News in Brief: In Alaska Senate Race, Miller Sues Over Vote Count, and More

In Alaska Senate Race, Miller Sues Over Vote Count …

The never-ending Alaska Senate race just got a little longer, according to AP. Counting begins Wednesday for the over 92,500 write-in ballots cast. But GOP nominee Joe Miller, who ousted incumbent Sen. Lisa Murkowski only to see her wage an aggressive independent write-in bid, is filing a lawsuit to “prevent the state from using discretion in determining voter intent on write-in ballots.” Despite the suit, Lt. Gov. Craig Campbell said, “the count would go forward on Wednesday as planned.”

… While Eight Congressional Races Are Still Up in the Air

Republicans are on the verge of ousting at least six more Democrats in the House in the eight remaining elections that have not been called for a candidate, The Los Angeles Times reports. While Democrats are defiantly defending all of their seats, only two incumbent Democrats are in the lead: “Jerry McNerney has a 624-vote lead over Republican David Harmer, with absentee and provisional ballots still being counted. In the Kentucky Sixth District, Democrat Ben Chandler led Republican Andy Barr by 643 votes.”

Republican 2010 Agenda: Sacrificing Veterans Affairs?

The Root reports that a senior Veterans Affairs (VA) official is “preparing for leaner times” in the wake of the GOP sweep of the House of Representatives. While Obama’s 2011 budget allocates “more than $60 billion for the VA,” the official says, “a new Republican majority in the House, elected on a host of anti-spending platforms, could try to clip that amount down significantly.”

Bush’s Approval Ratings Up as He Launches Book Tour

Think Progress reports via Gallup Polls that former President Bush’s favorable numbers are now at 44 percent favorable – a 4 percent rise since January 2009, and just in time for the launch of his book, “Decision Points.”