U.S. Politics

NASCAR tells fans not to bring Confederate flags to races

Confederate flag waving on the wind (Shutterstock)
Confederate flag waving on the wind (Shutterstock)


NASCAR wants to limit the Confederate battle flag’s presence at its tracks after the murder of nine black worshippers in South Carolina, but getting U.S. motor racing fans to comply may prove difficult.

On the eve of a big holiday race weekend in Daytona Beach, David Childress was among those who ignored the call and packed a t-shirt festooned with the Civil War-era flag for his trip to the world-famous Florida racetrack.

“I don’t think you’re supposed to cherish it, but don’t forget it,” said Childress, 61, from Mississippi, who said he owns six Confederate flags.

The June 17 killings at a Charleston bible-study group have prompted politicians and businesses to try to banish the flag, widely viewed as a symbol of slavery, after photos of the white man charged in the shooting showed him posing with it.

NASCAR and track owner Daytona International Speedway Corp have not banned the flag at the track where it remains popular among motor racing’s strongly southern, White and conservative fan base.

Instead, race organizer and owner NASCAR and its 30 affiliated tracks on Thursday asked fans not to bring the flags to races.

“This is an opportunity for NASCAR Nation to demonstrate its sense of mutual respect and acceptance for all who attend our events,” it said.

For fans who ignore the request, NASCAR is offering to exchange Confederate flags for the stars and stripes to honor U.S. Independence Day at Daytona Beach.

Confederate flags typically dot the infield at Daytona but are far thicker at other NASCAR facilities such as the Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama, fans say.

“You ain’t going to tell them boys they’re not going to fly their flags ‘cause they’re Alabama rednecks,” said Childress’ friend Debbie Dionne, 57, a cook from Pascagoula, Mississippi.

NASCAR’s attempt to get rid of the flags comes at the same time the organization and Daytona track owner have been announcing major new corporate sponsors including General Motors, Fifth Third Bank, and Microsoft.

Daytona Speedway needs sponsorships to help pay for a $400 million renovation of the aging track’s grandstand to turn it into racing’s first modern stadium.

“Companies are very careful of their brands,” said Hank Fishkind, an Orlando-based economic consultant.

While some fans will take umbrage at not being able to wave their Confederate flags, “NASCAR has the opportunity to broaden its base a bit by being more family friendly and more up to date in the positioning of their product,” he added, noting that it had struggled with declining TV ratings and empty seats in recent years.

GM didn’t immediately respond to calls for comment, but Fifth Third’s North Florida president and CEO Brian Lamb said in an emailed statement that the company did not support the use of the flag at the races.

In a statement Microsoft said it agreed with NASCAR and others that the flag is a symbol that “does not represent the future of our country, and that we should remove this symbol from our culture.”

Bob Almeida, 58, a fuel company manager from Cape Coral who was camping outside the track, said he’s noticed a decline in the flags over the past 10 years he’s been attending Daytona races.

Several fans Thursday saw NASCAR’s attempt to eliminate the flag as a capitulation to corporate sponsors.

“It’s all about the American dollar. But I can see why a company doesn’t want to lose hundreds of millions over a flag,” Childress said.

David Fraley, 54, of New Port Richey, a tennis court contractor, said he thinks NASCAR is in a difficult position.

“NASCAR’s selling a product. How can it be held responsible for what its customers believe in?” Fraley said.

West Wing Week

West Wing Week: 4/20/12 or “Roll Tide”

The White House

This week, the President visited one of the Sunshine State’s largest ports, attended the Summit of the Americas in Cartagena, Colombia, announced new steps to strengthen oversight of energy markets, welcomed champion NASCAR drivers and the Alabama Crimson Tide football team to the White House, and traveled to Ohio to speak with unemployed workers about the importance of job training program.


Top Ten Mitt Romney 0.01 Percent Quotes

Addicting Info

With his impossibly coiffed and unctuous Mad Men look, Mitt “money bags” Romney oozes the obscenely rich guy persona of wiping his feet with the middle and lower classes (or putting them on the roof of his car). Despite the fact that Willard (an everyman’s name) Romney is estimated to be worth more than $200 million, he makes painful strides to hoodwink inform average Republican voters that he’s just an average unemployed guy trying to get by. But this predatory capitalist with mountebank business ethics to match doesn’t always remember to pretend that he’s just your average guy. In fact, sometimes he says stuff that would make the Monopoly guy seem average.

Here are some of the greatest Mitt Romney quotes that show him to be the total slimy 0.01 percent guy that he so utterly is:

1. “I like those fancy raincoats you bought [to people wearing plastic ponchos]. Really sprung for the big bucks.”

2. I have some great friends who are NASCAR team owners.”

3. “I know what it’s like to worry about whether or not you are going to get fired. … There are times when I wondered whether I was going to get a pink slip.”

4.  “Rick [Perry], I’ll tell you what: 10,000 bucks? $10,000 bet?”

5. Ann drives a couple of Cadillacs.”

6.  Corporations are people, my friend.”

7. I’m not concerned about the very poor. … We have a safety net there.”

8. I’m also unemployed,”  when net worth is estimated over $200 million

9. I like being able to fire people who provide services to me.”

10. I get speaker’s fees from time to time, but not very much,” when his fees are $374,000


UPPITY UPDATE: Woman Thanks Newt For Putting Juan Williams In His “Place” – Democratic Underground

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Rush Limbaugh: Michelle Obama Guilty Of ‘Uppity-ism’ (AUDIO)

Uppity Urban Dictionary
Word used by racist old white Southerners to refer to any black person who looks them in the eye. Usually followed by nigger.

The Huffington Post

Rush Limbaugh accused Michelle Obama of “uppity-ism” during his Monday show.

Limbaugh was speaking about the First Lady’s recent reception at a NASCAR event, where both she and Jill Biden were booed by the crowd. He said it was not surprising that she was booed, because the crowd at NASCAR resented her healthy eating initiatives and her husband’s policies.

“What the hell is there to cheer for?” Limbaugh asked. He said that people also didn’t like “paying millions of dollars” for Obama’s vacations. “They understand it’s a little bit of a waste,” he said. “They understand it’s a little bit of uppity-ism.”

Michelle Obama has been a frequent target of Limbaugh’s. Previously, he has said she “doesn’t look like” she eats healthy foods, and criticized a trip she took to Target.


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Michelle Obama Booed At NASCAR Race

Well, after all it’s NASCAR, which has never been a bastion of liberal pride…

The Huffington Post

Michelle Obama and Jill Biden were booed at NASCAR’s season finale at the Homestead-Miami Speedway on Sunday.

The appearance was part of an initiative to honor military troops and families. The first lady and vice president’s wife also served as grand marshals for the big race.

At the beginning of the race, an announcer introduced the two women, who were met with a loud combination of both cheers and boos.

This is hardly the first time the first and second lady have been booed at a sporting event. Their appearance at World Series games in both 2009 and2011 were met with a less-than-warm welcome.


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GOP Fundraising · GOP Greed

The Future Of Political Donations In One Graphic?

Good Culture

Three years ago GOOD had the idea to plaster politicians’ financial sponsors all over their fancy suits, just like they do in NASCAR. With corporate money being such a huge part of the American political system—and with its influence set to get even bigger—it would help voters if our elected representatives were as transparent as possible about who’s backing them, and to what extent.

Reddit user crandyj1220 has followed our lead. Last week he uploaded to the social news site his own Nascar-ized politician, this one of our new Republican House speaker, John Boehner. An image like this isn’t all you need to make your decisions about a politician, of course, but it’s sure nice to know when these people are getting fat checks from tobacco companies and health insurance giants.

Political Humor

“So, What’s Your IQ?” (Humor)


They say that laughter is the best medicine.  The following joke will surely get a chuckle out of you.  Enjoy.


A man walked into a very high-tech bar. As he sat down on a stool he noticed that the bartender was a robot. The robot clicked to attention and asked, “Sir, what will you have?”

The man thought a moment then replied “A martini please.”

The robot clicked a couple of times and mixed the best martini the man had ever had.

The robot then asked, “Sir, what is your IQ?” The man answered “Oh, about 174.”

The robot then proceeded to discuss the theory of relativity, inter-stellar space travel, the latest medical breakthroughs, etc…

The man was most impressed. He left the bar but thought he would try a different tack. He returned and took a seat. Again the robot clicked and asked what would he have? “A martini please.”

Again it was superb. The robot again asked “What is your IQ sir?”

This time the man answered, “Oh, about 120”. So the robot started discussing NASCAR racing, the latest basketball scores, and what to expect the Dodgers to do this week end.

The guy had to try it one more time. So he left, returned and took a stool…. Again a martini, and the question, “What is your IQ?” This time the man drawled out ” Uh…… bout 50″.

The robot clicked then leaned close and very slowly asked,


Thank you, ianai.