Daily Archives: January 20, 2016

The unintended consequences of law

Conceptual rendering of the Act 46 debate. Dave Sharpe's in there somewhere.

Conceptual rendering of the Act 46 debate. Dave Sharpe’s in there somewhere.

This Act 46 thing is turning into a giant-sized tangle of no-win, isn’t it?

The House and Senate are at odds, with the Senate voting to repeal limits on school budgets and the House considering a range of tweaks. The Senate is also throwing the House under the bus, disavowing any responsibility for the spending limits. The Governor is hounding the Legislature to repeal without thinking about it too much. On top of all that, we discover that the Agency of Education misinterpreted a key passage of Act 46 in a way that changes the actual limits for many a district.

Meanwhile, the Republicans can just sit in the balcony, laughing and throwing Jujubes. As VTDigger’s Anne Galloway notes, unless the House gets buffaloed into changing course, the Republicans will get exactly what they want: the limits will remain in place and the Democrats will look like disorganized idiots who don’t care about rising property taxes. And if the limits are repealed, the Republicans will get something just about as juicy: the Democrats repealing a measure designed to provide some tax relief, and looking like idiots in the process.

Meanwhile, school districts are closing in on Town Meeting time with no idea how to plan their budgets.

Yeah, nice. This lame-duck session is off to a rip-roaring start.

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The Apex of Entertainment Conservatism

In a perfectly awful way, today was the perfect day.

Donald Trump.

At the John Wayne Homestead Museum.

Being endorsed by John Wayne’s descendants.

And then collecting the support of Sarah Palin.

It was the ideal display of something that MSNBC contributor Joy Reid calls “Entertainment Conservatism.” When I heard her say that, a bell rang in my head and a light bulb lit up above me.

John Wayne, the man brilliantly described by T Bone Burnett as the impostor, the “cowboy with no cattle, warrior with no war.”

Sarah Palin, supposedly a real Tea Partier, until today a staunch backer of Ted Cruz, aligning herself with Donald Trump.

Of course. Because she is, at heart, not an archconservative — she is an Entertainment Conservative.

In a fundamental way, this is the real heart of the conservative movement.

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