Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Government Spending... PBS and NASCAR

Government Spending... PBS and NASCAR

So maybe you can guess who's trying to defund PBS and NPR... But if you can't, I'll give you a couple of clues. As seen in this New York Shitty Times article.
After two years of raging at President Obama’s spending plans, House Republican leaders have finally revealed their real vision of small government: tens of billions in ideologically driven cuts to job training, environmental protection, disease control, crime protection and dozens of other critical functions that only the government can perform.

The list would cut $2 billion from job training programs — precisely what is needed to help employ workers mismatched with the job market. It would cut $1.6 billion from the Environmental Protection Agency, which is struggling to keep up with the growth of greenhouse gases. There would be significant cuts to legal assistance for the poor and renewable energy programs and an end to all spending for AmeriCorps, public broadcasting and high-speed rail.

The battle over the rest of the 2011 budget is only a prelude, of course, to the bigger fight about to begin over the 2012 budget. President Obama is scheduled to unveil his budget on Monday, and already he seems willing to feed the bottomless Republican hunger for cuts rather than fight them. An ominous early sign is his proposal to cut the low-income heating assistance program nearly in half to $2.57 billion. Administration officials say that energy prices have fallen, but, as Democratic lawmakers from the frostbitten Northeast have pointed out to him, there are many more unemployed people now.
And one from the Colorado Independent.
The Republican House majority put out a shocker of a budget Thursday that would slash spending by $32 billion in the next seven months. Among the glaringly ideological Republican targets are environmental protection programs and public broadcasting. The “war on Big Bird,” as some fans of PBS have called it, has a strong backer in Colorado Congressman Doug Lamborn, who this session has introduced two bills to zero out funds for public TV and radio.

Lamborn’s HR 68 would amend the Communications Act of 1934 to prohibit federal funding for public broadcasting after fiscal year 2013. His H.R. 69 separately targets National Public Radio funding.

After Fox News launched a campaign to “defund” NPR in the fall, Lamborn appeared on the network several times and ratcheted up his rhetoric around the bill.

“You may have heard about the recent firing of NPR News Analyst Juan Williams and the $1.8 million donation by liberal activist George Soros to hire 100 NPR reporters,” Lamborn wrote to supporters in an October release. “These two actions make it clear that public broadcasting is a friend and protector of liberal issues and political correctness, at the expense of free speech and balanced news reporting.”

But really, none of this should come as a surprise. I mean, it's not like America's going to tackle its 13 trillion dollar debt by cutting a few of the only useful programs it has that make up a tiny fraction of the budget instead of the elephant in the room.. the Military.

I mean, why shouldn't we cut PBS and NPR funding and invest more money into army experience centers? Oh yeah, because they're pretty fucking disgusting.

One does need to ask if anyone actually watches PBS. I enjoy Nova and Nova Science Now. But who watches Charlie Rose anymore? NOVA and NOVA scienceNOW are the best science programs on TV. They're way better than anything you can find on cable television. If you watch an episode of History Detectives you will probably learn more history tan you will in an entire year of watching the History Channel. If you don't watch PBS frequently you're fooling yourself and you need to start watching soon.

Oh, don't tell me you're one of those parents who just doesn't want your kids watching a nude Katy Perry.

Which is funny because that's the only thing I'm going to let my kids watch. But unless you have kids with those educational muppets (who like to censor titta's) You probably don't flip on PBS.

Frontline is a pretty good series. Though I have to show this clip, because it shows how utterly awesome Mr. Rogers is in defending PBS' funding.

As for NPR, Marketplace is a great program. Besides that, NPR only gets about 15% of its funding from the federal government.

NPR/PRI distribute some pretty good stuff, from Radiolab to Left/Right/Center, Performance Today, Tell Me would be a pretty awful piece of symbolism and would basically say that the US has no interest in actively promoting discussion, dialouge, research, reporting, or cultural arts actively. A lot of NPR is liberal-mainstream crap, but unless you're lucky enough to live somewhere with 24/7 Democracy Now and Pacifica Radio...

But this shouldn't be some shocking revelation. It's generally the first things Republicans bring up every time they start talking about cutting the budget. I wonder if they want to cut the Endowment for the Arts this time as well? Oh, how I bet they do.

Generally people don't like funding things which do not promote their own worldview, go figure.

But perhaps this isn't the only thing we should take money away from to cut the budget. Last week a suggestion was laid on the table to stop sponsorship of the Army on NASCAR cars.

Bang for Buck Not an Issue to Congresswoman Seeking to Defund Army Sponsorship in NASCAR

Minnesota Democratic Rep. Betty McCollum is offering an amendment to the House's federal budget bill that would strip Army sponsorship of a NASCAR vehicle, saying that Republicans who want to tackle excess spending should look to the millions spent on racing.

But NASCAR backers say McCollum ignores the value of the dollar spent at NASCAR. According to Col. Derek W. Crotts, who manages the Army's NASCAR marketing and advertising program, nearly one-third -- 46,000 -- of the 150,000 leads Army recruiters get each year come from motorsports events.

McCollum's amendment, introduced Wednesday, would prevent the U.S. Army from spending $7 million on NASCAR and $5 million on drag racing in 2011 as well as millions more by the Air Force and Navy.

"Taxpayer-funded NASCAR race cars are an absurdity at a time when the Republican-Tea Party is cutting federal support for homeless veterans, law enforcement officers and firefighters. I know NASCAR fans are passionate and patriotic. This amendment gets the government out of NASCAR and gives them the opportunity to encourage the private sector to demonstrate its patriotism by donating a military sponsorship," McCollum said in a release.

McCollum, who appeared with Muppet characters at a press conference Wednesday to push for continued funding of public broadcasting, argued that too much money is being spent by the government on racing. She noted that the tax deal reached between Republicans and President Obama at the end of 2010 grave breaks to track and facilities owners to fund capital projects at a cost of $40 million.

She added that her amendment won the support of the Citizens Against Government Waste, whose president, Thomas Schatz, called the NASCAR funding "profligate government-funded programs that Americans do not need and taxpayers simply cannot afford."

But in terms of spending, supporters of NASCAR say the Army's sponsorship more than pays for itself.

Ryan Newman, who drives the U.S. Army car No. 39 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race, issued a statement Wednesday telling fans to contact Congress to urge it continue paying for NASCAR participation.

"In a 2009 study among fans nationwide, 37 percent feel more positive about the Army due to its involvement in motorsports. Last year alone, the U.S. Army's motorsports programs generated more than 46,000 qualified leads, more than 1,300 pledges of support from key business and community leaders and more than 484 million media impressions (34 million of which offered specific Army recruiting messages)," he wrote.

Crotts told that attending motorsports events is more than just decorating a car with Army decals. The Army actively recruits by setting up displays similar to what would be seen at other industry trade shows so that potential recruits can see the vehicles and other equipment the Army employs on a daily basis.

He added that NASCAR is "an extremely effective element" of the Army Accession Command's effort.

"Youth surveys show that motorsports is a passion point for young Americans. It is critical that the Army use these passion points to communicate with prospects and their influencers. Motorsports is one of the few areas where both prospects and influencers share a high degree of interest. For more than a decade, these sponsorships have allowed us access to schools, venues and influencers that we have been unable to penetrate on the same scale through any other effort," he said.

The military and racing have been closely tied for years. The U.S. Army began its motorsports program in September 2000 when Congress directed the secretary of the Army to conduct a five-year outreach test. It was so successful, the Army expanded to NASCAR in 2003.

Drivers like Dale Earnhardt Jr. and David Stremme and Jeff Gordon have all had sponsorship from the National Guard and Air National Guard. This season, dragster Tony Schumacher will Army sponsorship for his 11th year.
Yes, that's right. We spend 7 million a year to paint a yellow star on a brown car so that hicks can remember to enlist their excess male children to the armed forces. It's almost as if maybe congress shouldn't micromanage shit like this and should instead spend their time focusing on larger nationwide systems.

But this is just an obvious bone thrown to elitist liberal who dislike Nascar and the military, the latter not for its role in violently enforcing imperialism, but because it is a little too gauche. When it comes down to it, Nascar is simply about drinking beer and staying out int he sun for a really long time.

Just a reminder though, that a congress person is going after the army for spending money on Nascar and not for recruiting literally in high school.

But hey, it's not like they're trying to defund Planned Parenthood.... Oh fuck, say what?
Planned Parenthood Funding Is Caught in Budget Feud

Almost unnoticed in the wars over the federal budget has been a pitched battle over money for Planned Parenthood, which provides contraception, medical services and abortions at 800 clinics around the country.

For the last several weeks, those on opposite sides of a sharp cultural divide have engaged in dueling rallies, virtual conferences, online petitions and phone banks as crucial Congressional votes drew near. At stake is more than $75 million that Planned Parenthood receives to provide family planning assistance to low-income women, money that its opponents say only frees up funds for abortions.

Now, in a surprise step that has set off deep alarm among advocates for women’s health, the newly conservative House of Representatives has proposed cutting the entire $317 million program of aid for family planning, known as Title X, in a 2011 spending bill that is expected to pass by the weekend. A proposed amendment to the bill would also bar Planned Parenthood from receiving any federal funds for any purpose.

The fight will shift to the Senate, where the Democrats retain a small majority. It is unlikely they will agree to cut all financing for Planned Parenthood, let alone the broader federal aid for contraception that serves five million low-income women, said Susan Cohen, director of governmental affairs for the Guttmacher Institute, a research organization. But more legislation in the House aimed at Planned Parenthood is in the offing, putting the organization in its most precarious political spot in decades.

Why yes, please go back to not having say over how your body works so we can oppress you some more, typical low income women. This is just fucking so sad and we're only a month into this new congress. It's like the republicans are raiding America of the last vestiges of the great society it once was.

Oh course, you could always be like Kanye West and say something like "I never understood planned parenthood. Cause I never met nobody planned to be a parent in the hood" Oh boy, you're killing me, Kanye!

But just think, all those free STD testing, free antibiotics, free antivirals, free birth control... free health checks in general.. All gone. DAMN YOU, CONGRESS!

Then again, I wonder why I'm surprised. This is only middle America's "eat shit, sex havers!" position implemented in the real world. It's about time we had some democracy in this country, I say!

It's the will of the people... well, at least the will of those ignorant backwoods religious nuts.

1 comment:

Zek J Evets said...

But here's the sad thing: the backwood religious nuts somehow seem to be in power, and they somehow seem to have billions of dollars to lobby, campaign, and generally take over the country.

almost makes you wanna be a canadian.