With the release of The Expendables, it seems that every self-respecting male has caught 80's fever. As a way to clear the palette from modern metro-sexual romps, my friends have resorted to re-visiting old B-movie beauties such as Cobra, Road House and Tango and Cash. Sure they're awful, but unlike the Kaiser-helmet wearing hipsters of the lower east side, those movies never tried to be anything that they weren't.

When looking back at the 80s however, the one thing that strikes me the most are the cartoons. I'll admit it, I'm a cartoon junkie. To this day I can still be found in my pajamas with a bowl of Cap'n Crunch, catching up on animated glory. Back in the 80s though, cartoons were still violent... and I liked it that way.

Of course, I'm discussing the cartoons aimed squarely at young boys. You see, back then, before gender roles became considered hateful and being androgynous had been transformed into a virtue, boys actually watched different cartoons from girls, and they were proud of it.

In every week of his presidency until now, Barack Obama has enjoyed a majority approval rating in the Gallup Poll from people earning less than $2,000 per month. But that changed in the Gallup survey conducted from Aug. 2-8, when only 49 percent of Americans in that income bracket said they approve of the job Obama is doing.

This marks the first time since Obama was inaugurated on January 20, 2009, when Americans in all four of the income brackets reported in Gallup's weekly survey of presidential approval gave Obama less than 50 percent approval.

For the week of Aug. 2-Aug. 8, only 42 percent of Americans earning $7,500 per month or more said they approve of the job Obama is doing. Forty-four percent of those earning between $5,000 and $7,499 said they approve of the job he is doing. And forty-six percent of those earning between $2,000 and $4,999 said they approve of the job he is doing.

The National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID), a division of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), has awarded $126,000 over the past two years to a University of Washington study that established "web-based sex diaries" for gay males as young as 16.

By the time the grants end in 2011, taxpayers will have spent more than $250,000 for the study.

"The study's second aim is to assess the feasibility of using web-based sex diaries to collect sexual behavior data and to identify the appropriate diary schedule. MSM [men who have sex with men] will be randomly assigned diary schedules and we will compare the frequency of reported behaviors across diary schedules and against the retrospective questionnaire data," the grant abstract states.

The study, titled "The Importance of Early Sexual Experiences Among Men Who Have Sex with Men," seeks to find out if the circumstances under which young homosexuals first engage in homosexual acts impacts their future sexual behavior.

road-mortensenIf you’re not interested in having Will Ferrell lecture you on the evils of capitalism this coming weekend and would instead prefer to cozy up at home before the warm glow of plasma with a cold one in one hand a Redbox receipt in the other, here are five fairly new-to-DVD flicks that won’t leave you feeling sucker punched. 

1. The Road: Director John Hillcoat’s adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s Pulitzer Prize winner was unforgivably snubbed for Oscar consideration last year, as was leading man Viggo Mortensen for his heart-wrenching work as a widowed father leading his adolescent son across a dangerous, barren  post-apocalyptic America. Muted, heartbreaking, and yet hopeful, this is a story about a father teaching his son about what it takes to survive at any cost other than losing your humanity. Perfectly acted, beautifully directed and paced in such a way that casts an hypnotic spell, “The Road” is part Christian allegory, part zombie movie, and boasts an unforgettable cameo by Robert Duvall.

The press won't go there because, well, they love President Barack Obama and this story, accurately reported, is painful. I haven't gone there because I don't really care what's going on between President Obama and his wife. President Clinton defiling the Oval office concerned me because his actions were a big f-u to the American people and showed blatant disrespect to the office and the country. Michelle being pissed off at Barack Obama? Eh, who isn't? Also, Michelle being a petty, selfish woman? Also not news. If reports are to be believed, Michelle Obama is the reason America has the shining tower of intelligence Joe Biden instead of Hillary Clinton. Petty. They're two of a kind.

Still and all, this story has become more newsworthy as the scope and cost of Michelle's trip to Europe has dribbled out. Mickey Kaus says:

So Michelle Obama vacations in Spain with her daughter and a huge posse, leaving her husband alone on his birthday and undermining his party's political chances (bad recession ‘optics'). This is the sort of story on which I suspect there are three levels of perception:

The 1,200 National Guard troops that are being deployed incrementally to the southwest border "will not be doing direct law enforcement," said U.S. National Guard Bureau Director of Communications Jack Harrison when asked if the forces would be interdicting drugs and undocumented immigrants.

"The two mission sets are criminal analysts and enter-identification team," Harrison told CNSNews.com. "I can tell you that guardsmen will not be doing direct law enforcement on the southwest border."

In other words, the National Guardsmen will not be used to actually stop and detain illegal aliens trying to sneak across the border into the United States.

Harrison made his comments on Friday during a "bloggers roundtable" sponsored by the Department of Defense (DOD).

The last thing I was worrying about was that The Other Guys would be too preachy. Sure, Will Ferrell has a long history of deep, thought-provoking critiques of society and culture, so that should have been my big concern. Also subtitles. And having the last shot of the film be the word "Fin" superimposed over the freeze-framed image of a crying child alone on a beach symbolizing death or something.

You know, sometimes you just want to go, have a drink or two, or three, or ten, and then sit in a movie theater and tune out the seemingly endless parades of nimrods, pinkos and sanctimonious deadbeats who make up so much of our society today. You just want some guys to come on the screen and to do and say some funny stuff. Maybe you want an explosion or two, perhaps a gratuitous shower scene - strike that, as shower scenes are never gratuitous. Unless it's a dude. Or Kathy Bates.

The point is the last thing you want after a Dos XX prep and handing over $11.75 each for yourself and your life partner/designated driver is for a bunch of Hollywood half-wits to stop the fun to give you a PowerPoint briefing on their insights into modern politics - without even the PowerPoint. And it appears that this is exactly what The Other Guys intends to do.

Carl Cameron thinks Sharron Angle is naive. I think Sharron Angle thinks like a Democrat: Expect good media coverage, tell the media what you want to talk about, and by golly! expect friendly coverage!

Elizabeth Crum, of the National Review Online, reports from Las Vegas the exchange between Carl Cameron and Nevada Senate hopeful Sharron Angle (she’d be replacing Harry Reid):

Angle: “We needed to have the press be our friend.”

Cameron: “Wait a minute. Hold on a second. To be your friend…?”

Angle: “Well, truly–”

Cameron: “That sounds naive.”

Pinal County (Ariz.) Sheriff Paul Babeu is hopping mad at the federal government.

Babeu told CNSNews.com that rather than help law enforcement in Arizona stop the hundreds of thousands of people who come into the United States illegally, the federal government is targeting the state and its law enforcement personnel.

"What's very troubling is the fact that at a time when we in law enforcement and our state need help from the federal government, instead of sending help they put up billboard-size signs warning our citizens to stay out of the desert in my county because of dangerous drug and human smuggling and weapons and bandits and all these other things and then, behind that, they drag us into court with the ACLU," Babeu said.

There was a lot of cool news out of Comic Con last week. The "Avengers" has a great cast, with the addition of Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner, and a great director in Joss Whedon. The images from Zack Snyder's "Sucker Punch" look awesome. "Scott Pilgrim vs. The World" was screened and people love it. Oh, and the upcoming "Captain America" film won't be "about America so much as it is about the spirit of doing the right thing."

Say what?

That's right kids. Captain America will be out there fighting the real evil of the world: corporations, Tea Partiers, global warming, and those who oppose gay marriage.

Even the L.A. Times notes that the decision to not make Captain America "jingoistic and flag waving" is a personal choice by the filmmaker. After all, it's hard to demand that change in the name of commerce. Marvel's own decidedly libertarian franchise "Iron Man" has earned nearly two billion dollars world wide.

What a fine group of happy warriors! Right Online 2010 turned out over 1,000 like-minded activists from over 30 states. These passionate folks walked the over-100 degree streets of Las Vegas to educate voters that November Is Coming.

Should the Democrats be worried? No. They should be resigned. The real worry-warts should be Republicans consistently intent on selling out their principles. Be worried. People are mission-focused.

A couple highlights from the conference: Here's my favorite speaker from the group, Emery McClendon:

So last week, in the Rose Garden, President Obama paraded out three jobless folks, using their plight to implore Congress to extend unemployment benefits.

One of them was a delightful woman named Leslie Macko.

Here’s what he said about her.

“We need to pass it for Leslie Macko who lost her job at a fitness center last year and has been looking for work ever since because she eligible for only a few more weeks of unemployment, she’s doing what she thought she’d never have to do. She’s turning to her father for financial support.”

Well, our President was right – she did lose her job (giving facials!), but it might have been for good reason. It occurred one month after she pleaded guilty to felony prescription drug fraud, in March 2009.