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Unemployment, bank bailouts and government gridlock have created a nightmare scenario for the party in power. Some Washington pundits are suggesting the Democrats might lose control of either the House or the Senate. We get an early rundown of this year’s elections. Also, hearings on Toyota begin in the House, and Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai takes control of the political watchdog group that discovered corruption in last year's election.

Making News Hearings on Toyota Begin in the House 7 MIN, 35 SEC

Both Toyota and the National Transportation Safety Administration came in for harsh criticism today on Capitol Hill, from members of Congress and from witnesses, including Rhonda Smith, a Tennessee woman who said she was called a liar when she reported that her Lexus suddenly accelerated to 100 miles per hour. Joe White is senior editor at the Wall Street Journal, and writes its "Eyes on the Road" column.

Joseph B. White, Senior Editor, Wall Street Journal

Main Topic Are the Democrats Going to Fall Out of Power? 37 MIN, 54 SEC

Charlie Cook, one of Washington's respected pundits, says watching the Democrats since August has been like "watching a car wreck in slow motion." Just one year after a Democratic landslide, Cook is not alone in saying that angry voters might give either the House or the Senate back to the Republicans. Last month, when the Wall Street Journal and NBC News asked which party voters liked best, Democrats and Republicans tied, a change from recent years, when Democrats have come out ahead in so-called “generic” polls. Is President Obama getting the blame for problems he didn't create? Are his party's leaders in Congress making things worse?  Is Massachusetts Republican Scott Brown a surprising new voice for bipartisanship?  We get a variety of opinions.

Jennifer Duffy, Cook Political Report (@jennifereduffy)
Dana Milbank, Washington Post (@Milbank)
Jerry Roberts, Host of “Newsmakers with Jerry Roberts”
Tom Davis, former Congressman (R-VA)
David Corn, Mother Jones magazine (@DavidCornDC)

Blind Trust

Barbara Boxer

Reporter's Notebook Karzai Takes Control of Afghan Election Watchdog 5 MIN, 14 SEC

Last year, Afghanistan's Electoral Complaints Commission discovered so much fraud in the presidential election that it required a run-off. That never happened, but Hamid Karzai promised to clean his house of corruption. But today, he seized control of the commission itself and removed three foreign experts who'd been appointed by the UN.  What will this mean for continued western support of the Karzai government? Jonathan Landay is national security correspondent for the McClatchy Newspapers.

Jonathan Landay, Reuters (@JonathanLanday)

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