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Senate Dem 58   GOP 41   Ties 1
House Dem 257   GOP 178  

Map of the 2010 Senate Races
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News from the Votemaster

Palin Lies Low in Alaska

Alaska governor Sarah Palin skipped the National Governor's Association meeting this weekend and will skip the upcoming Conservative Political Action Conference this week. She has a number of problems to deal with at home now. First, her husband was found in contempt for refusing to testify in the Troopergate scandal. Then she was found to owe back taxes on her per diem from the Alaska state government for staying in her own home many nights in the past few years. The state capital is Juneau, but she lives in Wasilla, a suburb of Anchorage, so when she was away from Juneau (namely, at home), she claimed that as business travel, which could be paid to her without taxes due. The ploy didn't work and now she has to pay back taxes. Count on this issue coming up in 2012 if she runs for President. Her plan is to mend fences in Alaska right now. There will be time for campaigning later. Of all the 2012 candidates, she is already the best known and has the most loyal following, so her need to campaign is the lowest among the wannabes.

Bunning Predicts Ginsburg's Death in Nine Months

Sen. Jim Bunning (R-KY) predicted that Justice Ruth Ginsburg will be dead of cancer in 9 months. She had colon cancer and most recently pancreatic cancer and the prospect for her is not good, but Bunning's remarks are in poor taste, especially for something with his own health issues. Senate Republicans are trying to convince Bunning not to run in 2010, but so far without success. To encourage him to go gentle into that good night, the president of the Kentucky State Senate, David Williams, is considering a primary challenge to Bunning. The Republicans are scared to death that if Bunning is their nominee, the Democrats will pick up the seat.

What to Call Nationalization of the Banks

At this point it is perfectly clear to everyone that most of the large banks are insolvent (meaning their liabilities exceed their assets, often by huge amounts). The obvious solution is to have the government take over the banks, pour in money, clean up the mess, and later auction off shares in the now-healthy banks to private investors. Only calling that "nationalization" (which is what it is) is one of those little political no-no's in America. Only banana republics nationalize the banks.

The odd thing is that nationalizing the banks is as American as apple pie. The FDIC takes over failing banks all the time. We've even done it really big time before. In the 1980s, almost 750 savings and loan associations went belly up due to bad real estate investments (sound familiar?). What did President George H.W. Bush do? He nationalized them, only he didn't call it that. Instead, Congress created the Resolution Trust Corporation which gobbled them up, cleaned up the mess, and eventually shut down when its job was done. The same thing could be done now. The main problem is finding a nice word for nationalization that fits in with the spirit of the times. Today Nobel Prize winner Paul Krugman cited Calculated Risk's coinage of "preprivatization." Sounds as good as anything else.

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