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Chad’s Morning Brief: Chick-fil-a and the Left, Marco Rubio Introduces Bill to Eliminate Tax on Olympic Medals, & More

Here is your Morning Brief for the morning of August 2, 2012. Give us your feedback below and tune in to Lubbock’s First News with Chad Hasty for these and many more topics from 6-9 am.

Chad Hasty, KFYO.com

1. Chick-fil-a (link)

Yesterday was Chick-fil-a Appreciation Day and along with KFYO’s Allen Corbin and millions of other people, I participated. About 11am yesterday we went to the Chick-fil-a at 69th and Slide Rd. and the place was already packed with people. I was able to speak with management a couple of times and I can tell you that they appreciated everyone who went in yesterday. It was great meeting many of you as well at Chick-fil-a yesterday. That’s always one the best parts of this job. Meeting you guys is always a pleasure and I appreciate all of you for tuning in and even telling the folks at Chick-fil-a that you heard about everything on KFYO.

Yesterday was an interesting day. The left hurled insults at the people who went and ate a chicken sandwich yet complained about people not embracing other people’s views. I kept seeing tweets and Facebook posts that said if you went to Chick-fil-a you hate gay people and gay marriage. This is just another demonstration of how the left doesn’t get it.

Sure, to some people who went it was just about gay marriage. However, many of you went because you wanted to celebrate free speech. That’s why I went as well. I went to Chick-fil-a because the President of the company as been called a bigot and homophobe because he said he supported traditional marriage. People are also mad because of where he donates his money. Government officials have even talked about banning the restaurant because of his views. To me, that is dangerous and scary.

Let’s be clear. Mr. Cathy never insulted anyone. He never held a press conference calling gay people horrible. He never used a derogatory name towards the gay community and he never said they weren’t allowed to eat chicken. He was asked a question and gave his personal opinion. Now, if you want to get pissed about it and stay home, that’s fine. When you want to ban a business because of someone’s religion or opinion… I have a problem with that. Second. He can donate his money where ever he wants. It’s his money. Just like you can donate to President Obama, he can donate to any church or charity. He doesn’t have to do what you deem as acceptable.

Yesterday I was called many things including a bigot because I chose to stand up for free speech. Am I surprised by this? Nope. Those things don’t bother me because I know that I, like many of you, didn’t go to Chick-fil-a out of hate, but because of freedom. Those who hurled the insults don’t know me and in fact you listeners probably know me better than they do.

Finally, why is it that only Christians are seen as bigots? It was the liberals and atheists and some in the gay rights movement yesterday that labeled anyone who went to Chick-fil-a as homophobic and bigots. Yet, these are the same groups that argue against being placed in a box and argue that not everyone is the same or does things for the same reason.

Why is it that when a Christian practices his or her beliefs, we are labeled bigots. But when those groups I mentioned call Christians stupid, moronic, and numerous other slurs it’s seen as perfectly fine and celebrated by some? Bigotry can go both ways. Seems like many don’t understand that.

I appreciate all the good that Chick-fil-a does for our community. For those that don’t like it, stay home. Chick-fil-a will survive and do just fine.

2. Rubio Wants to Eliminate a Tax (link)

Win a gold medal in this year’s Olympics? Awesome! Now, hand over $8,986 to the U.S. Government. That could change though if Senator Marco Rubio has his way.

Sen. Marco Rubio introduced a bill Wednesday to eliminate the federal government’s tax on Olympic medals, saying the levy amounted to yet another way the government tries to punish those who succeed.

Athletes who win a gold medal also earn a $25,000 honorarium — and with it an $8,986 tax bill to the IRS, according to Americans for Tax Reform, which crunched the numbers. That covers both the honorarium and the tax on the value of the gold in the medal itself.

The silver medal tax comes to $5,385, and the bronze medal tax is $3,502 — including $2 for the value of the bronze medal itself, and the $10,000 honorarium.

That could leave amateur athletes — in many cases still teenagers — facing stiff tax bills when they return to the U.S.

Mr. Rubio said that shouldn’t happen.

“Our tax code is a complicated and burdensome mess that too often punishes success, and the tax imposed on Olympic medal winners is a classic example of this madness,” the Florida Republican said.

His bill would exempt the honorarium and the value of the Olympic medal itself from any federal taxes.

All together the U.S. athletes owe $350,000 to the government. By the way, the United States is basically the only country that does this.

ATR, the group that crunched the numbers, said it’s unlikely any of America’s competition will face the same taxes because the U.S. “is virtually the only developed nation that taxes ‘worldwide’ income earned overseas by its taxpayers.”

Thoughts?

3. NY Times Feature on Ted Cruz (link)

After winning the runoff race against Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, America’s political pundits and writers just can’t get over Ted Cruz. Even the NY Times has a piece out about the man who is most likely our next U.S. Senator. A Tea Partier who is known as an intellectual force is how he described.

Mr. Cruz’s victory in November is all but assured in this heavily Republican state and marks a shift to the right in the already conservative party here. Political elders and experts who have watched him during his time here as state solicitor general and on the campaign trail predict that he will be an intellectual force in Congress on behalf of constitutional limits on federal power. He is expected to join Senator Jim DeMint of South Carolina and other Tea Party icons as an uncompromising irritant of mainstream Republicans and Democrats alike.

It helps, of course, that Mr. Cruz has the smooth good looks and practiced speech of a television host and is able to channel his knowledge into sound bites.

“He has the potential to be a national figure,” said Mark P. Jones, a political scientist at Rice University, noting Mr. Cruz’s intellect and oratorical skills.

“He’ll be a senator from the second-largest state in the nation,” Mr. Jones said, “and he’s very good on television, a perfectly designed politician for today’s 24-hour news cycle.”

You can read the entire story above. Also, before people start talking about big national aspirations just remember one thing, Ted Cruz was born in Canada.

4. Twitter Knows All (link)

Could Twitter predict the outcome of the Presidential Election? According to the National Journal, Twitter can now measure how users feel about the candidates.

Twitter says it has developed a way to measure how its users feel about the presidential candidates, drawing on the nearly 2 million weekly posts on the micro-blogging site about President Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney.

The company joined forces with the data analysis firm Topsy and two campaign pollsters–Democrat Mark Mellman and Republican Jon McHenry–to launch the new Twitter Political Index, which it says “evaluates and weighs the sentiment of tweets mentioning Obama or Romney relative to the more than 400 million tweets sent on all other topics” each day.

The effort is designed to supplement conventional ways of measuring public opinion, Twitter says, and is not a replacement. But as the political survey research industry is confronting unprecedented challenges, many are looking to non-survey approaches to fill the gaps.

Topsy developed an algorithm that assesses the sentiment of a tweet in the same way that a random individual would more than 90 percent of the time. And Adam Sharp, the leader of Twitter’s government, news, and social innovation team, says that the algorithm can be altered and refined to reflect the changing rhetoric of the campaign. “It is a collection of key words, phrases, and patterns that is ever expanding what is positive and negative,” he said.

The initial installment of the Twitter Political Index, called the “TwIndex” for short, shows Obama with a score of 34 and Romney with 25, based on tweets posted on Tuesday. Since the TwIndex compares tweets about the candidates to all tweets on other topics, that means that tweets about Obama are on average more positive than 34 percent of tweets not mentioning him. It also means that tweets about Obama are generally more positive than tweets about Romney. The plan is for the latest Twitter Political Index will be posted each day at 8 p.m. at election.twitter.com.

Interesting.

Other Top Stories:

Time Running Out to Stop Iran’s Nuclear Program?

Chick-fil-a Not Alone in Touting Religion

Water Restrictions Downgraded

2012 Olympic Medal Count

These and many more topics coming up on today’s edition of Lubbock’s First News with Chad Hasty. Tune in mornings 6-9am on News/Talk 790 KFYO, streaming online at kfyo.com, and now on your iPhone and Android device with the radioPup App. All guest interviews can be heard online in our podcast section after the show at kfyo.com.

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