Now what? “Whatever President Obama’s desires for the next few months, several Middle East crises now stare him in the face. The greatest is Iran, which keeps on installing centrifuges and piling up enriched uranium while we chat, negotiate, chat about negotiating, and vote. The Iranians can easily play out the clock — unless we stop them. President Obama has repeatedly said he would do so, but that of course was during the campaign. Now what?”

Now what? “As they recover from a second frustrating Senate election, Republican leaders are beginning to discuss whether there is a better way for them to nominate their candidates.”

Now what? “The same voters who gave Obama four more years in office also elected a divided Congress, sticking with the dynamic that has made it so hard for the president to advance his agenda. Democrats retained control of the Senate; Republicans kept their House majority.House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, spoke of a dual mandate. ‘If there is a mandate, it is a mandate for both parties to find common ground and take steps together to help our economy grow and create jobs,’ he said.”

Now what? “Stocks took a sharp nosedive in a post-election selloff Wednesday, with the Dow logging its biggest decline in nearly a year, prompted by concerns over the looming ‘fiscal cliff’ and amid renewed worries over Europe’s weak economy. The Dow closed below 13,000 for the first time since early August, while the S&P 500 broke below 1,400. . . . ‘It’s now how quickly we can focus on the ‘fiscal cliff’ and coming up with a resolution—that’s certainly the next item on the agenda for the market,’ said Art Hogan, managing director of Lazard Capital Markets. ‘And you still have Europe.’”

Now what? “[Obama] won by going very small, very negative, and we are left as a country exactly where we started, but a little bit worse off. The Republicans are in control of the House, probably a little bit stronger. They are not going to budge. There’s no way after holding out on Obama for two years they’re going to cave in, and Obama doesn’t have anywhere really to go. He governed very large in the first two years. . . . I think he is a man of the left, and he will try to push his agenda through with what he thinks is a mandate. And I think we are going to be exactly where we were a year ago with the debt ceiling argument next year. And the problem is the country will slide right through a second term because I don’t see give on either side, particularly when the president, with a very weak mandate for a second term.”

Now what? “Michigan voters soundly defeated a measure that would have given public-sector unions a potent tool to challenge any law — past, present or future — limiting their benefits and powers. It would also have permanently barred Michigan from becoming a right-to-work state where payment of dues is no longer required as a condition of employment in unionized companies. Will this defeat now open the right-to-work floodgates?”

Now what? “Frank Ricciardone, the U.S. ambassador to Turkey, announced that Obama’s first trip of his second term will be to Turkey, a country which has witnessed under its increasingly Islamist government an unprecedented roll back of basic freedoms. The Turks are looking at Obama’s choice as an endorsement. They are probably right. On top of this, Ricciardone’s announcement comes right after Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced that he would soon travel to Gaza, in recognition and support of Hamas.”