Welcome to the not-nearly-as-tired return of The Roundup! Probably going to be a lot here.
• Here’s the latest on undecided races: still about 10 uncalled in the House, with Republicans +60 and leading in 3 of the 10 uncalled seats. Patty Murray has expanded her lead in Washington state. Democrat John Kitzhaber won the Governor’s race in Oregon (and he could be an interesting voice on health care), and Pat Quinn survived in Illinois, which is actually quite a feat post-Blagojevich. The latest can be found here. And meet the goofballs of the new Congress here.
• Meanwhile, it took conservatives all of one day to crack up. Jim DeMint warned his colleagues against the establishment; insiders are biting right back at DeMint; Michele Bachmann wants a leadership position for herself but the old boy’s network of the House GOP is keeping her down. It’s about the only solace of the next two years, watching this car crash play out.
• Reactions to QE II from Paul Krugman, Brad DeLong, Kevin Gallagher and everyone else who’s anyone. Our own Masaccio explained the dangers for savers and the opportunity for the banks; taking it further, this could really boost investors without boosting the economy. The carry trade lives on. Bernanke gave his own explanation in the Washington Post today.
• Gay voters did not turn out for House Democrats in the same numbers as previous years. With the imminent death of the DADT repeal, I don’t think the relationship will get any better. Meanwhile, the defeat of three Iowa judges who ruled in favor of gay marriage shows the precarious nature of what little rights the LGBT community has earned.
• I actually think this is a smart idea, and Democrats should think of more ways to put the new House majority on the spot. “Rep. Chaka Fattah… said he will introduce a measure that would ‘disavow’ the impeachment of former President Clinton.”
• Like the Attorneys General to foreclosure fraud, the state insurance commissioners are crucial to regulating the new health care law. And a handful of Democrats fell around the country in statewide races for that position.
• Yes, Prop 19 lost, but it didn’t do badly, and a number of cities voted to regulate and tax marijuana at the local level, in anticipation of a win. I’d expect it to be back in 2012 or 2016, because a Presidential year will find a much more favorable electorate.
• Quickly on the rest of the California ballot measures: we have majority vote for a budget now, but with looming deficits that only allows spending cuts as a way to close that by majority vote. On revenues, there’s still a 2/3 majority, and it’s even worse, as Prop 26 raises from a majority vote to 2/3 for fees. Mostly these are fees on polluters, which is why Big Oil abandoned Prop 23, which did end up losing, in favor of the stealth measure. Jerry Brown has said he won’t have any new taxes without voter approval, and voters wouldn’t even pony up a measly $18 per car owner to save the state parks. Democrats have all the power in California but no ability to actually do anything, structurally speaking.
• No Democrat wants to run the Senate Campaign Committee in what will be a brutal 2012 cycle.
• 8% unemployment is now “rosy”.
• New hearing for the West Memphis Three!
• Republican leaders fall in love with Marco Rubio. I thought Democrats were the swooners!
• The stock market absolutely doesn’t believe BofA about their balance sheet claims.
• Going on the record to say I hope Alan Grayson comes back, or at least stays involved.
• I’m that nanny-state Dem who’s down with banning Happy Meals, but I don’t actually think it’ll stop kids from going to McDonald’s.