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Fri Jan 4, 2013, 05:37 PM

GOP leader eyes 'Smokey Bear' balloon funding cut

Source: Associated Press

GOP leader eyes 'Smokey Bear' balloon funding cut
| January 4, 2013 | Updated: January 4, 2013 4:12pm

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) A well-known hot air balloon in the likeness of a New Mexico-born fire prevention icon is now at a center of a tug-of-war over federal spending.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said Thursday during the Senate's opening day that the Smokey Bear balloon was a waste of taxpayer dollars, especially at a time when the Republicans are looking to tackle the federal deficit.

"If we can't stop spending taxpayer dollars on robo-squirrels, and dancing robot DJ's or hot air balloon rides for Smokey the Bear, then there's no hope at all," said the Senate's top Republican. "If we can't fix the easy stuff ... how are we ever going to get at the hard stuff?"

The Albuquerque-based balloon has long been a regular at the city's International Balloon Fiesta and has flown internationally. Since 2005, the National Forest Service has spent nearly $240,000 to help pay for balloon costs.

Retired state forester Bill Chapel told KRQE-TV (http://bit.ly/TNODb8 ) that the balloon is an educational tool and he would fight any effort to cut funding.


Read more: http://www.chron.com/news/science/article/GOP-leader-eyes-Smokey-Bear-balloon-funding-cut-4167526.php



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Arrow 13 replies Author Time Post
Reply GOP leader eyes 'Smokey Bear' balloon funding cut (Original post)
Judi Lynn Jan 2013 OP
Scootaloo Jan 2013 #1
kimbutgar Jan 2013 #2
Canuckistanian Jan 2013 #3
James48 Jan 2013 #4
angrychair Jan 2013 #5
struggle4progress Jan 2013 #12
blue_heron Jan 2013 #6
Hestia Jan 2013 #7
Occulus Jan 2013 #13
liberal N proud Jan 2013 #8
Historic NY Jan 2013 #9
XemaSab Jan 2013 #10
lunasun Jan 2013 #11

Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 05:39 PM

1. Surreal

When your household is over-budget, do you tell the kids "Okay, no more quarters for gumballs!" while you continue to put flat-screen TV's and new cars on your credit card?

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 05:41 PM

2. Please someone find pictures to out this cretin.

This is such a small amount of money its laughable. What about cutting back on you senate perks turtle.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 05:44 PM

3. If it were a Ronald Reagan balloon, it would be funded in perpetuity

These clowns know the price of everything, but the value of nothing.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 05:45 PM

4. Well....

He just ticked off the 1,000 members of the Balloon Federation of America.

Fine with me. Many of those guys are (R)'s. This should wake them up.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 05:55 PM

5. What's that you say???

I'm not tone deaf....I just can't hear at all. What a tool. His office's annual budget is likely greater than what the damn ballon has cost a year ($34,285). "Splinter in your eye?". Eye meet tree trunk. No wonder nothing is getting fixed. What.A.Jerk.



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Response to angrychair (Reply #5)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 06:24 PM

12. His office has paid out over $825K in salaries in the last six months

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 05:59 PM

6. you've got to be kidding

ok, so tell all the military services to stop advertising professional sports and nascar cars. Oh, yeah, and tell the Air Force not to do the fly over at the Super Bowl.

what an ass.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 07:50 PM

7. Um, hasn't their been a lot of forest fires in the last couple of years?

Doesn't Smokey get the word out to help in reminding you to do your part to not start fires (cigarette butts, not putting out campfires, etc.)?

What an absolute prick.

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Response to Hestia (Reply #7)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 08:00 PM

13. Actually, the Smokey the Bear campaign did far more harm than good

in the long run. They changed the slogan to "only you can prevent wildfires" from "only you can prevent forest fires" because it became recognized- too late- that fires are a necessary part of any old growth forest ecosystem.

Learning that lesson cost a lot of homes and millions of acres of forest that would never have been lost otherwise, and we now know to let fires burn naturally, within reason, to burn off dead wood before it piles up into a tinderbox waiting for just one spark.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 08:37 PM

8. Must be a starving weapons maker who needs that pocket change.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 09:40 PM

9. They didn't cut NASCAR or Disney.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 09:55 PM

10. If it stops one person from starting a fire that it costs a million dollars to fight

then it's saved the taxpayers $760,000.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 11:09 PM

11. Educational tool like Big Bird, so must go

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