"An era can be said to end when its basic illusions are exhausted." - Arthur Miller

Friday, August 05, 2011

Links of the Week - Lots of Videos Edition

US Credit Ratings Downgraded for 1st Time Ever
For the first time in the nation’s history, the US lost its AAA credit rating which was awarded back in 1941. Yet further sign of the problems the GOP manufactured crisis on the debt ceiling has caused. Their willingness to commit literal economic suicide for the entire country demonstrated just how little confidence even investors now have in our country. Ironic, considering most of what the GOP does is to benefit Wall Street. As if often the case, too much greed has resulted in far reaching consequences. Sadly, this will be yet another way for the GOP to spin things in their favor as most people don't have the brains or understanding to recognize how easy all of this could have been avoided. Instead they have proven beyond doubt just how far gone the GOP but with a significant amount of power to back the crazy up with due to complete lack of leadership from Obama who doesn't see a position he isn't willing to cave too. The GOP spin will be the high debt caused the downgrade and thus their approach is the only way is directly contradicted by S&P's own statements on the cause.
S&P also changed its assumption that the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts would expire by the end of 2012 “because the majority of Republicans in Congress continue to resist any measure that would raise revenues. More broadly, the downgrade reflects our view that the effectiveness, stability, and predictability of American policymaking and political institutions have weakened at a time of ongoing fiscal and economic challenges to a degree more than we envisioned when we assigned a negative outlook to the rating,” S&P said.
Note that "revenue increases" is another way of saying increase taxes by closing loops holes or ending existing tax cuts which the GOP refuses to do under any circumstances. In short, the GOP refusal to compromise and deal with the debt in an adult manner underlined our current leadership's dysfunction in a way that could no longer be ignored. No fake crisis, no awareness of just how bad things are.

New Spider-Man RevealedAbout a month ago Peter Parker died in a battle against the Green Goblin in Ultimate Spider-Man #160. The Ultimate SM universe is a modernized version of Marvel that takes more liberties with the characters. An example of that is this week's news that the replacement Spider-Man is a half black, half Hispanic named Miles Morales. Of course the right wing movement had a fit over this. Posts about the change were pretty much flat out racist and of course Glenn Beck diving in claiming it is some conspiracy orchestrated by Michelle Obama. In reality, the writer Brian Michael Bendis, had been considering it for a while and decided to commit to it after seeing Donald Glover in the costume for an episode of Community (great TV show). How this will play out in comic book form and how successful this change will be may take many months to determine.

Ending 9 in Prices Increases SalesIt turns out there is a reason that retail stores also go with a nine as the last number of a price (ex: $4.99). An experiment from a clothing store showed that an item selling with price raised from $34 to $39 sold more than the exact identical item with change from $34 to $44. It seems the nine gives the stupid people (in which there are sadly way too many) the impression they were saving money even though it wasn't true.

1st Look at New Superman
WB has released the first look at Henry Cavill as the new Man of Steel in Superman that is currently filming for release next year. The movie will retell his origin story and apparently will not be a copy (or full of plot holes) as Superman Returns. A movie that could have been great if lost the kid and didn't rehash so much from the Richard Donner movies.

Keith Olbermann Special Comment on GovernanceKeith Olbermann has aired another whopper of a Special Comment on Countdown a day after the idiot Debt Ceiling "crisis" that the GOP manufactured so they could get concessions on things to sell the party to the idiots that call themselves "Tea Party" even though that group is wholly funded by billionaire Koch brothers out to protect their own interests. The result is yet further hits to an economy that can't afford BS like this that accomplishes nothing but provide sound bites to fools. His comment points out the continued hypocrisy of the GOP. Need further proof? How about the deal probably costing 1,822,000 jobs over the next year while cutting only a tiny fraction off the deficit.

Jerry Lewis Out of MDA TelethonAfter about 45 years, Jerry Lewis has been unceremoniously dumped by the Muscular Dystrophy Association as host of the annual telethon. The cause remains unknown but one theory is poor health. Another theory is his filter sprung a leak last year that caused some embarrassing comments during the telecast against gays and minorities. I don't know what is true. It does seem harsh though even if it is. You would think that Lewis' 45 years of service would provide him with a chance at giving his audience a proper goodbye but apparently not.

Stewart On O'Reilly's Christian Nonsense
Bill O'Reilly, as his typical, once again showed bizarre logic and no sense of irony or hypocrisy when he attacked the media for labeling Anders Breivik a Christian terrorist for killing nearly 90 people, most of them kids. This despite the man writing a book on his Christian viewpoint among other things. Keep in mind that O'Reilly has spent years labeling all terrorists as Muslim and just accepting as fact that violence = Muslim. In his world, calling a terrorist a Christian is misunderstanding Christianity...but calling a Muslim a terrorist is a sign of total understanding of their religion. Below is the resultant epic takedown (in two parts) that The Daily Show aired as a result of this constant fake victimization that fuels Fox News.

Old Spice's Mano a Mano in El Bano
Below is the video playlist of all the movies that comprised the return of the Old Spice Guy in an amusing series of YouTube videos that pitted him against the other Old Spice Guy Fabio. If don't want to use below embed, link above takes you to the individual links of all 94 videos.

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