Friday, August 17, 2012

Media Moping (Friday LINKS)

As expected, the rapidly approaching election has...hmm..."heightened" the rhetoric around here.  That's fine.  But one thing I did want to address is this idea that the "media bias" extends to this blog.  I have one word in response: Duh.

In the age of Google, 600+ cable channels, and, claiming media bias is a lazy cop out.  I spend a good part of my lunch break checking out the crazy stuff my friends and family post on Facebook about the election.  It literally takes one cut and paste for me to find out that ___ tax plan will increase our taxes just as much as ____ by different means.  If I feel a particular news report overreaches, or just doesn't sound right, I can get on my computer and chase down opposing arguments and/or supporting facts within seconds.  The Internet has not only allowed for a more skeptical view of the world, but also enlarged all of our roles in figuring out "the truth" (oftentimes being a separate truth, but that's a matter for another post).

Allegations of "media bias" on both sides (yes, I've heard it from both sides), just show a depressing lack of curiosity and/or computer illiteracy.  If you want to know the real media bias in the world, ask a random person at the grocery store whether they know more about Casey Anthony or Obamacare.  With regard to political spin, put on your big boy (or girl) pants and find out the answers on your own.  Further investigation can only lead down two paths: You will either be soothed with a dose of confirmation bias or enlightened to facts that will make you a better thinker and a better citizen.

As for what I write, this is my opinion.  I feel like I write that every four months, but I also think it can be overlooked.  I worked hard to build credibility with all of you and will never purposefully mislead or "trick" you.  But I do have my worldview about what I think is wrong with this Country and the policies that will work to fix them.  I think it would be impossible for someone to read as much as I read (#humblebrag) and not come to some sort of conclusion.

If I get into a discussion with you, whether offline or in the comments, it probably means one of two things: 1) I'm interested in your point of view, or 2) I'm insecure about my own.  I spend a lot of time and brain sugar finding links that I think you will be interested in every morning.  It is plain offensive to suggest that I should be linking to something else.  If you want to share something, bring it to the table.

As a friend told me the other day "The Internet is a big place, Tom."  If you feel entitled to being spoon-fed information, you are living in the wrong decade.  And if you don't see the vast potential of a search bar, your imagination is dreadfully weak.


Over the weekend, each of the presumptive 2014 Gubernatorial candidates will be holding events in and around Ocean City for the Maryland Association of Counties (MACo) Summer conference.  Ken Ulman held his Crab Feast last night, which was attended by about 100 people.  Ken was very happy with the turnout, although Lindsey McPherson found one attendee of multiple MACo events who may not have been as impressed "We’ve been to some where there are 400 people."

After O'Malley told reporters in relation to the gambling lobby that he would like to "ban gaming dollars from the whole damn process", it would appear that this blasphemy was in vain.  The legislation only limits campaign contributions for those with over 5% interest in the casino, which would mean evenly split investor groups of 20 or more could make campaign contributions at will, keeping in mind that a 5% interest is projected to bring in annual returns in the millions of dollars.  Slow clap for Annapolis! 

Columnist Robert McCartney with the Washington Post looks into whether campaign contributions drove the new gambling legislation with a rather damning conclusion about the new law:

The question arises partly because of unmistakable evidence that the two top politicians who shoved the measure into law are fully aware that gambling hurts the middle-class and low-income people whom their Democratic Party purports to protect.

Both Gov. Martin O’Malley and Senate President Thomas V. “Mike” Miller Jr. have bluntly acknowledged that gambling is a lousy way for governments to raise revenue. It disproportionately drains money from less-affluent classes who bet hoping for a statistically unlikely windfall.

Featured Blog Post of the Day: When Frank Hecker emerges from the mist to post a food review of Korean Fried Chicken, he gets FBPD.

I appreciate those of you who sent in nominations for the Birthday Fundraiser.  It was a lot of fun to learn about organizations that I had previously not been aware of and all the good that our citizens are doing with their private dollars.  Please feel free to send in any other suggestions.  Jane and I will look them over this weekend.

Also, it is not too late to RSVP for the Homeless Ending Happy Hour next Tuesday.  Did I mention that The Rumor Mill has over 50 different kinds of flavored vodkas?

Have a great Friday doing what you love.  It is impossible not to.