The New York Times informs us that ISIS wanted a ransom of over $100 million in exchange for the life of James Foley, the journalist they just brutally executed -- and the United States wouldn't pay it. Apparently our government did try (and fail) to rescue Mr. Foley and other hostages. But why do I get the feeling that Mr. Obama's stark refusal to pay this sizable ransom won't actually soothe right-wingers who constantly squeal that liberals always negotiate with terrorists? It couldn't have anything to do with Mr. Obama's partisan affiliation, could it? And I eagerly await the first right-winger to tell me that BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA JUST KILLED TEH HOSTAGEZ!!!! just so I can remind them that ISIS killed the hostages. I mean, conservatives hate liberals for blaming the wrong people all the time, right? So you may comfortably conclude that folks who would accuse Mr. Obama of "killing hostages" are not conservative, regardless of what they say they are, or how loudly they say it.
Sen. Mitch McConnell (E-KY) laid out his plans for bringing President Obama back in line if Republicans take the Senate in November. And the very first thing he said to Politico was that his main concern was the good citizens of Kentucky, whom he represents and before whom he must account himself in the upcoming elections. Ha ha, I kid, of course -- this is the man who famously said in 2010 that his "number-one job" in the Senate was ensuring Mr. Obama was a one-term President, and not, say, representing the will of those who elected him to do so. The "plan," such as it is, is to pass spending bills that place "a lot of restrictions on the activities of the bureaucracy" -- particularly the EPA, the one halfway-decent Obama alphabet agency -- and then dare the President to veto them, risking a government shutdown if he does. Right, because shutdowns always work so well for Republicans. If Alison Lundergan Grimes can't run ads about Mitch McConnell's "plans" being more important than the will of good Kentuckians, she deserves to lose this race.
Here's a bolt from the blue in Nevada's Attorney General race: Republican nominee Adam Laxalt -- grandson of former Nevada Governor/U.S. Senator Paul Laxalt -- received a bad first review from the law firm that employed him. Among the chestnuts: "He has horrible client service toward his partners," "His work is sloppy," "Jorgenson (his supervisor) said he had to babysit the cases more than he expected," "He doesn't even have the basic skill set," "He is a train wreck," "he ought to look into attending some legal writing CLE seminars and other CLEs that address basic legal principles" -- and, also, "his self-assessment is glowing," and has "typos." His now-former employer has since asserted that "the review documents being discussed in the media do not represent the current view of Lewis Roca Rothgerber LLP about Adam," plus they weren't for the public to know anyway. But Mr. Laxalt sure does sound like someone who counted on his pedigree (he is also the son of former New Mexico Sen. Pete Domenici) to do his work for him.
Finally, the Washington Post seems very, very upset about the release of an app called BuyPartisan, which allows you to scan product barcodes and learn what percentage the product's manufacturer gives to Democratic or Republican campaigns. The Post "hope(s) BuyPartisan fails," because folks already "refuse to marry, socialize and live near people who disagree with their partisan affiliation. If the app succeeds, it would be a sign that Democrats and Republicans aren’t even willing to do business with one another any longer." They say that like it's a bad thing. We have the right, as Americans, to associate with whom we like -- as long as we're not actively depriving others of their rights -- and to shun those whom we think deserve shunning. But the Post seems afraid that Americans will have more tools with which they may shun and shame other Americans. Why? Because they couldn't peddle their Democrats-and-Republicans-coming-together-to-do-whatever-Republicans-want brand of "bipartisanship" as easily?