The Sunday Political Brunch – Aug. 5

ABC 6 Political Reporter and East Greenwich resident Mark Curtis shares his weekly political observations!

Last week I wrote that we were in one of the quietest political times of the year. People were on summer vacation or watching the Olympics and not much was happening until the political conventions later this month. Yikes, was I wrong!

242 Comments and Counting – Aside from my website, this column is published every week via EastGreenwich.Patch.com and on my TV station’s website ABC6.com. Usually I get a handful of comments each week, plus a few “likes” when it is posted on Facebook. I was stunned at the response, mostly from mentioning the “Chick-fil-A” gay marriage controversy. We’ve had 242 comments so far – some of them reasoned and thoughtful; some of them highly emotional and volatile; and, lots of them straying way off topic. In short, they run the spectrum. Whether I agree with them or not, the vocal outpouring has been fascinating.

The Chicken, or the Egg – So who won this week? On Wednesday, it was “National Appreciation Day” for Chick-fil-A, with tens of thousands turning out to defend the company and its owner’s support of traditional marriage (and buying lots of chicken, too). On Friday, tens of thousands turned out for a same-sex “Kiss-In” for those who support gay marriage and oppose the Chick-fil-A owner. The winner was the First Amendment. People on both sides were able to freely assemble and express their views. Yes, it got emotional at times (and even downright nasty in some places), but people on all sides got to vent. One Chick-fil-A opponent even videotaped himself berating a fast food clerk at the drive-thru. The video went viral and the anti Chick-fil-A guy was fired from his job. Whoops! Here’s the link: http://tsminteractive.com/man-fired-berating-chick-fil-a-employee/

Kentucky Fried November – I laughed the other day when House Minority leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) weighed in on the controversy saying, “I’m a Kentucky Fried Chicken fan.” Of course the real underlying question is will this matter in November. My prediction: No, this election will be decided on the economy. It’s hard to buy any brand of fried chicken if you don’t have a job.

Profits and Prayers – Some believe that Chick-fil-A is unique in having a religious influence in its business practices, but it is not. Some very prominent and popular companies operate with a faith-based philosophy. Read on: http://www.businessinsider.com/17-big-companies-that-are-intensely-religious-2012-1?op=1

Follow the Bouncing Ball – Remember the old Mitch Miller TV show, where you sang along by following the bouncing ball? This year the “bouncing ball” is the national unemployment rate. Friday it pushed back up to 8.3 percent after three months at 8.2 percent. This is not good news for the Obama White House which must be in absolute panic. They need the rate to drop – even slightly, or to start trending downward – for the President to be re-elected. In modern times no President has been re-elected with unemployment over 8 percent. There are just three more monthly unemployment reports before we vote.

Haters, Racists, Nazis, et al. – The tone of modern political discourse worries me, and from both sides. Take the Chick-fil-A debate where those who oppose gay marriage on legal or religious grounds are called “haters” or prejudiced. If that’s true, then President Obama “hated” gay people up until about two months again when he changed his stance on this issue. Bill and Hillary Clinton both campaigned in favor of traditional marriage, but no one ever said they “hated” gay people. My point is that it’s possible to oppose gay marriage for a variety of reasons, without hating anyone. For example, I know many people who have gay friends and co-workers and support their right to non-discrimination in the workplace, housing, etc. They just disagree on marriage, but that doesn’t mean they hate anyone. So why the name calling? From the other side of the aisle, I questioned a recent Facebook post calling President Obama a Fascist. So he’s equal to Mussolini and Hitler? Come on! Let’s debate issues and principles; not play to angry and exaggerated emotions.

What if the Election is a Tie? – Maybe it’s too early to talk about this, but the possibility fascinates me. It is possible this election could end in an Electoral College tie with each candidate receiving 269 Electoral votes. Normally, when a candidate won a state, he won all the Electoral votes from that state. But now, two states – Nebraska and Maine – have opted to divide their Electoral votes, based on who won in each of the state’s Congressional Districts. In the last election, John McCain won Nebraska, but only took four of the state’s five Electoral votes. That’s because Barack Obama won the urban Congressional District that includes Omaha, so he received one Electoral vote. With this election likely to have a razor-thin margin, this state-splitting phenomenon increases the chance of a 269 to 269 tie. That would throw the election into the House of Representatives, but would also likely send it to the U.S. Supreme Court on the constitutional challenge over a state splitting its Electoral votes. Can you say, “Election 2000 rerun?”

Let’s hear from you? Click on the comment button at www.MarkCurtisMedia.com.

(c) 2012, Mark Curtis Media, LLC.


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nurburg August 08, 2012 at 02:14 PM
English: I was looking at the same article last night. Jack is a moron. Not an ad hominem attack. I've seen enough evidence from reading these comments to make that decision for myself. He can't spell for crap either. Also regarding 13: http://www.snopes.com/politics/obama/lawlicenses.asp What Jack is doing is the equivalent of yelling "fire!" in a crowded auditorium. Say it loudly enough often enough and it "becomes" true. Truthiness at its finest. Larry: Yup, Laura killed a guy. No charges filed. People don't like facts getting in the way of their myopic view: http://www.snopes.com/politics/bush/laura.asp
Jack Baillargeron August 08, 2012 at 02:14 PM
Nard, Well I know the letter you are talking about, however it is from his biography. I saw no need to have the whole letter or Congress.org site listed since I was using information available in the public domain and reseached it at many web sites to verify. If I put the 20 or so sites I needed to verify, I doubt anyone would search them. Also just because a site may be right or left leaning does not mean things are not true. It is up to the individual to reseach. I love how people decry Wiki, but many of the things on there have links to were the person who worte it got their info. Granted some do not. So those are the ones you check yourself. It is like that no matter the site, though like everyone, not being perfect I sometime post things that are reasonable question to me, even in a so called chain mail etc. Most of it was verified from his biography. http://www.biography.com/people/mitt-romney-241055?mkwid=s2wG86QRt_pcrid_13829896608_pkw_mitt%20romney%20bio_pmt_b&utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_term=mitt%20romney%20bio&utm_campaign=Political+Figures&paidlink=1&cmpid=PaidSearch_google_Political+Figures_mitt%20romney%20bio
nurburg August 08, 2012 at 02:16 PM
15: http://www.snopes.com/politics/obama/birthers/occidental.asp It took me less than 6 seconds to find citations to debunk this claim. These idiots have no interest in doing any research to back up their opinions. It's pathetic.
Jack Baillargeron August 08, 2012 at 02:21 PM
Also Nard, when people ask a question of another poster, it is not my job to do their research for them, and I have found most times they know it. They just do it I assume because they think they are in college and are a proffesor that requires a thesis on weverything you say in a post. So I get tired of it as I am not the researcher of these people who are demeaning, disrespecting, name calling internet trolling etc. It is all a game to them though I pretty much have most of them classified so far. Again though, if it it a left or right site, FOX, MSNBC, ABC,NBC etc etc. Does not mean it is not true, if you reseach yourself. All of these outlets are not to be believed exclusivly, that would be foolis. But what do you see of the majority of answers to me. Pundit talking point retorts with no information supporting the point at all. Again I am not here to spendthe time to correct pundit points. Let them do their own research I say.
Nard Glimrod August 08, 2012 at 02:26 PM
Jack: > I know the letter you are talking about, however it is from his biography. No, it's pretty clear you were copying and pasting from the letter. The last paragraph........ But, on the minus side, he never was a "Community Organizer", never took drugs or smoked pot, never got drunk, did not associate with communists or terrorists, nor did he attend a church whose pastor called for God to damn the US. .....is certainly not included on Romney's biography. It is, however, taken verbatim from the letter. It's no big deal, I'm just asking you to list your source when you're using another's words. Yes, we can all research it, but it just saves a step. You were obviously on that web page (or another with the same content) when you copied and pasted, so it wouldn't have taken too much longer to make a reference to the original link. Thanks again for your consideration in this regard.
Jack Baillargeron August 08, 2012 at 02:57 PM
Like I said Larry and I don't know why you do not get it. He has released normal amout other canidate in the last election did. Which is what is normally required. Is it different for a Morman or something, because I don't get that. To the other things, have yet to see any investigation by law enforcement or charges that he has every done a thing wrong. You also still do not respond to all the things Obama had sealed and refused to show, well running for any office. Why is that, please explain that. You can get a copy of his birth certifacate throug the morman church, which by the way the most extensive records in the world ancestry and births of all people in the US. To the other stuff I am not aware of everything he has given out or refused, if any that are the normal information canidates give or do not give. If you are going to keep harping with untruths and not answer question of the canidate you support. This pointlessly one sided. So as I said I disagree and until you provide information I asked on Obama it is pointless. YOu are just playing pundit games with no facts to support you.
Jack Baillargeron August 08, 2012 at 03:03 PM
Polls do not determine an election, see harry truman, dewey, al gore, carter, nixon, and a few 100 congressmen and local politicians over the years for facts on that, do your own reseach though it is common knowledge larry ;-} ...
Jack Baillargeron August 08, 2012 at 03:04 PM
Also being liked does not mean your policies are liked, try looking at that, at least that count for a better understanding, if you are going to base everything on polls.
Jack Baillargeron August 08, 2012 at 03:14 PM
Wonder why you don't speak to the sources snope used English, Yahoo, AP, Washington Post. As for Jackie Kenedy, counting the contractors renovating the whitehouse was hardly her staff. Need to look at the definition also. You might be interested to know that counting the people Barbra the bush family paid for our of their own pocket as well as Lady Bird Johnson, may make a difference that actual government employees' Just saying. Nuburg, just typical name calling not based in fact at all. By the way it is an insult and ad hominem attack. One of the many reasons you have no credibilty at all. All you ever do is call people down with pundit remarks personal attacks and no facts at all. But then that your mindset evidently. Delusional, but hey at least its a mind.
Jack Baillargeron August 08, 2012 at 03:23 PM
In the end English, Larry and Nurburg, the past is past and has nothing to do with the current canidate, only their information is relevent, and surly not Laura bushs when she was a teenager. Don't remember her being charged with murder either. Nice spin, but if you watch the news every day you will find many teen had accident in which someone died, they are called tragedy's not killing someone. Wow your disgusting
Jack Baillargeron August 08, 2012 at 03:26 PM
Larry; one more thing. You said "Mitt cannot disclose his plans for America, details of his Tax Plan". then just how did those people you harp about have proved his plan is bad and will not work, figure that out if they had no details. Don't bother to answer that on second though. There is no answer, you cannot prove something with out the details as you have to assume and that is not scientific or mathimatic, they call that guessing or mind reading maybe. lol
Jonathan Keith August 08, 2012 at 03:27 PM
Ron Paul or nothing!!! :)
Jack Baillargeron August 08, 2012 at 03:32 PM
You are correct on the nothing, but it will be nothing left if we vote for Ron, he cannot get elected and Obama would possible get re-elected. Yea I know him and romney are the lesser of 2 eveil, Obama being much worse. But that is the choice. Should note I like many of Ron Pauls stand on issues, other than his military stand which would put us back to per wwII and surely start wwIII. Just my opinion of Ron however.
Jack Baillargeron August 08, 2012 at 03:34 PM
I voted for perot way back when also ;-}. Really thought we had a 3rd party back then chance.
Jonathan Keith August 08, 2012 at 03:59 PM
Larry, why because he is open to more than just the talking point highlighted on the mainstream media? Because he does his own investigating? Because he brings talking point to the table that you cannot even start to counter? Because Perot would have been the best thing that happened to this country? Because Paul could be the best thing that happens to this country? Because the fiscal state of our nation, weather we like it or not, cannot afford to continue the military industrial complex that Eisenhower warned us of? Because some people are so set in regurgitating others talking point that they cannot come up with an original thought to save their life? Because the wonderful times that I enjoyed the tail end of being only 28 myself are what I want my son to have? Because the government that my father’s generation and the debt from his has left mine in a situation where we cannot fathom ever getting out of? Because the monetary policy is in such a disarray from Nixon handing it fully over to a corrupt system run by wall street cronies that only care about their profits? Because half of the involvements of our military are built off of lies and it shows thought the military men and women not support the current president with donations? Because if you really followed the money trail you would realize that none of this even matters and we are all just a cash cow for our government under the UN to do whatever it wants wherever it wants?
Jack Baillargeron August 08, 2012 at 04:02 PM
Thanks for all the kindness in your words Larry. I am all choked up. Don't worry not enough to cause death or harm though. Of course vomiting is not off the table lol. It is good to see you have such respect for me also ;-}
nurburg August 08, 2012 at 04:04 PM
Most Ron Paul supporters (and I do mean most) haven't even read his positions: http://www.ronpaul2012.com/the-issues/ron-paul-plan-to-restore-america/ Repeal Sarbanes-Oxley?! Are you people out of your freakin' minds?! This is coming from someone who, at the surface, thought Paul could be a great for the country... until I dove into the details.
Jack Baillargeron August 08, 2012 at 04:05 PM
Your reply to Larry is Right on there keith for the most part. I salute you!
Jack Baillargeron August 08, 2012 at 04:12 PM
Wow Nuburg, You really need help with anologies. "What Jack is doing is the equivalent of yelling "fire!" in a crowded auditorium. Say it loudly enough often enough and it "becomes" true. Truthiness at its finest." Fire in a theater really lol. Not even close to the the other quote lol. Actually damn insane comparision, but I have to consider the source which always seems to be half truths and half baked comment, when it comes to politics or life in general lol.
Jonathan Keith August 08, 2012 at 04:12 PM
Thank you for validating everything I said Larry! Your intelligence amazes me!! Numburg, you are never going to agree with everything someone stands for, but as a true conservative little r republican I want to see as little government involvement as possible.
Manifold Witness August 09, 2012 at 04:09 PM
Of Mark Curtis, anonymous posters, the First Amendment, voting with your feet & controlling what goes into and/or out of our own mouths. Welcome to the East Bay, Mark. Part 1 of 6 Of Mark Curtis- We must first put Mark Curtis in perspective. Mark is described as a “political journalist” or “political reporter”. What does that mean in 2012? Is it “just the facts”? Does it include opinion? Does context matter? News anchors used to present the facts and then interview experts on both sides of an issue. Now, do we have “reporters” and “journalists” giving us a sometimes indistinguishable amalgamation of “news” facts and opinion? And maybe sometimes a dose of opinionated analyses that forces us to conclude that the messenger may not be a trained, qualified expert, be it legal, medical, economic, etc. Is Mark a journalist? An opinion blogger? Both? Is there such a thing as a journalist with opinions? Is this brave new world of “opinews” making us work harder to separate the fact from the opinion? Maybe today’s “newscasters” need a variety of hats. Like the way Andy Griffith used to do it on the old television show – one minute Andy’s the arresting officer advocating for prosecution and the next he’s the Justice of the Peace readily, fairly & impartially hearing the facts. But Andy’s hats always alerted the viewers to the difference.
Just Another Taxpayer August 09, 2012 at 04:36 PM
If I am a candidate for office, I would rather have the majority electorate like me rather than hate me. Politics 101.
Emcee of Seekonk August 09, 2012 at 05:02 PM
Today's Gallup poll shows Romney 46% - Obama 47% on the question: If the election were held today, who would you vote for? ABC leans left. Polls change every day, they can be an indication or show a trend, but orchestrated upsets do happen.
Jack Baillargeron August 09, 2012 at 05:10 PM
Love the variety of hats, what a great idea for the media nation wide ;-}.
Manifold Witness August 10, 2012 at 01:58 PM
Part 2 of 6. Of the Anonymous - Many a great writer did assume a nom de plume. Granted, “name de keyboard” does not nearly so poetic sound. While some great ones wrote anonymously, not all the anonymous are great ones. To he who abhors the anonymous, please accept sincerest advance apologies. Comments to blogs are about ideas. Period. True anonymity is the penultimate expression of the ultimate in a level playing field for disembodied ideas. It begins & ends right here so there is no need for non-anonymity as to the free expression of the ideas expressed. Some who use real names may flatter themselves that they are brave & say the anonymous are cowards who lack courage. Fair enough - maybe there is the cowardice in being afraid of being punished for the ideas expressed. Or maybe the need to know who’s who is a control issues? Maybe he who is so compelled is the one to be feared? Maybe, for some, the need to post under one’s real name (can we tell for sure?) is not brave but ego-driven? Maybe some anonymous posters are not so ego-driven? Maybe some folks don’t have the luxury of being able to reveal their real names. Anonymity comes with responsibility no greater than that which is shouldered by those using real names. Responsible anonymity provides freedom to trot intellectually provocative ideas out for a test drive in the community idea lab & read thoughtful feedback. Now THAT takes bravery.
Jonathan Keith August 10, 2012 at 02:55 PM
Fear nor Ego drives me to post under the name I am know by. I fear none and take no credit for posting the truth, the truth how I see it to be. The expressions of ideas in their purest form are only to show opposition to the beliefs of the many. However what is an idea, except a self projected view of the truth? We should be open to ideas and life in every form on every argument. The fact that one would post under a name means simply that they want to be held accountable for what they post. If I am to fear expression then I have accepted the fact that my god given rights have been taken away by my government. This is becoming more of a reality, but until the task of destroying our constitution has completed I shall use my name.
Nard Glimrod August 10, 2012 at 03:13 PM
>> What is an idea, except a self projected view of the truth? Boy, for a couple of French philosophers, your English is pretty good. Très bien, Le Manifold! Bon travail, Monsieur Jean Keith! Enjoy your croissants. :-)
Dan D August 10, 2012 at 03:24 PM
Jonathan, I do accept that my inalienable (not god given) rights have been usurped. But not by the government. They have been usurped by extremist elements which seek to control the government and people with fear. And they do. when members of certain political groups proudly state that they carry guns for "safety" and routinely target people and harass them, anonymity of those opposed to them is a result. atheists and gay people hide themselves behind this cloak for fear of reprisal, not just against them, but their children. the Prayer Banner issue in Cranston is a prime example. Grown men sending death threats to a 16 year old girl. Flower shops refusing to deliver flowers to her. Police officers escorting her to school and 24 hour protection of her house. But those are just the FACTS in Rhode Island.
Jonathan Keith August 10, 2012 at 03:50 PM
Dan D, I can accept that the facts are pointing to groups of extremist taking away our rights, however the government allows this. We are the governed and the governing. We have the power to change the course of this country yet most of us sit by while these actions occur. This has caused such hostility among men of likeness, and the government through media outlets magnifies these hostilities and causes them to gain unprecedented attention. As far as the Cranston Prayer Banner is concerned this is the right of the people as it is the right of the girl to either enjoy or despise such a public expression of religious sided vales. However for the governing body to allow this to be removed empowers the extremist few to continue such actions moving the bar higher, and higher. This in turn causes more hostility and ends with man hating man. We are living in a de-evolution of our society. This is why we strongly need to heed the further control our government has adopted through moves such as the Patriot Act, the NDAA, the TSA, and Cyber attacks of personal privacy. Through this the government has its hand involved. “They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.” -Benjamin Franklin
Dan D August 10, 2012 at 04:11 PM
There is a big difference between "I do not like what you did" and the furor which cause her to require police protection. Laws were broken and nothing was done. Why? Because the majority agrees with the extreme element and is therefore loath to punish them. It really is no different than the Taliban. the majority is silent as long as they are not the ones being persecuted, yet will scream bloody murder when someone appears to infringe on their rights. That is why the person who filed a complaint about the Woonsocket cross chose to remain anonymous. and that is also why the mayor of that town is demanding the revelation of this person's identity. They want to harass and shame this person. And the people are all for it! We are in the midst of a culture war. The majority, led by extremists, and ignored by the unaffected, is working to push their way of life and their values on others. They are removing all of our freedom of thought and life in the process. Those of us on the fringe must stay on the fringe and hide ourselves because those that may agree we have a right to our beliefs and thoughts stay silent because they do not want to get involved. After all, they are not the threatened. All it takes for evil to thrive is for good men to do nothing.


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