something where no one else can do it.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin. A newly re-elected President Barack Obama won't officially begin his second term until he is sworn in again on January 20th. But some of the priorities of his next four years in office are already taking shape, and the challenges are becoming more apparent. NPR's national political correspondent Mara Liasson joins us now to talk more about all this. Hey, Mara.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin.
Here's a term you're going to get really tired of in the next several weeks - if you haven't already: The fiscal cliff. It's a combination of automatic spending cuts and tax increases set to hit at the start of the year. That is, if Congress and the president fail to find a way to avoid it.
NPR's Tamara Keith has this primer.
TAMARA KEITH, BYLINE: Both House Speaker John Boehner and the president made it clear, they don't want to go off the cliff.
So, we all know losing is part of sports, and it's part of politics too. We asked Mike Danforth and Ian Chillag, our friends from the NPR podcast How to Do Everything to explore some options for Mitt Romney on this recent campaign loss.
MIKE DANFORTH, BYLINE: If you want advice on how to deal with a loss, you got to someone with experience.
IAN CHILLAG, BYLINE: Coach Marv Levy, want to remind us of your Buffalo Bills?