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SDB Evening News Reads for 051311

Friday the 13th, 1980. (Photo: CTV News)

It is Friday the 13th, and as Dakinikat posted in the comments section on this mornings reads, the word for fear of Friday 13th is called friggatriskaidekaphobia. I wonder what the fear of long ass words is? On to this Friday the 13th evening reads….Gaddafi has issued a radio statement that he is alive and well.  This dude could use a Jason hockey mask, he would be a hell of a lot less scary with it!   Gaddafi dismisses claims he was injured – Africa – Al Jazeera English

Libyan state television has aired what it says is a statement by Muammar Gaddafi, in which the Libyan leader denies reports that he has been wounded. In the audio message, broadcast on Friday evening, Gaddafi said he is alive and well despite air strikes from the NATO military alliance on his Bab al-Aziziyah compound in the capital, Tripoli, on Thursday. Gaddafi said he is in a place where NATO bombs can not reach him. “I want to tell you that your bombing will not reach me because millions of Libyans bear me in their heart,” Gaddafi said, thanking heads of state who had asked about his health after the airstrike.

What the AJE article fails to mention is after Gaddafi said he was in a good hiding place, where NATO can’t find him…a loud wet dictatorial raspberry sound was heard over the airwaves. Speaking of Friday the 13th scary…I’ve got some links below that are really frightening. Only instead of a big kitchen knife, just imagine Jason wielding a wire hanger. But first, a few articles that came out today about media bias… This recent scientific study from North Carolina State University shows that Perceived media bias can lead to political action,

…but only on specific issues. When there is a general perception of bias in the news media it actually results in increased apathy among citizens. […] The researchers found no direct evidence of a connection between perceived bias and political engagement, but did find some evidence that perceived bias undermined both people’s trust in government and belief that they could influence government. Ultimately, this indirect influence also undermined their likelihood of engaging in political behavior.

That comes as no surprise, but when researchers asked the survey respondents about a specific and controversial issue, they found a direct link between “perceived media bias” and becoming involved as an advocate for their particular views on the issue. For example:

“The people who perceived the most media bias on stem cell research were also the most willing to join a demonstration or take other political action,” Binder says. “I think this shows that people are more likely to get involved in the political process if they do not feel their views are represented by the media on specific issues.

And if there is one media network that continues to present the news according to its own political agenda, it is Fox News.  MoJo’s Kevin Drum discusses a recent article from the blog Monkey Cage that analyses Fox and CNN’s coverage of the tea party tax day rallies from 2009 in a sociological point of view. Fox News as a Social Movement | Mother Jones

The nickel version is that CNN gave the rallies a lot of coverage on the day of the events plus a little bit of followup the next day. In other words, they treated the rallies as a news event. But Fox’s approach was a wee bit different: FoxNews has explicitly mobilized its viewers by connecting the Tea Party to their own brand identity. … Rather than serving a journalistic, or even a propagandistic function, Fox News in effect acts as a “national social movement organization,” as described by sociologist Debra Minkoff in studies of liberal identity movements.

Since the graph clearly shows what most of us already knew, click the link to Monkey Cage and read more of the analysis.  It sure is a different way of looking at the media bias on Fox News.

Mitch McConnell

This next article is from last night, I just think it is exactly what we have come to expect from the GOP in a “schoolyard bully” way: Mitch McConnell: Agree to Cut Medicare or I Will Destroy the Economy | FDL Action

The cynicism of American politicians is a strong and persistent theme, but this most recent move by Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell takes it to a whole new level. A mere six months after Republicans won big by attacking Democrats for “cutting Medicare,” McConnell is now demanding cuts to Medicare or else he will do serious damage to the American economy. From the Washington Post:

Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell told President Obama on Thursday that he must agree to cut spending on federal agencies over the next two years and make significant changes to Medicare and Medicaid as part of a deal for raising the legal limit on government borrowing. During a White House meeting with the entire Senate Republican caucus, McConnell (Ky.) told the president that the battle over the debt limit is a critical opportunity to overhaul the popular health-care entitlement programs, which are projected to be the biggest drivers of future borrowing.

This is chutzpah in its purest form. McConnell went from great defender of Medicare to threatening to take down the whole economy unless Democrats allow them to cut the program in the political blink of an eye.

I will say this, McConnell is another dude I would rather see wearing a hockey mask as well.  He just looks to me like an aged Chucky doll.  What do you think? This next link is one way the Republicans can completely wipe out American History in schools instead of rewriting it…. House Bill Introduced to Eliminate Teaching American History Grants | History News Network

On May 13, legislation was introduced in the House of Representatives that would eliminate the Teaching American History (TAH) grants program at the U.S. Department of Education. The bill (H.R. 1891), the “Setting New Priorities in Education Spending Act,” would terminate 43 K-12 federal education programs the House Republican leadership contends are wasteful, ineffective and duplicative.

Yup, give a Republican a knife and they will chop Kevin Bacon to pieces faster than Jason Voorhees did in the 1980 movie, Friday the 13th. And here is the two articles that I referred to up top…wire hangers indeed! Minnesota Planned Parenthood Condemns Proposed “Gag Rule” | RH Reality Check

The Minnesota legislature is continuing its efforts to defund reproductive health services for poor women. First trying to deny state-funded abortion coverage by pulling funds from Planned Parenthood, and now introducing a gag rule that would not only remove state funds from any abortion provider, even if the funds were not used for abortion, but would deny funds to any group that so much as gives a referral for or even mentions the word abortion.

Kansas Legislature Votes To Take Title X Money From Planned Parenthood, Give It to Pregnancy Centers | RH Reality Check

The Kansas legislature has passed a bill meant to defund Planned Parenthood by removing $334,000 in Title X funding meant to help low income women access reproductive health screenings and birth control.  The measure, as well as a full ban on any abortion coverage in any insurance policies in the state, continue to establish Kansas as one of the most anti-women’s health states in the country.

Alright, y’all know what I would say about these anti-woman bills in Minnesota and Kansas…I am just too tired and annoyed to type it out now. Just a couple more…talking about Fox News, I wanted to bring this article from MoJo about foxes, to your attention.  Fantastic Foxes | Mother Jones

This species success story is therefore best seen outside of cities, in the remote habitats where the variations in fox’s biology can really be seen and appreciated. Though you may have to look hard to see them, as these “true foxes” of the deserts, mountains, tundras, and frozen worlds are kings of being coy. Of the 37 species referred to as foxes, only 12 actually belong to the Vulpes genus of true foxes. One that fits into this category (but also that of its own genus) is the Arctic fox. The Tibetan Fox is characterized by its soft, thick, red fur and long bushy tail with white tip. …the Fennec fox. The smallest canid in the world, this animal’s entire body has adapted to cope with the extreme nature of its environment.

That Tibetan Fox sort of looks like McConnell too… Okay, before I go…did you hear that Bush has talked about where he was when he got the call from Obama about Osama? It seems he was at a restaurant with Laura and some friends, chowing down on a cheese souffle. Have a good Friday Night…and be sure to post any news links ya want to.

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