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“The House of Representatives has been cutting like crazy! Down with Planned Parenthood and PBS! We can’t afford to worry about mercury contamination! Safety nets are too expensive! But keep your hands off the Defense Department’s budget to sponsor Nascar racers. “It’s a great public/private partnership,” said Representative Rodney Frelinghuysen, a New Jersey Republican.

The Defense Department claims racecar sponsorships are an important recruiting tool for the Army. The House agreed - although this might be news to the Navy and Marines, which decided a while back that a Nascar presence wasn’t worth the money.

“What makes U.S. Army’s motorsports initiatives successful?” Ryan Newman, driver of No. 39 U.S. Army Chevrolet asked his Facebook readers as he urged a show of support for the program. “In a 2009 study among fans nationwide, 37% feel more positive about the Army due to its involvement in motorsports.” Really!

“Representative Betty McCollum of Minnesota, who sponsored an amendment eliminating the military’s Nascar connection, said it could save taxpayers “tens of millions of dollars.” She got a flood of angry letters and one death threat. Also, her amendment was rejected, 148 to 281. The opponents didn’t bother with much debate. But I digress, Representative Steve Womack of Arkansas retracted his proposal to cut off financing for President Obama’s teleprompter.

The majority did vote, however, to eliminate money for a park in Nancy Pelosi’s district. The former House speaker has been demonized to the point that it’s safe to do anything to her short of kidnapping the family dog.

The newly ascendant Republicans have been howling that the deficit is so big, so threatening, that no target for cutting is sacred. “Everything is on the table. We’re broke,” said Boehner. But the table is mainly crowded with stuff the Republicans didn’t like to begin with. Family-planning money and environmental protection, but not OIL TAX BREAKS or NASCAR sponsorships. “Sesame Street” is fair game, but the Daytona 500 is untouchable.

In Wisconsin, the new Republican governor, Scott Walker, wants to strip state employees of their collective-bargaining rights because: “We’re broke. We’ve been broke in this state for years.” (However, that did not stop him from giving Tax Breaks and Cuts to Business Cronies.)

The Plan was foiled, however, when “Wisconsin’s Democratic state senators went into hiding to deprive the Republican majority of the quorum they need to pass Walker’s agenda. The Senate majority leader, Scott Fitzgerald - who happens to be the brother of the Assembly speaker, Jeff Fitzgerald - believes the governor is absolutely right about the need for draconian measures to cut spending in this crisis. So he’s been sending state troopers out to look for the missing Democrats. The troopers are under the direction of the new chief of the state patrol, Stephen Fitzgerald. He is the 68-year-old father of Jeff and Scott and was appointed to the $105,678 post this month by Governor Walker.”

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Comment Preferences

  •  nascar fan here (3+ / 0-)

    but they need to get in line & share & sacrifice like the rest of us

    Plastic ocean: The Great Pacific Garbage Patch

    by eeff on Fri Feb 25, 2011 at 05:22:16 AM PST

  •  Un-freaking- believable! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Tinfoil Hat, nervousnellie

    And I watch NASCAR, too. But what a crock.

    When so-called free enterprise Republicans continue to spend on private businesses but cut programs for people, what is left to say? The inmates are in charge of the asylum.

    It's what you do, not what you believe that counts - thenekkidtruth

    by sewaneepat on Fri Feb 25, 2011 at 05:47:52 AM PST

    •  Does It Matter Whether the Money... (0+ / 0-)

      was spent on NASCAR or television commercials?

      The money was part of the marketing budget.  If she proposed cutting $10 milloion from their marketing budget and let them decide where is the most effective place to spend it I would support the amendment.

      •  That is a good point, but (0+ / 0-)

        I don't see that having a car with the word ARMY on it would in any way make anyone want to join the Army, whereas the commercials point out the benefits of joining.

        To me, this is just a payoff to Republican supporters. It makes no logical sense to me that sponsoring a car would increase enlistment, especially increase it more than a well done commercial would.

        It's what you do, not what you believe that counts - thenekkidtruth

        by sewaneepat on Fri Feb 25, 2011 at 06:40:58 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Is It Possible That NASCAR Events... (0+ / 0-)

          attract a different demographic than television shows?

          Lots of government agencies market to achieve their mission.  Do you want to have a bipartisan commission approve of each expenditure?  

          •  So purchase commercial time during (0+ / 0-)

            the race. Anyone who joins the Army because Ryan Newman  has ARMY written on his car is IMO too dumb to be in the Army.

            I don't mind marketing. I mind giving good money to a private enterprise for what seems to me to be political payback. I mind the Defense Dept. feeling  like it has so damned much money that it can fritter it away on weapons systems we don't need or to sponsor NASCAR.  And of course, some of this is not the DOD's fault; it is legislators whose districts or campaigns benefit from expenditures that do not promote defense.

            That $10 million could actually provide a lot of PAP smears or mammograms through Planned Parenthood. It could pay for quite a few teachers or policemen. It could help a lot of senior citizens. It could be much better used on the WIC program.

            It's what you do, not what you believe that counts - thenekkidtruth

            by sewaneepat on Fri Feb 25, 2011 at 07:31:08 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  The entire (4+ / 0-)

    "shared sacrifice" canard is a cruel joke. The idea that people who are doing without necessities  should be expected to sacrifice MORE on the altar of capitalism so that those with the most need not see any additional contributions to the public welfare is obscene and we need to broadcast that loud and clear.

    The income disparity facts as published by Mother Jones should be making headlines in papers- they won't, of course, because that's "fomenting 'class war'" (e.g. that's the  working class showing hints they might fight back).  

    That has got to change unless we are keen to leave our kids a dystopia of Mad Max proportions.

    "never trust a rich man when he offers you a truce"

    by KibbutzAmiad on Fri Feb 25, 2011 at 05:49:35 AM PST

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