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• Recent Wisconsin  recall elections spurred by people dissatisfied with Republican efforts to downsize government and diminish the role of unions in politics failed to wrest control away from the GOP in that state. A record amount of money was spent in the normally liberal state but Democrats failed to achieve their goal of unseating at least three of the six state senators who were being recalled. Some experts say that sends a national message.

• Who could have predicted a generation ago that an upstart software company would become the most valuable corporation in the world? Yet that’s what happened last week as a surge in Apple’s stock price sent it past ExxonMobil in market capitalization. It’s just one more example of old moving aside for new when it comes to business in the United States.

• Speaking of change, Bank of New York Mellon Corporation has announced that it will begin charging customers who keep large amounts of cash in their accounts. To people who lived through the Depression and to whom a bit of cash -- the all-important certificate of deposit -- was king that almost seems beyond belief. But Mellon indeed is popping a fee on people to hold their cash; one expert called it a “historic precedent in the U. S. banking system.”

• Ralph Nader’s pretty much a flake, but we’ll have to pay attention to his newest effort, the League of Fans, which plans to file lawsuits to stop the BCS, the national championship football bowl setup that is unpopular with fans throughout the country but is supported by institutions which rake in money from the BCS. Nader’s only the latest to chip away at the BCS, and it wouldn’t surprise us to see it in a few years on the junk pile, which is exactly where it belongs.

• President Obama is a shrewd politician, but many are wondering about the wisdom of his taking a vacation to ultra-swanky Martha’s Vineyard while the nation is experiencing financial upheaval. Obama certainly will be working during a portion of the vacation, but, given his political tendencies, time off at a little more egalitarian location might have raised fewer eyebrows, especially at a time when the chief executive’s personal as well as political popularity is sinking.