1. Australian drops his new iPhone 6 on live television

    There probably isn’t a worse time to have butter fingers

     

  2.  

  3. This may be the unluckiest twerk fail in history…

    …but is it real?

     

  4. 4 of the worst party ideas ever

    Pro tip: Don’t pour liquid nitrogen into the pool.

     

  5. Vogue publishes fashion spread "celebrating Hurricane Sandy’s first responders," offends pretty much everyone.

     

  6. Parliamentary procedure is as baffling and dull to most people as it is important to our legislative process. But the Senate gave us a very watchable — interesting, even — little civics lesson on Thursday, when Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) filibustered a bill he had introduced only hours earlier. The bill at hand was a measure proposed by the White House, based on a “last-choice,” one-off fix McConnell himself came up with in the 2011 debt-ceiling standoff, to take America’s borrowing limit out of Congress’ hands — the president could raise the debt ceiling, and Congress could override him only with a veto-proof majority. McConnell introduced the bill to show that President Obama doesn’t have the votes for such a measure even in the Democrat-controlled Senate. Well on Thursday, Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) called his bluff. 

    McConnell’s miscalculation is amusing, but it also tells us something about the larger issue: The showdown over the fiscal cliff, says Greg Sargent at The Washington Post. This was “the first major test we’ve seen of whether Dems will remain united” behind Obama, and they passed. Things are going to get hairier, “particularly if Republicans make good on their vow to use the debt ceiling to leverage entitlement cuts next year, and Obama makes good on his refusal to countenance the debt ceiling having any role in the talks.” But if you’re Obama, this is a good sign that your fractious, famously self-defeating party may actually stick together in this fight.

    Watch McConnell filibuster his own bill

    (Source: theweek.com)

     

  7. Honda has designed the Fit She’s, “the only car model aimed exclusively at women.” The designers took a regular Honda Fit and made it “adult cute.” The seats, steering wheel, and floor mats are all stitched in pink, and the apostrophe in “She’s” is shaped like a heart. Wrinkles, be gone: A special windshield cuts ultraviolet rays, and the AC unit allegedly improves the driver’s skin quality.

    7 patronizing for-women-only products

    (Source: theweek.com)

     

  8. Mitt Romney is facing a potential campaign killer this week, after Mother Jones posted a surreptitiously filmed video of a private fundraiser in which the GOP standard-bearer belittles the 47 percent of Americans who will allegedly vote for President Obama “no matter what.” These members of the electorate, Romney claimed at the May event, pay no federal income taxes, and have grown too “dependent on government.” My job, the Republican nominee for president said, “is not to worry about those people.”

    In invoking the 47 percent figure, Romney was repeating a conservative trope that has often been hoisted as evidence of the expansion of the welfare state, and once even inspired a short-lived ”53 percent movement.” But is it true? Here, a guide to the claim that nearly half of Americans don’t pay federal income taxes:

    Is Romney’s claim true or false?
    Technically speaking, it’s true. According to a 2011 study by the Tax Policy Center, 46.4 percent of households in the U.S. paid no federal income tax in 2011. The Americans who fall into this category either make too little to be taxed, or qualify for tax credits that mitigate their income tax. This chunk of the electorate is composed largely of seniors on Social Security, students, the disabled, and the poor.

    So half of America lives tax-free?
    No. The federal tax system is progressive (meaning the wealthy are taxed more than the poor), but state tax systems are less so. The households that pay no federal income taxes still pay state and local taxes, as well as sales taxes. In addition, all Americans working full-time pay federal payroll taxes for Social Security. In other words, “it’s factually incorrect for Mitt Romney to dismiss 47 percent of Americans as members of a dependency class,” says Brian Beutler at Talking Points Memo.

    Did more people used to pay federal income taxes?
    Yes. The Great Recession pushed millions of workers out of the labor market, or left them making too little to be taxed. Furthermore, the Bush tax cuts “doubled the child tax credit, increased a number of other deductions and exemptions, and lowered marginal tax rates,” thereby erasing “millions of families’ federal income tax liabilities,” says Annie Lowrey at The New York Times.

    Do Republicans want low taxes for the poor?
    They used to. Indeed, this was once a consistent area of bipartisan agreement, stretching back to the presidencies of Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan. Conservatives liked the idea of tax credits for low-income families with children, as opposed to showering the poor with more federal spending. They saw tax credits as an “extremely low-cost way to recognize the fact that raising the next generation constitutes an expensive investment in human capital that will yield dividends for society as whole,”says Reiham Salam at The National Review. But there is now a strong conservative movement to reform the federal tax code so that everyone “pays their fair share.”

    Does the 47 percent really support Obama?
    No. There are plenty of Republican seniors, for example, who pay no federal income taxes. “Romney seems to have contempt not just for the Democrats who oppose him, but for tens of millions who intend to vote for him,” says William Kristol at The Weekly Standard. Still, this “maker’s and taker’s narrative seems fairly popular among wealthy Republicans,” says Megan McArdle at The Daily Beast

     


  9. Barack Obama, during the primary season in 2008, referred to rural voters who are ‘bitter’ and ‘cling’ to their guns and religion because they had deep economic anxieties. The remarks hurt Obama in the subsequent Pennsylvania primary, and Republicans (like VP nominee Paul Ryan) still use them today to bash the president as insensitive and out of touch. There is a grain of truth in these charges, which is why they’ve stuck.

    This video is far worse on its face.

    — 

    Marc Ambinder in his latest column, The president for the upper half

    Worth a read. 

     

  10. …meanwhile, in 2012, the West Nile virus plagues parts of the nation.

    History is full of bad predictions and opinions. Sample the best of them with the Bad Opinion Generator.

     

  11. Critics are buzzing over the dismal performance of The Oogieloves in the Big Balloon Adventure, a G-rated family film that played in more than 2,000 nearly empty theaters over the holiday weekend. The film comes from writer/producer Kenn Viselman, who distributed the hit children’s series Teletubbies in the United States, and stars a cast of C-List actors seemingly picked at random, including Cloris Leachman, Cary Elwes, and Christopher Lloyd.

    The film’s production and marketing costs reportedly exceeded $60 million, but Oogieloves still earned less than $500,000 over the weekend, which makes it the worst-performing wide-release film of all time.

     

  12. Urban Outfitters, you’ve done it again! 

    The store’s biggest customer pool is the 18-to-24 crowd, followed by the under-18 age group. So it should be no surprise that anti-underage-drinking advocates are incensed at a line of alcohol-related T-shirts being hawked by the retailer and modeled by apparently under-21 female models, just in time for back-to-school shopping. The T-shirt slogans — “I Vote for Vodka,” “Misery Loves Alcohol,” “I Drink You’re Cute,” “USA Drinking Team” — are especially galling because teenage drinking is a worrisome and growing problem that’s associated with sexual activity and decreased condom use, says Sarah B. Weir at Yahoo Shine. “For parents already rattled about kids and booze, it’s a jolt to discover these items when fall clothes shopping with one’s teen or ‘tween.” 

    11 Urban Outfitters controversies

     


  13. Tell McCaskill your standing with Todd Akin.
    — 

    Rep. Todd Akin, struggling to revive his battered campaign, launched a page on his website asking supports to rally behind him. “I made a mistake,” he said, referring to his preposterous claim that victims of “legitimate rape” can’t get pregnant. “I used the wrong words in the wrong way.” Above the quote, the campaign asked fans to “tell McCaskill your standing with Todd Akin.” Giddy critics immediately spotted the error and tweeted their glee to the world, ribbing Akin for “using the wrong word” to “apologize for using the wrong words.” The campaign quickly corrected the error, or tried to, spelling it “your’re,” before trying a third time and getting it right. 

    11 embarrassing political typos