I believe in tax support of the arts.
Art is an economic engine but it is far more than a retail sale or a paycheck. The Arts boost school test scores. The Arts improve our sense of community. And it doesnt hurt that a painting or photograph, an original song, a well-staged play, or a warm book on a cold winter day all bring light to our lives. This state and this nation cannot afford to lose the Arts. I’ll let you decide if there is a small, dramatic branch that might be cut from the Arts tree.
Here we go. National theater in three acts. Or, as the great philosopher Frank Zappa wrote, “We are a nation of laws, poorly written and randomly enforced.”
ACT I — THE FLORIDA STAGE
The Miami Herald called Gov. Charlie Crist (R-FL) “the ingenue” last year when he planned to empanel a statewide grand jury to root out corruption in Florida politics. Corruption in Florida politics ain’t news; Monroe County’s public servants can be as south of the border-ish as any Central or South American junta. The governor’s theatrical remark followed FBI arrests of about half the public officials and influence peddlers in nearby Broward County.
Of course, the governor is unable to empanel even a tiny jury, let alone a Grand one. That power lies with the courts. The Legislature will promise to investigate and clean up the mess. Just as they did 17 years ago in the Public Service Commission scandals of 1993. And 1994. And 1995… And 2009.
It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. –Wm. Shakespear
ACT II — THE VERMONT STAGE
On Wednesday, Vermont State Senator (and gubernatorial candidate) Peter Shumlin pushed the state’s Senate into. The vote means the nuclear generator will stop operating in 2012. The vote came after weeks of political leaks in Montpelier and tritium leaks in Vernon, Vermont. The Senate, with no experts elected or on staff and no substantive reports to back their beliefs, and against the advice of the Public Service Board and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission voted against Vermont Yankee’s license renewal.
Governor Jim Douglas (R-VT) says the debate over the state’s only nuclear power plant is far from over. Bloggers have expressed their “disgust at the governor’s dismissive comments” because “the senate vote reflects the will of his constituents” thus showing how well a good stage play can sway the populace.
Of course, the law that allows the Legislature to decide the issue requires them to vote “Yes” to allow the Public Service Board to grant the relicensing the nuclear plant. Any other vote is simply free advertising for the man who would act as governor next year.
We have too many high sounding words, and too few actions that correspond with them. –Abigail Adams
ACT III — THE NATIONAL STAGE
Meanwhile, Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN.), Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK), Sen. Kent Conrad (D-ND), and Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD) faced each other on Face the Nation yesterday. After steadfastly ignoring costs for more than a year, they all agreed that the cost of health care is suddenly the most important problem to tackle.
Sen. Coburn thinks that “we can save $250 a year [by eliminating] defensive medicine costs.”
Sen. Conrad thinks that “reconciliation cannot be used to pass comprehensive health care reform” because reconciliation works only on budget items.
Rep. Blackburn thinks we need to buy our health insurance in other states. “[My constituents] could generally save about $1,000 from being able to get past that stop sign at the state line.” Until next year when the out-of-state insurance companies raise their premiums. Again.
Rep. Hoyer thinks a specific proposal will be surface within “the next couple of weeks.”
The rest of us think the whole ObamaCare exercise proves the Far Green is right about anthropogenic global warming but wrong about the source. The source is not man-made carbon-dioxide or even methane. The source is man-made hot air. Methane smells sweeter.
Political theater /n/ Much ado about nothing or the art of playing fast and loose with the facts with no climax in the script.
We live in a society that loves a soap opera. Six months ago it was David Letterman. Six weeks ago it was Tiger Woods. Every day it’s politics. Who among you believes we’ll get anything for the money we send to the Capitol besides a few more episodes on “reality” TV?
Taxpayer support of the arts. We can afford just one branch. Do you want to keep the art that lights the way or the hot air that brings the darkness?