If so, then that makes me very happy.

Oregonians are an independent bunch and we don’t take too kindly to out of state big money trying to come in and influence our elections. It appears the Koch brothers found our local Senate race between incumbent Jeff Merkley and Republican challenger Monica Wehby to be of interest to them. Over a million dollars has been spent on anti-Merkley ads by one of those shady PACs with a patriotic euphemism for a name–this one called Freedom Partners. No surprise here–it turns out the board of directors for Freedom Partners includes high-ranking executives with Koch Industries. The ads slammed Merkley for his support of Obamacare and the fact that he voted to raise the debt ceiling.

Well, the latest news is that Freedom Partners will probably be giving up their funding of the anti-Merkley campaign in October. Most likely because it hasn’t worked, the race isn’t any closer, and people in Oregon will continue to vote Democratic.

Good. This is a deep blue state, Kochs. Get the hell away from it and don’t let the door hit you on the ass too hard on your way out. If the Koch brothers consider Oregon a hopeless case, then that gives me another reason to be proud of my home.

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A while ago, I posted a blog saying that the Affordable Care Act is here, it is being implemented all around me, and that despite threats being made by Tea Partiers, it isn’t going anywhere.

And…yeah.  I’m happy to say that the sun rose this morning, Obamacare is still here (which is a win for me and my family), Obama is still President (with some new-found spine, it appears), the government is operating again, and we have not defaulted on our debt.

So can someone please explain to me what this was all about?  Most of the people I talk to in my daily life–people who work hard and are required to be responsible about their jobs–think that this was a massive waste of time.

Has our political world really merged so closely with the world of entertainment that these guys feel like they have to give us an exciting show every few weeks?  Let’s do it all again in January, I guess!

It’s so easy to get caught up in the theatrics in Washington DC, the duelling banjos of Obama and Boehner, and to forget that what is going on has consequences which will extend beyond our own borders.  Whether this is still true or not, we continue to be perceived as the leader of the world, and when the leader of the world engages in absurd antics, the results might not be so great.

In an interview with CNN, World Bank President Jim Yong Kim reminded us that a United States default will painfully affect the world’s poorest as well.  As he put it, “it’s having an impact on the little guys,” with the cost of capital rising for those in impoverished countries trying to work or start businesses.  We may look at our own government and say  “To hell with all of them!”–I know I do at this point–but this thing has the potential to turn into a global economic crisis.

Of course, the fact that a default might crush “the little guys” probably means the Republicans will only support it even more.  After all, those Third World people should pull themselves up by their own nonexistent bootstraps instead of expecting a handout.  So I may be giving them one more reason not to raise the debt ceiling…maybe it would have been better to remain quiet about this one.