Country music legend Charlie Daniels wiped the smirk right off Nancy Pelosi’s face with a blistering takedown of the California Dem.
“Ms. Pelosi do you know how many desperate veterans that twenty-five million dollars you gave the Kennedy Center could have given a reason for living,” Daniels said before dropping the hammer:
“My guess is you just don’t give a damn.” Ouch. The truth hurts.
Pelosi had originally wanted $35 million for the D.C. cultural staple. A draft of the legislation, according to Fox Business, stated that the $25 million allocated for the center in the bill would “cover operating expenses required to ensure the continuity of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and its affiliates. The money is intended to be used for employee compensation and benefits, grants, contracts, rent or utilities, fees for artists or performers, information technology and other administrative expenses.”
Republicans were generally opposed to the expenditure but quickly became resigned to it. President Donald Trump gave the concession a rather backhanded bit of approval: “The Kennedy Center has suffered greatly,” he said during a media briefing. “I haven’t spent time there because I’m far too busy. I’d love to go there evenings, but I’m too busy doing things.”
The outlay quickly became even more controversial when the Kennedy Center announced that, even in spite of the not-insignificant chunk of the stimulus bill being dropped at their feet, they weren’t willing to pay for the National Symphony Orchestra to stay busy doing things.
Right after the bill was signed, the Kennedy Center said it would stop paying the musicians from the orchestra, leading everyone to wonder why it got the money in the first place.
After significant backlash, the center agreed to pay the musicians after all. Sorry about that, everyone. You can look away now.
Not that I’m against musicians being paid, mind you. The Kennedy Center is also a perfectly nice place to go.
All that being said, we didn’t need to spend $25 million on it when our economy has been totally shut down.
What about more funding for veterans’ services instead? (The Veterans Health Administration received $17.2 billion in the third phase of coronavirus legislation, though I tend to think adding $25 million to that figure is a better use of the money than spending it on the Kennedy Center).
What about using the money to get loans extended to small businesses in a more timely fashion? What about literally any other use of it?
The Kennedy Center is the giant ice cream-laden freezer of the relief bill.
It’s a symbol of the D.C. elite; there’s a certain kind of person who not only enjoys the National Symphony Orchestra but can afford to enjoy it regularly, and it’s generally not the kind of person who needs a relief check at the moment.
But don’t worry. All of those laid-off proles have a lot more time on their hands to watch James Corden’s 12:35 a.m. program, where Nancy can show off her collection of the frozen creamery.