4 in the AfternoonHere’s what you need to know about the world today. As usual it’s all basically terrifying. Fortunately there’s this great, free, arts-extravaganza thing going on downtown right now, followed by a you-gotta-pay-but-wow-it’s-even-more-terrific thing, so I think I’ll leave you to read this stuff while I go enjoy music and forget about a fallen world for a bit.

1 THE U.S. GETS DOWNGRADED, THE FREAKOUT BEGINS, BUT WAIT, ISN’T THIS ALL STUPID? It happened. Ah, nuts. But here’s something: economist Paul Krugman says the agency that downgraded the U.S.’ credit rating is just “making stuff up.”

2 REMEMBER THE SPECIAL OPS TEAM THAT KILLED OBAMAOSAMA? A bunch of their Navy Seal teammates got killed in Afghanistan. UPDATE: Oh good, now I’m in that idiot typo club. Great. Now I can’t judge others harshly for the Obama-Osama slip up.

3 THE GOVERNOR OF TEXAS IS A RELIGIOUS LUNATIC, AND HE COULD BE RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT, AND HE MIGHT WIN AND I’M SCARED BECAUSE RELIGIOUS ZEALOTS SHOULDN’T HAVE ACCESS TO NUCLEAR ARSENALS I don’t even know where to begin with the jerk heading the state of Texas, who’s hosting a scary, scary prayer rally today. Some history: Governor Rick Perry is a dink who vetoed a law banning texting while driving as an intrusion of liberty but signed a law requiring woman undergoing an abortion to watch ultrasounds of their fetus, which I guess isn’t a violation of liberty because that directly affects “women”, not “people”. He’s knowingly let a quite-possibly innocent person be executed. He wants businesses to be able to do whatever they want to the environment and to hell with the Environmental Protection Agency.  He’s an anti-gay-rights bigot who questions science. He’s basically just no good.

And this weekend Perry’s hosting a nightmarish prayer event with tons of religious extremists. Fortunately, turnout is soft. But just the fact that this level of religious fervour doesn’t rule someone out of political office is terrifying. If you don’t believe you have any ability to make a country better, and that it’s all in God’s hands, get the hell out of politics. Politics needs people who will use office to do stuff that helps people. If your best idea is “let’s pray”, you’re unfit for the job.

Oh, just watch this:

4 YOU KNOW, IT’S JUST ALL BAD, I’M GOING TO GO LISTEN TO DAN MANGAN NOW Civil war (can we call it that now?) continues in Libya. Syria’s just awful. Things might be getting slightly better in Somalia, though. And if you’re an Alexisonfire fan, well, I have some bad news.