no thanks

There’s still leftover turkey in the fridge and a bewildering variety of sweet breads on the table and they haven’t finished cleaning up the bodies from Wal-Mart and Mumbai but the holiday seems to be over already, at least in Illinois, where Governor Blagojevich (Serbo-Croatian for “I haven’t got a clue, really”) is closing a stack of historic sites and laying off two dozen IHPA staff. I commented previously on the economic ingenuousness of this move (see my blog of August 3). People look at historic sites and they think “luxury” compared to social services. But historic sites are key to tourism, which is the state’s primary industry. Social services are necessary, but they don’t provide an economic payback the way preservation does. In all likelihood the Clueless One was primarily after the 24 IHPA jobs, since jobs are the biggest piece of any budget in this country. Does this make sense? Why not go the next step and sell the Dana-Thomas House, the Lincoln log cabin, and Fort de Chartres? If this was really about budget and not political football, that would be the logical step.

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