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McConnell: "Their view is that we haven't cooperated enough...I think the group that should hopefully get the message out of yesterday's elections is our friends on the other side of the aisle...we hope that they will pivot in a different direction and work with us on spending, debt, trade...clean coal..."

"So How Did the 'Mama Grizzlies' Do?" The Wire sees a mixed bag for GOP ladies at the polls.

Nine veterans of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq won races last night, Stars and Stripes reports. All but one are Republicans. Meanwhile, retired marine Jesse Kelly's (R) race against Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D) is still too close to call.

Sullivan: "What we seem to be facing in the next two years is a president actually trying to govern a country in a profound crisis, and an opposition focused entirely on harassing or preventing him ... while running for 2012. My view is a relatively simple one: the GOP ran on cutting spending. I think their first move should be to propose a path to balancing the budget in the foreseeable future. I want to see their actual proposals on entitlements and defense. They refused to reveal them before the election. Are we supposed to wait till 2013?"

The conventional wisdom is that this vote was a repudiation of the Democrats' progressive votes. With the biggest House swing in six decades, it's hard to argue against that conclusion. But a closer look at the Senate shows that the red tide rode mostly on Republican candidates defeating non-incumbents -- candidates who never cast a single vote.

TNR's Noam Scheiber how populism worked in Ohio.

"Malkin Tells Dems Where to Put Their Olive Branch": The Wire takes note of a nice effort to start a new bipartisan era off on the right foot.

Colorado recount rules, via TPMDC's Brian Beutler: An automatic recount is triggered if the vote margin is less than .5 percent...but they calculate the difference in a way that makes recounts more likely. They take the difference in votes, then divide that number of votes not by the total votes cast, but by the votes the leading candidate received. Candidates can request a recount within 24 days...electronic machines are audited first by a canvassing board.

"A GOP Perfect Storm: How it Happened": National Journal's Ron Brownstein sees the key factors as weak turnout among Obama's base and massive defections among white voters.

The 111th Congress has six senators who were appointed, not elected. Only two of them ran for reelection (and won): Bennet and Gillibrand. Only the Senate seat for Illinois switched hands. The other three seats -- in West Virginia, Delaware, and Florida -- remain controlled by the same party.

Is the Golden State ahead of the curve or behind it? The Wire looks at Boxer's win in California.

Rick Scott wins it in Florida: the race is being called with 89 percent reporting. Scott, a health care CEO, spent $73 million of his own money on this race to beat Alex Sink, the Democratic state CFO. This is a big victory, categorically, for 1) Tea Partiers, especially those who sided with Scott in a primary that saw some bitter Tea Party divisions in Florida, and 2) self-funders. Fellow GOP rich folk went down in flames on Tuesday night, as three former CEOs--Meg Whitman, Carly Fiorina, and Linda McMahon--all lost their statewide races after pumping millions upon millions of their own dollars into California and Connecticut.

Via Sullivan, Will Saletan's response to Boehner's claim that "we must remember it's the president who sets the agenda for our government": "For two years, with an eye on the midterms, Boehner has followed this strategy, refusing to put forward a clear program that President Obama could attack. What's surprising is that Boehner is sticking with this defensive posture even after winning power. He has been thrust into leadership but doesn't want it."

Big shake-up coming at the White House? "Frustrated current and former West Wing staffers, speaking on condition of anonymity, told POLITICO they hoped Tuesday night's humbling losses would convince President Barack Obama to pursue a much more sweeping fix than just the "natural" post-election churn of personnel his administration has insisted will take place."

"The Nonstop News Cycle Summed Up In One Image"

Gay marriage backlash in Iowa: Voters tossed three of the state's Supreme Court justices who voted to let same-sex couples marry in a 2009 case. 

So what will Reformer-in-Chief Issa investigate? He does have subpoena power...and his committee is the chief investigating committee, so he'll probably investigate something at some point. Some early hints: Countrywide loans (which he's already prodded at in the minority), and maybe the way "jobs created or saved" has been counted by the Obama administration in its Recover.gov claims. He's likely to push expanded presence/authority of inspectors general in the federal government, on top of any whistleblower protections he deems necessary.

The Wire rounds up on California's marijuana measure.

If politics were NCAA conferences: Patrick Ottenhoff notes Dems lost 21 seats in the Big Ten and 15 seats in the SEC. (They lost 20 in what was the Confederacy.)  

Darrell Issa, the Republican soon-to-be chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, says he's not going to go rampaging on a subpoena witch-hunt against the Obama administration. "I'm hoping they see I want to become the reformer in chief," not the, well, persecuter in chief, Issa said this morning on MSNBC.

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