11:45 AM, Jul 15, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
There was a time when stock car racing was an outlaw sport. Some of the greatest of the early drivers learned their skills hauling moonshine. Most conspicuously, Junior Johnson who did a stretch in the federal crossbar hotel. But the days of Junior, Richard, Dale, and the rest of them are long past. NASCAR went corporate and like all “mature industries,” it learned how to play cozy with Washington.
A tax break for racetrack depreciation is facing the ax in one of those temporary fits of Congressional fiscal prudence. The loophole (a term NASCAR disputes, it is an “incentive’) became law, as Bernie Becker of The Hill writes:
"... in 2004, during the heat of a presidential election in which both then-President George W. Bush and then-Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) were competing for the votes of “NASCAR dads.”
Those in favor of the tax break are hauling out the usual arguments:
Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) and Rep. Tom Reed (R-N.Y.), both members of the tax-writing committees, have introduced measures to permanently extend the tracks’ current tax treatment. Stabenow said last week that the Michigan International Speedway ... generates more than $400 million a year in economic activity. “It’s a matter of just talking about how this is an economic engine for many communities around the country,” Stabenow said.
And, then, there is the argument that NASCAR and its tracks should get tax breaks equal to those extended to Disney and its theme parks.
NASCAR pleading to be treated like Disney.
Say goodbye to Thunder Road.
2:01 PM, Jun 7, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
It has been a while since there has been a winner of thoroughbred racing's Triple Crown. Thirty-six years, in fact. Twelve horses have had a chance before today, when California Chrome gets a shot in the Belmont. Eleven of those horses came up short and one did not run. When Affirmed won the Belmont in 1978, the horse became the third Triple Crown winner of the 70’s, back in a time when thoroughbred racing, handicapping, and turf writing were still in their glory.
10:04 AM, May 29, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
First Lady Michelle Obama plays a sideline reporter in a video with NFL star-turned White House chef Richard Sherman in a video promoting healthy eating:
"Well, let me tell you," Sherman shouts at Obama. "We the best chefs in the game. So when you try us with an easy meal like salmon cakes and succotash, that's the result you going to get."
"Wow, Richard, where'd you learn to do all this?" Obama asks. "I mean, corn, succotash, salmon cakes."
8:08 AM, May 28, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
The NFL commissioner is headed to the White House to dicuss concussions in sports, the Washington Post reports.
11:10 AM, May 10, 2014 • By DAVID WOLFFORD
I experienced some rough emotions rooting for my alma mater, the University of Kentucky, during the NCAA tournament. Partly because of the close games and come-from-behind wins, and partly because of their one-and-done reputation under Coach John Calipari. The media contrasted UK’s likely NBA-bound freshmen and UConn senior Shabazz Napier, who remained a Huskie to earn his degree as a promise to his mother. It’s what made March maddening for me.
8:09 AM, Apr 17, 2014 • By JERYL BIER
The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) will spend the four days leading up to the Boston Marathon conducting a helicopter-based survey to measure naturally occurring background radiation in a ten square mile area west of downtown Boston.
12:28 PM, Apr 9, 2014 • By ADAM J. WHITE
As the Boston Red Sox collected their World Series rings last Friday, Boston faithful had much to be thankful for. And among those to whom they owed more than a little thanks was Bill James, the team's official analytical guru, who enjoyed an increased role in team decision-making after the team fell to pieces in 2012.
8:35 AM, Jan 25, 2014 • By IKE BRANNON
Unlike you, I will be watching the Pro Bowl this weekend, albeit grudgingly.
6:46 PM, Jan 19, 2014 • By WILLIAM KRISTOL
On the one hand, Barack Obama, speaking as a dad, says he "would not let my son play pro football." It's a reasonable judgment, one other parents have made and one they're entitled to make (though enforcing it on recalcitrant sons is another matter!).
6:34 AM, Dec 22, 2013 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
Temperatures in the high 40s, with some rain. That’s the forecast for Buffalo on Sunday when the Bills and the Dolphins kick it off. Balmy, then. So much so that the team from Miami can’t, should they lose, use the weather for an alibi. Likewise, the fans who choose not to pay sit in the stadium and watch. The Bills have been disappointing but not surprising. They seem always to be disappointing. And it’s almost Christmas. So, even if you follow the team and have since the Jim Kelly days, it might seem more appealing to stay at home and wrap presents. With the game on the television. In the background, of course.
8:31 AM, Dec 12, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER
Last night, this 30-second advertisement ran to encourage folks to sign up in the "Health Insurance Marketplace," otherwise known as Obamacare:
"Now, for the first time, you can be covered -- with a quality health plan from the new health insurance marketplace, part of the health care law," says the male announcer.
3:31 PM, Nov 4, 2013 • By JERYL BIER
Stepping into the controversy over the team name for the Washington Redskins in early October, President Obama said in an interview with the AP:
10:55 AM, Aug 19, 2013 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
The NCAA might just as well become another department of the government and build a lavish headquarters building in Washington. Its bureaucratic culture would make it a perfect fit. The complexity of its rules would make for a seamless merger. And the high-handed, arrogant management style would make the transition almost frictionless.