David Wasserman: As a House analyst for the nonpartisan Cook Political Report, I've personally interviewed over 300 congressional candidates over the course of seven years, both to get to know them and evaluate their chances of winning. I've been impressed by just as many Republicans as Democrats, and underwhelmed by equal numbers, too. Most are accustomed to tough questions. But never have I met any candidate quite as frightening or fact-averse as Louisiana state Rep. Lenar Whitney, 55, who visited my office last Wednesday. It's tough to decide which party's worst nightmare she would be.
A recently demoted executive at the Chicago food services tech company ArrowStream shot the company's CEO twice and then shot and killed himself on Thursday morning. Police have not named the 59-year-old shooter or the 52-year-old executive, who is hospitalized in critical condition with wounds to the head and stomach. "Apparently he was despondent over the fact that he got demoted," Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy said.
Microsoft announced Wednesday that it will begin selling the Xbox One gaming console in China on September 23. This will mark the first time a foreign gaming console will be sold in China in more than a decade since the country lifted a ban from 2000 on foreign gaming consoles. The console will sell for 3,699 yuan ($600). An Xbox One with the Microsoft Kinect motion detection system will sell for a steeper 4,299 yuan ($700).
A blogger for a private English language learning center in Utah who wrote a post explaining homophones said he was fired for creating the perception that the school promoted a gay agenda. Tim Torkildson wrote on his personal blog that he was fired after penning an article explaining homophones -- words that sound the same but have different meanings and often different spellings. "Now our school is going to be associated with homosexuality," Torkildson said he was told by Nomen Global Language Center owner Clarke Woodger. read more
George Friedman, Stratfor: The most interesting aspect of this war is that both sides apparently found it necessary, despite knowing it would have no definitive military outcome. ... Under these circumstances, the Gaza war is in some sense a matter of housekeeping. For Hamas, the point of the operation is demonstrating it can fire rockets at Israel. These rockets are inaccurate, but the important thing is that they were smuggled into Gaza at all, since this suggests more dangerous weapons eventually will be smuggled in to the Palestinian territory. At the same time, Hamas is demonstrating that it remains able to incur casualties while continuing to fight. For the Israelis, the point of the operation is that they are willing to carry it out at all. The Israelis undoubtedly intend to punish Gaza, but they do not believe they can impose their will on Gaza and compel the Palestinians to reach a political accommodation with Israel. read more