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Chad’s Morning Brief: NASCAR Keeps Taxpayer Money, Food Stamps & Mexico, & More

Here is your Morning Brief for the morning of July 20, 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.

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1. NASCAR Wins (link)

Should taxpayer money be used to advertise the Army at NASCAR & other sporting events? According to Congress, the answer is yes but it’s a mixed bag. At first the Army announced that they would no longer sponsor NASCAR’s #39 car which is driven by Ryan Newman. That’s when the lobbying started.

A deeply divided House voted late Wednesday to continue letting the Pentagon use taxpayer money to sponsor sports leagues and teams — a victory chiefly for NASCAR, which had fought feverishly to maintain tens of millions of dollars that go to some of its teams every year.

A liberal-conservative coalition had fought to ax the spending, arguing that at a time of trillion-dollar deficits the military shouldn’t be exempt from cuts. The coalition also argued that there’s no hard evidence the spending helps with recruiting young men and women for the armed forces, which is the given purpose for the funding, including $21 million from the National Guard.

But their amendment was defeated 216-202, with 60 Democrats and 156 Republicans voting to preserve the money, estimated to be $72 million in 2013. The money goes to everything from mixed martial arts to motor racing.

One of the interesting things about this vote was the groups of lawmakers that got together. According to the Washington Times:

The vote created a fascinating coalition. Voting to preserve the money were House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, Virginia Republican, and Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the Florida Democrat who is chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee.

But voting to cut the funding were House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and the Democratic leadership team, joined by some of the most conservative cost-cutters such as Rep. Jeff Flake of Arizona and Rep. Jim Jordan, chairman of the House conservative caucus.

I have no problem with the advertising budget being cut as long as it’s just not one sport being targeted. I believe that the Conservatives in Congress and even some of the Democrats were acting in good faith to cut the budget across the board. Sure, $72 million in the big picture isn’t a lot, but it shows the American people that you are serious about saving money. People will still join the Army, even if they don’t see it on Sundays.

What do you think?

2. USDA, Food Stamps, & Mexico (link)

Sure, why not boost the number of people on Food Stamps? Why does the Mexican Government need to be involved at all? They can’t even handle their own country.

The Mexican government has been working with the United States Department of Agriculture to increase participation in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), or food stamps.

USDA has an agreement with Mexico to promote American food assistance programs, including food stamps, among Mexican Americans, Mexican nationals and migrant communities in America.

“USDA and the government of Mexico have entered into a partnership to help educate eligible Mexican nationals living in the United States about available nutrition assistance,” the USDA explains in a brief paragraph on their “Reaching Low-Income Hispanics With Nutrition Assistance” web page. “Mexico will help disseminate this information through its embassy and network of approximately 50 consular offices.”

Meanwhile, Senator Jeff Sessions says that this is a ploy to pressure immigrants to enroll. According to FOX News:

His concern — that Mexican immigrants are being guided toward government assistance instead of “gainful employment.”

“It has become increasingly clear that the mission of the food stamp program has moved from targeted welfare assistance for those in need into an aggressive drive to expand enrollment regardless of need,” he wrote.

Thoughts?

3. Another Debate (link)

Another debate between Ted Cruz and David Dewhurst will be held Monday night. At some point, this race will end.

The King Street Patriots, a Houston-area Tea Party group, and Fox 26, a Houston-based affiliate, are scheduled to host a televised debate in front of a live audience Monday at 6 p.m. Details on airings statewide weren’t immediately clear.

Both campaigns confirmed they would participate in Monday’s event.

We will let you know Monday if you will be able to watch the debate outside of Houston.

4. TTU Outgoing President Sits Down With The Texas Tribune (link)

Here is a great interview with outgoing TTU President Guy Bailey from the Texas Tribune. Check it out, it’s worth your time. Mike Leach is even brought up.

TT: So, you’re not going with Mike Leach, then?

Bailey: [Laughs] No.  Mike and I will kind of be at polar opposite ends of the country, won’t we?

Somebody will probably write a really good book on that situation one day, but not anytime soon.  It’s too bad things worked out the way they did. It’s better for Mike to get a fresh start somewhere else, and Tech needed one too.

Check out more of the interview on the link above.

5. Dumb Story of the Morning (link)

The ultimate “Helicopter Parent”?

A Pennsylvania woman allegedly changed her children’s grades after logging into a school computer system using passwords obtained when she worked for the district.

Investigators say Catherine Venusto used the Northwestern Lehigh School District superintendent’s password to change the grades. She was arraigned Wednesday on a half-dozen felony counts and released on bail.

Officials say Venusto changed a failing grade to a medical exception for her daughter in 2010, when she was still a district secretary. The New Tripoli woman is also accused of bumping one of her son’s grades from 98 to 99 percent in February.

State police say Venusto admitted changing the grades, saying she thought her actions were unethical but not illegal.

What a great example she is to her kids.

Other Top Stories:

Owner of Bikini’s Sports Bar (coming soon to Lubbock) Buys Town, Changes Name to ‘Bikinis’

Chris Christie Rips Heckler

Republicans Rip Bachmann

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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