ABC-6 Reporter Mark Curtis: "The Sunday Political Brunch" July 1 - ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather


ABC-6 Reporter Mark Curtis: "The Sunday Political Brunch" July 14, 2013

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by ABC6 Chief Political Reporter Mark Curtis

(New York, New York) – The "Brunch" is coming to you from New York City this weekend. I've been on the road a lot this week, including a trip to Boston, too. So there is a lot to talk about, so here we go! 

"Another ‘Comeback Kid'" – It's another attempt at political resurrection following a sex scandal. Former Governor Eliot Spitzer (D-NY) is now running for New York City Comptroller, potentially putting him in charge of hundreds of millions of dollars in city funds. Spitzer spent thousands of dollars on a Washington, DC prostitute at the famed Mayflower Hotel; was caught; and resigned in disgrace. But don't bet against him, this time. As I pointed out in a recent column most political sex scandals have been a launching pad, rather than a graveyard for political careers. Read on: As always, you just can't make this stuff up! 

"Dzhokhar the Joker" – The Boston Bomber did not win many fans with his first court appearance in Boston this past week. In all the years I have been covering criminal courts, I have never seen a defendant behave like he did. He yawned; rolled his eyes;  fidgeted profusely; stuck his tongue out (maybe for medical reasons); twitched; looked up and down and all over, except for at the judge and I could go on. I was stunned he was not found in contempt of court and tossed out. "He's a smug, insensitive, disrespectful punk," one of the surviving bombing victims told me after court. 

"The Grassy Knoll Brigade" – Tsarnaev will have his rightful day in court, and a taxpayer funded lawyer to defend him. And while the presumption of innocence is a cornerstone of our justice system, there's no denying an avalanche of solid evidence against him. The video surveillance tapes alone are probably enough to send him to death by lethal injection, let alone the trail of evidence him and his late brother left during their four days on the run. By contrast, some odd sorts came to court to protest his arrest and claim that he's being framed. A young lady in a Harvard jersey by the name of Hailey Goodin told me, "A lot of them (the photos) were tampered with – photo shopped. And I could actually prove that myself." Okay Hailey, game on! Prove it! Take your evidence to the United States Attorney in Boston. If you make such a claim, you must have the guts to back it up. Same goes for the people who say we attacked ourselves on 9-11. 

"Don't Tread on Me" – That's the saying on the First Navy Jack that flies above certain U.S. Navy ships. The flag of 13 stripes and an uncoiled snake is symbolic of the notion that a snake does not strike, unless it is provoked. I mention this because all I thought of on the Staten Island Ferry Saturday - as it steamed toward lower Manhattan - was September 11, 2011 and what that day means to our country. This was my first up-close look at the new One World Trade Center skyscraper that replaced the twin towers that were attacked that day. Almost 12 years later, the 19 radical Islamic hijackers are dead; many of their co-conspirators remain in jail; and ringleader Osama bin Laden was taken out. They really thought they were going to destroy the United States? One World Trade Center stands today in proud defiance of any terrorist who thinks they can shake this nation. That's true for the bin Laden's and the Tsarnaev's alike.

"A Cop's Cop" – U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano turned in her resignation this week. So who will replace her? Here in New York City the favorite name being mentioned is NYC Police Commission Ray Kelly. When a liberal Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) and a conservative Representative Peter King (R-NY) both come out on the same day to recommend Ray Kelly, you have the kind of bipartisan agreement Washington needs. While there is talk of naming former Senator Joe Lieberman, or former Representative Jane Harman, or another politician to the job, none has real law enforcement experience. Ray Kelly has been a cop for forty-three years, and this is a job for a real cop! It's not a job for a fair-weathered, pencil-pushing bureaucratic politician.

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