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Tag Archive: Mitt Romney


HumanEvents

Political competition, not racism, changes voter alignments

By Michael Barone | APRIL 20, 2014 AT 3:20 PM

Have the Republicans become the white man’s party? Are the depth and bitterness of Republicans’ opposition to Barack Obama and his administration the product of racism?

Those are questions you hear in the clash of political argument, and you will hear plenty of answers in the affirmative if you click onto MSNBC or salon.com with any regularity.

“Race … has now became the primal grievance in our politics.”

You can find a more nuanced and thoughtful analysis in Jonathan Chait’s recent New York magazine article “The Color of His Presidency.”

Chait, a liberal, starts off by noting that the post-racial America that Obama seemed to promise in his 2004 national convention speech and his 2008 campaign has not come into being.

On the contrary. “Race, always the deepest and most volatile fault line in American history,” he writes, “has now became the primal grievance in our politics, the source of a narrative of persecution each side uses to make sense of the world.”

Many liberals see racism in every criticism of the Obama presidency, even though, as Chait points out, Bill Clinton met with similar and in some cases more strident opposition.

Conservatives, he argues, “dwell in a paranoia of their own, in which racism is used as a cudgel to delegitimize their core beliefs.” Understandably so, given his description of liberals’ “paranoia of a white racism.”

Chait defends liberals by arguing that the debates on big government inevitably produced by the Obama agenda and “there is no separating this discussion from one’s sympathies or prejudices toward, and identification with, black America.”

But he also admits that “advocating tax cuts is not in any meaningful sense racist.” And he seems to ignore the argument that policies that directed large sums of money disproportionately at blacks–like the welfare programs from the 1970s to the 1990s, which the Obama administration is trying to partially resurrect–harm more than benefit their intended beneficiaries.

This is, after all, what House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan was getting at when he lamented “a culture, in our inner cities in particular, of men not working.” The fact that Obama has made similar arguments didn’t prevent Ryan from being excoriated as racist by some liberals.

 

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NY Mag.com

Is the Rising Democratic Majority Doomed?

By

Oooh, I know! I know! It's "no," right?
Oooh, I know! I know! It’s “no,” right? Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The slow, increasingly Democratic cast of the American electorate would seem to be a cardinal fact of American politics. The electorate is firmly polarized, with few voters actually liable to change their minds. The proportion of nonwhite voters has risen by about two percentage points every four years, a rate that seems likely to persist indefinitely as the population grows steadily more diverse. The youngest voting cohort has decidedly more liberal views, and more Democratic voting habits, than its elders, and partisan loyalty tends to stick throughout a voter’s lifetime. And yet the phenomenon continues to be met with an unduly wide, deep array of skepticism.

When Ruy Teixeira and John Judis wrote The Emerging Democratic Majority a dozen years ago, few of us placed much credence in their then-wild-sounding prediction. As recently as two and a half years ago, it was still being ridiculed.

As political events have increasingly borne out the prediction, it has been met with a series of objections, most of which have either been confounded or made no sense to begin with. Consider a few:

Objection: The growth of the Latino vote might stop (Sean Trende).

Result: Nope, the Latino vote has continued to rise.

Objection: Younger millennial voters entering the electorate during the sluggish Obama recovery would turn against him (Dana Milbank, Michael Barone).

Result: No, it turns out “Younger and older millennials also have similar assessments of the job Barack Obama is doing as president.”

Objection: Young voters are “libertarian,” and politically independent, and thus up for grabs (Ron Fournier, Julie Borowski, Nick Gillespie, and pretty much all the libertarians).

Result: This goes in the “never made any sense” category. Like libertarians, millennial voters do tend to have left-wing views on social policy and culture. Very much unlike libertarians, they also tend to have left-wing views on economics. They self-identify as “liberal,” believe the government has a duty to provide health insurance to all Americans, and support “bigger government” in the abstract at a far higher rate than any other age cohort. It’s true that millennial voters self-identify as “independent” more than Democrat, but they vote heavily Democratic. (Political scientists understand that most self-identified “independents” reliably vote for the same party).

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The most popular new grounds for skepticism hold that the browning of America will provoke a backlash among whites — as the proportion of Latinos and Asians rises, threatened whites will grow increasingly conservative. Versions of this hypothesis have reverberated not only among conservatives like Trende and Barone, but also among liberals like Jamelle Bouie. And this theory does have at least some suggestive evidence that it may be true.

The greatest trick the Easter Bunny ever pulled was to convince the world he didn’t exist.Alex Wong/Getty Images

A recent psychological study found that, when researchers read a news story reporting the rising share of minorities in the United States to a group of white subjects, the subjects grew more Republican. The study has attracted widespread attention, confirming the liberal fear, and the conservative hope, that the growth of Asian and Latino voters will produce an offsetting shift to the right among whites. “The changing American polity may come to look more like Texas than like the multicultural Democratic stronghold of California,” concludes political scientist Larry Bartels. “In an increasingly diverse America, identity politics will continue to cut both ways.”

It is certainly plausible that this study portends a future racially polarized America. But it seems strange to treat mass trends in evidence among successive elections involving over 125 million Americans while hanging confident predictions of the future of American politics on a laboratory microsimulation. People are highly susceptible to priming — which is to say, even slight changes to the context in which they make a decision can produce large differences in their actions. Making white people focus on increasing diversity while sitting in a controlled room may cause them to immediately report more conservative beliefs. That does not necessarily tell you what the open vista of American politics, a vast ecosystem teeming with messages and context of all kinds, will look like.

 

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Washington Examiner

Poll: Only 79% of Obama voters would vote for him again

By Paul Bedard | FEBRUARY 18, 2014 AT 6:33 PM

 

 

AP photo

 

Given a chance to do it all over again, only 79 percent of those who voted for President Obama would vote for him again and 71 percent of Obama voters now inclined to vote for somebody else “regret” their vote to reelect the president, according to a new poll.

 

The Economist/YouGov.com poll found that Obama would lose enough votes in a rematch with Mitt Romney that the Republican would win. “90 percent of people who voted for Romney would do it again, compared to only 79 percent of Obama voters who would,” said the poll.

 

“Clearly Romney fares better, although he had fewer voters to begin with. As a proportion of the voters each of them actually received in 2012 (66 million for Obama and 61 million for Romney), the GOP candidate ends up with 55 million votes retained to Obama’s 52 million. Not exactly a wipeout. It’s also unclear for any poll that hypothetically revisits 2012 how much it says about renewed hope for Mitt Romney – who has notably been liberated from the scrutiny of a presidential campaign ­– rather than about dissatisfaction with an incumbent president who has spent the last year defending his administration over leaks, scandals and Obamacare roll-outs,” added the poll.

 

 

 

It also found that among Obama voters interested in voting for somebody else, 71 percent regret their vote. After Secrets posted a story about that finding, YouGov.com noted that the sample for the question was small and recharacterized the sample as “those who reported voting for Barack Obama in 2012 but would vote for someone else if the election were held again” from “those who voted for Barack Obama in 2012.”

 

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New poll: 71% of Obama voters regret their choice, as do …

canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/61266

No, 71 percent of Obama voters don’t regret voting for him

No, 71 percent of Obama voters don’t regret voting for him

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-politics/wp/2014/02/19/no-71

 

Poll finds 71 percent of Obama voters have regrets, but …

 

 

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TheRealNews TheRealNews

Published on May 31, 2013

Jeannette Wicks-Lim: According to official figures 15 percent of Americans live in poverty, real numbers are over 33 percent of Americans cannot meet basic needs

See more videos at http://therealnews.com


SavageNationLiberty

Published on Jan 19, 2013

1/19/13 – On the eve of 2013 Presidential Inauguration, Vice President Joe Biden made a surprise appearance at the Iowa State Inaugural Ball in Washington, D.C. And he had a very important announcement to make to the crowd. At the beginning of his speech, Biden began praising his soon to be re-inaugurated boss and let slip, “I’m proud to be President of the United States,” before stopping himself as nervous laughter from the audience turned into wild cheers. Biden corrected himself and said what he had intended: “I’m proud to be Vice President of the United States, but I’m prouder to be President Barack Obama’s vice president.”

The moment was reminiscent of when Mitt Romney introduced his running mate Paul Ryan for the first time as “the next President of the United States,” though this time the roles were flipped. If this is Biden’s unique way of ingratiating himself to Iowan voters before the 2016 Iowa Caucus, it somehow seems to have worked.

 

 

Hostess company continues to screw over its workers.
 

Twinkie-maker Hostess continues to screw over its workers. The company is in the process of complete liquidation and 18,000 unionized workers are set to lose their jobs. More troubling – they could lose their pensions.

According to a report by the Wall Street Journal, Hostess’ CEO, Gregory Rayburn, essentially admitted that his company stole employee pension money and put it toward CEO and senior executive pay (aka “operations”). While this isn’t technically illegal, it’s another sleazy theft by Hostess executives – who’ve paid themselves handsomely while running their company into the ground. Just last month, a judge agreed to let Hostess executives suck another $1.8 million out of the bankrupt company to pay bonuses to CEOs.

If there’s no way to recover the money for the Hostess pension plans for workers, then the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. will have to foot the bill to make sure workers get at least some of the retirement money they paid in.

Hostess shows us clearly what Bain-style predatory capitalism is all about: big bucks for the very few rich executives, layoffs and poverty for the workers and their communities.

And don’t mourn the loss of Hostess brands – they’ll be back, as the company is currently negotiating with over 100 potential buyers right now to bring Twinkies, Wonder Bread, and Ding Dongs back into the marketplace.

The Hostess story has nothing to do with unions, and everything to do with the Enron-ization and Bain-ization of the American economy.

In classic Enron style, back in 2005 Hostess sent out a letter saying they’d just had a very, very profitable quarter.  Their stock jumped up. The CEO, Charles Sullivan, and many of the senior executives sold chunks of their stock.   The CEO and senior executives were making out big, and the workers were making a decent living.

At that time, one of the hostess workers – Mike Hummel, blogging as bluebarnstormer over at Daily Kos – noted that he was making $48,000 a year, a bit over the US median household income, and had insurance and a pension.

Then, a few weeks later in 2005, came the letter saying that, oops, all of that profit had really been just an accounting error – the company was actually in trouble.  Although the CEO and the top guys had all made a nice killing selling the stock when it was high, and paying a maximum income tax on it of 15 percent because they used the Capital Gains loophole that Mitt Romney used to become a multimillionaire, they now wanted the workers to take a big pay cut.

Hummel notes that the “oops” letter became the justification for asking the workers to take a pay cut, which they agreed to, and his pay dropped from $48,000 a year in 2005 to $38,000 a year last year.  But every year, $3 an hour of his compensation showed up in the worker’s pension fund instead of his paycheck.  Year after year.  With 18,000-plus workers, it was millions and millions of dollars.  Dollars that the workers had paid in, at the rate of $3 per hour.

Then came the Bain-style takedown.  In order to strip the company down to its individual brands and sell them off, piece by piece, the company needed to bust the union.  The union said, “No,” so the company went to bankruptcy court – a method Bain and other vulture capitalists often use to kill off unions.

In the meantime, the CEO and senior executives were paying themselves handsome salaries and big bonuses.  And where was that money coming from?

On August 12 of 2011, the employees got a letter that said that the company was going to “temporarily suspend payments” to its pension funds.  That would be the $3 per hour that this worker had negotiated as part of his compensation – instead of paying it to him by putting it into his pension fund now, the company said they were going to put it in later.

As the letter said, “I want to be clear that this temporary suspension of payments to the pension fund will not affect your pension benefits.”

Workers believed management, and kept on working.

 

 

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Obama has Romney to White House lunch

 

Obama meets Romney at White House

President Barack Obama and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney talk in the Oval Office following their lunch Thursday in Washington, D.C. (Pete Souza, The White House / November 29, 2012)

By JULIE PACE and STEVE PEOPLES Associated Press 

Washington—

President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney met for lunch at the White House on Thursday, sitting down with an eye on overlapping interests rather than the sharp differences that defined their presidential contest.

In their first meeting since the election, Obama and the Republican nominee met in the White House’s private dining room, fulfilling a promise Obama made in his victory speech the night of Nov. 6.

Romney arrived at the White House early Thursday afternoon in a black SUV, walking into the West Wing alone. He left after staying at the White House for just over an hour.

White House spokesman Jay Carney said Obama had no specific agenda for the meeting, but he said the president wanted to discuss Romney’s ideas for making government more efficient. Obama has proposed merging some functions of government related to business and has asked Congress for authority to undertake some executive branch reorganization.

“The president noted that Gov. Romney did a terrific job running the Olympics and that that skills set lends itself to ideas that could make the federal government work better, which is a passion of the president’s,” Carney said.

 

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A spectator sits on a bench on his Apple iPhone while waiting for Republican presidential candidate, Mitt Romney.

A spectator sits on a bench on his Apple iPhone while waiting for Republican presidential candidate, Mitt Romney, to concede his presidency during Mitt Romney’s campaign election night event at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center on November 7, 2012 in Boston, Massachusetts. After voters went to the polls in the heavily contested presidential race, networks projected incumbent U.S. President Barack Obama has won re-election against Republican candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

When George Bush won re-election in 2004, I felt like the world was going to end. I called my parents that night, crying about how devastating this was for the country. The next day, my dear friend and I were driving outside campus, nearly hysterical over the results. She ran a stop sign on the side of a school bus sign neither of us saw through our tears and got a $200 traffic ticket. I had just turned 21. My vote for Kerry was the first I’d ever cast, and boy did losing hurt.  But there was no one to around to rub my face in my own misery. In order to do that, someone would have had to call or email me or come up to my red-rimmed eyes and laugh in my face. Given that my immediate family is liberal, modern social media was in its infancy, and I went to a strongly left-leaning college, nothing like this happened. My friends and I consoled each other and moved on, and I never had the experience of anyone reveling in my despair.

Eight years later, how the world has changed. When the TV networks declared that Obama won his second term, I whooped with glee, did a little dance and posted a few social media updates including, “Proud to be an American tonight. 4 MORE YEARS.” I was so incredibly happy.

As the recaps and analyses rolled in, I was not above enjoying articles about Karl Rove’s Fox News on-air meltdowns and Donald Trump’s over-the-top Twitter feed.

But I began to notice, both in media coverage and in social media networks, that Obama supporters were not just thrilled that our guy won—folks were insanely, morbidly happy that all Republicans were miserable. And they weren’t just picking on easy and legitimate punching bags like Karl Rove and Donald Trump. Lindy West of Jezebel wrote a blog post entitled “My Ten Favorite Kinds of Right Wing Temper Tantrums” in which she proudly declared, “I am just 99 percent completely fucking delighted by every single weepy right-wing temper tantrum. I can’t stop hate-reading. I can’t stop.” A blogger for The Daily Kos wrote, “So please know, my fervid conservative friends, that I am temporarily suspending the empathic sensibility that generally informs most of us on the left. I am not laughing with you, in other words, since you seem capable of neither doubt nor self-deprecation. I am laughing at you. You are welcome to join me.” Someone created a Tumblr called White People Mourning Romney. It isn’t particularly interesting or clever, unless you just like photos of your fellow Americans crying or looking disappointed, but people sent in dozens of submissions. Judging by the number of delighted notes on each post, these photos fill many liberal hearts with glee. Mary Elizabeth Williams from Salon concludes it’s OK to meanly gloat because we New Yorkers need a reason to be happy after having such a tough time with Sandy.

Twitter and Facebook have become cesspools of schadenfreude. I’d like to think that most people wouldn’t dare say to a friend, colleague, or relative the mean-spirited gloating hatefulness that has become common in the last few days. A sampling:….

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Global reactions to 2012 election results

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Why Did Romney Lose?  Conservatives Blame Single women?

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If either of these women recently had tons of sex, they voted Obama
Photograph by Darren Hauck/Getty Images.

Now that the shock of losing has settled in, the conservative media has moved on to the important task of castigating the various demographics that broke for Obama, a reaction that can in no way be one of the reasons said demographics dislike Republicans. Since Obama won basically everyone but nonurban white men and their wives, there are a lot of different groups to hate on, but a clear front-runner in the Blame Game has emerged: single women, who gave 68 percent of their vote to Obama, compared to 53 percent of married women who voted for Romney.

There are many reasons for this divergence, including age, income, and racial differences between the single and married women, but right-wing media looks to be settling on a favorite explanation: Loose gals vote Obama. Unlike, say, Sean Hannity’s now evolving position on immigration, clearly morphing in order to somehow get his guys a few Latino votes, this impulse to label single women as sluts is certainly no one’s idea of voter outreach. But it does serve the dual purpose of demonizing Obama voters and reminding Fox News and rightwing talk radio audiences of their favorite porn narratives. Laura Ingraham, sitting in as host of The O’Reilly Factor last night, brought together a panel of church ladies to sneer at the unmarried and their wanton ways:

 

Watch video  here

Watch the latest video at video.foxnews.comThe overall narrative of the segment is, to paraphrase: Single women are so obsessed with birth control and abortion that they can’t be bothered to care about the economy or even take care of their kids. There were many jaw-droppers during the segment, but my favorite might be Gretchen Carlson saying that married women vote more on the economy, “because when you’re married, abortion is not really—or contraception for that matter—is not maybe a huge part of your life.” In Carlson’s bizarro world, only single women have sex and only married women have kids. (Contrary to any stereotypes trotted out on Fox News, married people have more sex than single people, so you really shouldn’t put “getting laid more” on your list of reasons to avoid the institution.)

Other right-wing pundits were even more crass. Andrea Tantaros accused single women of voting for no other reason than wanting “free” birth control. Rush Limbaugh was his usual delightful self on the topic of single women having sex that doesn’t involve him, saying that by being pro-choice, Obama treats women “like vaginas” and that Republicans need to “start our own abortion industry” to get women’s vote.

Reproductive rights do matter to female voters, as I’m the first to say. Some male voters, too, the ones who remember what conservatives apparently forget, which is that sex without making a baby every time is a winning proposition for men, too. But there’s no reason to assume that if Romney and Obama had the same views on contraception access and abortion rights, that Romney would have cleaned up those single female voters. Like married women, single women do vote on economic issues, of which the ability to control how many kids you have to feed is but one. Carlson gets close in the above segment to admitting this, but she frames it as single women being “dependent” on the government, completely ignoring government programs that married women are more likely to benefit from, such as the mortgage deduction or the new tax breaks for married couples.

None of these pundits even consider the possibility that it’s not just single women who think about reproductive rights when they vote, but that plenty of other Americans—some loyal viewers of Fox News, I would imagine—also vote on reproductive rights, specifically to take those rights away. Perhaps the real truth is that if everyone just gave up on the sex and gender wars and let people do their thing, it’s not the Republicans who would benefit.

 

 

 

Representations of the Women’s Movement Are Often Too Reductive

Much has been made about Obama’s victory and the female voting bloc that helped him get re-elected. Relevant meme after meme, like the one above, has sprouted across social media.

The gist: If you’re happy about Tuesday night’s victory, thank a woman. Women usually make up about 54 percent of the electorate, and this time they again turned out in higher numbers than men. Unsurprisingly, they also turned out in much higher numbers for Obama than for Romney. Some 55 percent of women voted for the former, while 44 percent chose the latter.Within the subset of women ages 18 to 29 — especially those who attended college during the Bush years, a group that will be voting solidly Democrat for the next 65 years – the numbers skew even more heavily towards Obama.

In other words, the GOP, at least as it now presents itself,doesn’t stand a chance. It didn’t Tuesday, and it won’t in 2016, no matter how deeply its victories cut in the South. Something’s gotta give.

Other contingencies were, of course, also crucial to Obama’s victory. Hispanics (Florida Hispanics too!), LGBTQ voters, youth in general, Black Americans, Asian-Americans, and pro-labor groups handily threw their support behind the president.

This makes Fox News crypt-keeper Charles Krauthammer’s claim that Obama doesn’t have a mandate all the more laughable. To quote Andrew Sullivan during his gleeful appearance on the Colbert Report, “There’s a black man in power who has nothing to lose!”

But here’s the thing about the women’s movement that gets lost sometimes, even on itself. The policies it promotes intersect with the needs of lots of other communities, and not only because of (the obvious) minority women. Health care, reproductive rights, gender equality, and non-discrimination policies are not only about women, though the latter are often implied to be the sole beneficiaries of such legislative gains.

Obama likes to call them “family” issues, but such rhetoric is annoying and offensive because it blatantly discriminates against single and unmarried people. For instance, why do we push for health care for partners in quasi-/post-nuclear-family constructs, instead of advocating for free health care for all? It’s also annoying and plain stupid, since two-thirds of single women voted for Obama both this past Tuesday and in 2008.

Another problem? When referring to “women,” the media tend to default to white, heterosexual, cis women, usually married. It should be noted that Romney captured 56 percent of the white women’s vote and 53 percent of married women’s vote.

So to be a bit more nuanced, these so-called “women’s issues” are often actually the issues of the middle class, labor, and other groups. The right wing’s determination to defund Planned Parenthood earlier this year, for instance, was not just an assault on the aforementioned default woman. Rather, you should see that the campaign spotlighted how Republican legislation often more pointedly affects people of color and low-income communities.

Defunding Planned Parenthood would have disproportionately impacted minority communities, worsening the already abhorrent disparities in healthcare coverage. When Texas tried unsuccessfully (at least as of yesterday) to cut off federal funding to their Women’s Health Program — not just Planned Parenthood, but also those “affiliated” with abortion providers — they were cutting off healthcare to 130,000 people, many of whom were poor Hispanic women…..

 

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Outrage as McDonald’s flies U.S. flag upside-down and at half-mast as businesses close for a ‘day of mourning’ after Obama’s re-election

By Daily Mail Reporter

 

Several American businesses reacted to the news of President Obama’s re-election with both anger and despair, as one McDonald’s location hung the Stars and Stripes upside-down and at half-mast.

Some diners at the Follansbee, West Virginia, restaurant could not believe their eyes when the say the flag on the day after Obama secured more electoral votes than Republican rival Mitt Romney.

An upside-down flag is a ‘signal of dire distress in instances of extreme danger to life or property,’ according to federal law.

Flag flap: Some diners at the Follansbee, West Virginia, restaurant could not believe their eyes when they saw the flag on the day after Obama was re-electedFlag flap: Some diners at the Follansbee, West Virginia, restaurant could not believe their eyes when they saw the flag on the day after Obama was re-elected

Romney won West Virginia in Tuesday night’s election – and its five electoral votes.

Karen Mezan, the McDonald’s franchise owner, said in an emailed statement to WTOV-TV: “Unfortunately, a flag cable broke and during the process of trying the fix the flag, it was inadvertently turned upside down.

‘It wasn’t noticed that the flag was upside down until a customer inquired about it. We are working on fixing the flag right now. It’s important to note that this was an accident, not intentional.’

While Old Glory flew in reverse in West Virginia, a Florida real estate mogul backed down from a pledge to lay off some or all of his 8,000 in protest of Obama’s victory.

Instead, David Siegel says he gave all of his workers a raise this week, to help them cope with new taxes and regulations that he believes the president will heap on in his second term.

Threat: David Siegel has threatened to downsize Westgate Resorts if President Obama is re-electedThreat: David Siegel has threatened to downsize Westgate Resorts if President Obama is re-elected

The property magnate’s 1,400-word rant was largely copied from a chain email which circulated around the time of the 2008 presidential election, according to Gawker.

Mr Siegel told Bloomberg BusinessWeek on Wednesday, the day after the election, that he hadn’t laid off anyone – yet.

‘I’m going to work my hardest to keep the company going and expand the best I can. We’ll see what happens,’ he said.

n Bedford, Virginia, Lyons Jewelers posted a massive sign in the store window saying: ‘Closed to mourn the loss of the America that our forefathers endowed to us.’

Signage: In Bedford, Virginia, Lyons Jewlers posted a massive sign in the store window saying: 'Closed to mourn the loss of the America that our forefathers endowed to us'Signage: In Bedford, Virginia, Lyons Jewlers posted a massive sign in the store window saying: ‘Closed to mourn the loss of the America that our forefathers endowed to us’

WDBJ-TV reports that the store also had a sign that said ‘Shame on the U.S. and Virginia’ and one that read ‘Lyons will reopen tomorrow to continue the fight against a president who seeks my demise.’

Also on Wednesday, a man who claimed to own a business in Las Vegas called into a local radio station to announce he had fired 20 per cent of his staff.

The man, who called a talk radio program on KXNT, gave his name only as ‘Dave’ and said ‘elections have consequences.’

He claimed that Tuesday night’s victory for the Democratic president was the tipping point for him to decide that he needed to cut back his business to save money.

He said he had 114 employees and that he sacked 22 of them.

Netanyahu Faces ‘Payback’ After Obama Victory?

JERUSALEM, ISRAEL - JULY 29:   US Republican p...

“This is probably not a very good morning for Prime Minister Benjamin ,” Israel’s Interior Minister Eli Yishai said Wednesday.

and his Likud Party had actively supported and in what Israeli opposition leader Shaul Mofaz described as “a rude, blunt, unprecedented, wanton and intervention in the United States election.”

On January 22nd, the day after Obama’s re-inauguration, Netanyahu will face Israeli voters in his own attempt to get re-elected.

The Jerusalem Post wrote Wednesday: “Israel is now 76 days away from its own elections, elections the Obama Administration would just as clearly like to see Netanyahu lose, as Netanyahu would rather have liked to see Republican candidate win on Tuesday night.

Reuters reports:

Former Israeli ambassador to Washington, Sallai Meridor, suggested that Obama would not easily forget that Netanyahu had created a perception that Israel wanted Romney to defeat him.

Obama is “very strategic, very disciplined”, Meridor said during a panel discussion on the U.S. election at the for Studies in Tel Aviv.

“But I don’t think we can just assume that what happened between them over past four years will have just evaporated,” he said. “When people fight for their political life and have the perception that their partner is trying to undermine their chances, it’s not going to disappear.”

Attacking Iran?

The bellicose Netanyahu said in an interview broadcast on Israel’s Channel 2 this week: “If there is no other way to stop Iran, Israel is ready to act.”

The Guardian reports:

Obama’s reference in his victory speech to moving “beyond this time of war” indicates his strong aversion to military confrontation with Iran.Two issues will characterize the relationship between the US and Israel over the next year. The first is Iran. Netanyahu has, for now, drawn back from his bellicose rhetoric of earlier this year, clearly indicating in his speech to the United Nations in September that Israel was unlikely to launch a military strike against Iran’s nuclear installations before next spring or summer.

This followed Obama’s refusal, despite Netanyahu’s best efforts, to be forced into specifying the point at which the US would be prepared to take military action, while insisting that remains an option if diplomacy and sanctions fail to halt the Iranian program.

Israel – the political, military and security leadership, as well as the general public – would much prefer joint action with the US, not least because of over Israel’s military capability to strike unilaterally. But Obama’s reference in his victory speech to moving “beyond this time of war” indicates his strong aversion to military confrontation with Iran.

The second issue is progress towards a settlement of the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. This is the most likely arena for any possible “payback”, especially if Obama decides, as so many previous second-term presidents have, that he wants to make this a legacy issue.

Netanyahu, whose inclination is to “manage” the current situation in which millions of Palestinians live under , rather than advance towards a two-state settlement of the conflict, will attempt to resist pressure.

Payback time? Israelis wonder what Obama victory will mean for Netanyahu

Saul Loeb / AFP – Getty Images

U.S. President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speak during meetings at the White House in Washington, D.C. on March 5, 2012.

By Martin Fletcher, NBC News

News analysis

TEL AVIV, Israel — Payback time. That is what many Israeli leaders are worrying about on Wednesday, concerned that their prime minister backed the wrong horse in the U.S. election.

Instead of staying out of American domestic affairs during the U.S. race, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appeared to be un-subtly backing Mitt Romney.

On Wednesday, Yair Lapid, a young Israeli politician, spoke for many:

“During the election campaign in the U.S., the prime minister acted and spoke in a manner that was interpreted as blatant intervention on behalf of the Republican candidate, contrary to the customary relations between states. We call upon Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to take immediate steps to mend the shaky relationship between him and the administration in Washington.”

However, analysts here point out it takes two to fight.

Kevin Lamarque / Reuters

Campaigning with Mitt Romney and Barack Obama, voting and election results.

Barack Obama never visited Israel as president, he was cool toward Netanyahu in Washington, and he famously had himself photographed with his shoes on his desk while talking on the phone to the Israeli leader, a gesture understood by Israelis as a slap in the face. Showing the soles of your feet to someone is considered in the Arab world to be a mortal insult, hence the satisfaction among Arabs when an Iraqi journalist took off his shoes and threw them at President George W. Bush during a press conference in Baghdad in December 2008.

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But the analysts — perhaps expressing wishful thinking — insist that the poor relations between Netanyahu and Obama do not translate into American policy: America, they say, will remain true to the principles that have guided it in the Mideast for decades, in particular support for a two-state solution.

And personal relations aside, real issues remain unsettled, the most urgent being Iran. Many here believe that Obama in his second term will quickly move to repair relations with Iran by beginning direct negotiations over bilateral issues, as well as over Iran’s nuclear program.

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Israel’s fear is that the United States will reach a compromise with Iran that Israel cannot live with.

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In an attempt to convey what he sees as a threat to Israel’s existence, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu used a cartoon to illustrate how close he says Iran is to developing a nuclear weapon. In a speech at the United Nations General Assembly he asked the world to help stop them. NBC’s Andrea Mitchell reports.

However, if America commits to some kind of agreement with Iran, it would tie Israel’s hands: Israel cannot act against the open wishes of its major supporter.

On the other hand, if Iran again rejects Obama’s overtures, that may pave the way for the “all options are on the table” option — in other words, a military strike that Netanyahu appears to believe is inevitable.

Under Obama, Israel also expects more pressure to resume talks with the Palestinians. Netanyahu, many Israelis and Hamas, the Islamist group that rules Gaza, as well as many other Palestinians believe that is pointless.

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The danger is that yet again Israelis and Palestinians will vie to appear most cooperative with Washington, while blaming each other for the ensuing stalemate.

In the spirit of diplomacy, Netanyahu quickly released a statement congratulating Obama on his victory and was reported to be trying to organize a congratulatory phone call.

“The strategic alliance between Israel and the U.S. is stronger than ever,” Netanyahu said in a statement. “I will continue to work with President Obama to protect the security interests of Israeli citizens.”

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For how long, though? Within half a day of President Obama’s inauguration on January 21, Israel will vote in its own elections.

Will Netanyahu get re-elected? And if so, will Obama pay Netanyahu back by sending not-so-subtle messages in support of Netanyahu’s adversaries?

Martin Fletcher is the author of “The List”, “Breaking News” and “Walking Israel”.